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Seasons Greetings from your local Brewery - circa 1912!
by Louis Aulbach

Most of you will have received all your seasons greetings cards for 2009 by the time you read this newsletter. However, since the holidays aren't officially over yet, we thought you'd like to see just one more that was sent to Houstonians... in 1912!

Traditionally, the holiday season has been a time for retail businesses to communicate the company's good wishes to their customers. In the early nineteenth century, the Houston Ice and Brewing Association used an engraved greeting card to announce the winners of its "guess the number of bottles" contest while extending its best wishes for a happy holiday season.

The card was a simple, but direct, message to its customers and to those who stopped by its booth at the city's annual November festival known as the Carnival, or more properly, the No-Tsu-Oh Festival. This Mardi Gras style festival was a week long celebration of local businesses, most notably the cotton trade, in which pageants, parades and balls were held throughout the week. No doubt, the local brewery also played a big role in the festivities.

The Houston Ice and Brewing Association was the producer of several beers, including the Magnolia, Richelieu and Southern Select brands. The brewery was located on Buffalo Bayou at Franklin Avenue and was very convenient to the street celebrations of the Carnival along Commerce Avenue and Franklin Avenue. Today, the Magnolia Ballroom is a remnant of the large brewery complex that spanned the bayou.

1912 Seasons Greetings card sent by Houston Ice and Brewing Association to its customers.
Photo courtesy of the
Hildegard Cox collection.
This greeting card dates from about 1912. The No-Tsu-Oh Festival began in the late 1890's, and the last festival was held about 1915. Nevertheless, the message conveyed by the card is timeless.

Seasons Greetings!

~~~ The End ~~~