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page 174 -- Coats & Clark Thread, H.B Cook shoes

updated 22 August 2018
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The site of this business is now a public park. 

J & P Coats, according to Wikipedia, was founded by James Coats in 1826 in Scotland. It merged with the Clark Thread Company and after several more iterations is now a part of Coats plc, a private multinational company. I guess. See below.

As part of their 200th anniversary in 2012, Coats & Clark (with which it merged in the early 1950's) developed a great history of the company. The Coats & Clark timeline is a great feature of their site, as is their 1882 gallery of trade cards (which does not include this one). "Best six cord" refers to the quality of this thread, which is suitable for use in sewing machines, not just hand sewing.

Racism permeated American and European culture in Victorian times. Its expression, however, was somewhat different than it is today in "polite" society.


On a card not originally in the Arnold scrapbook, J&P Coats uses a popular opera (Mikado) to advertise its colorful options. Here's the reverse of the card followed by a sample of the opera from YouTube.

Fanciful use for rather large spools of Coats/Clark's thread abound, as shown by this recent addition:

Here's another Coats card acquired recently by the Arnold Collection:

(reverse of above)

Another excellent source for the history of this company is

For further information , see

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