Wednesday, April 14, 2010

McClure's Magazine, premiums and free silver

"Premiums Given for Trade-Marks to Attract New Customers"

Advertisement is a great example of the sort of thing that companies used to do with silver. There is a lot of premium given silver out in the world, waiting to be discovered. I have a giant box of Queen Bess pattern flatware that was a premium for Betty Crocker.

The 1910 pattern Sunkist by Wm Rogers and Son is another example. It was given away by the Sunkist citrus growers as a premium. Another 1910 pattern by the same maker, Orange Blossom was given away by the California Fruit Growers Exchange. The Rose pattern by the same company was offered as a premium in 1910 by the Liebig Company for their fine product Extract of Beef. To be clear I have no Idea what Extract of Beef is, but I imagine it is something like bullion.

Dunham's Cocanut was a St. Louis company but I do not know much more about them then that. A quick search on Google mainly turned up materials they have left behind as premiums, like dollhouses and recipe books. Still, it is interesting to see the variety of material that was available. The advertisement below is from McClure's MagazineVolume 8 1896. 

Some of the other advertisements are wonderful and you should sort through them. There is one for a meat chopper that claims it can handle anything from "codfish to coconuts" with accompanying pictures. On page 51 there is an advertisement for the Colombia pattern orange spoon made by 1847 Rogers Bros. and the Meriden Britannia Company.

Page 5o has an advertisement for R. Wallace & Sons Mfg. Co. Sterling. The top of the same page has a sterling silver nail polisher made by the Daniel Low & Co. silversmiths from Salem Massachusetts.

Sometimes a company included their stamp on a piece. The Banner Buggy Company of St. Louis (St. Louis again? perhaps a city that likes free stuff) offered flatware pieces made by Wm Rogers Mfg. Co.. One such pattern was Artubus from 1908. These were given out as advertising souvenirs. In 1894 the Banner Buggy Company gave out pieces of the pattern named Florida.  The 1901 pattern Oxford (Wm rogers Mfg. Co. ) was also used by the Banner Buggy Company and Peterson and Company of Chicago. Peterson and Company a flavouring and extract company.

In 1913 the Wm Rogers pattern Argyle (also stamped Anchor Rogers) appears to be the last of the Banner Buggy Premiums.

Many other patterns were adopted as premiums, like Queen Bess mentioned before.

One of my favourite patterns is Friendship from 1932.  friendship was made by Wm Rogers Mfg. Co. as well as Oneida Community Tudor Plate. This pattern had its own naming contest, (the winner of the $ 7,000 prize proposed the name Medality)

Not really surprising considering the contest was for Gold Medal Flour.   I once picked up six dessert forks in this pattern at an estate sale, where the advertisement and "point saving" card were wrapped around the silverware. Someone had carefully saved packaging and was in the process of acquiring more forks.  Something had stopped the process and the whole business had been undisturbed until I picked it up and sorted through it.

I know premiums continued for a while, my own mother has mentioned saving coupons when she was younger for silver. I think this may bear investigation.


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