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Figurines, Clocks ...

Shelf or Back Bar Items, as the name indicates, are those promotional beer items that are displayed on a shelf. Also considered within this group and on this page are "cash register clocks & signs" made to sit on the top of cash registers, but that were used to rest on a shelf as well. The various types of shelf items are briefly discussed and displayed in the following.


The term "Back Bar Beer Figurines" is the title of a publication authored by George Baley that describes various categories of such items, along with photos and price ranges for such items. The most common material used to make these figurines is referred to as "chalk", which was actually plaster-of-paris or a somewhat more durable material called Palestic invented in 1946 by the Plasto Manufacturing Co. of Chicago, IL. A much more limited number of statues were also made with such other materials as metal, ceramic, rubber, plastic resin wood, and glass.  The types of statues or figurines promoting a beer could be in the form of an animal or a person associated with the beer, a sign displaying the name of the beer, small replicas of a bar with a few patrons, a hand grasping a beer bottle, a small replica of a full or half beer barrel and, to a far lesser extent, some ash trays or salt/pepper shakers.  Only two examples of chalk shelf or back bar items for Bavarian were identified by Baley, as shown.  


These signs were made for Bavarian Brewing Co., Covington, KY.

Chalk Half Barrel c. 1953. Above is a half barrel that was usually placed on shelf agains a wall, but it could also be hung. This one was just for dispay, but other types  were occaisionaly used as banks for tips and even to hold foam scrappers or serve as a cigar tip cutter.

​Chalk Sign c. Late 1940s. This sign above is known as a Shelf Talker or Miser. The primary maker of these was Kolograph of Los Angeles, CA, which made these for about 50 different brewers.

Shelf Displays.

Bavarian's Old Style c. Late 1940s Early 1960s. Besides those Back Beer Bar Figurines covered in the publication mentioned above, other items were made that could be displayed on shelves. Some were lighted, and others were not.  Those displays that say Bavarian's Old Style Beer date from the later 1940s to mid 1950s.

Lighted Clocks & Displays.

Bavarian's Old Style c. Late 1940s Early 1950s.  These displays  were electronic and called cash register clocks, because they would usually sit atop a register. Those below date between the late 1940s and early 1950s.  They have logos that spin around the bottom of the clock and the bottom and top were lit. The main background was typically what is shown in the lower left. But as depicted on the right below, the background could be changed.


Bavarian/s Lighted MEL-O-DRY Shelf Signs c. 1960 - 1965. There were two styles of the display below; one with a clock, and another without. What was interesting with these items is that the glass of beer was illuminated so that it appeared that bubbles were moving to the top.  Even though it is not well shown in the middle image below, there was some interesting illumination with the globe and lettering on the base as well.  These displays were not just used for Bavarian/s, but IBI used the same these and other items for some of their other brands by simply changing the name on the bases.  This practice of using the same promotional displays for multiple brands was occasionally used by IBI with print ads as well, by using the same photos and copy while changing the name of their beer.

Other Shelf Signs c. 1960 - 1965. The Bavarian's Select Beer sign below could be hung, but it also had a stand and was as a shelf sign. The plastic rim resembled the cross section of a barrel and the item has back lighting that illuminates the entire center.  The next sign for International Bavarian/s Beer was plastic and unlighted. The last sign was a plastic emblem on wood and it fit in a wood stand.