One Hundred Fountain Formulas. Contributed by the Most Successful Dispensers in America
by [J. H. Barker & Company]
Brooklyn: Published by J. H. Barker & Company, 1897. Small oblong (12.5 x 15.5 cm.), 69, [iii] pages; with red titling, and sixteen full-page black & white plates (scenes of cocoa and sugar harvesting, processing, and distribution). Includes index to formulas and list of contributors. Illustrated advertisements. First edition. A practical, compact handbook for soda fountain operators, and at the same time a promotional collection whose recipes serve effectively as both individual expressions of pride and as testimonials from satisfied customers. It should be clarified that, although J. H. Barker & Co. was a supplier of fountain chocolate and rock candy syrup, the recipes sent in as expressions of satisfaction are not necessarily, however, limited to cocoa powder- or sugar cane-based formulas. Among them, for the initiated: Windsor Spray (from Rochester); Crushed Cherries (from New Orleans); Swiss Peach (from Louisville); Orgeat Syrup (from Washington, D.C.); Nerve Tonic (from Philadelphia); Port Sangaree (from Detroit); Cinisaya (from Indianapolis); Leghorn Chocolate (from St. Paul); Herculine (from Memphis). ~ Joseph H. Barker (1838-1897), a native of Baltimore, had founded in 1883, with his brother-in-law Charles Chamberlaine, what became a well-known firm supplying rock candy and syrup. In 1890 the firm originated a soluble cocoa powder which it successfully marketed to the drug store soda trade. At this juncture, the fountain chocolate industry had come under attack on charges of "adulteration" - a circumstance explicitly addressed following the preface, and one that very likely helps to explain why the public relations gambit was undertaken when it was. An increasingly attentive public had become aware of unscrupulous vendors who had added crushed cacao shells, potato starch, and even clay brick powder to cocoa products. Unable to weather the new scrutiny and criticism, Barker died suddenly ("of apoplexy"), while dining at his partner's home, just as One Hundred Fountain Formulas went to press. Eventually such scandals led to regulations beginning with the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906. But by this time the Barker Company had not weathered well, and its "succession" by the Knickerbocker Chocolate Company was announced in June 1904; it would be led eventually by President Charles Chamberlaine. Regardless of Barker's sad end, his products seemed well-liked by many. Here are just two of one hundred fifty testimonials from twenty-eight states, published in the February 1898 issue of The Druggists Circular and Chemical Gazette: ~ "Baker's products Vincennes, Ind. January 14, 1898. Gentlemen: The soda water season of 1898 will soon be on. Please let me know your lowest price on your Fountain Chocolate. I used it at my fountain during the year 1897, and everybody pronounced it the finest in taste and flavor that they had ever drank [sic]: in fact it was the town talk and did much to double our soda trade over any former year. I think it superior to much I have used at a higher price. Respectfully H.J. Watjen." ~ "Greenville, Ala. January 14, 1898. Gentlemen: Your Fountain Chocolate was dispensed from our soda fountain last season and gave entire satisfaction to the trade. We expect to continue using the J.H. Barker & Co. brand. I also use J.H. Barker & Co.'s Rock Candy Syrup, and find it unexcelled in weight and purity. Yours truly, E.M. Kirkpatrick." ~A few dog-eared pages, one checkmark in pencil, else clean and attractive. Internally near fine, in lightly soiled beige wrappers printed in red and silver. Rare. [OCLC locates one copy, University of Michigan; an edition of a copy dated 1899 (and with different pagination) is held on microfilm by the University of Chicago Libraries]. (Inventory #: 5088)
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