Reliable Paste Company, est. 1917

Museum Artifact: Reliable Cold Water Wall Size Paste, c. 1950s

Made By: Reliable Paste Company, 3560 S. Shields Ave., Chicago, IL

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

Hibbard, Spencer, Bartlett & Co., est. 1855

Museum Artifact: OVB No. 2 Kerosene Lantern, c. 1920s

Made By: Hibbard Spencer Bartlett & Co., 211 E. North Water Street

“Hardware seems to those who sell it to be more human than any other kind of business.” That’s how journalist Fred C. Kelly sized up the stock and trade of Hibbard, Spencer & Bartlett in 1930, on the occasion of the wholesale company’s 75th anniversary.

Associated Silver Co., est. 1904

 

Museum Artifact: Yourex “Silver Saver” Tarnish Remover, c. 1920s

Made By: Associated Silver Co., 4450 N. Ravenswood Ave., Chicago, IL

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

American Metal Ware Co., est. 1883

Museum Artifact: Electric Hot Water Urn, 1920s

Made by: American Metal Ware Co., 368 W. Huron St., Chicago, IL

It’s 18 inches tall, has a 6-pint fill capacity, and looks like a leftover evil robot prop from a low budget sci-fi movie. Rest assured, though, the “American” hot water urn is not to be feared. In fact, you might consider it the patriotic,

Crane Company, est. 1855

Museum Artifact: Crane Co. 75th Anniversary Coin ft. R. T. Crane, 1930

Made By: Crane Company, 4100 S. Kedzie Ave., Chicago, IL

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

Vaughan Novelty MFG Co., est. 1910

Museum Artifact: Fox Deluxe Beer Bottle Openers, 1940s

Made By: Vaughan Novelty MFG Co., 3211 W. Carroll Ave., Chicago, IL

The beer bottle and the bottle opener—a vital symbiotic relationship that’s been mildly inconveniencing mankind for generations. No one ever knows exactly where their bottle opener is at any given moment, nor where it came from in the first place. It used to be on your keychain,

Case-Moody Pie Corp., est. 1929

Museum Artifact: Case-Moody Pie Pans, c. 1940s

Made By: Case-Moody Pie Corporation, 1807 W. Walnut Street, Chicago, IL

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

A.L. Hansen MFG Company, est. 1920

Museum Artifact: Hansen Tacker / Stapler, c. 1940s

Made by: A. L. Hansen MFG Co., 5037 N. Ravenswood Ave., Chicago, IL

The vintage Hansen Tacker pictured above looks and functions much like the manual staple guns of today—it’s spring-loaded, uses tough wire staples (also made by Hansen), and has an upturned squeeze-trigger handle for one-handed efficiency. It was used for the same sorts of handyman tasks,

W. D. Allen MFG Co., est. 1887

Museum Artifact: Allen Red Arrow Lawn Sprinkler, 1930s

Made By: W. D. Allen MFG Co., 5650 W. Roosevelt Rd., Chicago, IL , offices at 566 W. Lake Street

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

Page Boiler Company, est. 1905

Museum Artifact: Chicago Stadium Boiler Room Blueprint, c. 1940s

Made By: Page Boiler Company, 815-819 W. Webster Avenue, Chicago, IL

In 2015, the Page Boiler Company shut down its last Chicago plant at 2348 N. Damen Avenue in Bucktown, and I guess I can say I attended the funeral.

After 110 years of designing, building, installing and repairing the finest water-tube boilers in the Midwest,

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,

Chicago Electric MFG Co., est. 1902

Museum Artifact: Sterling Desk Fan, c. 1940

Made By: Chicago Electric MFG, Co., 6333 W. 65th Street., Chicago, IL

Some time in the early 1970s, the singer/songwriter Gram Parsons—pioneer of the genre later known as “alternative country”—was hanging out with his buddy Keith Richards, talking about song ideas.

“I’ve been writing about a guy that builds cars,” Parsons said—this according to Richards’ own account in his 2010 memoir,