Author: Jessica Ballard-Barnett

Sunday Adverts: Ballard Ice Cream Company

It’s Christmas in July! Business: Ballard Ice Cream Company Year of this Advertisement: 1921 Location:  Originally on North Delaware Street; at the time of this ad, located at 315 N. Alabama Street Neighborhood: Downtown What they did: Sold ice cream and milk Years of operation: 1877-1952 Notable: In 1900, the owner of Ballard Ice Cream Co., William Hadley Ballard, donated land and a building to the Friends’ Boarding Home for Girls, a boarding house for girls who were forced to earn a living on their own.  The organization changed its name to the Bertha Ester Ballard Home, after Ballard’s daughter who passed away...

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Sunday Adverts: Indianapolis Tent and Awning Company

Business: Indianapolis Tent and Awning Co. Year of this Advertisement: 1900 Location:  20 S. Alabama Street Neighborhood: Downtown What they did: Manufactured and sold tents and related items Years of operation: 1890 – early 1950’s Notable: The company’s trademark was “We fool the sun.”  Indianapolis Tent and Awning made tents and other related items during World War II. Additionally:  In city limits, camping is sometimes relegated to the backyard.  Do you remember camping in the backyard?  Share your memories in the...

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Sunday Adverts: Pink’s Pharmacy

Business: Pink’s Pharmacy Year of this Advertisement: 1907 Location:  550 Indiana Avenue Neighborhood: Downtown, Indiana Avenue What they did:  Pharmacy and soda fountain Years of operation: 1896? – 1916 Notable: Herman Pink, the owner of Pink’s Pharmacy, was a Prussian immigrant and taught anatomy and physical therapy at The Normal College of the American Gymnastic Union, a Turnverein located at Das Deutsche Haus, which is now the Athenaeum. Additionally:  Pink’s claimed, “Our aim is to serve the best soda in town . . . High-grade soda . . . It’s pure and good . . . we carry all flavors.”  Do you remember ever...

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Sunday Adverts: American Hominy Company

Business: American Hominy Company (formerly Cerealine Manufacturing Company) Year of this Advertisement: 1907 Location:  18th Street and Gent Avenue (near 16th Street and Harding Street) Neighborhood: Northwest side What they did: Manufactured food stuffs Years of operation: 1867 – 1922 Notable: Cerealine Manufacturing Company was founded in 1867 in Columbus, Indiana, by Joseph Gent.  The company moved to Indianapolis in 1892, and merged with nine other Midwestern mills in 1902 to form the American Hominy Company.  The original Cerealine building in Columbus, Indiana, is now a part of the Cummins Engine Plant. Additionally:  There was once an Indianapolis suburb named, “Cerealine-town” located near the...

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Sunday Adverts: J. I. Holcomb Manufacturing Company

Business: J. I. Holcomb Manufacturing Company Year of this Advertisement: 1939 Location:  Barth Avenue and Palmer Street, former home of the Leedy Manufacturing Company (located there from 1903-1930) Neighborhood: Bates-Hendricks Neighborhood What they did: Developed and sold cleaning products Years of operation: 1896-1964 (purchased for $10 million by Premier Industrial Corporation) Notable: J.I. Holcomb was also part owner of Holcomb & Hoke, and vice president of the Board of Trustees for Butler University. Additionally:  In 1953, J.I. Holcomb and his wife donated $250,000 to Butler University to build an observatory, which is still a popular Indianapolis destination.  Have you ever been to the Holcomb Observatory and...

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Sunday Adverts: The Marott Hotel

Image courtesy of Evan Finch Business:  The Marott Hotel Year of this Advertisement:  Based on the fashions, circa 1960? Location:  2625 North Meridian Street Neighborhood:  Mapleton-Fall Creek What they did:  Hotel/ Apartments Years of operation:  November 25, 1926 – 1981, as  hotel + apartments; 1983 – present, as apartments only Notable:  Among those who reportedly once slept here: Clark Gable, Winston Churchill, Jane Mansfield, President John F. Kennedy Additionally:  George J. Marott also owned Marott Shoes and the Marott Department Store.  If you visited the Marott in years past, what do you recall about it? Marott Park was named for...

