By Kayla Sutherland
Associate, Chudnow Museum of Yesteryear
If you visit the Chudnow Museum, one of the first exhibits you will see is our ice cream shop and soda fountain at Wonderland Park. As you can see by the sign on the wall, our Wonderland Park exhibit showcases ice cream by Luick Dairy. The Luick Dairy was a local Milwaukee family owned business. They were especially famous for their ice cream.
Most ice cream companies at the time only produced ice cream in vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. Luick made these three standard flavors, but also had a “flavor of the day”, much like many of the custard shops in Milwaukee today. The Luick company developed new machinery that allowed them to mix ingredients like fruit and nuts throughout the ice cream without everything settling to the bottom, which tended to happen. This was what created the opportunity for new flavors. Soon, other companies began to look at the Luick equipment and copy it for their own.
Another thing that Luick did was sell ice cream in cardboard containers so that customers could take it home. Now that more homes were beginning to have electric refrigerators instead of ice boxes, ice cream could stay frozen at home, so Luick made it possible for people to buy ice cream to go. They were the first ice cream company in Milwaukee to do this, making them very popular.
Sometime in the late 1940s, Luick was bought out by Sealtest. Gradually the Luick name was dropped completely. We do still get visitors to the museum who remember Luick, though!
One other notable event in Luick’s history is that it was robbed by a number of gangsters in 1937. Unfortunately one detective and one of the robbers were killed in the trouble.
National Ice Cream Day is celebrated each year on the 3rd Sunday in July and is a part of National Ice Cream Month.
By Kayla Sutherland
Associate, Chudnow Museum of Yesteryear
The University of Wisconsin-Madison has many well-known and well-loved traditions, from the Jump Around, to Halloween on State Street, to the Fifth Quarter. Their fight song, “On, Wisconsin,” is one of their most famous. The song has been utilized by thousands of high schools and grade schools across the country, and some version of the melody can be found in many other colleges’ fight songs. “On, Wisconsin,” along with Notre Dame’s “Victory March” and Michigan’s “The Victors,” is one of the nation’s most recognizable tunes. John Phillip Sousa, composer of “Stars and Stripes Forever” and “Semper Fidelis,” stated that “On, Wisconsin” was “the best college song he had ever heard.”1
William T. Purdy originally composed the melody for a contest the University of Minnesota was holding for their new fight song. His roommate and former Madison student, Carl Beck, convinced him to pull the song from the contest and use the lyrics Beck had written himself. Ironically, the fight song was first used on November 13, 1909, in a game against Minnesota at Camp Randall. This first version had these lyrics:
On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin!
The earliest versions of the song changed depending on who the Badgers’ opponents were. The third line was often amended to “Run the ball clear ‘round Chicago” or “Run the ball clear ‘round Northwestern” for those bigger rivalry games. The current version sung at Camp Randall keeps the third line at “Run the ball clear down the field,” the lyrics no longer changing based on opponents.
The sheet music we have displayed in our piano exhibit at the Chudnow Museum is from the 1927 “Revised Edition,” which includes verses and three versions of the familiar chorus. The first chorus depicts the lyrics chosen as Wisconsin’s state song, while the second chorus is comprised of Carl Beck’s original football-oriented lyrics. This one has the third line stating “Run the ball clear ‘round Chicago.” The third chorus was added by Dr. Filip A. Forsbeck, whose lyrics are aimed again at praising the state of Wisconsin as a whole. Our copy was also produced by the Flanner-Hafsoos Music House here in Milwaukee.
Flanner & Hafsoos has had a long and interesting history as a home entertainment store in Milwaukee. Joseph Flanner opened the original store in 1891 after his move from New Orleans. It was located on what was then called Grand Avenue, now known as Wisconsin Avenue. In 1915, the store moved to Broadway, also known as Music Row, as the business grew. Flanner’s had merged with another music retailer, Eric Hafsoos, to create Flanner & Hafsoos in 1913. Flanner & Hafsoos would remain the company’s name until 1994. Flanner & Hafsoos was the first retailer to sell the gramophone in Wisconsin in the early 1920s. They also sold the first amplifier made by Avery Fischer in the early 1940s. In 1960, Joseph Flanner’s grandson, also named Joseph, opened a second store in Mayfair Mall with his brother, Stuart, and Roy Hafsoos. Along with the move, the store continued updating their stock, moving increasingly toward electronic music players and home entertainment systems, including TVs. The Mayfair store soon became their primary location, and they let go of the downtown store in 1963. In 1994, Flanner’s moved out of Mayfair and into a new facility in Brookfield because they needed more space to accommodate the larger inventory of home entertainment systems. The name was also changed to Flanner’s Audio and Video, and has since been changed to Flanner’s Home Entertainment.
