MacLaren’s Imperial Cheese

 

The first successfully marketed soft cheese, MacLaren’s Imperial, was introduced to the market sometime in late 1891 or early 1892 by Canadian born Alexander F. MacLaren.

According to his April, 1917 obituary he:

originated the method of marketing soft cheese, resulting in the establishment of an important branch of the trade. The new idea brought him fame and fortune, gaining him the presidency of the Western Ontario Dairy Association and the familiar title of “Cheese King of Canada.”

An August 15, 1892 Hudson Bay Company advertisement described his Imperial Cheese like this:

“MacLaren’s Imperial” is a creamy, nutty, full-flavored Canadian cheese, put up in 1/2-lb. to 3-lb. glass jars; it is made in Stratford, Ont.

Acquired by Kraft in the early 1920’s, the brand has survived to this day.

MacLaren was a successful businessman who throughout his career was involved in over 40 corporations. Also a seasoned politician, he served in the Canadian parliament from 1896 to 1908. That being said, a feature on MacLaren published in an 1896 publication called “Farming,”  recounted his early years and made it clear that first and foremost he was a dairyman.

When a child he had the advantage of a year or two of schooling at a rural public school; but he had to begin to earn his own living at the early age of nine years. He worked on a farm until he was seventeen years of age, and then he entered the Fullerton Cheese Factory to learn cheesemaking. He followed this business for several years, and then he began to buy cheese. He first bought for Thomas Ballantyne & Co., of Stratford; then for J. L. Grant & Co., of Ingersoll; then for the Ingersoll Packing Company.

According to the 1903 edition of the “Newspaper Reference Book of Canada,” in 1891 he established his own business buying cheese, and a year later began the manufacture of Maclaren’s Imperial Cheese. A May 4, 1893 article published in Ontario, Canada’s “Windsor Star” picks up the story from there.

He operated out first in the Forester’s block, Stratford, where he thought probably he would be able to get along for the first year. He had not been started more than six months when he had so many orders on hand that he was compelled to move into new and more commodious quarters, where of course he had to employ extra help and further increase the capacity of his factory but still the business keeps on increasing, until he now finds in order to do an even greater business, he must move to a place that will give him the very best shipping facilities, such a place he has in this city and he has decided to move the entire plant up here at once.

MacLaren’s stay in Windsor was short-lived and within a year, on April 17, 1894, he announced that the company was moving again, this time to what would become their long time home in Toronto. Once again the “Windsor Star” told the story.

A.F. MacLaren will move his cheese business to Toronto on May 1st. The firm will be known as A. F. MacLaren & Co., and will manufacture the Imperial Cheese on a much larger scale than was attempted heretofore.

Mr. MacLaren does not complain at the business he has done from this point, as his business doubled since coming here. Windsor is not central enough for his Canadian trade and the profits are largely eaten up in freights.

In his removal from this city Windsor will lose one of its best citizens.

The Toronto business was listed in the directories with an address of 51 Colburne (1895 to 1914) and later 69 Front (1915 to 1920). It initially operated under the name A. F. MacLaren & Co., with MacLaren, along with Henry Wright named as the  proprietors.

Wright, a manufacturer’s agent, was also listed in the directories as the proprietor of his own business called Henry Wright & Co., so it appears that the two firms worked together with MacLaren focused on manufacturing and Wright on sales and distribution.  In 1900 the two companies merged and incorporated as the A. F. Maclaren Chesse Company, Ltd., with MacLaren serving as president and Wight general manager during the first few years. Then, in 1903, with Maclaren’s business interests apparently broadening he took a step back and Wright was listed as both president and general manager.

Back in 1892, faced with a duty of six cents per pound on exports to the United States, MacLaren also established a factory in Detroit Michigan at 571-573 Michigan Avenue.  As early as 1893 they had cultivated agents and were advertising in the United States as evidenced by this February 21, 1893 advertisement in the St. Louis Dispatch.

The Detroit operation was established in association with a man named John D, Thompson who I suspect served as MacLaren’s U. S. Agent during this period. Up through 1899 the business was sometimes referenced in the Detroit directories as MacLaren & Thompson and at other times as A. F. MacLaren & Co . Their Imperial Cheese was exhibited under the MacLaren & Thompson name at this Food Exposition advertised in the April 23, 1897 Chicago Tribune advertisement (fifth line down).

As far as I can tell, Thompson was not involved in the company’s 1900 incorporation.

According to “A History of Ontario: It’s Resources and Development,” published in 1907, around the turn of the century the company was established throughout Canada and much of the United States. In addition to their Detroit facility they had established U. S. offices in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago and San Francisco. According to a May 18, 1898 advertisement in the Eau Claire (Wisconsin) Leader/Telegram it was around this time that they made a small contribution to U. S. naval history.

Alex.MacLaren, the well-known Stratford cheeseman, has through his Boston agents, contracted to supply MacLaren’s Imperial Cheese to the United States warships Columbia, Minneapolis and Lehigh. These vessels are now cruising off the Middle and Eastern States ready to intercept the Spanish fleet should it appear thereabout.

No wonder that our navy sweeps all before it. That MacLaren makes a notable cheese. Sailors fed on it are bound to assert themselves, it gives them stomach for the fight.

It was also around the turn of the century that the company began branching out overseas. One early effort to increase their product awareness across the Atlantic was a holiday campaign that induced Canadians to send Imperial Cheese to relatives and friends living in the British Isles. The hook, used today more than ever, was “free shipping.” This 1904 advertisement laid out the deal promoted in several Canadian newspapers during the fall/winter of 1904.

The “History of Ontario” went on to say that by the time it was published in 1907 MacLaren’s had become known world wide having been introduced in countries that included Australia, China, Japan and South Africa. At that point the company’s output was the largest of any North American company.

Their growth was no doubt driven in large part by their signature product, Imperial Cheese, which according to this advertisement in the 1904 edition of the Steward’s Manual was winning awards world wide in the early 1900’s.

It was also in 1904 that John D. Rockerfeller served as a spokesman for Imperial Cheese, though, most likely, he was completely unaware of his role.

While the word “probably,”inserted in the above advertisement provides a clue, another advertisement published around the same time made it clear that while Rockefeller did promote the value of cheese, it was actually MacLaren’s marketing department that made the connection between Rockefeller and MacLaren’s Imperial.

Rockefeller Says: “Eat Cheese.”

John D. Rockefeller, the Standard Oil King, was interviewed in Philadelphia the other day, and asked why his health had so greatly improved. His answer consisted of good advice as to the benefits of slow eating, but he added a most interesting opinion as follows:

“Do you know that I recently read an article by a well known scientific man, to the effect that cheese is an excellent article of diet? I wish that I had read that article a long time ago. I had been afraid that cheese had a tendency to produce indigestion and for that reason never touched it. Now I find that its effects are directly contrary, and I eat a great deal of it, and find that it agrees with me. Take my advice, eat cheese, eat slowly, and take outdoor exercise, and you will enjoy good health.”

MacLaren evidently eats MacLaren’s Imperial. He had visited the World’s Fair where MacLaren’s Imperial Cheese secured 100 points in degree of excellence. MacLaren’s Imperial is a perfect food, and has been pronounced by connoisseurs the highest grade of cheese ever shown.

While Imperial Cheese was their signature product, the company also marketed a number of other cheeses several of which were included in this 1912 advertisement.

In addition, they also included a peanut butter, dessert jelly and mustard on the product menu.

In late 1920 the MacLaren Imperial Cheese Company was purchased and consolidated with the J. L. Kraft & Bros. Co., of Chicago, Illinois under the name: “Kraft-MacLaren Cheese Co., Ltd.” The announcement of the newly formed Kraft-MacLaren Corporation was announced in the January 21, 1921 edition of the (Toronto) National Post.

Announcement is made of the incorporation of the Kraft-MacLaren Cheese Co., Ltd., capitalized at $1,000,000, and having its head office in Montreal. The new company has acquired the interests of the MacLaren Imperial Cheese Co., Ltd., of Toronto, with factories in that city and Detroit. It also takes over the Canadian business and a large portion of the export trade of J. L. Kraft & Brothers Co., of Chicago. A modern factory, refrigerating plant and warehouse, to cost $200,000, is now under construction in this city.

MacLaren had passed away three years earlier in 1917, but Henry Wright continued as a director in the new corporation up through the mid- 1920’s and possibly longer.

Twentieth century Imperial Cheese containers produced under the Kraft name occasionally appear for sale on the internet.

   

As late as January 14, 2015 a recipe published in the (Vancouver) Province called for MacLaren’s.

The product can still be found in Canadian Walmart’s to this day.

The jar I found is white and 2-1/2 inches tall. Its 1-3/4 inches in diameter, though widens abruptly at the top to 2-1/4 inches. It matches the jar shown in this 1912 advertisement (sans the top and label).

         

A 1909 price list published in the April 28th edition of the “Victoria (British Columbia) Daily Times” mentioned three sizes being offered around that time; large, small and individual. As small as this one is, it’s almost certainly the individual size.

The jar is embossed on the base “MacLaren’s Imperial Cheese.” The embossing also includes their trade mark  (Serial No. 71002870) described like this in the trade mark records:

Heads of oxen, cows, calves, bulls…medals (alone or suspended from ribbons or pins). Banners.

The first commercial use was indicated in the records as December 18, 1891.

On a final note, I couldn’t end this post without touching on one final talent exhibited by the founder of MacLaren’s Imperial Cheese, Alexander F. MacLaren. As it turns out, in addition to his varied business and legislative pursuits, he was also heavily involved with the game of curling. An April 28, 1899 feature in the Montreal Gazette tells the story.

