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H. Toms Furniture Co. – Dealer of Dutch Kitchenets

Hello everyone, and thanks for coming to Bill’s History Corner. This is the place where we discuss all things about the Coppes, Zook & Mutschler Company, or any other name the company went by.  The company names changed as people died or left the company. 

Today, I want to tell about a new sign we acquired. This one is from H. TOMS Co. FURNITURE , from RICHLAND CENTER, WIS. Also, we were lucky enough to acquire a companion sign.  Interestingly, the H. Toms Co. was also group of undertakers. I think this combination of furniture and undertaking was more common than you might realize. After all, who was going to build the coffins that would be needed but the furniture/cabinetmakers?

It is our opinion that the Coppes Company supplied these standardized ( we now have two that are identical, but different store names) “NAPANEE DUTCH KITCHENET” metal signs to the stores that were having a Dutch Kitchenet sale in their stores. The store would be responsible for having the store name printed, and, in this instance, that would be the H. Tom’s Co. FURNITURE.

I think I have mentioned it before that we have a ledger in the Coppes collection from 1924 that I named The Shipping Ledger. It has listings of all the items sent (mailed or shipped by rail) to different stores across the country. At that time, Coppes & Zook Co had several over the road salesmen promoting the DUTCH KITCHENET CABINET. These salesmen would call or telegraph back to the factory with any orders they may have secured, or maybe they wanted the company to send promotional items to a store to help convince them that having a DUTCH KITCHENET CABINET sale would be a great thing. The free giveaways included, at different times, hand mixers, measuring cups, sets of dishes, cutlery sets, etc. Even the small porcelain-top kitchen tables were sometimes given with a purchase of a Dutch Kitchenet. The free giveaways were the exact thing that the other major Hoosier Cabinet manufacturing companies were doing. Coppes needed to complete with all the other selling ideas that other companies were practicing. 

I found this newspaper advertisement in a Chattanooga, Tennessee paper. It is not from the H. Toms Furniture Store, but it illustrates another selling idea that Coppes used. They would have a salesman familiar with selling Coppes cabinets in the store during the 3-5-day period of the sale.

The final item I want to show in this History Corner is an item I found on the internet. When you Google “the H. Toms Furniture Store,” what you find is this. It appears they were also sometime selling the Hoosier brand of cabinet. The H. Toms building is the one on the left side.

1 thought on “H. Toms Furniture Co. – Dealer of Dutch Kitchenets

  1. I look forward to your upcoming feature about Nappanee’s Vitreous. My paternal grandfather worked there for most of his life: Wilbur Lehman. Is there a way that you could let me know when it is published? dicklehman@aol.com

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