Carl Worner, a German immigrant, was a drifter and traveling artisan. At a time when unemployment was high, immigrants like Worner were able to support themselves by applying their whittling and artistic skills to carve dioramas or scenes of businesses displayed in a bottle. The scene in this “bottle whimsy” created by Worner in 1908 depicts the neighborhood tavern, Leonhardt Maier saloon, located at 3200 Shenandoah Avenue in south St. Louis.
Maier, the owner of the bar, also emigrated from Germany. He arrived in the United States in 1886 and had become a naturalized citizen by 1910. Maier represents the large number of German immigrants and their descendants who established taverns in St. Louis and sold beer produced by other German Americans in the city, thus making St. Louis the beer capital of the country. This scene, for example, displays a keg of beer produced by Klausmann Brewery.
Creator: Carl Worner
Subject: German Americans; Beer Industry
Contributing Institution: Missouri Historical Society
Accession Number: 1994-076-0001
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County: St. Louis
Region: St. Louis Metro