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It Still Has The Seltzer And It Still Works

This Bromo-Seltzer-promoted piece of sheet music was distributed by a pharmacist named K.M. Leach of South Bend, Washington. (If your eyesight is great, you can see that at the bottom of the upper picture.) It was a simpler time in many ways: his phone number was Black 109. (Editor’s note: I can’t ignore the comparison. When I was a child, my phone number was Black 509!)

Advertising has taken new forms in the last hundred years, but it has always been commonplace in American life.
As an example, take this piece of sheet music from about 1917, during World War I, titled “Do They Think of Me at Home?”

It is part of the Bromo-Seltzer edition of 171 popular songs, with Bromo-Seltzer grabbing the main heading. It was distributed (or sold?) by K.M. Leach, Pharmacist, of South Bend, Washington,

In case the musicians missed who provided this music, they had only to look at the back side, to get the full story on Bromo-Seltzer: “a speedy and reliable remedy for HEADACHE, Insomnia, Nervousness, Nervous Dyspepsia and Stomach Disorders.” And it contains no cocaine or morphine!

Bromo-Seltzer, now a combination of acetaminophen, sodium bicarbonate and citric acid, was invented and produced by Isaac E. Emerson’s drug company in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1888. The original formula included sodium bromide, from which the product got its name, and acetanilide. Bromides act as tranquilizers, and probably one of the main reasons why they made people feel better. (They were withdrawn from products in America in 1975 because of its toxicity. Acetanilide is also toxic and no longer a part of the formula.)

The Bromo-Seltzer tower, which Emerson had built and is still a Baltimore landmark, at one time had a 20-ton replica of a Bromo-Seltzer bottle on top of it. The bottle, 51 feet in length, glowed blue and rotated. It lasted until 1936, when it was removed for safety reasons.

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Indians Of Pacific Coast Developed Chinook
Jargon To Communicate

Along the Pacific Coast from California to Alaska, Indian tribes traded with each other. Since each tribe, and sometimes each family within a tribe, had its own language, trade would have been difficult without a common tongue. The one that developed was the Chinook jargon.

The Chinooks lived around the lower Columbia River, and being centrally located, it was an area in which peoples from both north and south could meet and exchange their special products.

The Chinook jargon was also picked up by most settlers who came to the area, and was the means of communication between the two races in many instances. It was actually a trade jargon, not the genuine Chinook language, and contained a mixture of French, English and parts of the languages of several tribes. It continued to be used as slang quite commonly in the Northwest as late as World War II, even in the offices of city businessmen.

Tillikum was possibly one of the most used words, and still shows up today occasionally. It means friend, actually a very good friend.

A trade arrangement might be concluded with kloshe, which means good or fine.

Nika kumtux said “I understand.” To become chako Boston meant to become civilized.

Skookum chuck was a rapid stream or a coast eddy. Important for anyone on the water was chuck chako, the tide is rising.

Illahee was the land or country in which one lived and which provided comfort. (Seattle’s first house of ill fame was named the Illahee.)

Tyee referred to a chief. A man’s klootchman was his wife.

Some of the jargon is more obviously from the English side of the language. Melas, derived from molasses, was syrup. Moos-moos were cattle. To muck-a-muck was to eat beef.

By now the language has almost completely disappeared, although 100 years ago there were an estimated 100,000 persons - Indians, white and mixed bloods - who could speak it fluently. Merchants, loggers, traders, seamen, and housewives all needed to use it to communicate.

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Austrian Company Borrowed Greek Name

The ancient Greeks stored such products as oil, wine and grain in large vases called amphoras. Some were made with flat bottoms so they could stand erect. Others, made to be placed in stands or set in the ground, had rounded bottoms.

In the late 1800s, a Bohemian porcelain manufacturer adopted the word and named his company the Amphora Porcelain Works. It produced Art Nouveau-style vases and figurines.

Bohemia was a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire when the company was started and some of the earlier pieces from this factory will have the name Austria included in the mark.

Although there were some ownership changes, the Amphora name continued in use into the 1900s. Bohemia became a part of Czechoslovakia after World War I, and some pieces of Amphora will include Czechoslovakia in their marks.

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