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Antique Clamps and Receipt Found in Factory

For today’s Bill’s History Corner, I found something that interests me. Old tools are very dear to my heart. I found a receipt dated Feb 8, 1908, when the Coppes, Zook & Mutschler Co. purchased 5 Doz. number 2 size hand screw clamps from the ADJUSTABLE CLAMP CO. of Chicago. The original price was $37.50 but the company was given a discount of 2 % which equals $.75, to make the total cost $36.75. Looks like the freight cost was $.38.  These clamps were the JORGENSEN PATENT WOOD CLAMP style of hand screw clamps, a style that has been favored by woodworkers everywhere. A company note on the receipt indicated that ½ of the clamps were intended for Factory “A” and the other half for Factory “B”.

In 2018, these clamps are still being used in the Coppes Napanee custom kitchen factory. There is almost no way of knowing if the clamps we find in the factory today are the original ones purchased in 1908, because the style of the clamp has changed very little. One interesting sidebar is the clamp pictured below with an original size Jorgensen clamp. This longer clamp likely was broken during use, and someone in the company (maybe a maintenance man) decided the clamp could be repaired and made usable again. And that they did by putting new longer wood jaws on the original screws. This clamp was found on a shelf of tools in the factory about a month ago.

clamps

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Recorded List of Hoosier Cabinet Manufacturers Grows

I found something that is really interesting to me. Maybe to you also. It seems that Google Books has scanned and made available on the internet, books on many subjects (I don’t know how many, search Google Books for a subject that interests you on your computer). I found 5-6 on early furniture companies that also had advertisements from kitchen cabinet manufactures. From the beginning of the Kitchen Cabinet Museum here at Coppes Commons people have wanted to know how many companies made the kitchen cabinets called “Hoosiers”. To that end I have been recording newly discovered companies on to my “List of Hoosier Cabinet Manufactures” which I intend to share with you in today’s History Corner. But first, I need to make a disclaimer. Almost all the companies on my list are there because I personally have seen a likeness of a cabinet that can easily be named a “Hoosier” cabinet. I look for names of Hoosier cabinets manufactures everywhere. Some companies are from eBay listings, some from cabinets in antique stores, magazines & newspaper advertisements, and then Google Books advertisements.

I was looking at the Google Books, St. Louis Furniture Journals for the years 1924-25-26 and found several new (new to me) cabinet company advertisements. I also looked at the 1917 & 1921 The Furniture Worker and found some more. I’m beginning to think that a lot of furniture manufacturing companies during the heyday of the Hoosier cabinet fad tried their hand at making a version of a Hoosier style kitchen cabinet.

Here are three advertisements for kitchen cabinet manufacturing companies that I recently found. I used these three Advertisements because they are all close to Northern Indiana, and I did not know of them until recently.

hoosier ad 1

kitchen cabinet ad #2

Elwell Hoosier Cabinet

This is turning into a long Bill’s History Corner. Next, this is my current (as of Oct. 28, 18) list of Hoosier cabinet Manufactures. This list contains some of my notes also. I’m sure the list will grow larger as more companies are discovered.

 

Our collected list of Hoosier Cabinet manufacturers as of Oct. 28, 2018.

Disclaimer-Names of MFG. were found in many places, eBay listings, Cabinets in Antique Stores, Advertisements in Magazines, Trade Journals, Etc. In most cases, I actually looked at a likeness of a cabinet or an actual kitchen cabinet that was constructed in the style of Hoosier Cabinets. A cabinet that is free-standing, with top and bottom parts and a work surface and large amounts of storage. Some listings contain my notes.

 

Abernathy Furniture Co, Kansas City, MO

Ariel Cabinet Company – Peru, Indiana ”handyhelper”

Baines, Mosier Company, Allegan, MICH. Pic. In file

Biederman Mfg. Co.  Spencerville, Ohio (2 roll-ups)

Boone Kitchen Cabinet – Campbell-Smith-Ritchie Co. – Lebanon, Indian

Chatham-Manson Campbell Co, Chatham, Ont 1900-

Culinart, Frankfort, Ind.

