Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Historical Items from Sandusky Pharmacies

This cabinet file once used for storing medicine labels is now housed in the attic level of the Follett House Museum. It had been used at the Sloane House Pharmacy, which was on the street level of the Sloane House hotel in Sandusky, beginning about 1890. Several different pharmacists worked in the Sloane House over the years, including H.K. Henkelman, Henkelman & Bechberger; Bechberger & Brown; Bechberger & Kubach, and Kubach and Buderer. Some of remedies on the labels are for Epsom salts, cod liver oil, boric acid and liniment. The label below from a container of pine tar capsules was purchased when Bechberger & Brown were partners in the Sloane House Pharmacy.

This apothecary bottle came from the pharmacy of Charles A. Lehrer, who had his business at the corner of Central Avenue and Decatur Street for several years in the first quarter of the twentieth century. He was the son of former Zion Lutheran Church pastor Rev. J. George Lehrer.
The compound of licorice powder is from the pharmacy of J.H. Emrich, an early Sandusky pharmacist.

This bottle of medicinal oil came from the E. J. Windisch Quality Pharmacy, which was in business in the 800 block of Hayes Avenue from about 1908 to 1925.

From 1898 until about 1930 Daniel Schaffer manufactured liniment. Advertisements claimed it to be the “greatest pain killer on earth.”  This advertisement for Schaffer’s Wonderful Liniment appeared in the Sandusky Star Journal on November 17, 1920:

Mihalovitch’s Hungarian Blackberry Juice was manufactured by a liquor dealer in Cincinnati, but was sold locally by nine different pharmacies in Sandusky in 1887. The juice was said to be a remedy for diarrhea, dysentery, cholera morbus (gastroenteritis), and all disorders of the bowels.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Hinde and Dauch Company Workers

Around 1900 the photographer L.C. Sartorius took pictures of employees of the Hinde and Dauch Paper Company. in the first photograph above we can see that several women worked at the company during this time. The man on the far left is holding a cart that contains a corrugated paper product manufactured at the Sandusky plant.

In the image below we see men posed in a field near a pile of straw. These men might have been responsible for gathering the straw that was used to make the corrugated cardboard in the factory.

This advertisement from Hinde and Dauch appeared on page 20 of  the souvenir booklet entitled What, published by Charles M. Hill and William F. Holly in 1903. Hinde and Dauch products revolutionized the shipping industry in the early twentieth century.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017


Several Valentines created by the Buzza-Cardozo Company of Hollywood, California, are now in the historical collections of the Follett House Museum. The Valentine above is from the “Heart to Heart” line of Buzza-Cardozo greeting cards, which were popular in the 1940s and 1950s. The Valentine pictured below is a Valentine's Day birthday card.

Another combination birthday card and Valentine is shaped like a book.

This Valentine features a three dimensional rose when opened. It was a Valentine from a husband to his wife.

The inside greeting reads: “Because you're such a darling so dear in every way.  Because I love you always, and especially today." 

The ordinary items in our daily lives can provide family history clues. We know that the recipient of these lovely cards was a female whose birthday coincided with Valentine’s Day, and that she valued the cards enough to keep them for several years.  To learn more about ephemeral items of our daily lives see the book Encyclopedia of Ephemera: A Guide to the Fragmentary Documents of Everyday life for the Collector, Curator, and Historian, by Maurice Rickards (Routledge, 2000), available for loan at the Sandusky Library.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Ceylon, Ohio

Ceylon is a small unincorporated community north of Berlin Heights in Erie County, Ohio, along Route 61 and just east of Old Woman Creek. It was a stop for the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railroad, and later was a station on the Lake Shore Electric Railway route. A small refreshment stand served both automobile and interurban customers. Aldrich’s History of Erie County stated that in 1889 Ceylon had “two stores, two saloons, a hotel, a post office and a sawmill.”  The May 6, 1881 Sandusky Daily Register reported that Ceylon was “one of the leading shipping points on the Northern division of the Lake Shore Road.”  In the fall of 1880, twenty five thousand bushels of wheat were shipped out of Ceylon. There was a Post Office in Ceylon until September 14, 1904. (It was established as the Berlin Station Post Office in 1858, and the name was changed to the Ceylon Post Office on Oct. 2, 1871.)   Mail was delivered by stage coach for many years.

