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Calling on our Philly/NJ peeps - what can you tell me about this company that went out of biz 100 years ago?
Posted by: hal
Date: October 06, 2020 06:14PM
As my sister and I were cleaning out the last of Mom's possessions from her assisted living home, there were many moments where we just stopped and stared at a common everyday thing that was a common every day from the dawn of our lives many decades and 1000s of miles from here. A little two-sided melon-baller elicited simultaneous 'awww's from the both of us.

But this thing is a bit of a mystery.







I'm pretty sure that this was the ONLY wine-opener that ever entered the family home. Parents were only social drinkers - never drinking at home otherwise. Never wine with dinner when it was just us.

It occurred to me as I was up for a glass of water at 3AM to google 'Finley Acker & Co - Philadelphia' to see if I could learn anything about it.

There was not much at all that turned up in the google search. The best info I could find indicated that Finley Acker & Co was a fairly good sized chain of stores in Philly/NJ area that sold just about everything. Seems like an odd cross between a general store and a department store. They went out of business in 1920 as best I can tell. My parents were born in the 30s, but my fathers mother lived in just about every town in Jersey at some point. Maybe she picked it up in a thrift store - she was a thrifty working class gal and a single mom long before it was fashionable.

Can anyone tell me anything about Finley Acker & Co or how common this thing might have been back then?

Another bored day here...
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Re: Calling on our Philly/NJ peeps - what can you tell me about this company that went out of biz 100 years ago?
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: October 06, 2020 07:07PM
Wow! I could get lost in that for a few hours, myself. Did you see the PDF with the stamps?

Finley Acker was the founder and president of the family owned Finley Acker Company, which operated several grocery stores in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from 1882 to 1920.

Acker's stores specialized in drinks (coffees, teas, and hot chocolates), candies, and cigars; but they also offered weekly special food items.

To advertise products, Acker created a detailed circular that was delivered weekly by request. These circulars were originally delivered by private messenger, with an adhesive stamp. These stamps, reading "Special Delivery" were privately printed by Acker, and applied to the circulars until around 1898.

Sometime in the early 1900's, Acker was required to purchase a "Paid in Money" permit from the government, which it printed directly onto their circulars along with a modifed "Ackers Local Delivery" label image. Despite paying for the permit, the circulars continued to he delivered by private messengers until around 1906. Eventually, under pressure from the Post Office, the stamp-like label was removed from the circular altogether.






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Re: Calling on our Philly/NJ peeps - what can you tell me about this company that went out of biz 100 years ago?
Posted by: MikeF
Date: October 06, 2020 07:08PM
Just from googling (Sarcany beat me to the second one):

Search this for Finley:
[www.pa-roots.org]

[www.pennypost.org]

[www.worthpoint.com]



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/06/2020 07:11PM by MikeF.
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Re: Calling on our Philly/NJ peeps - what can you tell me about this company that went out of biz 100 years ago?
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: October 06, 2020 07:21PM
Download the PDF here and jump to page 170 for lots of info on it:
[books.google.com]

During October,1881, a store was opened on Eighth Street, above Race, which differed SO materially from the character of its neighbors as to excite general comment. Its windows, instead of displaying the usual goods incident to a great shopping thoroughfare, were filed with only such household necessities as coffees, teas and chocolates. Despite the prophecies of the storekeepers and the passers-by on the street that the concern would fail in six months,the store began to gradually fill with customers. By supplying their patrons with addressed postal cards, by offering to call for their orders,and by arranging to send, each week or month, regular quantities of these staple articles, the firm practically overcame the disadvantages of "distance" and extended their trade to all sections of the city, while, at the same time, the firm became more and more favorably known for supplying a superior article of goods in their Grocery House line at most reasonable prices.

The steady and continuous increase of trade forced the firm, about six years ago, to purchase the larger building on Eighth Street, above Arch. The success of their efforts in the sale of teas, coffees and chocolates resulted in a demand for other specialties. Spices were first added and sold under a "guarantee brand," their purity being warranted under a forfeiture of $1000…








Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/06/2020 07:29PM by Sarcany.
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Re: Calling on our Philly/NJ peeps - what can you tell me about this company that went out of biz 100 years ago?
Posted by: hal
Date: October 06, 2020 07:23PM
Quote
MikeF
Just from googling (Sarcany beat me to the second one):

Search this for Finley:
[www.pa-roots.org]

[www.pennypost.org]

[www.worthpoint.com]

From that first link: "In 1852 he, with others, set out with an ox team for California, and in just six months, they reached their goal. Mr. Acker found work in Alameda county..."

that's where my sister lives... kinda spooky coincidence...

and thanks for the auction listings - I couldn't find a single photo of this thing anywhere and I learned a think or two from the text
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Re: Calling on our Philly/NJ peeps - what can you tell me about this company that went out of biz 100 years ago?
Posted by: hal
Date: October 06, 2020 07:29PM
yeah, I saw that page - very cool document
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Re: Calling on our Philly/NJ peeps - what can you tell me about this company that went out of biz 100 years ago?
Posted by: deckeda
Date: October 06, 2020 08:02PM
100 yrs from now someone will be asking about Kroger’s or Publix’ branded chip clips!

smiling smiley
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Re: Calling on our Philly/NJ peeps - what can you tell me about this company that went out of biz 100 years ago?
Posted by: WHiiP
Date: October 07, 2020 08:24AM
Quote
deckeda
100 yrs from now someone will be asking about Kroger’s or Publix’ branded chip clips!

smiling smiley


Perhaps, but Paul F. won't be around to take their messages to see if the products are still consummable.



Bill
Flagler Beach, FL 32136

Carpe Vino!

Fermentation may have been a greater discovery than fire.
— David Rains Wallace
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Re: Calling on our Philly/NJ peeps - what can you tell me about this company that went out of biz 100 years ago?
Posted by: Speedy
Date: October 07, 2020 09:37AM
eBay it. Put a $1k minimum on the auction.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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