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).

Choose The Best Shade

Trade Card. J & P Coats. Circa1880s – 1890s.

Price:  $15.00               Size:  About 4 and 1/8 x 2 and 5/8″

Such a pretty card and with a clever caption! The stripes going through the waves remind me of the zigzag pattern in clothes that has materialized (just a happy coincidence on the pun) on the scene in the world of fashion in recent years, and the design on the back of the card that surrounds the lettering in bold, is delicate and almost mechanical-looking.

J & P Coats you will instantly recognize as a mega company in the world of thread. I checked my sewing tin just now and found all the labels as either Coats, under the current Coats Group logo, Clark O.N.T. (Our New Thread) or Coats & Clark.

Sources:  Coats Group. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coats_Group (accessed February 25, 2018).

Coats. TRC Leiden. (accessed February 25, 2018).

Federal Pure Food Company Of Chicago

Federal Pure Food Company Holiday Card. Circa 1919 – 1920s.

Price:  $15.00             Size:  6 and 1/4 x 4 and 7/8″

‘Tis the season….for shopping! Here’s a beautiful Christmas/New Year’s card, probably from the 1920s, showing a nostalgic 19th-century scene of busy holiday shoppers on a snow-covered street.

“We extend to our friends and customers our hearty good wishes for the Holiday Season and may the New Year bring an abundance of Happiness and Prosperity.

Federal Pure Food Company. Chicago, Illinois.”

Does anyone remember any Federal Pure Food Co. labels on maybe vanilla extract or other extracts used in baking? Could be a wacked-out 😉 memory on my part, but I seem to recall old extract bottles in the back of our spice cupboard as a child with this company name. If so, the extracts were already old as the last advertisement found for the company was in 1935. And according to another news clipping, they established in 1895, though no references were found prior to 1919 when their sales ads begin showing up in newspapers across the country and in magazines like Popular Mechanics. Federal’s last known given address for correspondence was 2946 Lake St., Chicago, though for most of their advertised existence they were located on Archer Avenue.

Below, a clip from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, September 4, 1921 which listed the company as:  “The Federal Pure Food Company, 2301 – 2319 Archer Ave., Chicago, ILL. Largest packers of pure food specialties in the world.”

A Honolulu, Hawaii agent ad from the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, September 23, 1921:

The ad from August 13, 1922  for “Agents” appearing in The Tampa Tribune, states the Federal Pure Food Company had been established “since 1895.”

Sources:  “When you have tried everything else.” The Pittsburgh Press, February 17, 1935. Sunday, p. 42. (Newspapers.com).

“No Dull Times In The Food Business.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, September 4, 1921. Sunday, p. 26. (Newspapers.com).

” ‘Federal’ Concentrated Ready-To-Cook Preparations.” Honolulu Star-Bulletin, September 23, 1921. Friday, p. 5. (Newspapers.com).

The Tampa Tribune, August 13, 1922. Sunday, p. 27. (Newspapers.com).

Elephant’s Head and Gate of Crawford Notch

Trade Card for H. Thompson’s Grand Soap, Buffalo, NY. Circa 1879 – 1886. Lithographer:  Clay & Richmond, Buffalo, NY.

Price:  $12.00           Size:  About 3 and 3/8 x 5 and 3/8″

Another H. Thompson’s Grand Soap trade card, this one showing the rock formation, Elephant’s Head, the gate of Crawford Notch, in the White Mountains, New Hampshire, and a stage coach continuing on its way, after coming through the pass. (We’re using this card to segue from trade cards, in general, to a short upcoming Western theme.) But, anyway, she’s a beauty, a little soiled, but there don’t seem to be too many H. Thompson’s out there currently. This one might have been one of a series of well-known locations as there’s another card that can be found for the soap manufacturer (at Hagley Digital Archives) of Monument Rock, Echo Canyon. Curiously, “Grand” the brand name of soap, is not turning up in online searches, so exactly when Grand Soap was introduced and how long it was manufactured is unknown.

