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Lincoln's Labels: America's Best Known Brands and the Civil War Paperback – October 1, 2009
The author's well-written, highly original, and well-researched study fills a void in Civil War knowledge. --Thomas P. Lowry, author, The Story the Soldiers Wouldn't Tell
Readers will gain new insight. --Pittsburg Sunday Tribune-Review
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Each chapter covers a company that supplies the Union armies during the Civil War and is still in business. This forms an instant connection with the war and the reader. Borden, Brooks Brothers, Tiffany, Scientific America, Procter & Gamble are standard brand names we all know. The author links each of these companies to the American Civil War, how they responded and profited. In place of a lengthy dry tome, we have a lively history of the company during the war.
Each company has a chapter. This allows the author to concentrate our attention in one industry with almost no distractions. Sufficient background information is provided for the reader to grasp the industry specific issues caused by the war. The balance of the chapter is an easy to read, informative history. The core of each story is people. These people are producers or users of the product and we see business in very human terms.Read more ›
Lincoln's Labels: America's Best Know Brands During the Civil War, James M. Schmidt, Edinborough Press, 208 pp., 19 illustrations, index, sources, notes, 2009, [...]
In this bicentennial year of Lincoln's birth readers are deluged with Lincoln books. James Schimdt has written one for the subscribers of Civil War Historian and Citizens' Companion magazines, who will enjoy and keep handy Lincoln's Labels as a ready reference. Members of Authenitic Campaigner will sit back and relax with this overview which explores the brand names that during the Civil War supplied food, medicine, clothing, and weapons. Civil War era soldiers and civilians used Du Pont's gunpowder, Brooks Brothers' uniforms, Procter & Gamble's soap and Borden's condensed milk.
James M. Schmidt relates a variety of rarely told stories of inventions, marketing and quartermaster purchasing. Linoln's Labels touches upon how each firm mirrors the war and how family and friendships were torn asunder, as well as how politicans and merchants conspired and crossed paths with Abraham Lincoln. Soldiers and civilians are also the focus of this book. In Chapter Five, Fire and Brimstone, the author begins the chapter on July 3 1863 on Culp's Hill with Henry J. Hunt, chief of artillery, inspecting federal artillery ammunition supplies. In Chapter Six, Medicine Man, Schmidt has uncovered and presents a truely harrowing first person account of an 11th Illinois soldier wounded in February 1862 in Tennessee.
CWL will keep his copy close by and also assign the library's copy to business majors who are CWL's U.S. history survey class.Read more ›
If you own a Brooks Brothers suit you might find it interesting to know that this clothier supplies uniforms to many New York soldiers and also played a large part in the New York City draft riots of 1863 suffering approximately $70,000 in losses. In fact Brooks Brothers made the coat Abraham Lincoln was wearing on the night he was assassinated.
Prior to the start of the war Gail Borden created something he called the "meat biscuit". This failed product which was a concentrated food made of dehydrated meat and flour however led to his advances in in the dairy industry and the patent he received for advances in the concentration of milk. Despite costing soldiers up to a full days pay Borden's milk was considered a "great blessing" and was asked for in letters home.
Other companies Schmidt discusses include Tiffany and Co. who were known at the time for presentation swords, regimental flags and other symbolic items. Scientific American was a leading magazine for inventors and machinists rather than it's more general content of today. DuPont, who today may be best known for sponsoring Jeff Gordon in NASCAR, was the largest supplier of gunpowder to Union forces during the Civil War. Edward Squibb began his large pharmaceutical company and was a leader in providing standardized and effective anesthetics. Ether was the mainstay of his company at the time.Read more ›