Schweppes Spoon

Announcement, IISH, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Who was brickmaker-fireman-gang leader Schweppe? In 1891, a certain F. Schweppe received a silver spoon with inscription from his grateful employer to thank him for 25 years of loyal service.

About 120 years later this very spoon emerged during a clearance of a house in a small village in the German region Lippe, 300 kilometers from the Dutch border. The village community was puzzled about the find. The local pastor remembered having read something about a database Brickmakers in Lippe.
Contact with the IISH staff members who are involved with this database was easily made. For many years, Jan Lucassen and Piet Lourens are gathering biographical data on brickmakers from Lippe in the framework of a research project on migrant workers.

They matched the right person with the silver spoon and found a mass of additional data. Now, the village community dived into the matter. Descendants of neighbour mr Deppe came up with a picture of two worn-out old men sitting on a bench in front of Deppes house: Deppe and, almost 100 percent sure, Schweppe. And a picture of Schweppes own house was produced just as well.

All of a sudden fireman Christoph Friedrich Carl Schweppe (1839-1927) revived as a man with a life story, a face and a remarkable employment record. Schweppe worked as a gang leader in the brickyard of mr Tichelaar in the Dutch village Loppersum, province of Groningen. His two brother were migrant workers in the same province. The history of the small brickyard in Loppersum is documented as well. Read the complete story of Schweppes spoon on the website Lippische Ziegler (in German or in Dutch) that houses a treasure of data on North-European migrant workers.