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A 1907 Purchase of Drawing Instruments

Welcome to this week’s Bill’s History Corner. I think it is interesting when we find information of the personal nature about the principal members of the Coppes, Zook or Mutschler Families. We literally have thousands of old business receipts from the company in the first part of the 20th century (1903-1920). Don’t know how it could have happened, but several boxes of receipts were misplaced or lost until we discovered them while digging in the factory’s junk. What a find, and are we grateful, obviously. Most of the business receipts were destroyed or we would have found other hordes of receipts. Stay tuned. Who knows what we will find.

The business receipt I want to talk about today is an item that was purchased for H. (Harold) Coppes while he was in college in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Likely the class he was taking was a drafting or engineering class. Harold must have needed some drawing tools for the work in the class, so they/he ordered a set of drawing instruments (No. 625) from the Keuffel & Esser Co., Chicago, ILL. This was a very large company that imported or manufactured a wide range of tools like drawing instruments. The set of instruments that were ordered was priced at $37.00 but there was a 20 % discount given. Likely that discount is the reason the drawing set was ordered through the company rather than just H. Coppes, as an individual. So, Harold saved $7.40 in the transaction by purchasing a top of the line drawing set.  Below is a scan of the Nov. 7, 1907 receipt.

Did he need such a high-end drawing set to do the work in the class, or could he have been just as well off with a less expensive set? We will never know the answer to that question. What we do know is that later in 1916 Harold was the motivation behind a patent application for a flour bin used in a Coppes Napanee kitchenet. How many of the skills that Harold Coppes demonstrated later in his life did he learn by using that drawing set  purchased in 1907? I have scanned a page from a K & E catalog showing a Number 625 drawing set (below).  We could speculate all day about things like this- makes history interesting.

 

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Spindle Carver Wanted in 1906

evening press receipt

Here is a Mar. 27th, 1906 receipt from the “THE EVENING NEWS CO. GRAND RAPIDS, MICH.” In which they are wanting payment [from Coppes, Zook & Mutschler Co.] for placing an advertisement in their paper. The ad. read “Wanted – A spindle carver, thoroughly competent and responsible; steady work; state experience and wages expected.       Coppes, Zork (sp) & Neutschler (sp) Co., Nappanee, Ind.

This ad. appeared six times in their paper and cost $1.32. The company wanted an experienced workman to operate a “spindle carver” machine. Was this a new machine in the C, Z & M Co. operations?  Likely, the company did not have anyone experienced with this machine and decided to look in the “furniture capital of the world” for an experienced workman that the company would then try to lure away from his job to a new town. Wonder what the rubber stamp “PLEASE DO NOT REMIT IN STAMPS.” Is about? Have enough people tried to pay their accounts with stamps (postage?) that they needed to make and use a rubber stamp.

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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.