Welcome to another Bill’s History Corner. As has been the practice for the past couple months I am still working from home going through the boxes of business receipts that we found in a back corner of the factory. Someone thought this paper was important enough to keep, unlike so many of the other records from the companies. I feel we are likely not going to find any new pictures of the factory or related photos from the Napanee Kitchenet making business. So therefor, these receipts are the only new material we can expect to find.
In this latest box of receipts were the usual ones you would expect; several from Hardware Stores, receipts dealing with purchasing logs, etc. What was more interesting to me than several receipts from the same company was a single receipt from one company. Seems the C, Z & M Co. did business over a wide range of the country. Sometimes a single receipt requires more questions & answers than several receipts from the same company. That is what I found in this box – several single receipts.
In today’s world someone would say “what were they thinking?” Questioning the wisdom of doing what it appeared they were doing. That is what I am going to do – show you a single receipt and then ask questions about it. Sometimes I may have a good clue what is going on with the receipt, other receipts not so much. Enjoy, and if you want to be a history detective, play along, and ask yourself, “what were they thinking?”
The first receipt is this one from the HAX-SMITH FURNITURE CO., ST. JOSEPH, MO. Dated Oct. 14, 1910. This was during the peak of the production of furniture at the factory. Before the partnership, the Nappanee Furniture Co. was famous for its line of tables. They also made bedroom sets, kitchen cabinets and other furniture. But this receipt is for the purchase of one “LIBRARY TABLE” at a cost of $5.50 – 20%, + .50 for freight for a total cost of $4.90. So, my question to everyone is “why would the Coppes, Zook & Mutschler Co. purchase a Library table from the Hax-Smith Co., when at the same time they were making library tables themselves?”
The next single receipt is from THE HAWKS HARDWARE CO., GOSHEN, INDIANA. This receipt is dated June 30, 1909 and reads “Delivered to the I-X-L Co., 45 Gro (Gross) 5/8 x 7 Screws @ .86 = 38.70.
It is unclear if the Coppes, Zook & Mutschler Co. paid the $86.70 for the screws or just the $4.51 freight cost. So, what was the deal with this one? Did C, Z & M Co. “borrow” screws from I-X-L Co., and this was the way to pay back what they used, or was there another reason for this receipt?
Our third receipt in this series is from CARL HANSON, Dr. REGISTER OF DEEDS, MARSHALL COUNTY, MINN. This receipt is dated Nov. 29th, 1909 and reads
Nov. 27 Cert (certified) Copy of Deed Tinslar (?) to Fowler – 75.
2nd line- Nov.27 -Cert Copy of Deed Fowler to Nadin — 75
By Cash 1.00
To Balance .50
For this one my question is what was the reasons the Coppes, Zook & Mutschler Co. was interested in deed transfers in Minnesota? Thinking of purchasing a vacation cabin?
The next receipt below is an easy one. I’m putting it here just for fun. This receipt is from WILLIAM H. HOOPS & CO., Manufacturing Wood Mantels, Consoles, Bathroom and Vestibule Tiling. Fine fire Place Furnishings, gas grates, Andirons. This company is from Chicago. This receipt is dated Oct. 25th,1910. “Sold to Frank H. Coppes,” it reads 1 – four- tube Gong (4- note doorbell chime) at a cost of 22.00. You can see where F. Coppes put his O.K. on this receipt for it to be paid by the Coppes, Zook & Mutschler Co. This is another instance where it appears the company paid for a personal item for one of the company owners. Wonder what the real policy was?
Here is another single receipt for you to think about. This one is dated Sep. 23, 1908, and is from the HANSON BROTHERS, Dr. MANUFACTURES OF IMPROVED SPRING SCALES. This company is from Chicago. The receipt reads 6. 60# (pounds) #64 U.S. Family Scales 1.90 = 11.40. With a 2 % discount for paying in less than 10 days for a total cost for the 6 scales at $11.17. The interesting thing about this receipt is speculating how the company was intending to use these six- 6-sixty-pound scales. A pencil notation on the receipt indicates the intended locations for keeping/using the scales.
The last single receipt I want to show you today is from THE I-X-L FURNITURE CO., Goshen, Indiana. Dated Dec. 10, 1909, this receipt is very clear on what it was intended to do. The questions arise when you begin to think “why do this?” The invoice is for 1 – # 00 Top New Style in the white 6.00. Then in pencil on the line below, “Cabt returned Via prepaid freight 12/17/09. “In the white” means totally unfinished.
The I-X-L- Co was also making their own brand of kitchen cabinets in 1909. Why the C, Z & M Co. would want to see an example of the I-X-L cabinet top is another thing to speculate over. Did the C, Z & M Co. want to borrow some design from the cabinet top or did the I-X-L company want to send the cabinet top over to Nappanee so C, Z & M Co. could see if they were making it correctly? We will likely never know. As a sidebar, another connection with these two companies was that Charles and Albert Mutschler’s father was George Mutschler the Treasurer and General Manager of the I-X-L Co. Wonder what they talked about at family dinners?