Wednesday, April 29, 2015

page 81 -- Rough on Rats, Chesebrough Manufacturing Co., Vaseline, Louis Steinert, H.A. Bartlett, Dr. Mettaur's Headache Pills

updated 23 November 2015
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For a colorized version of this card and other additional product information,
see page 175 of the Earl J. Arnold Advertising Card Collection


Robert Augustus Chesebrough invented Vaseline (U.S. Patent No. 127,568, 1872). The company itself was successful though its name was never as famous as that of its product. Wikipedia's article on Chesebrough Manufacturing discusses both the product and the history of the company. James Bennett's site, comestics and skin, also has an excellent article tracing company history and elaborating on variations of the company product itself.

Variously labeled as "Monarch Luggage Company" and "American Can Company, Stopper Factory," this Google Street View (Jan 2013) shows what remains of a large complex of Chesebrough buildings as described by Maggie Land Blanck on her detailed site. The history of this Brooklyn location is complicated. To unscramble it, Maggie's site is highly recommended.


The process of making Vaseline in the late 1800s was not for the faint of heart. As some of the resources above note, fires were frequent, punctuated by the occasional explosion.

also listed in Yale Literary Review 1884 ad as 292 Chapel St., New Haven CT
In 2015, 292 is a park and 229 is a parking lot.
ouch! Dr. Mettaur to the rescue!

H.A. Bartlett, 115 & 117 N. Front St., Philadelphia PA
From Google Books report of the Centennial Exhibition of 1876:



H.A. Bartlett invented a better bottle for its blacking (from Google Patents):

"The object of the invention is to produce a bottle with a recess or chamber in which the sponge or swab may have the superfluous material removed therefrom to good advantage, and which may be readily kept clean externally when the sponge is withdrawn."



Antique-bottles.net has a number of photos of this new bottle along with a photo of a bottle of the design pictured in the card above. The Company manufactured both shoe and stove blacking. The bottle was designed for many such subtances, as the patent makes clear.


Brown Chemical Co., Baltimore, MD
The Peachridge Glass site details the history of Brown Chemical, its trade cards and of course, its bottles. Peachridge Glass is a great source of historical information on many late 19th century manufacturers.

Here's an ad for the product courtesy Google Books & Vick's Monthly Magazine:





I think you'll agree that the ad above is plain. It has no attention-grabbing features except for the LARGE, BOLD FONT. In the midst of several such ads, it could easily be ignored.

Leave it to the ad agencies to notice this little problem! Here's how they solved it as per Google Books:







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