Mark Twain Shadow Card

Trade card, Woolson Spice Co., Toledo, OH. Gast Lithography Co., New York & Chicago. Copyright Woolson Spice Co., 1895.

Price:  $15.00     Size: 4 and 1/4 x 5 and 1/8″

This trade card of beautiful poppies, and charming scene of a couple and their dog by the seaside, likely was included in a package of Lion Coffee. The back states for “30 Lion Heads” cut from Lion Coffee wrappers, and a 2 cent stamp, you could get a ladies’ scissors,  “The delight of every girl and married lady. Length 4 1/2 inches. Just the thing for cutting, trimming, and general household use.”  Or you could send 20 Lion Heads and 7 cents.

This is the first shadow picture we’ve run into, though eBay currently has an Abe Lincoln,  also by the Woolson Spice Co. Did the copyright extend to the exclusive rights for shadow pictures? Not sure, and there’s no telling how many others survived, possibly not a whole lot.  But they did a good job with Mark Twain, or is it that he had one of those profiles that was easily recognizable? Anyway, if you did some careful work, cutting on the line, you could set up the card on its “easel” in a good spot that would show off the scene on the front, and throw the shadow of this beloved literary figure on your wall. Pretty unique!

And this is our second card from the Woolson Spice Company. See Lion Coffee Parallelogram.

Source:  Mark Twain. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Twain (accessed September 8, 2018).

C. B. Eaton & Co., Worcester, Mass

Trade card, C. B. Eaton & Co. Stationers, Worcester, Mass. Circa 1881 – 1892.

Price:  $10.00           Size:  About 3 and 7/16 x 1 and 13/16″

I used to work at a call center and we took calls from all over, so I learned to say “Mass” (after a city) for Massachusetts from the people that live there, which is why you will often find the state typed as such on this website (rather than MA); in my mind I’m hearing layer upon layer of beautiful people’s voices stating (whatever city) Mass…..Just as in I picked up the, what I think of as a southern expression, “I appreciate you” by way of saying “thank you.” So lovely! Not just thank you for doing something for me, but I appreciate you, in your entirety, so to speak. (And I appreciate you, dear readers and browsers.) So sentimental this morning as I’m typing this – Mush, mush forty dogs in Alaska! But on to our trade card with its pink horseshoe:

“C. B. Eaton & Co., Stationers, 505 Main Street, –   –  Worcester, Mass., Headquarters for Blank Books, School Books, Paper of all kinds, Staple & Fancy Goods, &c.

C. B. was Charles B. Eaton, born about 1832, listed there on the 1880 Federal Census for Worcester, living at 690 Main St., occupation  “paper store” with his wife Mary C. and daughters Alice C. and Cora B. Eaton. All are native to the state of Massachusetts.

The time frame for C. B. Eaton & Co. was found in bookseller and stationer journals:  Charles B. Eaton and J. Edgar Dickson succeeded Sandford & Dickson in 1879. Eaton & Dickson was then succeeded by C. B. Eaton & Co. in 1881 and C. B. Eaton & Co. was succeeded by Lewis & Emerson in January 1893 or possibly December 1892.

Sources:  Drew, Allis & Company’s The Worcester Directory, No. XXXIX, for 1882, p. 123. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

Drew, Allis & Company’s The Worcester Directory, No. XLI, for 1884, p. 386. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

Year: 1880; Census Place: Worcester, Worcester, Massachusetts; Roll: 568; Page: 444D; Enumeration District: 896.

The American Stationer, Vol. 7, No. 23. June 5, 1879, p. 10. (Google.com ebook).

The American Bookseller, Vol. 11, No. 1. January 1, 1881, p. 279. (Google.com ebook).

The American Stationer, Vol. 33, No. 1. January 5, 1893, p. 128. (Google.com ebook).

Mellier’s High Class Perfumes

Trade card, Oberdeener’s Pharmacy and Mellier’s Perfumes. Circa 1889 – 1901.

Price:  $15.00          Size:  4 and 1/2 x 3″

A lovely trade card in blue, pink and yellow showing a ladies shoe, a fan, a flower, a butterfly and a paper memento of some sort, resting in a large sea shell. This particular design was not the only one with this theme. There is another to be found for sale online showing a yellow shoe facing in the opposite direction. Mellier’s, based out of St. Louis, Missouri, was very prolific in creating fragrances over the years. We’ve counted a total of eighty, found on the web, including one called Ping Pong (!) The titles shown on this card are:

Ascension Lily, Sweet Crab Apple, Favorita, Violet Bouquet, Bon Silene Rose, Lilac Spray, Golden Pansy, Arabian Nights, Peach Blossom and Allien Bouquet (sometimes seen as Allen Bouquet).

