Saturday, January 30, 2016

Artifacts of a Neglected President: Rutherford B. Hayes

            
Ohio is known as the “Mother of Presidents” counting eight of her sons as having been elected Chief Executive of the United States.  Some like Ulysses S. Grant and William McKinley have received considerable attention through ensuing years.  Others are more obscure figures.  Among the latter, I have a special interest in Rutherford B. Hayes and here provide some Hayes memorabilia.  

My interest stems from the fact that the Hayes home, shown above, memorial, museum and library are located on a estate known as “Spiegel Grove,” in Fremont, Ohio.  The site fronts on a street named Hayes Avenue and a block away on that same street was the home of Mary Quilter Sullivan, my grandmother.   Although her family was fiercely Democrat, as a child she played with the Hayes children on the estate grounds.

Although Rutherford is remembered by some as the U.S. President who bargained for the job by promising the South to end post-Civil War Reconstruction, thus ushering in the era of “Jim Crow, in his own day the war hero and former Ohio governor was a popular figure.  As a result during his lifetime time, a number of artifacts, like this souvenir plate were issued.

At the time he ran for the Presidency, Hayes was represented on numerous campaign items.  Particularly popular at the time were tintype — sometimes called ferrotype — photographic buttons and pins.  Some featured both Hayes and his vice presidential running mate, New York Congressman William Wheeler, an obscure politician selected by the Republican convention.  Hayes reportedly asked, "I am ashamed to say: Who is Wheeler?”
Hayes obviously found out by the time his picture with Wheeler was plastered all over America, including one printed by the famed lithographers Currier and Ives and another on an oilcloth with Uncle Sam. above.  Rutherford retired in 1880 after only one term and returned to Fremont and Spiegel Grove.  Eventually there would be Rutherford B. Hayes tiles, pendants and other artifacts.
A glass paperweight commemorates the 1892 Grand Army of the Republic encampment in Washington, D.C.   Issued by a shoe company, the item featured a medal with the face of Rutherford who led the parade of Union veterans down Pennsylvania Avenue “to great crowd applause. 
Another paperweight  has a tinted photograph of the R. B. Hayes Steamship .  Crowded with people in the picture, this craft plied Lake Erie, taking tourists to and from Cedar Point in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
The Hayes presidential museum and library are notable as the very first in the Nation, established and maintained only with private funds.  As interest in Hayes has waned, the library has widened its scope to include the history of Ohio, resource books on virtually every Ohio county, and genealogy on Ohioans.  Anyone doing research on Ohio bottles or family genealogy might check in with Hayes curators.  They are very helpful. Moreover, the their charge for copies of documents is reasonable.














Sunday, January 17, 2016

Risqué Whiskey IV: Northern and Southern Exposure


 Noting that my prior posts on risqué whiskey advertising have been among those receiving the most attention from the public  [January 2011, July 2012, July 2013], I am emboldened to present a fourth post that presents the kind of “naughty” images that a pre-Prohibition audience of men might have seen as a way of enticing them to purchase a specific brand of whiskey.  As the title here might suggest, such ads were produced all over America.

This first image is from Richmond, Virginia, the capitol of the Confederacy.  The very young lady shown lifting her skirt advertises “Deep Run Hunt Club Pure Rye” on a deck of playing cards.  This was a brand from E. A. Saunders & Son Company, who provided the Southland with wholesale liquor, tobacco, and grocery items via the elaborate railroad network that linked Richmond to southern states.  Rectifiers of at least four brands of whiskey, the Saunders family sold their liquor interests to Richmond’s Phil G. Kelly in 1905 after 20 years in business and opened a local grocery store.

The second skirt-lifting girl is one of several trade card images from an outfit that featured “Old Maryland Dutch Whiskies.”  My efforts to track down the company behind the brand have proved fruitless.  Particularly intriguing about this advertising were the slogans for Old Maryland Dutch:  “The Purest Stimulant in Existence” and “When not taken immoderately, there will be an entire absence of Nervous Prostration.”   This brand also was “Emphatically ‘The Whiskies of Our Daddies.”  One imagines daddies might well be prone to “nervous prostration” if their daughters ran around like the one shown here.
Dreyfus & Weil, Paducah, Kentucky, distillers provided a somewhat more suggestive trade card of young women, in this case dancers, raising up their skirts while three bonafide “dirty old men” take a long look.  Sam H. Dreyfuss and his partner regularly were excoriated in the press for the sexual images they presented in their merchandising.  Their “Devil’s Island Endurance Gin,” sold with suggestive advertising was accused by critics of having been instrumental in rapes and even one murder.  