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Sunday Adverts: Fendrick’s Restaurant

Matchbook scan courtesy of Evan Finch. Business: Fendrick’s Restaurants Year of this Advertisement: 1950’s Location:  110 N. Illinois Street and 231 s. Illinois – the two restaurants were four blocks apart and catered to travelers passing through Indianapolis Neighborhood: Downtown What they did: Restaurant Years of operation: 1930’s – 1950’s Notable: In 1955, Fendrick’s hosted the State Champion Crispus Attucks High School basketball team, of which basketball great Oscar Robertson was a member.  The entire team was African-American, and, at the time, this was a great step forward in promoting racial equality in Indianapolis. Additionally:  Fendrick’s, located near Union Station, was designed by the architectural...

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Sunday Adverts: William F. Piel & Co. (National Starch and Chemical Company)

Trade card in public domain; scanned by the Boston Public Library Business: William F. Piel & Co. Year of this Advertisement: late 1800’s, between 1873 – 1899 Location:  1050 W. Raymond Street Neighborhood: South What they did: Starch production Years of operation: The business operated under the name in this advertisement, William F. Piel & Co., from 1873 – 1899.  However, the company was formed by Piel in 1867 and still exists today as the National Starch and Chemical Company.  It was originally located on the west bank of the White River on Morris Street, then moved to the east bank of the White...

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Sunday Adverts: Polk’s Milk

Photo courtesy of Evan Finch Business: Polk’s Milk Year of this Advertisement: pre-1950 Address: 1100 E. 15th St. Neighborhood: Downtown What they did: Milk production and delivery Years of operation: 1872-1950’s Notable: Legendary jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery once worked at Polk’s Milk Additionally: Do you remember receiving milk delivery from Polk’s Milk? To learn more about Polk’s Milk, read last year’s Indianapolis Then and Now: Polk Sanitary Milk Company, 1100 E. 15th...

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Sunday Adverts: The Claypool Shop

Business: The Claypool Shop of L.Strauss & Co. Year of this Advertisement: 1920 Address: 116 W. Washington Street Neighborhood: Downtown What they did: Sold ladies’ hats Years of operation: c. 1917 – 1920 (under the ownership of L. Strauss; the business was later sold to the E.O. Langen Company who expanded the business to include other ladies’ accessories) Notable: The Claypool Shop of L. Strauss & Co. was Strauss’ first foray into women’s fashion.  Before opening the Claypool Shop, Strauss dealt exclusively in men’s clothing. Additionally: Do you remember visiting a store that specialized in ladies’ hats like the...

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Sunday Adverts: Indianapolis Light and Heat Company

Image Courtesy of IMCPL Digital Collections From 1904 – 1926, the company now known as the Indianapolis Power and Light Company was the Indianapolis Light and Heat Company, as indicated in this advertisement from the May 1922 issue of the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce Bulletin.  However, the history of electrical service in Indianapolis begins in 1881. In 1881, the Brush Electric Light and Power Company, a subsidiary of the Cleveland company of the same name, incorporated in Indianapolis under the direction of former Indianapolis Mayor John Caven; George W. Stokely of Stokely Brothers & Co.; and Horace P. Clough....

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Sunday Adverts: George William Hoffman Co. (Bar-Keepers’ Friend)

In 1883, George William Hoffman, an Indianapolis chemist and owner of the George William Hoffman Company, used a powder he concocted to clean rhubarb from a metal pan.  He later sold the new cleaning powder to bars in Indianapolis, and it was dubbed “Bar-Keepers’ Friend.”  Before he invented Bar-Keepers’ Friend, Hoffman had already established himself in the Indianapolis marketplace as a purveyor of metal polishes, cream cosmetic lotion, hog and poultry remedies, horse and cattle powders, and insect powders. Hoffman died in 1909, at age 58, after a short “tubercular” illness.  At the time of his death, the George William...

