Saturday, January 23, 2010

Tebbets or Tibbets

I recently purchased some billheads New Hampshire. The billheads trade between firm spellings of Tibbets and Tebbets. Both have the same address No. 20 Market Street. Both have simple signboard advertisement on the left hand side with slightly different product listings. The Tebbets is dated 1876 and the Tibbets is dated 1875.

In a Manchester New Hampshire directory dated 1882 is shows a Tebbets Brothers in Rochester, an E.A. Tibbets & Son in Great Falls/Somersworth (more on New Hampshire’s crazy confusing double town names and the difficulty it creates in researching old businesses in another soon to be post). Even a Genealogical and Family History of the State of New Hampshire interchanges the spellings of the surname. An Ebenezer Armstrong (E.A.) Tebbets is listed as a merchant. His son William Tibbets is listed as being a clerk in the firm of Tibbets & Brother at Somersworth, then he became a partner in his father’s firm under the name E.A. Tibbets & Son. So, the firms are one in the same, must have been a printer error and the firm decided to use the billheads regardless of the error, or perhaps the family interchanged the spellings themselves and it made no difference to them.

Friday, January 22, 2010


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Billhead of the Month - Charles Groff

This billhead has everything you could want. Awesome graphic, great decorative printing. When you would get this with your product, you had to have been impressed with Groff's business.

Bibliographical information:

November 9, 1889, decorative graphic billhead for Culina Mills. Sole Manufacturers of Charles R. Groff. Celebrated Snow Flake Baking Powder. Located at 346 & 348 Sibley Street, St. Paul Minnesota. Striking left side graphic of a woman on a horse with a spear in hand, fighting a tiger that has latched onto the horse. Printed by the National Bureau of Engraving of Philadelphia.


Mathew Groff, father of Charles, was a painted by trade. He eventually became a partner in the drug firm Wren, Groff & Regally and thus began the manufacturer of Snow Flake Baking Powder. The receipe for the same passed to his son Charles on his death.

Charles Groff began making baking powder in Minnesota in 1874 under the “Snow Flake” trademark as secretary and general manager of the Chemical Manufacturing Company. In 1877, the firm Groff & Berkey sold baking powder in Winnipeg under the name “Snow Flake.”

Charles R Groff & Co. had a commercial league baseball team in St Paul. The team was defeated in the championship game in 1895 by the team of C. Gotzian Co.

Trademark: I found a legal opinion regarding the trade mark of the name “Snow Flake”. It was originally registered as a trademark by C.C. Warren & Co. of Toledo Ohio in 1877, No. 4598. Warren’s certificated outlined that the trademark consisted of the word-symbol “Snow Flake” applied to baking powder and the firm had used the title for ten years prior to 1877.

In May 1882, Warren sold the trademark to James B. Brady. In August 1882 the trademark was transferred to Alvine M. Woolson, except as to Minnesota and Dakota. In September 1882, Woolson transferred the trademark to the Woolson Spice Company except as to Minnesota and Dakota. In January 1885, the Woolson Spice Company transferred the trademark to Charles Groff except as to Minnesota and Dakota, and James Brady transferred the trademark to Groff as to Minnesota and Dakota.

John R. Berkey, proprietor of the Riverside coffee and spice mills, at No. 135 East Fourth street. This enterprise was first established by the firm of Groff and Berkey, on the corner of Jackson and Seventh streets in 1876. In the fall of same year, they removed to a store on Robert streets, and to his present location in 1877. January, 1, 1881, Mr. Berkey purchased Mr. Groff's interest in the enterprise. The sales for the first year of its establishment were $23,000. In 1880 the sales were $148,000. A capital of $70,000 is employed in carrying on this mammoth institution, which is one of the largest in the west, employing eight traveling salesmen and twenty men at the desk and in the different branches of the works. Steam is used as power in the grinding of the coffee and spices, and preparation of other articles which are manufactured by this house.

Chas. R. Groff, coffee, spice, baking powder and extracts. The business was commenced in 1880, at 124 East Fifth street; he roasts coffee, grinds spices and manufactures baking powder and extracts. The building he occupies for his business is 25x60 feet, four-stories, and he has not any too much room. The motive power for running his machinery is furnished by a twenty-five horse-power engine in the shop of E. F. Osborn, next door. He employs twenty men in his business. He roasts coffee for most of the wholesale and retail grocers in the city. Average about a ton of coffee per day. Mr. Groff grinds spices on his own account, also manufactures baking powders and extracts which are mostly sold to the jobbing trade.