Girl in the Moon, 1907 reprint
Today’s postcard is one that Q sent in 1997. On his way to grad school in Madison, Wisconsin he stopped in Milwaukee and visited the Miller Valley Cultural Center that included tours and information about the Miller Brewing Company and had a gift shop where he found this postcard. The card has the number J17071CC at the lower right corner on the reverse. It was printed and distributed by the Miller Brewing Company.
The card shows the famous 1907 “Girl in the Moon” advertisement for Miller High Life Beer. She was featured in Miller ads and on bottles and cans from 1907 to the present with a hiatus during the late 1980s and 1990s. She returned in 2005 with a minor makeover she looks as she did in 1943. There are several different poses, some with the profile such as the one above, some with a full face, some standing, and some sitting. Promotional items with the 1907 version are coveted as collector’s pieces.
It is not known for sure who inspired the moon maiden but it is thought that she was a daughter, granddaughter or possibly a goddaughter of the Miller family. One account names her as Loretta Miller Kopmeier the daughter of Carl Miller and granddaughter of Frederick Miller, the founder of the Miller Brewing Company. She visited the brewery with her father when she was about 12 or 13 years old. Her father sat her down and she dramatically held up her hand. That incident became the inspiration for her father and she became the model for the Girl in the Moon. Besides the girl the design shows her amid the clouds and stars in a spacious sky. Loretta was born in 1892 and would have been closer to 15 in 1907; however, the brewery was founded in 1903 so the design could have been from a year or two earlier than the original ad campaign. Q’s comment on the back of the card “Here’s a souvenir from my tour of Milwaukee’s cultural center, also known as ‘Miller Valley.’ Entertaining but sentimental story.” Loretta Miller Kopmeier died in 1990 and is buried in Milwaukee.
Trays, plates, glasses and cups with logos such as this may have been fairly popular in the early 1900s as we also have a couple items from local breweries, Rainier and Olympia, with “Gibson Girls” on them that were collected by members of the Landaas and Lee families. The artwork is in the Art Nouveau style that was popular between about 1880 to the beginning of World War I (1914). There are charming illustrations in children’s books dating from that era that also feature the same style of artwork.
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