WHAT is it Wednesday artifact for September 17, 2014

On Wednesday, September 24 we shared a photo of an artifact on our Facebook page to see if anyone could guess what it was.

What could this be?

                                                              What could this be?

There were some good guesses: soap, coaster, hot pad, etc., but there were a few people who guessed correctly….this is a prescription pillbox from Schmidt’s Drugstore. The boxes had a hinged lid so as to prevent it being mixed up with other prescriptions since the instructions for taking the medications were included on the box lid.

Hinged pillbox with prescription instructions inside.

                                        Hinged pillbox with prescription instructions inside.

Some of our volunteers in the archives recall that Schmidt’s Pharmacy, located at 63 W. Main Street, was the last of the locally owned drugstores that still mixed their own medicinal concoctions. The founders of Schmidt’s, Adam Schmidt, started out in business with Charles A. Smith around 1870 before forming his own store, Schmidt’s in around 1887.

Schmidt's Drugstore, located at 63 W. Main Street, Springfield, Ohio

Schmidt’s Drugstore, located at 63 W. Main Street, Springfield, Ohio, 1940, W. Huston Moores Collection

Some other items from our collection relating to local pharmacies include a cork compressor that pharmacists would use to size the corks properly for prescription bottles and a prescription “recipe” book used by Theodore Troupe at Troupe’s Drug Store.

Cork compressor

                                                                     Cork compressor

Prescription recipe ledger from Theodore Troupe's Drug Store.

                            Prescription recipe ledger from Theodore Troupe’s Drug Store.

The pillbox became a nickname for military guard posts that were used in WWI and WWII in Europe. The concrete pillboxes had holes from which weapons could be fired.

Dover Quad Pillbox, used in WWII, Dover, Kent. Source

Dover Quad Pillbox, used in WWII, Dover, Kent.                           Source

A popular fashion item also took it’s name from the pillbox: the pillbox style hat, which was popularized by Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy (and today by Kate Middleton).

Sources:

W. Huston Moores Photograph Collection

Springfield City Directories

Commercial Ledger Collection

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WHERE is it Wednesday for September 10, 2014

On our Facebook page on Wednesday, September 10, we shared this sketch of an early Clark County home to see if anyone could guess where it was.

Where could this be?

                                                              Where could this be?

This was a tricky one! It showed a sketch of a home from the 1875 Clark County Atlas, the home of Jacob Thomas. It was formerly located on the northeast corner of N. Limestone and E. McCreight at 1206 E. Limestone and it was the home of Jacob and Sophia Thomas, who came here from Maryland in 1851. Jacob Thomas and his sons owned quite a bit of land farther north on Limestone and it appears that the home pictured in the 1875 atlas was built around 1870 according to the Springfield City directories. The corner where the house was built was right on the corporation line for the city of Springfield at the time, so until the late 1800s it was JUST outside the city limits.

1882 Atlas showing the corner of Limestone and Cooper (later McCreight) where the home stood.

     1882 Atlas showing the corner of Limestone and Cooper (later McCreight) where the home stood.

The last Thomas in the home was Jacob’s son Thomas. The house was torn down around 1923 and was later home to a gas station and is now where Muffler Brothers is located on North Limestone.

Our archives didn’t yield a lot more information on Jacob Thomas, but one of his sons, John H. (J.H.) Thomas was a very prominent Springfield citizen. John founded the Thomas and Mast Company with industrialist P.P. Mast in 1855 and the specialized in Buckeye grain drills, seeders, and cider mills.

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John Thomas left the company in 1872 and in 1874 he formed the Thomas Manufacturing Company with his two sons, William and Findley. The company made a variety of products including hay rakes, steam engines, lawn mowers, pumps, disc harrows, bicycles, grain drills, and seeders.