Clay & Richmond, lithographers, Buffalo.

As for the printer, they are Clay & Richmond. Per the 1879 Buffalo City Directory, the firm was Hugh M. Clay, W. E. Richmond and Henry A. Richmond. 1878 shows Clay and Co. (Hugh Clay and W. E. Richmond). Prior to 1878 Clay had been part of Clay, Cosack & Co. And we see Clay & Richmond listed in city directories as late as 1886 (Clay with H. A. Richmond). C & R’s location was in the Coit block, W. Swan, corner of Pearl. To do the company justice more research would be needed so we’ll just put up this quick offering for now. Our card is the second one we have, the first being Queen Anne Soap, Detroit Soap Co.

Sources:  Crawford Notch. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crawford_Notch (accessed November 10, 2017).

The Courier Co.’s Buffalo City Directories, 1877 – 1886. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

H. Thompson’s Grand Soap

Trade Card for H. Thompson’s Grand Soap, Buffalo, NY. Lithographer:  Gies & Co., Buffalo, NY. Circa 1874 – 1890s.

Price:  $15.00           Size:  3 and 1/16 x 4 and 11/16″

“Ask your grocer for H. Thompson’s Grand Soap, Manufactured only by H. Thompson, 270 to 280 Perry, & 233 to 241 Chicago St., Buffalo, N.Y.”

Here’s a gorgeous card in peach and blue of a little girl holding her doll, and standing in front of a wooden trellis upon which a flowering vine is supported. Though the card says “over” at the bottom right, there is nothing on the reverse. This is another card by Gies & Co.

Hugh Thompson, soap and candle manufacturer

According to his obituary appearing in the Buffalo Commercial, “Mr. Thompson was born in Carhill, Ireland, February 29, 1824. He came to this country with his parents as a young boy. After spending about two years in parts of New York state and Ohio, the family settled in Buffalo in 1833.”

Hugh Thompson manufactured soap and candles (and was a dealer in soap making supplies) at the corner of Perry and Chicago streets in Buffalo for around thirty-seven years. He and his wife, Rebecca (Bell) Thompson, also native of Ireland, had four children, Mary, William, Louisa and Clara, all born in New York. Hugh died April 1, 1905 at his home in Yellow Springs, Ohio.

Per the below 1881 Buffalo city directory ad, the business was established in 1853:

A kind-hearted man

Where was Carhill, Ireland? It’s not found on a present-day map, but may have been the same “townsland” mentioned in The Guardian (London, England) news clipping from 1858, shown below:

Sources:   The Courier Co.’s Buffalo City Directory, 1881. pp. 173, 656. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995. (Ancestry.com).

“Obituary. Hugh Thompson.” The Buffalo Commercial, April 3, 1905. Monday, p. 5. (Newspapers.com).

Year: 1880; Census Place: Buffalo, Erie, New York; Roll: 828; Family History Film: 1254828; Page: 8C; Enumeration District: 119. (Ancestry.com).

Hugh Thompson. Memorial # 75112709. Findagrave.com.

“Counties Of Wexford And Carlow.” The Guardian, (London, England) June 8, 1858. Tuesday, p. 1. (Newspapers.com).

A Pleasant Reflection

Trade card, Soapine. Kendall Mfg. Co. Donaldson Bros. Lithographers, circa 1870s – 1890s.

Price:  $7.00          Size:  2 and 15/16 x 4 and 1/4″

Kendall Manufacturing Co.’s Soapine, had a very long run, from 1827 to the late 1950s;  here is yet another example of the Victorian Era advertising for the product, one of many that can be found online. The card’s condition is not great, note the crease and there’s a small tear in the top right and a little of the wording torn off of the back, but still it’s a beautiful and imaginative design:  A Tahitian-haired little lady in pink and blue (and love that yellow hat) somehow, lol, blowing a bubble that has the Soapine box inside. Note the iridescence to the bubbles, the lady’s shadow, and the wood flooring. (It always seems like in noticing the details we’re transported back in time; we imagine a sense of the artist’s thought process…..adding in the lady’s bracelets….)

