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Message Recovered From 20th-Century Beer Bottle in Detroit

Thursday, June 3, 2021

DETROIT, MICHIGAN—The Drive reports that two men working on the renovation of Michigan Central Station, a passenger rail depot that opened in 1913 and closed in 1988, discovered a beer bottle wedged upside down behind a piece of crown molding. Much of the bottle’s label survived, and a rolled-up piece of paper had been placed inside it. The men turned the artifact over to their project superintendent, who passed it on to archivists at the Ford Motor Company, which has purchased the building and is renovating it. The archivists carefully removed the paper from the bottle under the right temperature and humidity conditions. The message in the bottle reads, “Dan Hogan & Geo Smith stuck this ceiling of Chicago, July 1913.” Ford’s Heritage and Brand Manager Ted Ryan suggests the men may have been from Chicago, since Michigan Central Station is located in Detroit. The workers at the site have also recovered a brass button, additional bottles, and a plate. To read about the history of beer, wine, and spirits, go to "Alcohol Through the Ages."

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