Monday, October 13, 2008

Victory Beer

I have decided to combine two old posts with a recently acquired new item this one new, updated post.

One of the more unique Disney war-related items I've come across over the many years of collecting, has been this series of so-called "Victory Beer" labels.
The labels in this post appeared on bottles of beer produced by the Koppitz-Melchers Brewery. This Detroit, Michigan, brewery employed a novel idea to cash-in on home front patriotism. Beginning in 1942 the company began production and distribution of "Victory Beer." One hundred different label variations were produced for this particular brand. While most of the labels featured illustrations of military weapons and vehicles, at least three showcased Disney-designed combat insignia.

I have seen two bottles with labels, one was a stubby and the other a long neck. I have also seen two labels sell on eBay. Of these four labels, two were of the same design, so at this time I know of three different labels.

They include the following: From my collection a long neck bottle featuring the design for the "Mosquito Fleet" of patrol torpedo boats. The design depicts an angry mosquito astride a torpedo streaking towards its intended target. The caption reads: "Mosquito Fleet emblem by Disney shows Uncle Sam has wartime sense of humor. Other emblems are brightly emblazoned on ships, tanks, truck and planes." To read more about the Mosquito Fleet design, which was one of the first designs to be created at the Disney Studio, click here.

The second label, (which I recently acquired), features three air insignia designs. Pictured on this label are the emblems for the 45th Air Base Squadron (Baby Pegasus from Fantasia); 62d Pursuit Squadron (boxing bulldog); and the very first design created for the Jacksonville Naval Air Station (flying squirrel). All of these designs were created by artist Hank Porter in March 1941.

The third label, and one which escaped my successful bidding, also features three designs including: the Alaska Defense Force (seal balancing letters on its nose); the 69th Quartermaster Battalion (figure made-up of tools); and the Bombardment Training Unit, Ellington Field (Stork form Dumbo).

I'd be interested in hearing from anyone that knows of any additional Disney designs used on the labels of this line of beer.

1 comment:

Andres said...

Hi, i just was diving near of a old US navy base in Galapagos Islands and found a bottle like this, im wondering if someone know a litle bit more of the history of this item!! thanks a lot andrew