Dearborn Desk Manufacturing Co, Marion, IN (The Marion Cabinet Co.), have cabinet

Diamond Kitchen Cabinets – Shelbyville, Ind. The C.F. Schmoe Furniture Co. (have advertisement)

“Domestic Science” Built in Kitchen Units. McDougall Co.  Frankfort, Ind.

“Dulin” Anderson-Dulin Varnell Co. Knoxville, KY. 3 different cabinets Mfg. by Coppes for Dulin

Easiwork Kitchen Cabinet, 242 Tottenham Court Road. LONDON, W. 1. (eBay listing)

Elwell- Minneapolis, MN Have pic. In adv. file

Greencastle – Greencastle Cabinet Co., Greencastle, Indiana

H J Scheirich, Louisville, KY, and Scheirich, Louisville, Kentucky.

Hartman’s white beauty Comfort Kitchen Cabinet No location, printed tin sign.

Hastings, Hastings Cabinet Company, Hastings, Michigan

Harris – Brown table Co, Greenwood, Miss — Patented item? Sept 9, 1912

Hoosier Manufacturing Co.  New Castle, Indiana

“HOPPER” Brand Kitchen Cabinet Cupboard, made in Sioux City, Iowa. (ebay item)

Hygena, Liverpool, England. 1930s Ebay item

Ideal – Vincennes, Indiana Ideal, Vincennes Furniture Manufacturers, Vincennes Indiana

I-XL furniture Co (Goshen IN)-looks like Coppes parts 

Kelly foundry and Machine, Goshen, IN

Kemp   Levenworth KS     listing on ebay

Keystone, Littlestown, PA Example with clock

“Kitchen Maid” Wasmuth-Endicott, Andrews, IND. (ebay cabinet listing)

KLANKE Furniture co.  New Bremen, Ohio

Kuchins Furn. Mfg. Co., St. Louis, MO “3 K Kitchen Cabinet, Keep, Kitchen, Kleen” Pics.

Landau Cabinet Co, St Louis, Mo

Mutschler Bros. Manufacturing, Nappanee, IN

Kemper Brothers, Founded in Feb 9, 1926 – Richmond, IN/Cincinnati, OH. —-

—-   Subsidiary of Masterbrand Cabinets, Jasper, IN.    2017, Still in business.

Marsh – High Point, North Carolina (Marsh Furniture Company) (have adv.)

The Ohio State Stove & Mfg. Co., Columbus, Ohio (Royal Ossco all steel kitchen cabinet)

John Thomas, “Manufacture of Kitchen Cabinets, Galveston, Indiana” we have cabinet.

Oxford- 1930’s, Oxford, PA

McClure. Marion, IN

McDougall – Frankfort, Indiana

MONARCH   ???????? & CABINETS  (from label on cabinet)

Napanee – Nappanee, IN (Coppes, Zook & Mutschler) (Coppes Bros. & Zook) (Coppes, INC.)

Red Wing Cabinet Co.  Red Wing, Minn.    eBay listing

Sellers – Elwood, Indiana

Showers Brothers Furniture Co. – Bloomington, Indiana

The Tippycanoe,  “THE TIPP BLDG. & MFG. CO. Tippycanoe City, Ohio. “Tippycanoe Kitchen Cabinets, ‘None Better”  (Ebay item, pics in file)

Wilson – Grand Rapids, Michigan (sold by Sears)

Harris-Brown table co.  kitchen cabinet

The Manson Cambell Company, Chatham, ONT.

White Barton Cabinet Company, ???

Galax Furniture & Lumber Co. Galax, VA. “MFRS. of Kitchen Cabinets, Bed Room Suites & Chiffoniers.”- — Have photo of cabinet @ Antique Mall in Port Shelton, MI

Springfield Model Kitchen Cabinet, Springfield Furniture Co., Springfield, MO

“Perfection” Colonial Cabinet Co. 2616 N. 15th St. St. Louis, MO.  Ad. in 1915 St. Louis Furniture News

“The Helpmate Cabinet” Little Rock Furniture Manu. Co.  Little Rock, ARK.

