Saturday, December 28, 2013

Miss C. H. Lippincott was a Crackerjack Entrepreneur!

When I read in this article that Miss Lippincott planned the 1897 year's mailing would be 250,000 catalogs I had to rethink the size of her business! 
I need to know more about her and the mystery man, Mr. Haines.  Was he a puppet master, and she the pretty face on a clever business plan?  Or was she truly the "Crackerjack Entrepreneur" we are intended to believe.   Enquiring minds want to know! Not to mention, snoopy minds!!  to be continued....

I find her covers the sappiest of those I have seen.  My Gram gave me some of her baby books and this sugary style was quite the thing at the end of the 19th century.  (The artwork below was also the image on her seed packets.  Landreth Seed Company's cool Newsletter mentions the Miss Lippincott was the first to produce this sort of decorative packet. The simple plain paper envelope with the name of the contents was the norm. I know which one my hand would reach for!)

Gram's Oatmeal Cookies - the start of this seed journey.

There is a tie-in here to seeds, really.

It is Christmas season and I got out Gram's old black and white spotted school book to find her recipes.  I made her fruitcake (which must have weighed 10 pounds and my husband and I ate it already!) and I plan to make her oatmeal cookies for New Years Day.

Anyway, while I was looking at her recipes I wondered where another pile of Grammy ephemera had gotten to. I haven't found it yet but in it is a folded and flattened envelope with her scrawl on it, filled with some mystery seeds she never identified.  That must have been in my mind somewhere because later in the day I was messing around on the web and found myself chasing after seed packets and seed catalogs from my grandmother's era.  Born in 1889, she passed on to me her interest in gardening, rug hooking, and saving "bit and pieces".  While I don't have Gram's attic to poke around in anymore the internet makes a great substitute.  I hope you have fun following me finding seed related bits and pieces as I explore Gram's world.

If you want her saved recipe, check it out here.  It won 1st Prize at the County Fair it says!