Finding Ferranti

I’ve been looking for items related to my grandfather’s businesses for a couple years now. I found the first item completely by happenstance. I did a search on eBay for “Ferranti” and BAM, there was a bottle! I wrote the following email to Brian at Brian’s Breweriana.com. Maybe posting this request to the internet will help. If you’ve got any info about such memorabilia, I’d love it if you contacted me!

Hi I just found your site at the recommendation of an acquaintance.

I’ve been searching high and low for breweriana from some of my grandfather’s companies. It would make me so happy if you came across anything of his. A few years ago, I found a glass bottle shaped like the old Coca-Cola bottle reading “Ferranti Bottling Company” and a promotional bottle opener reading the same thing.

I’m looking for anything from:
All companies were based in or around Scranton or Pittston, PA

Ferranti Brothers Bottling Company – some time after 1946
Yankee Brewing Co. of Pittston – owner from 1942 until at least 1946
Yankee Premium Pilsener (sic) Beer – Made by YBC
Old Stock Yankee Ale – Made by YBC
Lackawanna Beer and Ale Corp – owner 1935-1942
City Bottling Co. – owner 1923-1935
Ferranti Bros. Trucking Co. – owner 1930-1935

Here, let me show you an excerpt from the Italian Who’s Who in 1946 to give you a better idea.

Ferranti, Ernest
Brewer. Born in Jessup, Pa. June 11, 1907, the son of Mario and Regina (Becchetti) Ferranti, natives of Gubbio, Italy. Catholic. Democrat. Married Ida Weston, 1931. Three children: Dorothy, Marlene and Ernestine. Graduate of Jessup High School, 1923. President and owner since 1942, Yankee Brewing Co. of Pittston, manufacturers of Yankee Premium Pilsener Beer and Old Stock Yankee Ale. Production capacity, 150,000 barrels a year. Average production, 90,000 barrels a year. Past president, Lackawanna Beer and Ale Corp. (brewers), 1935-1942. Past owner, City Bottling Co., manufacturers of carbonated beverages 1923-1935 and of Ferranti Bros. Trucking Co., 1930-1935. Member Fox Hill Country Club; Scranton Club; Elks; Kiwanis; Scranton Chamber of Commerce; National Small Brewers Ass’n; etc. Home: 203 Grassy Ave., Jessup, Pa. Office: Main and New Streets, Pittston, Pa.

Have a great day!
Lee Sonko

Update 3-5-08
In 2003 I got an email from David Hagberg that might help anyone in their search for breweriana. Here it is:

Hi Lee,

David Hagberg here. I do not really collect items from Pennsylvania,
except for the Meyersdale Brewing Company (SW corner of the state in Somerset
County, near the Maryland border). I was just bidding on the tray to see
what it sold for and to maybe pick up a bargain. I mostly collect MD, DC,
VA, and WV items, along with the Meyersdale, as noted earlier.
There are a few other possible sources for you. I belong to several
clubs that may have someone who can help you. I recommend joining the first
two that I will list for you (ABA and ECBA) as they would be your best chance
at finding pieces and/or information/history. The third group that I will
list (NABA) is also good but mostly deals with advertising only, such as
lithos, calendars, signs, etc., and not as much with the smaller items such
as cans, bottles, matchbooks, and other give-away items the brewery may have
produced. Lastly, you may try the fourth group that I will list (BCCA) but
they deal mostly with cans only, though a lot of the members are branching
out into other areas of collecting. With each group that I list I will also
provide you with their website. Some are better than others, but check out
what information is provided and if there is a message board feel free to
post a message asking for information. The websites may also list other
groups (or chapters) that are local. If there is one in the area you are
talking about, ask them for information also. There may also be a listing of
upcoming shows to your area (or somewhere close). I highly recommend going
to the shows. Even if you do not see something that you want, some member
may have something at home or at least some information. You never know. I
will also list a website that has a contact for some people that do PA
brewery history. They may be able to help you. I have asked a few questions
from him before, and sometimes he does give me a good lead to contact. Next,
check out the local paper, especially the smaller, more “home-towny” ones.
They usually offer a “merchandise mart” section where people place
classifieds to buy and sell stuff, and some have a separate listing for
auctions that are in the area. I have found some neat items that, while not
my primary interest, I was able to pick up at a nice price and able to later
sell it for a profit. And lastly, check out the local antique stores.
Again, you may not find anything the first time, but you may find someone who
knows someone, or has some information. Good luck.

