Baby Calculator Company, est. 1923

Museum Artifact: Baby Calculator, c. 1928

Made By: Baby Calculator Sales Co. / Calculator Machine Company, 123 W. Madison St., Chicago, IL

“So simple in operation a child can use it. Every man and woman will find it a boon in business, at home, or anywhere that figures are used for any purpose. You need not be an expert accountant or scholar—let the Baby Calculator do the work—speedily and accurately.”

Eugene Dietzgen Co., est. 1885

Museum Artifact: No. 2745 Handy Pen-Filling Ink Stand, c. 1930

Made By: Eugene Dietzgen Co., 990 W. Fullerton Ave., Chicago, IL

“Wherever Dietzgen products go, something important is always brewing. It may be in a little office in some huge factory where a new high-altitude plane is being born on the drawing board. It may be in far-off Africa where new flying fields or military highways are to take shape amid burning sands for a new turn in war strategy.

DeVry Corporation, est. 1913

Museum Artifact: DeVry 16mm Movie Camera, 1929

Made By: DeVry Corp. / QRS-DeVry Corp., 1111 W. Armitage Ave., Chicago, IL

“For three decades, Dr. Herman A. DeVry—the man who conceived the idea of projector portability—made a succession of engineering contributions to the progress of visual education that won him a place with Thomas A. Edison and George Eastman on the Honor Roll of the Society of Motion Picture Engineers.” —DeVry Corp.

Airguide Instrument Co., est. 1930

Museum Artifact: Airguide “Highlander” Wall Barometer and No. 36 Field Glasses, c. 1948

Made by: Airguide Instrument Co. / Fee & Stemwedel, Inc, 2210 W. Wabansia Ave.

“Into every Airguide instrument go the finest of materials, the painstaking care of skillful workers, and the thorough inspection of an exacting laboratory. No instrument leaves the factory until it has proved its dependability under conditions more severe than those actually encountered throughout the year.

G. Felsenthal & Sons, est. 1898

Museum Artifact: Altitude Correction Computer, c. 1945

Made By: G. Felsenthal & Sons, 4100 W. Grand Ave., Chicago, IL

“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,

S&C Electric Company, est. 1911

Museum Artifact: SM-4 Power Fuse Refill Unit, 1960s

Made By: S&C Electric Co., 6601 N. Ridge Blvd., Chicago, IL

In 2012, shortly after Chicago’s S&C Electric Company marked its 100th anniversary, the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) awarded the business special recognition for one of the “milestone” achievements in electrical engineering history—the 1909 invention of the liquid power fuse. During a special dedication ceremony at S&C’s Rogers Park headquarters,

Kawin & Company, est. 1890

Museum Artifact: Stereoscope w/ “World Series” Stereoview Cards c. 1905

Made By: Kawin & Company, 90 Wabash Ave., Chicago, IL

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

Denoyer-Geppert Company, est. 1916

Museum Artifact: Denoyer-Geppert Cartocraft Globe, 1938

Made By: Denoyer-Geppert Company, 5235 N. Ravenswood Ave., Chicago, IL

“You now have one of the best globes made,” L.P. Denoyer wrote in the preface to his 1931 guide book, A Teacher’s Manual for Cartocraft Globes, “but we are not satisfied with simply having made the sale, for we want you to get the greatest possible value from your purchase.”

Well,

Felt & Tarrant MFG Co. / Comptometer, est. 1887

Museum Artifact: Comptometer Calculating Machine, Model H, 1920s

Made by: Felt & Tarrant Manufacturing Company, 1733 N. Paulina St., Chicago, IL

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

Crane Company, est. 1855

Museum Artifact: Crane 1/2″ No 1204 Brass Globe Valve, c. 1940s

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.

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,

W. M. Welch Scientific Company, est. 1906

Museum Artifact: Bakelite Galvanometer, 1960s

Made By: W. M. Welch Scientific Co., 1515 N. Sedgwick St., Chicago, IL

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

The Detect-O-Ray Company, est. 1940

Museum Artifact: Detect-O-Ray Photo-Electric Switch, 1940s

Made By: Detect-O-Ray Company, 2622 N. Halsted St., Chicago, IL

Its name sounds like a comic-book doomsday device and it looks more than a little like an evil robot owl, but sadly, the Detect-O-Ray is neither one of those things. In fact, this intimidating technological marvel of the World War II era was briefly marketed—of all places—in the pages of the F.A.O.

Victor X-Ray Corporation, est. 1893

Museum Artifact: Victor Interval Timer, 1920s

Made By: Victor X-Ray Corporation, 2012 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL

As company names go, the word “Victor” is so ubiquitous—particularly in early 20th century circles—that it basically cancels out the concept of brand recognition. The most famous Victor of the era, the Victor Talking Machine Company of New Jersey (est. 1901), was at least smart enough to distinguish itself with an iconic logo—“His Master’s Voice”

Victor Adding Machine Co., est. 1918

Museum Artifact: Victor Adding Machine – 600 Series, c. 1939

Made By: Victor Adding Machine Company, 3900 N. Rockwell St., Chicago, IL

The story of the Victor Adding Machine begins—ironically enough—with a miscalculation. Or at least, a misunderstanding. Some might even go as far as to call it a bamboozling.

In the summer of 1918, according to lore, a salesman came to the door of the Buehler Bros.

Union Publishing House, est. 1880s

Museum Artifact: The Fireside University Book of Modern Invention, Discovery, Industry and Art, 1902

Made By: Union Publishing House, 540 S. Dearborn St., Chicago, IL

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

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.

Jas. P. Marsh Corp., est. 1880s

Museum Artifact: Marsh Pressure Gauge, c. 1940s

Made By: Jas. P. Marsh Corporation, 2073 N. Southport Ave., Chicago, IL

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