From lifted skirts to bared bosoms, we head West to San Francisco where Roth & Company had trademarked “Capitol O.K. Whiskey” in 1906.  Its saloon sign depicted an underwater topless beauty.  Joseph Roth founded this firm in 1859, initially located in the old U.S. Courthouse near Oregon Street.   After working with several partners over the years, Roth died in 1891 and the firm in 1906 was bought by Edwin and Mrs. Simon Scheeling.  The earthquake and fire that year destroyed the premises but the Scheelings rebuilt and the business survived until the arrival of National Prohibition. 

Another popular advertising gimmick was calendars.  They might be hung up in a drinking establishment or more cautiously in a customer’s “man cave.”  This beauty graced a calendar issued by the Brolinski Saloon of Niagara Falls, New York, likely given out to the boys along the bar.  Brolinski likely bought this image from a catalogue and personalized it by having his name and address attached.  The lady involved was clearly a Middle Eastern harem dweller, a popular exotic image of the pre-Pro era.
Also popular were representations of Greek goddesses in various states of undress.  They are found on a number of whiskey advertising items, including signs, trade cards, celluloid pocket mirrors and, as in this case, paperweights.  The weight above shows Diana, the goddess of the hunt, in a forest setting with her bow in hand and half-clothed in something filmy.  She has just fired an arrow, likely into a deer offstage.  The item was issued by the Fleischmann Company, famous for yeast, but also a major producer of whiskey under a number of brand names. 

Another lass clothed only in gauze is somewhat inexplicably holding onto a horse.  She may, however, be what one Milwaukee liquor dealer thought Lady Godiva might look like.  He was A. M. Bloch who founded his enterprise in 1877. Over the thirty years of its existence Bloch’s firm was located at several addresses on the city’s Water Street, where many of its liquor emporiums were located.  Although not mentioned on this ad, Bloch’s flagship brand was “Joker Club.”   As a former resident of Milwaukee, I know this is about as racy as things there.  A stripper who once came to town advertising her “Elimination Dance” was asked by the press what she would be eliminating.  She replied:  “Not a helluva lot in Milwaukee, bay-bee.”
Even staid Boston could spawn a risqué image, this one from Felton & Son, founded by F. L. Felton and located in South Boston.  The company house brands were “Felton Rye,” “Old Felton Rye,” and “Felton’s New England Rum,” the latter the excuse for this tantalizing saloon reverse glass sign.  The Feltons were distillers and known most particularly for their rum, advertised as“…Unsurpassed by any in the market, is warranted copper distilled, perfectly pure….   Would the Feltons, I wonder, have vouched for the “perfect purity” of the nude on their sign?

As we creep into full frontal nudity, we can thank David Sachs of Louisville for this image of a brunette-tressed beauty with lightning coming from her head and trailing a wispy wrap.  Sachs’ advertising consistently portrayed his firm as a Kentucky distiller when in truth he was a “rectifier,”  blending and mixing raw whiskeys obtained from real distillers.  Such outfits often contracted for the entire production of a Kentucky distillery for a year or more and then appropriated the distillery name.  Sachs & Sons over the years claimed to be the proprietors of the Oakland Distillery in Henderson County and later the Saxon Distillery of Marion County, both in Kentucky.

At this point, all modesty has flown away. Whatever covering this nude may have had is now held above her head, advertising “Big Spring” whiskey.  This sweetie was brought to the public by the infamous “Whiskey Trust,” an attempt to create a monopoly in the whiskey trade in order to drive up prices.  Located in Louisville, the organization officially was known as the Kentucky Distilleries & Warehouse Company.  More successful than other similar attempts at combining distilleries the Kentucky outfit operated from 1902 to 1919, buying or spawning more than a dozen brands, but never achieved its price goals. 

The invention of celluloid made possible a variety of liquor-related advertising items that retain their appeal even a century or more later.  The shapely female shown on this match safe is a excellent example of celluloid art, even though it is difficult to understand why light is shining from the palms of her hands.  This interesting image was brought to the drinking public by Herman Frech, a pre-Prohibition Minneapolis liquor dealer, located at 14-16 North Sixth Street.   His logo, unseen here, appears on the opposite side. It presents his name, a whiskey bottle, two glasses and a box of cigars.