Alexander F. MacLaren is one of the jolliest of curlers and his presence in a game and at curlers’ social gatherings is always welcome. For many years he has been a member of the Stratford Curling Club. He has worked his way up through the grades of apprenticeship to be a master of the intricacies of the game. He is president of the Stratford Club, and is at all times ready with advice, skill and help to further the interests of curling. His training and experience on the curling rink have fitted him for high legislative duties, and for some years he has been a member of the Dominion Parliament, where no doubt, he will be an intelligent skip to direct the policy of his party. He is known among his friends as Imperial MacLaren, imperial in his business, imperial in curling, imperial in the Dominion Parliament, imperial in all the relations of life, and under this name of Imperial MacLaren, he is almost as well known in Europe as in America. He is now president of the Ontario Curling Association, which delights to honor such men.

Armour and Company, Chicago (Armour Laboratories)

Established in the mid 1860’s by Phillip Danforth Armour and John Plankinton, Armour and Company was a meat packing business that by the turn of the century had grown into one of the largest companies in the United States. For many years its presence in Chicago’s Union Stock Yards contributed, in no small way, to that city’s reputation as the capital of the American meatpacking industry.

Not only a meat producer, the company was heavily involved in the manufacture of by-products utilizing materials that were typically wasted in the slaughtering process. According to an October 20, 1901 story in the Buffalo (N.Y.) Times:

It is a saying in Chicago that the house of Armour & Co., in the slaughter of hogs, “loses nothing but the squeal of the hogs” when they are led to the slaughter. Employing many thousands of men in the varied industries growing out of their vast slaughtering business, the firm has found it immensely profitable to utilize all portions of the raw material by the firm.

The story went on to provide this menu of  products manufactured under the Armour name at the turn of the century. The list would grow well into the hundreds by the 1920’s

The business got its start with John Plankinton, not in Chicago but further north in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His biography, available on wisconsinhistory.org tells the story.

John Plankinton was a meat packer and businessman. In 1849 he began the packing of beef and hog products, and in 1852 formed a partnership with Frederick Layton under the firm name of Layton and Plankinton Packing Co. In 1861 Layton withdrew and Plankinton continued the business alone until 1863, when he was joined by Phillip D. Armour, and the firm became Plankinton, Armour and Co. (Plankinton & Armour)

Armour had arrived in Milwaukee by way of California where he had been lured by the gold rush.  Whether he made any money on the west coast is apparently open to speculation. According to his biography published in “A History of the City of Chicago,” published in 1900:

Mr Armour returned to the East in 1856, after having a varied experience in mining enterprises, and it was conjectured at the time that he brought back with him considerable of the golden dust, but the facts of this interesting matter are known only to himself.

Another biography, this one published in the January 7, 1901 edition of Chicago’s “Inter Ocean,” described Armour’s Milwaukee years leading up to his association with Plankinton.

Mr. Armour went to Milwaukee, where he had a friend, Frederick S. Miles, who was engaged in the wholesale grocery and commission business, and soon became his business partner, the style of the firm being Miles & Armour. The firm was prosperous, but in 1863 Mr. Armour withdrew from it to engage in the shipment of wheat, in which he saw more money. He purchased the largest grain elevator in the city, and was again as successful as could be desired.

In the meantime the pork-packing firm of Plankton & Layton was dissolved, and John Plankinton formed a new firm, in the same business with Mr. Armour, under the style of Plankton & Armour.

       

It appears that shortly after his association with Plankinton the financial foundation for the Armour business was laid. His “Inter Ocean” biography went on to say:

The firm was successful from the first, and suddenly amassed a great fortune, all through the brilliant management of Mr. Armour. This happened in the spring of 1863, when the war of the rebellion was drawing to a close. At that time pork was selling at $40 a barrel, and the New York operators were buying it recklessly under the impression that it would go to $60. Mr. Armour believed that the war would soon end, and that pork would decline to $20 or less. He laid his plans before his partners, who gave him their approval, and then went posthaste to New York, where he sold pork short for $40 as long as anybody would buy it. Sure enough, pork soon fell to $18, and Mr. Armour and his partners were made millionaires.

In the meantime Phillip’s brother, Herman O. Armour, had started a grain commission business in Chicago sometime in 1862 and by 1864 the two brothers along with Plankinton had joined together in that city under the name H. O. Armour & Co. In 1868 they began packing pork under the name Armour & Co. and by 1870 all the business transacted in Chicago was  done under the Armour & Co. name.

According to a story written years later in the December 2, 1951 edition of the Tribune, the Chicago operation moved to the Union Stock Yards in 1872 where it would remain until the late 1950’s.

The first Armour hog plant was the old Bell house in the Archer Avenue packing center which had been built up during the Civil War. About 1868 packers began to move south to the area just west of the stock yards and Armour followed in 1872.

As early as 1865 Herman left another brother, Joseph, in charge of the Chicago operation and opened an office in New York under the name Armour, Plankinton & Co. The office was first listed in the 1866/1867 New York City directory at 129 Broad Street in Manhattan.

By the end of the decade the Armours had also established another plant, this one in Kansas City run by a fourth brother, Simeone Armour, under the name Plankinton & Armours.

As early as the mid-1870’s a story in the Kansas City Times clearly viewed their operation as the leader in the country and world’s meat packing industry.

Thoroughly identified with the packing business of the whole country, there are no names in the United States more familiar to the trade than those of the Plankinton’s and the Armours, there being two of the former-father and son-and four of the latter-brothers. These six gentlemen stand at the head of beyond all comparisons the heaviest beef and pork packing business of the world…

A May 10, 1880 story published in the The (London) Times featured the American bacon and pork industry and included this description of the Armour business.

A few hogs are slaughtered and salted by the farmers, but the great bulk pass to the packers…

Messrs. Armour & Co. handle nearly 1,000,000 hogs annually at Chicago, and have similar establishments at Milwaukee and at Kansas City, at each of which upwards of 400,000 are slaughtered and packed. From small beginnings in 1860 their business has steadily increased; within six years it has doubled. At the Chicago works at the stock yards, 10,000 pigs are frequently killed daily in summer; 20,000 constitute a full day’s slaughtering in winter. Two thousand tons of meat are sometimes dispatched in a single day from the railway sidings which are conveniently brought into the premises. The work covers 14 acres; the buildings are four stories high, and are being constantly added to. There are six lifts, and hydrants and fire hose are fixed at convenient points on every story. A trained fire brigade is recruited from among the operatives. The premises are insured for a million dollars, the annual premium on different parts of the works varying from 1 to 1 3/4  percent. Two thousand men are employed in summer and 3,500 in winter.

The raw material which keeps this great establishment moving is conveniently found in the contiguous market where 60,000 hogs are sometimes pitched (sold) in a morning, and on one occasion last summer the number ran up to 80,000… Messrs. Armour have large pens and yards where their purchases are fed and watered until required. No fasting is practiced as in England. The grunter has his breakfast even if he is doomed before dinner time.

An advertisement published in the March 18, 1882 edition of the (New Orleans) Times-Democrat, for one of Armour’s agents, McCloskey & Henderson,  provided this list of canned meat products being  produced and shipped out of Chicago by Armour at the time. By this time the business included beef and even chicken soup, as well as pork.

Over the course of several years during the early 1880’s the Armours and Plankinton severed their various business relationships, apparently amicably. As the dust settled, the resultant situation was summarized in the October 26, 1884 edition of the Kansas City Times.

As appears from a dissolution notice published in the advertisement column of THE TIMES this morning, the partnership which has existed for twenty-five years between Mr P.D. Armour and Mr. John Plankinton, has been dissolved, Mr. Armour retiring from the Milwaukee house and Mr. Plankinton from the Kansas City house, which will in the future be known under the firm name of the Armour Packing Company.

The dissolution does not effect either the Chicago or New York houses, as Mr. Plankinton has not been connected with the former business for several years and a few weeks ago sold his interest in the New York house to Mr. H. O. Armour retaining an interest in but one establishment, that of Milwaukee, of which he is the chief owner.

It was during the remainder of the 1800’s that the Armours laid the foundation for much of the company’s expansion into industries related to their meat packing business, adding a glue factory, soap works and a pharmaceutical department among others to their operation.

A story in the January 1, 1886 edition of the Chicago Tribune announced the acquisition of the Wahl Bros. glue factory.

In a circular-letter to the trade, dated December 21, 1885, they announce the purchase of Wahl Bros’ extensive glue factory (which covers eight acres) in this city, together with the good will and all appurtenances. They will continue to produce glue in all it’s varieties, and all other products that their predecessors did, including gelatin, brewers’ isinglass, size for papermakers, bone-meal, neatsfoot oil, etc., etc. The regular packing business of the firm furnishes them with a fresh daily supply of materials, which is such an essential feature in securing superior qualities and perfect results… They employ 300 hands in the glue factory.

Ten years later, another item published in the Chicago Tribune, this one on May 5, 1896, announced the formation of their soap works.

Commencing this day the firm of Armour & Co. has added another feature to their business, to be known as the Armour Soap Works. The new building and plant are situated at Thirty-first and Benson Streets. With the inauguration of the soap works Armour & Co. now utilize everything in the way of raw material from the hog and steer.

An April 17, 1897 advertisement For Oshkosh Wisconsin’s “Kruschke’s” Department Store, confirmed that less than a year later the soap works was manufacturing at least three different soap brands.

Both the glue works and soap works were included in this May 28, 1897 advertisement in the Chicago Chronicle.

By the early 1890’s a pharmaceutical department had also been established  as evidenced by this excerpt from an April 10, 1892 Chicago Tribune article.

In the downtown office of Armour & Co. are several rows of shelves filled with bottles and at first sight a stranger would think the “old man,” as P.D. Armour is called by his employees among themselves, was running a drug store on the side to make both ends meet. In these bottles are a great and unique variety of preparations extracted from animals killed at the yards. The man who manages this department is a duly licensed druggist and physician, and the big packer’s hobby when receiving visitors is to invite them to sample his dried bullock’s blood or desiccated ox gail.

