The Tricky Little Month of April ~ Taxes and Pranks ~ Happy April Fools Day

Watch out for those April Fools Day pranks!

Ole Sir Taxy Waxy will have his due on April 15th!

April's A Tricky Month!

"Hold the bottle up to the light; you will see your dreams are always at the bottom." ~ Sir Robert Hutchison

Cheers to all you Antique Bottle Collectors!

Don't get fished in... 

(April Fools Day is April Fish Day in France - see lots more vintage Fishy April Fools Day postcards here. )

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Featuring Findlay ~ Vintage Findlay Ohio Collectibles ~ April 2014 Edition

Featuring Findlay 
Vintage Findlay Ohio Bottles and Advertising Items 

Here's the latest round up of vintage Findlay Ohio items recently seen at bottle shows, on ebay, or that readers have shared. Send us your photos w/a description, and we'll post your goodies, too.

1912 advertising brochure and scan of a box from the Celery Medical Co., Findlay Ohio. The box says the company was established in 1892.

This notice in the trade journal, NARD NOTES* tells us that Ed Sargent started the company in Bowling Green, Ohio, and sold it to some Findlay business men in 1912. [Source

Ed. O. Sargent was a noted Bowling Green druggist who was the proprietor of the Palace Pharmacy.

*NARD = National Association of Retail Druggists 

Who were the Findlay men who bought Sargent's Celery Medical Co.? No info found. But in 1935 they seem to have had some legal issues with their labeling. This notice doesn't give names, but does add in some other locations, and so, since I'm focusing on Findlay, as they say on Shark Tank, ''for that reason I'm out''.

24075. Misbranding of celery powder. U. S. v. 56 Boxes of Celery Powders. Default decree of condemnation and destruction.FDNJ24075 November 20, 1935 Celery Medical Co. celery powder May 29, 1934 Sandy Lake, Pa. Findlay, Ohio, or Fremont, OhioSandy Lake, Pa. Western District of Pennsylvania 24075 F. & D. no. 33296. Sample no. 2714-B. [Source]

Wondering what Findlay looks like?
(Click the pix to enlarge)

Here's Main Street in 1915, looking North.
And a later view:

This shows a drug store, but I can't quite make out the name, looks like Findlay _____ Drugs. Patterson's Department Store is on the left, with JC Penney's on the right of the drugstore.

Patterson's was founded in 1850.

I didn't find any info on Patterson's online, but someday google will scan this book:

And here's a later view of Main Street looking south:

This colorful view above features GALLAHER DRUGS drugstore. I found many newspaper ads for Gallaher's, but no other history online.

And now an earlier view of South Main Street:

This one shows The National store, E. C. Miller Dentist with a wonderful molar tooth shaped trade sign. There's also a printer with a sign that says BERGMAN, and the Victory Theatre.

I'll bet The National store is covered in the above mentioned book on Retailing in Findlay, but no info found online.

Several generations of the Miller family were dentists, keeping offices on main street for almost 100 yrs, approx. 1866 to 1986, when the last practicing Miller retired (his son broke the chain). The above signed E.C. Miller was the 2nd generation. [Source]

The Victory Theater survived from 1908-28 at 230 S. Main St., bankruptcy forcing the owners out of business. The finale show there was Charlie Chaplin as "The Fireman." [Source]

Yet another view of South Main Street, featuring the Phoenix Hotel, at night:

The Phoenix Hotel existed from the 1830's until 1978. [Source]

Now for something different, how about we actually look at a Findlay bottle? 

Southway Beverages ACL soda pop bottle, bottled by the Findlay Coca-Cola Bottling Co.

Southway was a Coca Cola product, bottled by other Coke bottlers too. 

The Findlay Coca Cola Bottling plant is still in operation.

