Sunshine Brewery - Monday, November 2, 2015

The power and influence that the Pepsi Cola and Coca-Cola Companies exert around the world is amazing and a little scary.  There can be no question that most people don't even consider just how much of an impact they can have on communities small and large.  That is not to suggest they don't have competition, though.  In fact, there are hundreds (thousands?) of alcoholic beverage producers in the United States alone trying to "tap" into this market as well.  The current micro-brew craze has inspired a love of beer in people looking for variety in flavors and brands.  

When Prohibition officially ended on December 5, 1933, the flood gates opened for brewers hoping to reach thirsty audiences around the country.  Hundreds of shops opened, hundreds closed.  Barbey's, Inc. was one of these post-Prohibition breweries that was established in Reading, Pennsylvania right around this time.  (There were Barbey's breweries located in Reading prior to the 20th century as well, dating as early as Peter Barbey's brewery which opened in 1859, that were likely related to this.)  One of Barbey's more popular brands was their Sunshine beer.  In 1951, the company changed their name to Sunshine to identify more closely with their brand.  There was some pretty stiff competition in these days, though.  There were twenty different breweries competing for customers in Reading at that time.  Sunshine remained in business until 1970. Sunshine Beer is honored here at the American Treasure Tour by a delightful clock on display in our Toy Box.
QUESTION:  Who, along with Richard and Thomas Penn, is considered the founder of Reading, Pennsylvania?
A)  William Penn
B)  Conrad Weiser
C)  Peter Barbey
D)  George Washington

HARDING, HARDING!!!!  The first Tuesday of November is traditionally election day in the United States.  Today was the day Warren Harding was elected our 29th president.  Prior to him, the population found out who would be in charge for the next four years the slow way - by newspaper or telegraph.  Well, Pittsburgh's own KDKA radio station began broadcasting this day in 1920, the first commercial radio station in the country, and their first broadcast was dedicated to the presidential election.  Likely the development of the radio station proved more of a good thing than the election results, but how do you know?

HARDING, HARDING, HARDING!!!!!!  And speaking of Mr. Harding, today also happens to be his birthday!  Quite a present he got on this, his 55th birthday (he was born in 1865, if you weren't interested in doing the math).  He could not have possible known he only had two more years to live, as he died while in office amidst numerous scandals and controversies, the least of which were accusations of extra-marital affairs that were quite justified.

QUOTE:  America's present need is not heroics but healing; not nostrums but normalcy; not revolution but restoration; ...not surgery but serenity. - Warren Harding

ANSWER:  B)  Conrad Weiser.  His homestead is an historic destination in the region.  (And Richard and Thomas Penn were William's children.)