1920s

Museum Artifact: Metal Roller Skates, c. 1920s

Made By: Chicago Roller Skate Company, 4458 W. Lake St., Chicago, IL [West Garfield Park]

"They used to call him 'Slow-Poke' when he had those old-fashioned, slow, hard-rolling skates. But, Oh Boy! On 'Chicagos' he whizzes to the lead like a flash. 'Chicagos,' the Choice of Champions, have established more World's Records than all others, yet cost les...

Museum Artifacts: TootsieToy Die-Cast Cars: No. 4655 Ford Model A Coupe and No. 4629 Sedan, c. 1928

Made By: Dowst Brothers / Dowst Manufacturing Co., 4537 W. Fulton St., Chicago, IL [West Garfield Park]

Chicago-based brothers Charles and Samuel Dowst were arguably as foundational to the toy car industry as Henry Ford was to the real thing. It was work on a significantly smaller scale, obviously,...

Museum Artifact: Indestro Bottle Capper, 1920s

Made By: Indestro MFG Co., 3429 W. 47th St. [Central MFG District] / Duro Metal Products, 2649 N. Kildare Ave. [Hermosa]

When Gertrude McNaught Odlum died in 1992, aged 96, she was widely remembered as an award-winning breeder of dairy cows, owning a pair of multi-million dollar farms in the Chicago suburbs ("Rolling Acres" and "Odlum Farm"). Far less...

Museum Artifact: Cast Iron Locomotive No. 3195, c. 1930

Made by: American Flyer MFG Co., 2229 S. Halsted St., Chicago, IL [Pilsen]

There’s something inherently sad about a solitary steam engine—even a toy one. With no tender, it has no imaginary fuel, and with no boxcars, it serves no imaginary purpose. Our particular locomotive doesn’t even have a lonesome whistle to blow. Still, if we're talking...

Museum Artifact: Silver Coffee Pot (Sheridan Plaza Hotel), 1920s

Made by: Albert Pick & Company, 1200 W. 35th Street, Chicago, IL [Bridgeport]

“The Sheridan-Plaza Hotel Cafeteria operates from 8 o’clock in the morning until 12 o’clock at night and is always busy. The management of the Sheridan-Plaza, having made thorough study of conditions in the surrounding neighborhood, knew that a cafeteria op...

Museum Artifacts: (1) "U.S. Automatic" Pencil Sharpener, 1908; (1) "Giant," (1) 'Gem," (2) "Chicago" (1920s), and (4) "Dexter" sharpeners, 1930s

Made By: Automatic Pencil Sharpener Co. / Spengler-Loomis MFG Co., 58 E. Washington St., Chicago, IL [Downtown/The Loop]. Factory: 2415 Kishwaukee Street, Rockford, IL.

For many of us, the sight of an old desk-mounted, mechanical pencil sharpener brin...

Museum Artifact: Oliver Typewriter No. 9, model year: 1917

Made By: Oliver Typewriter Co., 159 N. Dearborn St., Chicago, IL / Factory: Woodstock, IL

"Simplicity, durability, speed, manifolding power, and visible writing are conceded to be the five great essentials in a typewriting machine. We present to the public THE OLIVER as the most striking embodiment of these features, and the most radical d...

Museum Artifact: Addressograph Print Ribbon Tins, 1920s

Made by: The Addressograph Company, 915 W. Van Buren St., Chicago, IL [West Loop]

While the terrific 1920s ornamentation suggests something rare and precious, these small ribbon tins were more like the printer ink cartridges of their day; stacked in office storage rooms to keep a business’s addressograph machine up and running. What's an addr...

Museum Artifact: Industrial Signal Horn Siren, c. 1920

Made By: Benjamin Electric MFG Co., 120-130 S. Sangamon St., Chicago, IL [West Loop] and Des Plaines, IL

Research is underway on this one and a full write-up will be coming soon.

Museum Artifacts: Bunte "Fine Confections, "Diana," "Stuft" and "World Famous Candies" Tins by Bunte Brothers, 1910s-1930s

Made By: Bunte Brothers Candy, 3301 W. Franklin Blvd., Chicago, IL [Humboldt Park]

Which industry best exemplified the spirit of Chicago at its manufacturing zenith? The steel mills? The Union Stock Yards? The railroads? Architecture?

Nope. It was definitely candy—sweet, delect...

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