It’s likely that the above mentioned licensed druggist and his department were the very beginning of  Armour Laboratories. According to a November 13, 1949 Tribune story:

One of their earliest (products) was pepsin, a commercially valuable compound recovered from the stomach linings of hogs. For many rears the rudimentary laboratories at Armour’s were called the “pepsin department.”

On April 15, 1900 Phillip Armour formed a corporation that included most, though not all, of the Armour businesses. His reasoning was explained in a February 18, 1900 Chicago Tribune story.

The business of Armour & Co always has been carried on as a partnership. The recent death of Phillip D. Armour Jr., and the illness of Phillip D, Armour, the founder and head of the firm, are said to have supplied the reasons for deciding to put the business in a stock company. For several months the elder Armour has been ill, but it was not believed his illness was sufficiently grave to warrant any change in the management of the business. The death of his son was a severe blow, however, and is said to have determined the plan of incorporation.

The new corporation included the packing houses (excluding the Armour Packing House of Kansas City),  glue factory and soap factory, as well as a felt and hair factory and rail car shops.

The factories that will be taken into the stock company are large concerns. The glue factory is one of the largest in the country. The soap factory of Armour & Co., a more recent establishment, is also an important plant. The hair factory has an output which is said to be unequalled by that of any similar institution. The car factory is used to manufacture and keep in repair the hundreds of cars used in the transportation of the meat and other products of the various Armour industries.

In addition to the manufacturing plants, the packing house includes the large cattle interests of the firm. The agencies of Armour & Co. also will fall into the corporation. In every city of any size in the United States Armour & Co. has an agency for the distribution of dressed beef and the other packing house products of the firm. There are besides agencies in foreign countries. These are to be found in every port of consequence in Europe. In Asia and Africa the firm also carries on its widespread business.

The stockholders of the new corporation were Phillip D. Armour (50%), his son, J. Ogden Armour (25%) and the estate of his deceased son Phillip D. Armour, Jr. (25%). Shortly after the business incorporated, Phillip Sr. also passed away and J. Ogden Armour assumed the presidency. It was J. Ogden Armour who, according to an August 17, 1927 Chicago Tribune story, developed the business into a world wide organization.

Expansion in this country was followed by invasion in the South American field. In 1909 Armour & Co. acquired an interest in an Argentine packing plant. Now (1927) it has in that country five large plants whose products go to the world meat trade.

In the teens their food product menu extended well beyond the by-products of their meat packing business.  A product list published in 1919 bears this out.

According to the February, 1917 edition of a journal called “Advertising & Selling,” their food product line alone had reached over 300 items that were being distributed by 350 branch houses throughout the country. So it was out of necessity that around this time they unified much of their advertising under the “Armour Oval Label”

According to the 1917 story in “Advertising and Selling:”

About two years ago (1915) it was adopted as a permanent trademark for all Armour top grade products, and since then has appeared in all the advertising of these products; newspaper, poster, magazine, window display, booklet advertising, alike, all have the Oval Label as a prominent and permanent feature of the copy. (A label committee , composed of representatives from the selling, operative and executive departments, decides upon the eligibility of a product for the Oval Label, only the highest quality products being admitted to this class.)

Armour Laboratories had also grown significantly from the fledgling department of the early 1890’s.  An advertisement published in the 1919 edition of the “Modern Hospital Year Book,” included the laboratory’s pitch to the medical community.

We are headquarters for the organotherapeutic agents. Our abattoirs supply enormous quantities of glands and membranes from which digestive ferments and endocrine gland preparations are made. Raw material is selected with rigorous care. Nothing but healthy normal material is employed, and this is put into process before any deterioration has set in.

The laboratory is conveniently located. All desiccating is done in vacuum ovens at a low temperature, which prevents injury to active principles.

The advertisement went on to provide a descriptive list of their preparations.

The post World War I years brought pressures on the business that would ultimately, in the 1920’s, transition it from a company closely held by the Armour family to a publicly held company. A feature on J. Ogden Armour published at the time of his death in the August 17, 1927 edition of the Chicago Tribune described the influence of World War I on the corporation.

During the war American packers carried tremendous meat supplies, both for the American armies and for those of European allies. Prices of live stock and meat joined the wartime inflation.The business of Armour & Co. increased sales to around $1,000,000,000 a year…

With the abrupt ending of the war American packers and the allied governments alike had vast quantities of meat on hand. The wartime demand faded. Governments cancelled contracts and threw their surplus stocks on the market for whatever they would bring. Prices of live stock and meat dropped. With the post-war depression the currencies of Europe also plunged down in value.

The result of all this was that the large inventories of American meat packers lost tremendously in value. Their stocks in Europe were paid for in constantly depreciating currencies. It is estimated that Armour & Co. lost around $125,000,000 in two years.

Ultimately in 1923 a refinancing of the business was effected that ultimately resulted in J. Ogden Armour both relinquishing the presidency and selling the majority of his stock.

The Associated Press announced the organizational change on January 3, 1923.

Armour & Co. for the first time since it was organized in 1862, today operated without a member of the Armour family in the president’s chair.

Instead F. Edison White, a worker from the ranks, occupied the controlling station made vacant by the resignation of J. Ogden Armour yesterday, who became chairman of the board of directors.

However, members of the Armour family will retain important positions with the company. Phillip D. Armour III who has been a vice president of the company was designated first vice president, and Lester Armour was continued as a member of the board of directors.

A Chicago Tribune Story, dated February 14, 1925 revealed that the refinancing plan also included an option to purchase the bulk of Mr. Armour’s stock holdings within five years. The story went on to say that the purchase began at that time with a third of his holdings.

Armour & Co., largest of the packing concerns, will be owned by a large body of investors and will cease to be a family corporation with the working out of plans made known yesterday.

It is understood that about one third of the total stock holdings of J. Ogden Armour will be bought by the banking group, which conducted the financial reorganization of Armour & Co. two years ago, and then offered publicly to investors. Later on and as market conditions permit, further offerings of stock will be made.

J. Ogden Armour’s 1927 Chicago Tribune obituary mentioned that Armour’s stock holdings at the time of his death were not large, so it appears much of his remaining stock was sold over the next two years. Four years later in January, 1931 P. D. Armour, the grandson and namesake of the founder, resigned as first vice president. He would be the last member of the Armour family to hold an executive position in the corporation.

Overall the company had its ups and downs but continued to grow through the 1930’s and early 1940’s as evidenced by this financial snapshot included in the Chicago Tribune’s January 23, 1943 edition.

Stockholders were given a glimpse of company progress as indicated by a comparison of balance sheets of last year and of 1923, after a reorganization. Funded debt was reduced from 144 million to 62 million dollars during the 20 years, and sales increased from slightly more than 800 millions to 1 billion 300 millions.

Around this time they were contributing significantly to the World War II effort, so much so that an April 11, 1943 Chicago Tribune story announced that 90 to 95 per cent of Armour’s total production was devoted to war production. As a result, the army and navy awarded their E flag to company officials.

Notice that Armour & Co. had been elected to the award came in a letter from Robert P. Patterson, Undersecretary of War. The letter read in part; “You men and women of Armour & Co. are making an outstanding contribution to victory. You have every reason to be proud of the record you have set, and your practical patriotism stands as an example to all Americans.

Among the company’s specific accomplishments in aiding the war, (Armour)President Eastwood cited the following: “The development of wood veneer drums to replace metal drums, such as are used in the shipment of lard; a new method of smoking ham and bacon for army use which takes 96 hours instead of seven days; the telescoping of lambs to save shipping space.”

He also pointed to a new product “Tushonka,” a canned pork popular with Russians; to a new style of “stuffing horn” for packaging of ground beef; and, finally to the formula for “Pemmican,” an emergency ration carried by airplanes and ships.

The award also recognized the achievements of Armour Laboratories.

Brig. Gen. C. C. Hillman, acting Surgeon General, Washington D. C., said in his statement of the award to Armour Laboratories that they had “given a rich endowment, not only to the war effort but to the entire field of medicine. Listed on the chart of Armour’s achievements will be their production of ligatures, insulin, and other medical supplies for the military service. In addition to this, your conversion of facilities for the absorption of great production loads all shall be listed on the war chart victory.”

After the war the company continued to introduce new products and innovations. In 1948 the company introduced their famous brand, DIAL deodorant soap.

An August 11, 1948 Chicago Tribune advertisement bragged that the soap was so popular that after being introduced, it immediately sold out.

In the mid-1950’s Armour became the first company to vacuum package their bacon as well as other meats. A May 5, 1956 Chicago Tribune feature provided the details.

Armour was the very first to discover how to keep bacon slicer-fresh from packing house to your pan. Old style packages of bacon usually lost freshness after a week or 10 days, so Armour research set about developing a package that would maintain freshness for three weeks.

Since air was known to be the villain that made bacon lose flavor, the obvious solution was to remove the air and pack bacon in a vacuum.

Obvious? Well not exactly. While vacuum packed jars and cans have been used for years, the requirement that a bacon package be both flexible and transparent gave the problem new complexity.

Several hundred kinds of materials, and nearly as many different shapes and types of packages were tried and discarded.

Finally, a new plastic was tested and found to have just the right combination of strength and pliability for use in newly developed vacuum packaging machines.

Subsequent taste tests revealed that bacon packaged the new way keeps fresh much longer than was once thought possible. This fundamental research on bacon packaging was so successful that it soon led to vacuum packaging of many other products.

Armour Laboratories was also making significant advances during the late late 1940’s and 1950’s. Some were enumerated in a December 2, 1951 story.

Recently the science of animal utilization has reached its highest point at Armour & Co., which is now headed by Frederick Specht. The company views its laboratory accomplishments primarily from a humanitarian, rather than a money making angle.

