Skip to main content
To translate web pages
copy URL & click globe

page 22 -- J.W. Bussing, The Wellman & Dwire Tobacco Co., Miles & Beard

updated 1 November 2015
<PREVIOUS PAGE      ~ index ~       NEXT PAGE>

from Shakespeare's Macbeth:
“Lay on, Macduff, and damned be him who first cries ‘Hold! enough!’”

change of plans?
The number in the lower left indicates this card is part of a series.

"When the cat's away, the mice will play," or maybe snooze...
which Wiktionary translates as
"In the absence of a controlling entity, subordinates will take advantage of circumstances."
Visual communication is quick, clear and forceful. Note that the idiom evoking the image of cats and mice has power that the Wiktionary definition lacks. Speak in pictures and you will be heard!

Looks like an actual cedar shingle in hand.
This form of discipline was common in many
households well into the 20th century.

a fairly common caricature in the 19th century

"Topsy" was a fictional character,
a racial stereotype.

Displayed by the Henry Ford Online Collections, the back of a J.W. Bussing card gives one an idea of the variety of goods sold by the store:

from Amsterdam, its Representative Business Men and Points of Interest, p.17
via Google Books and
vicinity of 48 E. Main St., Amsterdam NY,
possible locaton of J.W. Bussey
Google Street View 2007
419-425 Payson Ave.
The Wellman & Dwire operation is described in this Google Books reference:

A more colorful logo appeared on some Mule Ear products (Library of Congress):

As the tobacco industry recognized the growing market power of African-Americans, racial stereotypes became less obnoxious. It doesn't pay to insult your potential customers!

Charles W. Miles & Samuel H. Beard
A stumper! Please comment below or email me if you find anything on either "Miles & Beard" or the Concord brand range...or the unhappy kitty....

It appears that a "J.G. Francis" may have designed this card. So far, I haven't been able to find anything about the artist, either.

The author of the first comment on this post has given permission to reproduce the lithograph we are discussing. Here is "Little Sarah;"

If you know anything about the artist or model,
please join our conversation. Thanks!

The inspiration for "Little Sarah" might go all the way back to a pamphlet published in 1847, "Jesus Says So - or a Memorial to Little Sarah G--" by the Religious Tract Society of London. With the help of the Guernsey County Public Library staff, I have also found a listing for an online auction of this work in 2005.
The author of this blog has attempted to correctly apply terms and conditions to Content. These pages and associated images are being made available exclusively for use in non-commercial and non-profit study, scholarship, research, or teaching . Researchers are responsible for using these materials in accordance with Title 17 of the United States Code and any other applicable statutes. All trademarks, service marks, trade names, trade dress, product names and logos appearing on this blog are the property of their respective owners.. In the event that any Content infringes your rights or Content is not properly identified or acknowledged please email me. Thanks! 

This site includes historical materials that may contain negative stereotypes or language reflecting the culture or language of a particular period or place. These items are presented as part of the historical record, and do not represent or in any way reflect the personal views of the author of this blog, his ancestors, or his family.

QR code
QR Code for this page (22)

<PREVIOUS PAGE      ~ index ~       NEXT PAGE>


Unknown said…
Around 1965, my uncle was involved in a clean-up project of the old Cambridge Soap Co, that Lever Bros bought, then closed in Cambridge, Ohio. He gave me a framed lithograph of a little girl, called"Little Sarah", that he said was hanging in the office and he saved from being thrown away. The picture looks very much in line with other soap girl advertising of the time. JJ Ottoman is printed at the bottom of the lithograph. I took the back out of the picture and it says "Cambridge Soap Co" on the back. I can't find out any information on the artist or anything else online. Do you have any ideas as to where I might look for further information on her? It's a beautiful picture of a girl in a cream colored dress, holding a bouquet under a sky full of clouds. Thanks for any info you can provide.
Jeff Diver said…
In general I have found very little information on the artists who created the many cards in this collection. The identity of some of the models used can also be hard to track down, even though some turn out to be people who were quite well known in their day. In this case, I started with the Guernsey County Public Library( 24 hour chat service. Here's how that went:
Chat is availableKnowItNow24x7

