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YouTube Video of the Week

This week’s Bill’s History Corner is a two for one event. I’m going to talk about two things at the same time. People often think I’m talking about several things at the same time, so this should be easy. First, I want to point you to the big world on the internet. You is one of those fantastic items. I’m amazed at the variety of YouTube videos. Some good, some very very bad.  Especially when you think “what was the person thinking when they did this”?

I want you to do a YouTube search. Go to the site, then type the words “It happened in the kitchen” in the search line. I’m sure you will get a lot of junk, but the “It happened in the kitchen” is an interesting 5-part series of kitchens in the 1950’s. I have no idea what else you will get to look at, but it might be interesting to you. Every time I do this, I get a different result. Good luck.  You can also cut and paste this line into the search box: 1940s-50s popular science kitchen of the future part 1 – 5

The D. Ricket Store, Nappanee

The other item I want to expound upon this week is the D. RICKET store, Dealer in General Merchandise located in Nappanee. I must admit this is the first time I have heard of the D. Ricket store. We found approx. a dozen receipts from D. Ricket in the latest box of Coppes, Zook & Mutschler Co. papers that we were looking through. There is not a street address. The years that these receipts cover is from 1899 through 1902.

The Coppes Bros. & Zook Co. and then the Coppes, Zook & Mutschler Co. purchased large quantities of OIL from the D. Rickert store. For example, in Oct. of 1900, one receipt shows that the company purchased quantities of OIL in 3-gallon lots seven different times during the month. It has no mention of the type of oil, but the price was $.12 per gallon. I assume this oil was lubricating oil for the machinery.

One receipt has a mystery attached to it. On July 16th, 1902, the Coppes, Zook & Mutschler Co. purchased “131 ¼ (pounds) Bbl Flour – 16.40”. Why would a company that owns and is operating their own flour mill need to purchase a barrel of flour from a general merchandise store? If you know the answer to that mystery, please let us know.

Like most of the Nappanee stores that did business with the Coppes Family of businesses, the stores would run a tab and not expect payment with each purchase.  What they would do is record the purchase on a running receipt and then turn the receipt in at the end of the month for payment. This meant that most any Coppes employee or Coppes family member could be sent to the store when an item was wanted. They would pick it up and say to the clerk, “Just charge it to the Coppes account.”

Frank Coppes purchased food items from D. Rickert, but more likely his children or Mrs. Coppes would be the person to pick up the purchase. From May 29th, 1899, till July 1st, 1899, Frank Coppes ran up an account totaling $13.51. Big spenders, weren’t they?  Some examples of their wild spending are on May 29th when they purchased BERRIES for .16. On June 5th they purchased ROLLED OATS for .10, and bread may have been .05 cents a loaf, because they purchased bread two different times for .05 and .10. For a complete listing of the purchases that were made see the scan below.

Another puzzle with these D. Rickert receipts is that each one has a hole near the center. This stumped me until I saw that one of the receipts had extra small printing under the company name. The extra printing said “M’f’d under Pat. No. 341,960  The Sample Account File Co., Fremont,”. Here is the patent drawing for that Patent.  See the scan below, as it explains the hole in the center of each receipt.

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