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Sunday Adverts: Metropolitan Theater

Earlier this week, Historic Indianapolis featured the Metropolitan Theater in “A Room with a View,” Metropolitan Hall: Indianapolis’ First Theater. The theater’s proprietor, Valentine Butsch, is a forebear of Historic Indianapolis’ own contributor, Sharon Butsch Freeland, and it is with her assistance that this week’s “Sunday Adverts” provides HI readers with a brief glimpse of the man who made such an impact on the Indianapolis theater community. Valentine Butsch was born in Flömersheim, Rheinpfalz, Bavaria, Germany, on November 12, 1827.  The Butsch family immigrated to New York City from the Port of Le Havre-de-Grace, France, arriving in the United States on June 22,...

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Sunday Adverts: Ad. Hereth & Co.

In 1852, John C. Hereth, a German immigrant who came to Indianapolis via Jefferson County, Indiana, opened a shop in downtown Indianapolis which sold anything needed to maintain a horse – at that time the main form of transportation.  John’s younger brother, Adam, joined him a short time later, and in the early 1860’s the name of the harness and saddle store was changed to Hereth and Bro.  Adam served in the Civil War in the Seventy-Ninth Regiment of the Indiana Volunteer Infantry. The location of the brothers’ business was quite convenient – it was located across the street...

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Sunday Adverts: Hibben, Hollweg & Co.

This 1920 advertisement, showcases a product sold at Hibben, Hollweg, & Co., a dry goods store in Indianapolis, which was located in a prominent building that still stands near the corner of Georgia and Meridian Streets.  By 1920, Hibben, Hollweg, &  Co. had cycled through many different names, and the men attached to them sound like a “Who’s Who” of early Indianapolis. In 1856, J. A. Crossland established J. A. Crossland & Co., which was at the time one of the only dry goods stores in Indianapolis.  Crossland was one of the corporators of Crown Hill Cemetery, where most...

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Sunday Adverts: The Freeman Newspaper

In July 1888, Edward Elder Cooper, originally from Florida, founded The Freeman, the first illustrated African-American newspaper in the United States.  Cooper was born in 1859, and arrived in Indianapolis at age nineteen.  He was the only African-American graduate of his high school class.  In 1883, he founded The Colored World, which was later bought by Levi Christy, who changed the name to The Indianapolis World. The Freeman was one of three African-American newspapers in Indianapolis; The Indianapolis Leader being the first in August 1879.  The Indianapolis Leader was a Republican-oriented weekly newspaper, and The Freeman was its Democratic...

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Sunday Adverts: Real Silk

In 1922, brothers Jack and Lazure Goodman formed the Real Silk Hosiery Company, one of the first companies to sell women’s hosiery door-to-door.  At the height of their success in 1929, Real Silk sold over 12 million pairs of women’s silk hosiery, or 6% of all United States sales of the product.  Real Silk had production mills in Indianapolis; Linton, Indiana; Dalton, Georgia; and Mississippi.  At the time, it was one of the three largest manufacturing units of hosiery in the United States. The company took a brief downturn due to rising silk prices and the Great Depression, and...

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Sunday Adverts: Stark, Wetzel, & Co.

It is often the case that individuals who excel as lower-level employees in one business will leave that business and start their own enterprise (unless, of course, there exists a non-compete agreement).  Such is the case of George W. Stark and Erwin K. Wetzel, both of whom worked for Kingan & Co. Meat Packing prior to forming their own meat packing company named Stark, Wetzel & Co. Stark, Wetzel & Co. produced a variety of meats, ranging from the bacon advertised above, to the “Grand Duchess Steak,” which the company claimed could go from the freezer to the plate...

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Sunday Adverts: The Pink Poodle

Image courtesy of personal collection of Evan Finch. In the early 1960’s an up and coming star named Aretha Franklin asked for some R-E-S-P-E-C-T from Indianapolis audiences when she performed at the Pink Poodle, a popular night spot at the time.  Other notable performers to visit the Pink Poodle were John Coltrane and Redd Foxx. The ownership of the Pink Poodle was something of a mystery.  An October 1960 article from the Indianapolis Recorder reported Indianapolis businessman Isaac “Tuffy” Mitchell owned the Pink Poodle, which he denied.  Instead, Mitchell contended, William S. Zaphairiou owned the tavern fixtures and Mitchell’s...

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