If one nude sells whiskey, hey — why not try three?  That may have motivated B.S. Flersheim to issue a trio of nudes on a saloon sign advertising his mercantile company in Kansas City, Missouri.  The sign displays the unclad ladies visiting the study of a gent sitting in an easy chair and quaffing a brand of whisky aptly named, “Its Tempting.”  That label was trademarked in 1904.  Another B.S. Flersheim & Company brand was “Old Bondage.”  Its use on this sign would have been really kinky.  Founded in 1879, Flersheim’ liquor business survived until 1918, a 37 year run.
There they are risqué whiskey fans.  A dozen females in various stages of dress and undress.  They were issued all over the country, from reputedly stogy places like Boston and Milwaukee to more exciting locales like San Francisco and Niagara Falls.  These images all had the same purpose:  to sell whiskey.  Moreover, they all faced the same fate:  Banishment to the ranks of collectibles once women begin to frequent drinking establishments.











  











Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Advertising Art of Thomas Hart Benton


In 1956 the Lockeed Aircraft Corporation featured Thomas Hart Benton, whom they identified as “now one of our most celebrated painters,” in an ad for their Super Constellation airplane.  Shown right, Benton at 67 was well into his career but, according to Lockeed, “still learning” and would fly their luxury liner to Rome the following year to study the European masters.  Benton’s appearance in an ad is a reminder that he himself did advertising work — as did Norman Rockwell, Andy Warhol, and Dr. Suess — other artists featured on this blog.

Benton has been hailed as America’s foremost regionalist artist whose figures of Americans at work, usually in mid-America, had an easily recognizable appearance, sinuous and sculpted.  As a result of these qualities, the America Tobacco Company tapped him in the early 1940s to be part of its series for its Lucky Strike cigarettes that employed well-known artists to depict the country’s tobacco growing and processing.  Benton obliged by painting at least four pictures in which tobacco was featured.

The first Benton artwork shown here is bereft of people, showing the discarded clothing and straw hat of a farmer who has harvested the giant tobacco leaves in the foreground.  Appropriately, the artist called this painting “Tobacco.”  Two elements are interesting. First, an incongruous vase of flowers dominates the center of the image.  Benton painted this during the midst of World War II and the flowers may be a sign of hope.  Less positive is the small figure of a farmer at the left, walking behind a mule-drawn cart, with a barn in the background — a reminder of the lack of mechanization in rural America.

Perhaps Benton was told by his corporate sponsors to make his next paintings more positive.  Dating from 1942 the picture he called “Outside the Curing Barn” shows a hatted farmer affixing leaves of tobacco to wooden poles for hanging in the curing barn behind.  The farmer’s dignified face and form were typical of Benton who romanticized American rural life while spending much of his time in Europe.  In the background the farm hands are loading the mule cart — now two mules — with tobacco and the drying shed has a prominent place in the illustration.

The next painting for Lucky Strike is quintessential Benton.  The farmer is portrayed as an heroic figure with a strong body and a face winkled by toil, but yet gentle toward a little girl, presumably his daughter, a darling blonde child who appears to be asking him about tobacco.  Note that the leaves are so thin that the girl’s hand can be seen through the surface.   A mule and the drying sheds compete the scene.   

Benton’s art for the American Tobacco Company stretched over three or four years.  Below may have been his last work in the series, published in 1944.  Here the emphasis firmly on the farmer, in this case one who is sorting tobacco.  From the slight smile he bears we can intuit that he enjoys and takes pride in this work.
World War II also saw American artists donating their talents to the war effort by painting images designed to sell war bonds, an important method of financing U.S. military forces while combating inflation at home.  In 1943 Benton contributed this image of a young soldier about to embark on a transport ship that would be taking him into combat.  With his blue bedroll slung over his shoulder he is looking directly at us — a typical American boy on his way to fight for his country. “He’s Going for You!”  The least the viewers could do to help was to buy a bond.
During the conflict, while cigarettes were strongly advertised, the liquor industry because of the need for alcohol in the war effort, kept a low profile.  In the immediate postwar period, whiskey ads proliferated.  The Hiram Walker distillery, that had originated in Canada but migrated to the States, sponsored a series of paintings by American artists and illustrators that ran in national magazines.  The distiller apparently dictated that each picture feature barrels.  Entitling his, “Whiskey Going in to Warehouse to Age,”  Benton’s contribution is the most dynamic of the series, with one of his typical larger-than-life figures helping roll the barrels.