ThomasAd copy

thomas cultivator copy IMG_1657 copy

We have a grain drill and a Thomas bicycle on display in the museum along with a few products from Thomas and Mast. John Thomas was a major philanthropist in the community, serving on city council and the Snyder Park board. He and Ross Mitchell gave a large financial gift that allowed for the establishment of the Mitchell-Thomas hospital on E. Main street, which was in use from 1887-1904.

MitchellThomasHospital1887_1904 copy

Mr. Thomas has the distinct honor of having THE tallest monument at Ferncliff cemetery.

Sources:

Springfield City Directories

Beautiful Ferncliff: Springfield, Ohio’s Historic Cemetery and Arboretum by Paul W. Schanher, III and Anne E. Benston

Health and Care Category – Medical Collection – Mitchell-Thomas Hospital

Manufacturing Category – Thomas Manufacturing Co.

1875 Clark County, Ohio Atlas

1882 Springfield Atlas

WHAT is it Wednesday for August 27, 2014

On Wednesday, August 27, we shared a photo of an archival item from the Geneva Fath Brown Collection on our Facebook page to see if anyone could identify it.

What could this be?

                                                What could this be?

A few people recognized right away that it was some sort of game and a couple knew it for what it was: a fortune telling game!  This fortune telling alphabet game is from around 1910. We came across this several years ago with processing the Geneva Fath Brown Collection, mixed in among some really powerful (and sometimes humorous) correspondence between a young Geneva Fath and soldier friends in World War I. As near as we can tell, the way this game worked was that you had a list of words from A-M and a corresponding list of boys (or girls) and you would count randomly down the list to assign the people to the words. For example, on this list Ralph H. wants to Marry you, Harry G. Adores you, Will C. thinks you’re Cute. This was a fun find because we started reminiscing about similar games like the origami fortune teller (Cootie Catcher), and M.A.S.H seen above. It goes to show the while things change, some things stay the same!

We looked through some of the materials in our Educational Materials Collection to see if there was anything else fun to share and found some Dick and Jane paper dolls from the 1960s.

Dick, Jane, and Sally paper cutouts used with a 1960s curriculum guide for Kindergarten and 1st Grade students.

In 2008 exhibit we put together a large exhibit on Education in Clark County that showcased a lot of the photos and artifacts in the historical society’s collections.  We built two model classrooms as a way to display some of the neat educational materials and nostalgic artifacts in the historical society’s collections.

Turn of the century replica classroom.

                                     Turn of the century replica classroom.

1950s replica classroom.

                                              1950s replica classroom.

There’s a lot of great stuff in our collection: text books, yearbooks, report cards, diplomas, TONS of class photos, school building dedication programs, desks, cubbies, maps, games, toys, and more. For more info on our school related collections in the archives: http://heritagecenter.us/education.cfm. For more pictures from the 2008 exhibit “Education in Clark County”.

Sources:

Biographical Category – Geneva Fath Brown Collection

Education Category – Educational Materials Collection

WHAT is it Wednesday artifact photo for August 6, 2014

On Wednesday, August 6, we shared a new WHAT is it artifact photo on our Facebook page to see if anyone could identify what it is.

What could this be?

What could this be?

This was a tough one and there were a lot of great guesses, and only ONE right answer. This is a pen. But not just any pen, it’s a push button retractable Arrow dip pen, made by the Eagle Pencil Co. of New York. At first glance, upon seeing the clickable end, a few staff members here did this this was a pen, but when we clicked, nothing happened. Our curator Kasey stumbled across the pen while working on the inventory of room 6 on our second floor. She says she was puzzled and clicked it off and on for a few moments while holding it vertically…it wasn’t until she tipped it at just the right angle that the bottom detached and the pen tip dropped out. The piece the drops out of the bottom clicks into place to hold the pen tip. It’s really pretty neat!

ArrowPen ArrowPen ArrowPenJust for fun were pulled some other more modern writing utensils from the collection, representing several local businesses, schools, campaigns, etc.

See any you remember?

See any you remember?