1). The American Breweriana Association (ABA): This club has great members,
several free sources for items (mostly new/micro) and has a wonderful lending
library with many books and a lot of good information. If you join, you also
get a members-only magazine 6 times a year.
http://www.americanbreweriana.org/

2). The Eastern Coast Breweriana Association (ECBA): This club, as you might
expect, deals primarily with breweries on the East coast. They put on a nice
convention in Frederick last year, and puts on a show in Somerset County (PA)
that I usually attend. There should be some members who can help you. If
you join there is a magazine that goes out to members four times a year and
is nice.
http://www.eastcoastbrew.com/

3.) The National Association of Breweriana Advertising (NABA): This club puts
out a nice magazine for members and has many wonderful members who are very
knowledgeable.
http://www.nababrew.org/

4.) Beer Can Collectors of America (BCCA): A good source for beer cans and
some members know a good bit about brewery history.
http://www.bcca.com/index.html

5.) Pennsylvania Brewery historians: This is the website with the member who
is nice, and answers questions to the best of his ability, or will point you
to someone who may be able to help.
http://pabreweryhistorians.tripod.com/

If yo have any further questions please feel free to ask.

Sincerely,

David Hagberg

American Breweriana Association member #6636
National Association of Breweriana Advertising member
Beer Can Collectors of America member #30956
Baltimore Antique Bottle Club member
Eastern Coast Breweriana Association member #2068

Here’s photos of Scott Perkins’ barrel turned lampshade. (see comments) What a find! He told me how (Scott, correct me if I’m wrong) he found it partially buried when he was 14 years old. Years later, he found the fourth ring that held it together. So in the photos 3 of the rings look different because they’ve been lacquered but the last one hasn’t been yet.

Scott writes

so far i know the keg was from between prob. 1935 to 1943 your Grandfather was pres. at that time. and the lion brewery which took over stegmier and is in wilkesbarre pa, in the old stegmier building, has a sales office in scranton. which I am told was the office of lackawanna beer and ale corp. so now ill have to trek off to see the building and mabe get some pics. but until then here is a full view of the lamp keg. pictures for your page so people can see the shade you mention.

pics-for-mom-025.jpg pics-for-mom-024.jpg pics-for-mom-023.jpgpics-for-mom-174.jpg

8 Comments

  1. Scott Perkins says:

    Hello,
    I was browsing the web to find out more about an old antique wooden beer keg with the words lacka. beer and ale corp. scranton pa burned into it. and i came across your site. and it seems mabe you can tell me more about it. I also have the chrome pump tap for it. if you could please e mail or call me back. Scott Perkins.
    570/256 3164

  2. Scott Perkins says:

    Hi im still trying to contact you about more info. about the wooden beer keg i have from scranton lackawanna beer and ale corp. the bung where the tap attaches reads peerless detroit. and the keg is in really good condition. it sets in my front room as a conversation piece. the tap carefully turned into a lamp as not to ruin it. i have searched the internet hi and lo for over 9 years and havent found one like it yet. the closest i came was finding a steel ring from one in a food plane the rest of the barrel was rotted. which must have been fate. because it was the one ring my keg was missing. now its complete. if you can tell me anything about it. it would be great. Scott Perkins

  3. Lee says:

    I called Scott and we’re exchanging photos and info. :-)

  4. Scott Perkins says:

    Thanks for posting the pics. of my keg. ill send a full view with the shade. also it was nice talking to you. Scott in PA

  5. muffin says:

    HEY!!! when were you going to tell me about this???

    I was talking to a friend who is gettng a tattoo designed for me using ballantine tri ring logo with a 50’s pin up girl as the wiatress in a ballantine “uniform” and we were looking at the site for gramps info and there is a KEG!!!

    wow, does he wanna sell? I know I would like it as I can add it tot he grampa collection! by the way, I got a really nice 50’s ear stonewear ballantine beer mug recently and bottle opener…

  6. vince says:

    beer stuff from scranton e mail me

  7. Joe says:

    I have a 1935 porcelon coca cola sign stamped scranton bottle company.my number is 570 468 0962

  8. Joe says:

    Btw the sign is about six feet and my family had it for years.at the same time I respect someone who admires family history.but be warned the sign isn’t cheap.

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