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Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Kate's Brief History


Naperville 1920 Flashback: Buying and Washing Clothes

Kate Gingold Host 0 15 Article rating: No rating
Flapper dresses and wild spending are the stereotypes, but in 1920, hemlines were still fairly long and “The High Cost of Living” was a major campaign issue. Prices were expected to fall after the war ended, but because of inflation, labor costs and continued scarcity, they stayed high  and peaked in 1920, the highest Cost of Living ever recorded. 

But folks were also weary of war deprivations and ready to spend their war bond investments. The Naperville Clarion complained that “There probably never was such a wild orgy of buying as at the present moment.” 

One favorite expense was to invest in an electric washing machine to lighten the load for women. If you look at the ad for the Crystal Washer, which was made by Mallory Industries, you can see the Mallory logo between the washer’s legs. The image depicts a man lifting a bundle of clothes off the back of a kneeling woman. Make of that what you will.

In these early electric washer/wringers, the motor automatically agitated clothes in the washer. But then you needed to wring out the wash water, put the damp clothes in a basket, empty the washer, refill with clean water, and run the electric agitator again to rinse out the soap. If you were washing whites, you might have bluing rinse as well. One more wringing later, you were finally ready to hang your clothes in the yard to dry before ironing and folding. So much easier!

This ad for a Crystal Washer and Wringer is from the Naperville Clarion newspaper for Hillegas Hardware. Hillegas and Reich opened a hardware store in downtown Naperville in 1882 in the building where Frankie’s Blue Room and Features Bar and Grill is today. Apparently before the year ended the store became
Rassweiler Hardware, but the January advertisement is definitely still identifying it as Hillegas Hardware, the place you can buy your wife a Crystal washing machine.

Naperville 1920 Flashback: Cornerstone Day

Kate Gingold Host 0 37 Article rating: No rating
Naperville’s North Central College has not always been called North Central nor has it always been in Naperville. The Evangelical Association of America founded Plainfield College in 1861 with the idea of “uniting a liberal arts education with religious teaching”* and offered a coeducational program from the very beginning. By 1864, the school’s name was changed from Plainfield to North-Western College in the hopes of attracting a more regional student body.

After weathering the Civil War, the college’s administration considered further plans for growth. The college was located right downtown, near modern-day Route 59, but Plainfield was not then reachable by railroad and the administrators concluded they would do better in a railroad town.

After much research into various nearby towns and several deal-making discussions, North-Western College decided on Naperville which offered both land and money towards a new building. The cornerstone for Old Main was laid on May 17, 1870, and with extensive work, was completed in time for dedication by October 4 and the fall semester.

Cornerstone Day was especially celebratory in May of 1920 when the school celebrated the 50th anniversary of its move to Naperville. A few years later in 1926, the college’s name was changed once more, this time to “North Central” in order to avoid confusion with some college located in Evanston.

NCC continues to flourish, adding new buildings to the campus and new educational opportunities to the curriculum. For years, the college welcomed the entire community to a Cornerstone Day picnic in May, but the event was replaced with an awards reception in 2019 and then retired entirely. Even though no celebration was planned for 2020 and COVID-19 would have cancelled it anyhow, this year is a particularly special anniversary, so Happy 150th Cornerstone Day Anniversary, North Central College!

*A Time for Remembrance: History of 125 years of First Evangelical United Brethren Church, Naperville, Illinois

Naperville 1920 Flashback: The Kroehler Co. Baseball Team

Kate Gingold Host 0 57 Article rating: No rating
In May of 1920, Kroehler Manufacturing put together a baseball team for the Fox Valley Industrial League. The team reads like a “Who’s Who” of Naperville history including:

F.J. Wehrli – lived in the Pre-Emption house and raised 13 children there
Robert Shimp – his family had a local farm and some served in the fire department
Clarence and Albert Stenger – of the brewery family
Louis Germann – his family started with a harness business in the 1890s
Fred Yanke – Naperville firefighter
Henry Stoner – family started blacksmith shop in 1870s
James and Clarence Kroehler – nephews of Peter
Joe Haas – his brother Bert became a pro ball player
Ernest and William Voss – brother Julian ran for Police Magistrate
Elmer Otterpohl – the family had a butcher shop and sausage business
Leo Koppa – served in the fire department
Clarence and Frank Barley – Clarence was involved in building the YMCA
Fred Shupp, Ray Ballman and Jeff Burke are also listed. They were all Kroehler employees, but kept lower profiles, apparently, since there wasn't much to be found about them. Many of these men also served in World War I.

Peter Kroehler was wildly successful, but the company also weathered quite a few storms. Some storms were literal – like the 1913 tornado that destroyed the first 5th Avenue factory – and some were more figurative such as the Great Depression. Kroehler himself spent two months in the early 1900s quarantined with smallpox. But he continued developing new ways to run his business and build employee morale which resulted in enviable success and loyalty.

100 years later, our own businesses in these opening months of 2020 are facing both figurative storms and quarantine. Now it’s our turn to develop new ways to run our businesses and build employee morale so we can also be wildly successful.

By the way, the newly-formed Kroehler team faced the previous year's pennant winners for their very first game. You'll be happy to know that the Kroehler team won!

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Using Tech for Book Marketing

Don and Kate Gingold


Kate and husband Don have been building websites since 1996 for all sorts of clients, including authors.

As the Internet has evolved, producing books and marketing them has become much more complicated. Whether traditionally-published or self-published, authors today need to know their way around websites, blogging, social media and other online marketing tools.

Kate regularly writes about online marketing for Sprocket Websites and provides tips and techniques for entrepreneurs, small- to medium-business owners and not-for-profit directors. Since being an author today is not really different from being an entrepreneur with a small business, most of those tips are just as useful to authors.

Frequently Kate also writes about tips specific to authors, some of which are available here.

Just-for-Authors Website

Author Website

There are so many website options out there today. You can spend $10,000 or build one for free. And it's tough for most folks to figure out how much website they really need. 

Sprocket Websites put together an website package that provides a custom solution for an author's specific needs. We know what's important to successful book marketing so we made it easy to upload book images, summaries, reviews and of course, sales links. There's a calendar and a blog tool as well.

Check out all the details and you'll see why this is the perfect website for author success.

The Sprocket Report

The Sprocket Report is published every other week with Internet marketing tips, tools and techniques. The archive features articles from 2011 up to the present. You are welcome to read how business owners are using technology to market themselves and apply those tips to your author business.


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