Friday, March 30, 2012

1936 J.C. Penny's Ox Hide Work Clothes Waistband Size Tags

Pair of waistband size tags from J.C. Penny's Ox Hide brand work clothes. These are dated May 4, 1936. Unlike other work clothes manufacturers who had their size tags printed on paper, J. C. Penny seemed to favor doing their's on thin paper with a linen backing. 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Early 1930s Carter's Overalls Waistband Size Tags

Nice lot of three H.W. Carter & Sons, Carter's Overalls, waistband size tags. These were part of a collection I picked up several years ago. For me, other than the graphics, the best part of this collection was being able to know exactly when these tags were used because everything was dated. In the case of these Carter's tags, the original owner of the overalls wrote the date they were purchased. From top to bottom the dates are May 23, 1930, June 6, 1932 and October 16, 1933.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Big Winston Overalls Ink Blotter

Advertising blotter for Big Winston Overalls manufactured by Fletcher Brothers Company in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The blotter was produced by noted postcard maker, Curt Teich & Co., Chicago.

The Fletcher Brothers (Joseph, Newton & John) established their Winston-Salem dry goods business in the fall of 1896. They had a store at 430 Trade Street and another known as The Bee Hive at 424 North Liberty Street. The earliest trademark record for Big Winston appears in 1907. Big Winston Overalls were sold in southern states ranging from Maryland to Florida. The company had eleven salesman covering this territory. The company folded during the early 1950s.

The Fletcher Brothers Dry Goods Store at 430 Trade Street
From The North Carolina Room - Forsyth County Public Library

Monday, March 26, 2012

Circa 1893-95 Watervliet Arsenal Seacoast Cannon Shop Cabinet Photo

I recently acquired this cabinet photo off ebay for a mere $30. The seller speculated that because of the signature and Troy, NY at the bottom right of the backing, that it might be either the Watervliet Arsenal or the Burden Iron Works. After doing a little photo research online, I guessed it was the Watervliet Arsenal because of the small window right above the top row of workers and the large cannons which can be seen in the photo.

My assumtion was confirmed by Robert Pfeil, who is the curator at the Watervliet Arsenal Museum. He said the photo was taken inside the Seacoast Cannon Shop, which is now called the "Big Gun Shop." He dated the photo from around 1893-1895. He also pointed out that the gentleman in the top row with the bow tie is most likely Carl Alfred Christiansen, the shop's foreman. Christiansen, born on July 16, 1856, joined the arsenal in 1885 and in 1891 was named Master Gunmaker. At the time of his death on January 16, 1903, his team was manufacturing a 16-inch gun that weighed 385,400 pounds, was 49-feet long and fired a 2,370 pound projectile 21 miles. The guns first firing was the day after Christiansen's death. The "Big Gun Shop" was dedicated to his memory in 1984. He was inducted into The Ordnance Corps Hall of Fame in 1989.

Master Gunmaker Carl Alfred Christiansen

I pretty much knew nothing about the arsenal up to this point, but soon found out it has an incredible history. The arsenal was built in 1813 and is the U.S. Army's oldest continuously active arsenal in the states. It has manufactured everything from haversacks to artillery projectiles. In 1883 the facility became more focused and specialized in heavy ordnance-particularly artillery pieces. The arsenal produced some of the largest cannons in the U.S. Army's inventory. The arsenal was named a Historic landmark in 1966.

Watervliet Arsenal postcard

For more information on the Watervliet Arsenal click here.

A big thank you to Robert Pfeil for providing information on the photo. Mr. Pfeil was also nice enough to provide two other photos showing Carl Alfred Christiansen and his crew. The first shows the crew outside one of the shops and is undated. The second from 1902 shows Christiansen in front of one of the 16-inch guns mentioned above.

Provided by the Watervliet Arsenal Museum

Provided by the Watervliet Arsenal Museum

Friday, March 23, 2012

1915 Welch-Cook Billhead

1915 billhead from the Welch-Cook Company of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The company produced Welch's Standard Overalls, Jackets and Shirts. The company was founded in 1903 by David Welch and his son Archie. At some point Robert Cook joined the firm forming the name above. They later became known as the Welch-Cook-Beals Company. The company began producing Welch's Standard Overalls in 1906 according to a small blurb in Men's Wear Magazine from August 8th of that year.

