Advent Calendar Day 9

Time to give regular visitors with an interest in early labels from the UK, an opportunity to admire what must be one of the loveliest set of labels to come out of the early part of the 20th century. If we set up  a ‘Label of the Century’ competition the winner is one of these. Thanks to Mike, who sent me the images some time ago and this is the first time I have had an opportunity to do anything with them except wish they were mine. You can now do the same.  blackburn-brewery-co


  • Yorkshire Terrier

    I guess no-one thinks these labels have any merit at all. I disagree, even though they do not originate from the correct side of the pennines. How come they did not warrant any response?

  • Fascinated by beer labels

    Too obvious. They are lovely examples of the designers art and need little comment. Either that or people just don’t have enough energy.

  • PeteS

    Well I was getting around to saying yes they are nice. However why is one Best Mild Beer bearing a ‘2’ & one bearing a ‘3’. And is the IPA earlier or later than the other two or just a different design.

  • Peter D

    I am glad you asked that Pete. Blackburn was one of the first industrialised towns in the world. Tens of thousands of people flocked there to work in the mills. They needed refreshment after the long hours of work. These people were ‘wealth creators’ not the recipients of wealth and Mild was the drink of choice. Relatively inexpensive and in two styles, Light Mild and Dark Mild. My guess is that 2 was light and 3 was dark. The Light was what they drank immediately after work to lubricate the mouth and throat, Dark Mild was for later on because the chocolate malt gave that extra bit of flavour. IPA was a drink for a different class of person and so inevitably had a different style of label.

  • Dale Adams

    A very lovely three labels! Not sure that I have ever seen a ‘heart’ shaped label before. Does anyone out there know of others? I would also be interested to know exactly how ‘early in the 20th century’ these labels were used. Prior to WWI??

  • Peter D

    The brewery closed in 1928, a casualty of a series of slumps in the cotton industry, which reduced the demand for beer. The use of Ltd as the abbreviation for Limited rather than the earlier Ld, would imply these were post WW1, but these gems of history are very difficult to pin down now.

  • PeteS

    Thanks for info re differing ‘Milds’ Peter. I wonder why there was not greater differentiation between the two. Although I suppose if you were ‘local’ you knew what was what.
    Dale re heart shaped labels I believe I recall an Irish Guinness bottler with one. Will have a look when time allows.

  • Dale Adams

    Not only great labels but also a lot of very good knowledge to go with them! That’s why I love Labology! Thanks guys for all the info!

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