The advertiser on the trade card was S. Oberdeener, of Santa Clara, California, who stated,  “We can confidently recommend – Mellier’s ‘High-Class’ Perfumes – and will take pleasure in showing our patrons how closely they imitate the natural flower and how they possess at the same time both wonderful delicacy and great permanence.”

1038 Franklin Street, Santa Clara, CA

Samuel Oberdeener, per Find A Grave, son of Moses and Libby Oberdeener, was born in San Francisco, September 14, 1860 and died May 20, 1901 in Santa Clara, California. He was married to Emma Lauck. They had one daughter, Mildred. Sam Oberdeener was a graduate of the California College of Pharmacy in 1880, a member of the State Board of Pharmacy, Board of Town Trustees and an active member in the Masonic order, the Odd Fellows, Elks and Foresters. Oberdeener’s would have been well-known in the area, at the time of Sam’s passing, the store had been in business for over thirty years, Samuel having taken over from his father in 1882.

Dating the trade card

All of the perfume titles listed on the trade card, with the exception of Peach Blossom, were found advertised in The American Drug Clerks Journal, January 1889, Vol. 3. (A date for Peach Blossom was not located.) And since Samuel Oberdeener died in 1901, we would estimate this card to be from about 1889 to 1901. The pharmacy continued for some years after Samuel’s death. Below, an ad from the 1913 Santa Clara directory:

Sources:  “Dr Samuel Oberdeener” Find A Grave. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi.

“Dr. Samuel Oberdeener.” Los Angeles Times, May 21, 1901. Tuesday, p. 5. (Newspapers.com).

The American Drug Clerks Journal, January 1889, Vol. 3.(Google.com).

Polk-Husted Directory Co.’s, San Jose City and Santa Clara, 1913-14, p. 470. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

George A. Drew’s Jewelry Store Trade Card

Trade card, 1882 – 1883, Lewiston, Maine.

Price:  $12.00      Size:  2 and 1/2 x 4 and 1/2″

I was picturing someone searching the web for a photo or illustration of this jeweler’s store, thinking they’d found it, all excited, only to find this trade card (beautiful though it is and a wonderful find.) Hence, the long post title (which made me think of Bob Dylan’s lyric, “It’s your brand new leopard-skin pill-box hat.” Goofy sometimes, the associations we come up with 🙂 ).

The front of the card shows an illustration of a young woman in bathing attire with hand shading brow and looking off into the distance, alongside the title of “Old Reliable.”  I’m thinking it must have been second nature to the artists that designed trade cards, but note the nice 3-D effect on this one with the insert of the girl, and overlapping that, the insert for the jeweler (associating himself with the term “Old Reliable”) and then the artistically arranged cutting of some type of flower draped over both (with shadows drawn in). The store’s address is given as  “No. 93 Lisbon Street, Lewiston, Me.”

Find the typo

The back advertises:  “George A. Drew, dealer in Watches, Diamons, Jewelry, Silver & Plated Ware, Spectacles & Eye-glasses. Sole Agent for Hand Engraved and Silver Plated ware, something new and beautiful, also Agent for Rock Crystal Spectacles, the best in the world. Fine Watch work a specialty, Watches Cleaned and Warranted for $1.00. 93 Lisbon St., Lewiston, ME.”

Reliable and reliably on Lisbon

George A. Drew was born in Maine, about 1836. On the 1870 Federal Census for Lewiston, he appears with his wife Alice and their children, Nellie and Fred. City directories for a twenty-year span, show five different addresses on Lisbon. Note the 1893 address below doesn’t match the one on the card.

1874 to 1880 at 83 Lisbon

1883 at 131 Lisbon

1885 to 1889 at 93 Lisbon

1891 at 75 Lisbon

1893-4 at 71 Lisbon

Sources:  Year: 1870; Census Place: Lewiston, Androscoggin, Maine; Roll: M593_536; Page: 182B; Family History Library Film: 552035. (Ancestry.com).

Greenough Jones & Co.’s Directory for Lewiston and Auburn, 1874-5, p. 170; W. A. Greenough & Co.’s Lewiston and Auburn Directory for 1883, p. 226; W. A. Greenough & Co.’s Lewiston and Auburn Directory, 1885, p. 215; W. A. Greenough & Co.’s Lewiston and Auburn Directory, 1889, p. 269; W. A. Greenough & Co.’s Lewiston and Auburn Directory, 1891, p. 286; W. A. Greenough & Co.’s Lewiston and Auburn Directory, 1893-4, p. 301. (Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.)

