A NOVELTY SO NOVEL IT APPARENTLY WAS NOT A BIG SELLER!
One of my favorite small town brewery collectibles is a rare toy from the Waterloo Brewing Company in Waterloo, Illinois, called The Wiggle-Wagglegraph. Research on this game and for the manufacturer maker shows this item was produced by the Joseph Dixon Crucible Company in Jersey City, NJ. This toy was patented in 1910.
The toy consists of wood pieces which when put together assemble as a table. There is also a separate mirror included in the game. The mirror serves as a tool allowing the artist to sketch their drawing by using a reflective image off of the mirror, therefore making it somewhat difficult to do, and with probably a lot of unique and funny outcomes I would imagine.
The Waterloo Brewing Company name is burned into the largest piece of wood for a long lasting impression, reminding the owner to support their product. The President of the brewery, J. Simon Schorr is also listed on the box and the toy. The unique game comes in a cardboard box with great graphics, and is a nice advertising reminder of the small town brewery on the box too.
THE SCHORR FAMILY BREWING HISTORY:
The Schorr Family were well known brewers, having started in Bavaria in the 1500’s, and eventually moving to the United States in the 1800’s. The family also owned other breweries in New Orleans, LA, Memphis, TN, St. Louis, MO in addition to the Waterloo, IL location.
The Waterloo Brewing Company in Waterloo started in 1881 when Michael Schorr and his partner Henry Wilmesmeier bought the property from a former brewer, John Koechel. The partners then rebuilt the Koechel brewery after the purchase. The main brewery building was three stories high with many other buildings as part of the overall brewing complex on North Main Street in Waterloo, IL.
While the brewery had much success for over 35 years, the start of prohibition put the brewery out of business in 1920 and ended a way of life for the Schorr family. When the family tried to reopen the brewery in 1933 after prohibition was repealed, they found their wood lagering vats had become unsuitable over time and they did not have the money to modernize the brewery. Hence, the end of the Schorr brewery in Waterloo came to reality. Even though the brewery is long gone, collectors today are left with some interesting memorabilia including the Wiggle-Wagglegraph and other items such as bottle openers, a table cloth, photographs, embossed and paper label beer bottle labels and wooden brewery crates to remind us of the once flourishing business.