The copyright of the song has actually been fairly controversial in the years since its debut. The very first version of the song was originally published by Purdy and Beck themselves. They produced about 5,000 copies through Hillson, McCormack & Company out of Chicago. The copyright was later transferred to Flanner-Hafsoos Music House. This company bought out Purdy’s shares in the song’s copyright for less than $100 in 1917, a fact which Purdy’s family would later contest. The dispute between Purdy’s widow and Beck arose when Beck tried to obtain the full copyright for the song in order to leave it to the Wisconsin Alumni Association or University in 1937. The situation was eventually resolved by splitting the publishing rights between Melrose Publishing and Broadcast Music, Inc for Purdy’s and Beck’s contributions, respectively. Today, the song is considered to be in the public domain, although there are rumors that the international rights belong to Michael Jackson’s Estate or Paul McCartney.
“On, Wisconsin!” has become so ingrained in the culture of the state that it became the state’s song, too, in 1959. There had, however, been alternate lyrics more appropriate to a state-wide song since 1913. Those were written by JS Hubbard and Judge Charles D. Rosa for the centennial anniversary of the Battle of Lake Erie. Since then, the song had been widely recognized as the state song of Wisconsin, but was not officially adopted until 1959. The song, clearly, has been a defining feature of Wisconsin life for 100 years, one that will undoubtedly continue in the years to come.
1. http://legis.wisconsin.gov/lrb/bb/99bb/ch11.pdf (Sousa quote)
Museum Intern, Valparaiso University History Majory
John and Thomas Saxe, two brothers in a family of thirteen, were born in Ireland and raised on a farm in Fox Point. When they came to Milwaukee, they worked as newsboys and mechanics. Their humble beginnings gave no indication that the two brothers would come to own the largest chain of picture-houses in Wisconsin, consisting of forty-two theaters, and operate a massive entertainment company, Saxe Amusement Enterprises.
John Saxe entered the business of outdoor advertising, although he referred to himself as a ‘sign painter.’ Thomas, rather than going into outdoor advertising with his brother, had gone to work in the steel mills. His name, however, was unavoidably linked with John’s, and he eventually became an associate in the business as his eyesight got worse and forced him to leave the mills. The two then worked together as sign painters who serviced dime museums, burlesque theaters, opera houses and stages, all of which needed new posters and attraction boards painted weekly. The business grew and spread throughout Wisconsin, becoming one of the largest and most reliable in the state.
Their grand entrance into show business began when Saxe Signs sued a local theater owner for an unpaid balance and the owner turned his theater over to the brothers to settle the account. After that, the brothers began acquiring theaters at a rapid rate. By 1908, they had opened the Theatorium, Orpheum, Globe, and Lyric Theaters. Over the years, they added famous theaters like the Alhambra, the Strand, and the Miller, along with multiple other theaters. They also expanded their chain to cities outside Milwaukee, such as Green Bay, Waukesha, Fond du Lac, Madison, Janesville, Antigo, and Oshkosh.
The debut of Saxe AE’s 3,000-seat flagship theater, the Wisconsin, in 1924, marked the height of Milwaukee’s love affair with the movies. The 75 foot exterior illuminated sign was visible for up to five miles on a clear night. The theater could truly be termed a ‘palace,’ with marble staircases and artistic treasures. The theater was actually more of a complex, including a dance hall, bowling alley, and arcade. They continued to build and rebuild theaters in Milwaukee, including the Modjeska, the Tower, the Plaza, the Oriental, the Uptown, and the Garfield. Two-thirds of all movie admissions in Milwaukee were brought in by the Saxe theaters.