“Justrite Cupboards & Kitchen Cabinets”,  Indiana Furniture Company, Evansville, IN  Ad in June 1915 ———St. Louis Furniture News

Mother Hubbard’s New Cupboards, The Cardinal Cabinet Co. Wabash, IN.  P. 52 June ‘15 St. Louis —  ——–Furniture News

Joering and Pelchmann Co.   St Louis, MO ad on page 39, July 1915, St Louis Furniture News

Crawford-Bunch Furniture Co. Statesville, NC.  Ad on P. 48 Sept, 1915 St. Louis Furniture News.

Campbell, Smith & Ritchie.  Lebanon, Ad in 1905 Furniture journal

McAnsh, Dwyer & Co. Chicago, IL. Ad in 1905 Furniture Journal

  1. C. Niemann & Co. Rockwell St. Chicago, IL Ad in 1905 Furniture Journal

Kompass & Stoll Co. Niles, MI.    Ad in 1905 furniture Journal

The Ranney Refrigerator Company, Greenville, Mich.   Ad in 1905 Furniture Journal. P 154

Globe-Bosse-World Furniture Co. “Kitchen Cabinets”.  P. 274, The Furniture Worker Vol. 38, 1921

Lambeth Furniture Co. Thomasville, N.C.  “kitchen cabinets” The Furniture Worker Vol. 38, 1921

Leo Kahn Furniture Co. Menphis, Tenn. “Kitchen Cabinets” The Furniture Worker Vol. 38, 1921

“National” Cabinet, The National Screen & Manu. Co. Cincinnati, OH. The Furniture Worker Vol. 38, ‘21

Kitchen Cabinet TINWARE, McCormick Bros. Co. Albany, Ind. P.65 The Furniture Worker Vol. 38, ‘21

Acme Kitchen Furniture Co. Chattanooga, Tenn.  Ad. Nov. 1917 Furniture Worker

Falcon manufacturing Co. Big Rapids, Mich.  Ad. 1918 Grand Rapids furniture Record

King Mantel & Furniture Co. Knoxville, Tenn.   Ad. 1921 Grand Rapids Furniture Record

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A Walk Down Main Street’s Past

For this week’s History Corner, we are looking at three early pictures of South Main Street. The first photo is dated 1915. The street had been paved with brick just five years earlier in 1909-10. The first block between Market St. and Lincoln St. was filled with businesses. There were two banks, Hartman’s department store, and drug stores, etc. The block was full of buildings, several having second-floor offices above the 1st-floor business. At the Southeast Corner of Lincoln St. and S. Main was the Nappanee Carriage Company building, an imposing 3-story brick building with the city water tower and power station behind. On South are a grain mill and the railroad tracks.

water tower

The long building shadows that show up on the street tells me this picture was taken late in the afternoon when there was very little traffic on the street. I only see one horse and wagon with a load of what looks like grain. Also notice the window awnings on most of the east side buildings. It appears that there are trees with leaves in the background so this may have been during the summer or early fall months. Do you see the thing that looks like a gas pump? Well that is what it is.

Photograph number two doesn’t look like the same street. So many buggies, wagons, sledges, hardly a parking place left. Looks really cold with ice on the streets and people in heavy coats. Were the people in town for Christmas shopping or was this a typical busy Winter Saturday? Wouldn’t it have been great if someone had written the date on this picture?

main street nappanee

 

Photograph number three is labeled ONION DAY NAPPANEE. This is also South Main Street, south of Lincoln Street, see the train cars in the distance. For those of you that don’t remember, early Nappanee agriculture involved growing lots and lots of vegetables. The Nappanee Produce Co. is the building on the left side of the picture. Seems the soil around Nappanee was great for growing vegetables. To help celebrate the prosperity that Nappanee was experiencing Nappanee held a festival/carnival that was called ONION DAYS. Onion days happened for several years, approx. from 1909 to 1913. We do not know which year this picture was taken. Look at the people, Ladies and young girls decked out in white dresses, most of the men in shirtsleeves some with coats. Wonder which Month of the year it was? Looks like we could say a “good time was had by all”.

people on Main

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Young & Widmoyer of Nappanee, IN

I’m guessing that most of today’s readers have never heard of this Nappanee Business. I know that I didn’t before we found this piece of paper. The YOUNG & WIDMOYER, DEALERS IN Fresh and Salted Meats, Sausages, Etc. was a butchering concern, supplying fresh and salted meats to the citizens of Nappanee.

tallow receipt

On Nov. 8th the Coppes, Zook & Mutschler Co. purchased “Tallow for Fcty (factory) a @ $1.25”.

