Shredded Wheat Bin, Shaving Horse & Occupational Shaving Mug
You may wonder what a Shredded Whole Wheat Bin, a 19th century shaving horse, a leather workers' tool and an Occupational Shaving Mug might have in common. Frankly, so do I but I found them all together (except for the shaving mug) in that old barn (see below story) in Saxon's River, Vermont.
Discovery of all the items in this catagory:
Sometime in the summer of 2011 I received a phone call from someone who had recently inherited a small farmhouse and barn in Saxons River, Vermont and they asked me to come there and go through both buildings to see if there was anything worthwhile saving or selling. They were about to list the property for sale "as is" and wanted to sell anything and everything they could.
My map indicated Saxons River wasn't that far from here (Brandon, Vermont) and looked like it should only take about an hour or so. Now that I know how to get there, an hour and half might be all it would take. However, I never was there before and the map I used didn't show enough detail to help very much. Here in Vermont there is a good chance if you ask a local for directions he or she will respond simply "you can't get there from here" and in this case that probably was true.
Saxons River is in the southeastern portion of the state and very close to the New Hampshire boarder. There is only one rural unmarked road that gets to Saxons River and I apparently went past it several times before I tried it. By then I had tried every rural road in the area and it ended up taking me over five hours to find Saxons River.
The farmhouse and barn were probably each somewhere around 150 years old and both were in pretty poor condition. They had been vacant for several years and it looked like no one had lived there in decades. The furniture was old and badly damaged by water, insects and rodents. The barn wasn't much better but I found a cobbler's leather working tool and a stitching horse. Apparently someone who had lived there at one time or another was a harness maker or cobbler.
The only other item I found was a shredded wheat box or bin. It had a top board that needed to be replaced and the interior was lined and pasted with old newspaper which had to be removed. I didn't do anything with those items I found and paid for and simply put them in my "to do" list of items to be cleaned and restored. They sat in my barn until recently when I finally got to them. I did a little research on shredded wheat and found it goes back to 1897, see the Shredded Wheat story. That particular bin I purchased has a stencil from the Natural Food Company of Niagara Falls, New York. Well, as it turns out, the Natural Food Company name was only in use from 1901 to 1905 by the company that made shredded wheat.
We subsequently acquired on the internet a barber's shaving mug (occupational shaving mug) depicting (hand painted) a harness maker, a man sitting on a stitching horse. The mug is in OK condition but does have a few small chips on the bottom. The stitching horse on the mug is a close resemblance to that one I found in the old barn and so now they are sitting close together in our store.
As described in our discovery story, this is that bin we found in the old barn in Saxon's River, Vermont. We replaced the broken top board holding the hinges, cleaned, waxed and buffed the exterior. It was originally lined with moldy old newspaper when we found it in the barn.
We removed that paper and relined the interior with turn-of-the-century sheet music
The right side panel features a stencil for Shredded Wheat by The Natural Food Company of Niagara Falls New York. That was the name of the company that made Shredded Wheat and Triscuits from 1901 thru 1905. See the enclosed story and time frame for Shredded Wheat.
This bin dates to that 1901–1905 time frame and is ready to start a new life and another 100 years or so of service. It could sit on a porch for boots, skates, toys or other outdoor items or it
could be a blanket chest or hold wood for your fireplace or maybe serve 100 other uses. It measures approximately 33.75 inches long, 18 inches deep and 23.5 inches high.
Our price is for in store pick up or free local delivery only. Out of state delivery may be available so please call or email for a quote.
THE HISTORY OF SHREDDED WHEAT:
The Cereal Machine Company was founded in Denver, Colorado by Henry Perky in 1892. The intent was to sell the machine he and his partner, William Ford, invented that made a breakfast biscuit out of wheat. The biscuit could then be baked and there you go. Perky went around giving away the biscuits in an effort to market the machine. As it turned out people liked the biscuit but not the machine and so Perky opened bakeries in Boston and in Worchester Massachusetts, added the name Shredded Wheat Company in 1895 and began selling his ready to eat cereal biscuits. About six years later Perky moved the bakeries to a new building in Niagara Falls, New York in order to take advantage of the power source that the falls provided as well as to benefit from that popular tourist site. The new building there was called "The Palace of Light" and was then way ahead of the standard set for food manufacturing. It included white tiled floor and walls, air conditioning, lunchrooms, showers and auditoriums and other employee amenities not known in most other manufacturing facilities of the time. This is when (1901) Perky changed the name of the company to The Natural Food Company and just a year later in 1902 added the new product they named Triscuit.
Following are some key company changes:
1908 Changed the company name back to The Shredded wheat Company and opened a second factory in Niagara Falls, New York.
1911 Opened a Canadian company and plant in Ontario called The Canadian Shredded Wheat Company.
1915 Opened a company and plant in Oakland, California called The Pacific Coast Shredded Wheat Company.
1926 Opened a plant near London in Welwyn Garden City, England
1928 The Company was sold to the National Biscuit Company
1933 The name was changed to the National Biscuit Shredded Wheat
1941 The name was changed to Nabisco Shredded Wheat
1954 The original "Palace of Light" plant in Niagara Falls was closed.
1970 Opened a production plant in Naperville, Illinois
1988 The Welwyn Garden City Company and site in England was sold to RHM Breakfast Cereals
1990 RHM sold the business to Cereal Partners, a joint venture of Nestle and General Mills.
1993 Nabisco sold the Shredded Wheat business to General Mills and this sale was subsequently not allowed by the US Justice Department so then it was then resold to Kraft-General Foods.
The above is courtesy of: Topher's Breakfast Cereal Character Guide, Shredded Wheat History Chronology see: http://www.lavasurfer.com/ceral-shreddedwheat-history.html
A stitching horse was (sometimes still is) used by leather workers and mostly by harness makers, saddle makers and cobblers. This is the one we found in that Saxons' River, Vermont barn, see above discovery story. We feel it dates to the 1870s-90s time frame. We have done some restoration and it is now fully functional as it was when it was new. The foot pedal holds the clamps tight so as to secure any of the leather or harness material that was being worked at the time. This is by far the best stitching horse we have ever had and it even has much of its original green paint. Most were not painted but the original owner of this one was pround of it and wanted to make sure it lasted. It also comes with an extra wide wooden vice.
The horse is approximately 32 inches long, 18.5 inches high to the seat and 30.5 inches high to the top of the vice. The extra wide wooden vice is 13.25 inches wide 14 inches wide and 4 inches deep.
Our price is for in store pick up or free local delivery. Please call or email for an out of state delivery quote.
This is the leather workers tool we found in that Saxon's River, Vermont barn, see discovery story above. It was a common tool for harnesss makers, saddle makers and cobblers. We feel it dates to somewhere around the 1890s. It is in good condition and fully functional.
This occupational shaving mug dates to around the-the-turn-of-the-century and features a harness maker sitting on a stitching horse. The scene is beautifully hand painted in colors and the original owners' name (H.B. Hewitt) is in gold gilt. The bottom of the mug has a Limoges, France hallmark.
Occupational shaving mugs were popular from 1880 to around 1920. This is the period of time in the United States that personal hygine laws required everyone shaved by a barber to have his own personal mug. All this was an over reaction to Louis Pasteur discovery of bacteria in the 1870s. Some rare occupational mugs have recently been sold in the $30,000 range for a single occupational shaving mug.
This mug is in good condition but it does have two restorable chips on the bottom right front side and two tiny fleabites of the top rim. Other than those two chips and fleabites there are no cracks or nicks. The mug is approximately 4 inches high with a 3.5 inche diameter top and a 3.75 inche diameter bottom.