1/19/13

Sellin' the good stuff for McCONNON & COMPANY


I don't know about you, but when I look at this truck/car I feel like there should be guys with Tommy guns hanging out the windows shootin' at the coppers following behind. Alas, this fellow isn't carrying booze. Well, he could be because by the time this ad ran prohibition was over.


No, this is a just your friendly McConnon & Company representative rushing your order direct to your home. I've found a variety of information about the company, but nothing concrete saying they still exist. Here's a little of the history I did find.
McCONN'ON, Henry J., manufacturer; born at Winona, Minn., Aug. 1, 1870; son of James and Ellen (McKee) Mc- Connon; educated in public schools of Winona; unmarried. Began active career in drug business, 1889; was pro- prietor retail drug store for 9 years; entered manufacture of remedies, stock food, flavoring extracts, toilet articles, etc., 1899, and incorporated, 1904, as McConnon & Company, of which he has been president from the beginning. Member Board of Trade. Democrat. Catholic. Club: Arlington (director). Recreations: Fishing and hunting. Ad- dress: Winona, Minn. 
McCOlTNON, Joseph B., secretary and treasurer McConnon & Company; born at Winona, Minn., 1877; son of James and Ellen (McKee) McConnon; educated in public schools of Winona; married at Winona, 1905, to Miss Jeanette Morey. Entered the house of McConnon & Com- pany, manufacturers of remedies, stock foods, toilet articles, etc., in 1896, and has been secretary and treasurer of the company since its incorporation, 1904. Catholic. Clubs: Arlington, Meadow Brook. Recreations: Golf, fishing. Ad- dress: Winona, Minn. (SOURCE: The Book of Minnesotans)
So, we have more than we probably wanted to know about the secretary/treasurer of the company, but because of Henry J. McConnon's bio we know when the company started.

Through the years they manufactured a variety of items including cookbooks.

(SOURCE: Abe Books)

And then there were all the legal cases. Lots of legal cases. After all, they did warn you right in their copy that "BIG STOCK SENT ON TRIAL." You were warned. Who knows how Big Stock's trial ended.

This is all legalize double-speak. I haven't a clue about what was going on.


And here they are accused of aiding and abetting. Don't you love that phrase? Aiding and abetting.  Apparently, it was decided they hadn't aided and abetted. Sorry Mr. Holden.


And this one sounds quite interesting, but alas, we can't get the ending to the story without paying some dough.


They even made it into Snopes.com:
About 50 or 60 years ago, Mexican vanilla farmers were competing with synthetic vanilla makers from the US and Europe. It got so bad that the Mexicans began selling synthetic as the real thing. To get away with this they had to add coumarin to differentiate it from the familiar taste of fake vanilla. Among other things, coumarin cause liver damage. The Mexicans went back to selling real vanilla (sans coumarin) about the same time the USDA banned coumarin in the early '50s.
It might be worth knowing that McConnon & Company, a now-defunct direct-sales company out here in Winona (anyone remember McConnon's?), had among its products "Extract of Vanilla, Vanillin and Coumarin" in their line until they went out of business a few years back.
And I'll leave you with the idea of putting DDT in your underwear to prevent lice. Think of that tomorrow morning when you're getting dressed.


UPDATE: Today I received the following from Leigh Griffith:
McConnon and Company was my great-grandfather's company. His name is Joseph R. McConnon. As my mother always says, they sold everything from sheep dip to makeup! Alas, my great-uncle sold the company in the 1960s.
Thank you Leigh. I'm glad you found this post.

10 comments:

  1. Felix091/21/2013

    Personally I do not recall McConnon & Company but during the 1920s, '30s and '40s my family purchased most of its household products from the salesmen of similar direct-sale companies, such as: J. R. Watkins; W. T. Rawleigh Company; Jewel Tea Company and the Fuller Brush Company. The salesmen came often and became like family friends. The first three of those companies also produced cookbooks, some of which [the books from the 1930s and earlier] we still use. And we still buy some products on-line from Watkins, Rawleigh and Fuller Brush.

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    1. Ah yes, I miss the Fuller Brush and Avon sales reps. My paternal grandfather sold Watkins products and I still have a few old cans of something. These days if someone drives up my drive with the intention of selling me something I glare at them and tell them to leave. Mostly it seems to be people with refrigerated trucks wanting to sell meat. Yeah, I'm going to buy something as disgusting as meat from a guy who rings my doorbell.

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    2. Anonymous7/18/2013

      The Fuller Brush man still comes to my parents house in rural mid-western Wisconsin. I now have a new broom thanks to his visit

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    3. I think that's very cool. I don't even know where to get their products anymore. There was something the other day that I wanted and realized I didn't know where there stuff was sold. Of course, it's probably on some website, but that's just not the same.

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  2. Felix091/21/2013

    I don't much mind the door-to-door salesmen trying to make a living, PROVIDED they are willing to take “no” for an answer after a pitch or two. But it's the door-to-door political activists who come along banging on our door to spread their propaganda before each election [and at some other times] that I cannot tolerate and would like to far more than just glare at.
    Received our most recent order from Watkins about a fortnight ago. Good products.

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    1. I'm lucky in that I live out enough from town that I don't get solicitors very often. Haven't even had a trick or treater in over 30 years.

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  3. LEIGH GRIFFITH3/19/2013

    McConnon and Company was my great-grandfather's company. His name is Joseph R. McConnon. As my mother always says, they sold everything from sheep dip to makeup! Alas, my great-uncle sold the company in the 1960s.

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    Replies
    1. I'm glad you found the post. I was just looking at the ad in the magazine last night and loving that truck. I hope you don't mind but I'll post your comment within the post as an update.

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    2. Anonymous7/18/2013

      I was glad to find this information. I have an old bottle of Orange Nectar Syrup that I plan to exhibit as an antique at our county fair. I wanted to give a little background on the company, along with the bottle for exhibit. Thanks

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    3. Glad to know this post proved useful! Good luck at the fair!

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