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Better Find a Broom!

Here’s another interesting tidbit from the history of Coppes. This is a receipt from THE JOS. LAY CO. of Ridgeville, IN dated Aug, 28TH, 1905.

The Lay Co. manufactured “BROOMS and BRUSHES OF ALL KINDS.” This receipt is for 5 Doz. #4 rattan Mixed Brooms — $3.00/doz.  = $15.00. While hunting for new History Corner paper goods, I actually found ten receipts from THE JOS. LAY Co. from 1903 to 1908. The Coppes, Zook & Mutschler Co. placed at least 10 orders for brooms. A total of 564 brooms were ordered during this time period at a cost of $136.72. That is a lot of brooms, but then there were several buildings that made up the Coppes, Zook & Mutschler Co. factory.

I have heard several old-time employees state that when the electricity went off or the factory work shut down for a machinery break down, you had better find a broom! If the bosses were around, you’d better be using it too, or the likely hood of you being sent home without pay would increase.

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Van Camp Hardware Flour Bins

Hello, Welcome to another issue of Bill’s History Corner. This is the place where we discuss all things about the Coppes factory. We will also try to answer questions that you have. With this week’s find, I think we can finally answer the question “where did the sheet metal flour bins and bread drawers come from?”

At least we have one example of the answer. As we are eager to do, because everything we find is a new discovery, we were searching through the boxes of old company receipts that somehow survived the various office moves and company cleanouts that former employees have told us about. I’m just speculating here, but I think several former employees at different times (and not necessarily acting together) stored or hid old factory records at various places in the factory so they would not be destroyed. I don’t know who these guys were, but we all owe them a big thanks for what they preserved.

Where the metal components of the Dutch Kitchenets came from has long been an unanswered question. For example, did the factory have its own sheet metal shop that made the parts that were needed? Flour bins and sifters, bread drawers, and various small shelf racks inside cabinet doors were some of the different metal parts needed to complete a Dutch Kitchenet. I can tell you as one that sorted through the trash in the factory that there were no scraps of sheet metal or broken tools that would have been used to make the sheet metal components. It has been my opinion that the factory didn’t make its own metal parts, but where did they come from? We can now answer that question with some certainly, but did the Van Camp Hardware & Iron Co. have an inhouse metal fabricating shop to build the parts or were they a middle man company?

The Van Camp Hardware & Iron Co., Indianapolis was one of the major providers. We found several receipts related to metal parts for Kitchenets. This batch of receipts is dated 1911 & 1912. The Van Camp Hardware & Iron Co. was huge. You can get an idea of the products and services they provided by studying the billhead. This time period in American history saw the development of several huge stores in Midwest cities, of which the Van Camp Company was one. I fully expect we will discover receipts from other hardware businesses as we keep digging into boxes of paper.

Let’s Look at the Receipts. . .

The first receipt I want to show is dated Jan. 26th, 1912.  This is for “1- SAMPLE BREAD BOX        XXX”. I think the XXX means that the Van Camp Company made one sample bread box at no charge, fully expecting a large order to follow. Someone has written on this receipt what must have been the estimated cost for each bread drawer at $.43c. The 2nd receipt is a follow-up order.

The receipt dated 8/12/12 is for   “2009 – BREAD BOXES     47 (each)    $944.23.”   There is additional information we can gather from this receipt. One example is this line, a discount for “Less FW (freight, ???)  $39.69, ” which means less by that amount of freight cost. However, there is also a B & O Rail freight receipt pinned to the back of this for “ 1 Car, Bread Boxes – $135.00”.  Seems like it took a full train car to ship the 2009 bread boxes. I don’t understand it. What was that discount for?  Also, C, Z & M Co. subtracted a 2% discount ($18.18) for prompt payment, even though it took  17 days to make the payment. Clearly, on the receipt, it states “TERMS, 2% for cash in 10 days”.  Wonder if this was standard practice with C, Z & M Co.: pay late, but also take the 2% discount for payment in 10 days, unless the company complains. Likely most companies would not complain for late payment. They may be happy just to get the payment.  There is an additional note indicating ½ of order sent/billed to C ( factory C, where they built kitchen cabinets) and ½ to B. I wonder what they made in factory B that used bread drawers.

The next two receipts go together, I think. They are also from Van Camp Hardware & Iron Co. and refer to “HOPPERS,”  which I think are the flour bins.

