From postcards, to war planes, to vacuums — C.U. Williams was entrepreneur

pc

By MICHAEL BUSHNELL
Northeast News
February 1, 2017
The Big Blue River starts in southern Johnson County, Kan., where Wolf Creek and Coffee Creek meet south of Stanley to form the Blue River. It meanders lazily in a northeastern direction toward the state line, through Martin City, then turns north, skirting the eastern boundary of Kansas City toward its destination, the Missouri River. Along the way, it collects waters from both Brush Creek and Indian Creek.
Lewis and Clark referenced the Blue in their diaries during their westward exploration in 1804:
“We set out early, the river falling a little, the wind from the S. W. Passed the mouth of a Small river on the L. Side above the upper point of a Small Island, called Blue Water River, this river heads in Prairies back with the Mine River about 30 yd. wide.”
In this C.U. Williams “Photoette” postcard published around 1910, we view the tranquil river as it flows through Swope Park. A trademark of Williams’ postcards was the decorative writing style that described the view on the card and the trademarked Photoette process he used.
Williams was a prominent businessman of the time and owned a variety of businesses in the Bloomington, Ill., area in addition to his picture postcard business, among them an automobile dealership and a manufacturing company that made oil heaters for homes and businesses. The Oil-O-Matic heater was widely known as the most satisfactory oil burner in America at the time. During Wold War II, Williams’ company manufactured gears for anti-aircraft guns, and its employees actually sponsored an Army Air Corps P-47 fighter plane in support of the United States war effort. For that effort, the company was awarded the Navy’s E award for excellence.
In 1945, the company merged with the Eureka Company of Detroit and was renamed Eureka-Williams Corporation. It began producing vacuum cleaners. In 1974, A B Electrolux of Sweden purchased the company. Today, the Williams company is still alive and well and manufactures products under the banner of Electrolux Home Care Products North America.

Comments are closed.

  • Roses are red … and pink … and white …

    March 22nd, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News March 22, 2017 Between Oct. 21 and 24 of 1864, the area we now know […]


    Sweet sound of St. Pat’s

    March 15th, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News March 15, 2017 Greeting postcards such as this have long been used to convey greetings […]


    Famed theater designers made mark on Kansas City

    March 8th, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News March 8, 2017 Old Theater architectural enthusiasts throughout Kansas City today can spot a Boller […]


    Alderman Jim’s machine moved Missouri

    March 1st, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News March 1, 2017 This postcard depicts the statue of “Alderman Jim” Pendergast in its original […]


    Kansas City’s first memorial

    February 22nd, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News February 22, 2017 Dedicated on June 2, 1909, the August R. Meyer Memorial, at 10th […]


  • Lagoon & boathouse beautified Swope Park

    February 15th, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News February 15, 2017 One of the most prolific picture postcard publishers in Kansas City at […]


    St. Valentine champions for couples

    February 8th, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News February 8, 2017 Around the year 200, the Roman Emporer Claudius was busy conquering various […]


    Baltimore Hotel stunned around turn of the century

    January 25th, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News January 25, 2017 Often called enigmatic and eccentric and known by his friends as a […]


    No better view west of the Hudson

    January 18th, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News January 18, 2017 Built in 1906-07 by the Swenson Construction Company at a cost of […]


    Airport once was one of best in country

    January 11th, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News January 11, 2017 This Hallmark Cards postcard titled “Airplane View of Kansas City, Mo.” is […]


  • Local Weather

  • What’s Happening

    Northeast house fire claims two lives

    Northeast News March 28, 2017 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – A man and a woman were killed on Monday, March 28 […]

    KCMO Council unanimously approves 2017-2018 budget

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News March 25, 2017 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – KCPD will have to manage this upcoming fiscal year […]

    Northeast Newscast Episode 3 w/ Missouri District 19 Representative Ingrid Burnett

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News March 23, 2017 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Another episode of the Northeast Newscast is in […]