Zeno MFG Co., est. 1890

Museum Artifact: Zeno Chewing Gum Coin-Op Vending Machine, 1908

Made By: Zeno MFG Co., 150-160 W. Van Buren St., Chicago, IL

It’s been more than 100 years since someone first dropped a penny into this porcelain-enameled steel vending machine, jonesing for a fresh stick of “elegant” Zeno chewing gum. By no coincidence, most awareness of the Zeno Manufacturing Company itself has long since been spat from the public consciousness and trampled over by time,

L. H. Thomas Co., est. 1863

Museum Artifact: Thomas Black Ink Paper Bottle and Price List, 1890s

Made By: L. H. Thomas Co., 7059 N. Clark Street and 921 Fulton Street, Chicago, IL

“In the considerable number of fountain pen inks on the market, none are more strongly intrenched among the trade’s ‘best sellers’ than the packages which bear the Black Cat trade mark of the L.

Chicago Hardware Foundry Co. & Harper Supply Co., est. 1897

Museum Artifact: Cast-Iron Dog Tray Nut Cracker, 1899

Made By: Harper Supply Co. (40 Dearborn St, Chicago) / Chicago Hardware Foundry Co. (2500 Commonwealth Ave., North Chicago, IL)

“It is a fact that the successful sale of any product is dependent upon the genuineness of the need for which it is manufactured.” —Earl P. Sedgwick, co-founder and president of the Chicago Hardware Foundry Company

While Mr.

C. Cretors & Co., est. 1885

Museum Artifacts: Cretors Popcorn Wagon Steam Engine, 1908, and Pop Corn Carton, 1920s

Made By: C. Cretors & Company, 600 W. Cermak Road, Chicago, IL

“Cretors’ Pop Corn is the most pleasing of any in the world. No other novelty gives such a degree of enjoyment and satisfaction for the money. Relished by all, young or old—rich and poor alike, during all seasons of the year—it wins instant success everywhere,

Scholl MFG Co., est. 1906

Museum Artifact: Scholl’s Arch Fitter, 1910

Made By: The Scholl MFG Co. / Dr. Scholl’s, 213 W. Schiller St., Chicago, IL

The rather intimidating metal clamping device pictured above was manufactured around 1910, and represents one of the earliest inventions of a young Chicago podiatrist turned entrepreneur named William Mathias Scholl.

Now wait a minute . . . Does this mean that the ubiquitous pharmacy icon “Dr.

A. B. Dick Company, est. 1884

Museum Artifact: Edison Rotary Mimeograph No. 75, c. 1905

Made by: A.B. Dick Company, 163 / 738 W Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL

Thomas Edison’s reputation has taken a few stiff punches to the gut in recent years, as the once canonized “Wizard of Menlo Park” has slowly given way to a somewhat less admirable character—one skilled at the arts of patent poaching and monopoly-building at the occasional expense of scientific fellowship.

Foley & Co., est. 1888

Museum Artifact: Foley Banner Salve, c. 1900

Made By: Foley & Co., 92 Ohio Street (845 W. Ohio St.), Chicago, IL

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

Halsey Brothers Co., est. 1871

Museum Artifacts: Amber Glass Apothecary Bottles, c. 1900

Made By: Halsey Brothers Co., 645 N. St. Clair St., Chicago, IL

Chicago brothers Clinton, Tappen, and George Halsey were all accomplished chemists and pharmacists. But from the founding of the first Halsey pharmacy in 1855 (at 94 LaSalle St.) straight on into the 20th century, their success was largely rooted in a very specific belief system.

Jaques MFG Co., est. 1890

Museum Artifact: K C Baking Powder 10 oz. Can, c. 1900s

Made By: Jaques MFG Co., 1601 S. Canal Street, Chicago, IL

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

Chicago Flexible Shaft Co., est. 1893

Museum Artifact: Hand Crank Sheep Shearing Machine, c. 1900

Made By: Chicago Flexible Shaft Co., LaSalle Ave. and Ontario St., Chicago, IL

Of all the businesses featured in the Made-In-Chicago Museum, you might not anticipate that the Chicago Flexible Shaft Company—founded in 1893 with a focus on hand-cranked sheep-shearers and horse clippers—would become the rock star of its graduating class. If you were manufacturing cumbersome,

Hanson Scale Company, est. 1888

Museum Artifact: Hanson No. 24 U.S. Family Scale, c. 1900

Made By: Hanson Bros. Scale Company, 427 W. Randolph St. / 525 N. Ada Street, Chicago IL

“Judging from the large increase in orders reported by the Hanson Bros. Manufacturing Company, 18-30 Randolph street, dealers and jobbers are finding the U.S. family scale a very profitable, quick-selling article to handle. The Hanson Brothers manufacture a high grade family scale,

J. P. Dieter Co., est. 1891

Museum Artifact: Crown Baking Powder Container, c. 1900s

Made By: The J.P. Dieter Company, 60 Waldo Place (Randolph and Desplaines St.), Chicago, IL

Unlike his Chicago contemporaries and rivals over at the Calumet Baking Powder Co., J.P. Dieter’s successful food products company didn’t survive long into the 20th century. This tin of Crown Baking Powder, however, still looks vibrant in its fire-hydrant-red more than 100 years after it was made.

Swedish-American Telephone Co., est. 1899

Museum Artifact: “Hercules” Telephone Box, c. 1908

Made By: Swedish-American Telephone Co., 5235 N. Ravenswood Ave., Chicago, IL

There aren’t a lot of Swedish things left in Chicago’s original Swedish neighborhood these days. In just the past few years, Andersonville has lost its beloved Swedish Bakery, along with Ann Sather’s restaurant, Erickson Jewelers, Erickson’s Deli (no relation), and even the old iconic neighborhood water tower—painted for decades in the blue and gold of the Motherland (a facsimile has since been installed).