After turning down many buyout offers from prestigious companies such as Universal and Paramount, they accepted an offer for $2 million from a 20th Century Fox subsidiary in 1927. John Saxe, after the buyout, continued to oversee the establishment of White Tower hamburger restaurants, which he had begun in the 1920s. Thomas had his fingers in quite a few pies, investing in carnivals, nightclubs, dance halls, apartments, and undeveloped properties. He owned a large amount of farmland south of the city, which were bought and developed into the village of Greendale. Other parcels of land, which Thomas donated, became Whitnall Park and Trimborn Farm.
The Saxe Brothers were not only incredibly influential in the culture of Milwaukee in the 1920s and 1930s--they were also a shining example of the optimism of the American Dream in a time when dreams weren’t always easy to believe in. Two newsboys, originally from Ireland, were able to create a massive movie empire in the movie capital of the world. Milwaukee was a city full of opportunity, and John and Thomas Saxe certainly took advantage of it.
Recommended for further reading on Milwaukee Movie Palaces: http://cinematreasures.org/
"Silver Screens: A Pictorial History of Milwaukee's Movie Theaters" by Larry Widen and Judi Anderson- on sale at the Chudnow Museum Gift Shop.
By Brynn Cooley,
Museum Intern, Valparaiso University History Major
Screens: A Pictorial History of Milwaukee's Movie Theaters"All images
Badger Cigar Company Exhibit
A majority of US adults smoked by 1945, and pharmacies, confectioneries, and cigar stores sold tobacco on every street corner. Badger Cigar Company, located on Water Street until the early 1950s, was a popular source of producer and retailer of tobacco related items. The Chudnow Museum tobacco store exhibit is currently on display through early 2015. The exhibit artifacts were all chosen, researched, inventoried and displayed by three spring interns - Dane Mariani, Ben Locke and Casey Coffey.
How Did We Date Our Cigar Boxes?
Above is an image showing what is considered to be the “5th Generation” in tax stamp design. These stamps were placed over the cover of the cigar box, indicating the number of cigars inside, and their class letter. There are a variety of tax stamp designs, dating back to the Civil War when they were first introduced to generate wartime revenue for the United States government.
With even just a partial amount of a given stamp intact, we were able to narrow down dates to a particular decade or year, and if a cancellation date were printed (as seen on the first, middle, and last stamps above), the exact day. Tax stamps are an extremely useful tool for dating cigar boxes because federal tax laws and tax stamps changed quite often.
Some of our cigar boxes had a “National Recovery Act” symbol printed or pasted on them as seen below. These types of images only appeared from 1933-1935.
Milwaukee Company in Profile: F.F. Adams & Co.
The firm’s history can be traced back to Charles Athearn of Buffalo, NY, who established the Chas. Athearn & Co. in 1847, which was located at 259 East Water Street in Milwaukee. Athearn never came to Milwaukee, and on his death in 1854, his firm was sold to Cyrus Adams, who managed a nearby store on 420 East Water Street. Adams continued the business under the name C. Adams & Co. until 1860, when Francis F. Adams purchased his brother Cyrus’ interest (Cyrus moved to California), and changed the name to F.F. Adams & Co. In 1884, F.F. Adams & Co. was averaging a yearly profit of $1 million. The favorite brands manufactured by the firm were: Peerless, Excelsior, Standard, Dexter, Old Tom, Aromatic, Moss Rose, Pride of the West, and Ambrosia. In 1902, the Continental Tobacco Company acquired the entire capital stock of F.F. Adams for $2,205,090, approximately $57 million in today’s value.
Other Tobacco Companies That Were Based in Milwaukee
Williams and Brenckle
Geo. Allanson Co.
Cigar Box Art
Cigar manufacturers didn’t pull their punches when it came to advertising, and a major part of competing with so many other players at the time was creating the most appealing and extravagant imagery on the boxes of their product. Lithograph companies such as O.L. Schwencke and Moehle Lithographic Co. created some of the most interesting cigar box artwork. Examples in our exhibit are: Crystal Flake, Our Pets, and Our Defense.
We hope you will visit the Badger Cigar tobacco exhibit! For more in-depth info on the history of all things cigars and tobacco, here are some useful resources:
By Ben Locke,
Museum Intern, Marquette University Anthropology Graduate
A score of attendees were at author Michael Benter's September 19, 2013 talk on the Milwaukee Badgers. This was an NFL era of about $100 paid per game instead of multi-million dollar contracts, working class owners not billionaires, and athletes who played both offense and defense for the entire game.
