Posted on Leave a comment

Site Beautification 1911

Hello and welcome to this week’s Bill’s History Corner. This is the place that we give up the secrets. Ha Ha, just kidding; any secrets we think we know were likely spread during the last century. What we do know, we know by studying the paper trail left by the Coppes factory. Somewhere during the last century, maybe several times, employees did not destroy (as directed) company papers. Rather, they stored them away in an unused area for someone to find in the future. Well, the future is now, and we have found boxes of company papers and company receipts from the approx. years of 1895 to 1920. Everything that the company purchased during those years is recorded in these boxes. I’ve said it before and I want to keep saying it; we owe a huge amount of gratitude to those employees who had the foresight to protect the company history the way they did.

Vaughan Seed Store Catalog

This week I want to discuss the Vaughan Seed Store, Chicago ILL. We know about this because we have found the receipts in those boxes, I was telling you about. The Vaughan Seed Store was massive. They could supply almost anything you could imagine in the plant line. Today there is still a large supply of information on the Internet about the Vaughan Seed Store. The first two scans I want to show you is from the Internet. These are scans from one of the vintage catalogs that Vaughan sent to customers. Color pages of flowers help sell merchandise.

Vaughan Store Receipts

We have several receipts from the Vaughan store during 1908-12. Here are some of the more interesting ones below. The first one is dated Oct. 21, 1911, just about this time of the year. The order was for 12 different types of flowers. I’m thinking these were bulbs to be planted in the fall for blooming in the coming year. I hope I’m correct about that. (I have been corrected, some bulbs, but some must have been live plants) To the left side is a pencil notation that says, “see Marvin” (Coppes). Apparently, Marvin Coppes planned on planting a lot of flowers. I wonder where he put them? By 1911 Marvin was 30 years old and was married for nine years, so likely he and his family had a home of their own. Two of each of these flowers would make a large flower bed.

The 2nd scan I want to show is also for Marvin Coppes but is in the following May of 1912. This receipt is for 1 Bu. (bushel) lawn grass Seed, Chicago Parks —$3.95; also   5 Lbs. White Clover (seed) —-$2.35 ; the third item is 100 LBS. V’s Lawn & Garden Fertilizer  —$3.00.  Looks to me like Marvin is making a new lawn, has he purchased a new home, maybe built a new home in the country?

The next scan I want to show was divided among Marvin, Ivan and Harold Coppes, children of Frank & John Coppes. This receipt is for red raspberry and black raspberry plants; Special offer Grapes; 12 of V’s “Best Hardy Roses”; 2 different Peach trees; three different Cherry trees; and two types of apple trees. I wonder where all these plants were intended for. Sort of gives you a different impression of these men, doesn’t it?

Early Landscaping

The last two pictures I want to show you are from approx. 1910 & 1912. The street in front of the factory was paved with brick, as was Main and the remainder of Market Street in 1909. Soon after this, the Coppes management decided to “beautify” the property. They brought in a Landscape Architect to make plans for the project. The results of that plan are shown in these pictures. First the plants are really small and planted close together and also close to the street. Later the plants (trees) are larger and there are none along the street. What happened?

Posted on Leave a comment

1880 Receipt for a Steam Boiler

Here is another interesting receipt from our treasury of old Coppes paper items. On March 24th, 1880, the sawmill of J. C. Mellinger and Company of Nappanee Ind. ordered one steam Boiler from the Chicago company of “ROCHESTER MACHINERY M’FG CO., Dealers in PORTABLE & STATIONARY ENGINES AND SAWMILLS, wood and iron working machinery, saws, belting. Etc.”

steam boiler receipt

The description of the boiler is “one 35 horse power # 7 stationary tubular boiler with 2nd hand [?????] with fixtures complete with stack  –  including 1 – #15 Jasperator (sp) fitted to boiler. Also 1 Smoke Stack 40ft X22” + guy rods.” 

This package was priced at $688.00. The company received a $25.00 discount for paying in cash. At the sale, the company paid $363.00 in cash, with a 4-month “note” for the remaining $300.00.

Note at the bottom of the receipt is marked “Paid” and signed by H. C. Wormer Treasure & Manager.

Posted on 1 Comment

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.

Posted on Leave a comment

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

Posted on Leave a comment

Coppes Bros. & Zook 1920 Magazine Ad

Welcome to Bill’s History Corner.

Today we have a scan of a page from “THE FURNITURE WORKER” dated December of 1920. As you can read, Coppes Bros. & Zook Company was starting a large advertising campaign in several magazines.

furniture worker

Coppes Bros. & Zook was aiming their ads. at furniture dealers, pointing out how easy it will be for them to have a huge sales event by having a Coppes Dutch Kitchenet sale in their store. This was the method that Coppes Bros. & Zook used to sell cabinets. Any store with enough floor space was a candidate for having a Coppes Kitchen Cabinet sale. Coppes would send a Coppes employee to the store during the sale to help with selling the cabinets. Each family that came into the store just to look at the new kitchen cabinets was given a souvenir, usually something with the Coppes logo on it.

Also, interesting is the notice of two upcoming Dutch Kitchen Cabinet displays at different Furniture Expositions in Chicago at the Western Furniture Exhibition building and at New York’s Furniture Exchange.