The first one dated June 5th, 11,  is for “1 – “9 ¼ X 9 7/8 HOPPER – 32 –32.”  Someone has written “Sample – for new cabt”. I feel for sure this is an example of the company ordering one sample to see if it will work. This sample cost $.32.  The 2nd receipt is for “500 – HOPPERS   –  32   –  160.00”.  On this receipt, someone has written “ small hopper for 1556 cabt” & also “C Purchase” meaning the order was going to building “C” and charged to the expenses of building “C”  where they were making the cabinet. The final picture I want to show you this week is a scan of a No. 1556 Coppes Cabinet. As you can see, the flour bin is mostly wooden with a funnel-shaped “HOPPER” and sifter at the bottom.  See ya right back here next week. Stay Cool.

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1905 Newspaper Touts Nappanee Businesses

Welcome to Bill’s History Corner, I hope you enjoy the discovery as much as I do.

In 1905, The Nappanee News published “Industrial Nappanee,” a special edition, a supplement if you like, of The News. It consisted of 22 pages, front and back. Industrial Nappanee was an edition of 5000 copies and sold for 10 cents. On a beginning page, there are these three words in large type, COMMERRIAL, HISTORICAL, BIOGRAPHICAL. This page does not explain about these words, but the inference is that this Industrial Nappanee special edition will talk about these aspects of Nappanee. Part of the first paragraph is as follows.

                “Men and natural advantages have been the direct means of transforming some villages into thriving, bustling cities. Few country villages, however, have been able to make substantial progress beyond the status of the rural corner store, where they have depended entirely upon men, and where natural advantages were found not, until energetic, foresighted, untiring men brought advantages to their own assistance. The town of Nappanee is one of these exceptions: and where men might in the absence of some of those things which are the first essentials usually, in the building of commercial and manufacturing centers. Like the pioneers who transformed the country where forests stood into waving fields of ripening grain, the early builders of Nappanee have been and are now paving the way for those who come after them to enjoy the blessings of a great manufacturing and commercial center.”

Don’t you just love that flowery language that was the norm from this past era?  I needed to read it several times before I was sure I understood what they were saying. Writing was so much different then. 

The most interesting things I want to explain are the receipts we have in the Coppes collection from the Nappanee News. These were for the cost of taking pictures and publishing them in this Industrial Nappanee supplement. We have found five receipts so far. There may be others.

John Coppes, Frank Coppes and Daniel Zook each have a receipt for “to photograph & cut house at $1.75 each,” which means that the three houses were photographed and a printable “cut” made so it could be inserted into the paper. Another way to view this is to assume the editor of the Nappanee News contacted these three men and said: “If you want a picture of your fancy house in this new Industrial Nappanee supplement, it will cost each of you $1.75 to show off to the rest of the town.” I’m almost sure the editor didn’t actually say that, but you get my point.

This supplement has many stories about Nappanee people and businesses and industries. One such industry with a half-page spread is the Coppes, Zook & Mutschler Company. The receipt for this includes four pictures and 13 “cuts” plus the printing space for the text, which cost the company $59.90.

I’m assuming that most all the people and businesses in this supplement had to pay for the privilege of being in the publication. This paper is full of interesting facts. For example, it lists the eleven churches in town with the then-current minister, the church’s starting date in Nappanee, and the size of each congregation along with an early photo of each building. A list of the main stories reads like a who’s-who in Nappanee history. Besides the Coppes, Zook & Mutschler Co., there are spreads on The Union Canning Co.; Nappanee Lumber & Mfg. Co.; Brown Bros Mfg. Co.; George L. Lamb; George Freese’s Sons; C. Volkman’s The Globe Iron Works; Enos Newcomer, the Jeweler; Harry Laughlin, the Onion Man; Samuel W. Craige, the Grocer; Noah A. Lehman, Furniture Dealer & Funeral Director; Howenstein, Burback & Rusher, Hardware Store; the Hartman Brothers, General Merchandise; Shively Brothers, Hardware, etc.; Weiss & Frevert Brothers, Hardware; Farmers & Traders Bank; George E. Miller, Photographer; W. H. Best & Sons, City Meat Market; Kaufman’s Department Store, Dry Goods & Hardware; Plus numerous smaller articles about other Nappanee Residents.

