The Originals and Early Follow Ups (1959, 1960 1964)
In the 1950s, through a series of award-winning commercials for Utica Club beer, many television viewers in the Northeast were introduced to the West End Brewing Company (WEBCO) spokesmugs, Schultz and Dooley. Unlike the ceramic Schultz and Dooley character steins now marketed by WEBCO, the original TV characters were made of wood. The renowned puppeteer Bill Baird and comedian Jonathan Winters are credited with bringing the steins to life through the use of their voices, complete with German and Irish accents.
In 1959, trading on the popularity of the Schultz and Dooley television commercials, WEBCO contracted with Schmetzer Inc., a Liverpool, New York, importer, to import 5,000 ceramic sets of the now famous duo from King Werk (Wüfel & Müller GmbH), a German stein manufacturer located in Höhr Grenzhausen. For the most part, the original steins were given away as promotional items to various dealers and distributors. Some, however, were apparently offered for sale to individuals at $9.95 a pair.
The original Schultz and Dooley (Figure 1) are easy to recognize by the markings 59 CSM in blue lettering on Schultz and 59 CDM in green on Dooley printed below the handles, along with a West End Brewing Company copyright statement. (Figure 2) The steins are similarly printed on the bottom, but with the additional markings ©WEBCO and MADE IN GERMANY pressed into the steins themselves.
Between 1960 and 1964, King Werk produced another 10,000 Schultz and Dooley sets for WEBCO, without the 59 CSM and 59 CDM markings below the handles, but still marked on the bottoms with: © WEBCO and MADE IN GERMANY.
As part of the agreement with the importer, Schmetzer was given permission to sell an identical set of Schultz and Dooley steins, but without any WEBCO markings, through various retail outlets in the Northeast. Apparently, the deal provided Schmetzer with the ability to market one pair of steins for every two shipped to WEBCO.
The markings on these steins varied considerably over the term of the Schmetzer contract. One long term WEBCO employee claims to have observed as many as ten variations. One variation from this period has the word Original pressed into the bottom and also displays the printed words WESTERN GERMANY. Steins marked with the Schmetzer name are among the other confirmed variations. Unfortunately, there is no reliable information regarding the quantities of steins bearing specific markings. Spotting them, however, is relatively easy in that they are the only Schultz and Dooley steins that do not include in their markings any reference to either WEBCO or the West End Brewing Company.
Ceramarte, Officer Sudds and the Countess (1972 1982)
The King Werk production run apparently provided sufficient stock to last until 1972 when manufacturing was taken over by Ceramarte, a Brazilian stein maker. Between 1972 and 1982, Ceramarte produced another 7,000 sets. These steins were visually distinguishable from those produced by King Werk in three significant respects. First, the point on Schultz's head was changed from silver to gold; second, the body color was changed from off white to white; and third, the bottom markings indicate that the manufacturer was Ceramarte and that the steins were made in Brazil. Additionally, there were some minor variations in the decoration and the thumblifts.
It was also during this period that WEBCO introduced the first two in a continuing series of Schultz and Dooley companion characters — Officer Sudds, whose debut was in 1973, and the Countess, introduced in 1978. (Figure 3) The originals of these two steins had production runs of 7,000 and 6,000, respectively, and are distinguishable from later versions mainly by the Ceramarte markings on the bottom. Both Officer Sudds and the Countess were based on characters that co starred with Schultz and Dooley in the Utica Club television commercials, as did almost all of the subsequent additions to the series discussed below.
Made in Europe Imports, Gerz and Farmer Mugee (1982 1983)
In 1982, WEBCO parted company with Ceramarte and once again began importing steins from Germany. The manufacturer was S.P. Gerz GmbH and the importer was Made in Europe Imports (MIE). Schultz's point reverted to silver and the Schultz and Dooley body color was returned to off white. The decoration again changed slightly (the changes are most pronounced on Schultz), as did the shape of the thumblifts.
Also in 1982, Gerz began producing the original version of the third Schultz and Dooley companion stein, Farmer Mugee. (Figure 4 – Left) A total of 7,734 original Farmer Mugee steins were manufactured and are distinguishable, along with the other steins from the MIE period, by the bottom markings which include a Made in Europe Imports logo and WEBCO copryright. (Figure 5 – Left) Those markings can also be found on 6,765 sets of Schultz and Dooley, as well as 4,998 follow up versions of Officer Sudds and 3,032 of the Countess.
Trans World Marketing (1984 1985)
During the 1984 1985 time frame, the role of importer was transferred to Trans World Marketing (TWM), an offshoot of MIE. The steins produced during this period all received a TWM logo as part of the bottom markings. (Figure 5 – Right) Gerz continued to handle the manufacturing chores. It is worth noting that while none of the steins produced during the TWM era are first editions, the quantities of steins produced with the TWM mark make them among the most rare, although probably not the most collectable. Production of WEBCO steins bearing the TWM mark are limited to: Schultz and Dooley – 4,524; Officer Sudds – 1,980; Countess – 744; and Farmer Mugee – 3,864.