The Peake Cemetery is located just east of the intersection of Ceylon Road and Route 2. The cemetery was named after the Peake (sometimes spelled Peak) family which resided in the Ceylon area in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. An obituary for Oliver Peak, one of Ceylon’s earliest settlers, is found in the July 1878 issue of the Firelands Pioneer.

The final line of Mr. Peak’s obituary says that “The deceased was an industrious farmer for many years, a man of sterling qualities, genial spirits, and went down before the Great Reaper as a shock of corn ripe for the harvest.”

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Levi Till, Builder and Architect

Levi Till was born in Staffordshire, England in 1826 or 1827. (Sources vary.) He studied architecture in England, and later with an uncle in Mansfield, Ohio. By 1849, he was residing in Sandusky. Mr. Till is credited with designing and building the former home of Thomas C. McGee at 536 E. Washington Street in Sandusky.

While in some census records Mr. Till listed his occupation as carpenter, in the 1870 U.S. Census he stated he worked as a “builder and architect.” At this time, he and his wife Anna had four children in their home, ranging in age from 9 to 18.

 An article which appeared in the Sandusky Register of August 9, 1873, reported that “One of the finest jobs in iron work to be found in this or any other city” had just been completed at the residence of Rush R. Sloane. Mr. Sloane’s home had built in the 1850s by Samuel Torry, and was sold to Rush Sloane in 1854. In 1873, Levi Till designed the tower, cornices and piazza of Rush Sloane’s residence, with the construction work carried out by J.B. Weis and Company, of Sandusky.

In 1878, Levi Till designed of the former home of William Robertson, Jr., a Sandusky grocer.

Helen Hansen wrote in At Home in Early Sandusky, that “Neither time nor money was spared” in the building of this house. Charles Bauman painted each room in a different color, and the newel post and stairway came from Cincinnati. The original home had chandeliers made of cut glass and the hardware on the doors was made from triple plated silver. 

Another building that Levi Till designed was the old Number Three Fire Station on Meigs Street, which is now a law office.

Levi Till died on January 28, 1901 at his Meigs Street home in Sandusky. Funeral services were held ad the family residence, and burial was at Oakland Cemetery. 

To read more about the many historic buildings and homes in Sandusky, Ohio, visit the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Charcoal Drawing of Paul and Clarabelle Cayhoe

Charles G. Cayhoe created this charcoal drawing of his children, Paul and Clarabelle Cayhoe, around 1909. Mr. Cayhoe was trained at the Zanerian College of Penmanship in Columbus, Ohio. He was a teacher of penmanship for thirty years, serving as supervisor of penmanship and drawing at Sandusky City Schools from 1910 until his retirement in 1919. 

Paul and Clarabelle Cayhoe can be seen in this family picture, along with their parents, aunt and grandmother.

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Lower Lake Dock Company Dinner at the Hotel Rieger in 1928

On February 11, 1928, several members of management and staff of the Lower Lock Dock Company met for a dinner at the Hotel Rieger in Sandusky. The celebratory dinner was held in honor of the crews who staffed Heyl and Patterson dumpers at the Lower Lake Docks in Sandusky. 

On May 6 and 7, 1927, 1254 coal cars of the Pennsylvania Railroad were unloaded, resulting in 73,987 tons of coal being dumped. This feat broke all previous unloading records at the dock.

The invited guests were treated to a dinner of steak and baked potatoes with all the trimmings. 

At that time, C.H. Hampe was the superintendent of the company. He would go on to have a career that spanned over fifty years of dock service, having worked in Ashtabula and Sandusky. In 1950, officials of the Lower Lake Dock Company and the Pennsylvania Railroad honored Mr. Hampe with a celebration of his fifty years of service by hosting a party in his honor at the Odd Fellows Hall. 

Now the company formerly known as the Lower Lake Dock Company is owned by Norfolk Southern and is operated by the Sandusky Dock Corporation. This firm still uses equipment made by Heyl and Patterson. To see more pictures of the coal docks, see a previous post at Sandusky History’s website.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Reffelt’s First German Book for School and House

Now housed at the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center, this German textbook was once used by August Kuebeler. Reffelt’s First German Book for School and House included instruction in reading, writing, arithmetic and drawing. On pages 20 and 21 from the German textbook, you can see examples of math problems, handwriting, and several vocabulary words. The drawing sample features a weaving pattern.

