The Spirit of ’76 Statue

June 16, 2018

By Janet Dodrill

Statue of Spirit of '76 by Archibald Willard (Schmitz family archives).

Statue of Spirit of ’76 by Archibald Willard (Schmitz family archives).

An unusual object has been passed down in the family – a “Spirit of ’76” statue. I had know little about it, even after showing it to three local auction houses, until one day a couple months ago. I believed it had been given to my great-grandfather, Hugo M. Schmitz, by Archibald Willard, the Ohio artist who painted the Spirit of ’76. The two met in the late 1800s and both attended and exhibited at Cleveland’s Art Club, of which Willard was president.

The porcelain statue measures approximately 11″ W x 12″ H and is hand-painted.

Because of my mention of it in my 2/27/2017 blog post, my image of the statue shows up in a Google search for “spirit of 76 statue,” which may be how a woman in Texas came to contact me regarding her similar statue. What are the odds?

The Spirit of '76 statue owned by the Texas woman, who contacted me in April, 2018.

The Spirit of ’76 statue owned by the Texas woman, who contacted me in April, 2018.

The woman sent photos and provided a link to the Bedford Historical Society, in Bedford, Ohio (Archibald Willard’s birthplace), who apparently also owns a statue and has a web page about the manufacturer. The page states that the statue was manufactured by the Bailey-Walker China company in 1926 (which became the Walker China company in 1942) of Bedford, Ohio. Her statue was almost identical to ours. And after a trip to the Bedford museum I was able to confirm that theirs was also the same. (I learned at the museum that Willard’s own father was the model for the center drummer figure.)

The Bedford Historical Society, in the historic former town hall building, Bedford, Ohio.

The Bedford Historical Society, in the historic former town hall building, Bedford, Ohio.

Additional information had been passed down to the Texas woman by her grandmother regarding her statue in a note which she shared with me. It said that Bailey-Walker China produced a limited edition of 100 of these statues, made of fine china, which sold for $40 a piece at the time, and some retailers offered them for $120. Some of the statues went to Europe.

However, now the idea that our statue had been given to my great-grandfather is in question because Archibald Willard died in 1918, eight years before the statue is known to have been produced. Was ours a prototype made years in advance of production? it is signed on the bottom, and the other two aren’t. That would explain things. Or was it given to my grandfather, Warren R. Schmitz, maybe by Mr. Willard’s family? Who acquired it from where, and when? These are questions from the past that are fun to unravel, as I continue to learn about it.

Spirit of '76 statue manufactured by the Bailey-Walker China company, owned and on display at the Bedford Historical Society, which I visited in April, 2018.

Spirit of ’76 statue manufactured by the Bailey-Walker China company, owned and on display at the Bedford Historical Society, which I visited in April, 2018.

The grandmother’s note also said that when those who possess the statue are known to each other it is hoped to cement a very warm and lasting friendship.

So far we know there are two in Ohio and one in Texas! Are there any more out there?

 

 

 

 

Copyright article and images. All rights reserved. Not to be used without permission.

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Advertisements

Former Schmitz-Horning Company Building Destroyed by Fire

January 24, 2017

By Janet Dodrill

schmitz-horning-company-cleveland-ohio-plant-about-1925

The Schmitz-Horning Company building, Cleveland, Ohio, about 1925. (Schmitz family archives)

In April 2011 when I began my research into family-owned Schmitz-Horning Company (Cleveland, Ohio, 1905-1960), a prominent high-end mural and wall covering manufacturer and printer (co-founded and run by my great-grandfather and later by my grandfather), two things happened. First, I discovered a black and white photograph of the building from around 1925 in our family documents. Second, after Googling the building’s address of 777 E. 82nd Street in Cleveland, search results showed it was being occupied by an industrial chemical company, and the building looked well maintained from the photo on Google street view.

777 E. 82nd Street, Cleveland, Ohio Photo: Google, 2007

777 E. 82nd Street, Cleveland, Ohio
Photo: Google, 2007

Excited about the find, it was my intention to go see the building. Several months rolled by and I Googled the business address again and many recent articles dated June 27, 2011 came up stating that an accidental fire had destroyed the building, most likely started by roofers, drawing 60 firefighters from 15 departments — a triple three alarm fire! Fortunately, no one was injured.

777 E. 82nd Street, Cleveland, Ohio Photo: Cleveland.com, June 27, 2011

Fire at 777 E. 82nd Street, Cleveland, Ohio
Photo: Cleveland.com, June 27, 2011

Initially, the owner announced plans to rebuild on the same site but renovated offices were built directly across the street in other facilities owned by the company. The site where the building once stood is today a lot for parking and storage of machinery and equipment.

Copyright article and images. All rights reserved. Not to be used without permission.

