Arlington Heights Historical Museum artifacts hold plenty of mysteries

  • The F.W. Muller House is on the campus of the Arlington Heights Historical Society.

    The F.W. Muller House is on the campus of the Arlington Heights Historical Society. COURTESY OF THE ARLINGTON HEIGHTS HISTORICAL MUSEUM

  • The 1906 soda pop factory is one of five building on the museum complex.

    The 1906 soda pop factory is one of five building on the museum complex. COURTESY OF THE ARLINGTON HEIGHTS HISTORICAL MUSEUM

 
 
Posted7/13/2020 6:00 AM

We recently asked the Arlington Heights Historical Society staff to consider which artifacts on display in the museum's closed galleries they would most like to share with the public when the doors reopen after this socially distant time.

Dan Schoeneberg, museum administrator, shared these favorites.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

F.W. Muller Beer Bottle, circa 1892-1906

An F.W. Muller beer bottle, circa 1892-1906.
An F.W. Muller beer bottle, circa 1892-1906. - COURTESY OF THE ARLINGTON HEIGHTS HISTORICAL MUSEUM

This eye-catching blue bottle represents a bit of a mystery at the Arlington Heights Historical Museum.

"While we know that the Arlington Club Carbonated Beverages Company produced soda at the factory at 110 W. Fremont St., the lettering on the bottle indicates that this bottle once contained 'Berliner Weiss Beer,' a regional variation on a white beer commonly found in Northern Germany," Schoeneberg said.

"We know that it was produced at the soda factory between 1892 and 1906 by owner F.W. Muller, however, we can find no record of exactly when or for how long he also produced beer at his factory. This bottle is the only physical evidence we currently have of beer production at what is now the Arlington Heights Historical Museum, and is only one of two currently known examples in existence.

"If you know more, we'd love to hear from you," he added.

F.W. Muller Soda Bottle, filled with soda, circa 1895

An F.W. Muller soda bottle, filled with soda, circa 1895.
An F.W. Muller soda bottle, filled with soda, circa 1895. - COURTESY OF THE ARLINGTON HEIGHTS HISTORICAL MUSEUM
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Another favorite artifact at the museum is this bottle, also produced by F.W. Muller at his soda factory. While the bottle is still half filled with soda, the mystery remains: what flavor is it?

"We know that by the 1890s, Muller was producing numerous flavors, including lemon, strawberry, ginger ale, sarsaparilla, cream soda 'Klondike fizz' and 'buffalo mead' at what is now the Historical Museum complex, so your guess is as good as ours," Schoeneberg said.

Arlington Heights Village Commission Desk, circa 1880s

Arlington Heights Village Commission Desk, circa 1880s. This walnut table was used by the Village of Arlington Heights Board of Commissioners throughout the late 19th and early 20th century.
Arlington Heights Village Commission Desk, circa 1880s. This walnut table was used by the Village of Arlington Heights Board of Commissioners throughout the late 19th and early 20th century. - COURTESY OF THE ARLINGTON HEIGHTS HISTORICAL MUSEUM

This walnut table was used by the village of Arlington Heights Board of Commissioners throughout the late 19th and early 20th century. How does the society know this?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"The photo visible behind the desk shows the artifact in use by the commission in May of 1913," Schoeneberg said. "While we don't know why the photo was taken, it is documentation of how and where this object was used."

About the museum

The Arlington Heights Historical Museum is a cooperative effort between the Arlington Heights Park District, the Arlington Heights Historical Society and the village of Arlington Heights. Through this cooperative agreement, the museum collects, preserves and highlights the history of Arlington Heights and its growth as an American suburb.

The museum is near downtown Arlington Heights at 110 W. Fremont St. -- at North Vail Avenue -- the site of the Frederick W. Müller home and soda pop factory. The museum complex includes the original 1882 Victorian home, the coach house, 1906 soda pop factory, the 1908 Banta house and a replica 1830s log cabin. For information, visit www.ahmuseum.org or call (847) 255-1225.

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