Healthful Fermented Liquors at the Mechanics’ Institute Expositions – Part 2

The Eighth Fair (1871) had an international flavor featuring exhibits from Australia, China, Japan and Hawaiian islands. It was nearly double the size of the first with 1100 different exhibits. By this time there were 35 breweries according to the San Francisco Municipal Reports, producing 160,000 barrels of beer. Australian beer featured heavily at this fair and was eagerly sampled by all. R. F. Tooth & Co. – Exhibited Two hogsheads Tooth & Co.’s No. 3 Ale. Pale and XXX Ale, awarded a Diploma for best foreign Ale   In 1882, the exhibition building was moved to the newly purchased block of land that now contains the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium – kitty corner to City Hall. This building was intended to be a permanent structure and hosted...

Healthful Fermented Liquors at the Mechanics’ Institute’s Industrial Expositions – Part 1

On July 24, 2014 I gave a talk about the beer industry of San Francisco as it was reflected at the 31 Industrial Expositions of the Mechanics’ Institute. These expositions took place between the years of 1857 and 1899 and were marvelous “snapshots” of the city and state’s burgeoning industry all types. What does this have to do with my biography project? Well, my subject was heavily involved with the Industrial Expositions and learning about them – has helped enormously with understanding his times. The following posts will be the text of that speech. The Mechanics’ Institute of San Francisco was founded in December of 1854. It aimed to be a school of technology, a library and lecture hall for the educational advancement of the...

I Smell of Cut Grass, Sunshine, and Lighter Fluid

My writers’ group spent a spirited morning last month discussing “place” and how one’s home and environment affect one’s life story. We gave ourselves the assignment of writing a short essay on where we are from – below is my contribution. I Smell of Cut Grass, Sunshine, and Lighter Fluid I haven’t always spent my days in the whistling corridors of the Financial District, Nights and weekends are spent across the Bay in San Leandro – a blue collar burg known for its cherries in the 19th century and now as a place with parking but no where, other than fast food and Chinese to eat. ………. I was born in Oakland, California in the sterile halls of the Naval Hospital on the hill above Highway 580 and the Oakland Zoo....