Chicago Flexible Shaft Co., est. 1893

Museum Artifacts: Chicago Clipper (c. 1902), Stewart Clipper (c. 1910), Stewart Carriage Heater (c. 1908), and Rain King Sprinkler (c. 1920)

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

Don’t be fooled by the rusty and rustic-looking artifacts pictured above. When the Chicago Flexible Shaft Company introduced its line of hand-cranked horse clippers and sheep shearers at the end of the 19th century,

Foley & Co., est. 1888

Museum Artifact: Foley Banner Salve, c. 1900s

Made By: Foley & Co., 319-333 W. Ohio St., Chicago, IL

John Burton Foley was one the many opportunistic men of the Gilded Age to find his fortune in proprietary medicines; aka, patent drugs—the “cure-alls” that required no scientific substantiation to sell to the public. The Made In Chicago Museum has tracked several similar quackery kingpins from this same era,

W. F. McLaughlin & Co., est. 1852

Museum Artifact: McLaughlin’s Imperial Mocha & Java Coffee Tin, c. 1900s, + 19 McLaughlin XXXX Coffee Trade Cards, 1890s

Made By: W. F. McLaughlin & Co., State Street and South Water Street., Chicago, IL

“Tastes Good—Always. You get the extra good quality in this coffee because it is imported direct and sold direct to retail dealers by W. F. McLaughlin & Co., the largest exclusive coffee roasters in the world.”

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.

Schoenhofen Brewing Co., est. 1861

Museum Artifact: Edelweiss Maltine Bottle, c. 1900s

Made By: The Peter Schoenhofen Brewing Company, Canalport Avenue & West 18th Street, 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.

Sears, Roebuck & Co., est. 1893

Museum Artifact: “A Trip Through Sears Roebuck & Co.” – Set of 50 Stereoview Photo Cards, c. 1908

Made By: Sears, Roebuck & Company, 925 S. Homan Avenue, Chicago, IL

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

 

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.

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.