There are also interesting pictures around the town, such as one of the 17 automobiles owned by Nappanee residents who were gathered on the square, and an early morning picture of the stockyards. All in all, a very interesting account of the early history of Nappanee. I’m sure the Nappanee Library or the Nappanee Center has a well-thumbed copy.

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Connecting the Dots on More Old Receipts

Hello everyone, thanks for visiting Bill’s History Corner, where we discuss all things about the Coppes Companies.

Today we are looking at a receipt from the D. K. Jeffris & Co., 615 Pullman Building, Chicago. The Jeffris Company sold lumber to the Coppes, Zook & Mutschler Co. by the train carload. This isn’t the only receipt we have found for this company. We have 12 such receipts for 1910 alone. Likely there are more for other years, but we stopped looking after one year.

Each receipt is for a full train carload of lumber. Approx. 18,000 to 20,000 Board feet in each train car, either 4/4 No. 1 Common Cottonwood, or 4/4 No. 1 Common Tupelo. Cottonwood was a trade name for Poplar lumber and Tupelo was a regional name for Black or Sour Gum lumber. Either way this lumber was not the best lumber that they could buy. In fact, it was really inexpensive, selling at $25.00 per 1000 Board Foot of lumber, or .02 ½ cents per Board Foot. My guess is that the Coppes company used this lumber for packing crates when shipping furniture or Kitchenets. If you are confused by the designation of 4/4 No. 1 Common, it means that the lumber is 4 quarters of an inch thick or one inch in thickness and it is a grade that is almost the poorest grade of lumber.

Each train carload of lumber contained lumber of random widths. Here is where this story gets interesting. The company policy of the Coppes, Zook & Mutschler Co. was to have company workmen check the quality, measure, sort, and count each piece by making a mark on a piece of paper for each size of lumber that was in the load. This method of doing business allowed the company to know if they were being “SHORTED” in the shipments or as in the case of this receipt, dated 3/22/10, this shipment of lumber contained 835 feet more than they were charged for. We have not found if the company sent an additional payment for the extra lumber in this load. This policy was used throughout the company for merchandise that was purchased. When mirrors, door glass or hardware was ordered and then arrived at the factory, workmen sorted and marked on paper the size of the item as it was unpacked.

This tally sheet has spots for each size of board that was on the train car.

The closeup scan is for pieces of lumber that were 8, 9 and 10 inches wide.

Not only did the company have forms printed for this unpacking & counting policy, think of the amount of workman’s time that was taken up in recording every piece of lumber, every mirror, every piece of glass. In 1910, every piece of lumber was unloaded, sorted, counted, and stacked by hand. Oh, by the way, they did this for lumber coming from their own sawmill also.

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Manufacturer’s Exhibition Building and a Follow Up

More follow up to a previous follow up.

I’ve found more information on the 1933 Century of Progress.  If you are reading this you must be a computer person. I was doing a You tube search for the 1933 Century of Progress for fun and was surprised at what was available. Here is a link to the houses that I was talking about:    

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ixX45Fqc4M


I have no idea how many different videos you can find, there are several of the home movie type. You know if you do the same search at two different time you may get different results. Good luck and enjoy.

Manufacturer’s Exhibition Building Receipts

For this week’s History Corner we are looking at a few receipts from 1911 & 1912. We have boxes of this stuff that we are still sifting through. We are so lucky that this material was not lost to history, and for that I’m grateful.

THE MANUFACTURERS’ EXHIBITION BUILDING COMPANY, thirteen nineteen Michigan Avenue, CHICAGO is the name on these receipts. All are dated 1911 or 1912. These are receipts from the time that the Coppes, Zook & Mutschler Co. rented floor space to display their lines of furniture and kitchen cabinets at one of the most important furniture venues of the time.

Chicago and Grand Rapids had large multi-story display buildings where companies around the country could rent floor space to display their products. These Manufacturers Exhibition Buildings were big business, where a manufacturing concern like the C, Z & M Co. could connect with hundreds of furniture dealers at one place. I can’t imagine a furniture store dealer not wanting to attend the Manufacturer’s Exhibition displays to see the latest and best designs. I also can’t imagine a manufacturing concern not wanting to display their goods at one of these buildings. It is just good business.

