One of the more interesting pieces of antique advertising I have seen recently is represented by this metal serving tray from the Adolph Loeb & Company firm in Cincinnati, OH. Why would someone name their brand 2 O’Clock Club Rye? Was this brand only sold in a specific club in Cincinnati? The use of the word Club is very interesting for a products name? Perhaps they wanted to give the mystique that only special or privileged people could have access to the company’s rye product? Perhaps, and if so, then why 2 O’Clock? Sometimes further research is necessary, and this pre-prohibition era serving tray certainly qualifies in that department.
Not much is known about Adolph Loeb & Company Distillers. Started in 1890 at 19-23 E 3rd Street, they moved in 1895 to 221 E. 3rd and remained at that location until the start of Prohibition in 1918. The firm had two rye whiskey brands, the aforementioned “2 O’Clock Club Rye” brand and also the “Old Justice Rye” brand. There is not much advertising remaining today, but one of the easiest items to find from the company are their small mini-jug stoneware pottery whiskey containers which were given out as samples. The Adolph Loeb jugs have a date of 1872 on them, and were used for their Old Justice Rye brand. The significance of the 1872 date is unknown to the author, other than it is possible the brand was introduced by another whiskey manufacturer which was later bought by Mr. Loeb?
Like so many other pre-prohibition whiskey manufacturers, Mr. Adolph Loeb’s firm did not survive to reopen with the repeal of the great experiment fifteen years after it was put into law. However, today his company is remembered fondly by collectors in the advertising items he produced during his firm’s 28 year run.