Musical Variations

Trade card, circa 1880s – 1890s. Lithographer:  Vallet, Minot & Co., Paris.

Price:  $5.00      Size:  About 2 and 9/16 x 4″

This cute trade card, of a Scottish Highlander playing the fiddle, was probably one of a series representing different countries.

There is no advertising on the back, which is not that unusual, but it was surprising (just upon closer scrutiny) to find that it had been printed in France. There’s the bold black lettering in English but enlarge the image to make out the words, Airs variés, and at the bottom left, the name of the lithography company, the first word of which appears to be Vallet, and their location, Paris…..A little time spent searching the web….et voila! C’est Vallet, Minot & Cie. Below, their nice logo showing a V over an M, which together almost looks like an insect, somewhat like a butterfly.

Livingston’s Perfection

Trade card for Rice’s Seeds. Circa 1880 – 1881.

Price:  $12.00       Size:  4 and 1/2 x 2 and 5/8″

“Livingston’s Perfection (New). Warranted to produce ripe fruit in 100 days from the sowing of the seed.”

“Rice’s Seeds have spoken their own praise wherever planted for upwards of 40 years.”

Here’s a beauty (and incidentally sorry to say we missed a Memorial Day post due to working on another project and then running out of time and energy. Poor time management, alas! Next year, though.) But this beauty of a trade card shows an older couple, in their nightgowns and nightcaps, being awoken, to their joy, by a giant tomato, ripened to perfection, that has overflowed from the garden through their open window.

We find mention of Livingston’s Perfection, as early as 1881 and as late as 1918, in trade journals, so from this info and the word “new” in parentheses on the card’s tomato, one might infer both the card and, of course, the variety, to have emerged in 1881, or maybe 1880.

Who was Livingston?

From “Pomodoro!:  A History of the Tomato in Italy”:

“In Ohio between 1870 and 1893, Alexander Livingston, developed or improved thirteen major varieties for the tomato trade. He named most of them after himself, such as ‘Livingston’s Marvel’, ‘Livingston’s Magnus’, ‘Livingston’s Paragon’, and ‘Livingston’s Perfection.’ Some of these varieties eventually found their way to Parma, Italy, suited as they were to the production of concentrate.”

And Rice?

Rice was Jerome Bonaparte Rice, born in Salem, New York, July 19, 1841, son of Roswell Niles Rice and Betsy Ann (Hodges) Rice. He became hugely successful in the seed business which was started by his father around 1834 – selling seeds via wagon, which the younger Rice returned to, after coming home from the Civil War. A few other tidbits of information:  J. B.’s capture by the Confederate Army and imprisonment at Libby and Belle Isle led to rheumatism (no wonder) which later confined him to a wheelchair. He was “the father” of the Cambridge Valley Agricultural Society – the president of the Cambridge, New York fair, as shown in the illustrated ad below, and the 3-story mansion (which included a beautifully ornate “birdcage” style elevator) that he and his wife built (1902 – 1904) in Cambridge. The home had stood vacant in recent years, but was thankfully restored starting in 2004 and today serves as a historic inn currently available for group reservations. See Rice Mansion Inn. J. B. Rice died June 8, 1912, at the age of 70, leaving his wife Laura (Chandler) Rice, and their son and three daughters. Partial obit below, from The Poultney Journal (Poultney, VT) June 14, 1912:

See The Rice Seed Company – Cambridge, NY for more historical photos and information.

Clipped below from the Bennington Banner (Bennington, VT) for August 30, 1895, a charming ad for J. B. Rice’s Great Fair at Cambridge, NY.

Sources:  Gentilcore, David. (2010) Pomodoro!:  A History of the Tomato in Italy. NewYork:  Columbia University Press. (Google.com)

Memorial #37438546. Find A Grave. Find A Grave. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi.

Libby Prison. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libby_Prison (accessed June 2, 2018).

Zombek, Angela. M. Belle Isle Prison. Encyclopedia Virginia. (accessed June 2, 2018).

Kumar, Anne. “Couple restores historic Rice mansion.” October 24, 2004. Sunday, pp. C1, C8. (Newspapers.com).

Rice Mansion Inn. (www.ricemansioninn.com). Accessed June 2, 2018.

The Poultney Journal (Poultney, VT). June 14, 1912. Friday, p. 3. (Newspapers.com).

