|Arm and Hammer
The Church and Dwight Co.was
formed in 1847. It is commonly recognized by its Arm and Hammer
trademark, which is modeled after Vulcan, the mythological god
of fire and metalworking. The company issued its first bird cards
100 years ago in an effort to raise public awareness of threatened
wildlife. Baking soda birdcards, especially those illustrated
by Louis Agassiz Fuertes, are highly collectible today.
Birdcard from Annie Grace Clark Scrapbook
|Armour and Co.
Bitten by the gold-rush
bug, Philip Armour walked from New York to San Francisco. When
that didn’t pan out, he headed home. A stop in Milwaukee
impressed him and he decided to stay. Looking to invest, he bought
into a packing company. In 1864, with the $2 million he made
in the New York pork market, he opened the Armour Meat Packing
Co. Today we know his hot dogs as the “dogs kids love to
Extract of Beef advertisement
In 1899, Grocer E.
A. Stuart founded the Pacific Coast Condensed Milk
Company in Kent, Washington. In searching for a perfect
name for his product, Stuart passed a store window
with a cigar display, proclaiming their name –
Carnation. He thought the name to be silly for cigars,
but perfect for his new milk products. The 1907 slogan,
“milk from contented cows,” referred to
the happy cows grazing in the lush Pacific Northwest.
1915 The Story of Carnation Milk cookbook
|Dutch Boy Paints
Process” for making paint, adopted by the Dutch
Boy Co., originated with two chemists in 16th century
Holland. The Dutch Boy icon was created to symbolize
its superior method for creating paint. However, Michael
E. Brady, the 9-year-old boy who became the inspiration
for this famous trademark, wasn’t Dutch at all.
He was an Irish American who lived near the artist
commissioned to create the logo.
Dutch Boy Paints advertisement
King Camp Gillette’s
father was a part-time patent agent and inventor.
Seventeen-year-old Gillette became a traveling salesman
and, following in his father’s inventive footsteps,
tried to improve the products he sold. While shaving
one morning on the road, he had a brainstorm –
to develop a razor that had a safe, inexpensive and
disposable blade. His 1904 patent of the double-edged
“safety razor” blade changed the history
|Goodyear Tire Co.
discovered “vulcanized” rubber by accident.
Mid-19th century rubber products cracked in the cold
or melted in the heat. While showing off one of his
“improved rubber experiments” in a general
store, Goodyear accidentally dropped some rubber mixed
with sulpher on a pot-bellied stove. The resulting
tough substance – patented in 1844 as vulcanized
rubber - revolutionized the rubber industry.
1861 advertisement - The original rubber store
began selling products door-to-door at age 8 in his
hometown of Norfolk, Nebraska. In 1910, at age 17,
he moved to Kansas City to promote his brother's postcard
business. Greeting cards were soon added to the Hall
Brothers Co. product line. In 1925, the term Hallmark
was first used on the backs of cards. Today, the slogan
– “when you care enough to send the very
best” – is synonymous with Hallmark.
Greeting card from Emma Saxton Pascoe scrapbook
|Hamilton Watch Co.
Co. produced its first watch in 1893. Its “Broadway
Limited” watch – dubbed the “Watch
of Railroad Accuracy” - was produced to keep
railways on time and on track. During World War Two,
Hamilton produced nearly 1 millionwatches for military
use. Innovative firsts of the Hamilton Watch Company
include the first battery-powered watch (the 1957
Ventura) and the first digital watch (the1972 Pulsar.)
1913 Hamilton Watch booklet
and John Gamble started business selling candles and
soap from a wheelbarrow. In 1879 John Gamble developed
a formula for an inexpensive white soap. A workman
accidentally left the soap machine running while he
went to lunch. Air entered the soap mixture, creating
the phenomenon of a floating soap. The soap's name
- Ivory -was inspired by a Bible passage containing
the words "out of ivory palaces."
and Gamble soap kettles photograph
1845, Peter Cooper, inventor and founder of Cooper
Union, obtained the first patent for a gelatin dessert.
In 1897, Pearl Wait, a cough medicine maker from Leroy,
New York obtained the patent and added fruit flavoring
to the gelatin, calling it Jell-O. The business was
sold two years later for $450 to Orator F. Woodward.
