Essanay Film MFG Co., est. 1907

Museum Artifact: Charlie Chaplin Collectible Postcard, Essanay No. 1 , 1915

Made By: Essanay Film MFG Co. / Essanay Studios, 1333 W. Argyle St., Chicago, IL

On a quiet, tree-lined street in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood, just north of the old St. Boniface Cemetery and around the corner from the Green Mill jazz club and the long-shuttered Uptown Theatre (once one of the world’s great movie palaces),

American Varnish Company, est. 1883

Museum Artifact: Floorene Varnish, c. 1910s

Made By: The American Varnish Co., 1138 N. Branch Street, Chicago, IL

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

U.S. Automatic Pencil Sharpener by APSCO, c. 1911

Automatic Pencil Sharpener Co., 35 Randolph Street., Chicago, IL

While it was initially distributed out of New York City, the U.S. Automatic Pencil Sharpener was actually designed and patented by a Chicago inventor named Essington N. Gilfillan (first patent date, 1906). And after a few short years, it would return home, becoming the first marquee product of the Chicago-based Automatic Pencil Sharpener Company (aka APSCO) under the banner of the Spengler-Loomis Co.

Wm. E. Pratt MFG Co., est. 1893

Museum Artifact: “Little Giant” Ratcheting Screw Jack, c. 1917

Made By: William E. Pratt Manufacturing Co., 35 W. Lake St., & 190 N. State St., Chicago, IL , Foundry in Joliet, IL

On the great Venn diagram of Chicago industry, at the sliver-sized intersection of Model T Fords, decoy ducks, and the atomic bomb, you can find the unique domain of the Wm.

Schulze Baking Company, est. 1893

Museum Artifact: Dainty Luxury Bread Sign, c. 1916

Made By: Schulze Baking Co. / Schulze Advertising Service, 40 E. Garfield Blvd., Chicago, IL

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

 

Rand McNally & Co., est. 1856

Museum Artifact: Rand McNally & Co.’s New Street Number Guide & Complete City Railway Directory of Chicago (w/ Foldout Map), 1914

Made By: Rand McNally & Company, 536 S. Clark Street, Chicago, IL

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

M.A. Donohue & Co., est. 1861

Museum Artifact: Vitalogy: Encyclopedia of Health & Home, 1919

Made By: M. A. Donohue & Co., Donohue Building – 711 S. Dearborn St., Chicago, IL

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

Columbia Medallion Studios, est. 1888

Museum Artifact: Tintype Photo Medallion of Child, c. 1910s

Made By: Columbia Medallion Studios / Columbia Portrait Co., 6616-6620 South Cottage Grove Ave., Chicago, IL

“Don’t Let Memories Grow Dim!” That tagline from a 1919 advertisement for Columbia Medallion Studios takes on a whole new context now that it’s appearing within a hazy retrospective on the memory-saving studio itself. Who preserves the preservers?!

E.H. Sargent & Co., est. 1852

Museum Artifact: Sargent Metal Clamp, c. 1910s

Made By: E.H. Sargent and Company, 165 E. Superior St., Chicago, IL

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

Ingento No. 7 Paper Cutter by Burke & James Inc., c. 1920s

Burke & James, Inc., 240-258 E. Ontario St., Chicago, IL

The Ingento No. 7 was Burke & James’ custom-made guillotine / trimming board for 5×7″ photographic prints. The “Ingento” brand, like the “Rexo” and others, was used liberally across a lot of the Burke & James product lines, including some of the actual cameras themselves. As the advertisement below indicates, there were at least seven other Ingento paper cutters by 1919,

Illinois Bronze Powder & Paint Co., est. 1906

Museum Artifact: Decorative Bronzing Liquid, c. 1910s

Made By: Illinois Bronze Powder Co., 162 W. Randolph St., Chicago, IL

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

Oliver Typewriter No. 5 by Oliver Typewriter Co., c. 1910

Oliver Typewriter Company, 159 N. Dearborn St., Chicago, IL. Factory: Woodstock, IL

“The Oliver Typewriter No. 5, which is now being placed on the market, is the ‘last word’ in typewriters—a Symphony in Steel. It is scientific in principle, flawless in construction, accurate in adjustment, splendidly efficient in operation.”—Oliver Typewriter Co. catalog, 1908

Produced between 1907 and 1914, the Oliver No. 5 was also the last offering from Thomas Oliver himself,

The Cable Piano Company, est. 1880

Museum Artifact: “One Hundred and One Best Songs” Songbooks, 1910s

Made By: Cable Piano Company, 57 E. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL

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