This is an advertising
postcard sent from Providence, Rhode Island on April 15,
1917 and canceled with a machine cancel. The text on the
reverse reads as follows:
These famous Roan
Belgians are the largest and only NINE HORSE TEAM in the world.
They range in height from 17 to 19 hands. The lightest horse
weighs 2,200 lbs. and the heaviest 2,500 lbs. -- the team as a
whole weighing 20,625 lbs. When hitched with their perfectly
appointed harness, to the 20-foot Show Wagon, the display is
wonderful. They are used for Exhibition purposes only and are
shown throughout the country at all the leading fairs and horse
THE JAMES HANLEY
Providence, Rhode Island
The repeal of
Prohibition in 1933 ushered in the the famous
Budweiser Clydesdale team when August Budweiser
bought his father 18 Clydesdales and created the hitch used to this
day by the brewing company. The 9 horse Belgian team
shown above and used by the James Hanley Brewing
Company predates this by at least 16 years.
I haven't been able to tie down
a birth date for James Hanley as yet, but I did note that there were
over a dozen James Hanley's that fit the
time period and a rather large relocation of other
Hanley's that emigrated from Ireland to Rhode
Island and New England during the early 19th century.
Since this migration of Irish to the Rhode Island area was several
years prior to the Great Potato Famine of
1845-50, I assume that it was related more to a lack of jobs
and opportunities than hunger. It was during this period that
textile manufacturing was beginning to really take hold
in the area.
The first mention of
James Hanley, that I found was for 1861. It stated that in
1861, James Hanley was an established wholesale dealer
of foreign and domestic liquors, wines and cigars. His address at the
time was at 131 North Main Street in Providence,
Rhode Island. This was his residence as well as his place of
business. His brother Thomas J. Hanley began working for the
firm in 1862.
In 1870 James and
Thomas formed the James Hanley & Brother Company located
at 341 High Street and in 1877 James
formed a partnership with John P. Cooney,
the Cooney and Hanley Brewers. After Cooney died James bought out his
share of the business from his heirs and reorganized as
James Hanley & Co.
James was operating out of
32 Exchange Place by 1884 and had become
involved with several other breweries by this time. In 1886
James became the general manager of the Rhode
Island Brewery and the name was changed
to the James Hanley Brewing Company, which later became
well known for it's quality ales and porters.
In 1894 James Hanley and John E.
Goode formed the American Brewing Company with
Hanley as president and Goode as the treasurer. This brewing company
was located at Eagle Street and Harris Avenue.
By the turn of the century,
(1904-07) Hanley had become president of the
Providence Brewing Company, (formerly the American
Brewing Company) which also produced ales, lagers and porter
By 1957 the James
Hanley Brewing Company could no longer compete with the
large National Chains and sold out to the
Narragansett Brewing Company, which became the
last surviving brewery in the state of Rhode Island.
The Narragansett Brewing Company sold out to
Falstaff in 1965.
I also noted that there appears
to be a thriving business in James Hanley Brewing
Company collectables; in particular trays
featuring Hanley logos.
Peerless Ale Tray (Red)
Hanley's Peerless All Tray (Green)