1/11/12

CHOCOLATE...that's all I need to say


I have no idea where or when this photo of a young lady selling sweets was taken.

Click on image to see it larger.

The pennant behind her reads:
Gottmann & Kretchmer
Surinam
Chicago
Chocolates
and “Upon Honor” Sweets
I find very little about this candy company other than what I provide below from the Cook County, Illinois Genealogy site:
GOTTMANN, Theodore
Partnered with Ernest A. Morris and Theodore GOTTMANN, all former employees of M. SHIELDS & CO. in new firm of E. A. MORRIS & CO. at 194 South Clinton Street March 25, 1887
Moved to 85 West Jackson Street 1888
Changed firm name to MORRIS & GOTTMAN 1894
Moved to 158 West Jackson Street
Morris sold interest to Martin KRETCHMER and firm changed name to GOTTMANN & KRETCHMER at 158 West Jackson Street 1903-1904Ad: "158 W. Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois, is where the celebrated SurinamChocolates are manufactured. They are delicious "bitter sweet" and a big seller. A full line of Novelties in new penny goods always on hand. GOTTMAN & KRETCHMER" Page 40 (Ad), 83, 123
I have found that Martin Kretchmer did go on to found another company in 1914 called The American Licorice Company. You might be interested in reading about this company because of the following:
"That same year the firm was asked by comedian Charlie Chaplin to create a licorice shoe as a prop for his classic film The Gold Rush, in which his character eats shoe leather to avoid starvation."
The only image I found online regarding Gottmann & Kretchmer is this pennant for sale in 2005.


That's it. A chocolate company from the past. Gives me pause...and a hankerin' for a big piece of chocolate.

This is my contribution to this weeks Sepia Saturday. On theme? Nope, unless you're thinking the thin thread is about something some women crave. Me, I crave chocolate, not hats.

28 comments:

  1. I crave chocolate too - but I'm rationed on what I can have.
    Interesting to see the amount of info you found from the wording on the pennant.

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  2. Ah the power of suggestion - I had to go and find those chocolate coins left over from my Christmas stocking - bang goes the diet. ‘Upon my honor’?

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  3. Fine research! Interesting photo.

    One thing I always ask myself about a found photograph is "Why was it taken?"

    Chocolate - Hats; Hats - Chocolate. I don't know. I can't make up my mind.

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  4. Indeed, why was this shot taken? Was she the photographer's sweetheart? Someone from the company want a shot of one of their vendors? Sadly nothing is written on the back of the photo. And I am stunned that nothing much exists online about the company. There were a few things like chocolate boxes that had been for sale on eBay but no longer showed the posts. Perhaps in time someone will find the post and provide more information.

    I sit writing this with a cup of hot chocolate on my desk made from chocolate. No mix-with-water cocoa for me.

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  5. I hardly wear hats but frequently eat chocolate.

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  6. Ohhhhh, a chocolate hat. Wouldn't that be something to see? Imagine the had in Alan's prompt done in dark, milk, and white chocolate. How grand.

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  7. That is a fascinating photo. It's not a staged store photo, as for a postcard, looks quite spontaneous. Good research on the shop history, too.

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  8. I very much enjoyed reading what you found out about the chocolate company. There's a square of Ghirardelli calling my name, so I'm off.

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  9. Interesting, I didn't know there were cacao plantations in Surinam.

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  10. I love hats, I do, but when I saw the word "chocolate" at the SS blog, I rushed right over. I am passionate about chocolate!
    Fabulous photo!

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  11. I got a box of chocolates for Christmas, but it is gone already. the licorice shoe sounds interesting.

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  12. I was actually thrilled to find about Chaplin and the licorice shoe because I've always wondered how he ate the thing. Little piece of ephemera taught me something.

    Yeah, Christmas chocolates are looooooooong gone.

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  13. I love the idea of a licorice shoe. The photo is very interesting, with a fingerprint, and an odd perspective from down below. I used to have a chocolate shop, and I'm afraid it somewhat ruined chocolate for me.

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  14. You've confirmed what I imagined. My folks considered buying a candy store in the mid-60s. We joked that we'd never again want to eat candy. I'm glad they didn't buy it because chocolate has gotten me through a lot of jobs. Get annoyed with an author...eat chocolate. Have an annoying editor trying to pull too many strings...grab some chocolate.

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  15. Hahaha! When I first looked, I thought that was a ceramic head ornament on a shelf (minus hat) ! Chocolate was a good alternative...

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  16. This photo is lovely- but makes me crave chocolate! What a great find!

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  17. licorice shoes!!!! Yummy!

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  18. Wow, absolutely interesting information, and that picture is just too cool! Funny at the same time!

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  19. Who knew that the shoe the Tramp ate was licorice! I'll have to go watch the movie again and have a closer look.

    My great-grandfather had a confectionery/tobacco shop. I have one very poor photo of the inside of the shop. I wonder if he sold Gottmann & Kretchmer chocolates.

    As for me, forget the hats: I'll take chocolate. I worked at a chocolate store over Christmas (and gained a few pounds!). If I worked there for 10 years I would not get tired of that chocolate! And how, exactly, is it that one can eat 2 ounces of chocolate and gain a pound?!

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  20. I've said it before and I'll say it again...I'm so glad I lived long enough for chocolate to become a health food!

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  21. It's on theme and even if its not, who cares. It's a great old image and a fine bit of research - perfect ingredients for a Sepia Saturday post.

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  22. Excellent. Now, where did I put my Green and Black?

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  23. I would take chocolate too. I liked this post since I love any kind of history. Didn't know about the licorice show. What an education SS can be. WooHoo love it.
    QMM

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  24. The photo and detective work are great but the comments are just as entertaining too!

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  25. Returning from yesterday because Blogger has vanished my post comments...so yet again looking and salivating for quality chocolate just like yesterday!! The lady at the counter looks smugly satisfied, likely she's had a chocolate fix!

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  26. An excellent photo and interesting what you can find from a tiny bit of information. I would have "gobbled up" that photo too!

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  27. Loving it!!
    Reminds me when I went as a kid to buy my candies at the local confiserie, in a more contemporary setting (1960s). But the mood is the same: a large counter and a smiling face above...
    :)~
    HUGZ

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  28. Anonymous1/14/2013

    I found an old crate that says Surinam Chocolates (Second To None) Theodore Gottmann & Sons Chicago U.S.A. I was wondering if someone could tell me the years they were in business?

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