Chapman & Smith Co. Chicago, IL

Founded in 1878 by John Henry Chapman, Chapman & Smith Co. were wholesale dealers of supplies for bakers, confectioners and ice cream makers, according to The Book of Chicagoans: A Biographical Dictionary of Leading Living Men of the City of Chicago, 1905.  Because Chapman & Smith sold direct to bakers and other food producers, the company didn’t print lovely advertisements in magazines or create endearing Victorian trade cards the way contemporary manufacturing companies did.  Primary sources suggest the Chapman & Smith Co. moved locations 3 times and lasted until at least 1959.

The company is notable to the Old Main assemblage because Chapman & Smith Co. extract bottles were the most numerous identifiable brand in the food category, owing to their use of glass embossing rather than paper labels, which deteriorate over time.

Bottle embossed

Bottle embossed “Chapman & Smith Co. Trade Mark Chicago, U.S.A.”

Excerpt from The Book of Chicagoans: A Biographical Dictionary of Leading Living Men of the City of Chicago, 1905.

Excerpt from The Book of Chicagoans: A Biographical Dictionary of Leading Living Men of the City of Chicago, 1905.

A drawing of the building for the Chapman & Smith Co. at 185-187 W. Randolph St., Chicago, IL. They moved at some point in or before 1910, to 1017 W. Washington Blvd., Chicago, IL and eventually to the suburb of Melrose Park.

A drawing of the building for the Chapman & Smith Co. at 185-187 W. Randolph St., Chicago, IL. Around 1910 they moved to 1017 W. Washington Blvd., Chicago, and eventually to the suburb of Melrose Park.

Cover, Catalogue of Chapman & Smith Company, 1899

Cover, Catalog of Chapman & Smith Company, 1899

Catalogue of Chapman & Smith Company, 1899

Catalog of Chapman & Smith Company, 1899

Catalogue of Chapman & Smith Company, 1899

Catalog of Chapman & Smith Company, 1899

springle

Catalog of Chapman & Smith Company, 1899

From The Standard, Volume 49, by Leroy Church & Edward Goodman, 1901.

From The Standard, Volume 49, by Leroy Church & Edward Goodman, 1901.

Chapman & Smith Stoneware Crock Jug, early 1900s.

Chapman & Smith Stoneware Crock Jug, early 1900s.

Trade card ad for Chicago Yeast Powder and Chicago Flavoring Extracts, made by Chapman & Smith Company of Chicago, Illinois.

Trade card ad for Chicago Yeast Powder and Chicago Flavoring Extracts, made by Chapman & Smith Company of Chicago, Illinois.

Bakers Review, Volume 34, Wm. R. Gregory Company, 1916

Bakers Review, Volume 34, Wm. R. Gregory Company, 1916

Bakers Review, Volume 34, Wm. R. Gregory Company, 1917

Bakers Review, Volume 34, Wm. R. Gregory Company, 1917

Baking Industry, Volume 37, Clissold Publishing Company, 1922.

Baking Industry, Volume 37, Clissold Publishing Company, 1922.

Baking Industry, Volume 37, Clissold Publishing Company, 1922

Baking Industry, Volume 37, Clissold Publishing Company, 1922

Chapman & Smith Co. sign is a replica of an old Rawson & Evans sign. The sign is on scalloped edged glass and is glue chipped and silvered with blended letters mounted on a decorative wood panel.

Chapman & Smith Co. sign is a replica of an old Rawson & Evans sign. The sign is on scalloped edged glass and is glue chipped and silvered with blended letters mounted on a decorative wood panel.  Date unknown.

Zippo cigarette lighter made of steel and dates to 1953, according to the markings on bottom. This lighter is an advertising premium from Rolling Pin, Chapman and Smith Company, located in Melrose Park Illinois in the 1940's and 1950's.

Zippo cigarette lighter made of steel and dates to 1953, according to the markings on bottom. This lighter is an advertising premium from Rolling Pin, Chapman & Smith Company, located in Melrose Park Illinois in the 1940’s and 1950’s.

Chapman & Smith Co. Rolling Pin brand baking supplies. Date unknown.

Chapman & Smith Co. Rolling Pin brand baking supplies. Date unknown.

Original commercial bakery trade magazine ad for CHAPMAN & SMITH COMPANY, INC in Melrose Park, IL. Rolling Pin fruit fillings make the sales! Make money on sweet goods. Fill them with top quality fruit filling made from the finest fresh fruits.

Original commercial bakery trade magazine ad for Chapman & Smith Rolling Pin brand, in Melrose Park, IL. Rolling Pin fruit fillings make the sales! Make money on sweet goods. Fill them with top quality fruit filling made from the finest fresh fruits.

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About Jessica

I am the supervisor of the analysis of the archaeological collection recovered from the Old Main excavation.
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3 Responses to Chapman & Smith Co. Chicago, IL

  1. Tommy Molnar says:

    My first job after high school was the Chapman & Smith (Rolling Pin Square) on North Ave in Melrose Park outside Chicago. That would have been 1964. I’ve been searching the web trying to see if they’re still in business. So far, it doesn’t look good. Probably got gobbled up by some larger conglomerate . . .

    • Art Jackson says:

      They were taken over by DCA (Doughnut Corporation of America) and ultimately shut down. (My dad worked for them in the early 1960s.)

  2. Tommy Molnar says:

    I think they were already DCA when I worked there. They had their trademark saying on a sign in the building. “As you ramble on through life brother, whatever be your goal, keep your eye upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole”. For some reason, I’ve never forgotten that.

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