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Historical Researcher, Writer, and Content Creator for the Minnesota Then Beer and Brewing History Museum @ www.mnthen.com
Photo by Alex Azabache from Pexels

The Highway Hi-Fi System had neither a predecessor nor competition. It was a one-of-a-kind device, at least in the beginning, which gave consumers a degree of choice they’d never before experienced. It allowed them to play LP records while they drove down the road. …


Brewery employees, 1870 (Mill City Times)

Christopher Stahlmann was born on June 19, 1829, to a well-known and wealthy family in Nuremberg, Bavaria, Germany. When he was seventeen, his father went bankrupt, losing everything — including Christopher’s inheritance. Stahlmann, no longer afforded the head start to success that accompanied his birthright, saw few attainable prospects available…


Alvin Karpis had his fingerprints altered by Chicago underworld physician Joseph Moran (The Mob Museum)

Director J. Hoover finally caught his man after a three-year, nationwide search that took the FBI through fourteen states. The capture and trial of Barker-Karpis Gang member Albin Francis Karpavicz, also known as Alvin “Creepy,” effectively ended the country’s gangster era.

FBI agents captured Public Enemy №1, Alvin Karpis, leaving…


Photo of Orth Brewery in Northeast, Minneapolis (Minnesota Historical Society)

John Frederick Orth was born in Rott, Alsace, France on May 20, 1821. He learned the skill of brewing beer while in Rott and honed his skills as a brewer after leaving in 1840. Before immigrating to America, Orth traveled to Germany, Italy, and Spain. In 1847 he arrived in…


Photo by Austin Chan on Unsplash

“The mind is everything, what you think, you become.”

~ Buddha

On social media, every day is someone’s birthday. Someone is always on vacation, and someone else always lands their dream job. Every day is someone’s best day.

In the world of influencers, there is always a party attended by…


Prohibition, the Blind Pig’s Hope (Oahu, Hawaii Evening Bulletin)

In the earliest days of alcohol enforcement, from the moment that public officials began to author legislation to control liquor flow, people looked for ways to circumvent those rules. One example of this is through the use of blind pigs and blind pig saloons.

In the United States, near the…


Standing next to a statue of CaseyMatt Reicher

On a spring day in 1994, visitors that came to St. Paul’s Como Zoo were surprised to see a gorilla enjoying a stroll on the zoo’s grounds. His forty-five-minute-long escapade created a memory for those in attendance that will last a lifetime.

Each year millions of people come to visit…


Photo by Emil Kalibradov on Unsplash

Let’s play a word association game.

When I say the word ‘money’, what’s the first word that pops into your mind? For me, its words like ‘bills’, ‘spend’, and ‘not enough’ (I know — the last one is two words — but stay with me here). …


President Roosevelt Signs the Relaxation of the Volstead Act (Politico)

“I think this would be a good time for a beer.” — President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, (March 12, 1933)

On March 13, 1933, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt sent a two-sentence letter to Congress. In it, he requested they enact “legislation for the immediate modification of the Volstead Act.”

Eight days…


The Rand Ordinance article title (Minnesota Historical Society)

Minneapolis was caught up in the alcohol temperance movement that blanketed the United States in the second half of the 19th century. Since its earliest days, the intoxicating liquors industry had found itself at the center of a conflict between those that saw alcohol as a corruptible influence on society…

Matt Reicher

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