We have found five receipts so far – two are for floor space rent and three are minor charges for packing and shipping something back to the factory in Nappanee. I’m guessing the item shipped back to the factory may have been in the form of a “more information wanted, sign up form” (my words) or brochures along with addresses the C, Z & M Co. may have wanted to send to prospective customers.

The two receipts for floor space rent cover approx. one full year. From July 1st, 1911, thru June 15th, 1912. The description of this space is “South Half of Section 4 and all of Section 6, third floor, 2700 ft. at a cost of $675.00 for 6 months.” Wonder if we will ever know how long Coppes, Zook & Mutschler exhibited at these “Manufactures’ Exhibition Buildings?”

Here is a link to 1319 Michigan Ave, Chicago from Google Maps. I personally do not think this same building was there in 1912, what do you think?

https://www.google.com/maps/@41.8651976,-87.6240637,3a,90y,70.75h,112.54t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s8iNme61uDFHoaSIdSo0ULA!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

Here is another link to the Building that was the Manufactures Furniture Exhibition Building in Grand Rapids. I’m almost sure that the C, Z & M Co. had exhibitions in Grand Rapids also, but so far no proof of it.

https://www.mlive.com/business/west-michigan/2014/04/waters_building_will_become_a.html

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Underwood Typewriter Receipt

Hello, welcome to Bill’s History Corner. First, I want to say “Hi” to all my friends back in Pennsylvania.

Today I’m going to discuss typewriters, specifically the one that Coppes, Zook & Mutschler Co. purchased in May of 1912. Again, we were exploring & digging in the Coppes Commons paper collections, and we found this interesting item.

underwood receipt

This purchase was made from the UNDERWOOD TYPEWRITER CO. INC. of CHICAGO by paying cash. I wonder if someone from the company made a special trip to the store in Chicago. Notice that there is not a shipping cost on this receipt. Someone must have been there to pick it up.

The list price of the typewriter was $102.50. The C, Z & M Co. received a 10% discount (for cash ??) even with the TERMS NET NO DISCOUNT ALLOWED stamp in red ink. Also, a $16.25 credit was received for “Cr.  Rem # 7 / 184139” (was this a Remington No. 7 Typewriter trade in that someone carried to Chicago?) for a final price of $76.00. This receipt is marked with the Underwood Typewriter Co. “PAID” stamp and signed by an M. L. Martin on May 15, 1912.

So far so good, but you know what? Typewriters need ribbons. The C, Z & M Co. was purchasing ribbons from the Chicago store at $1.00 each until they found they could purchase ribbons cheaper from an Underwood Typewriter Co. located in Fort Wayne.  At the Fort Wayne store, they could purchase a package of six ribbons for $3.75, which was a little more than half the price at Chicago. I have no idea if this Underwood typewriter was the only one at the C, Z & M Co. but they did seem to use it a lot because they purchased 27 additional ribbons for an Underwood in the following calendar year.

Look What We Found!

antique underwood typewriter

We were fortunate to find this Underwood Typewriter at the Dutch Lady Antique store. It seems to be the match for the one C, Z, & M Co. purchased in 1912.

This concludes the story of the Underwood Typewriter. Thanks, come back next week for more spellbinding reading.

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The Glue that Held C,Z & M Together

Welcome to this week’s Bill’s History Corner. This is the place where we talk about all things Coppes. First, I want to say it is not my intention to make anyone sick or to make this a bad experience for you. I’m going to be talking about “hide glue,” (made from horses) the type of glue that was very common in the first part of the last century. The type of glue that 100% (that is a guess) of furniture factories used to build their products. Even today, there are professional furniture makers that will use nothing else. They think it is that good. The one appeal for hide glue is that you can undo a dry glue joint with heat. Apply heat and the glue will soften. Just don’t think about what hide glue is made from.

That’s a Lot of Glue!

Coppes, Zook & Mutschler used hide glue, Boy-O-Boy, did they use hide glue. While searching the Coppes Commons paper collection we found several receipts from the UNITED STATES GLUE CO., MILWAUKEE, WIS. This is at least one of the companies that Coppes purchased hide glue from. The C, Z & M Co. used a lot of glue. In a two-year time period from Feb. 1912 through Dec. 13, 1913, we found 13 different receipts from this company for hide glue. Each order was for “three bbls. (barrels) of ground joint glue”. The average weight of each barrel was approx. 550 pounds each. The company ordered a total of 20,781 pounds of glue in this time period. Another way to think about this is that amount is more than 10 tons of glue. The cost was $.13 or $.14 cents per pound.