This receipt does not tell the amount of “Tallow” in this purchase, but my guess is a large amount, an amount as large as a barrel full of “Tallow”. My Dictionary says that tallow is animal fat, the hard-white fat rendered (to extract by heating), usually from cattle or sheep tissues and used especially in soap or lubricants.

I doubt that C, Z & M Co. was making soap, so using the tallow for a Lubricant is the logical conclusion. Line shaft bearings and machine bearings are some of the possible uses for tallow.

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Coppes Bros. 1884 Logging Patent

In 1884, the Coppes Bros. sawmill was going full blast. Thousands of logs were brought to the mill location every year, either by train car or if more local by horse and wagon. Loading the logs onto the Coppes log wagons is the subject of this US Patent by John D. Coppes. This US Patent dated June 3, 1884 and given Patent Number 299,746, is short and concise, describing how the “SKID HOLDER” is intended to work. Basically the “SKID HOLDER” is part of a ramp that is connected to the wagon bolster and leaning against the top of the wheel that will facilitate the rolling of logs on to the wagon. This metal “SKID HOLDER” holds the wooden ramp/skid in position so the heavy logs will not fall if the ramp slips and falls to the ground possibly injuring a worker.

patent drawing

How many wagons the Coppes Bros had and used for hauling logs to the mill in the 1880’s is anyone’s guess. We have ledgers from this time period, but so far, we have not deciphered the exact jobs the many employees had. We do know and can say with confidence that the Coppes Bros Co. had horse and wagon teams at the sawmill (just don’t know how many) and also during busy periods advertised in the Nappanee News to hire outside drivers to use their teams and wagons to haul logs to the mill.

How did they actually load logs on a wagon?

We need to imagine what it would take to load a wagon with logs. First, the process needs to be portable, the forest or woods where the logs were cut was never at the same place. These “SKID HOLDER” ramps could be transported from location to location. If there were a relatively small number of logs to be loaded at one location, the “SKID HOLDER” system would work well. If another location had a huge number of logs it may be to their advantage to construct a temporary loading platform at that location. Remember this was the 1880s, and logs were moved by muscle force from either man or horse. Rolling a heavy log up the “SKID HOLDER “ramp onto a wagon bed would take a team of men working closely together. Each man had a hook tool that grabbed on to the log and allowed the men to roll the log with greater leverage.  I can’t imagine how they loaded logs two or three high on one wagon. I’m thinking of the Coppes, Zook & Mutschler log parades that were part on the Onion Festivals in the years 1908-1912.

We have pictures of wagons that were loaded three high with big logs with the driver sitting on the top log. . .  But that needs to be the subject on a future History Corner. Stay tuned.

Using Google Patents

Searching for a patent is so much easier now with the Internet. We used to have to go to regional libraries and search through patent books in hopes of discovering a patent. Then we would write to the actual Washington D. C. patent office and request the correct paper forms to order copies of any patent (also paying for them). It was a long process. I use a computer program called Goggle Patents. With it I can search the entire US patent office records. By typing in a couple items that I know in the search line, the Google Patents program will search for patents with those actual words. For example, if I have an item that has a name and the patent date on it, I’ll list the name and date in the search line and strike the enter key. If I’m lucky there will only be a few hundred patents for me to search through. The more information and the more accurate information you can enter into the search line the better off you will be. Go ahead and try it – open the google program on your computer and type in the words Nappanee patent. You will be surprised how many patents were issued to people from Nappanee.

As a side bar, John Coppes assigned one half of this Patent to his brother Frank. The witnesses that signed the text portion were Conrad D. Volknann (was Volknann the early spelling, then changed later to Volkman (Conrad was the first person to purchase a building lot in Nappanee and a blacksmith in the 1880s, he likely made the SKID HOLDERS) also William F. Peddycord (then, Nappanee’s postmaster).