“The Great golden wheat lands…rippling in the breeze…ripe for the harvest,  Bountiful, beautiful — a vital part of the American Scene….Like these fertile, friendly fields, Maxwell House Coffee, too, is part of the American scene.”  Yes, a stretch to equate a wheat field to the breakfast table, but that is what ad men are paid to do.  In this case Benton did not paint the scene specifically for the coffee company so that he was not obliged to include elements dictated by the sponsor.
As a result, it is the most successful of his advertising images. 
Over the years Benton also did illustrations for the movie industry.  The 1940 movie, the “Grape of Wrath,” is considered one of the great American cinematic masterpieces.  Taken from the John Steinbeck novel, it is set in the Great Depression and is the story of the Joad family, forced to leave Oklahoma by drought and poverty to seek employment in California.  For the movie poster, Benton captured the scene as the family loaded their ancient truck for the trip West.  More poignantly than the book cover at left by a different artist, he captured the heartbreak in the departure.

Fifteen years later Benton would contribute a image to the poster of the movie, “The Kentuckian,” that both was directed by and featured Burt Lancaster.  A story that was set in the 1820s, it concerned the travels from Kentucky of a man, his son and their dog, anxious to start a new life in Texas.  Note that the gun and bedroll carried by the Kentuckian are reminiscent of those of the WW II soldier.

The last Benton artwork shown here was done for a Coca Cola advertisement in 1964.  This was the heyday of “The Twist,” a dance I never could get the hang of.
But the young people in the illustration clearly have all the moves, as they dance to the rhythms of a bongo drum.  Although the table at the bottoms both cans and bottles on it, none of them look like Coke.  In fact they look more like beer cans and wine bottles.  By this time Benton was so well established as an iconic American painter, he could paint what he chose.
Known as well for the murals he painted, Benton continued to work well into his eighties.  He died in 1975 while laboring in his studio as he completed his final mural, “The Sources of Country Music” for the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tennessee.  Today Thomas Hart Benton’s works can be found in museums all over the country  — yet another noted American artist who found an outlet for his talent in the world of advertising.























Saturday, December 19, 2015

Funning — and Punning — with Beer

As somber and dignified as he looks here,  Adolphus Busch had a definite “funny bone” in that stiff Germanic body of his.  In my May 2014 post on this blog I featured the cards he issued for his beers that spoofed Wagner’s operas and well-known plays.  The post cards and other ads shown here all refer to the products of his St. Louis brewery  — but none likely were issued by Adolphus.  It is open to question how much he would have enjoyed them.
The card shown above under the heading, “Under the Anheuser Bush” is a direct takeoff of a popular cartoon figure of Happy Hooligan.  This was a popular and influential early American comic strip by the celebrated cartoonist Frederick Burr Opper that made its debut on Sunday, March 11, 1900 in Hearst newspapers,  Happy Hooligan was luckless tramp who always wore a tin can for a hat. The tramp figure here, also with a tin can on his head, is lying under a tree covered with beer barrels that seems to have sprouted bottles and cork screws, much to the delight of the recumbent gent.  Apparently having access to both is a “double joy.”

The next two cards are, in effect, mirror images of each other.  Two figures, identifiable as German youths are featured on each, although in different colored garb.  Each is drinking from a large stein marked “Prosit,”  German for “Cheers!”  I am assuming that the button referred to in the text opens the spigot of a keg of beer.  Otherwise the accompanying verse makes little sense:  Dear Dutchy —
Gersundheit and Prosit is all you can say
A button is all you can push
With your Rhine and your Nein
And your nose in a Stein
In the shade of the Anheuser Busch
Yet another reference to Adolphus’ company, is a postcard showing five gentlemen, all wearing  porkpie hats, black coats, and a variety of checked pants energetically shoving forward a keg of beer with a spigot that it on wheeled wooden cart.  It is captioned “The Anheuser Push.”  While the title clearly is a play on words, the entire premise of what is intended here escapes me.

If Anheuser Busch was susceptible to puns so was the brewery’s principal brand, Budweiser. This card shows a scruffy black cat that clearly is experiencing a difficult situation or some dilemma. The caption here — “She was Pale ‘Bud-Weiser,’” — seems to be a variant on the theme “sadder but wiser” often used to refer to a young woman who ill-advisedly has engage in conduct with a young man that she now has reason to regret.  Perhaps our cat has been caught by a prowling male.

