1940s


Museum Artifact: Gateway Junior Model NP-1 Sewing Machine, c. 1950

Made By: Gateway Engineering Company / Gateway Erectors, Inc., 233 W. Grand Ave., Chicago, IL [Humboldt Park]

“The Toy Sewing Machine that really sews!” —1948 advertisement for the Gateway Junior Model

Produced only for a short time from the late 1940s into the 1950s, the Gateway line of toy sewing machines represents a case study...

Museum Artifact: Florsheim Ladies Shoes, c. 1940s

Made By: Florsheim Shoe Company, 3963 W. Belmont Ave. [Avondale] and 130 S. Canal Street [Downtown / The Loop], Chicago, IL

“I have always attributed our success to three essentials: a good shoe, an efficient organization, and advertising—always keeping in mind that our shoe measured up to everything that we said in our advertising.” —Milton S. Flo...

Museum Artifact: Revere 88 Movie Camera, 1940s

Made By: Revere Camera Company, 320 E. 21st St., Chicago, IL [Near South Side]

"The Revere takes the clearest and steadiest home movies you have ever seen. Its advanced design (pocket size), its exclusive automatic film-threading sprocket, five speeds (including slow motion), precision construction, and many other proven features make Revere the outst...

Museum Artifact: J. W. Allen Baking Supply Pail, c. 1940s

Made By: J. W. Allen & Co., 110 N. Peoria St., Chicago, IL [West Loop]

“Our building in Chicago has come to be known as the acknowledged ‘Bakers’ Headquarters.’ We carry in stock and ready for immediate delivery practically everything required for the Baking Industry. This assures our customers with dependable service.” —J. W. Allen & Co. a...

Museum Artifacts: Citation Beaver Quality Fedora, c. 1950s, and Mid City Khaki Garrison Cap, 1948

Made By: Citation Hat Corp. / Mid City Uniform Cap Company, 2330 W. Cermak Rd., Chicago, IL [Lower West Side]

“I hate like hell to praise myself, but at the same time I cannot go away from the truth.” —Harry Lev

In the summer of 1955, Harry “The Hat” Lev—53 year-old owner of the Citation Hat Company, M...

Museum Artifact: Altitude Correction Computer, c. 1945

Made By: G. Felsenthal & Sons, 4100 W. Grand Ave., Chicago, IL [Humboldt Park]

“No sign posts on the mountains . . . no concrete highways in the soup . . . no rocky peak so kind it steps aside to let a plane go by. Yet, with the navigational instruments precision made by Felsenthal, in Felsenthal Plastics, Army Airmen fly the toughest country...

Museum Artifact: 25 LB Kitchen Scale, c. 1950s

Made by: American Family Scale Co., 515 S. Laflin St., Chicago, IL [University Village]

A television metaphor might not be entirely apropos for the time period, but when the American Family Scale Company was established in 1928, it was essentially a  “spin-off” of Chicago's venerable American Cutlery Company. In fact, all the classic hallmarks of a TV...

Museum Artifact: Ribbonette Ribbon Spool Dispenser, c. 1940s

Made By: Chicago Printed String Co., 2300 W. Logan Blvd, Chicago, IL [Logan Square]

"In the decorative wrapping and ribbon business, you can't find any larger than Chicago Printed String." —Chicago Tribune, August 5, 1960

While the name would certainly suggest a homegrown original, the Chicago Printed String Company could actually trace...

Museum Artifact: American 3 Vees Bird Nesting, c. 1940s

Made by: American Bird Products, Inc., 2610 W. 25th Place, Chicago, IL [Little Village]

Starting with the pet canary craze of the ‘20s and ‘30s up through the post-war budgie boom, Chicago’s American Bird Products, Inc. (aka the American Bird Food MFG Co. and American Bird Corp.) established a nice niche for itself—evolving from a mere seed s...

Museum Artifact: Hand Painted Baseball Figurine, 1940s

Made By: Electric Corp. of America / ECA Toys, Inc. / ECA MFG Co., 2518 W. Montrose Ave., Chicago, IL [Ravenswood]

Dating from the early 1940s, our sleepy ceramic Little Leaguer here was produced a few years after the first Hummel figurines hit the U.S. market, making him a sort of hyper-Americanized, wartime knockoff of those popular German co...

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Chicago Mail Order Co.

Chicago Printed String Co.

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Chicago Specialty MFG Co.

Chicago Telephone Supply Co.

Citation Hat Co.

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Clipper Products Co.

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Compco Corp.

Cracker Jack Company

Crane Company

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Curtiss Candy Co.

D.B. Fisk & Co.

Dad's Root Beer Co.

Damon MFG Co.

Denoyer-Geppert Co.

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Ditto Incorporated

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E.C. DeWitt & Co., Inc.

E.H. Sargent & Co.

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Electric Corp. of America

Elgin National Watch Co.

Empire Spice Mills

Essanay Film Mfg. Co.

Eugene Dietzgen Co.

Excel Projector Corp.

F.B. Redington Co.

F.H. Smith MFG Co.

F.W. Planert & Sons

Fidelitone Inc.

Fitzpatrick Bros.

Flavour Candy Co.

Florsheim Shoe Company

Foley & Co.

G. Felsenthal & Sons

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Geo. B. Carpenter Co.

Geo. W. Diener MFG Co.

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Harmony Company

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Hump Hair Pin MFG Co.

Illinois Bronze Powder Co.

Illinois Cosmetics Co.

Indestro MFG Co.

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Jas. P. Marsh Corp.

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Johnson Publishing Co.

Kelling Nut Company

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Langson MFG Co.

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Northwestern Beverage Co.

O-Cedar Corp.

Oliver Typewriter Co.

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Peter Hand Brewing Co.

Playskool MFG Co.

Princess Pat Ltd.

QRS Music Company

Radio Flyer

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Reed Candy Company

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Reid, Murdoch & Co.

Reliable Paste Co.

Replogle Globes, Inc.

Revere Camera Company

Rival Packing Co.

Rock-Ola MFG Corp.

S&C Electric Co.

Sanford Ink Company

Scholl MFG Co.

Schulze Baking Company

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Shotwell MFG Co.

Shure Brothers, Inc.

Signode Steel Strapping Co.

Simoniz Company

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Slingerland Drum Company

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Sprague, Warner & Co.

Standard Brewery

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Stenographic Machines, Inc.

Stewart-Warner Corp.

Stone Medicine Co.

Sunbeam Corp.

Swanberg MFG Co.

Swedish-American Telephone Co.

T.C. Gleason MFG Co.

TootsieToy

Triner Scale & MFG Co.

Turner Brass Works

Turtle Wax Inc.

U-C Lite MFG Co.

Union Publishing House

United Razor Blade Corp.

Universal Medicine Co.

Vail MFG Co.

Val-A Company

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Van Cleef Brothers

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Victor X-Ray Corporation

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Wm. Meyer Co.

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Woodstock Typewriter Company

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Zeno MFG Co.

 

 

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