A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from January 02, 2007
Arbuckle (coffee)

Arbuckle’s was a popular brand of coffee that was made in Pittsburgh (PA) after the Civil War. The coffee quickly became a favorite with cowboy cooks and so dominated the market that “Arbuckle’s” soon meant the same as “coffee.”

Arbuckle’s distributed coupons with their coffee packages, redeemable for various kinds of Arbuckle merchandise. The Historical Dictionary of Slang records “Arbuckle” meaning a “greenhorn” or “mail-order cowboy,” because an “Arbuckle” was a person as cheap and as green as the merchandise redeemed from these coupons.


Western Slang, Lingo & Phrases
Arbuckle’s— Slang for coffee, taken from a popular brand of the time. “I need a cup of Arbuckle’s.”

Arbuckle Coffee Roasters
THE COFFEE THAT WON THE WEST

Up until the close of the Civil War, coffee was sold green. It had to be roasted on a wood stove or in a skillet over a campfire before it could be ground and brewed. One burned bean ruined all; there was no consistency. In 1865, John Arbuckle and his brother Charles, partners in a Pittsburgh grocery business, changed all this by patenting a process for roasting and coating coffee beans with an egg and sugar glaze to seal in the flavor and aroma. Marketed under the name ARBUCKLES’ ARIOSA COFFEE, in patented, airtight, one pound packages, the new coffee was an instant success with chuck wagon cooks in the west faced with the task of keeping Cowboys supplied with plenty of hot coffee out on the range.

Arbuckles’ Ariosa (air-ee-o-sa) Coffee packages bore a yellow label with the name ARBUCKLES’ in large red letters across the front, beneath which flew a Flying Angel trademark over the words ARIOSA COFFEE in black letters. Shipped all over the country in sturdy wooden crates, one hundred packages to a crate, ARBUCKLES’ ARIOSA COFFEE became so dominant, particularly in the west, that many Cowboys were not aware there was any other kind. Keen marketing minds, the Arbuckle Brothers printed signature coupons on the bags of coffee redeemable for all manner of notions including handkerchiefs, razors, scissors, and wedding rings. To sweeten the deal, each package of ARBUCKLES’ contained a stick of peppermint candy. Due to the demands on chuck wagon cooks to keep a ready supply of hot ARBUCKLES’ on hand around the campfire, the peppermint stick became a means by which the steady coffee supply was ground. Upon hearing the cook’s call, “Who wants the candy?” some of the toughest Cowboys on the trail were known to vie for the opportunity of manning the coffee grinder in exchange for satisfying a sweet tooth.

Today, thanks to the folks at ARBUCKLECOFFEE.COM, the Cowboys’ favorite, ARBUCKLE’S ARIOSA COFFEE, is available once more. Complete with the original Flying Angel trademark, the one pound packages of rich beans are every inch the full-bodied, aromatic coffee you’d expect from the likes of ARBUCKLES. There’s even a piece of peppermint inside! No longer just a fond memory for a dwindling breed of old-time cowmen, ARBUCKLES’ ARIOSA COFFEE is back and as good as ever!

Arbuckle’s Gourmet Coffee
About Us
In the late 19th century, about 10 miles from our warehouse, on the site that once held Three Rivers Stadium, home of the Pittsburgh Steelers, John Arbuckle set search for a better cup of coffee.

He and his brother became the first successful commercial coffee roasters in the country and through vastly improved methods of roasting and packing coffee became the largest coffee company in the U.S. by the beginning of the 20th century. Because of various events, the Arbuckle brothers’ company was sold to General Foods and the Arbuckle name largely disappeared.

In John Harvey’s office, a century later, less than a mile from John Arbuckle’s site, he was searching for the same great cup of coffee. The name Arbuckle is synonymous with coffee here in Pittsburgh, thus when founding his coffee company, Arbuckle’s was a natural name for Mr. Harvey’s company.

