Goebel's : Flock of Instructionals
by Chris Taylor (June, 1997)

     There are only two basic designs to the GOEBEL instructionals (USBC 70-30) and (USBC 70-32), easily differentiated by the Germanic and American eagles on the face of the cans; but the side panels offer the specializing collector several more variations. I felt that this time I would simply include a replica of the side panels to clarify text panel differences.

     The first GOEBEL instructional is often referred to as the THUNDERBIRD. The first version (USBC 70-30.1) has only one side panel, of which contains what many refer to as "black opening instructions". This PATENTS PENDING can is the older of two versions of THUNDERBIRDs produced. The front label is about 1/4 inch lower than the second THUNDERBIRD which gives it a squat appearance (hopefully the photos clarify facial difference). This first version is often difficult to obtain in good condition and is rarely dumped.

     The second THUNDERBIRD (USBC 70-30.2) has the more common red opening instructions that run along the left side of the seam. The text panel touts the benefits of the container and describes its contents as TANGY. OTHERS PENDING.

USBC 70-30.1 (black O/I)   USBC 70-30.2 (red O/I)

As the war years approached, the can was re-designed to reflect a more "patriotic" image. The pre-war (USBC 70-32) was produced with the American eagle replacing the German thunderbird. Although it is difficult to put an exact chronological order to the variations I have discovered thus far, I will use an educated guess. The first variation (USBC 70-32.1) has the same opening instructions as the second thunderbird. It is easily overlooked unless one closely examines the opening instruction directions.

    #1)  USBC 70-32.1 #2)  USBC 70-32.2 #3)  USBC 70-32.3
    No "Brewed and Packed By" "Brewed and Packed By", 1. To Open "Brewed and Packed By", 1. Hook Opener

     The earliest two versions of the American eagle can have OI which state "1. TO OPEN CAN" while subsequent versions state "1. HOOK OPENER". Don't blink, you might not have noticed the differences above. On the information side panel, variation #1 (USBC 70-32.1), does not have the "BREWED AND PACKED BY" text as is present for variation #2 (USBC 70-32.2). Variation #3 (USBC 70-32.3) also has the "BREWED AND PACKED BY" text, but this version lowers the "1" on the OI panel to "1. HOOK OPENER".

     Variation #4 is (USBC 70-31), probably the toughest GOEBEL can next to the Olive Drab. The most obvious facial difference is GOEBEL in the ribbon across the eagle which replaces GOLD LABEL. The side panel of this can follows this example as well, replacing GOEBEL GOLD LABEL BEER with GOEBEL BEER. In nearly 20 years of collecting, I know of no one ever dumping an example of this can in Michigan. OTHERS PENDING.

     I believe that the Olive Drab GOEBEL (USBC 70-33) was produced directly following the previous can. The intelligence of the GI's must have surpassed that of the civilian population, as opening instructions were deemed unnecessary for this wartime can. OTHERS PENDING.

#4)  USBC 70-31     #5)  USBC 70-32.4 #6)  USBC 70-32.5

     Variation #5 is (USBC 70-32.4), reverting back to the same side panel as #3. It does add "OR 35.5 CENTILITERS" as well as "BREWED IN U.S.A.". I imagine this is a post war variation, due to the bold reference to the country of origin and THREE PATENTS NUMBERS.

     Variation #6 (USBC 70-32.5) is sort of a strange one to me. This can describes the beer as being "sparkling" and again drops any reference to "GOLD LABEL" from side panel. It also introduces the slogans RIGHT from the cypress casks of Goebel, as well as Nationally famous for good taste. I surmise that this can was basically sold out of Michigan, since I have found examples of this variation in Minnesota, but none in Michigan. THREE PATENTS NUMBERS.

     With each passing dumping season, the quantity as well as quality of variations really does amaze me. It's all in what you're looking for. I challenge everyone to pick a brand or a region and become a specialist in that area. The fun of discovery and the knowledge that it brings to the hobby will only serve to increase interest by our members and the public. As always, I hope to hear from some of you soon. I really like to talk and share information on these old, rusty bits of our past.

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