Knickerbocker Chalkboard

Retro Staff |  1  Comment

1957 Knickerbocker Today’s Specials Board

Here at we are surrounded by all things retro. Not only the things we sell but original items and collections that decorate our offices. We thought it might be interesting each week to bring you a photo and information of an interesting, and maybe unusual, retro item we have kicking around. Please note these items are not for sale.

This metal sign was made in 1957 by the Donaldson Art Sign Company. The sign maker was founded in 1898 in Newport, Kentucky and closed in 1987. This sign has a dual purpose: to advertise Knickerbocker Beer as well as serving as a chalkboard to display the day’s specials of the bar or restaurant where it appeared.

Knickerbocker Beer was made by the Jacob Ruppert Brewery, founded by Jake Ruppert in 1867 in New York City. The brewery closed in 1965. The Knickerbocker brand was purchased by another brewery and was eventually acquired by Pabst, but they discontinued the Knickerbocker brand in 1997.

The name “Knickerbocker” became popular in New York City in the early 19th century after the term was used by Washington Irving (author of “Rip Van Winkle” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”) when referring to a Dutch ancestor of the New York aristocracy, complete with their old world mannerisms, long pipe and the habit of wearing knickers. This sign would be an interesting piece of memorabilia to collectors of beer brands as well as those interested in New York and American history.