Sweet Vintage B. A. Stevens Co. Large D Bowie Style Knife 100 Years Old SOLID
Item History and Pricing
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Unique among the many saloon equipment houses established late in the nineteenth century that earned national reputations serving the rapidly growing saloon trade, The B.A. Stevens Company of Toledo, Ohio, had a proprietary line of manufactured goods that were useful in a manner of diverse business fields. The firm s first order of business was the design and manufacture of large food and drink coolers and butcher s supplies. Increasingly, these products found acceptance in the saloon field, with The B.A. Stevens Company both a manufacturer and a distributor by adding other saloon equipment items to their proprietary offerings, rapidly becoming recognized as a full-service single-source purveyor to the saloon trade. Author Richard M. (Dick) Bueschel has, as he puts it, "spent a lot of time in pre-Prohibition saloons."; Naturally, this includes hands-on time in actual saloon locations across the country ("It's dirty work, but someone s got to do it."), but more to the point, it describes the thousands of hours of research and artifact finding that Dick has lavished on the unique and sorely underreported phenomenon of the short-lived American saloon, its ambience, equipment and sources of supply. Created only a dozen or so years before the war between the states (the American Civil War) by gold seekers in the West and a growing working class in the East, the American saloon became a haven for the laboring classes, an entertainment center for the lower echelons of the rapidly growing more monied middle classes and the entrepreneur s opportunity. Once the second largest field of individual commercial endeavor in the United States (only ma and pa grocery stores came first!) the saloon was eliminated as a business by law with the coming of Prohibition in January 1920.
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