The outstanding achievement was development of the pituitary hormone , ACTH, which was ordered into production in the early summer of 1949. It has been used in treating arthritis and 20 other diseases. A later development is trypsin, which has the ability to turn dead flesh into liquid without damaging live tissue. Trypsin, like the insulin used by diabetics, come from a meat animal’s pancreas.

Hormones are not the only medical products of meat packing. Liver extracts are used in treating anemia, many products are made from animal blood, and a stomach lining substance is used for ulcer.

As the 1960’s approached the overall corporate picture was apparently beginning to lose some shine. In 1959 Armour discontinued all slaughtering operations in Chicago. A story dated June 9, 1959 in the Chicago Tribune detailed the facts and reasoning behind the decision.

Armour & Co. announced Monday that it will discontinue all slaughtering operations at six plants, including the one at Chicago…

Approximately 5,000 employees will be affected at all plants, including 2,000 in Chicago. Armour employs nearly 3,000 persons in its Chicago unit, but not all of them work in slaughtering operations. Such Chicago operations as refining of fats and oils, wool pulling, soap manufacturer, and sales and distribution will be continued. In addition, Armour will continue to buy cattle on the Chicago market for its eastern plants…

The company said there were several basic causes for its inability to reverse substantial losses encountered at these plants. These include obsolescence of buildings, many of which were constructed more than 50 years ago; shifts in live stock numbers sectionally; declining receipts of live stock at some markets; and a general and widely recognized condition of excess production capacity in the meat packing industry.

Ultimately Armour was acquired by the Greyhound Corporation in 1970. This strange marriage is explained by company histories.com.

The country’s leader in the motor coach industry since 1930, Greyhound under chairperson and CEO Gerald H. Trautman had begun to diversify its operations in the 1960’s in response to declining bus ticket sales. As automobiles and airline tickets became less expensive and bus line profits dwindled, Greyhound acquired small companies in the fields of automobile leasing, money orders, insurance, and catering. Greyhound board members were approached by Armour in the late 1960’s when General Host threatened Armour with a hostile takeover, and Greyhound was persuaded to add Armour to its subsidiaries. The 1970 $400 million purchase was Greyhound’s first major acquisition. To reduce its investment, Greyhound immediately sold $225 million of Armour assets, retaining only the meatpacking and consumer products subsidiaries. The meatpacking operation was renamed Armour Foods, while the consumer products operation was renamed Armour-Dial.

Less than a year later, and after more than 100 years, the Arizona Republic announced that, now a subsidiary of Greyhound, the Armour headquarters was leaving Chicago for Phoenix Arizona.

Greyhound Corp. the nation’s 29th largest firm, and its big subsidiary, Armour and Co., are moving from Chicago to Phoenix.

Gerald H. Trautman of Paradise Valley, chairman and chief executive said the move will affect ” a few hundred”employees of the headquarters staffs of the Greyhound Corp. and of these subsidiaries:

Armour and Co., Greyhound Bus Lines, Greyhound Leasing and Financial Corp., and Greyhound Computer Corp., except its service center personnel.

The largest of Greyhound’s subsidiaries is Armour and Co., acquired in 1970. From its start in meat packing, that firm has diversified into a modern industrial complex.

 

Today Armour meat products continue to be sold by Smithfield Foods and are still marketed under an oval label.

Over the years I’ve found two Armour bottles, both small and mouth blown. One embossed “Armour Laboratories,” is colored brown and approximately one ounce in size. The Armour Laboratory Pharmaceutical List, published in the 1919 “Modern Hospital Yearbook” included a one ounce bottle size for both pepsin and pancreatin powders.

The second bottle is approximately two ounces in size and embossed “Armour and Company,” not “Armour Laboratories,” which leads me to believe its not a pharmaceutical bottle. Armour produced lemon, orange and vanilla flavoring extracts in several size bottles, including two ounces, so I’m leaning in that direction.

 

Rawleigh’s

Headquartered in Freeport, Illinois, The W.T. Rawleigh Company was a pioneer in the direct from factory to home sales model. The company’s founder and long-time president was William T. Rawleigh.

According to a story in the January 23, 1951 edition of the Dixon (Illinois) Evening Telegraph, printed at the time of his death:

He was the founder and president of the W.T. Rawleigh Company which manufactures and sells medicines and household products on worldwide scale. During his long active career he served as mayor of Freeport, as a member of the Illinois General Assembly, and as editor and publisher of the old Freeport Standard.

Another story printed around the same time, this one in the Chicago Tribune, summed up his general approach to business like this:

 William T Rawleigh who made millions by sending his wagons loaded with extracts and spices over the rural routes of the nation died today…

Before the automobile brought the farm wife within easy reach of the crossroads general store, Rawleigh wagons came to her door with vanilla extracts, patent medicines and other packaged products. His idea was the development of one he had as a schoolboy, in Mineral Point, Wis., selling books to his classmates, then later making and selling them ink.

A 1920 advertisement that appeared in the May 11th edition of Eau Claire, Wisconsin’s Leader Telegraph expanded on this concept.

Those who are familiar with Rawleigh’s Good Health Service are familiar with its economy, convenience and efficiency. It means bringing directly to your home the best products of laboratory and factory at low, direct-to-home prices. The W.T. Rawleigh Company manufactures all it’s own Household Remedies, Extracts and Flavors, Spices and other Products in it’s own immense factories at Freeport and Memphis and sells direct to consumers. This method of manufacturing and selling means the elimination of unnecessary middlemen’s profits, thus giving to the users of Rawleigh’s Good Health Products better qualities and greater values. If you have never used any Rawleigh Good health Products, we urge you for economy’s sake and for your own satisfaction to give the Rawleigh Service Man at least a trial order when he calls.

The advertisement went on to describe a wide range of products available from your Rawleigh Service Man. They included:

Pure Extracts and Flavors in Bottles, Pure Food Flavors in Tubes, Pure Spices and Rawleigh’s Baking Powder.

Rawleigh’s Medicines including Alcoholic Liniment, Non-Alcoholic Liniment, Medicated Ointment, Healing Salve, Mustard Ointment, Catarrhal Relief, Cough Syrup, Wine of Cod Liver Oil Extract, Laxative Tablets, Laxative Syrup, Antiseptic Solution

KREO, a scientific disinfectant for general household use.

This menu however appears to only be the tip of the iceberg. Three years earlier, in 1917, the company’s annual publication, “Rawleigh’s Almanac, Cook Book and Medical Guide,” advertised that they were selling 140 different products that year.

The company’s early history and growth was highlighted in a September 21, 1932 feature in the Freeport Journal Standard. Several excerpts from this feature are presented in quotations below.

Many older residents of Stephenson County remember when W.T. Rawleigh began calling at their homes with a one horse rig, leaving with them a few medicines, extracts spices, etc. That was in the spring of 1889. Soon he had built up a large business, and about 1891 he began manufacturing. By this time he was also selling at wholesale…

The first little factory was on the ground floor of a store building at 123 East Exchange Street. There were only three employees (Rawleigh’s now have 1300) and but 25 Rawleigh dealers as contrasted with over 8500 at this time. In a year’s time more space was needed, and the store room adjoining the first factory was added.

It was around this time that Rawleigh incorporated the business, calling it the Dr. Blair Medical Company. The incorporation notice, dated December 29, 1894, was printed in the Chicago Tribune on the following day.

The 1932 Freeport Journal Standard Feature continued the history:

The next two years continued the rapid growth, and in 1898 a new factory with two stories and basement was built at West Douglas and Powell Streets. Three years later an addition was built which increased the floor space over three times.

On May 24,1902 the business applied for the Rawleigh’s (in script) trademark (No.39768) and it was registered on February 10, 1903.

Shortly thereafter, the company name was changed to the W.T. Rawleigh Medical Co. and they continued to grow.

So the story of progress continues. The next move of this rapidly expanding company was toward railroad facilities and was made in 1904 when the company left the residence district and built its first factory at the present site – a building still used, partly for manufacturing and partly for some of the general offices.

An invitation to the opening day reception for the new factory, printed in the February 24, 1905 edition of the Freeport Journal Standard, indicated that, at the time, the new factory included the Printing, Milling, Manufacturing, Bottling, Packing, Power House and Wagon Factory Departments all operational under one roof.

A picture of the new plant appeared in the July 11, 1905 edition of the Freeport Journal Standard.

The 1905 Freeport Illinois Directory (the earliest one I can find) included the factory location as Spring, corner of Liberty. Now listed as the W.T. Rawleigh Medical Co., W.T. Rawleigh was named as president and treasurer, J.R. Jackson as secretary and D.C. Rawleigh as superintendent.

After 1905, the Freeport headquarters continued to expand as entire buildings were added.

Since then many other buildings have been added at Freeport: The large 8 story factory at the corner of Main and Liberty; the dip and disinfectant factory on Washington Street; the impressive power plant and printing and manufacturing building across the street from the 1904 factory and the glass factory in East Freeport.

Sometime between 1913 and 1916, the company name was shortened from the W.T. Rawleigh Medical Co., to simply the W.T. Rawleigh Co.

The company added branch factories in Memphis and Winnipeg in 1912 and by the early 1930’s they were operating world-wide with additional factories in Montreal, Canada, Melbourne, Australia and Wellington, New Zealand.

The business secured raw materials from producers at their source, importing them from all over the world to their factory locations. This necessitated them to operate branches in areas where they obtained their raw materials. These foreign branch locations included places like Madagascar, where they secured vanilla, cloves and oil of geranium; Marseille, France, vanilla and perfume related oils, roots and herbs; and Kobe, Japan, pyrethrum flowers used in making insecticides.

Their distribution network included facilities at Chester Pa., Richmond, Va., Minneapolis, Minn., Denver, Colo., Oakland, Calif. and Albany, N.Y. Each distribution branch had a full sales office and shipping staffs serving dealers in several states.