In the first decades of the 20th century, few collegiate athletes joined the professional ranks as they found the game both brutal and childish for adults to participate in. Red Grange, who began playing for the Chicago Bears in 1925, was the greatest collegiate player of his time and the first nation-wide star. Not until the 1930s did NFL games air on the radio.
Football was a part-time job for the players. To make matters worse, the Badgers would often be unable to practice since Borchert Field, then Athletic Park, would schedule popular high school double-header football games in the evenings. When they did play, the $1.00 to $2.00 admission was judged too steep and at most only a few thousand fans attended.
The first two seasons the Badgers were competitive in the league. Their team was made up of players like Fritz Pollard and Jimmy Conzelman, eventual Hall of Famers. Later years were not as successful although the team recruited local stars Red Dunn, Clem Neacy and Francis "Oxie" Lane to try and increase attendance levels.
The year 1925 was an exceptionally low point for the team. As Benter describes it:
"No wins... only one touchdown... and that was on defense... a fumble recovery in the end zone. Clem Neacy scored that touchdown."
The end of the 1925 season provided additional insult. The Chicago Cardinals were looking to play extra games so that they could accumulate enough wins to claim the championship. They scheduled a game with the Badgers, a sure win that year. However, most of the players had left the area figuring the season was over. The Cardinals were happy to assist the Badgers by recruiting three Chicago area high school players. The Cardinals easily won 59-0. When it was reported to the Chicago Board of Education that high school students had played in an NFL game, the Badgers' owner was forced to sell his franchise and the team folded after the 1926 season.
Although attempts were made after the 1926 Badgers, professional football in Milwaukee failed for a number of reasons. One reason was the Badgers 0 wins, 9 losses and 1 tie against the Green Bay Packers whose fans traveled in large numbers to away games. Another reason were the large number of quality high school, amateur and club football teams playing in Milwaukee. One such team, the Lapham Athletic Club, played the Badgers in a charity game on Dec. 8, 1923. Although the professionals played mostly second stringers they handily won 13-0.
The NFL would finally succeed by changing the rules of the game with innovations such as the forward pass. (An MATC student attending the lecture said that Wisconsin's Carroll College completed the first legal forward pass in 1906). In the future the league concentrated on large, proven markets like New York, Chicago, Green Bay and Philadelphia. Lastly, the televised Super Bowl made the game accessible to everyone with the result of a clear-cut champion. Green Bay has won a fair share of those.
Michael Benter is the author of The Badgers: Milwaukee's NFL Entry of 1922-1926, The Green and Gold Glory Years, and Roll Out The Barrels: The Brewers of Eastern Dodge County.
The Badgers: Milwaukee's NFL Entry of 1922-1926 can be purchased at the Chudnow Museum of Yesteryear's gift shop.
By Joel Willems,
Curator, Chudnow Museum of Yesteryear
Milwaukee is home to one of the most historic zoos in the country. It was a Frederick Law Olmstead park constructed in 1892, and by the 1930’s it was the largest zoo in the U.S, containing over 800 animals.
Some of the successful animal introductions to the zoo included a baby elephant in 1907, named Countless Heine, and a rhino in 1913. By the 1930’s it also contained a collection of 37 bears in captivity, the largest in the country. This eventually grew to 44 bears including the first polar bear born in captivity, Zero.
The free admission zoo grew rapidly popularity, and was open year-round by the 1930’s. Some sources say that the concessions and hot dog stands were still there in the middle of winter.
The popularity for the zoo, was amongst the Great Depression, and this was a cheap source of entertainment. As you can see in the video posted below, the sidewalks are packed with people. This website, also has numerous other pictures from the original Washington Park Zoo before it was moved to its new location west of Milwaukee, in Wauwatosa.
In 1910 the Zoological Society was developed in Milwaukee in order to conduct operations for the zoo. Their mission statement includes preserving wildlife and endangered species. This Zoological Society is still in operations today with over 50 employees who help raise money to support the zoo. In 2010, they raised over $4.6 million.
The Washington Park Zoo became the Milwaukee County Zoo in 1961, and has continued adding great exhibits to the grounds. By the 1970s the zoo added the Children’s Zoo, Train Shed, Zoo Hospital, and the gift shop.
