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Party Quiz Cans

Esslinger's Parti Quiz

In 1953 there were six breweries in Philadelphia, including Esslinger's.  Small and medium-sized breweries, however, were under a lot of pressure in the 1950s and that year two of the six, John Hohenadel Brewing and Jacob Hornung Brewing would close.  That left Esslinger's, Gretz Brewing, Ortlieb Brewing and C. Schmidt & Sons to compete for the local beer market.   Esslinger's decided that year to market a new can that would capture the beer-buying public's attention, and their business.  The result was a set of brightly colored cans covered with "Facts for Fun", sort of an early "Trivial Pursuit."  Each can had an average of 22 "fun facts" on them, and the cans came in eight colors (blue, bronze, green, pink, purple, red, silver and orange.)

The cans were a success, enough that Esslinger's kept the series running until the company went out of business in 1964.  There were a total of 9 sets, five of them issued in 1953 alone!  Set 6 was issued in 1954, and sets 7, 8 and 9 in 1956.  Set 9 seems to be the most common set, followed by set 1.  Esslinger's also issued some of the cans with the word "BOCK" on the front for their Spring Bock Beer release.  The bock cans are especially tough to find.  Another oddity is the cans left from set 1 which were filled and relidded as zip tops in 1964, AFTER the brewery had been taken over by Jacob Ruppert Brewing.  The cans may actually have been filled by either Jacob Ruppert, or by Sunshine Brewing of Reading Pennsylvania which actually did some brewing and canning for Jacob Ruppert at that time.

Unlike other sets, such as the Rainier Jubilee series, the Quizzie sets were not all issued at different times, but are determined by the can manufacturer and/or design changes.  Four companies made cans for Esslinger--American Can, Continental Can, Crown Cork and Seal, and National Can.  The chart below shows the copyright date for each set and the can company that made the cans.

1 American, Continental, Crown 1953 does not have words "Parti Quiz" on can.
2 Continental 1953 blue, purple and red cans most common. 
3 Crown, American 1953  pink cans are rare.
4 Crown 1953 silver cans rare.
5 Continental 1953 facts printed in silver instead of white.
6 American 1954 no bronze cans, pink and purple least common.
7 Continental, American 1956 pink cans rare, no bronze, first set with colored logo oval.
8 American 1956 same as set 7, except stars in red.  A very small set, may only be in silver.
9 American, Continental, Crown, and National 1956 cans have 2 sides.
Bock  various  varies known from sets 1, 3, 6, 9.  "BOCK" overprinted on silver can.
Zips various 1953 all from set one, leftover cans?  Issued after Esslinger's purchased by Jacob Ruppert Brewing. 

Quizzie Can Six Pack Holder.

Six Pack of the Parti Quiz cans.

Here is a sample of some of the facts on the Parti Quiz cans..

A's last in division in '52-2d time since 1933.
Basketball America's most popular sport.
Dial telephone's disk has ten holes.
Dogs smarter than cats.
Helium found on Sun first, later on Earth.
Olympics held only once in US, 1932-Los Angeles.
Pluto is 3,675,000,000,000 miles from sun.
Umpire has 96 balls to start a double header.
Yankee Doodle written by Richard Schuckburgh.


Quizzie Can Case.

A case of the Quizzie Cans.

Which Set is Which?

Want to know which of the nine series your quizzie can can from?  Some sets are easy to determine..

  • If the can does NOT say "Parti Quiz" is it SET 1.
  • Are the Words "Parti Quiz" Straight?" If so then it is from SET 4.
  • Are the facts printed in Silver? If so, then it is SET 5.
  • Are the stars on the can NOT in white? If so then it is SET 8.
  • If the can is 2-sided, it is SET 9.

If this doesn't help, then on the chart below answer the question YES or NO and follow the arrows!

Quizzie Can Chart.

Sources used for this page.

Beer Can Collectors of America. Catalog of American Beer Cans. (1993) 556-568. .

Handy, Larry.  Esslinger's Party Quiz (self published, 3d edition 2000).  Larry Handy, BCCA #947, is THE expert on this set.

Handy, Larry  "When Beer Drinking Made You Smarter" Beer Cans & Brewery Collectibles (October November 1996) 4-5, 8.

THANK YOU to Larry Handy for his imput!

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