The 1932 feature offered a glimpse into the size of the operation at that time. :

Last year Rawleigh’s produced and sold the astonishing total of over 43 million packages of finished products. Over 123 million pounds of freight (2256 carloads) were received at the various United States and Canadian factories and about 2500 carloads were forwarded from factories and branches.

W.T. Rawleigh served as president of the company up until his death in 1951 and J.R. Jackson, his brother-in-law, continued as secretary until the mid-1950’s.

The business remained tightly held by the Rawleigh family until 1973 when it was sold to a holding company. The March 3, 1973 edition of the Freeport Journal Standard reported the sale.

The holding company of W.T.R., Inc. organized by the New York investment banking partnership of Gibbons, Green and Rice is purchasing the W.T. Rawleigh Co., of Freeport.

The new owner is paying approximately $5.5 million for the American Rawleigh company and has an option to buy the Canadian Rawleigh company for $2.5 million, according to Edward Gibbons, one of the partners…

The majority of the Rawleigh stock has been held by the estate of Mr. Rawleigh’s daughter, Mrs. Lucille Rawleigh and her two sons.

As far as I can tell, the company remained headquartered in Freeport, Illinois until sometime in the 1980’s. After Rawleigh left Freeport, some of their buildings were leased for warehousing for a short period of time before the property was completely abandoned in 1988.

Five buildings of the Rawleigh complex still exist today. This building, now abandoned, is located on Spring Street and was most likely the power plant, printing and manufacturing building mentioned in the 1932 Freeport Journal Standard feature as being built across the street from the original 1904 factory.

Master planning for reuse of the Rawleigh property and buildings began in 2000 and the redevelopment is in progress. According to the City of Freeport’s web site:

…the City has been actively removing environmental hazards and facilitating reuse of the Rawleigh (property) into a dynamic mixed-use development planned to include a new Amtrak station, light industrial and flexible business space and restaurant and housing

Now headquartered in West Palm Beach, Florida, the W.T. Rawleigh company still exists today, selling a wide range of products over the internet. According to an August 10, 2000 article in the Palm Beach Post:

The company would have likely disappeared a decade ago had it not been bought by West Palm Beach businessman and big-game hunter Harry Hersey III, a cigar smoking Vietnam veteran who champions multilevel marketing and chairs the industry’s trade group in Washington, the Direct Selling Association.

Today (as of 2000) Rawleigh is part of Hersey’s other multilevel marketing operation, Golden Pride International, a 17-year old outfit that sells nutritional supplements. Together, the companies sold about $11 million in products to some 15,000 distributors last year, netting a profit of $2.5 million, Hersey said.

Recognizing that this website is centered around bottles, I couldn’t end the post without including a description of the Rawleigh bottle factory that was included in the 1932 Freeport Journal Standard feature.

One of the most fascinating of the industries within the Rawleigh  industries is the bottle factory, where flames leap and writhe in the terrific heat of 2650 to 2675 degrees Fahrenheit, a temperature which must be maintained day and night for many months at a time to manufacture the bottles Rawleigh’s use. The annual capacity of the factory, first started in 1926 and since enlarged several times, is close to 100 million bottles. A huge bottle warehouse completed last year will house 12 million bottles at one time. New equipment includes a cooling system superior to any existing system and the first of its kind to be used; new bottle-forming machines which make bottles with almost incredible swiftness and perfection; new reversing valves to add to the efficiency of furnace heat; new batch equipment; a new annealing oven or lehr; improved air compressors, etc.

The bottle I found is machine made with the Rawleigh’s (in script) trade mark on the front. “Bottle Made In “USA” is embossed in extremely small letters near the base. The makers mark on the base, a “P” located within a circle, indicates that it was most likely made by the Pierce Glass Co. This suggests that it was made prior to Rawleigh’s establishing their new bottle factory in 1926. Pierce started business in 1905 so this likely puts the manufacture of the bottle sometime between 1905 and 1926. It actually looks a lot like the Cod Liver Oil bottle pictured in the 1917 Almanac, Cook Book and Medical Guide pictured above.

W. H. Miner, Chazy, N. Y.

   

The W stands for William H. Miner. An inventor, businessman and philanthropist, in 1903 he established the “Heart’s Delight Farm” in Chazy New York, a small hamlet about 50 miles south of Montreal, Canada, where he spent much of his childhood. His obituary, printed in the April 5, 1930 edition of the Burlington (Vermont) Free Press, described the start of the farm.

Mr. Miner was reputed to have amassed a fortune of $90,000,000 through the invention and manufacture of freight car couplings and other freight car equipment. He left Chazy 45 years ago to seek his fortune with $22 in his pocket.

He lived in Chicago until 28 years ago when, with Mrs. Miner he moved (back) to Chazy and established a residence there on a 40-acre farm. The following year he purchased 400 acres adjoining, and continued to add to his estate year by year until the entire property, known as “Heart’s Delight Farm” now consists of about 10,000 acres. On this farm is one of the show places of the “north country,” a large game reserve filled with herds of buffalo, elk and deer.

A September 22, 1912 story about Miner appeared in the Louisville, Kentucky’s Courier Journal. It contained a sketch that I presume represented the farm buildings around that time.

Excerpts from that story provide a description of the farm in 1912.

On his estate he employs 400 men. Three beautiful streams flow through the farm. There are hundreds of charming cottages and artistic farm structures. He has built miles of macadamized road through the property, and made the 11,000 acres, not only a paradise for man but a paradise for animals. There are herds of buffalo and herds of elk. Deer wander over the land, gentle and free. He has homes for the birds, wild and tame. There are flocks of golden pheasants and multitudes of partridges…

Black bass and trout abound in his lakes and brooks. He has five lakes on his estate. The largest, Lake Alice, is named in honor of his wife.

To get water power for generating electricity he has built a dam 5,700 feet long – the largest private dam in the world. Every mechanical appliance that can be employed on the farm to advantage he uses. He lights his roads and he lights all the buildings on his great estate by electricity. Not only that, but he furnishes light and power to the people of the little village of Chazy free…

He raises many thousands of bushels of corn, of wheat, of oats, of rye, of barley, of buckwheat and thousands of tons of alfalfa. All his grain is ground in his own grist mill and fed to the farm animals. He has perhaps the finest herd of Holstein cattle in the world. He has the champion bull and the champion butter cow of the universe. He has the champion Percheron stallion too. His Chesire White and his Yorkshire hogs have made a wide reputation…

The story also touches on Miner’s human side, describing how his employees were treated.

To those of his employees who are married he furnishes cottages rent free. His unmarried male employees live in clubs of fifteen. Each one of these clubs has a library, a reading room, a billiard table and a music room. He is a great believer in the virtue of water. There are lots of bathtubs in every dwelling house on his estate, and every house has plumbing that is high grade and sanitary. Every house, from his own down to that of the farm hand, has hot water, cold water and spring water taps.

According to the Miner Institute’s web site, by 1918 the farm had grown to 12,000 acres – 4,000 acres of tillable land, 2,000 acres of pasture, and 6,000 acres of woodland –  and the farm:

had it’s own dairy, box factory, ice house, natatorium, greenhouses and grist mill. There was a 20 – bedroom guest house and an entertainment center called Harmony Hall, which included an auditorium complete with a stage that could accommodate 300 persons.

After his death in 1930, Miner’s will provided for the establishment of the Miner Institute, a school and farm devoted to teaching scientific and environmentally sound agricultural practices to the farmers and youth of northern New York. Today, the Miners Institute offers educational programs in dairy and equine management and environmental science.  It also operates revenue producing dairy and equine farms.

The bottle I found is mouth blown with external threads and the cap is still mostly intact. It most likely dates to the first decade or two of the farm. I just can’t figure out what it might have contained.

Horlick’s Malted Milk, Racine, Wis., U.S.A., London, Eng.

Horlick’s Malted Milk began manufacture in the late 1800’s and is still produced today by the GlaxoSmithKline plc, a British company headquartered in Brentford, London. According to the Horlicks web site:

Horlick’s was invented by two British-born men, William Horlick (1846-1936) and his brother James (1844-1921) from Gloucestershire, England. James was a chemist, working for a company that made dried baby food. William, the younger brother, had immigrated to America in 1869 and James decided to join him in Chicago in 1873. That same year, they started their own company (J&W Horlicks) to make a malted milk drink. They called their product “Diastoid” and their advertising slogan read: Horlick’s Infant and Invalid Food”

In 1875 the business moved to the outskirts of Racine Wisconsin, and up until 1883 they continued to use the name J&W Horlick. The 1882 Racine City Directory lists them as:

J&W Horlick (James and William Horlick) manufacturers of Horlick’s Food and Dry Extract of Malt. Rapids Road.

In 1883, the business incorporated under the name Horlick’s Food Company. They established a factory on Northwestern Avenue and around this time began using the factory location as their address. Early directories that I was able to find (1888, 1890, 1897, 1901, 1902, 1904, 1910, 1914 and 1916)  listed their address as simply “Northwestern Avenue near the city line.” All of these directories, list James as president and William as secretary/treasurer. Sometime between 1905 and 1910, the business changed it’s name to the Horlick’s Malted Milk Co.

After James’s death in 1921, William became president. The 1929 directory lists William as president and his sons William Horlick Jr and A.J. Horlick as vice presidents.

These early years of the business were featured in a history of Racine Wisconsin called “Racine Belle City of the Lakes and Racine County, Wisconsin, Volume II, published in 1916. It’s a little long and some facts, as presented, differ from the information found in the city directories, but all in all it paints a vivid picture of the company at the time including it’s product development, facilities, relationship with it’s employees and economic importance to Racine.