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Ohio's Two Royal Crest Dairies ~ History by Joe Clevenger ~ Vintage Milk Bottles

by Joe Clevenger

#1 - Royal Crest All Star Dairy

Oren G. Hoffman began his career in the dairy business in 1913 at the Molen Dairy Company of Dayton. He worked at the Molen Dairy until 1922 when he went to work at the Dayton Steel Foundry. By 1923 he was back to work at the Molen Dairy and he stayed there until 1927. After leaving the Molen Dairy he went to work for Borden’s of Dayton. Mr. Hoffman continued at Borden’s until 1930.

The Royal Crest Dairy was founded by Mr. O. G. Hoffman in December of 1930. When the dairy started it was located in Englewood on the farm of Charles Wenger. This partnership lasted three years. As time went by the plant was moved to 3977 Salem Avenue. 

The dairy made ice cream, cottage cheese and bottled milk. When the dairy began it employed seven people, but by 1966 the company employed one hundred and sixty people. In 1940 the company was incorporated as the Royal Crest Guernsey Farms.

In 1956 Gene Cox and Pete Davis bought interest in Royal Crest. Gene had been a milk hauler since 1948. Gene continued hauling milk until his retirement in 1998. Also in 1956 Royal Crest began collecting milk by bulk instead of can. 

Royal Crest was a member of the Golden Guernsey Association. This was because the dairy used mainly Guernsey milk. Guernsey milk is high in fat, but more importantly it is high in milk solids. Other dairy companies had to add powdered milk to increase milk solids. Royal Crest was also a member of the All Star Dairy Program which was a buying association. The association allowed small independent dairies the opportunity to buy supplies at a cheaper price.

Over the years Royal Crest had various ways to promote their products. In 1956 Gene Cox bought a farm near Greenville on Route 121. Gene remodeled the farm so that it was a modern dairy farm that people could tour. Royal Crest had all of the school contracts for the City of Dayton. This amounted to four or five million dollars a year in business. The Dayton School Board wanted the students to know where milk came from. And so in the fall six to ten thousand Dayton students would be bused into Greenville to tour the farm and have a picnic in the front yard. Royal Crest would supply the milk and ice cream for the picnic. Royal Crest continued to use the farm for tours until 1969.

In 1957 the next promotion was for Hopalong Cassidy. Hopalong Cassidy was flown in and met with the kids and Royal 
Crest promoted their products to the children. In 1959 Batman was the next promotion. Gene Cox dressed up as Batman and 
met with the kids and promoted Royal Crest products. In the early years Royal Crest bottled in glass, but by the late 1950s the company decided to get out of glass, and bottled strictly in paper. 

In 1961 the P. D. Cosmos Company, of Springfield, and Sunglo Dairy, of Germantown, started a milk war in Dayton because to survive the dairies needed to increase volume. The price dropped from 79 cents a gallon to 19 cents a gallon. To compete in this price war Royal Crest started to bottle in one gallon glass jugs. By 1966 Royal Crest stopped bottling in glass again. It was more cost effective for Royal Crest to bottle in paper because the people of Dayton either would not return the bottle or would return them in a non reusable condition.

As the years went by it became increasingly difficult for the dairies to survive. Royal Crest bought out several of their 
competitors. In 1960 Royal Crest bought the Stockdale Dairy, of Mechanicsburg, and used the plant as a distribution center. In 1963 the Sun-Glo Dairy, of Germantown, was bought and was used as a distribution center and an orange juice bottling plant.

In 1966 Royal Crest merged with Med-O-Pure of Washington Courthouse. Med-O-Pure had bought out two smaller 
dairies one was in Chillcothe and the other was Sunshade Dairy, of Bethel, located on Route 52. Med-O-Pure used these dairies as distribution centers. After Med-O-Pure merged with Royal Crest the Washington Courthouse plant was used to make Royal Crest cottage cheese. The Bethel and Chillicothe locations were used as Royal Crest distribution centers.​ Royal Crest also bought the Alpha Dairy of Alpha. Alpha Dairy was a small dairy owned by Glen Coy. The dairy made ice cream, cottage cheese and bottled milk. Ringer's Dairy, of Xenia, also sold out to Royal Crest.