Today Arbuckle coffee is a leading manufacturer of flavored coffees, specializing in ‘fractional’ or ‘pillow’ packs. Small packets of coffee roasted, ground, flushed to remove oxygen, and sealed with just the right amount of coffee to brew ‘one perfect pot of coffee’™ We feel this provides you with the freshest coffee possible.

Arbuckle Coffee Traders
THE ARBUCKLES” COFFEE LEGEND
Up until the close of the Civil War, coffee was sold green. It had to be roasted on a wood stove or in a skillet over a campfire before it could be ground and brewed. One burned bean ruined all; there was no consistency. In 1865, John Arbuckle and his brother Charles, partners in a Pittsburgh grocery business, changed all this by patenting a process for roasting and coating coffee beans with an egg and sugar glaze to seal in the flavor and aroma. 

Traditional Coffee Packaging
Marketed under the name ARBUCKLES’ ARIOSA COFFEE®, in patented, airtight, one pound packages. The new coffee was an instant success. Chuck wagon cooks in the west were faced with the task of keeping cowboys supplied with plenty of hot coffee out on the range. ARBUCKLES’ ARIOSA (air-ee-o-sa) COFFEE® packages bore a yellow label with the name ARBUCKLES’ in large red letters across the front, beneath which flew a Flying Angel trademark over the words ARIOSA COFFEE® in black letters. Shipped all over the country in sturdy wooden crates, one hundred packages to a crate, ARBUCKLES’ ARIOSA COFFEE® became so dominant, particularly in the west, that many cowboys were not aware there was any other kind. 

Calling All Cowboys!
Keen marketing minds, the Arbuckle Brothers printed signature coupons on the bags of coffee redeemable for all manner of notions including handkerchiefs, razors, scissors, and wedding rings. To sweeten the deal, each package of ARBUCKLES’ contained a stick of peppermint candy. Due to the demands on chuck wagon cooks to keep a ready supply of hot ARBUCKLES’ on hand around the campfire, the peppermint stick became a means by which the steady coffee supply was ground. Upon hearing the cook’s call, “Who wants the candy?” some of the toughest Cowboys on the trail were known to vie for the opportunity of manning the coffee grinder in exchange for satisfying a sweet tooth.

(Historical Dictionary of American Slang)
Arbuckle n. [ref. to Arbuckle Coffee, see 1933 quot.] West.
a naive, inexperienced worker
1932 in American Speech (Feb. 1933) 29 [Tex.]: Arbuckle. Tenderfoot.
1933 J.V. Allen Cowboy Lore 61: [A green hand is] also called “Arbuckle” on the assumption that the boss sent Arbuckle coffee coupons to pay for...such a green hand.

13 February 1877, Sedalia (MO) Daily Democrat, pg. 1, col. 2:
Tell him that here, on his native heath, dwell two incarnate humans whose earthly hopes have been blasted by his stern refusal to send that Arbuckle’s coffee.

30 March 1883, San Antonio (TX) Daily Express, pg. 1, col. 9 ad:
ASK YOUR GROCER
-- FOR --
ARBUCKLE’S
ROASTED COFFEE.
250,000 Pounds Sold Daily!

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (2) Comments • Tuesday, January 02, 2007 • Permalink


SEASONS GREETINGS:I grow up in Brooklyn NY( before the Dodgers left)and recall that Arbuckle had a large warehouse under the Manhatten Bridge(there own railroad as well)near Jay Street..I was wondering if you can tell me the colors of the coffee cans(packages)I seem to recall a orange or brown and balck???any written/photo history of the NYCity operations??
Thanks
Joel Norman

Posted by JOEL NORMAN  on  12/18  at  02:42 PM

Payable to the difficulty on throw wagon cooks to keep a ready bring in patenting a procedure for sweltering and covering coffee beans with an egg and honey finish to seal in the savor and perfume. Thanks for your shear! smile smile

Posted by Andrew Catich  on  04/06  at  09:41 AM

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