The name of no productive industry of the United States is perhaps more widely known than that of the Horlick Malted Milk Company, the business of which has developed until it reaches all parts of the civilized world. The company was organized in 1875 and was incorporated in 1878 as the Horlick Food Company by William and James Horlick, brothers, who established their plant in the outskirts of Racine, in Mount Pleasant Township. They began to manufacture a product known as Horlick’s Food, which was a prepared food for infants, invalids and the aged, to be added to milk to modify and enrich it. Their sales at the time covered only Chicago and vicinity. William Horlick, however, realized the great disadvantage of all foods for infants that required the addition of fresh milk, owing to the difficulty of obtaining fresh milk and keeping it so. He therefore began experimenting with the purpose of producing a pure food product containing adequate proportion of pure, rich milk – a food that would complete in itself, that would keep indefinitely in any climate and would be free from all the dangers arising from the use of milk that is impure, adulterated, laden with disease germs or in any way rendered unfit for use. Moreover, he desired that this food should be not only absolutely safe but very nourishing and easily digested by the most delicate infant or invalid, while it should contain at the same time all the elements of nutrition. In carrying on the work of experimentation Mr. Horlick met with many disappointments and leading chemists claimed that it was both a chemical and mechanical impossibility to perfect such a food, advising him to abandon the idea. He never faltered in his purpose, however, notwithstanding his heavy losses of time and expense, and at the end of six years, or in 1887, he produced for the first time in the world’s history a food product in powder form containing clean, rich milk combined with extract of malted barley and wheat that would keep indefinitely. The value of such a product was at once apparent and the business grew by leaps and bounds, so that it was difficult to make the supply meet the demand. A program of building was instituted. New buildings were added from time to time of reinforced concrete construction and the plant today covers an area of fifteen acres. In 1902 plant No. 2 was built, being a duplicate of plant No. 1, and in 1905 plant No. 3 came into existence, a triplicate of the others, but subject to enlargement. Since then the old buildings have all been rebuilt in concrete and steel. All rooms are large and well lighted and there is a perfect fire protection. Sanitation and cleanliness are among the basic elements of the business. There is a forced system of ventilation through the plant, the air being washed by sprays of water.

To maintain such a plant necessitated the employment of a large force of people and in developing the plant the company has shown marked consideration for the welfare of the employees. They maintain an athletic association and there is a whist club and a cricket club for employees and also an employees’ beneficial association. On the pay roll are found three hundred and fifty names. The department of agriculture of the State University at Madison says that the standard of dairying in this part of Wisconsin has been raised very largely owing to the rules of the Horlick factory in regard to the production of good, clean milk and the example furnished therein. Nearly every city in the United States has asked for a copy of the rules of this plant for the production and care of pure milk and these rules have constituted the basis for much municipal legislation in regard to the milk supply of cities. William Horlick owns personally several farms upon which are several hundred head of cows and he also buys milk from one hundred and fifty farmers. In 1915 the company erected a new milk house which is one of the finest in the country.

The process employed in the manufacture of the food consists in boiling the milk in a vacuum, which enables them to boil it without heating above one hundred and forty degrees, for milk “cooks” at one hundred and fifty-six degrees. This results, therefore, in removing all water without cooking. The company has a plant in Slough, England, equal to the No. 2 plant of Racine, and supplies from that point Europe, Africa and a part of India. The trade today covers the entire world, shipments leaving for all parts of the world every week. Every Arctic explorer for the past twenty years has carried a supply of Horlick’s malted milk in powder and lunch tablet form, for it supplies more nutrition to the bulk than any other food and people have lived for many years with no other sustenance. It is standard with all the armies of the world and is regarded as an indispensable accessory on all exploration and camping trips.

In 1889 James Horlick went to New York, where he established a branch, and in 1890 opened the English branch and since that time has been in charge of the English plant. He is the president of the company. William Horlick has been managing director of the home plant and has always lived in Racine. He is secretary and treasurer of the company and his two sons are actively associated with him, the elder, A.J., being vice president of the company, with William Horlick, Jr. as secretary. In 1906 the name was changed to Horlick’s Malted Milk Company. There is no other enterprise that has made Racine as well known throughout the world as this product, today used in every civilized country on the face of the globe.

The story mentions that James went to New York in 1889 to start a branch and then moved on to England in 1890 but the NYC directories say otherwise. There’s no mention of James or the business in the 1889 or 1891 NYC directories but James is listed in the 1892 directory. In that directory, and that directory only, he’s listed at 230 Pearl with the title President. I can’t find any mention of Horlick’s in NYC again until 1904 so it doesn’t appear that James established a NY branch at that point though he may have laid the groundwork.

In 1904 A. J. Horlick, one of William’s sons, is listed as a director in a company called H.W. St John & Co. with an address of 239 South Street. Then between 1905 and 1925 Horlick’s Food Co., and later, Horlick’s Malted Milk Co. is listed and H.W. St John & Co. is included in the listing as their agent. Based on the directories I can find they were located at 239 South Street (1905), 37 Pearl Street (1909 – 1917) and 18 Pearl Street (1918 – 1932). In 1948, H.W. St John & Co. is still listed at 18 Pearl but there’s no mention of Horlick’s.

H.W. St John is still in business today. Their web site calls them freight forwarders and says they were founded in 1902. Based on the fact that A.J. Horlick was one of their early (and probably initial) directors, I have to think that the Horlick’s were instrumental in starting the company in NY as an instrument to distribute their products.

As described in the above feature, the secret to Horlick’s success was developing the process of drying milk into a powder. They obtained a patent (278967A) for the process entitled “Granulated food for infants and process of preparing the same” on June 5, 1883, not 1887 as stated in the story. Four years later, in 1887, they trademarked the name “malted milk. The 1883 date is confirmed in a Horlick advertisement entitled “A Discovery that Benefits Mankind” found in the June 25, 1919 issue of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

A 1921 National Association of Retail Druggists price list demonstrated that by then they were not only selling malted milk in different size cans or jars including a “hospital” size but also selling what they called “malted milk lunch tablets.”

Originally intended for infants and invalids, Horlick’s malted milk was a perfect fit for the back packs of explorers and soldiers. According to the Horlick’s web site the drink has made it’s way to both the North and South poles and in fact, Richard Byrd named the Horlicks Mountains on the Ross Ice Shelf in honor of the company’s $30,000 sponsorship.

The 15 acre factory site, located on Northwestern Avenue must have been in a constant state of flux what with the constant building additions and modifications described in the story. The grounds however appeared to be kept perfectly manicured at all times. A February 1912 article in the Practical Druggist summed it up this way:

To gain an adequate idea of the extreme beauty of the surroundings of the Horlick plant, one must visit it during the summer, when the eye can feast on the vision of green turf, the abundant foliage and many-hued flowers and the lagoon.

A couple of Horlick postcards capture both the size of the operation and the impeccable landscaping.

According to a 2001 article in the “Journal Times” the Company shut down in 1975. Today, some of the Horlick building complex remains. Haban Manufacturing was utilizing a portion of it to manufacture snow blowers and related equipment but that company went out of business in 2000.

This photo appears to be the current view of the building to the right in the first Horlick Post Card above.

The jar I found is early machine made and embossed with both Racine and London locations. According to the Horlick’s current web site they established the London factory in 1908 so I assume it was manufactured after that. It was probably wrapped in paper as evidenced by this early 1920’s advertisement from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle that pictures what they call “the old reliable round package”

Huyler’s, New York

According to the “History of Huyler’s Candy Company” by Jennifer Walkowski excerpted from the “Huyler’s Candy Company Building (in Buffalo NY) Nomination for Listing on the State and National Registers of Historic Places:

Huyler’s chocolate and candy company was once the largest and most prominent chocolate maker in the United States. Headquartered in New York City, the Huyler’s company operated a large chain of Huyler’s branded stores across the country in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and their high-quality chocolate products were a part of daily life, given as holiday gifts, used as special indulgences and as treats for young girls and boys.

It is said that Milton Hershey worked at Huyler’s in the mid 1880’s before moving to Pennsylvania and starting the Hershey Co.

The company was founded by John S. Huyler.

His obituary in the October 1, 1910 issue of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle describes the early days of the business

Mr. Hurley was born in Manhattan in 1846, his father being David Huyler. In 1875 he started the business which proved to be the foundation of his fortune, on Broadway near Eighteenth Street, Manhattan. There it was that he made the announcement of “Huyler’s Taffy. Fresh Every Hour.”

This proved a trademark that was on everyone’s tongue, while the candies were in so many mouths that the business speedily grew to immense proportions, and branches were established all over Manhattan Borough.

In 1881 Mr. Huyler formed a corporation under the name of “John S. Huyler” of which his father, David, was made the president. It is a family corporation. Mr. Huyler’s father dying in 1885, John S. became the president in his stead. There are about sixty Huyler stores all over the country. Nineteen are in Manhattan, four are in Brooklyn, and there are branch stores in Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Chicago, Cincinnati, Newark, Atlantic City, Long Branch, Newport and other cities. The factory is in Manhattan.

The growth referred to in the obituary is documented in the New York City Directories.

  • The 1876/1877 Directory listed John S. Huyler at his first location at 863 Broadway. His occupation is listed as “candy and old fashioned molasses candy”
  • By 1886, the factory and offices had been established at 64 Irving Place and were listed along with what appear to be three Manhattan retail locations; the original store at 863 Broadway as well as 150 Broadway and 17 W. 42nd Street.
  • By 1905, two additional Manhattan retail locations were added; 508 Fifth Avenue (pictured below) and 469 Broadway.
  • Then four years later in 1909, in addition to the Irving Place factory and offices, the number of Manhattan retail locations had soared to 21 (as opposed to 19 mentioned in the obituary).

Most of the NYC store openings were announced in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. The announcements provide some insight into the store decor and products. The following is from the June 14, 1906 issue of the Brookyn Daily Eagle announcing the opening of the store at 81 Nassau Street.