Save

Save

Save


Paul A. Meunier, Artist at Schmitz-Horning Company

August 22, 2016

By Janet Dodrill

Paul A. Meunier

Paul A. Meunier. Source: The Plain Dealer

Paul Alfred Meunier (1906-1978) was an artist who worked in the lithographic printing industry. He came to Cleveland to study art, studying at John Huntington Polytechnic Institute and at the Cleveland School of Art. For 11 years, he worked at Cleveland’s lithographic mural and wall decoration business, Schmitz-Horning Company, which was co-founded around 1905 by my great-grandfather, Hugo M. Schmitz, and later run by my grandfather, Warren R. Schmitz, beginning in 1938. They employed many area artists. During the time span that Paul worked there (1927-1938), Hugo Schmitz served as president and Warren as vice president. Two of Paul’s uncles also worked at Schmitz-Horning, Ovid (Otto) Meunier for 25 years, and Laurence Meunier (Ovid’s brother) for 7 to 10 years.

Paul A. Meunier served as R.E. May Inc. owner and president, 1938-1977. Source: RE May website (brochure, Plant Tour Thru R. E. May Inc.)

Paul A. Meunier served as R.E. May Inc. owner and president, 1938-1977. Source: R.E. May Inc. website

In 1938 he became owner president of R.E. May Inc. (after being established in 1937 by Richard E. May and following his unexpected death), a litho plate company located on E. 24th Street in Cleveland, until he sold the firm in 1977. The company is still in existence today. A favored Schmitz-Horning western mural (a small-scale version) was displayed in his office reception area, entitled Wells Fargo, a wall covering pattern that is in the collection of the Western Reserve Historical Society (Cleveland History Center). It was possibly donated to them by Paul Meunier.

Reception area at R.E. May Inc. hangs Schmitz-Horning mural, Wells Fargo Source: R.E. May website

Above reception area at R.E. May Inc. hangs Schmitz-Horning mural, Wells Fargo. Source: R.E. May website

Wells Fargo pattern, 5 sections, each 40" x 80".

Wells Fargo pattern, 5 sections, each 40″ x 80″.

I myself worked in the printing industry as a graphic artist in Cleveland in the late 1980s/early 1990s, and we would send negatives to R.E. May for printing plates. They had an excellent reputation even then, but I was unaware of the company’s history or the connection to my ancestors.

Originally from Hunting Valley, Ohio, Paul A. Meunier had a home studio in Gates Mills, and enjoyed painting and creating prints from nature and wildlife. He specialized in painting horses owned by residents of Gates Mills and Hunting Valley. Many of his paintings hang in the Chagrin Valley Hunt Club. He was trustee of Gates Mills Historical Society, and created historical maps of the area. He wrote, illustrated, and published the book, History of Gates Mills, Ohio 1805-1976, as well as contributed illustrations to several other books. One of his paintings hangs in the chamber room at Gates Mills city hall. He showed his work at the annual Gates Mills Art Show, and a special juried award was established in his name, for the art best representing life in Gates Mills.

He served in WWII as a lieutenant colonel.

His great-grandfather was noted Belgian painter and sculptor, Constantin Meunier, who has work owned by the Louvre.

Village of Gates Mills Map by Paul A. Meunier, 1938. Source: Aspire Auctions

Village of Gates Mills Map by Paul A. Meunier, 1938. Source: Aspire Auctions

Map detail. Source: Aspire Auctions

Map detail. Source: Aspire Auctions

paul-a-meunier-gates-mills-map-detail-edition

Map detail. Source: Aspire Auctions

R.E. May Inc. building 1960 Source: R.E. May Inc. website

R.E. May Inc. building approx. 1960. Source: R.E. May Inc. website

paul-a-meunier-re-may-google-2011

R.E. May Inc. building 2011. Source: Google

Holly and Her Friends, Paul A. Meunier, 1974, Aluminum print, 10 1/2" x 14 3/4". Source: Gray's Auctioneers & Appraisers, Liveautioneers.com

Holly and Her Friends, Paul A. Meunier, 1974, Aluminum print, 10 1/2″ x 14 3/4″. Source: Gray’s Auctioneers & Appraisers, Liveautioneers.com

Paul A. Meunier, watercolor or gouache floral painting, 1937, employed at the Schmitz-Horning Co. 1927-1938.

Paul A. Meunier, watercolor or gouache floral painting, 1937, employed at the Schmitz-Horning Co. 1927-1938.

paul-a-meunier-label-1937

Paul A. Meunier artwork label, 1937

Resources:

-The Plain Dealer, February 18, 1978 (Paul A. Meunier Obituary)
RE May Inc. website
-Gates Mills Art Show 2016 Program
Aspire Auctions
Gray’s Auctioneers & Appraisers, Liveautioneers.com
Google
-Schmitz family documents

Copyright article and images. All rights reserved. Not to be used without permission.

