I wrote this weekly column for the Daily Chronicle in DeKalb,
Illinois from December 2007 until May 2011.
If you've missed any please follow the links on the dates
to catch up.
Home | Columns |
Photos | Books
| Biography | Links
Sold on NIU Regional History Centers
local ads exhibit
By Barry Schrader.................................October
Jesus Romeros Taxco Mexican Restaurant on State
If you have time and an interest in early 1900s advertisements
and promotional items from local businesses, then take a trip
to Founders Memorial Library at Northern Illinois University
to see the exhibit on companies and stores in the DeKalb County
area. It runs until Oct. 31.
White walked me through the exhibit of four display cases and
wall posters, which is on the first floor of the library, to
see the various memorabilia. She talked about firms such as Shipman
& Bradt that made wagons and buggies, first located in Sycamore
before moving to DeKalb and later becoming DeKalb Commercial;
Goodyear Confectionary & Bakery operated by Vere and Cora
Goodyear in DeKalb; and Lahti Clothing Store in Sycamore, owned
by the senior Ric Lahti, on the site now occupied by
Katharine White holds a colorful fan from Lahti Clothing used
by many church goers before air conditioning, and in the other
hand is a display ad for DeKalb Wagons; but the horse in photo
was not included in the sale price. (Photo ny Barry Schrader)
Of course familiar names such as DeKalb
Ag, Wurlitzer and Jacob Haish Manufacturing are also represented
by the advertising. I got a kick out of some of the mottos used
back then, such as Lahtis First with the Latest
slogan and the Daily Chronicle calendar that stated A good
paper in a good town.
White also shared
a 1920 letter about DeKalb from John Cook, the first president
of NIU. He wrote: It is an odd sort of town, at least for
me. I never before lived in a manufacturing community. After
so long a resident in an agricultural district I find the contrast
striking. He wouldnt be able to call DeKalb a manufacturing
center today; its more of a college town with a few scattered
industries and warehouses.
Some of you may recall
names such as Rubys drugstore in Malta, Mosher & Embree
in DeKalb and Keir & Cooper Fancy Groceries, but they were
before my time.
Now the trick to getting onto
the NIU campus without paying for parking is this: Use the Carroll
Street parking lot after 7 p.m. weeknights or anytime Saturday
and Sunday. Walk to the library nearby, which is open until midnight
Sunday through Friday and 10 p.m. Saturday.
you cant get to campus to view the exhibit in person, visit
the website, www.libguides.niu.edu/buylocal, that showcases the
exhibit online. I have to also put in a plug for Lynne and Angie,
who staff the Rare Books and Special Collections on the fourth
floor of the library, which has my favorite antique printing
press and thousands of first editions, rare documents and even
a comic book collection.
You dont need a
library card to see any of the exhibits, but be aware that you
can obtain a free library card just by filling out a form at
the front desk and showing a photo ID. Thats what we pay
taxes for, so why not take advantage of a wonderful local resource.
Another tip: They have several bookcases stocked
with used volumes for sale at $1 or less and not just
textbooks but fiction and reference books as well. I never leave
there without one or more; but just dont tell my wife.
The columnist can be reached via email at :
or by snailmail at:
PO Box 851
DeKalb, Ill 60115