Royal Crest also had several independent distributors. In Coldwater was Jim Forsthoefel, in Eldorado was Winston 
Dickey, in West Milton was Granville Minnich, and in Ansonia was Jim Riffle. In 1960 Lowell Byrd started the Farm Fresh Dairy Store, on Main Street, in Greenville. The dairy store closed in 1969. Gene Cox purchased an independent distributor in Arcanum. He built up two more routes in the Greenville area.

In the late 1950s business for many dairies got very rough. Retail routes started to dwindle because it was cheaper to buy milk from a supermarket. To compete against the supermarkets Royal Crest broadened it’s product line for its retail routes. The line included non dairy creamers, dips, fruit juices, eggs, potato chips and goats milk for babies.

In 1966 Royal Crest sold its retail routes to the Moler’s Belmont Dairy of Dayton. From that point on the dairy had only 
wholesale routes that sold to stores. Royal Crest increased its private labeling of milk. Some of the companies that Royal Crest bottled for were: Kroger’s, Liberals Market, Foodtown Markets, King Kwik Minit Markets and Stump’s Supermarkets.

In 1967 Royal Crest began to buy ice cream and cottage cheese from the Hawthorne Melody plant of Bowling Green, Ohio. This was done to make room in the Royal Crest plant so that the bottling capacity could be increased.

In 1968 business was worse than ever and Mr. Hoffman wanted to retire. He wanted his partners Gene Cox and Pete Davis to buy him out. They did not do it because the return was three percent and the interest rate was six percent. So the owners decided to sell the dairy to the Hawthorne Melody Dairy Company of Chicago, Illinois. Hawthorne Melody closed all of the distribution centers in 1968.

On April 30, 1984 Hawthorne Melody decided to close Royal Crest. Several of the Royal Crest sales accounts were sold to the Reiter Dairy of Akron. Some of the equipment from the Royal Crest plant was moved to the Reiter plant in Springfield, Ohio. The plant was torn down a few years ago.

#2 - Royal Crest Dairy Farm

The Royal Crest Dairy Farm was started by brothers William and Joseph Madak. The dairy farm was located at 23310 Royalton Rd Columbia Station, Ohio (AKA Strongsville) and the dairy served communities all over north east Ohio. As the dairy business changed it became increasingly difficult for the smaller farmers.

William and Joseph always loved golf and it was at this time that their dream of having their own golf course started to materialize. The two brothers hired golf architect William Burdick and in the spring of 1966 Royal Crest opened its first nine holes to the public. For a couple of years that nine remained the only nine on the course while the other half of the property remained a farm. In 1969 the second nine was completed and the 130 acre course was a full round of 18 holes and has remained the same ever since. Today the barn is used as a club house for the 
golf course.


Editor's notes:
Here are pix of Royal Crest items I found online:

Hopalong Cassidy Clock
Royal Crest / All Star Dairy Products / Hoppy's Favorite

Royal Crest Guernsey Farm / Dayton, O. milk bottles.

Royal Crest Farm Dairy / Strongsville, Ohio
Bell-shaped milk bottle.

These bottles are called THRIFT Jars.
Here's what Joe Clevenger wrote about Ohio's Thrift jars in the 2010 FOHBC Nat'l Bottle Show Program (read the rest of the article, and the entire program here.)

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Who is The King of Pain? Ohio's Porter's Pain Cure Story ~ Antique Medicine Bottles

W.L. Porter's Pain Cure Story ~ Antique Medicine Bottles ~ Lima Ohio Historyby Marianne Dow

Porter's Pain Cure / W.L. Porter Lima, O. embossed medicine bottle, circa 1870s.

Embossed Porter's Cure of Pain, Cleveland O. bottle.