On websites such as ZooChat, the Milwaukee County Zoo is still a highly regarded and popular zoo. This was clearly the goal of the founders, as well as the Zoological Society of Milwaukee.
Museum Intern, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Business Major
During prohibition, which shuttered Milwaukee's large beer-brewing industry, it was illegal to manufacture, sell or transport alcohol. Homebrewing, as common for many people of the time as baking bread, was not legal but it proved difficult to ban. During that time, some of the large breweries made malt syrup, hops and other products that could be used for homebrewing.
Barley malt, hops, water and yeast are all the ingredients necessary to produce beer and none of those were ever themselves illegal. A convenient can from the time period, pictured above, has a syrupy malt already "lightly hopped". Similar extract kits are still sold today by stores such as Northern Brewer Milwaukee. Today's homebrewer can legally produce for personal consumption 100 gals of beer per year per adult up to 200 gals per household.
Local Milwaukeean Craig Kuehl shared a few thoughts on his hobby with us, "On the surface, brewing beer isn’t all that difficult. However, it can become a significant undertaking depending on how interested you are in brewing the best beer you can. That’s one of things I love about brewing beer. The beer you brew can always be better, and it’s a science in figuring out how to get there."
Craig has made the change from extract brewing to all-grain brewing, which is very similar to how MillerCoors makes beer but on a much smaller scale. "Brewing all-grain requires you, the brewer, to convert the starches in the grain to sugars that are readily usable by yeast. My brew day used to take 2-3 hours….now it takes 7-8," Kuehl relates.
To greatly reduce the time and effort for homebrewers, Lakefront Brewery had a giveaway event in July of 2010. Sponsored by Northern Brewer and the American Homebrewers Association, they distributed over a thousand gallons of wort, the grain mash which requires just yeast to finish the fermentation process to beer.
Other Milwaukee breweries also support the homebrewers. Craig recently entered one of his beers in the Midwest Homebrew Competition, organized by the Beer Barons of Milwaukee, "One of the sponsors, The Milwaukee Brewing Company, has been choosing a recipe from one of the categories each year to scale up and brew on their commercial system and sell. I was honored for my beer to have been chosen. I’ve been told that is to be brewed later this Summer for release in Fall."
May 4th is National Homebrewers Day! For those who might want to try to replicate Craig's recipe, he was kind enough to provide it.
Craig Kuehl's Southern English Brown Ale
By Joel Willems,
Curator, Chudnow Museum of Yesteryear
As American as applie pie, baseball and... a chocolate chip cookie? Saco Foods Inc states that the chocolate chip cookie is the favorite American cookie with 7 billion consumed every year.1 When the former Midwest Airlines operated out of Milwaukee's General Mitchell International Airport, a fresh chocolate chip cookie served near the end of flights was a company trademark.
The story of the chocolate cookie began at Massachusett's Toll House Inn. The official version of the near-legendary tale is that Mrs Wakefield had run out of Baker's Chocolate2 and added fragments of Nestle chocolate squares to the batter expecting the chocolate to melt. Instead it resulted in a butter/vanilla dough with solid chocolate pieces that she called Toll House Crunch Cookie.
Toll House Chocolate Crunch Cookies
Looking through the Liberty Edition of Milwaukee's own Settlement Cook Book (below), which predates the Toll House cookbook by decades, you can read several recipes that are quite similar to the chocolate chip cookie or the Chocolate Butter Drop Do Mrs. Wakefield was intending to make. One calls for grated chocolate to be added to the cookie, not the pieces Mrs. Wakefield added, and this change is more important then the type of chocolate used. Grated chocolate could be thoroughly incorporated into the mixture. Another calls for the chocolate squares to be first melted before added.
Well Used Version of the 1915 Settlement Cook Book with WWI "Liberty Supplement" Section
At the end of the original Toll House Chocolate Crunch recipe is one of the secrets to an excellent cookie. Chill overnight was removed for editorial or busy modern bakers as it does not appear on any subsequent Nestle chocolate chip bags.
Chilling the dough overnight or even for a couple of days dries out and cools the batter. This makes for a thicker, chewy cookie instead of a flat, crisp one.
