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Schall’s impressive can collection

May 9, 2014
Pierce County Tribune

The old jingle goes something like, "99 bottles of beer on the wall, 99 bottles of beer" For the Prairie Village Museum's Saloon the number is quite a bit higher thanks to Nick Schall.

Schall said he's never been much of a drinker, but that didn't stop him from collecting hundreds of beer cans and bottles beginning in 1933. The nearly 90-year-old's collection of 351 bottles and cans of beer is one of many attractions at the Prairie Village Museum.

The collection really took off when Schall's son David went fishing with grandfather Nick W. Schall. Occasionally, fishing adventures led to the youngest Schall finding beer cans.

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His father, who collects coins and belt buckles, decided to add beer cans to his collections.

"I'd go to the cooler and look and sometimes I had to buy a six pack and sometimes they were nice and let me choose six different cans and make a six pack," Nick Schall said, "but it was a fun collection."

The collection, donated in 2000, includes beers from at least nine countries, many states and a handful of centennial special edition cans from North Dakota towns.

"I'm no drinker, but I would taste it," he said. "We had another collection at the house and they were all full. Out there I couldn't have the full ones." The museum saloon isn't heated, so the full cans would explode in the winter.

Schall's collection makes for a nice backdrop when couples request to take wedding pictures in the saloon. The museum occasionally allows people to rent the space for private gatherings.

Schall has also donated a 1962 Massey Ferguson Combine to the Dale and Martha Hawk Museum in Wolford. His belt buckle collection, which includes buckles from nearly every small town in Pierce County, is 184 strong. He's also an avid coin collector.



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