The Rice Seed Company – Cambridge, NY. (www.cambridgephoto.com). Accessed June 2, 2018.

“Every Body’s Going This Year!” Bennington Banner (Bennington, VT) August 30, 1895. Friday, p. 5. (Newspapers.com).

A. H. Taylor, Pianos And Organs

Trade Card. Salem, Massachusetts. 1880 – 1881.

Price:  $12.00         Size:  2 and 1/2 x 4 and 1/2″

“A. H. Taylor, Pianos And Organs, 293 Essex St., Salem, Mass.”

This could be the only surviving trade card for this company in existence, though that might be “doing it too brown” as they say in Regency terms. (I wonder if Georgette Heyer interspersed that era’s vocabulary into her own present-day conversation, and if so, what the response was, blank looks?) In any case, this is a charming card showing a young maid setting up for a small outdoor tea party.

A. H. Taylor was Albert H. Taylor, born about 1857 in Manchester, Massachusetts, son of John M. Taylor and Ann H. Lee. He married Cora B. Kenney June 11, 1879. The 1880 Federal Census for Salem, shows Albert’s occupation as piano tuner, and the household at that time was Albert, Cora and their one month old son, Albert H., living at 88 Federal St.

By 1900 they have another family member, Louis C, and the family is now in Bridgeport, Connecticut, at 111 Hicks St. Albert, Sr.’s occupation is listed as music dealer.

And by 1910, Albert and Cora have relocated to Springfield, Mass. Albert’s occupation appears to read as “com. traveler, pianos,”  so, commercial traveler or traveling salesman in the piano industry.

As for city directories, the 1881 for Salem lists A. H. Taylor at the 293 Essex St. address, under headings of Music Stores, Piano Dealers and Piano Tuners. Evidently, he ran an ad on the front cover of that directory, but the cover is missing. The 1879 directory shows a music store belonging to H. R. Perkins & Co., the 1880 directory wasn’t found and nothing shows for the 293 address after 1881 until 1888 (a house furnishing store). So, this trade card can pretty accurately be said to be from 1880 or 1881.

Sources:  Sampson, Davenport & Co.’s The Salem Directory for 1879, No. XVIII. p. 279. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

Sampson, Davenport & Co.’s The New England Business Directory for 1881. pp. 284, 285 and 278. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

Year: 1880; Census Place: Salem, Essex, Massachusetts; Roll: 532; Page: 686A; Enumeration District: 235. (Ancestry.com).

New England Historic Genealogical Society; Boston, Massachusetts. Ancestry.com. Massachusetts, Marriage Records, 1840-1915.

Year: 1900; Census Place: Bridgeport, Fairfield, Connecticut; Page: 11; Enumeration District: 0036. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1910; Census Place: Springfield Ward 7, Hampden, Massachusetts; Roll: T624_593; Page: 19A; Enumeration District: 0649; FHL microfilm: 1374606.(Ancestry.com).

Lion Coffee Parallelogram

Trade card, Lion Coffee. Circa 1882 – 1890s

Price:  $5.00

I like the effect of these two images together, as if you’re looking at a roof from above, and what a roof it would be! (although the front of the card should be upside down for that to really make sense.) But the background on this is just the back of a book (because we’re always searching for something handy to use when scanning odd-shaped cards.) The back reads:

“If you want a picture card like this buy a package of Lion Coffee. It is composed of a successful combination of Mocha, Java and Rio. And it is roasted with the greatest care, but is not ground. Is never sold in bulk. Beautiful picture in every package. Lion is the king of coffees. Manufactured by Woolson Spice Co., Toledo, Ohio.”

Here’s a great article on the history of Lion Coffee and the Lion’s subsequent reawakening in Hawaii.

Source:  “The Amazing True Story of Lion Coffee.” May 14, 2015. (http://www.lioncoffee.com/amazing-true-history-lion-coffee/). Accessed May 13, 2018.

Worcester & Greenfield, Newsdealers And Stationers

Trade card, circa 1881 – 1899.

Price:  $15.00        Size:  About 2 and 1/8 x 3 and 1/8″

A beautifully stylish little girl, with a wreath of flowers on one arm and just picked roses overflowing from her makeshift cloth “basket,” advertises:

“Worcester & Greenfield. Newsdealers & Stationers, Central Square, Rochester, N. H. Cards for Sale.”

We’re finding no other trade cards for this company online, at the time of this post.

