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Duluth Mystery Photo #15: Honor Brand

This photo from 1910 depicts “Mrs. Goldsmith and associates ready to demonstrate Honor Brand pure food products at the Pure Food Show, Duluth.” That tells us quite a bit, but here’s the question(s): Where was the Pure Food Show held? What is the location of this photo? Is it an existing building or long-demolished one? Does anyone recognize that ceiling?

Below are two Honor Brand ads repeating the same brilliant slogan, “Honor Brand is better.”

And below is a crop of an image from the Northeast Minnesota Historical Center Collections of a laker entering the Duluth Harbor through the Aerial Lift Bridge. “Honor Brand” can be scene on the side of the Stone-Ordean-Wells building, which these days is known as the Paulucci Building, 525 S. Lake Ave. Stone-Ordean-Wells Co. was a wholesale grocery firm that must have carried Honor Brand products. The photo was shot by Louis P. Gallagher.

Caption: “In the middle of this image are the low, long Northern Pacific freight sheds with cranes and a couple of men near the harbor end of the dock by the tip of the ore boat. Wholesale grocers Gowan-Lenning-Brown sign for its Honor Brand is visible in the Canal Park area near the bridge. The manufacturer of the Honor Brand was an outgrowth of the Wright-Clarkson Company. It was Gowan-Peyton-Twohy Company in 1910 then Gowan-Peyton-Congdon in 1911, and finally Gowan-Lenning-Brown in 1913.”

And below are a few Honor Brand products, from various photos by people on the Internet seeking to sell antique tins.

12 Comment(s)

  1. The 1910 Pure Food Show (there were various ones held over the years, sponsored by the local Grocers’ Association) was held at 222 and 224 West First Street. There were 40 booths, with a basic color scheme of blue and white with pillars separating the booths.

    hbh1 | May 18, 2014 | New Comment
  2. These shows appear to have been held for ten days. (That year there was another one in Superior.) This one was held from about Dec. 1-10.

    The DNT reported that up to nearly 3,000 people attended nightly. (Basically, it was a great place to get free food and samples to take home.)

    hbh1 | May 18, 2014 | New Comment
  3. HBH has the location correct. The proofs are piling up in my inbox. Here are a few clippings:

    Nov. 29, 1910 | Duluth News Tribune

    Dec. 2, 1910 | Duluth News Tribune

    Dec. 11, 1910 | Duluth News Tribune

    Dec. 7, 1910 | Duluth Herald

    The text on the last one can’t be read off the image, so here it is:

    Pure Food Show is a great success
    Duluth firms do themselves proud when it comes to arranging an artistic exhibition

    The pure food show continues to attract large crowds to the show rooms at 222-224 West First street. The show is the best ever held here and every available foot of space is crowded with exhibits by Duluth grocers and wholesale houses. The products are all of the better class as those who have visited the booths and tasted, can truthfully testify.

    The land department of the Duluth & Iron Range has an interesting exhibit showing what can be raised on St. Louis county land. The fruits on display by the Thomas Thompson company have attracted a great deal attention.

    “The big fruit house” has taken a great interest in the present show.

    At the booth of the Duluth Imperial Mill, hot biscuits made from Imperial flour are served the
    spectator. They are good biscuits.

    The Bell Coffee company serves delicious coffee at its counter. The Bell company is of Duluth,
    Superior and Chicago with smaller branches located throughout the country.

    The Rumford Baking Powder company has an interesting exhibit. The best feature of this brand is that it contains no alum, no tartaric acid.

    The Bridgeman-Russell company has a dairy exhibition that has seldom been equaled at a show of this class. The company is featuring Primus brand outter.

    The exhibits of the Boston Music company and the Twin Ports Transfer company are deserving
    of mention.

    Mother’s Macaroni Company of Minneapolis has an interesting booth. Mother’s brands are guaranteed to be a duium wheat product.

    The Duluth-Edison Electric company shows how the problems of housekeeping can be made easy with electricity. The company shows electric toasters, flat irons, chafing dishes, coffee percolators, tea kettles and curling irons.

    The country store is always interesting. New features are added from day to day. The store is located in the basement and should not be forgotten when the rounds of the booths are being made.

    The John Wahl Candy company is allowing the public to taste Rex and Sparrow chocolates. John Wahl candy is best known as a Duluth-made product and the candy is good candy.

    The Zenith Broom company which “does it for Duluth” by making brooms here, has an exhibit of this very necessary household tool.

    J. B. Dye is showing the Kost gas-jet heater. It is a contrivance by which rooms may be heated. The heater is simply attached to a common gas jet and any room, it is claimed, can be heated in a few minutes.

    R. R. Forward and company are represented at the show.

    The lectures on cooking each afternoon by Mrs. A. Willis are very interesting and many Duluth women are taking advantage of the opportunity to learn more about how to cook.

