Addressograph Company, est. 1892

Museum Artifact: Addressograph Print Ribbon Tins, 1920s

Made by: The Addressograph Company, 915 W. Van Buren St., Chicago, IL

While the terrific 1920s ornamentation suggests something rare and precious, these small ribbon tins were more like the printer ink cartridges of their day; stacked in office storage rooms to keep a business’s addressograph machine up and running. What’s an addressograph, you ask? Why,

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,

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,

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,

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,

Empire Spice Mills MFG Co., est. 1937

Museum Artifact: Burma Brand Spices: Cinnamon Tin, c. 1940s

Made By: Empire Spice Mills Manufacturing Company, 917 S. Western Ave., Chicago, IL

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

Foley & Co., est. 1888

Museum Artifact: Foley Banner Salve, c. 1900

Made By: Foley & Co., 92 Ohio Street (845 W. Ohio St.), Chicago, IL

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

TinkerToy, est. 1914

Museum Artifact: TinkerToy Wonder Builder Set, 1929

Made By: The Toy Tinkers, Inc., 2012 Ridge Ave., Evanston, 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.

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.

O-Cedar Corp. & Channel Chemical Co., est. 1906

Museum Artifact: O-Cedar Solid Center Polish Mop No. 15, 1929

Made By: O-Cedar Corp. / Channel Chemical Co., 4501 S. Western Ave., Chicago, IL

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