Thursday, June 11, 2015

page 17 -- Warner Brothers Chemical Company

updated 21 September 2015
<PREVIOUS PAGE      ~ index ~       NEXT PAGE>

The Century Illustrated printed this ad for Coraline Corsets (Google Books):



Google Earth spots the Warner Brothers buildings, restored, right and rotting, left
Warner Brothers, restored (Google Street View Aug 2011)

Warner Brothers, abandoned
The best encapsulation of the Warner Brothers story is on the pages of the Bridgeport Library. The basic storyline is similar to many industries in the United States. Complexities that make interesting reading on Wikipedia crop up about the time Warner Brothers became Warnaco. The most compelling personality associated with the company ever was not its founder, but the woman who engineered a hostile takeover of the company, Linda J.Wachner. Warnaco, by this time owner of several brands, was bought out in 2013 by PVH Corp. Obsolete facilities in Bridgeport were abandoned in the last decades of the 20th century. In the 21st century, manufacturing facilities are on many continents. None remain in Bridgeport. In 2015 PVH has modest offices in NYC. The only hint of corporate riches on the exterior of the building is a grand entrance:

Google Street View
Corsets made of coraline were a distinct improvement over those made with other materials. During the many many decades when women felt it necessary to force themselves to conform to a standard scrawny waistline, corsets, girdles and brassiers were essential tools. Since confinement seemed mandatory, comfortable confinement sold well and the Warner Brothers prospered until the 20th century, when attitudes changed.

Women's attitudes, that is. One of the things I've noticed while assembling the Earl J. Arnold Advertising Card Collection is that, while books of the time featured the portraits of great men of commerce, Emma Jane (Bailey) Arnold seems to have filled the scrapbook for her kids with plenty of trade cards depicting prominent women. Could this have been an early challenge to patriarchy?

Another matter to understand about the era in which this scrapbook was made was that in general women did not populate professions outside of acting, singing, teaching and small business ownership. Leaders in politics, religion, celebrated inventors and prominent business leaders were all, as were most contemporary historians, male. No women were allowed to vote in American elections! What Emma Jane passed on to Earl and his siblings Grace, Ray and Walter was history from a woman's perspective. We are fortunate that her son valued this enough to share it with the rest of us.

Mary Anderson, actress
Some of the character of Mary Anderson comes through from this article as presented by the California Digital Newspaper Collection:

Daily Alta California, Volume 83, Number 54, 23 August 1890





winner of the first beauty pagent in America
Louise Montague
Marie Roze, French soprano
"... toured the United States with the Carl Rosa Opera Company from 1883 to 1889 and was particularly noted for her interpretation of the title role Bizet's Carmen."
Adelaide Neilson, English stage actress
"...She made her first American appearance on 18 November 1872, at Booth's Theatre, New York City, as Juliet. She was praised by American critics who echoed the acclaim she had received from London theatrical audiences."
Alice Atherton, actress
"One of the best-natured, adventurous performers of the 1870s-90s, this native of Cincinnati delighted contemporaries with her gift of impersonation."
Kate Claxton, actress
"She created the part of Louise in The Two Orphans and then became known as one of the best emotional actresses of her time."
Amy Roselle, actress
"...specialised in Shakespearean roles but also played parts in contemporary dramas..."
Punch, via Google Books:




Mary Anderson (again -- see above)

Mrs. Scott Siddons
"Mary Frances Scott Siddons (1844-1895) was a member of the great acting dynasty established by Roger Kemble in the eighteenth century and the great-granddaughter of the famous actress of the Regency period, Sarah Siddons. She was born in India..."
From the California Digital Newspaper Collection and

San Francisco Call, Volume 80, Number 173, 20 November 1896:




I could not substantiate Warner Brothers' claim that any of these prominent women actually used Coraline Corsets. I doubt any of their contemporaries would have dared to ask them.

Nor was I able to find anything on the businesses using these cards to advertise. Please comment below or email me if you have any information on these establishments. Thanks!

Lithography on this post was by (Charles) Shober & (Edward) Carqueville. The Carroll Herald printed this ad for their business on January 28,1880:




<PREVIOUS PAGE      ~ index ~       NEXT PAGE>


The author of this blog has attempted to correctly apply terms and conditions to Content. These pages and associated images are being made available exclusively for use in non-commercial and non-profit study, scholarship, research, or teaching . Researchers are responsible for using these materials in accordance with Title 17 of the United States Code and any other applicable statutes. All trademarks, service marks, trade names, trade dress, product names and logos appearing on this blog are the property of their respective owners.. In the event that any Content infringes your rights or Content is not properly identified or acknowledged please email me. Thanks! 


This site includes historical materials that may contain negative stereotypes or language reflecting the culture or language of a particular period or place. These items are presented as part of the historical record, and do not represent or in any way reflect the personal views of the author of this blog, his ancestors, or his family.



QR code
QR Code for this page (17)
http://goo.gl/3kIrDd