Calumet Baking Powder Company, est. 1889

Museum Artifact: Calumet Baking Powder Tin, c. 1913

Made By: Calumet Baking Powder Co., 4100 W Fillmore St., Chicago, IL

This five-pound canister of Calumet Baking Powder might seem like a cute artifact from a old-timey diner or a small town general store, but make no mistake, you’re looking at a relic from a war . . . the Baking Powder War.

Dad’s Root Beer Co., est. 1937

Museum Artifact: Unopened Dad’s Root Beer “Mama” Bottle, 1960s

Made By: Dad’s Root Beer Co., 2800 N. Talman Avenue, Chicago, IL

“It’s a completely new idea! Genuine draft root beer in bottles!”

When Dad’s Root Beer creators Ely Klapman and Barney Berns rolled out their first big national ad campaign in 1941, they did so with an immediate contradiction in terms—a “completely new” thing was also promoted as the “old fashioned” root beer.

DeMet’s Inc., est. 1898

Museum Artifact: Turtles Candy Tin, c. 1960s

Made By: DeMet’s, Inc., 177 N. Franklin St., Chicago, IL

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

Helene Curtis Industries, est. 1927

Museum Artifact: Helene Curtis “Duchess Machineless Oil Wave,” c. 1940s

Made By: Helene Curtis Industries, div. of National Mineral Company, 505 N. Sacramento Blvd. / 4401 W. North Ave., Chicago, IL

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

Filbert’s Root Beer & Bottling Co., est. 1926

Museum Artifact: Filbert’s Old Time Root Beer Bottles, c. 1965-1975

Made By: Filbert’s Root Beer & Bottling Co., 3033 S. Archer Ave., Chicago, IL

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

Quaker Oats Company, est. 1877

Museum Artifact: Cardboard cans of Quick Mother’s Oats, Quaker Rolled White Oats, and Quaker Best Yellow Corn Meal, c. 1920s

Made By: The Quaker Oats Company, 80 E. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL

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

Wander Company (US), est. 1917

Museum Artifact: Ovaltine “Food Beverage” Tin, 1921

Made By: The Wander Company, 37 S. Wabash Ave. (HQ), Factory at 1 Ovaltine Court, Villa Park

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

The Cracker Jack Co., est. 1871

Museum Artifact: Cracker Jack Cocoanut Corn Crisp Tin, c. 1930

Made By: The Cracker Jack Company, 4800 W. 66th Street, Chicago, IL

“You can eat as much as you like!” That’s how the Cracker Jack Company marketed its new Cocoanut Corn Crisp to America in 1928, assuring all snackers that these “luscious lumps of goodness” were “healthful, pure, and wholesome.” Not being a doctor or nutritionist,

Sure Seal Products Co., est. 1949

Museum Artifact: Lichten’s Sure Seal Products “Lick Rust” Can, c. 1952

Made By: Lichten Company / Sure Seal Products Co., 1210 N. Hoyne Ave., Chicago, IL

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

Bunte Brothers, est. 1876

Museum Artifacts: Bunte “Fine Confections, “Diana,” “Stuft” and “World Famous Candies” Tins by Bunte Brothers, 1910s-1930s

Made By: Bunte Brothers Candy, 3301 W. Franklin Blvd., Chicago, IL

Which industry best exemplified the spirit of Chicago at its manufacturing zenith? The steel mills? The Union Stock Yards? The railroads? Architecture?

Nope. It was definitely candy—sweet, delectable, teeth-rotting candy.

For the thousands of Chicago factory workers employed in the confectionery trade,

Abbott Laboratories, est. 1888

Museum Artifact: Menthol Pill Bottle, c. 1910s

Made by: Abbott Labs / Abbott Alkaloidal Co., 4753 N. Ravenswood Ave., Chicago, IL

Established during the “Wild West” era of the pharmaceutical industry—when everybody and their brother seemed to have a cure-all potion to peddle—Chicago’s Abbott Alkaloidal Company managed to strike a unique, calculated balance between carnival-barker salesmanship and scientific legitimacy. As a result, even as hundreds of other early drug companies were vanquished during the quackery purges of the 20th century,

Grossman MFG Co., est. 1914

Museum Artifact: Universal Polish Mop, 1920s

Made By: Grossman MFG Co. / Western Steel & Chemical Co., Inc., 4000 S. Cottage Grove Ave., Chicago, IL

No it’s not a Polish mop as “in the style of Poland,” but ’tis instead a polish mop, as in to clean and polish one’s floors. Pre-treated cedar oil mops were routinely sold in tins like this one during the early 20th century,

Libby, McNeill & Libby, est. 1869

Museum Artifact: Libby’s Canned Foods Store Display, 1923

Made By: Libby, McNeill & Libby, 13636 South Western Avenue, Blue Island, IL

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

J. F. Kerns Company, est. 1951

Museum Artifact: Liquisan Paint and Varnish Stripper, 1950s

Made By: J. F. Kerns Company, 350 W. Ontario Street, Chicago, IL

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

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.

The Standard Brewery, est. 1892

Museum Artifact: Standard Brewery “OaKay” Export Beer Bottle, c. 1910

Made By: The Standard Brewery, W . Roosevelt Rd. and S. Campbell Ave., Chicago, IL

It might seem like we’re currently living in the golden era of the regional micro-brewery, what with upwards of 3,000 “craft beer” producers now in operation in the U.S., and about 70 inside the Chicago city limits alone. The “brew-pub” phenomenon,

Orange Crush Co., est. 1911

Museum Artifact: 8-Pack of Orange Crush (with 6 Glass Bottles), c. 1965

Made By: Crush International, Inc. / Orange Crush Company, 2201 Main Street, Evanston, IL

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

Steven’s Candy Kitchens, est. 1921

Museum Artifact: Mrs. Steven’s Candies Tin, c. 1930s

Made By: Steven Candy Kitchens, Inc., 481 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, IL

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

Gunk Laboratories, Inc., est. 1959

Museum Artifact: Gunk S-C Degreaser Can, c. 1960s

Made By: Gunk Laboratories, Inc. / Gunk Chicago Co., 5829 W. 66th Street, Chicago, IL

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

Rival Packing Co., est. 1923

Museum Artifact: Rival Dog Food Coin Banks, 1950s

Made By: Rival Packing Co., 4500 S. Tripp Ave., Chicago, IL

Gimme Ri-val Dog Food, Arf Arf, Arf Arf!
Gimme Ri-val Dog Food, Woof Woof, Woof Woof!
Your Dog’s Eyes Will Shine—Coat Look Fine
On Nourishing Ri-val Dog Food,