The names of other beers also could be used in pun fashion.  Among them was Schlitz beer of Milwaukee — a rival of Adolphus Busch and his Budweiser.  This card that combines the two.  Here a newsboy is ogling a very pretty young woman sitting at an outdoor cafe drinking a glass of wine.  She is wearing a dress that is slit on the side, showing ankle and calf.  The boy is intoning:  “Some like Budweiser but give me S’litz.”
A similar message is found on a another postcard.  This time the lovely lass is standing and carrying a puppy.  Nevertheless, the slit on her dress is revealing a stocking-covered ankle and leg.  She is being followed by a vested young man with an eager look on his face, presumably taken by the sight of her shapely limbs.  The female here seems pleased with the attention.  Note that here “slits” is spelled correctly.

The notion of “Schlitz-Slits” could also offer more risqué interpretations, as demonstrated by the next two cards.  Each is a poem, the first a true five-line limerick.  In addition to ringing in Budweiser and Schlitz through their punning connotations,  it brings in a third beer,  Pabst, another Milwaukee product.  Here the sexual innuendo is more blatant than with the cat scene.  
This juxtaposition of St. Louis and the Milwaukee beers puts me in mind of the 1953 Milwaukee brewery strike that one Schlitz executive declared did “irreparable harm” to the city’s beer industry.  During it, Anheuser Busch is said to have flooded Milwaukee with its Budweiser and gained many local patrons to the brand.
The next card presented a copy-cat verse, not a true limerick.  It spelled “Busch” right and “Anheuser” wrong.  The text referenced Pabst’s Blue Ribbon brand and brought in fourth beer, Bohemian, product of the National Bohemian Brewery of Baltimore, Maryland.  In this doggerel, however, it is not so clear whether the implication is about a real encounter or just a glance by “Miss Pabst” that caused her to go home “extra pale, Bud-Weiser.”
The last card gives us a young woman who is very chastely dressed and carrying a bouquet of roses.  This is a miss who would forego slits of any kind and never be “sadder but wiser.”  The accompanying verse celebrates the home town of Anheuser Busch:


In old St. Louis on the banks of the Mississip’,
Where the Budweiser flows till goodness knows,
Its a wonder we dont all have the pip,
Where the pretty girls with their frills and curls,
Are on parade every day,
In the retail section on the eastern direction,
Bounded by old Broadway.

“We don't all have the pip.” Who wrote this stuff?  The Simplicity Co. that published and copyrighted the postcard seem to have lacked editors.  At least the art work was above average.  I imagine if Adolphus had seen these items — most of them published in his day — he might have snorted rather than laughed.  At the same time he might have been secretly pleased that Anheuser Busch and Budweiser were so prominently mentioned.
















Saturday, December 5, 2015

Buggies in Glass Paperweights: A Second Look


In one of my first posts on this blog in December, 2011, I featured a group of ten glass paperweights that memorialized buggy manufacturers, a once thriving industry in America that was destroyed by the coming of the automobile.  Although the post, entitled “Buggy Makers, Gone But Not Forgotten,” has been far from my most popular, I have continued over the years to collect other examples of this once ubiquitous mode of transport as captured under glass. 
The first example is from Keys Brothers Wholesale Buggy Manufacturer from Council Bluffs, Iowa.   This firm was founded by the brothers, N. A, Keys, F. H. Keys and E.W. Keys.  They had been in the hardware business in Red Oak, Iowa, and became engaged in making buggies with a Red Oak firm.  After buying into the company the brothers were enticed about 1891 to transfer its operations to Council Bluffs by a subscription offer of that city’s Board of Trade. Keys Bros. manufactured buggies, spring wagons and carriages.
The Coleman Carriage & Wagon Co. was founded in Ilion, New York, by an immigrant English family led by Fred Coleman.  It employed a work force of some 36 men manufacturing horse-drawn vehicles, including sleighs, Coleman was reported to have won many first prizes when exhibiting at fairs and the National Carriage & Harness Dealers Assn. in New York.  The company advertised their manufactures as "Victorias, Landaus, Dog carts, Village carts, Ilion platform and spring wagons and other patent wagons."  Prices ranged ran from $50.00 to $1,000.00 with every vehicle said to be guaranteed.  Victorias, large buggies with cushioned seats fit for a queen, and landaus, high end convertible carriages, would have been closer to the latter figure.

