Coaster of the Month
This is a hard one, almost as bad as determining the value of a coaster. Hopefully some of these hints will help you come close to the age of a coaster. If anyone can add any suggestions or advice, please contact me so that we can update this information. Following are some general guidelines to use and some very specific ideas.

1.
The larger coasters (4.5") are usually before 1945, the smaller ones seem to appear after this time. Maybe it was related to the war period or some other event. This should not be taken as a hard and fast rule but a guideline. Remember that there are exceptions to every rule. Also, one or a combination of several of the below suggestions might be needed to date the coaster

2. A very thick large older coaster that has
'Printed in Germany' or 'Made in Germany' on the edge might be a pre-pro coaster

3. Look at the
picture or words on the coaster, the picture or design could be related to an event of that time period, for example WWII, a World's Fair or Olympics

4. Some coasters have
dates printed on them or the back might have a date handwritten. Obvious but still worth mentioning

5. Look for a
date below the catalog coding information on the Coaster Guide Pages, some of the older coasters have handwritten notes on them as to when they were used. This informationwas sent in by other collectors

6. Another way to tell the age is by using some of the excellent
reference guides on breweries or beer brands.

7. These will not tell you the age of a coaster but they will at least identify the
brewery operating dates. A good reference source is "Who's Who in Brew", this guide was originally published in 1978 but is no longer available from the author. Well worth the price if you can find a used version. This guide contains the dates of operation and is very useful if you need to determine the brewery and all you know is the brand name. Another source is American Breweries II by Dale Van Wieren (ABA# 3371) this guide contains operating dates and other important information.
The following suggestion comes from one of Bob Kay's (ABA# 1383) excellent articles on beer labels from his Auction Catalogs. Bob can be reached at PO Box 1805--Batvia IL 60510-6805.

8.
Multiple locations listed: You can often zero in on a time period based on the cities listed and the opening/closing dates of the corresponding breweries. Opening/closing dates for the Anheuser-Busch, breweries illustrate this: (Note - this is outdated)

St Louis, MO 1870 - date
Jacksonville, FL 1969 - date
Newark, NJ 1951 - date
Merrimack, NH 1970 - date
Los Angeles, CA 1954 - date
Williamsburg, VA 1972 - date
Miami, FL 1959 - 1961
Fairfield, CA 1976 - date
Tampa, FL 1959 - date
Baldwinsvifle, NY 1983 - date
Houston, TX 1966 - date
Fort Collins, CO 1988 - date
Columbus, OH 1968 - date

An A-B label, or any collectable for that matter, which lists only St. Louis, Newark and Los Angeles, may be estimated as circa 1954-59, since neither Miami or Tampa are mentioned. Likewise, ten cities ending in Fairfield would date an item as circa 1976-83

A final suggestion by the long time collector Art Landino (ABA# 33) to help in identifying the age of a coaster is by determining who printed the coaster or any special markings not related to the brewery. Some coasters had this type of information printed on the front or back. These appeared only on 4-inch older coasters. If we can develop a cross-reference to the markings and known dates, then we could use this information to help date other coasters. Markings and coaster manufacturers identified so far are:

Made in the USA by Absorbo Beer Pad Co. Inc. NY
Made in the USA by Lion Match Co., INC
E.M. Blumenthal & Co. Chicago-Germany
Griffin-Rutgers-INC. New York along with Made in Austria (Usually has the dates 1933 or 1934 associated with these markings)
Made in USA by Sherman
Kostat Reg U.S. Pat OFF
R.G. Fenstermaker Allentown PA
Universal Tray & Sign Co. New York
BaVco U.S.A
PTD in USA by Brandt & Brandt NYC
Printed by Curt Teich & Company, Inc, Chicago IL USA
MFD by brewer & Sons Chicago' this is impressed on the reverse
BMT co. Germany
MFD. BY DREWER & SONS CHICAGO
Coaster of the Month!
Dating Your Coasters