Worcester & Greenfield were Horace L. Worcester and his partner and brother-in-law Frank Greenfield. The firm started in 1881 and in 1899 Hiram, having earlier bought out Frank’s share, sold out of the business. Hiram Worcester was twice mayor of Rochester, according to his biographical sketch, which includes this photo:

From another Google eBook search we found the following entry for the business in Leading Manufacturers and Merchants of New Hampshire:

“Worcester & Greenfield, Books, Central Square. – The popular headquarters in Rochester for books, stationery, periodicals and literature of all kinds is the establishment of Messrs. Worcester & Greenfield, on Central Square. The business was originally established about fifteen years ago by Mr. I. D. Mooney, the present proprietors succeeding to the control in 1881. To the stranger, from its literary attractiveness, it is a place not to be overlooked, while it is the chief rendezvous to the literature-loving people of this community. To drop in here for the daily paper and a glimpse at the last new book or magazine is an every-day duty with the majority of the people resident here. The stock is large, choice and complete in every department, including the works of standard authors in prose and poetry, the latest publications of English and American writers, in fine bindings and pocket style; toys, games, picture books, writing desks, portfolios, leather goods, and desirable gifts for the holidays in great variety and profusion. The firm also have a circulating library, containing six hundred volumes, which is very liberally patronized by both old and young. There is also a fine assortment of cigars, tobacco and confectionery, and the store is the headquarters in Rochester for the Boston daily and state papers. The members of the firm, Messrs. H. L. Worcester and Frank Greenfield, are young men of enterprise and popularity.”

Sources:  Biographical Sketches of Representative Citizens of the State of New Hampshire. Boston:  New England Historical Publishing Company, 1902 (Google.com).

Leading Manufacturers and Merchants of New Hampshire. New York:  International Publishing Co., 1887. (Google.com).

Sweet Home Soap

Trade card, circa 1880s – 1890s.

Price:  $3.00          Size:  About 3 and 1/4 x 4 and 5/16″

Young love in an old trade card

Here’s a trade card, a little worse for wear, but still….a beauty:  depicting a lovers’ scene of a young man cutting roses for his sweetheart (or maybe clearing a path for her, or both).

From small cake soap manufacturer to industry giant

Buffalo, New York native John Durrant Larkin (1845 – 1926) was the founder of J. D. Larkin & Co., manufacturer of Sweet Home Soap, a bar laundry soap, and with the help of the marketing genius of his brother-in-law Elbert Hubbard (1856 – 1915), became one of Buffalo’s most successful businessmen. Hubbard is reported to have been Larkin & Co.’s first salesman, and pioneered the strategy of selling direct to the consumer, thereby cutting costs to be able to offer many incentives to buying the company’s products (which became numerous, a “laundry list,” pun happily intended, of household, food and other items). These incentives or “premiums” as they were called, were first small enough to be included with the customer’s order, until the idea was expanded to include the redemption of beautiful pieces of furniture, as well as pottery and glassware, lamps, bed frames and other items.

Below, a clipping from a Google search for Larkin & Co furniture:

Glove buttoners and biscuit cutters

Below, a clipping from an 1888 ad appearing in The Appleton Crescent, listing the bonus items one could get, along with 100 cakes of Sweet Home Soap. We’re wondering if any of the pictures mentioned titled, “Desdemona”, “Skye Terrier”, “Jockey Joe”, “Love’s Young Dream” etc. still grace any walls today. Then too, when we look at the artwork in the average working family’s home, as in….after gazing at our ancestor’s photo, then looking past them to see what was in those picture frames (if we can see, sometimes it’s just barely, and always to the point of wanting to jump in the photo for a moment)….we can imagine what might have been the humble soap origin of that prized piece of wall decor (as in our related post, The Village Belle.)

Factory girls in ’04

Below, a photo courtesy of the Buffalo Courier, May 29, 1904 of Larkin factory girls packing products (and if your ancestor worked in Buffalo for Larkin’s it’s rather nice to think that she might be one of these ladies.) Last thought:  Are those wreaths hanging on the pillars?

Sources:  John D. Larkin. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_D._Larkin (accessed May 6, 2018).

Elbert Hubbard. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elbert_Hubbard (accessed May 6, 2018).

“images of Larkin & Co. furniture.”  Google.com search. (accessed May 6, 2018).

“Twin Babies” Larkin ad. The Appleton Crescent (Appleton, WI). November 24, 1888, Saturday, p. 4.

“One of Buffalo’s Most Successful Manufacturers.”  Buffalo Courier, May 29, 1904. Sunday, p. 2. (Newspapers.com).