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.

  • Benton Circle: The Early Days

    September 13th, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News This week, we feature a card John Straley published between 1925-1930 titled “The Benton Circle,” […]


    Community still served from stately edifice

    September 6th, 2017
    by

    In January of 1885 a lot at the corner of 9th and Harrison was purchased by T.M. James for the […]


    A tribute to the American worker

    August 30th, 2017
    by

    By Michael Bushnell Northeast News The postcards shown this week are real photo postcards from the estate of long-time Northeast […]


    Memories of the 1908 flood

    August 23rd, 2017
    by

    By M. Bushnell The Northeast News This week’s postcard shows the result of countless days of rain and the lack […]


    “One of the greatest playgrounds in America”

    August 16th, 2017
    by

    by Michael Bushnell Northeast News The description inside this vintage 1930s Curt Teich linen postcard folder of the Lake of […]


  • The Mother Of All Rallies

    August 9th, 2017
    by

    By Michael Bushnell Northeast News In honor of the 77th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in the Black Hills of South […]


    Orange Crate Carpenters

    August 2nd, 2017
    by

    This week, in place of our weekly Historic Postcard feature we publish the final installment of a four-part series of […]


    A Dime and the Dinky

    July 26th, 2017
    by

    This week, in place of our weekly Historic Postcard feature we publish the third of a four-part series of short […]


    The Alleys of Childhood

    July 12th, 2017
    by

    Northeast News July 5, 2017 This week, in place of our weekly Historic Postcard feature, we begin a four-part series […]


    City Hall once stood at the City Market

    July 5th, 2017
    by

    By Michael Bushnell Northeast News June 21, 2017 In 1889, when cattle, pigs and all manner of livestock still roamed […]


  • J.E. Dunn Bid Solicitation

  • What’s Happening

    Northeast Newscast Episode 26 – the state of Pendleton Heights w/ PHNA President Jessica Ray

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News On this week’s episode of the Northeast Newscast, managing editor Paul Thompson talk with Pendleton […]

    Actress Mackenzie Phillips talks opioid addiction with KCU students

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News Actress Mackenzie Phillips opened up to Kansas City University (KCU) students about her past issues […]

    Activists meet in downtown KC to oppose election integrity commission

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News Several dozen activists gathered at the north end of Ilus Davis Park in downtown Kansas […]

  • Local Weather