Just when you think you have a handle on H. H. Warner, something else turns up that surprises you about the extent of his business involvement. I have recounted his initial business success with fireproof safes and his phenomenal success in the patent medicine business. This is contrasted with his failures in various mining ventures. It appears that Warner also had his fingers in other businesses, to wit the Eureka Spund Apparatus Company of Rochester.
This letter came from Jack Stecher’s collection and is a real gem. Now, I have no idea what the Eureka Spund Apparatus Company made, but the letter suggests that it has something to do with the brewing industry. The letterhead lists H. H. Warner as President and Albert S. Sidelow as Secretary. Perhaps as important as Warner’s name was the watermark on the letterhead, the Warner’s Safe Remedies Building (also known as the Warner’s Safe Yeast Company Building). Warner’s name and building on the letterhead were undoubtedly intended to convey the message that Eureka Spund had good standing, effectively an endorsement. This letter was sent out in 1890 as the Warner empire was reaching its zenith. Warner had served as the first president of the Rochester Chamber of Commerce in 1887. Warner knew the importance of leveraging his patent medicine prowess and Eureka Spund is a perfect example.
I googled “Eureka Spund” and came up empty. Jack speculates that it was short-lived and may have fallen victim to Warner’s financial collapse in 1893. Unlike the Eureka Spund Apparatus Company, the recipient of the letter, the Eberhardt & Ober Brewing Company, is not lost to history and was apparently a significant Pennsylvania brewer. Indeed, Penn State University has a collection of Eberhardt & Ober records between 1882 and 1906.
If you have any information on Eureka Spund, please let me know and I will supplement this post. Also, I would welcome any other examples of Warner letterhead that markets products other than patent medicine.