Buffalo in the ’40s: Celebrating Buffalo-made steel, beer, grain

By Steve Cichon

In 1949, The William Simon Brewing Company — makers of Simon Pure Beer — created a series of ads celebrating Buffalo, Buffalo’s industries, the men who work in those industries, and the products they make.

Buffalo Stories archives

“What Buffalo makes… Makes Buffalo” was the slogan which surrounded the campaign.

Buffalo Stories archives

“Be it steel or beer,” the ad reads, “the quality of the finished product depends on the materials, plant, and skill employed.” The photo in the “we salute our steelworkers” ad shows an unidentified local strip mill.

Buffalo Stories archives

As Simon Pure saluted millers, they reminded readers that Buffalo was the first city in the world for flour and feed milling, showing a series of elevators along the Buffalo River.

“Buffalo-made brands of flour, cereal, and feed set the standards of quality for the milling industry the world over. As with our milling industry, so with our brewing industry… for NONE can excel the high standard of quality maintained by Simon Pure.”

Buffalo Stories archives

Food industry workers also were saluted with a photo of the Niagara Frontier Food Terminal on Bailey Avenue.

Of course, Buffalo also was a brewing center, with nine brewers listed in the 1950 City Directory, but the only Buffalo-made beer ever mentioned was Simon Pure.

“Costlier malt, hops, and cereals, expertly blended and leisurely brewed (to) produce that superior taste and flavor that makes Simon Pure a neighborhood favorite everywhere!”

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Steve Cichon

Steve Cichon is a proud Buffalonian helping the world experience the city he loves. writing about the people, places, and ideas that make Buffalo unique and special. The storyteller and historian has written six books, worn bow ties since the 80s, and is the News Director at WECK Radio. A 25 year Buffalo media veteran, Steve's contributed more than 1400 Buffalo History stories to The Buffalo News, worked at WIVB-TV, Empire Sports Network, and spent ten years as a newsman and News Director at WBEN Radio. He's also put his communication skills to work as an adjunct professor, a producer of PBS documentaries, and even run for Erie County Clerk. Steve's Buffalo roots run deep: all eight of his great-grandparents called Buffalo home, with his first ancestors arriving here in 1827.