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A Short History of the Heatilator Fireplace

September 22nd, 2017 · 1 Comment

The inventiveness of the 20th century left us with many viable, yet overlooked, genius brands. One such brand is the Heatilator, a fireplace heating system that gets more efficiency and safety out of the fireplace. Heatilator was created in 1927, and it was a simple idea of making a cast iron wood stove look like […]

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Tags: Energy

How America’s Tastiest Pot Pies Disappeared: A History of Morton Frozen Foods

August 10th, 2015 · 15 Comments

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky – An entire generation of Americans recognize the venerable Morton Frozen Foods brand, remembering fondly its many products ranging from pot pies to honey buns. Despite humble origins in an abandoned Louisville church basement, Morton grew to become one of the nation’s premier manufacturers of frozen foods in the mid-20th century. Although Morton […]

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Tags: Grocery

Remmie Arnold Pen Sign Restored in Petersburg

January 5th, 2014 · No Comments

PETERSBURG, Va. –  For those who love writing instruments, the restoration of the identity of a pen company is welcome. In Petersburg, Virginia, right on the main drag, the Remmie Arnold pen sign has been a key landmark in that historic Virginia city. I have a personal interest in it, as I remember my grandmother […]

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Tags: News

Use an Old Logo for a New Campaign

April 4th, 2013 · No Comments


The logo uses the school’s green and gold colors, so it appears to fit with the current look quite well. Even better, it will probably sell well at the gift shop.

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Tags: News

Richfood Going Bye Bye?

May 20th, 2012 · 3 Comments

RICHMOND – We hear that the much beloved Richfood store brand is disappearing. Richfood was, for most of the 20th century, the dominant grocery name in Virginia; its dairy complex along I-95 in Richmond promoted ubiquitous Richfood milk to anyone driving up and down the East Coast. A friend in Richmond tells me that the […]

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Tags: Grocery

Tidewater Motor Oil, Washed Up at Cracker Barrel

January 18th, 2011 · 2 Comments

MATHEWS, Va. – For brand archaeologists, the best dig site is Cracker Barrel. They are fascinating museums of America’s business history, not to mention their gift shops filled with old-time brands. Here pictured in a restaurant near Jacksonville, Florida are cans of Tidewater Long Wearing Motor Oil. We thank Catesby Jones of Peace Frogs for […]

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Tags: Energy · Regional Brands

Archaeology, A Dependable Method to Build Tourism

March 22nd, 2010 · 3 Comments

Israel does it. Virginia does it. Britain does it. Italy does it. They even do it on Marco Island, where old native Calusa artifacts helps to define an image of the city, and the Southwest Florida kingdom that they used to rule. It’s archeology, and it’s a very under-used weapon in tourism and place-branding. Most […]

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Tags: Tourism

History of Dill’s Best and Dill’s Pipe Cleaners

January 7th, 2010 · 14 Comments

One of the oldest extant American tobacco brands is Dill’s. J.G. Dill was once a great Virginia tobacco company, known worldwide for its Dill’s Best pipe tobacco. While as far as we know the tobacco brand Dill’s does not survive, Dill’s Premium Pipe Cleaners, known by their yellow and red package, do live on. J.G. […]

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Tags: Tobacco

Woman’s Exchange Brands and Entrepreneurship

September 1st, 2009 · No Comments

We are fascinated by the whole idea of the woman’s exchange movement, which started in the 1830s to allow “nice” women to sell goods on consignment to make spending money. In an age when there were few jobs for women and working outside the home had a stigma, this was a revolution. Through the years, […]

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Tags: Made in USA · Non-profit Brands

National Drive In Revival Begins Here?

July 26th, 2009 · No Comments

GOOCHLAND, VA – There aren’t too many drive-ins left, but some thrive. We can think specifically of Hull’s Drive In of Lexington, Virginia, where a community comes together summer nights to watch movies in their car. Hull’s almost closed, but the community rallied round, and saved the theater. There are many cases like this around […]

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Tags: Media · News