Today, 158 products are made under the Jell-O brand
name and 300 million boxes are sold annually.
Deere began his career as a blacksmith. Upon moving
from Vermont to Illinois in search of better economic
opportunities, he found that cast iron plows brought
from the East were too flimsy for farming the Midwest
soil. In 1837, using a broken saw blade, he fashioned
a steel plow that proved to be perfect for prairie
needs. His small blacksmith shop grew into the industrial
giant that today serves more than 160 countries.
Farmer’s Pocket Companion booklet
1894, a sailor became ill in Boston. His landlady
offered to make him a pudding from the cassava roots
he had brought from his journeys. The pudding proved
tasty, but to create a smoother consistency, the sailor
suggested first putting the roots through a coffee
grinder. The creamy tapioca pudding was a hit with
her boarders. That year, J. S. Whitman bought the
landlady’s recipe rights and the Minute Tapioca
Co. was born.
1923 Minute Tapioca Cook Book
In 1848, Alonzo Richmond arrived in Chicago to launch his salt
distribution business. The westward movement created a great demand
for salt and his company thrived. In 1886, Joy Morton acquired
a major interest in the company, and by 1910, it was renamed the
Morton Salt Co. The “umbrella girl” and her accompanying
slogan - “When it rains, it pours” – have endured
since their first advertising appearance in 1911.
1928 Morton Salt dock building photograph
1895, C. W. Post made his first batch of the cereal
beverage - Postum. Grape Nuts, one of the first cold
cereal products, followed in 1897. His 1904 corn flake
product, Elijah’s Manna, was later renamed Post
Toasties. Post Bran Flakes was introduced in 1922.
Although the original Postum Cereal Co. no longer
exists, Kraft General Foods Co. still markets its
many cereals under the respected “Post”
Post Bran Flakes promotion photograph
history traces back to 1901 when several top oat-milling
companies incorporated under the name Quaker Oats
Co. The Quaker Oats Man is one of the oldest advertising
characters still in use. Although none of the founding
owners were Quakers, the image was chosen to represent
purity, simplicity and quality. In 1877, this image
became the first registered trademark for a breakfast
Quaker Wheat Berries advertisement
1892, Henry Perky invented a machine to make the shredded
wheat biscuit. He really wanted to sell the machine,
but tried to promote his idea by delivering “Cereal
Machine Company” biscuits by horse-drawn carriage.
People were more interested in his biscuits than the
machines, so he opened a bakery and added the name
Shredded Wheat Company. Millions of biscuits later,
shredded wheat remains a breakfast favorite.
All in the Shreds” postcard
1849, after cultivating 22,000 grape seedlings, Ephraim
Wales Bull finally grew a vine that yielded grapes
with the flavor and appearance he was seeking. By
1854, he had raised enough vines to start selling
grapes. He called them “Concord Grapes”
after the Massachusetts town where he conducted his
experiments. Today Welch’s is headquarted in
Concord, right near Bull’s original parent vine.
Original concord grape vine photograph
Henry Wells and William Fargo opened for business
in 1852, they changed the course of 19th century travel,
delivery and banking. Their Concord stagecoach could
hold up to 18 passengers, traveled 5 miles per hour,
and changed horses every 12 to 20 miles. The company
thrived and today Wells Fargo’s diversified
financial services company has more than $300 billion
Wells Fargo stagecoach photograph
1891, 29-year-old William Wrigley Jr. arrived in Chicago
with $32. He began selling baking powder and came
up with the idea of offering two packages of chewing
gum as premiums with each can. People were more interested
in the chewing gum, so Wrigley began to market gum
under his own name. He introduced Juicy Fruit in 1893
and Spearmint a year later. Today, the Wrigley Co.
operates 14 factories around the world.
YOU find out? When did Edison did patent the phonograph?
How many patents did Thomas Alva Edison acquire in
his lifetime? Learn more about Edison by visiting
the American Memory collection – Inventing
|Florsheim Shoe Co.
YOU find out? Who started the Florsheim Shoe Company? When did
the company start producing shoes? Where is the company headquarters
located? Check out Florsheim’s official company site to find
Florsheim Shoe advertisement
Can YOU find out? How did the
Mobil Co. get its start? When did the company start
using the Pegasus logo? Learn more by visiting the
1953 Mobil Oil sign photograph