Another Huyler store has opened at 81 Nassau Street, Manhattan, where the well-known Huyler candies and chocolates will be on sale to relieve the rush of their other downtown stores. The new store makes eleven opened by Huyler in greater New York, and the twenty-sixth in the chain of stores operated directly by the Huyler Corporation in various parts of the States and Canada. The store is handsomely appointed, finished in mahogany and with a tasty color scheme carried out on walls, ceiling and decorations; it cannot fail to satisfy those who come in to enjoy their famous fountain drinks, which will be served to perfection. The store will have a soda counter fifty-five feet in length, able to accommodate the crowds that will flock there for their celebrated ice cream soda, phosphates, etc. It is located handier to the Wall Street and jewelers district than any other in their chain.

Another, this one in the May 14, 1908 issue announced a new store in Hudson Terminal (now the World Trade Center PATH Station) with a sales approach aimed at daily commuters. It describes a process that still thrives today in commuter terminals.

The opening of the latest Huyler store today in the Hudson Terminal Building at Cortlandt and Church Streets just west of Broadway is an instance of the up-to-dateness of the big company, which aims to keep its advance line of stores abreast of the shifting lines of demand. For customers in a hurry to catch ferries or elevated trains they will make a special feature of carrying in stock a full supply of freshly packed boxes ready to carry without a moments delay…

John Huyler was a man who apparently appreciated those who worked for him as evidenced by this paragraph that was included in his obituary:

He was in the habit of giving his employees in Manhattan an annual outing, hiring a steamboat for the day. It was also his policy to look after the welfare of old employees, providing them with a home. He purchased ground on the Hudson for that purpose. He was also a generous contributor to Syracuse University, a Methodist institution, of which he was a trustee. He recently made a gift of $20,000 to that institution.

After his death, the business remained in the Huyler family. The 1915 NYC Directory listed Frank DeKlyn Huyler, his oldest son, as president, B. F. DeKlyn, a relative by marriage, as Vice president, and two other sons, David and Coulter as treasurer and secretary respectively. By this time the retail store count had reached 23 Manhattan locations and another 5 in Brooklyn.

In the early 1920’s, Huyler’s began expanding outside of the candy world, opening restaurants. An announcement in the December 13, 1924 issue of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle for a new store in Brooklyn described both the restaurant and the target audience.

Huyler’s are opening a new store at 529 Fulton Street, between Duffield and Gold Streets, Brooklyn, in the heart of the theatre and shopping district. Distinguished in the candy world for 50 successful years, they need no introduction to the Brooklyn public. Huyler’s candy has maintained its superiority for years and has become a standard of excellence today. The soda fountain should be mentioned also for it’s cleanliness and order, its efficient and tasteful service, and its delicious fresh fruit syrups.

The distinctive feature of the new store is a fine restaurant equipped with all the modern conveniences to meet the demands of the busy shopper as well as a more leisure tete-a-tete. You will find there all the refinement and good taste which characterizes all the Huyler’s restaurants.

A men’s grill in early American style will be opened very soon to serve the business man who insists on pleasant surroundings, as well as a well cooked, substantial meal at moderate prices.

A comfortable waiting room has been provided so that there need be no waiting in line during the rush hours.

The many friends and patrons of the Huyler’s store, located for years at 458 Fulton street, will be glad to know that this new store is opening almost directly across the street, and that it will be managed by Miss Godsil, well known and liked by a highly esteemed clientele.

Finally, after 50 years, the family sold the business in 1925. Subsequently owned by several different entities, I don’t find any advertisements for them after the early 1950’s. The original store location was still in business as late as 1944 as evidenced by a June 28 classified ad that used the 863 Broadway address.

The jar I found is a small (4 1/2 inches high), early machine made jar. A 1905 advertisement for Frederick Loeser & Co. listed Huyler jars that contained “assorted fruit balls, lemon balls and horehound sticks.”

It also could have contained powdered chocolate or cocoa which were also Huyler products.

Knapp’s Root Beer Extract

Knapp’s Root Beer Extract had it’s origins with the druggist P B Knapp whose business dates back to 1839. Knapp ran a medicine warehouse at 362 Hudson Street where he sold proprietary medicines, both wholesale and retail. The business was listed in the 1847 NYC Directory at that address and remained there through at least the early 1930’s.

Originally called “Knapp’s Extract of Roots,” an 1876 advertisement in the American Journal of Pharmacy stated in part that it’s “the extract from which the popular beverage known as Knapp’s Root Beer is made.”

The advertisement stated that Knapp’s Root Beer Extract “has been well established for over 30 years” and advertisements in later years state “Sold since 1839.” This dates the product to right about the start of the business.

The first advertisement I could find for Knapp’s was in a July, 1859 edition of the Burlington (Vt) Daily Times. Apparently someone name H.N. Coon was making Root Beer from their extract and selling it in the ‘Irving Saloon.” That night you could have had a glass of Knapp’s Root Beer with your fresh lobster!

An 1863 advertisement in the New York Times stated:

One of the pleasantest and healthiest beverages known is made from the extract, and its invigorating qualities are such as to recommend it alike to the invalid, as well as those in the enjoyment of good health.

The advertisement went on to target a wide and varied audience.

Druggists, masters of vessels, hotel keepers, root beer makers, sutlers in the army and private families, etc. will find it to their advantage to use this invaluable compound, as it will insure to them at all times a healthy and delicious beverage.

Around 1883, the name of the product was modified from “Extract of Roots” to “Root Beer Extract” but continued to be advertised by P B Knapp (by this time it’s P B Knapp & Sons).

It’s around 1889 that their famous trademark “the genius of the bottle” began to appear in advertisements. One from the May 16, 1891 issue of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle pictured the trade mark and stated:

The genius of the bottle. He cheers but not inebriates. He is the genius of Knapp’s Root Beer Extract Bottle and the refreshing servant of all who wish for a glass of root beer in five minutes.

The above advertisement was certainly designed for appeal to the temperance movement. Two other 1891 advertisements, one from the May 21, 1891 issue of the NY Herald and another from the June 8, 1891 issue of the Port Jervis Evening Gazette serve to make the same point at the expense of Rip Van Winkle.

Hello, Rip Van Winkle! What a pity you don’t drink Root Beer made from Knapp’s Root Beer Extract; it doesn’t inebriate.

Do you remember how Joe Jefferson as Rip Van Winkle is constantly saying “may you live long and prosper.” Would have been better for Rip had he taken nothing stronger than beer made from Knapp’s Root Beer Extract.

Sometime in the early 1890’s, the manufacture and marketing of Knapp’s Root Beer Extract shifted from PB Knapp & Sons to the Knapp Extract Co.

The first listing for the Knapp Extract Co. that I can find is in the 1894 NYC Directory with an address of 168 Duane Street. They remained at this address until 1910, when they moved to 85 Warren Street. They remained listed at that address through 1912. During this period, there appears to be no connection between P B Knapp & Sons and the Knapp Extract Co. They both maintained different addresses and there were no common principals that I can identify.

Soon after 1912, the product was discontinued.  The following notice appeared in the National Provisioner as well as several other publications:

FOR SALE

About one hundred gross Knapp’s Root Beer Extract regular packages. Manufacture being discontinued. Send best cash offer. Knapp Extract Co., 554 W 183rd Street, New York.

I can’t find a listing for Knapp’s Extract Co for this address or time frame so I assume it was just rented space used for storage.

The Knapp Extract Co is no longer listed in the 1914 or 1915 NYC Directories.

So, how does one make root beer from root beer extract? Well, this 1893 advertisement touts that one bottle of the root beer extract, combined with 6 gallons of water, one cake of fresh compressed yeast and four pounds of granulated sugar makes 6 gallons of root beer. The advertisement goes on to state that that their root beer is the “most delicious, health-giving and invigorating drink” and suggests that it is a healthier alternative than ice water (4 lbs of sugar not withstanding!!!).

Today, the building at 168 Duane Street was built in 1910, so it looks like their 1910 move from Duane Street to Warren Street was necessitated by the demolition required to build the building that’s there today. The former footprint of 85 Warren Street is now part of 275 Greenwich Street, a modern structure.

The bottle I found is small, rectangular and mouth blown with the little genius trade mark embossed on it. Based on this I’d say it was made no earlier than 1889 and as late as 1912, the estimated end date of the product. The back of the bottle would have had a label similar to one I saw on E-Bay that is pictured below.

 

 

 

 

Wm F. Voigt, 452 E 78th Street, New York

voigt

Carl and William F Voigt were brothers, both of whom immigrated from Germany, settled in the Yorkville section of Manhattan and were involved in the pickle/horseradish business.

A book by Richard Panchyk entitled “German New York City” tells Carl’s story:

Carl Frederick Voigt, born in 1848 came to New York City from Eisenberg Saxony in 1866. He originally lived on the Bowery but later moved to Yorkville and founded a pickle works there on East 78th Street. Although the factory made and bottled pickled beets and mussels, their specialty was horseradish. He is shown (a picture of a stocky man sitting with two standing young boys) in about 1892 with young sons Jacob and William both of whom worked for the family business. The horseradish root was ground by hand, prepared from a special recipe and bottled, and then the condiments were loaded onto a horse drawn cart and delivered to saloons and hotels around the neighborhood. After Carl’s death in 1906, his sons carried on the business. Sometime around 1920, Best Foods offered to buy the Voigts out, but the deal fell through and the business was finished.

The NYC directories generally support the above story. The first listing I can find for Carl (Chas)Voigt was in the 1881 NYC Directory, located at 1472 First Avenue with the occupation “preserves.” Over the next 20 years he was listed at 1472 First Avenue (1880 to 1886) and 1483 Avenue A (1889 to 1896). Both locations were within a block or so of 78th Street in Yorkville. It appears that Carl’s son Jacob got involved in the business around 1900. The 1901 directory refers to the business as C.F. Voigt  & Son (Charls F. and Jacob W). At this point the business was located on 74th St. and later 76th Street.

