Summary Information
Title: Pittsburgh Brewing Company Scrapbooks
Collection Number: AIS.2007.08
Creator: Pittsburgh Brewing Company.

Collection Dates: 1907-1911
Extent: 1.5 linear feet (1 box)

Language: English

The Pittsburgh Brewing Company, originally known as the Iron City Brewery, was founded by German immigrant Edward Frauenheim in 1861. This collection consists of six scrapbooks filled with newspaper clippings both directly and indirectly related to the history of the Pittsburgh Brewing Company. Most of the articles provide financial information such as stock prices and information on the activities of the temperance movement in the United States. The Central Press Bureau compiled the clippings, which span between September 24, 1907 and January 23, 1911.

ULS Archives Service Center
University of Pittsburgh Library System
7500 Thomas Boulevard
Pittsburgh, PA, 15260
Date Published:

June 2009

Finding aid prepared by Kate Colligan, Shaun Hayes, and Sean Kilcoyne.

Sixty-six years after the first record of a commercial brewery in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Edward Frauenheim, a German immigrant and part owner of Frauenheim, Miller Company, started the Iron City Brewery, the first American brewery to produce a lager, in 1861.

By 1866, the brewery had outgrown its original facilities on 17th Street and moved to Liberty Avenue and 34th Street, where the Pittsburgh Brewing Company continues to operate. Leopold Vilsack, a Pittsburgh native who joined Frauenheim, Miller Company, expanded the new facility. Vilsack later became a partner, investing his small wealth in the firm when Miller retired and another partner died. Iron City Brewery then became Frauenheim and Vilsack Company.

On February 3, 1899, the Pittsburgh Dispatch reported that 12 local brewing firms applied to transfer their license to the trust known as Pittsburgh Brewing Company. These breweries were the Wainwright Brewing Company, Phoenix Brewing Company, Keystone Brewing Company, Winter Brothers Brewing Company, Phillip Lauer, John H. Nusser, Eberhardt Ober Brewing Company, Hippely Sons, Ober Brewing Company, J. Seiferth Brothers, Straub Brewing Company, and the Iron City Brewing Company. In addition to these 12 Pittsburgh and Allegheny county breweries, nine breweries outside the county took part in the merger. In all, 21 breweries joined to make Pittsburgh Brewing Company the largest brewing operation in Pennsylvania and the third largest in the country.

Pittsburgh Brewing Company was one of only 725 American breweries remaining when Prohibition was repealed on December 5, 1933. During Prohibition, the company produced soft drinks, ice cream and "near beer," as well as running a cold storage business. By 1977, Pittsburgh Brewing was one of just 40 breweries operating in the country. To rebound from difficult years, the brewery introduced a new light beer - "Iron City Light."

In 1986, Pittsburgh Brewing Company merged with an Australian brewery. Seven years later it was sold to Michael Carlow, a Pittsburgh entrepreneur. Carlow was forced to give up the company due to fraud allegations, and Keystone Brewing Company purchased it in 1995. However, due to declining sales, Pittsburgh Brewing was forced to declare bankruptcy in 2005. In 2007, Unified Growth Partners purchased the brewery and brought it out of bankruptcy.

Collection Scope and Content Notes

This collection contains six scrapbooks of press clippings both directly and indirectly related to the Pittsburgh Brewing Company, spanning the period between September 24, 1907 and January 8, 1911. The Central Press Bureau compiled the clippings. While the chronology is not entirely intact, the periods that are covered contain a wealth of details, including Pittsburgh Brewing Company stock prices, brewing industry news and trends, opinion pieces citing the evils of alcohol and the need for temperance, and any mention of the company in the press.

Clippings are mounted on the scrapbook pages with adhesive and stamped with their publishing date and the publication the clipping was taken from. The clippings were taken from Pittsburgh newspapers. The titles included the Pittsburgh Dispatch, the Pittsburgh Sun, the Pittsburgh Chronicle-Telegraph, and the Gazette Times, among others.

Subject Terms

  • Breweries -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh -- History
  • Brewers -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh -- History
  • Brewing industry -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh -- History
  • Temperance -- United States -- Societies, etc.

Corporate Names
  • Pittsburgh Brewing Company. -- History

Personal Names
  • Frauenheim, Edward

  • Pittsburgh (Pa.)

  • Scrapbooks

  • Business and Industry

Access and Use
Access Restrictions:

No restrictions.

Acquisition Information:

Gift of Evelyn Shaffer in October 2007.

Preferred Citation:

Pittsburgh Brewing Company Scrapbooks, 1907-1911, AIS.2007.08, Archives Service Center, University of Pittsburgh

Processing Information:

This collection was processed by Shaun Hayes, Sean Kilcoyne, and Kate Colligan in November 2008.


Permission for publication is given on behalf of the University of Pittsburgh as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Related Material:

Records of the Pittsburgh Brewing Company, 1899-1909, AIS.1997.10, Archives Service Center, University of Pittsburgh

Collection Inventory

Box 1
Volume 1 Scrapbook, September 24, 1907 – December 15, 1907
Volume 2 Scrapbook, March 26, 1908 – April 30, 1908
Volume 3 Scrapbook, September 26, 1908 – November 8, 1908
Volume 4 Scrapbook, May 26, 1909 – July 11, 1909
Volume 5 Scrapbook, August 6, 1910 – September 27, 1910
Volume 6 Scrapbook, November 23, 1910 – January 23, 1911