More Companions and 1st Editions (1985 1992)
Beginning in 1985, WEBCO saw fit to cut out the middleman and started importing Schultz, Dooley and friends directly from Gerz. Between 1986 and 1993, 13,953 new sets of Schultz and Dooley steins were produced, each marked on the bottom with:
© WEBCO Made in Germany
Note the similarity to the text of the early King Werk markings. Fortunately, the steins are easily distinguishable in that the Gerz lettering is printed in black, as opposed to the King Werk versions which have the words pressed into the stein.
It would also appear to have been during this period that the series thumblifts were upgraded from a relatively plain and flat flared finger design to the more ornate fleur de lis pattern in use on most of the WEBCO steins being manufactured today.
In addition to the Schultz and Dooley steins, this period also saw the production of 11,019 Officer Sudds steins, 6,767 Countesses and 7,048 Farmer Mugees. In 1986, WEBCO introduced Schultz and Dooley companion number four, an Oriental character by the name of U Cee. (Figure 4 – Right) All of these steins, including 10,373 copies of U Cee, bear the same bottom markings applied to Schultz and Dooley.
In 1989, recognizing the American collector's growing love affair with first editions, WEBCO jumped on the bandwagon with the fifth in the companion series — Bubbles LaBrew. (Figure 6) 1st Edition was added to the standard bottom markings on the first 3,000 copies of Ms. LaBrew produced. An additional 8,550 copies of the stein have since been manufactured without the 1st Edition mark. Also, in what appears to be a one time experiment, 2,000 of the later steins were marked as 2nd Edition.
Between 1990 and 1992, a new companion stein was added annually, initially as a first edition and then with the standard bottom markings for that time frame. Those three companion steins (Figure 7) are listed below, along with applicable dates and available production data. 1st Later Edition Production Old Man Stein (1990) 5,000 13,474 Cousin Emma (1991) 7,000 3,024 Fireman Fritz (1992) 10,000
It is worth noting that Fireman Fritz was the first (and is currently the only) companion stein that did not have a role in the original Schultz and Dooley TV commercials. His creation in 1992 was designed to coincide with a firefighters convention being held that year in upstate New York. In addition to the 10,000 1st Edition Fireman Fritz steins noted above, 2,000 identical Special Edition steins were produced and sold directly to the firefighters.
Under the circumstances, one might question whether or not Fireman Fritz should be considered a valid member of the Schultz and Dooley series. However, given the fact that the first edition of 10,000 steins has recently sold out, it would not appear that Fritz's questionable origin is seen by collectors as being improper or his addition to the series as undesirable.
Sir Oliver Wendel Foams, Uncle Rudolph and the Moonman (1993 1995)
Between 1993 and 1995, WEBCO introduced the ninth, tenth and eleventh Schultz and Dooley companions — Sir Oliver Wendel Foams, Uncle Rudolph and the Moonman — all three in first editions of 10,000 (Figure 8), along with a new set of bottom markings that read: 1st Edition © WEBCO Made in Germany for FX Matt Brewing Co. Utica NY
Reproductions of earlier steins in the series are currently being manufactured with the same bottom markings, minus the 1st Edition.
In late 1995, WEBCO had finally run out of Schultz and Dooley characters which had appeared in the original Utica Club TV commercials. With the issuance of the Moonman stein in 1995, the series was, in effect, “complete”. However, rather than simply let the series fade into history, a decision was apparently made to try to keep a good thing going. Two post-Moonman steins have so far been added to the series: Mulligan McBrew, an 8½" tall golf duffer “ready for the green with his bag, golf ball and tee, and his lucky sun visor”; and The Bartender, a similarly-sized character sporting a “red striped vest, bar cloth and frosty mug of U.C.”
The original Schultz and Dooley steins hold a place in steinmaking history in that they were in all probability the very first character steins produced specifically for an American audience. By comparison, the original Budman, Anheuser Busch's initial character stein, did not arrive on the scene until 1976, some 17 years later. Moreover, the ongoing series of companion steins is in itself a likely first in the history of steinmaking. No other steins have the scope or staying-power of the Schultz and Dooley series.
Another factor contributing to the popularity of these steins is that there are any number of people for whom Schultz and Dooley help to evoke fond memories of an earlier time in their lives. In a sense this reaction to Schultz and Dooley is not unlike that of the many servicemen and members of SCI who did tours of duty in Germany, and whose memories are recaptured through stein collecting.
Finally, the Schultz and Dooley series is not only just plain fun but also readily obtainable. The cartoon like character of the steins has appeal to people of all ages. For the serious collector, they are perceived as quality German made beer steins available at affordable prices. __________