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Quality Control at Coppes Napanee in the 60’s

Welcome to Bill’s History Corner. Today’s Corner is written by guest writer, Dodie. Thanks for filling in.

Employee Monthly Progress Reports

Read the attached sample, how would you feel if you were being evaluated with this report?

employee evaluation

How would you like to have been a supervisor at Coppes, Inc. in 1964 and have to evaluate each of your subordinates on these five thought-provoking questions once a month?

Which of these five: Quality, Quantity, Human Supervision, Technical Supervision, Use of Equipment, would you regard as the number one priority or are they all equal importance?

This is a huge monthly observation for a Supervisor in every department.

So glad to see that the “Quality of employees work” section could have a “Normal number of mistakes” category, but sorry to see the fact that in the “Use of Company Supplies and Properties,” any employee could be marked as “Occasionally misuse tools, materials and machines. Sometimes careless”.

You should notice that the four different possible ratings in each section are not in descending order of workmanship. The supervisor needed to be very familiar with this “Progress Report”. Needing to do one of these reports for each employee every month would be a big job. We have found stacks of these “Monthly Reports” mixed in with employee records. I expect they intended to keep them all on file for the working span of each employee.

Coppes has a great reputation of providing perfect products and the employees have great pride in providing a quality product. 

*more information on Coppes Napanee and products being made today can be found on our New Kitchens & Restorations page.

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Our Fire Doors – More Than a Pretty Backdrop

For today’s History Corner I’m going to talk about something basic to the Coppes Commons buildings. Fire doors were at every doorway in the older factory portion of the Commons. Not only was a fire door at every doorway, but they were also on each side of each doorway. It was a simple idea: if a fire started in any one room the doors leading out of that room had a self-closing fire door on that side of the doorway to block the spread of the fire. Containing a fire to only one room would be a huge advantage.

I have no proof, but I can easily imagine Insurance companies insisting that fire doors be installed. Or if not, the Coppes company could only have limited fire coverage, sky-high rates, or go talk to some other company for their insurance needs. Any way you look at it, installing fire doors was smart business practice. The way the doors work is that they are mounted with roller wheels on an inclined track. When the door is opened (by hand) it is held at the top of the inclined track by a weight on a chain. This weight is equal to the amount of force needed to prevent the door from rolling closed. At the end of the chain is a temperature sensing device. Accentually it is two metal pieces that are soldered together with a very low melting temperature material. When the device gets hot because of a fire it separates and the door will automatically roll shut.

I have taken photos of two of our doors. The first picture is of the Manufactures label that is embossed into the metal surface. As you can see this door was produced by the RICHMOND FIRE PROOF DOOR CO. mfgrs. of INDUSTRIAL-ELEVATOR- KALALEIN(??) -and- TINCLAD FIREDOOR EQUIPMENT. RICHMOND, IND. It also has an underwriters certificate on a brass tag that is screwed on. I don’t know what the FM tag means, unless it was the installing company. Fire doors at Coppes Commons are approx. two inches thick. They are Made of hardwood that is covered in tin, and by covered, I mean the front and back flat surface and the top edge, the side edges, and the bottom are completely covered in fireproof tin.

fire door tag FM

The next picture shows a stencil with the Coppes Bros. & Zook name, still readable, on a fire door. Several of our remaining fire doors have been painted over, or are too rusty to read. I guess the stencil was to prevent shipping mistakes. These doors are heavy, and it would be a problem for someone if the wrong doors were sent to Coppes.

My third picture is a scan of an advertisement of the style of fire door we have in Coppes Commons. This is not the actual company that made our fire doors but similar in style and workings. You can see the inclined track, roller wheels on the top of the door. Also, the weighted chain with the temperature sensing device in front of the door.

fire door ad

Now you know as much as I do about fire doors. Thanks for visiting. Come back next week for more stimulating and thought-provoking stuff. 😊

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The New Employee “Personnel Test”

Today’s post was written by a guest historian, Dodie, who helps catalog our collection once a week here at Coppes Commons.