    “Mapleine” contains no maple sugar but the syrup can hardly be distinguished from the real article so well is it imitated. In the fruit line the Knudson Fruit company and the Fitzsimmons-Palmer company have interesting exhibits. These companies are wide-awake
    and progressive, as is shown at their display booths.

    The Wright-Clarkson Mercantile company is on the Job with a fine display of pure food products. This firm has been established in the wholesale grocery line for many years and has an enviable reputation. Shredded wheat is manufactured in a small
    way at the booth operated by this company. It is a very interesting process and many linger at
    this point.

    The Rust-Parker-Martin company, Duluth’s new wholesale grocery house, is represented. This firm is as progressive as it is young and the fact that it lost no time in getting space for an exhibition shows that it is out after the business and in the right way. They are showing what they have in an attractively furnished booth.

    Mrs. B. Stofer operates a pretty booth for the Singer Sewing Machine company. The bird’s eye maple machine with the lock and automatic stitch is of much interest to the women.

    J. H. Boylan is in charge of the Jello booth. Jello is a delicious food and dainty samples are prepared and offered to those who visit the show.

    Coleman’s Cone & Candy factory at Forty-seventh avenue east and Superior street, is another pure food industry that has made rapid strides in the past year. The development of this industry has been country wide and the Coleman factory, which has doubled its capacity. Is now the largest of its kind in the United States. The Coleman Eat-a-wheat cone is an absolutely pure food product, crisp, delicious and digestible. It is acknowledged by pure food experts to be free from any of deleterious substances that have been found in the product of other factories. Among the confectioneries put out by the factory a specialty that is making a great hit at the present time is the Coleman milk chocolate with toasted almonds, a five-cent bar of deliciousness that always tastes like more. Every jobbing house at the Head of the Lakes is now handling Colemen’s goods.

    Much of the popularity of the show has been due to the efforts of George D. Peterson, secretary of the Duluth Retail association. D. A. Kelly designed and trimmed the booths and for his work has has received many compliments. J. E. Roos, chairman of the Duluth Retail Grocers’ association, and J. W. Cummings, president, have also worked hard for the success of the show.
    M. R. Bush and John Gulmore have also aided materially in pushing the exhibition and making it a splendid success.

    William H. Brust had charge of the electrical installation through the building, which contract was awarded to the Northern Electric company.

    Paul Lundgren | May 18, 2014 | New Comment
  4. So, the question becomes, what is at 222 and 224 W. First St. today?

    Answer according to Google Maps: Keep Health Foot Massage and Twin Ports Mailing.

    Was this building there in 1910? If so, does it still have the fancy ceiling? The mystery continues …

    Paul Lundgren | May 18, 2014 | New Comment
  5. According to property details on the St. Louis County website, the current building at 222 W. First St. was built in 1946.

    So the building that hosted the Pure Food Show is no more. The remaining mystery: What what happened to the old building at 222-224 and what was its deal?

    Paul Lundgren | May 18, 2014 | New Comment
  6. I like that macaroni is described as “flour sticks cooked perfectly and covered with tomato dressing.”

    Sonya | May 19, 2014 | New Comment
  7. It was called Duluth Music Company and was known as one of the largest piano showrooms in the Midwest. With all that room, they rented space for events and storage. By the 1920s, it had become a shoe store.

    spy1 | May 19, 2014 | New Comment
  8. I am impressed with the bravery of the intrepid reporter who tasted the “delicious canned spinach and beets.”

    bluenewt | May 19, 2014 | New Comment
  9. Don’t worry. A drink of Horsford’s acid phosphate will relieve any distressed feeling which might follow.

    Paul Lundgren | May 19, 2014 | New Comment
  10. What’s interesting to me is that this is called the Pure Food Show, but is clearly the beginning of the marketing of food-like products rather than food. (Like Jello and Mapleine, for instance.) Instead of canning your own food, you were supposed to buy canned food from the stores. This is grocery marketing at its finest. And obviously it succeeded in transforming our culture.

    hbh1 | May 19, 2014 | New Comment
  11. Tony Dierckins of Zenith City Online provided this postcard image of the Gowan-Lenning-Brown building circa 1915. It’s not clear if Stone-Ordean-Wells purchased Gowan-Lenning-Brown or if it was sort of a parent company all along.

    Tony provides this additional insight: “The building at far right (now Rustic Olive) was built in 1909 as the Buckeye Building for National biscuit, but in 1915 architect Frederick German worked it into his Gowan-Lenning-Brown building by tying them together with the low addition in between.”

    Paul Lundgren | May 19, 2014 | New Comment
  12. … and Gowan-Lenning-Brown sold Honor Brand products, which is why the terra-cotta profiles of George Washington are on the building to this day.

    Paul Lundgren | Jun 12, 2014 | New Comment

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