22:52 me Thank you for this great service! Are there particular hours of the day when Guernsey Public Library reference librarians staff chat?
22:52 Librarian Hi
22:52 Librarian I am not certain if librarians from that location staff.
22:52 Librarian Can I help you with anything right now ?
22:56 me I am the creator of the Earl J. Arnold Advertising Card Collection 1885 ( and have received a question from one of my visitors about the identity of the artist who made a lithograph for the Cambridge OH Soap Company sometime in the late 19th century, we think.
22:57 me The portrait is titled "Little Sarah" and it was published for the soap company by J. Ottoman, lithographers.
22:59 me The portrait was saved from destruction in 1959 when the factory was razed.
23:00 Librarian If you would like to leave me your email address, I can ask the Guernsey librarians to contact you
23:00 Librarian They might have a local history collection, or they might know of an archives for the company
23:01 me Sure! it's
23:01 me A local historian would be most helpful.
23:02 me Thanks for your assistance!
23:02 Librarian You're welcome. Can I help with anything else right now ?
23:04 me I can't think of anything else, but you may find me back again, as my blog is raising a lot of questions. Thanks again & bye!
23:04 Librarian Bye!

I see the Guernsey County Historical Society has a facebook page ( but I didn't find an email contact for them.

On the chance "Little Sarah" was a well-known figure beyond Ohio, it might be a good idea to check with some of the Reference staff of libraries in your local area. Actresses and singers were prominent subjects for portraits then as now.
Jeff Diver said…
Rich and Guernsey County Library Staff,

I appreciate the help and will investigate further based on the information Guernsey has provided. The inspiration for "Little Sarah" might go all the way back to a pamphlet published in 1847, "Jesus Says So - or a Memorial to Little Sarah G--" by the Religious Tract Society of London. With the help of your lead, I have also found a listing for an online auction of this work in 2005.

Thanks for your assistance! We may yet track this down...

-Jeff Diver

On Fri, Sep 11, 2015 at 8:17 AM, wrote:
Below is what y staff was able to come up with:

I did not discover much about a soap company in Cambridge OH (there was one in Cambridge MA). Since he was basically asking about the artist. I found a "Little Sarah" lithograph that was done by a J. Ottmann Lith. Co. NY. From that information, I did find at the link listed below a biographical note concerning the J. Ottmann Lithographing Co.
This will link him to a page concerning the New York Historical Society Museum & Library - Jacquelyn A. Ottman Collection of J. Ottmann Lithographing Company 1880-1920. I pasted the biographical Note and bibliography list from the site below (just in case there is trouble opening the link).

Biographical Note
Jacob Ottmann was born in Meisenheim, Prussia in 1849 and immigrated to New York with his mother and seven brothers and sisters in the 1860's. The only brother not to join his uncle's Fulton-market meat business, Jacob began his lithographic career around 1870, as a clerk at Ferdinand Mayer & Company. A few years later, in 1874, Ottmann signed on as junior partner with a firm started by Vincent Mayer and August Merkel, located at 22-24 Church Street; the firm was then renamed Mayer Merkel & Ottmann. In 1879 Mayer Merkel & Ottmann moved to 21-25 Warren Street, which was also the business location of the firm's most renowned client, Puck magazine -- the first weekly magazine in America to offer color illustrations.
In addition to printing the cartoons of Puck, the firm attracted a wide variety of other commercial clients. Indeed, according to The Color Explosion by Jay T. Last (Hillcrest Press, 2005),
By the mid-1800's Mayer, Merkel & Ottmann had become one of the largest American lithographic firms. They did a wide variety of work, including advertising posters, pamphlets and reproductions of oil and watercolor paintings. In the 1880's and 1890's Mayer Merkel & Ottmann shared the honor with the Donaldson Brothers of being the largest American trade card producers. In contrast to most trade card lithographers, Mayer, Merkel & Ottmann made practically no stock cards, but instead produced specially designed cards for individual advertisers. The varied designs documented everyday life in America.
In 1885, Mayer and Merkel retired from the firm and Ottmann took over the business, renaming it J. Ottmann Lithographing Company. That same year Ottmann joined with the publishers of Puck magazine, Joseph Keppler and Adolph Schwarzmann, to commission construction of a new office building on Houston Street. By 1886, the Puck Building, today a New York City historic landmark, was ready for occupation. Four years later, at the age of 41, Ottmann died. The J. Ottmann Lithographing Company continued in business until the first decade of the 20th century, after which it was merged into the United States Printing & Lithographing Company.
Return to Top »

J. Ottman Consulting, Inc. "J. Ottman Consulting Celebrates J. Ottmann Lithographing". New York, J. Ottman Consulting, 2009.
"Large Fire in Warren Street", New York Times. 17 Mar, 1882:8
Last, Jay T. The Color Explosion: Nineteenth-Century American Lithography. Santa Ana, CA: Hillcrest Press, 2005:112-113.
"Notable Manufacturers", King's Handbook of New York City. Ed., Moses King. Boston: Moses King, 1892:885.
Hope this Helps.