This Rundle Co.'s Porter's Pain King bottle is in the Smithsonian (but not on display). [Source]

These later Rundle's Porter's Pain King bottles are pretty common without labels. Even the paper-labeled bottles don't go for much. It appears that most of the earlier Cleveland bottles, unlabeled, are also readily available, and don't go for much either. [Ebay completed listings.] 

The knowledgeable collectors on the forum say "The Bundysburgh early pontil marked ones are the most rare ones." Makes sense.

As a Lima bottle collector, I know the middle-Porter-era embossed Lima O./Porter's Pain Cure bottles are not common. And I'm still on the lookout for one with a paper label.

So, there are at least 4 different bottles all with Porter's name and different towns: Bundysburg, Cleveland, Lima, and Piqua. There are probably embossing and label variations. When/if I come across more photos, I'll add them.

But who is Porter?

Will The Real Mr. Porter Please Stand Up?!

In 1871, W.L. Porter sold his secret formula for Porter's Pain Cure to G. H. RUNDLE, who changed the name to Porter's Pain King when he (Rundle) set up production in Piqua, Ohio.

More about Rundle below, but let's focus on W.L. Porter first:

"W. L. PORTER, coal and oil merchant, Lima, was bornSeptember 15, 1832, in Washington County, Penn., son of William and Jane (Langan) Porter, of Pennsylvania, and a grandson of John Porter, who came from Ireland to America in 1770. 
His father, William Porter, who was a miller by trade, came with his family to Ohio in 1836, settling in Parkman Township, Geauga County, where he died in 1852. William Porter's wife died in 1834 in Washington County, Penn. They were parents of three children now living: Elizabeth, John and W. L. [William]

Our subject was educated in Geauga County, Ohio. He was for several years successfully engaged in the patent medicine business

He was twice married, on the first occasion in I860, to Emma Harley, by whom he had one child—William Harley. Mrs. Porter dying in 1865, Mr. Porter remarried in 1873, Viella, daughter of B. P. Holmes, one of the early settlers of this county, and by her he has one child—Jane. [Harley lived in Cuba when Viella remarried after W.L.'s death.]

Our subject came to Lima in 1870 and engaged in the drug business, and in 1872 he sold out his drugs and commenced the coal and oil trade, in which he now does a large business. 

He is a F. & A. M., a member of the lodge at Lima." [Bio source]

This may or may not be our W.L. Porter, in 1863: 
"Lieut. W. L. Porter, Fifty-sixth Ohio Volunteers, and Lieut. James K. Reynolds, Sixth Ohio Volunteers, are announced as acting aides-de-camp to the general commanding, and will be respected accordingly. By command of Major General Rosecrans" -- [Source] THE WAR OF THE REBELLION: A COMPILATION OF THE OFFICIAL RECORD OF THE UNION AND CONFEDERATE ARMIES.
Porter's Cure of Pain was sold to soldiers during the Civil War, according to CIVIL WAR - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History: "Drugstores offered bottles of Porter's Cure of Pain to rid soldiers of stomach ailments."

Also in 1863:
"Wm. L. Porter, proprietor of Porter's Cure of Pain has removed from Bundysburgh, in this County, to Cleveland, where he has formed a co-partnership with M. D. Norris, under the name of W. L. Porter & Co. The firm appears as "Wholesale and Retail Dealer in Proprietary Medicines, Porter's Cure of Pain and Washing Blue... 128 Detroit St." He resigned from his job as Bundysburgh's postmaster. [Source]

I don't know why Porter left Cleveland to come to Lima in 1870. Here he engaged in the drug business, and in 1872 he sold out his drugs and commenced the coal and oil trade, amongst many other occupations...