How and Where the Glue Was Used

As you might expect, the C, Z & M Co. used this glue at many locations in the factory buildings. Wherever parts were assembled there needed to be a glue container at the ready. Workers glued door frames, side panels and frames.  We can still tell where many of these glue operations were located in the factory, because there is a thick layer of glue on the floor there. If a workman dropped just one drop for each door he glued together, the result is the large mess on the floor today.

But most likely the largest amount of this hide glue was used in the glue room. Just off the main machinery room was the glue room. This is the two-story brick building to the far West of the building complex. This building is unused now except for storage, but in its heyday, this room was very busy. Workmen sent pieces of wood from the machine room to the glue room when larger pieces were made by gluing them together. An obvious item that was made from this technique is a cutting board where it is best to make the larger item from narrow strips that a glued together. This ensured that it did not warp or twist.

An Interesting Discovery

Several years ago, when I was sorting trash in the buildings, I found two hide glue containers. These containers were almost unique. I had not seen anything like these before, and I fancy myself as knowledgeable about tools and related subjects. After doing some patent research, I discovered the glue containers were patented July 3, 1883, by a man from Grand Rapids, Mich.

Hide glue needs to be kept warm so it will be soft enough to spread into the wood joints. There are several glue containers that have the means to keep the glue warm. Weatherly’s patent does this by attaching to a steam or hot water pipe. The water jacket is heated from the hot pipe and this, in turn, keeps the glue warm. This patent idea does allow the smaller inside glue container to be removed and carried to the location where needed, then returned to be kept warm.

Other types of hide glue containers or glue pots were available at the time. Smaller pots made of cast iron (heavy cast iron to hold the heat) worked the same way. Basically, a glue pot is two containers, the larger pot contains heated water and the inside smaller one contains the glue. Keep in mind you will need an additional heat source during a full day’s work. Electric glue pots became available when electricity became widely used.

Some Conjecture On the “Glue Man”

We just don’t know, but I suspect there was a workman in the early factory that was the glue man. It was the glue man’s responsibility to arrive early every morning and mix the hide glue for that day’s use. Think of this as cooking the glue, because that was what he was doing. The hide glue was purchased in dry flakes, (remember those barrels) and needed to be mixed with water and heated. I’m sure there was a formula for the correct mixture, but a lot of this job was done by eye, getting the right consistency for the various departments in the factory. It would need to be thicker and heavier for the gluing of frames and thinner and lighter for the veneer department. The glue man could expect some one could come to him at any time of the day with an empty glue pot and want more glue. Many workmen depended on him to keep a supply of good glue ready for use.

A Parting Thought

Just one more thing before I go for the week: I couldn’t help but notice the symbol in the upper left corner of this United States Glue Co. receipt. Here is an enlargement of the symbol. Now ask yourself,  I wonder where Coppes, Zook & Mutschler got the idea of interlocking letters to paint on the outside of the building and use on company letter heads.

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A Question Answered and Another Posed

The Flour Mill Cupola

In last week’s Bill’s History Corner, I was discussing the Coppes, Zook & Mutschler Co. Flour mill. Someone asked a good question, and because I think I know the answer, I’ll try to answer the question here this week. It was “What was the little cupola on the top of the mill for?

The cupola is high on top of the building for a reason. The small building-like structure is to protect the machinery inside the cupola. This machinery inside is the central elevator or leg that lifts the grain from the unloading area to the top, then dumps the grain into shoots that allow the grain to slide into storage bins. The reason it is on the top is so gravity can pull the grain downward into the different storage bins that were on the top floor. Gravity doesn’t cost anything to use. All the bins can’t be in the same place, so the elevator needs to dump out the grain into shoots higher than the bins so gravity can take it to bins farther away from the center elevator. These shoots, they were wooden at this time, were angled away from the main elevator. The higher the elevator the farther away the shoot could slide the grain. If the grain shoot was too close to horizontal the grain would not flow smoothly and backup. You can see examples of this all over the Indiana countryside.

