Saturday, April 25, 2015

page 86 -- Garland Stoves & Ranges, C.I. Hood & Co., Fish Brothers & Co.

updated 16 July 2018
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Did you know Detroit, MI was once the stove capital of the world?
The Detroit Historical Society wants you to know.

Victorian stove fans! This is your publication.
As of 2015, Garland stoves have earned a reputation as a high-quality brand of commercial stove with international sales. Their current site is the WebstaurantStore.

For a comprehensive look at the history of Lowell MA's C.I. Hood & Co. see the post and comments section of the Old Main Artifacts site devoted to Hood's Sarsaparilla.

The Old Main Artifacts project itself is worth a look. The post featuring Hood's Sarsaparilla grew out of Jessica Griffin's research for her thesis,  In the Shadow of Old Main: Campus Life, Consumer Choice and Foodways at Illinois State Normal University from 1860 to 1932.

What's the connection between Lowell, MA and the University of Illinois? The glass bottles in which C.I. Hood's products were distributed. 

The Arnold Collection has added another Hood card that has an interesting story behind it. Below is the image, which evidently was taken from an original watercolor. We haven't tracked the original artist down yet. Can you help?

"Wild Rose" #Victoriansinhats 

C.I. Hood sold a variety of products. Here's another (front & back, framing added):

Recently acquired by the Earl J. Arnold Advertising Card Collection is this 1896 calendar, which was not in the original scrapbook:

C.I. Hood also published booklets promoting Hood's Sarsaparilla. Below is a fragment of one of these booklets in the shape of a pansy. One cover and perhaps a page or two is missing. We don't know whether the pansy was the front or the back cover. Click the images to enlarge.

Continuing a flowery theme, Hood's tried to print some silver letters on a water lily--without much success. The lettering, which is nearly invisible on the leaf bases, reads "Take Hood's Sarsaparilla. 100 doses One Dollar."

My scanner did not pick up the lettering. This is from the original eBay listing.
eBay item number:112284767366  indian7248 
(reverse of card above)
C.I. Hood & Co. also published a recipe booklet:
Hood's Book of Home-Made Candies is choc full of advertising. Ingredient lists are absent and recipe lists are presented in prose. [ ] Up for a challenge? See images for a sample. The PDF is free for you to download, share and print. Here are some images from the booklet:

One of Hood's most famous cards was recently added to the Earl J. Arnold Advertising Card Collection 1885. This did not appear in the original scrapbook.
The reverse of the card above reflects the state of medical knowledge in the late 1800s.
According to page 120 of Street, John Phillips. The Composition of Certain Patent And Proprietary Medicines. Chicago: American Medical Association, 1917, the composition of Hood's Sarsaparilla as of that time was:

Hood's was not the only Sarsaparilla on the market at the time. Ayer's (Arnold Collection, pages  29,  95) made a similar product. In 2015, it is marketed as a soft drink internationally, but has not made any great penetration into the U.S. market. Root Beer is a close relative according to Wikipedia. Both Ayer's and Hood's products were produced in Lowell MA.

Meanwhile, back in Lowell, MA, it appears as though the Hood's building could use some restoration. As captured by Google Street View, while worn, the building still gives away its origins...

Faded glory (all photos: Google Street View)
July 2012

"Made by Hood. It's Good." Hood Lab in the early 20th century. (Postcard, publisher unknown)
In November of 2016 a sign on the property told passersby to "Expect Change:"

Note the absence of the historic chimney with the Hood's logo.
Here's what you can expect:  Thorndike Exchange

Of course, you didn't expect this to end without a real "fish" story, did you? As a special treat, there's a little "bull" in it, too. (As with most fish stories, it gets longer with every telling. I didn't have the patience to read the whole case, having lost my way early on amonst all the Fishs, the Bulls and well, all the rest.)

1215 State St., Racine WI
Google Street View captures the Fish Bros. plant today:

Google Books relates the fish & bull story:

Here I fell asleep. But you can read the rest, without embarrassment, here.

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