Sapolio Advertising Novelties - Crazy Patchwork
In 1885, SAPOLIO soap maker Enoch Morgan’s Sons Company ran some newspaper ads asking What is Sapolio? An answer to this question, and a pattern of crazy patchwork in colors, with hundreds of neat and artistic stitches, will be sent to any address on receipt of a one-cent stamp by WM. DREYDOPPEL, 208 N. Front St., PHILADELPHIA. Sole Agent for Morgan's Sapolio in Philadelphia.
In 1886, Enoch offered advertising novelties sent free on receipt of return postage. In order to advertise SAPOLIO more widely than ever, we will send any one of the following articles (of course containing our advertisement) on receipt of a two-cent stamp for return postage. Please write name and address distinctly.
DOMINOS. A full set of wooden dominos – very neat.
CRAZY PATCHWORK. A sample sheet of patterns in colors, with nearly 200 stitches of the simplest but most effective character. Very valuable to ladies interested in making crazy patchwork.
AN EASY TASK. An illustrated alphabet in book form – 16 pages, neatly executed. It furnishes an excellent series of studies in outline drawing for the children.
Above are several ads along with an image of the CRAZY PATCHWORK sheet. The chromo is from the Art Needlework Department of Barr Dry Goods of St. Louis. Below is the text from that sheet:
Crazy Patchwork is the joining together, in odd and original designs, of irregular pieces of silk, velvet, satin, plush or ribbon of different colors and patterns, by silk threads of various colors.
In making crazy patchwork a foundation of muslin is generally used, and different pieces turned under at the edges are placed on this foundation, matching them together (as nearly as possible) in the shapes they happen to be, the beauty being the irregular pattern when finished. The edges are then sewed together and to the foundation by invisible stitches, then the fancy stitches are placed along and across the lines where the different pieces come together. These stitches should be of various colors and designs and should form a contrast to the colors on which they are worked, as the beauty of the work when finished depends largely on the ingenuity and variety of stitches used.
It is advisable in arranging the irregular pieces, not to make too great a contrast in colors, as for instance a very dark piece should not be put next to a very light one, nor should pieces be put together that do not harmonize in color. A little judgment displayed in this respect will add greatly to the effectiveness of the work when completed.
In making quilts or other large pieces, the patchwork is first arranged and finished in blocks about ten inches square. These blocks being afterwards joined together on a suitable foundation, after which the whole is usually enclosed by a wide border of plush, velvet, or satin, which adds greatly to its attractiveness.
The greatest scope of fancy is allowed in decorating the fancy pieces, and designs of every kind in the range of imagination from a Spider’s Web to an owl, and from a Kate Greenaway figure to a wheelbarrow are often worked into the patches with a needle.
The beautiful and unique variety of stitches given in our colored plate, and in the review, is a selection of the best after a careful revision of thousands by one of the leading Artists of the Society of Decorative Art. By taking a part of one stitch and combining it with a part of another stitch the variety can be indefinitely increased.
- Top Row: New England (same ad used in The Christian Union), Barr’s Chromo, The Century (similar ad used in Peterson’s Magazine)
- Bottom Row: US Postal, Harper’s Weekly(top), Sunday School Journal (bottom), Good Housekeeping (Frank Leslie and Peterson’s Magazine also used the ‘Moral’ ad)
- The Times from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, January 16, 1885; Page 4
- Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, October 16, 1886; Volume 63, Page 144
- Good Housekeeping, 1886; Volume 3 (ad section)
- Harper’s Weekly, 1886; Volume 30, Page 416
- Peterson’s Magazine 1886; Volume 90, Back Cover Aug 1886 Vol XC No 2, page 186 is the last numbered page before back cover)
- Peterson’s Magazine 1886; Volume 90, Inside Front Cover Sep 1886 Vol XC No 3 page 187 is the next numbered page)
- Sunday School Journal for teachers and Young People, July 1886; Volume XVIII, No. 7, Inside front cover
- The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine, 1886; Volume 31 (Page 988, ad section)
- The Christian Union, December 3, 1885; Volume 32, Number 23, Page 36
- The New England Magazine and Bay State Monthly, 1886 (ad section)
- United States Official Postal Guide, 1886; Ad Page 79
A bit about Sapolio:
- Sapolio was manufactured by Enoch Morgan's Sons Co., established in 1809.
- World’s best at advertising between 1884 and 1910 – once on top, decided they didn’t need to advertise anymore – led to their demise as market leader within a couple of years.
- Enoch started making Sapolio in 1869, used to make candles; Still in existence today – in Peru.
- Several companies tried to copy the packaging design/coloring for their products, and were sued.
- Grocers often substituted cheaper goods for Sapolio to make a better profit.
- The Barr’s chromo ad is in my collection. The photo was provided by Michael Buehler of Boston Rare Maps due to the delicate nature of the item.
- Ad sources – some in my collection, most found in Hathi Trust’s Digital Library.
- Advertising novelties the Dominos and An Easy Tasks booklet are in my collection.