Here are pages 62 and 63 from Reffelt’s First German Book:

In Sandusky,  classes were taught in the German language for native German speakers in the public schools during the 1800s. In the 1872-73 school year, there were five German schools in the city. The 1876 Sandusky City Directory listed J.A. Falk, C. Wormelsdorf, J.G. Doerflinger, and Mrs. E. Lewetz as instructors of the German language in Sandusky’s public school system. In addition to classes for German speakers, instruction in the German language for English speakers was available in all the schools.

Visit the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center to view this interesting piece of Sandusky’s educational history.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Vincent Valve Company

In the early 1900s, the Vincent Valve Company was located at the corner of Arthur and Wayne Streets in Sandusky, Ohio. Officers listed in the 1902 Sandusky City Directory included:  J.G. Schurz, President; William F. Ohlemacher, Vice President; C.H. Myers, Treasurer; and E.C. Bacon, Secretary and Manager. The company manufactured Vincent Gate Valves, Big Four Globe Valves, and other equipment used in water works facilities.

In an early issue of the journal Modern Machinery, it was stated that the Vincent Valve Company employed standard measurements, the finest of machine tools, and the services of skilled workmen. The article continued, “All this has been developed by the absolute necessities and requirements of modern engineering.” The Vincent Valve Company ran a want ad in the January 2, 1901 issue of the Detroit News, advertising jobs at once for pattern makers and mold makers. An article in the Sandusky Daily Star of October 26, 1901 reported that the Vincent Valve Company had been awarded a medal at the Pan American Exposition.

By June of 1903, the National Valve Company took over the business. 

Several other businesses were later located at the former Vincent Valve Company site, including Roberts Motors, the Modern Pattern Company, Johnston Marine Engine Works, and Roberts Construction. Below is a portion of the Sanborn Map which shows the layout of the Modern Pattern Company in the 1950s and 1960s.

Today Arthur Street Storage is located at this site.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Simplex Radio Company

After having been connected with the Maibohm Motor Company in Sandusky, Harry C. Maibohm started the Simplex Radio Company in 1924 at the corner of King and West Monroe Streets in Sandusky, Ohio. The advertisement above appeared in a 1932 Erie County Directory. The ad featured a Model P Simplex Radio which sold for $29.95 and a Model R Simplex Radio, which sold for $19.95. The Model P radio brought in radio stations from far distances, but the Model R was used primarily for local reception. In the 1930s, Simplex radios relied on RCA vacuum tubes for operation. The radio dial was illuminated, and interior chassis parts were rust-proofed. Most likely many Sandusky residents listened to President Franklin Roosevelt’s “Fireside Chats” from a broadcast brought into their home through a Simplex radio. 

When Jackson Junior High School opened in 1928, a Simplex system provided the ability to broadcast a radio program or phonograph record throughout a public address system, so that every student and teacher in the school could hear the broadcast at the same time. An article in the February 26, 1928 issue of the Sandusky Register reported that, “Through the imagination and foresight of F.J. Prout, superintendent of schools, Sandusky now claims the distinction of having what is believed to be the world’s first radio-equipped school.” 

This page from a patent issued to Harry C. Maibohm in 1932 describes a combined radio receiver, phonograph and public address system. The entire patent document is viewable through Google Patents.

As years went by, the Simplex radio became more streamlined, as seen in this picture of a 1937 Simplex radio, now at the Follett House Museum.

In 1937 Philco, a large radio manufacturing company, bought a controlling interest in the Simplex Company. The company relocated to the site of the former Maibohm automobile factory at 3130 West Monroe Street. By 1948 the local company adopted the Philco name. During war years, the factory worked on communications equipment for the U.S. Government. In the early 1950s, Philco made radios and television sets. In 1961 Philco moved its operations to Pennsylvania, and used the Sandusky plant as a warehouse. The Air Reduction Company purchased the warehouse building in 1964. 

The Simplex and Philco Companies provided jobs for hundreds of local men and women. The Sandusky Library Archives Research Center is fortunate to have a series of newsletters from Simplex and Philco in its business collections. Visit the Sandusky Library to view these interesting publications, which range in date from 1948-1962