Donaldson Bros., Five Points, N. Y.

Our trade card is the second one we have for Donaldson Brothers, of Five Points, NY. See also B.J. Stone Trade Card, New Haven, CT. And per MetroPostcard, Donaldson Bros. was Frank J., George W., John L. and Robert M. Donaldson, and operated from about 1872 – 1891 before being consolidated with the American Lithographic Company. The 1878 New York City directory shows all four brothers as lithographers, at the address of 4 Mission Place. Five Points was a neighborhood in Lower Manhattan, NY.

Sources:  Donaldson Brothers 1872 – 1891 “D – Publishers.” MetroPostcard. (accessed November 4, 2017).

Trow’s New York City Directory, 1878. Vol. 91, p. 356. (Ancestry.com).

Five Points, Manhattan. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_Points,_Manhattan (accessed November 5, 2017).

After The Doctor

Trade card for G. W. Hull & Bro., Wauseon, Ohio. Circa 1870s – 1890s.

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

Happy Halloween!

I know this is not your standard Halloween offering, but it’s the closest we have at the moment, and quite unusual:  A grasshopper riding a rat across the desert (though you’d think the grasshopper could get there quicker on his own!) Time seems to be of the essence; note the alarmed look on the poor grasshopper’s face! The phrase “after the doctor” refers to someone going to get the doctor.

Report at Headquarters!

G. W. Hull and brother are on the 1870 Federal Census for Wauseon, Ohio. G. W. is head of household, born in Pennsylvania about 1844, married to Rebecca, born Ohio about 1843. With them live John Hull, born Ohio about 1846, who we presume to be the brother, and Calvin Nikirk born Ohio about 1855. G. W.’s occupation is listed as dry goods merchant, with John and Calvin listed as dry goods clerks. Calvin is likely related to Rebecca, as we find that G.W. is George W. Hull who married Rebecca Neikirk October 9, 1866 in Henry County, Ohio.

Below, from the front of the card, H & B, which we presume to be a logo, of sorts, for the dry goods store, rather than a lithography company name.

Brothers in the biz

Further searching reveals George and wife Abigail R. (Abigail Rebecca) in Wauseon in 1880, and their nine year old daughter, Verna. With them is George’s brother, Edwin. Thus, the “Bro.” was either John or Edwin Hull, or maybe conveniently worked out for both, if first John, then Edwin…..But wait, living next door, in 1880, is Henry Hull, dry goods merchant, so Henry is a third possibility as the brother in the dry goods business.

More findings

Abigail died in 1891 and by the 1900 census, G. W. had remarried. His second wife was Lottie (maiden name French per Ancestry family trees.) George, per Find A Grave, was born July 23, 1843, died December 23, 1915, and was buried in the Wauseon Cemetery.

Sources:  Wauseon, Ohio. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wauseon,_Ohio (accessed October 30, 2017).

Dry goods. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dry_goods (accessed October 31, 2017).

Year: 1870; Census Place: Wauseon, Fulton, Ohio; Roll: M593_1202; Page: 57B; Family History Library Film: 552701. (Ancestry.com).

Jordan Dodd, Liahona Research. Ohio, Marriages, 1803-1900. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1880; Census Place: Wauseon, Fulton, Ohio; Roll: 1017; Family History Film: 1255017; Page: 173D; Enumeration District: 024. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1900; Census Place: Delta, Fulton, Ohio; Roll: 1270; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 0015; FHL microfilm: 1241270. (Ancestry.com).

Abigail R. Hull. Find A Grave Memorial# 9598090. Findagrave.com.

George W. Hull. Find A Grave Memorial# 9598085. Findagrave.com.