Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Antigo Publishing Company

Here is the striking logo of The Antigo [Wisconsin] Publishing Company, founded in 1898 by the Lutheran minister Rev. Albert Friedrich Wilhelm Grimm. Grimm was born in Petershagen, Pomerania, in 1864 and immigrated with his parents to the United States in 1874. He graduated from Concordia Theological Seminary (Springfield, Illinois) in 1888, the same year he married Mathilda Moldenhauer. He served as a pastor in Antigo, Wisconsin, but after the death of his oldest son in 1919, he left the ministry to devote himself to the business of the Antigo Publishing Company. Grimm is best remembered as a prolific author of short stories, plays, recitations, choral works, and novels in German, which he wrote under the (known) pen names of Alfred Ira, E. J. Freund., and E. Stern. He died in 1922 at the age of 59. It is not known if he designed the logo himself, but we are confident this talented German American was quite capable of doing so!

For a partial listing of the Dialogues and Recitations published by the company, please click here.

Monday, August 13, 2012

A Picture Puzzle / Vexierbild Advertisement

Recently donated to the MKI's library is this advertisement for Dr. August König's Hamburger Tropfen, a patent medicine said to be effective against “all sicknesses of the stomach, liver, and abdomen." The picture on one side is an image puzzle [Vexierbild in German] titled "Das Picnic," with the words "Wo ist der Mann, welcher stets Dr. August König's Hamburger Tropfen gebraucht?" ["Where is the man who always needs Dr. August König's Hamburg Drops?"] in old German script below.
The images of the picnic-goers can be seen to form a much larger image of a man pouring a bottle of the nostrum (it may help to view the picture sideways).

The reverse side describes the product and provides directions and cautions for its use. The elixir was manufactured and sold by A. Vogeler & Co., of Baltimore Md. Online searching shows that August Vogeler was born in Minden, Germany, in 1819, and emigrated to the United States in his twenties. In the 1850s or early 1860s he established a drug business in Baltimore, Maryland, which came to sell a range of patent medicines under the name Dr. August König, including Hamburger Tropfen, Hamburger Brustthee [breast tea], and Hamburger Kräuterpflaster [herbal plaster], as well as St. Jacob's Oil and Dr. Bull's Cough Syrup. Like many such products of the time, their ability to influence one's health is questionable, and their contents may actually have contained harmful ingredients. August died in 1908.

At the bottom of this side of the card is printed: F. M. Findeisen, New Cassel (Fond du Lac County), Wis. Internet searches show that Frederick Maximilian Findeisen was born around 1836/1837 in Prussia and arrived in New York in 1862. That same year he married Ernestina in Fond du Lac. He naturalized as an American citizen in 1865. He owned a grocery store ("Dealer in Dry Goods, Boots & Shoes, Hardware & Groceries") in New Cassel, which may have been built in 1874, and he served as the New Cassel postmaster in 1868. F. M. Findeisen died in 1905, and is buried in Campbellsport, Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Graphic Representations of Germans in America

Two interesting images recently stumbled upon -- click on them to enlarge!

This one is attributed to Jürgen Eichhoff, the first director of the Max Kade Institute, created around 1985:

As is often the case in America, the German immigrant is pictured as "typically" Bavarian, perhaps because this stereotype is the one easiest to capture and has the most resonance for us. No doubt a dissertation could be (has been?) written on figuring out why!

The second image comes from Paul H. Kuntze's Das Volksbuch unserer Kolonien, published in 1938 in Leipzig.

Note the colossus standing in North America to represent the numbers of German-speaking immigrants! The caption here uses the now-loaded term Lebensräume -- we could sanitize the term and translate the caption to read: "The habitats of the German people." Still, these images likely had political weight and propaganda value for the National Socialists at the time.