In the archives we have several handwriting primers in our Educational Materials Collection. Here are a few pages from two different 1948 Zaner-Bloser books. Look familiar to anyone? We also have quite a few student desks that contain spaces for inkwell, including the one here. Our fanciest inkwell by far is Asa Bushnell’s crystal number shown here, given to him by his staff in 1896.

IMG_4226IMG_4229 IMG_4227 - Copy

Student desk with hole for inkwell.

Student desk with hole for inkwell.

Crystal inkwell given to Governor Asa Bushnell by his staff, 1896

Crystal inkwell given to Governor Asa Bushnell by his staff, 1896

Inkwell

Inkwell

Rayburn Neff Inkwell

Rayburn Neff Inkwell

Sources:

Bartley Collection

Education Category – Educational Materials Collection

WHERE is it Wednesday Photo for July 30, 2014

On Wednesday, July 30, we shared a new WHERE is it Wednesday photo on our Facebook page:

Where could this be?

Where could this be?

We really had a lot of great guesses with this one!  Most people noticed that the photo showed a paving crew and there was a lot of speculation as to where in Springfield this could be.  Guesses included Fountain Avenue, Limestone Street, High Street, and Lagonda Avenue.  There were several people who recognized the school in the background (which was the big giveaway) as Elmwood School, which was located at 280 S. Clairmont Avenue.

When the photo was donated to us in 2012, the donor did not provide any identifying information, so we did our own detective work to discover the location. We started off in the wrong direction with a suggestion that this was Sunset Avenue around 1932. We did a little bit of scouting back in our archives, through the city directories, and on Sunset Avenue in person and found some promising matches on houses and learned that architect Robert Gotwald had built Trinity Evangelical Lutheran on Sunset in 1913. Although the building in the background didn’t look very churchlike, it DID look like a Gotwald building to us. Luckily, one of our volunteers thought to flip through the Harry Laybourne “Springfield, Ohio Revisited” photo book and was able to match the building as Elmwood School. We did a bit more research and found the dedication program and learned that Robert Gotwald had also been the architect for Elmwood School in 1903.

Elmwood School, built 1903

Elmwood School, built 1903

We also wanted to share with you some more interesting finds from our collections: a 1931 map of Springfield showing the paved streets highlighted in yellow, Bomag road roller models donated last year, Kelly Springfield and Buffalo Springfield road roller photos from catalogs in the archives, and repair on an unpaved N. Fountain following the February 1929 flood.

1931 Springfield Map showing paved streets highlighted in yellow

1931 Springfield Map showing paved streets highlighted in yellow

Service Department Truck, early 1900s

Service Department Truck, early 1900s

Road Roller and Service Crew on S. Clairmont

Road Roller and Service Crew on S. Clairmont

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Bomag Steamroller models

Repair following the 1929 Flood

Repair following the 1929 Flood

 Sources:

Manufacturing Category – Kelly Company Collection

Photograph Category – Government – Service Department file

Photograph Category – Frank Braun Collection – 1929 Flood file

Photograph Category – Education Collection – Elmwood School file

WHAT is it Wednesday artifact for July 16, 2014

On July 16 we shared a WHAT is it Wednesday artifact photo on Facebook to see if anyone could guess what it was.

What could this be?

What could this be?

We had some good guesses: a waterproof document case, a money belt, butcher’s sleeve, barber’s cloth…but no one guess correctly that this was a flag case! Two of our Wright State Public History graduate interns, Sara and Georgia, have spent the past week days going through the flags in our collection and assessing, providing care, and rewrapping and tagging them so that they are stored better. In one of the first boxes of flags, which contained Spanish American War era and Keifer Camp (GAR) flags, they came across this skinny leather case and were puzzled about its use. Luckily, Mel (an Army veteran and Civil War reenactor) was nearby and he recognized it right away as a flag case that is used to “case the colors” for a military unit when the unit is deactivated. It is traditional to hold a casing of the colors ceremony, which includes a reading of the history of the command, before the unit’s distinctive flag, or “colors,” are furled or “cased” in a protective sheath. The sheathed flag is then returned to the unit’s flag bearer, who marches off the field signaling the formal end of that command. We found a few recent pictures online of military units casing their colors to give you an idea of how the case was used. Unfortunately, this particular case does not have any information about how and when exactly it was used.

