Hello, welcome to this week’s Bill’s History Corner. Stay home and stay safe, read Bill’ history Corner. Occupy your mind, even if you think you have nothing to do. This is the place where I get the privilege of talking about the Napanee Dutch Kitchenets and the factory that made them.
Facebook Fan Group
Welcome, but first, I was notified of a new (new for me) Facebook group called “give Your Wife A Hoosier Cabinet”. It’s free and easy to join; just answer two questions, and the administrator will give you access. A few people are selling cabinets, others are attempting to find out who made their cabinets. All in all, it’s interesting.
Today, I want to tell you about Newspapers.com. Newspapers.com is an Internet word search app or program that you can use to search 1000s of vintage newspapers from across the country. It has a monthly subscription cost, but I have found beginners can have a month’s free trial. I love it. I have been using it to hunt for vintage advertising for Napanee Dutch Kitchenets. You can select a time period to search in or search by states. I used the words “Dutch Kitchenet,” and if I remember correctly, there were 250,000 results. Then I started putting limits on the time period and selected just one state to search in, much more manageable that way.
Coppes Advertising Results
The main information I wanted to find was when Coppes Bros. & Zook began heavy advertising of the Napanee Dutch Kitchenets. The earliest store advertisement was in Nov. 1914. The A. J. Parker & Co. Furniture Store in Howell, Mich. had the first that I found with Newspapers .com.
By 1916-17, there are 100s of Newspaper’s store advertisements competing to sell the Napanee Dutch Kitchenets. In the Coppes Commons historical paper collections we have a few (5-6) of the Newspaper blank copy ads. The company would provide these to furniture stores so that the stores could insert their store name and place the advertising copy in their local newspapers.
There is a much greater variety of advertising being used for selling the Napanee Dutch Kitchenets than I ever imagined. I found full-page advertising for upcoming Napanee Dutch Kitchenet sales, advertising with time limits (a two-day sale), and a sale named the “Napanee Dutch Kitchenet CIRCLE sale.” The Circle sale was limited to the first 26 ladies to join the circle at an entrance fee of $1.00. As an incentive to join the circle, after the circle was full, one of the 26 ladies would win a free Napanee Dutch kitchenet while the remaining ladies needed to finish paying for their cabinet. Seems like a neat trick to me. The furniture store got $26.00 for the cabinet they were “giving away” and sold 25 more at full price.
This 2nd ad. is from the SALISBURY EVENING POST ( Salisbury, North Carolina), 17 Jun. 1916.
Dutch Girl Advertising
Another key piece of information I was searching for was when Coppes began using the Dutch Girl in advertising. We still do not where she originated or who is responsible for her in Coppes Advertising. We have thought for some time that the Dutch Girl began appearing in Coppes advertising in 1916, in association with the Model A Cabinet. Here is the nice color picture of the Dutch Girl standing with a Model A Cabinet that has been used in all kinds of Coppes advertising and promotions.
The Model A cabinet and Dutch Girl first appeared in the Coppes Catalogs in 1916. I found liberal use of the Dutch girl in stores’ Newspaper advertising in 1916 and a couple in late 1915. The H. E. Christie ad. was printed in THE ADAMS COUNTY FREE PRESS (Corming, Iowa) 9 Oct 1915. The Denham first Co. ad. was printed in THE FAIRMOUT WEST VIRGINIAN (Fairmont, Virginia) 6 Oct 1915.
Kitchenet Selling Prices
A bonus piece of information that I found was the selling price of some cabinets in 1915. I’m almost sure the stores were setting the sale price of the cabinets, but in these two advertisements the cabinet selling price is listed in the advertisements. Model “A” cabinets were priced at regular price $45.00, Special sale price at Denham First store was $39.50. At the Christie store, Credit price was $37.50, and cash price was $32.50.
Other things that we have used Newspapers.com for is finding Napanee Dutch Kitchenet advertising from every state in the U. S. We compiled these in a 3-ring binder in the museum. We also searched for all the other companies (that we know of) that made cabinets that I call Hoosier style Cabinets. Almost all the 65 other companies that made their own style of Hoosier cabinet had some advertising in newspapers. We also collected those and placed them in a 3-ring binder in the museum.
How Will You Use Newspapers.com?
Now what could you use Newspapers.com for? Interested in early baseball teams from the 1930s? Want to read about shipwrecks in 1910? Simply search for your family names in the newspapers. What were the headlines on your birthday? Give it a try, I think the first month is free.