American Breweriana Journal January/February 2013

 Years of Service Pins

 By Rich Wagner (ABA 2360)


In 2010 I showcased Rich Strisofsky’s collection of Tap Marker Signs (ABJ No. 168). Rich has been collecting since the 1970s and has seen and collected an incredible amount of breweriana. When he suggested we document his collection of company-issued service pins I readily agreed but when I saw his collection I was astounded. Not only did he have years of service and safe driving pins from a wide variety of breweries throughout the United States and Canada, he even had nearly complete collections for each year pins were given for some companies.

 In this day and age when companies are just as likely to show seasoned employees the door in order to save money, and when many companies don’t last a decade, it was surprising to see the number of breweries (most of which are not longer in business) that issued these pins. It was a relatively inexpensive way to recognize employees, show good will and promote cohesion among the ranks. Notice that many of the pins for longer years of service contain semi-precious and precious stones. Some of the larger breweries even had catalogs where employees could select items for their 10, 25 or 30 years of service.

 In addition to the inherent value of items of breweriana, it is the nostalgia that they invoke, making us appreciate by-gone days and just how different things were in the past.

Pics. Five pages of closeup shots of service pins from Anheuser-Busch, Ballantine, Brucks, Carling, Coors, Crown Cork & Seal, Dow, East Side, Erie, Esslinger, Falls City, Falstaff, Goetz, Gunther, Heileman, Jax, Lone Star, Miller, Molson, Narragansett, O'Keefe, Oertels, Olympia, Pabst, Pearl, Piel, Rainier, Old Reading, Schaefer, Schenley, Scheidt, Schmidt's, Sterling, Storz, Stroh, Supreme and Tru Blu.

Caption. Here they are arranged alphabetically, by company.