Chapman & Smith Company, Chicago, Illinois


Advertisement for Chapman & Smith Co., Chicago, Illinois. Circa 1878 – 1890s.

Price:  $15.00             Size:  6 x 5 and 7/8″

This is something someone must have cut out of a newspaper, magazine, maybe a city directory or maybe even the company’s catalog, and glued onto cardboard, unless possibly the company was giving away rather large trade cards? This drawing is 5 and 7/8 inches high and 6 inches long. The purple background was used when the ad was scanned, and not part of the original. Anyway, it shows a drawing of the building for the Chapman & Smith Company. According to their 1899 catalog, they were established in 1878 and incorporated in 1887. The same 1899 catalog stated they sold,   “All kinds of supplies for bakers, confectioners, ice cream makers, caterers, hotels, restaurants, etc.” and were the “Pioneer Supply House of the West.”  This catalog is online (text only) and is a fascinating look back at what was available and popular at the turn of the 19th century in the world of baking. Here are some examples:

Candy crimpers, popcorn ball presses, Stone’s wax straws, julep strainers, cleaned currants from Greece, cleaned again by Chapman & Smith (the absolute cleanest – no dirt!) Turban cake molds, a Maricabo Coffee or Tea Urn (which contained a stone reservoir and lid to keep in the essence and flavor), Quaker bread pans, Boston Brown Bread flour and pans, Hick’s buttercup cutters, New England brand jam, Chapman and Smith jams and marmalade (blueberry, fig plum, pineapple…), all kinds of nuts (English, Grenoble and French walnuts, Canary almonds…), extra fine sugar jelly, New Orleans molasses, Acme (yes, Acme!) lemon squeezers, Jamaican and African ginger, Dutch caraway, etc.

The address for Chapman & Smith from the 1899 catalog is given as:  185-187 W. Randolph St., Chicago, IL but they moved at some point in or before 1910, to 1017 W. Washington Blvd., Chicago, IL, since at the new address in 1910 they were granted the right by the Chicago City Council to construct and maintain a canopy over their sidewalk. This drawing was definitely of the 185-187 Randolph St. address, as you’ll notice the street numbers before and after their name on the front of the building.

Sources:  Internet Archive ( showing the full catalog text.

Journal of the Proceedings of the City Council – Issue 1 – page 1644. Chicago 1910.