 

 

Save

Save

Save


Everything You Know About SEO Is Wrong, Sage Lewis

April 28, 2016

By Janet Dodrill

In an energetic presentation titled “Everything You Know About SEO Is Wrong” by Sage Lewis, given at The Web Association on April 19, 2016 at COSE in Cleveland, we were introduced to Google’s new RankBrain algorithm and other recent changes.

Sage Lewis is author of bestseller “Link Building is Dead. Long Live Link Building” and president of Sagerock.com, a digital marketing agency in Akron, Ohio.

According to Sage, the current most important factors for the ranking of Google’s search engine results are Content, and Links (link pointing), and now Google’s RankBrain algorithm.

RankBrain is Google’s new artificial intelligence machine that helps it process information to rank in search results. Previously at Google, humans taught machines how to interpret search data, but this machine teaches itself! It gives us the results it thinks humans want! Can this be entirely accurate?

Ultimately, he stressed, that the best way to be found online by Google and draw people in was to show love and passion for your business by expressing it through compelling content, such as relevant text, pictures, video, and use of social media like Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook Live, and others, which could help you to create a unique story.

Another change by Google, we were informed, is the elimination of side ads. This is for mobile device responsiveness. According to Sage, mobile searches have surpassed desktop searches. All ads are now in the regular location which is at the top of the main search results (and the increased ad purchase price brings in more money for Google). This may make things more difficult for small businesses to promote their products or services.

It was mentioned that a good way to get a small business noticed online is to setup a local business at Google.com/business. Also, before optimizing your site for SEO check Google to see who the competition is. Maybe consider a different angle or emphasis on your goods in order to stand out in a less saturated arena.

Sage co-hosts a live web cast Thursday at 3:15 p.m. ET called “The Tools”  where many social media tools and ways to market your product or business are discussed. One recent tool he shared with us is the ability to now live stream on Facebook. This is a free way to draw in an audience and promote your business!

Sage Lewis of SageRock.com, digital marketing agency in Akron, Ohio.

Sage Lewis of SageRock.com, digital marketing agency in Akron, Ohio.

Resource Links:

SageRock, Inc.
www.sagerock.com

The Tools
www.thetools.tv

The Web Association
www.webassociation.org

How do I share a live video on Facebook?
www.facebook.com/help/1636872026560015
To start a live broadcast from your personal Timeline.

Get your business hours, phone number, and directions on Google Search and Maps — with Google My Business.
www.google.com/business

Sage Lewis engages the audience at The Web Association.

Sage Lewis engages the audience at The Web Association.

Sage Lewis discussed Google's RankBrain algorithm.

Sage Lewis discussed Google’s RankBrain algorithm.

Three most important things for Google search engine ranking.

Three most important things for Google search engine ranking.

COSE in Cleveland, Ohio.

COSE in Cleveland, Ohio.


Google Cultural Institute

April 29, 2015

By Janet Dodrill

Schmitz-Horning Co. Sierras wall mural

Sierras (1913-14) by the Schmitz-Horning Co., Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.

Have you been to the Google Cultural Institute? The Google Art Project section is a diverse collection of art, and there are Historic Moments and World Wonders sections to explore too. The art is searchable by collections, artists, artworks, and user galleries.

In my search on information regarding my great-grandfather’s wallpaper and mural business, the Schmitz-Horning Co., I found four of the company’s mural art samples in Google’s Art Project, which are in the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum at the Smithsonian.

Google Chrome browser has a Google Art Project extension which adds a tab that is refreshed everyday (hourly according to one source) with art masterpieces. You can learn more about the image or download it to use on your computer desktop!

Google Art Project Chrome browser extension

Google Art Project Chrome browser extension

The Google Cultural Institute also enables you to create your own galleries and share with friends. There is also a Featured section of exhibitions and collections. A couple I viewed were the Struggle Ink Exhibiton of public poster art and the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

If you need inspiration or to brighten your day, visit the site! Links in the header allow you to take a tour or watch a video to get started!

Resources:

Google Cultural Institute, www.google.com/culturalinstitute

Smashing Magazine, Smashing Newsletter #133, www.smashingmagazine.com



Away at College Then and Now

October 9, 2012

By Janet Dodrill

Then: call home collect only in emergencies – – Now: unlimited calling

Then: say goodbye to your old friends for the quarter or semester and try to contact them when you get home  – – Now: Skype or text them or post to their wall on Facebook or follow them on Twitter

Then: carpool with strangers to get home for the holidays and split the gas – – Now: take a Megabus home for $5-$30

Then: buy a bunch of maps and learn your way around the college town – – Now: Use a navigator or GPS system to find your location or destination

Then: run out of gas, walk to a gas station, rent a gas can, walk back to the car, return the gas can to the station – – Now: call AAA from your car on your cell phone and let them do the rest

Then: go to the library to research every subject, idea or question; interview people – – Now: Google everything from your computer, smartphone or tablet

Anything else? There’s probably an app for it!

Do you get the idea?