The 99th RRC color casing ceremony, April 2009.

The 99th RRC color casing ceremony, April 2009.

"Darkside" Marine Battalion, the most deployed battalion of the last decade, casing their colors, May, 2014.

“Darkside” Marine Battalion, the most deployed battalion of the last decade, casing their colors, May, 2014.

One of the neatest finds over the past few days of flag wrapping was an ENORMOUS 38 star flag that was used from 1877-1890. It has holes along the top indicating that it was probably hung on the wall of a building in the area, but we are not sure about the details.

38 Star Flag, used 1877-1890

38 Star Flag, used 1877-1890

We wanted to share some pictures of Sara and Georgia working on the flags and we'll be sharing their blog post on the experience later!

We wanted to share some pictures of Sara and Georgia working on the flags and we’ll be sharing their blog post on the experience later!

In the archives in our “Miscellaneous Military” collection we found a few other neat things on flag including a 1976 booklet on historic flags that was distributed by Big Bear Grocery for the Bicentennial, a Revolutionary Flag coloring book, also from the Bicentennial, and a page from a booklet on flag history about how to display the flag. We have several flags on display in the museum, including the 110th regimental flag from the Civil War, General J. Warren Keifer’s Headquarters flag from 1863, seen here.

General J. Warren Keifer Headquarters flag, 1863

General J. Warren Keifer Headquarters flag, 1863

WHAT is it Wednesday Artifact for June 25, 2014

On June 25 we shared this image of an artifact in our collections to see if anyone could guess what it was.  Our curator Kasey came across this artifact while working on the NEH and History Fund grant funded Collections Management Project in our second floor storage area.

What could this be?

What could this be?

There weren’t a whole lot of guesses….seeder, grinder….thing-a-ma-jig (always a good guess!) and as usual, we revealed the answer the following day.

This was one of four motors that controlled the faces of the clock on our building’s clock tower. The motors were replaced in 1984 when Carl Everingham repaired the clock and got it chiming and working properly for the first time since the 1950s (around the time the two tower steeples were removed). Mr. Everingham offered his expertise to repair the clock free of charge and received help from Harry Laybourne and his sons, Bill, James, and Rick. In honor of his service, December 3, 1985 was declared Carl Everingham day.

Proclamation for Carl Everingham Day - December 3, 1985

Proclamation for Carl Everingham Day – December 3, 1985

Carl Everingham behind the clock face.

Carl Everingham behind the clock face.

More than a decade later, once preparations began for the Clark County Historical Society to move into the building, Phillip Wright of the Tower Clock Company in South Charleston did repairs on the Seth Thomas clock and bell to return it to working condition. (Pictures of the restoration:http://on.fb.me/Vr62MD

Phillip Wright of the Clock Tower Company, Springfield News Sun article, undated, c. 1999.

Phillip Wright of the Clock Tower Company, Springfield News Sun article, undated, c. 1999.


When the City Hall/Marketplace first opened in 1890, the tower was designed to accommodate a clock, but until 1924, there was just a decorative clock-like motif on the tower in place of an actual working clock. At the end of 1924 the clock was installed, a gift to the city from Howard Diehl in memory of his wife. The steeples on the tower were replaced with lighter fiberglass steeples around 2000 before the opening of the Heritage Center.

Postcard showing tower prior to 1924 clock installation.

Postcard showing tower prior to 1924 clock installation.

Twice a year, at least one of our staff members has to make the 166 step trek straight up the narrow tower to change the time on the clock for daylight savings. A couple of years ago our curator, Kasey documented her experience with moving the hands of time!  For pictures: http://on.fb.me/Q12zk3