THE PERSONNEL TEST

This was used to test the ability of potential new employees at Coppes Inc.

Seeking employment at Coppes – Inc. in May of 1964 could be a “mind-boggling” experience. After reading the first page of “Instructions” and seeing that a person only had twelve minutes to do the test, I wonder how many people passed and received employment.

Some of the questions are very easy – some need much more thought and discernment. I challenge you to read through to question # 50 and see how many you can answer correctly. Perhaps #17 and # 26 could cause a bit of THINKING!!

Good luck and have fun. Remember you only have 12 minutes.

 

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Nappanee Stockyards – Date Unknown

Nappanee Stockyards

What a busy place on this day! It may have been some type of special market day or maybe this was the normal amount of activity in early Nappanee – lots of farm wagons bringing livestock to the stock yards for sale. As you can see, the fenced in area on the right side of this photo is the unloading pen. One wagon after another would pull into the pen and unload. Notice that some of the wagons have what appears to be a smaller box pen in the back of the wagons while other wagons have boards across the top, apparently to keep the animals from escaping. I’m guessing, because of my many months on a farm, that the majority of animals being brought to market this day are likely pigs. Although, I can see after an enlargement of the picture, sheep in one wagon and a calf in another.

I think that the camera man was standing on top of a train car that sat on one of the side tracks. Almost every person in the picture is posed, as if the picture taking process does not happen often. The wagon in the bottom center of the photo looks like a freight wagon, certainly not a farm wagon. How he became in that position is fun to speculate about. Did he arrive early and then get caught in the traffic jam, or is he attempting to send his crate on the train? The overloaded wagon in the lower left is also a puzzle. Looks like the wheels are going to fold in because of the weight in the wagon. What does he have in his wagon? Can you find the boy on a bicycle?

This location is at the South end of Elm Street at the Rail Road tracks, looking North toward Lincoln Street and East Market Street. The farthest-away horses are close to standing on Lincoln Street. The church steeple at the top is an early church on the corner of Elm & East Market St. where the Calvary Baptist Church is now located. Another clue to the date of this photo is the street light at the corner of Elm and East Market Street. Do you know when Nappanee put up street lights? Also, I’m not sure (the trees may be in the way) but I don’t see any large two-story buildings on the West (left) side of Elm street that could be the Coppes Hotel. Samuel Coppes left the Coppes Brothers Company in 1890 for other business enterprises, one of which was the Coppes Hotel which he had built in 1891. This picture must be before 1891.

This raises another question in my brain: what is the oldest picture taken of a building, a location or person in Nappanee? Do you have an early Nappanee photograph you would be willing to share with everyone? There are several very early reprinted photographs in the Nappanee centennial book They Called it Nappanee.  If you have not seen this book, the Nappanee Library has a copy in the historical section. I learned a lot from reading it.

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The Dutch Girl Rides Again. . . . on a Parade Float

I found this picture at the Nappanee Library’s Heritage Room several years ago. At the time, I wasn’t sure if I could ever use it is a meaningful way. Then the History Corner started, and several pictures I collected have gotten a new lease on life.

dutch girl on parade float

This is a float for a 1921 Nappanee parade.  It is likely a 4th of July parade because of the bunting on the float, but there is no other indication of which parade it may have been. Someone had the foresight to write some information on the picture. Bertha Silberg is playing the role of the “Dutch Girl.” In 1921, the Coppes & Zook Company was producing thousands of the “Hoosier” cabinets every year. The 20’s was the peak production years for the Coppes & Zook Company’s Napanee Line of kitchen cabinets. We have one order ledger from 1924-25. This is the only company ledger we have in the collection that lists the number of cabinets sold and who (which store) purchased them. We found this ledger in the large piles of trash left behind in the old parts of the factory. We may never know where the other ledgers went, but we sure would like to find them.

Likely we will never know exactly how many “Hoosier” type kitchen cabinets were manufactured during this time period. So far, we have collected names and information on 50 different companies that made and sold kitchen cabinets that could be called Hoosier kitchen Cabinets. Not all of the companies were in Indiana, (ohio, Penna, Texas) but they made cabinets that looked like the Hoosier cabinets that were so popular during this time period.