Some modern farmers that have several of their own storage bins also have an elevator type tool in the middle of the bins that lifts the grain to a higher point where it is dumped in shoots to slide into the different bins. It was the same principle at the flour mill, only they built a small building around the machinery to protect it from the weather.  Sure looks cute in this picture, doesn’t it?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A New Mystery for This Week

This week’s History Corner is a small Puzzle. Hopefully, someone can help us out here and give us a bit more information so we can understand what was going on in 1909 & 1910. Possibly for many other years also, but we have not searched for other years for this company’s receipts yet.

As you can see by the scan below, this receipt Dated December 2nd, 1909 is from the “Office of INDIANA STATE CHEMIST, Agricultural Experiment Station, LAFAYETTE, IND.  To W. J. Jones, Jr. State Chemist. DR.     I only listed the purchase lines from the other receipts, as the bill heads are the same.

We have found seven receipts (see list below) for this 12 – month time period. All the receipts are for “100# (100 pound) TAGS” either the No. 2609 or the No. 2610 TAGS. What were these tags for and why did the C, Z & M Co. need to order them from this INDIANA STATE CHEMIST at the AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION, in LAFAYETTE, IND? Was Purdue involved in the INDIANA STATE CHEMIST at LAFAYETTE?  Inquiring minds want to know.

Boy-o-Boy, if we only had one of these tags, maybe that would tell us something. As a guess, I would think this would have something to do with the Coppes, Zook & Mutschler Co. Flour Mill. The receipt does have the name   “AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION” printed on it. The Flour Mill is certainly more agricultural related than the cabinet shops. Could this puzzle be as simple as the C, Z & M Co. needed to send samples of some of their products to the office of the INDIANA STATE CHEMIST for detailed testing before they could put a STATE tag on it for sale? Sort of like the GOOD HOUSEKEEPING SEAL OF APPROVAL, only this tag was for either a type of flour or another product they were making. If anyone has an answer to this puzzle, please let us know your thoughts.

December 31th, 1909 – – For 1875, 100# tags  No. 2610  = $15.00

March——   3rd. 1910 – – For 2500, 100# tags   No. 2609  = $20.0

August ——-7th, 1909 – – For 2500, 100# tags   No. 2609 = $20.00

      “                “        “    – – For 2500, 100# tags   No. 2610 = $20.00

May  ———5th, 1910 – – For 2500, 100# tags   No. 2609 = $20.00

    “                   “       “    – – For 2500, 100# tags  No. 2610 = $20.00

December 15th, 1910 – –  For 2500, 100# tags  No. 2610 = $20.00

December 21th, 1910 – – For 3125, 100# tags  No. 2609 = $25.00

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Thoughts on the CZ&M Flour Mill

Welcome to another Bill’s History Corner. Today we are looking at three items associated with the Coppes, Zook & Mutschler Co. flour mill.

  • A picture of the actual Coppes, Zook & Mutschler flour mill is credited to the Nappanee center. They have always been generous with sharing their early pictures. Thank You.
  • A Coppes, Zook & Mutschler Co. postcard with prices of 10 their products
  • A receipt from THE NAPPANEE NEWS. THE NEWS BOOKSTORE. Gordon N. Murray, Proprietor.

This photo of the mill was shot before the streets were laid with brick in 1909, and before some of the additions to the flour mill building were added. You can clearly see a huge pile of wood (cutoffs and scraps from the C, Z & M  sawmill) that was intended for use as fuel in the boiler to make the steam that powered the engine that turned the equipment that ground the flour and other products. There are not many houses in the background. I love old pictures like this. I have looked closely with my magnifying glass. Have you noticed the wood board sidewalks?

Baking with Perfection

This particular postcard (above) was intended to be mailed to customers and was used as a company record. Someone has written on the back side the date of “9/10/10” and “Received from the news printing Office, ——-  Jay”. The card has “PRICES CURRENT” listed for 10 of the company’s products. There were four brands of Flour and five items that I think were animal feed, which was priced by the ton. PERFECTION flour in paper or cloth sacks was priced at $5.40 and $5.55 per barrel.

How large a quantity is a barrel and how much does a barrel weigh you may ask. The answer is in the details. The illustration of the flour bag has a weight of 24 ½ LBS printed on it, and at the bottom of the bag are the words “one-eighth barrel”. So, the answer is found by multiplying 24 ½ lbs. by 8 to find the weight of a barrel of Perfection flour. The answer is 196 LBS in one barrel. That does not mean they packed the bags in a wooden barrel before they sold them; a barrel was the unit price that flour was sold in. If you only wanted one paper bag of flour, divide $5.40 by eight and that will be the price for one bag. ($0.67). You could bake a lot of pies with one bag of flour. In 1910 the baking practices in the normal American household were much different than nowadays. Ever wonder why the flour bins in early Coppes kitchen cabinets were so big? The reason was that most households did their own baking and needed large amounts of flour.

