Wednesday, June 10, 2015

page 18 -- D.W. Williams & Co., J.B. Williams Co.

updated 1 October 2015
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Wikipedia reveals the most common lyrics for This is the House that Jack Built, and comments that the work is
"a cumulative tale that does not tell the story of Jack's house, or even of Jack who built the house, but instead shows how the house is indirectly linked to other things and people, and through this method tells the story of "The man all tattered and torn", and the "Maiden all forlorn", as well as other smaller events, showing how these are interlinked."






The back of this card from Digital Commonwealth:







Via Google Books:





The University of Connecticut's Dodd Center makes the Williams corporate history a bit clearer, though I am still somewhat confused by the business relationship among William S. Williams, Davis Willard Williams (his father) and James B. Williams (his brother):
"In 1847, Williams moved his enterprise to a rented gristmill on William Street in Glastonbury, Connecticut, where he continued to manufacture shaving soap and a few other products. His brother,  William S. Williams, joined the firm around 1848, and it was at this time that the firm's name was changed to the  James B. Williams and Company.
"William's shaving soaps were sold throughout the United States and  Canada, and as a result of rising demand, the facilities were expanded several times in the late 1800s. In 1885, a joint stock company under the name of  J. B. Williams Company was formed under the laws of the state of  Connecticut.  James Williams supervised many aspects of the company until shortly before his death in 1907 at the age of eighty-eight. The Williams family continued to manage the company until it was sold in 1957."
Yale College's History of the Class of 1908 elaborates on some of the family relationships (Google Books):




David Rhinelander's article in the Hartford Courant (9 Oct 1998) explains the manufacturing process as well as elaborating a bit on the company history and the web site Living Places (Gombach Group) has an excellent description of the J.B. Williams Historic District, including a map.

Here's what Google Street View saw of the Williams factory complex (now mostly condominiums) in Oct 2013:

254 Williams Street East, Glastonbury CT
From Project Gutenberg, this is a version of The House that Jack Built
 published just a few years before Earl J. Arnold was born.
Two recent variations of the House that Jack Built enjoyed in the centuries after Williams Soap:

YouTube : Published on Nov 8, 2014
Provided to YouTube by Warner Music Group

The House That Jack Built · Aretha Franklin
30 Greatest Hits
℗ 1968 Atlantic Recording Corp.
Released on: 1985-06-01



Backing Vocals: The Sweet Inspirations
Bass Guitar: Jerry Jemmott
Bass Saxophone: Floyd Newman
Drums: Roger Hawkins
Guitar: Jimmy Johnson
Organ: Spooner Oldham
Piano, Vocals: Aretha Franklin
Producer: Jerry Wexler
Saxophone: Willie Bridges
Tenor Saxophone: Andrew Love
Tenor Saxophone: Charles Chalmers
Trumpet: Wayne Jackson
Writer: Bob Lance
Writer: Fran Robbins 


YouTube : Uploaded on Dec 12, 2011
Jonathan Lynn performing in Humph Hall, (Sydney, Australia) in January 2011.
 (http://humphhall.org) (http://jonathanboblynn.com)





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