I am constantly thinking of ways to categorize billheads. When I purchased a large group of billheads last summer another theme showed through - colors! I really like the colored paper billheads. I can only assume that business choose colors to stand out from the crowd. I would also assume that colored billheads were more expensive too. Billheads continue to amaze me. Just when you thought you'd seen it all a really exceptional graphic one shows up on ebay or a plain but historically significant one appears. I haven't given up my habit, soon I'll post some new additions to my collection. I have lots I am watching in ebay too - one I am particularly crossing my fingers I can get my hands on. Wish me luck!
Sunday, July 17, 2011
Problems with horsecars included the fact that any given animal could only work so many hours on a given day, had to be housed, groomed, fed and cared for day in and day out, and produced prodigious amounts of manure, which the streetcar company was charged with storing and then disposing of. Since a typical horse pulled a streetcar for about a dozen miles a day and worked for four or five hours, many systems needed ten or more horses in stable for each horsecar. Horsecars had many limitations. Animals could only work so many hours on a given day, had to be housed, groomed, fed and cared for day in and day out, and produced prodigious amounts of manure, which the streetcar company was charged with storing and then disposing of. Since a typical horse pulled a streetcar for about a dozen miles a day and worked for four or five hours, many systems needed ten or more horses in stable for each horsecar. In addition, horrific accidents occurred with passengers and horses. In 1873 the cable car was developed. Cable cars were hauled by a cable that was long cable under the city's streets. City's converted horsecar lines to cable car lines by digging a ditch between the rails and building a chamber called a vault from one part of the track to another. The first cable cars appeared in San Francisco. The largest fleet was in Chicago. Most American cities had cable cars by 1890.
Saturday, July 9, 2011
On store front graphic billheads there usually is a a lot going on in front of the store - one sees carriages, people, cars and streetcars. Store owners obviously wanted to let their customers know that the firms business was bustling. Also, the cities themselves were all about commerce. To the left is a close up example of a Celluloid Co. billhead showing a horse-drawn streetcar in the foreground.
The history of streetcars runs specific to the cities where located. The streetcar started as a horse-drawn carriage on tracks. They were known as horsecars. The tracks are visible in on the left. The first horsecar in the U.S. appeared in New York City in 1832 on the NY & Harlem Railroad. By the mid-1880s there were approximately 415 street railway companies in the U.S. Here are more horsecar examples.
Saturday, July 2, 2011
This receipt showed up some time ago on ebay and I am aghast that I didn't bid on it because it is very unusual due to its left side graphic. The receipt is for Smith & Shakman of Baltimore Maryland manufacturer of celebrated Hungarian horse and cattle powders. Here is a close up of the graphic - it is a little blurry.
The firm was started by Moritz Shakman and Charles Smith. At some point, Shakman's son-in-law and Smith's nephew, Simon Loewy, joined the firm and it became Shakman & Loewy. The firm eventually changed its name to the Loewy Drug Company.