I like the catchy phase on the right side of the card.      “IT PLEASES THE USERS

Besides publishing The Nappanee News Newspaper, this company also did a huge amount of printing for local companies. I would be hard pressed to name all the different types of printed material that The Nappanee News did just for the Coppes companies.

Nappanee News Stationery

The receipt below is typical of the 100s of The Nappanee News receipts that we have in the Coppes paper collection. I don’t know how it happened, but it appears that most of the company’s business receipts for the years (approx.) 1902 to 1915 were stored in small file boxes that somehow survived in the factory buildings till now. Think about it, these boxes survived company moves, room cleanups, trash days, public auctions and they are still here for us to learn some of this history.

The date of this receipt does not match exactly with the date of the postcard (I’m taking liberties), but I’m sure there is one somewhere, we just have not found it yet. This Nappanee News receipt is dated Feb. 1, 1905, and lists several printing jobs for one month that the News did for the C, Z & M Co. If you add together the number of postcards printed in this one receipt you will find the answer is 2,000 cards. That is a lot of mail.

The 1st line reads,  Jan 15 – To one doz. Pencils — 60 —             -was this Office supplies?

The 2nd. Line reads    Jan. 12 – printing 1,000 Postal Cards, one form, Flour Mill – 1.25

The 3rd. line reads     Jan. 12 – Printing 500 postal Cards, one form, Flour mill – .75

The 4th line reads        Jan 12 – 25,000 Finish??? Reports, chemy folo  —        8.75

The 5th line reads      Jan 12 – printing 500 P. Cards, 3 forms, Flour Mill   —       1.75

The 6th line reads       Jan. 19 —  500 Lumber Tally Sheets, print paper   —           1.75

The 7th line reads      Jan. 26   – 1,000 Kene?  Statements                    —                2.50

The 8th line reads       Jan. 26   – 1,000 – No. 6 Blank tags                   —                 .75

                                                                                                                                                    $18.10

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Worlds Fair Houses Part II

And now for an update on last week’s Bill’s History Corner.

I love it when people contact us about some part of a History Corner. In this case, we were notified that there were five houses at the Chicago Worlds Fair in 1933, and they have had an interesting history after the fair ended. I hope you will excuse me for not knowing more about these houses, but I have only lived in Indiana for 12 years.

I contacted Indiana landmarks with a question about these Worlds Fair houses and their response is below. There are three web addresses for you to look at in the response email.  If you are interested, you can also look at these homes (now private residences) with Google maps here: https://www.google.com/maps/@41.6841349,-87.0013551,3a,75y,354.07h,76.27t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1se8uNABR05PD8orNy0WRdgQ!2e0!7i3328!8i1664

Does anyone want to tackle the House of Tomorrow? Talk about a one of a kind house! See you next week, same time same place.   I hope. Thanks.   

A Note from Indiana Landmarks

“Hi Bill, Thank you for contacting Indiana Landmarks. There are five Century of Progress homes in the Indiana Dunes National Park. Indiana Landmarks works in partnership with the National Park Service to lease the homes to individuals who have funded restoration and preservation of each. We host a tour each September (tickets will go on sale in August on a yet-to-be-announced date). Here are some links with more information on the homes: 

https://www.indianalandmarks.org/2016/09/century-of-progress-homes-

indiana/https://www.nps.gov/indu/learn/historyculture/centuryofprogress.htm (see the links at the bottom of the page for each home) 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Century_of_Progress_Architectural_District 

One home has yet to be restored, the House of Tomorrow. We are currently requesting proposals from individuals interested in taking on the project. You can read more about that home here: https://www.indianalandmarks.org/about/house-of-tomorrow/ 

If you’d like to receive email updates on our tours & events which will include notification of dates related to the Century of Progress tour you can subscribe here:https://www.indianalandmarks.org/e-newsletter-signup/  

Thanks,………………………………
Jessica Kramer
Executive Assistant
………………………………
Indiana Landmarks
www.indianalandmarks.org