Thursday, May 28, 2015

page 40 -- Universal Fashion Company, F.H. Allis & Co., Gastrine Mfg. Co., J.&P. Coats, Clark's Thread Co.

updated  3 August 2017
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The Universal Fashion Company, 40 E. 12th Street, NYC
#40 E. 12th St., NYC
Google Street View, Sept 2014
3 interpretations of this Street View are presented under
New York City in Photographers Street View
return address on envelope acquired by the Diver collection


3 awards from the back of the envelope above
Volume 1 no. 5, June 1887 issue of Audubon Magazine (Archive.org) carried the following ad for Universal on page 119:



The Church Review (Google Books) carried this ad for the Universal Fashion Company:



The Universal Fashion Company's publication "Perfect Fitting Patterns" was available in several local retailers, usually imprinted or stamped with the shop owner's information.

An example of a pattern designed by the Universal Fashion Company along with some highly recommended expert commentary is on the blog Unsung Sewing Patterns:


(Forbes Henry Allis 1854-1911)
 Another trade card for F.H. Allis is on page 79 of the Earl J. Arnold Advertising Card Collection.

(No Robin Hood, she, but at least she hit the target!)
According to WebMD, dyspepsia is complicated. Since it is not a single disease but is rather a symptomatic cluster, it can't be "cured" by Gastrine or anything else. In 1885, the best that could be hoped is that the symptoms might be alleviated.  Wikipedia's article on Dyspepsia is very thorough.


Page 119 of the Earl J. Arnold Advertising Card Collection has substantial additional information on the Gastrine Manufacturing Company.

At least three stereotypes are presented here. Childlike stupidity (not having sense enough
to come in out of the rain), color that won't wash
and the name "Topsey" or "Topsy," which appears often in cards of the time, refering
to the "character without personal narrative" created by Harriet Beecher Stowe
in Uncle Tom's Cabin. J.&P. Coats was headquartered in Paisley, Scotland. 

Only one generation after the Civil War, attitudes towards African-Americans were crude. The trade cards of the time reflect these negative prejudices and remind us that some, but not enough progress has been made rooting out these roadblocks to a just society in the centuries since.

Mischief over the generations hasn't changed much. What one person considers a prank, however, can have serious consequences for another. From Clarks and the lithographer Donaldson Brothers of Five Points NY comes this example:



It appears almost anything could be done with a large enough spool of Clark's!










Cruel but evidently effective advertising...
Jumbo was probably the most famous elephant ever known
thanks to the advertising campaigns of P.T. Barnum for his circus.
The link immediately above leads to a PDF of Chapter 3, "P. T. Barnum and His Influence onAdvertising" of the book title below. If you have an interest in advertising, Edd Applegate's book should probably be in your library:





In the Earl J. Arnold Advertising Card Collection, the most extensive discussion of J&P Coats is found on page 174. Another Coats card is on page 78.


See page 72 of the Earl J. Arnold Advertising Card Collection for information on Clark's and O.N.T.


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