The W.C. Koller Carriage Co. of Glen Rock, Pennsylvania, sought a national market for its buggies, like the No. 119 Bike Wagon shown here.  The firm displayed its ware at the 1901 Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo.  The Koller firm showed six vehicles there, including two buggies, two canopy top surreys, a phaeton (a sporty open light carriage), and a depot wagon.  One observer of their exhibit noted:  “The styles are good, the lines being of the popular forms, the mechanical construction is of high grade, as is also the finish.”  He noted that Koller was one of the few makers to sell buggies right off their exhibit.

The Ohio Spiral Spring Buggy Co. of Cincinnati was also exhibited its wares at the Vehicle Division of the State Transport Department.  It was showing five buggies with tops, four phaetons, one cabriolet (two-wheeled, one-horse carriage that had two seats and a folding top), three surreys, a canopy top wagon and one “jump-seat” buggy, featuring a back seat that could be folded out of the way.  No indication of sales from these items. The firm guaranteed its springs for ten years.
In 1908 a trade paper reported that S.E. Baily & Company of Philadelphia had received a contract from the New York City Fire Department to build twenty-two fire chief’s heavy buggies, equipped with rubber tires and a regulation fire gong.  This was a hefty order even for the Baily firm that operated factories in both York and Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  In its advertising the company claimed to make and deal in carriages and harnesses “of every description.”
The Cooper Wagon Works of Dubuque, Iowa, was founded by Augustine A. Cooper, once an apprentice and blacksmith for local wagon makers Newman and Duffee. One month after finishing his apprenticeship in 1850 he bought out Duffee’s interest and the company became Newman and Cooper.  With Newman’s retirement for bad health in 1862, Cooper took full control of the enterprise.  

Under Cooper’s leadership, the firm expanded considerably. In 1875, when the factory was producing nearly three thousand wagons annually, ninety workmen were employed with the average monthly payroll being $4,000. By 1897 the company employed 300 men who worked thirteen to fourteen hour days to keep up with demand.  With continual expansion,  in 1910 the company employed about six hundred workers with an annual payroll of a quarter of a million dollars.  The Cooper paperweight is quite unusual.  It features a clown-like individual with a wide open mouth in which is written “Cooper Wagons, Buggies, Bobs & Cutters Are the Best Made.” This may not be just hype.  Cooper is said to have seasoned the wood for his wagons for no less than seven year.

The Deal Buggy Co. not only displayed a buggy on its paperweight but also a picture of its factory in Jonesville, Michigan.  Jacob J. Deal was a blacksmith who moved to Jonesville to practice his craft.  About 1865 he decided that making buggies was a better idea, sold his shop, constructed buildings across the street, and began making wagons and carriages.  The initial factory with buggies on display atop a porch is shown below.  

Taking his son into the company Jacob gradually expanded to the facility shown on the weight.   In 1908  the company, bowing to the inevitable, branched out into making motor cars, producing multiple models of the Deal Automobile.  Like other buggy manufacturer who tried to morph into the auto industry, the effort failed and the Deals went out of business in 1915.
The final weight here is from the Fife & Miller of Dallas and Fort Worth, showing one of the buggies it sold.  This company was a dealer not a manufacturer, obtaining its vehicles largely from the Columbus Buggy Company.  Considered a “premier sales agency” for that Central Ohio manufacturer, Fife and Miller were sent the first three motor cars produced by Columbus Buggy for testing.  Called the “Firestone-Columbus,”  all three automobiles broke down in test runs after barely going ten miles.  The diagnosis:  they all had overheated in the Texas sun.  In 1913, after thirteen years as agents for Columbus Buggy,  Fife & Miller terminated business.  A. D. Fife had died earlier and Col. Dick Miller, the surviving partner, was reported to have gone on to other interests.

Few would have been interested in buggy sales after 1913.  The general demise of the industry was rapid.  There were only about 300 automobiles in the United States in 1895, the era of “get a horse,” when many predicted motor cars were a passing fad.  Five years later the number had grown to 8,000, however, and by 1905, to 78,000.  By 1910 the number of automobiles had grown to 459,000 and by 1914 to 1.7 million.  Buggy makers were doomed.

Many carriage companies advertised their products under glass as paperweights — many of them still to be found and collected.  These artifacts provide industrial history buffs in 2015 with a glimpse of the time when the horse drawn vehicle was in its heyday.