Welch's Overalls Match Safe
Welch's Overalls Match Safe
Welch's Standard button from a work jacket
Photo dated October 1945 from the Denver Public Library showing the Welch-Cook-Beals Building with advertising for Welch's Standard Overalls.
Welch-Cook Company Postcard

Monday, March 19, 2012

1913 Flint Hill Overalls Advertising Postcard

Advertising postcard for Flint Hill Overalls manufactured by Schramm & Schmieg Dry Goods Company in Burlington, Iowa. The card is postmarked on the back January 13, 1913.

The Schramm & Schmieg Dry Goods Company began business shortly after the Civil War and ran until 1947. For more info on the company and a great image of a Flint Hill trade card, check out Your Old Pal, Jim

Below are two images taken from the State Historical Society of Iowa's Site Inventory Form for the Schramm & Schmieg Dry Goods Company Building at 201-205 North 3rd Street in Burlington. For an interesting read on the property the information can be found here.

Schramm & Schmeig Dry Goods Company Postcard

The Schramm & Schmieg building as it appeared in 2009

Friday, March 16, 2012

Circa 1915 Can't Bust 'Em Overalls Poster Stamp

Circa 1915 Can't Bust 'Em Overalls poster stamp. Poster stamps, also known as a Cinderella stamps, were a very popular form of advertising from the mid-19th century up to around WWII. In many cases theses are smaller versions of actual posters. I have never seen a full size poster of this colorful advertising piece for Can't Bust 'Em.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

1939 Levi Strauss Electric Rodeo Postcard

Levi Strauss Copper Riveted Overalls postcard featuring the Levi's Electric Rodeo at Treasure Island from the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco. The miniture rodeo was made up of famous rodeo people wearing western clothing. There is also another postcard and blotter showing the Electric Rodeo image, but they are much tougher to come by. The card also has a small Levi Strauss mark on the back.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Lee Work Clothes Linen Advertising Postcard

Linen advertising postcard for Lee Work Clothes. Linen postcards date from 1930 to 1945. This card was produced by the Curt Teich & Company. The card is numbered #5B-H1241 in the Teich catalog. The back of the card has a postmark, but I can't make out the date. The 2 cent stamp would most likely put the mailing in the early 1950s. For more information on the Curt Teich & Company, check out their archive here.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Late 1920s Lee Union-All Advertising Booklet

The other night while digging around the apartment for some Union-Made pieces, I found this forgotten little guy in a box of baseball cards.

This 12-page Lee Union-Alls advertising booklet measures 2 1/8 x 3 1/2. The small size could explain why it was stashed with the cards. I'm not sure how this piece was issued, but it's small size leads me to believe that it could have possibly been packaged along side a Buddy Lee doll. There is no printing date on the piece, but there is mention of 4 million Union-Alls being sold in 1924, which makes me think this was published around that time or shortly after. The booklet was printed by W.P. Goshorn & Co, Color Printers.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Scovill Button Cards

Founded in 1802, Scovill is one of the county's oldest operating companies.

Along with denim and workwear, the Scovill mark can be found on military garments dating back to the War of 1812.

For more information on the company, check out their corporate site here and a brief but informative history of the company at The Lampworks

Friday, March 9, 2012

Alexander Johnston CDVs featuring Maritime Workers circa 1870

I recently purchased these two carte-de-visite (CDV) photographs primarily for their subject matter. They were pretty much an impulse buy and I wondered if I might have paid a little to much for them. After doing a little research, I'm quite pleased to find out that my purchases turned out to be gems loaded with history.

These CDVs were photographed by Alexander Johnston (1839-1896). The Johnston family documented the town of Wick in the Scottish Highlands for over 100 years. Alexander Johnston started the family business in 1863. After his passing in 1896, the business went to his son William (1879-1950) who partnered with his uncle James Johnston (1854-1922). William's son Alex joined the business in 1932. After a 4 1/2 year stint in the RAF, William returned to the business in 1945 and ran it until his retirement in 1976. William's retirement brought an end to the family's 113 year photography business.
For more information on the Johnston Photography business visit the following sites:

Back of the CDVs with Johnston's mark

Alexander Johnston