Monday, March 12, 2018

“Old timers”

Stationery items of the past included sealing wax, “discontinued in favor of the modern gumming which fastens envelopes much more effectively and rapidly.” And:

Other “old timers” most of which are now past history are Stoake’s automatic shading pens — Brigg’s glass linen marking pens — Rubber marking pens — Clark’s indelible pencil, retailing at 25¢ — Livingston’s and Clark’s indelible ink — Holman’s ink powders — Porcupine quill, oblique and jumbo penholders — Rubber penholders, Nos. 1 to 6, also telescopic pocket rubber penholders — The old No. 41 school “accommodation” steel tip, fluted handle penholders which jobbed for 30¢ per gross. Pastille crayons which were packed twelve assorted colors to a box. Hope bonnet board used principally to shape women’s bonnets — Whale bone in splints, measuring from thirty to ninety inches, used for making hoop-skirts and stays — Tracing wheels, a necessary article used in dressmaking — Perforated board in assorted colors, also in silver and gold with muslin backs. Perforated white, silver and gold board mottoes used for embroidering with colored yarns, “What Is Home Without A Mother,” “God Bless Our Home,” “The Lord Will Provide” being three of the standards. Marriage certificates in beautiful lithographed designs — Reward or merit cards for schools. Transparent slates — Round and square wooden pencil boxes in carved and colored patterns — Heckman’s hemp school bags — Miller’s, Watson’s and Holbrook’s were the names of three popular book clamps, used to carry school books. Traveling was slow during the winter months, requiring travelers to carry shawls for warmth, which created a big demand for the Automatic shawl strap, a popular item in its day — Lunch baskets were used generally — Wood splints used by schools in primary classes — Rattans, the teacher’s “discipline rod,” an effective character “builder” of early days.

Larger book and stationery stores sold globes, maps and revolving book cases, which were on the market before the sectional book cases made their appearance. Book shelves were also in demand; wire dictionary stands, old No. 19 being very popular.

Paul J. Wielandy, The Romance of an Industry: A Retrospective Review of the Book and Stationery Business, with Brief Biographical Sketches of Those More Prominently Identified with Its History. St. Louis: Press of Blackwell Wielandy, 1933.
Paul J. Wielandy (1864–1953) began working as a traveling stationery salesman in 1884. He later co-founded Blackwell Wielandy, a St. Louis stationery and book company. Thanks to Sean at Blackwing Pages and Contrapuntalism for sharing news of this book, still available from a small number of libraries. And thanks, Interlibrary Loan.

As you may have guessed, searching Google Books will turn up many of these stationery items.

[Old No. 19, as advertised in The Publishers’ Trade List Annual (1905).]

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