The story of the cookie has a happy result for all. Mrs. Wakefield received free Nestle's chocolate for the rest of her life and Nestle had the rights to the recipe for their own promotion.3 Ultimately the best cookie is whatever you prefer.
By Joel Willems,
Curator, Chudnow Museum of Yesteryear
For 14 years prohibition lasted in this country during which time the production, distribution, or sale of alcohol was illegal. The 18th Amendment that brought about prohibition is the only federal amendment ever repealed. Cities like Milwaukee built profitable industries around alcohol production and employed thousands of workers.
Attempting to make illegal what had always been legal mostly just drove the market underground. Bootleggers took advantage of this opportunity and supplied illegal bars nicknamed speakeasies because a patron had to "speak easy" with a password to gain admission.
The video below is of a notorious bootlegger in the North West who acted against the amendment he did not believe was right. There were many people supportive of his actions against prohibition.
Similar cases arose throughout the country. Major brewing cities such as Milwaukee, Cincinnati and St. Louis witnessed their industries devastated by prohibition acts. Yet alcohol continued to flow. Milwaukee was notorious for its speakeasies. Milwaukee Mayor Daniel Hoan once quipped, "The whole United States Army could not dry up Milwaukee". At one point New York figured to have around 100,000 speakeasies. The law did little to deter people from getting a drink. (Legends of America)
We want to celebrate the rich history of this time at our Bootlegger’s Bash on May 16th. There will be a traditional “speakeasy,” complete with hidden door and password! We will also be dressed for the time, and serve time period specific appetizers. Come check it out! Chudnow Events
By Dustin Hochmuth,
Museum Intern, UW-Whitewater Communications Major
Jack is in the picture above third from left in the middle row. Dressed in the suit to his right is Otto Borchert, the president of the team, who would tragically pass away the following year.
Sylvester Simon (pictured fourth from left in the top row) only played one season with the Brewers but saw action in 107 games and hit a .308 average. Californian Clyde Beck (second from left in top row) also only played for the Brewers in 1926. Pitcher Ossie Orwoll (second from left in the bottom row) had the team best record with 12 wins to 4 losses. In June of 1926 he played in Athletic Park for the first time and aided in their ninth consecutive win. They defeated St. Paul 4 to 1 with Orwoll scoring one of those critical runs and bringing the two thousand fans to their feet on a rainy Wednesday afternoon. The whole city seemed to be in baseball fever as the streak continued.
An article by Chance Michaels of the Borchertfield Museum stated that in the 21st victory of the season they played the Toledo Mud Hens and won 9 to zero! That game was played on June 14th.
On the 16th the Brewers again played Toledo but fell 9 to 6, their first loss since May 26. It concluded the amazing 21 game undefeated streak. Hefty Heaving from the Toledo Mud Hens had three home runs and hit one through the hands of outfielder Bunny Brief (to the right of Borchert in photo) with the bases loaded in the fifth inning. Hefty's fine offense and the fatigue of pitcher Dave Dansworth proved decisive in the defeat. Dansworth (not in the photo above) otherwise had pitched a great season leading up to the Toledo game. However, he was ill for some time before the game and his performance suffered.
Athletic Field drew thousands of fans to the stands to watch the great victories of the 1926 Milwaukee Brewers team. The excitement of baseball, and the Milwaukee Brewers, are significant trademarks of the Milwaukee area. Congratulations 1926 Brewers! Welcome to a new baseball season, Milwaukee!
Brews Beaten After Winning 21 Straight Games [Electronic version]. (1926, June 17). The Milwaukee Journal, p. 10.
Hamann, R., & Koehler, B. (2004). American Association Milwaukee Brewers (pp. 52-59). Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing. Retrieved April 2, 2013, from http://books.google.com/books?id=8q3nrfVXC2MC&lpg=PA59&ots=ICkFpAOrPF&dq=milwaukee%20brewers%201920s&pg=PA52#v=onepage&q=milwaukee%20brewers%201920s&f=false
Michales, C. (2012, November 12). In Borchert Field . Retrieved April 2, 2013, from http://www.borchertfield.com/search/label/1920s
Ossie Orwall Faces St. Paul in Second [Electronic version]. (1926, June 2). The Milwaukee Journal, p. 39.
By Dustin Hochmuth,
Museum Intern, UW-Whitewater Communications Major