The New York Public Libraryย has unleashed a treasure trove of searchable photographs, texts, and historic delights from the institution’s heaving archives. All types of blogs are going gaga over this content, and we’re no different. But hey, look at what we found! NYPL archives contain photo evidence of what very well might have been be the world’s very first Brewers Cup competition, held right here in America during the famous 1939 World’s Fair in scenic Queens, New York.

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Not much is known about the contest but from what we could glean from the four images available, it’s clear that the brewer of choice was percolator, and the jacket/hat combination on contestant sixteen is simply resplendent. Also, it seems all contestants brewed at the same time? And also shared a very lovely table cloth.

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Contestant #15 brewed into an ornate service vessel and into what looks to be three girthy cups. Is that some sort of heating element on the table? There also seems to be a bowl of sugar…packets? Check out those sweet barstools, perhaps for the judging panel?

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Contestant #15 was the winner, the collection tells us. We can only imagine the photographer asking the winner to “pretend like you’re pouring more coffee in the cup…that’s it, this’ll be perfect, in eighty years some coffee blog is gonna write about this!”

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And wouldn’t you know it? Brazil’s own historically fabulous Carmen Miranda is seen enjoying a cup of the winning brewer in this delightful photo. Look at those furs! We love you Carmen!

Expect more coffee history coverage from the NYPL archives as we explore them further, and have a look yourself over at New York Public Library’s Digital Collections.ย ย 

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