Thursday, September 9, 2010

Sharing a Slice of Life, The J.O.B.

Copyright 2010, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

This week's prompt at Sharing a Slice of Life, is the J.O.B.

The challenge reads, in part:  This week, let's write about a J.O.B....So for the family history writers, pick an ancestor and find out all you can about their J.O.B.  (Well, I am gonna tell you some about his job, I think I could write a small booklet about this man and his job and the interesting research fun I have had studying him, so, just the basics today.)

Part of a sales brochure
for the Challenge Company
about 10 years before
Wallace went to work for them.
Courtesy Minneapolis City
Man’s great grandfather, Wallace Henry Lashbrook was a traveling salesman. For the most part he sold “implements”. We know of 9 companies that he worked for including, Wm. Deering & Company around 1889; Milwaukee Harvester around 1890; Plano Manufacturing around 1893; Kalamazoo Wagon around 1897; Dean & Company around 1899; Parlin & Orendoff Plow company around 1911; Wisconsin Carriage around 1914; Sterling Manufacturing Company around 1917 and Challenge Company around 1918. We don’t really know which “implements” he may have sold for each company.

Man and I made a research trip to Minneapolis a few years back, visiting the Minnesota Historical Society. It was a very successful trip, and as frequently happens on the last day, I found a “goodie” in the last hours. I wandered into a new area of the facility and found some indexes I had not looked at. With the assistance of a kind staff member or two, I found and had a chance to review a periodical written for the “implement” industry, this article was from the March 27, 1899 issue of the periodical published by the Farm Implement Publishing Company, Lyman C. Pryor Editor and Business Manager:


W. H. Lashbrook, who for the past three years has been manager at Minneapolis for the Kalamazoo Wagon Company, of Kalamazoo, Mich., will leave the employ of the company April 1, 1899, to accept a position on the road with Dean & Co., of this city. Mr. Lashbrook is thoroughly familiar with the trade in the Northwest, having formed an extensive circle of acquaintances since associating himself with the Kalamazoo Wagon Company. He leaves the employ of this firm with only the kindliest feelings on both sides; the change being a purely business proposition. That his services have always been satisfactory to his employers in the past, is thoroughly attested by the fact that he was for ten years in the employ of the Plano Manufacturing Company, and prior to that for thirteen years with the Deering Harvester Company. The Kalamazoo Wagon Company have not yet announced what arrangement has been made to care for their trade in this territory after Mr. Lashbrook's resignation takes effect."

And, the article had a photo of Wallace, one that I was thrilled to get a copy of, as we have none of him as a younger man (why? well, that is part of the mystery of his son, Archibald Norman Lashbrook, aka, Arthur Norman Stevens, Sr.).

W. H. Lashbrook
about 1899

* While contemplating this weeks challenge, I went snooping around the net researching all the companies Wallace worked for, whewie, there is a LOT more information out there than there was just a few years ago.  I will be busy for a while absorbing it all and transferring it all to the data base. 


Nolichucky Roots said...

What a find, Carol! I'm more than impressed with your research skills, and luck. Terrific stuff - especially to the wife and grandchild of stellar traveling salesmen.

Texasblu said...

"as frequently happens on the last day..."

Isn't that the truth!

Thank you for this little glimpse into his world - it's fascinating to see. What a handsome man!

A rootdigger said...

I wouldn't begin to know how to start and go on that. I am glad you did well.

hummer said...

What a find. Who would think there would be a file on the Implement industry in a specific area and articles on the sales people. What a blessing.