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page 194 -- Thorpe Boots and Shoes, Horsfords Acid Phosphate

updated 31 May 2018

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ThorpeW. W., Shoes, Trunks and Bags, 144 Main Street
Thorpe, Alice A. Dunbar, wife of W.W., born 1847, died 1912Thorpe, Warren W., born 1839, died 1927

info from "in the Olden Time New Cambridge"
City Print Company 1 Jan 1907
via Google

In 2016, I am unable to find a definition for the use of "hard pan" or "hardpan prices" in relation to commerce. Several can be found that refer to this phrase as a noun describing a soil condition. So I will make up my own, based on the usage I see here. "Hardpan prices" = low, rock-bottom, small profit margin, you won't find any lower prices among competitors in this region.

Rumsford Chemical Works printed a booklet that outlines possible uses of its acid phosphate:

Acid Phosphate

by  on July 31, 2010
"The most popular drink in the world was once made using Acid Phosphate. Today, Coca-Cola no longer uses this unique ingredient, instead they have simplified their formulation by using phosphoric acid, which still makes it a phosphated soda, but not the classic version. The 'phosphate drink' was the most popular drink at soda fountains for over 70 years, but once Acid Phosphate disappeared the real phosphated soda disappeared too."
-- quote from "Art of Drink" I recommend the whole article, as it is an excellent summary of the history and use of this product.
 I thought the half-amused expression on the accordionist's face was unusual until I found this YouTube video of a modern musician in similar circumstances:
(You won't have to watch all 4 min. to get the idea.)

You'll notice in the upper left corner on the card above is a bust of "Count Rumford." So who was Count Rumford? According to (, Count Rumford was:
1753 -1814

World-renowned Soldier, Statesman, Inventor & Scientist
He led a pretty scary life here in the States because of his allegiance to the Crown for just a bit longer than socially acceptable to American revolutionaries. He escaped to England with other Loyalists and had a productive though perhaps less dangerous life thereafter. Click the link to his biography above for a very adequate short summary of his life.

Meanwhile, back here in the 21st century, Count Rumford's birthplace has been preserved. It's in Massachusetts as found by Google Street View in Oct. 2017: 

 (You can't miss it for all the signage on Elm St. in Woburn, MA)

The Rumford Chemical Works, manufacturer of Horsfeld's, exists today as the Rumford Center in Providence, RI. Here's a photo of their buildings from their website:

For additional information, see: 

East Providence Historical Society

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