According to census records, William F Voight was six years younger than Carl and arrived in the US several years later in 1871. NYC Directories indicated that William was located at 452 East 78th Street from 1891 to 1905. During much of this time Carl’s address was 1483 Avenue A. As best as I can tell, it appears that both addresses were either associated with the same building located on the corner of 78th Street and York Avenue or across the street from each other. It’s not clear if the businesses were ever connected.

After 1905, NYC Directories and census records for 1910 and 1920 listed William as a clerk, laborer and later foreman in the pickle business so it looks like he ended his own business and started working for someone else. By then his listed residential address was on East 84th Street. He passed away in 1920.

NYBits.com indicates that the current building at 452 East 78th Street was built in 1910 but I’m not convinced. It’s a four story “walk-up” with a commercial store on York Avenue and a residential entrance on 78th Street. The 1892 photograph mentioned in the story sure looks like it was taken in front of the residential entrance.

The bottle I found has a round shape (approximately 5 oz) and I thought it was a medicine until I did the research. Now I’m convinced it contained horseradish. Wiliiam’s name and the 452 E 78th Street address is embossed on it, so it dates between 1891 and 1905.

In response to this post, I was contacted by a Voigt family member who confirmed that William and Carl ran two separate businesses. William’s was quite impressive and included an upstate farm to supply the business. Carl’s was called Voigt’s Red Horseradish.

L Rose & Co.

 

    

According to Grace’s Guide to British Industrial History, Lauchlan Rose established L. Rose & Co in 1865 in Leith, Edinburg, Scotland. The company sold a concentrated brand of fruit juices.

After starting the business, Rose developed and patented a process that effectively prevented fermentation and preserved fruit juice without the need for alchohol. Prior to development of this process they preserved fruit juice by mixing in 15% rum. At about the same time, the Merchant Shipping Act of 1867 was passed making it compulsory for ships to carry limejuice to combat scurvy, which is caused by a deficiency of Vitamin C. As a result of these two factors, the company experienced a significant increase in demand for their product, fueling their growth.

An advertisement for L Rose & Co’s Patent Preserved West India Lime Juice and Cordial appears in the Central Advertiser of the March 7, 1868 issue of The Lancet – A Journal of British and Foreign Medicine. It touts its medicinal properties as:

antiscorbutic, highly beneficial in Rheumatism, an excellent tonic, also a cooling drink for heat in blood and skin. Sold by grocers, wine and spirit merchants, confectioners and chemists.

Their unique bottle design that includes embossed lime leaves and fruit has been part of their packaging dating back to at least 1880. This is confirmed by the following advertisement contained in the Church of Englnd Temperance Chronical dated July 17, 1880.

Messrs. Rose & Co. as the original manufacturers and patentees of the lime juice beverages prepared from the West India lime fruit, now so favorably known as supplying delicious, wholesome beverages, highly medicinal, preserved without the aid of spirits, beg to caution buyers against the now numerous imitations of these beverages, more especially of their LimeJuice Cordial, by rectifiers, wine makers and others. As protection against such, Messrs. Rose & Co have adopted glass stoppered bottles engraved with the lime fruit as trade mark, specially manufactured for them, and registered, the labels also bearing the signature of the firm. Purchasers are respectfully requested to order Rose’s Lime Juice Cordial, and other beverages noted below (Rose’s Limetta Ginger Cordial and Rose’s Prepared Lime Juice) to protect themselves further against such imitations.

The advertisement goes on to tout the following four products:

Rose’s Lime Juice Cordial – In water, or in soda, potass and other aerated waters, supplies a delicious beverage, effectually quenching thirst, cooling and refreshing the system. It will be found particularly agreeable blended with spirits, supplying a delicious stimulant, equaling the finest liqueurs, sustaining and invigorating; also forming an excellent substitute for the lemon as a flavoring in hot drinks, etc.

Rose’s Limetta Ginger Cordial – Is another form of the limejuice cordial, combined with ginger. Supplies an excellent stomachic. May be drank alone or in water or blended with spirits. As a drink for the cold season, it will be found particularly agreeable in hot water.

Rose’s Prepared Lime Juice – Is the refined juice of the lime fruit. It is used for the same purposes as the lemon, to which it is much superior as a medicinal agent, and its acidity considered more agreeable.

Rose’s Lime Juice Champagne – This agreeable sparkling wine, free from spirit, and retaining all the valuable medicinal properties of the lime fruit, has attained a high position in public estimation, and is highly recommended for its wholesome and medicinal properties. Furnishing a delightful and refreshing draught, it is particularly adapted for the ballroom, soiree and evening parties. In Champagne bottles, quarts and pints.

rose-ad

In 1891 the Company bought the Bath and Eishall Estates in Dominica and adapted an old sugar factory to the processing of limes. Fresh limes were annually shipped to North America while lime juice arrived in the U.S. from the U.K. In the 1920’s L Rose & Co was the main buyer of limes from across the island. Later, in the 1940’s the company also became known for its lime marmalade.

According to the 1884 edition of “NY’s Greatest Industries – It’s Leading Merchants and Manufacturers” W. Fleming & Co. first introduced L. Rose & Co.s lime juice into the U.S. in 1868.  Founded in 1864, W. Fleming & Co were importers of fancy groceries and, according to this advertisement printed in the June 26, 1875 edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, were the sole U.S. agent for several L Rose products, including Rose’s Lime Juice, Lime Juice Cordial and Lime Juice Champagne.

The advertisement listed W. Fleming Co.’s address as 87 Warren Street and  65 Murray Street. Sometime around 1876 they moved to Reade Street and later Duane Street where they were located at several addresses between 1876 and 1905. The company was indicated as “dissolved” in the 1906 NYC Copartnership and Corporation Directory. It’s not clear if W. Fleming & Co. acted as Rose’s agent up until 1906 or who their U.S. agent was afterwards.

Schwepps acquired L Rose & Co in 1957 and through a series of acquisitions Rose’s Lime Juice, as well as other products under the Rose label, are stilll made today by the “Dr. Pepper Snapple Group”

The bottle I found is mouth blown, roughly 6 to 8 ounces and is embossed with the L. Rose & Co. name as well as the trade-mark lime leaves and fruit. It probably held either the lime juice or one of the cordials.

D. Cameron, New York

cameron

Donald Cameron was born in 1808, in the colony of Berbice, Dutch Guiana, moved to Scotland at an early age and was educated in Edinborough and London. In 1825 he entered the mercantile business and in 1855 came to the United States.

His story and that of his two sons, Donald S Cameron and Lambert van Battenberg Cameron is best told in “A History of Long Island – From It’s Earliest Settlement to the Present Time – Volume 2” published in 1902.

Soon after his arrival he entered the employ of John F Smith & Company of New York City as confidential clerk and bookkeeper. Three years later he became a member of the firm of John M. Smith, Son & Company, then among the largest provision shippers between New York and the West Indies. In 1884 was organized the firm of D. & D.S. Cameron, the eldest son of Mr. Cameron being the junior partner and this existed until after the death of the elder Cameron, which occurred July 31, 1888. At the time of his death, Donald Cameron was one of the oldest members of the New York Produce Exchange.

Lambert van Batenberg Cameron, second of the surviving sons of Donald Cameron was born in Brooklyn, September 9,1856… In 1880 he aided in the establishing the the firm (L.V.B. Cameron & Co.) which he is present head and manager. The principal business of the house is sugar brokerage, with large dealings in coffees, teas, syrups, etc.

Much of the history of the Cameron companies is confirmed in the various New York City Directories which list all three Camerons over a period from 1865 to at least 1925. They were labeled from directory to directory as either merchants, brokers, provisions, oil or sugar. All had common addresses for much of the period.

  • Donald Cameron was first listed in the 1864/1865 Directory as a merchant. Between 1865 and 1877 he’s listed individually and later, in the late 1870’s he started listing Donald Cameron & Co. as well. He started at 122 Broad Street and at some point moved to 116 Broad Street. By 1889 he’s no longer listed individually.
  • In 1878 D (Donald) Stuart Cameron joined Donald and they continue to be listed as Donald Cameron & Co from 1878 to approximately 1883. Later they were listed as D & DS Cameron. During this period they moved from 116 Broad Street to 2 Stone Street and end up at 100 Wall Street.
  • From 1883 to 1890, Lambert Cameron, was listed as a broker at 109 Water Street.
  • Around 1891 they came together at the 100 Wall Street address that included both D & D S Cameron and L V B Cameron & Co. By 1894, D & D S Cameron was no longer listed and soon after Donald S, Lambert and LVB Cameron & Co were all located at 121 Front Street. Lambert V B Cameron and Donald Stuart Cameron were both listed as principals in L V B Cameron & Co in the 1900 NYC Copartnersip and Corporation Directory but only Lanbert was listed in 1901. The company appears to have been primarily concerned with sugar and lasts at least into the mid 1920’s.

I found two small round bottles embossed identically “D Cameron New York”. As a result, they could date prior to 1884 when Donald Stuart joined his father Donald in business but certainly no later than 1894 when the only company name listed was L V B Cameron & Co. The bottles are also embossed with a trade mark depicting a raised sword.

I was contacted by a relative of the Camerons who read the initial version of this post and pointed out to me that the old crest of the Cameron clan in Scotland is described as follows:

A dexter arm embowed in armour, the hand grasping a sword, all proper, encircled by a belt and buckle.

The trademark on the bottle and the crest are certainly a match so the trademark design must have been influenced by Donald Cameron’s childhood roots in Scotland.

Many thanks to her for pointing this out as well as all the other information she provided. It’s what makes this all fun!