The closed hinge was used mostly until , when the open hinge came into general use. In either case they lost some of their hold on the public, and more pragmatic scientific views began to prevail. With the subsequent outbreak of World War I, the materials and labor needed by the pewter industry were converted to use for munitions production, and beer stein making virtually ceased. Soon after , fittings became more massive with large ball-type thumblifts, lid rings, handle reinforcement straps, and five-ring hinge. Although glass beer beakers were used in Roman times, the Church viewed glassmaking as heathenish and suppressed its production during the Middle Ages. Many records show that average beer consumption increased to about two liters per day in many places. By common usage, however, stein has come to mean any beer container regardless of its material or size that has a hinged lid and a handle. Earliest Beer Steins From about until , a bubonic plague, or Black Death, killed more than 25 million Europeans! By the end of the 19th century, the beer stein was clearly defined as being made in Europe, primarily of stoneware and primarily with a permanently attached pewter lid. Most pewter lids dating from to present have a velvety, sandblasted texture. In the early s, the preference of the masses was so clearly for glass and pewter that nearly all of the faience workshops were permanently closed. During the period , pewter fittings were reduced to small diameter hinges, lids made of thin rings holding glass or ceramic inserts and fragile thumblifts.
Besides offering taste and fellowship, beer was considered to be important for the constitution, with the ability to induce strength, health, and relaxation. The new style that resulted has been called neo-Renaissance and neo-Classical or, more commonly, Historicism. In the period from Roman times to the s, sanitation had continually declined. Many stein-decorating styles and techniques were developed over the centuries, offering further diversity to this creative, historical, artistic, and ever-evolving gift item. From to , fittings had footrings, lid rings, large fancy lids, large ball-thumblifts, and handle reinforcement straps. From , less expensive steins stoneware and glass had fancy pewter lids and thumblifts, while the more expensive ones like Mettlach were still made with ceramic inlaid lids. This ingenious invention was soon used to cover all German beverage containers while still allowing them to be used with one hand. The closed hinge was used mostly until , when the open hinge came into general use. By the early s, several principalities in what is now Germany had passed laws requiring that all food and beverage containers be covered to protect consumers against these dirty insects. Recall from above that the distinction between a mug and a stein is the hinged lid. The word stein is a shortened form of Steinzeugkrug, which is German for stoneware jug or tankard. During the summers of the late s, hoards of little flies frequently invaded Central Europe. In the early s, the preference of the masses was so clearly for glass and pewter that nearly all of the faience workshops were permanently closed. In either case they lost some of their hold on the public, and more pragmatic scientific views began to prevail. Most pewter lids dating from to present have a velvety, sandblasted texture. Glass, porcelain and silver beer steins were introduced several hundred years ago as well and are all still available today. Beerhouses, city hall cellars, and taverns began to proliferate in the s. This covered-container law and several other public health laws were enthusiastically passed and vigilantly enforced as a result of public fears about a return of the Black Death. From the earliest times right up into the s, many considered beer to be the most effective medicine known the drink from the gods. Earliest Beer Steins From about until , a bubonic plague, or Black Death, killed more than 25 million Europeans! This lid was originally conceived entirely as a sanitary measure. Pewter Fittings Pewter fittings often help in the dating and pricing of the stein. Soon after , fittings became more massive with large ball-type thumblifts, lid rings, handle reinforcement straps, and five-ring hinge. The quality and taste of beer continued to improve. It was the material of choice throughout large areas of Europe and particularly popular in England.
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