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Showing posts from April, 2015

page 80 -- Philip Grace Jr., S.R. Hart, E.C. Abbey M.D., the New Jewel, Hub stove, Smith & Anthony Stove Company

updated 2 October 2018 Puzzle cards fascinated Victorian families for hours. The Tollgate series below is one of the most famous, but it was just one of many featured on advertising trade cards. Here's a puzzle distributed by Carters, makers of Liver Pills, etc.:





East Carolina University displays the back of this card:


The text of  The Sexual System and its Derangements is available from the Museum of Menstruation and Women's Health, together with information which puts the contents in proper historical context.

East Carolina University's Digital Collections displays another of the four cards in the Toll Gate series which is reproduced below. (As you have probably observed, these cards were "puzzle cards" with hidden images. A portion of the back of the card is also reproduced to give you an idea of the challenge before you. Can your 5-year-old find all the images? If you are having trouble, refer to the original image on the East Carolina site.)



On a roll, are you…

page 81 -- Rough on Rats, Chesebrough Manufacturing Co., Vaseline, Louis Steinert, H.A. Bartlett, Dr. Mettaur's Headache Pills

updated 23 November 2015


Robert Augustus Chesebrough invented Vaseline (U.S. Patent No. 127,568, 1872). The company itself was successful though its name was never as famous as that of its product. Wikipedia's article on Chesebrough Manufacturing discusses both the product and the history of the company. James Bennett's site, comestics and skin, also has an excellent article tracing company history and elaborating on variations of the company product itself.

Variously labeled as "Monarch Luggage Company" and "American Can Company, Stopper Factory," this Google Street View (Jan 2013) shows what remains of a large complex of Chesebrough buildings as described by Maggie Land Blanck on her detailed site. The history of this Brooklyn location is complicated. To unscramble it, Maggie's site is highly recommended.


The process of making Vaseline in the late 1800s was not for the faint of heart. As some of the resources above note, fires were frequent, punctuate…

page 82 -- Frank Miller & Sons, Mason & Hamlin

updated 25 November 2015 In July of 2015, Google Street View finds that 185 Main St. is now the home of the Institute of Technology and Business Development, a part of Central Connecticut State University:



Frank Miller & Sons started in Warsaw, NY (1838) before moving operations to NYC. The site Glass Bottle Marks summarizes firm history and elaborates on the various glassware associated with the company's distribution and advertising.





Google Books presents us with a sample ad for Frank Miller & Sons:
TitleSocial amusements: a choice collection of parlor games, tricks, charades, tableaux, parlor theatricals, pantomimes and palmistry, and figures and calls for dancing, and the language of the flowers ...Compiled byA. C. SheldonPublisherPennsylvania Company, 1886Length96 pages


Mason & Hamlin's success story began with the invention of a twisted reed.
TitleA Handbook of American Music and Musicians: Containing Biographies of American Musicians and Histories of the Principa…
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