In 1872, the First National Bank of Lima was founded, with W.L. Porter on the Board of Directors. [Source]

Porter was also involved in newspaper publishing:

"The Daily Republican, now in its third volume, was issued August 15, 1882.  It is a twenty-four column folio, well printed and edited.  This office is controlled by the Republican Printing Company, with Charles L. Long, Manager, and J. M. Windsor, Secretary.  W. L. Porter  is a member of this company." -- History of Allen Cty. / The Press

In 1885, W.L. Porter was part of the management team for theLima Iron Fence Company. [Source]

In 1886-87, Porter was President of the Allen County Mutual Fire Insurance Company. [Source]

Porter also sold his Lima oil business interests:

"A tourist going through the Central Oil Company's plant on Pearl street, will find everybody busily engaged with plenty of work to do. Since buying W. L. Porter's interests in the oil business, the Central has been constantly busy and their own business on the increase." -- The Lima News / Feb. 25, 1888

In 1890, he was referred to in the Lima newspaper as "Ex-Standard Oil Magnate".

In 1893, W.L. Porter was in a Masonic Lodge. --

Proceedings of the Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters ..., Issues 63-65

 By Royal and Select Masters (Masonic order). Grand Council of the State of Ohio [Source]

On Jan. 16,1894, the Lima Daily Times ran this classified ad, saying: 

"The Grocery Stock of W. L. Porter and Co. will be retailed at assignee's sale. The public is cordially invited to visit the store and see the line of goods to be retailed. The stock must be sold and prices will be low. Terms cash. Isaac S. Motter, Assignee."

When did he start a grocery business? No info found. 

W.L. Porter was killed on October 17, 1896 in a gruesome assault: "Fatally Assaulted on the Street. Lima. Ohio, October 17. W. L. Porter, a prominent citizen, was assaulted, knocked down and his skull crushed on the street last night, presumably by robbers. The assailants are unknown." [Source]

W.L.Porter's widow remarried in February 1901, and the wedding announcement said Porter had passed a few years earlier. I have not found his obituary yet.

"At 2 o'clock this afternoon a quiet happy nuptial event which was of unusual interest in Society circles ocurred at the home of the bride, at Market and Cole Streets. The groom the Hon. George P. Waldorf, of Toledo, present Internal Revenue Collector for the northern district of Ohio and his bride was Mrs. Viella H. Porter, widow of the venerable William L. Porter, whose death occurred in this city a number of years ago." [Source]

About G.H. Rundle:

"The manufacturer of this valuable article is G. H. Rundle, who was born in Westchester Co., N.Y., in 1847; he led the usual life of a farmer's son, and obtained his education in the common schools of his native State; in 1871, he emigrated West, locating in Lima, Ohio, where he purchased the right of W. L. Porter to manufacture the Pain King; he was soon duly engaged in the chemical compounds, where he remained until five years ago, when he located in Piqua, Ohio, and now is filling large demands for his medicine; he has erected a complete laboratory, where he engages considerable assistance." [Source]

Rundle's company is now called Porter's Products, and is still in business: "The original name was changed from Porter's Pain King Salve to its current name, due to a request from the FDA. The reference to liniment was made because this salve was formulated from the Porter's original product, liquid Porter's Liniment." [Source]


  1. From 1886 to 1900, the Lima Oil Field was the leading producer of oil in the world. [Source]
  2. At the onset of the 1880s, Standard Oil was known only as a refiner. Thanks to the Lima discovery, Standard would be the leader in crude oil production in the 1890s. [Source
  3. All the independent Lima area and other Ohio oil businesses eventually merged or soldout to become part of Rockefeller'sStandard Oil Company
  4. By 1885, there were, or had been, 17 Lima newspapers: Herald, Porcupine, Argus, Reporter, Western Gazette, Gazette, Daily Gazette, People's Press, Democrat, Sun, Moon, Allen County Republican, Daily Republican, Volkeblatt, Courier, Democratic Times and Daily Times. [Source]

Originally published as part of my Lima, Ohio history ''virtual museum'' on my 'Tique Talk blog @
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