Many household products
designed to make life easier and provide the basics for daily
living have been manufactured in Nebraska.
Back row, L. to R.: Peerless Brass
Washboard, Wright & Wilhelmy Co., Omaha; American Clothesline
Stretcher, Lincoln; Hydrozo Water Repellent Coating, Hydrozo
Waterproof Coatings Co., Lincoln.
Front row, L. to R.: Blue Barrel Laundry Soap, Haskins
Bros., Omaha; Paintall Products, United Paint Mfg., Lincoln;
Superior Washing Machine, Demo Model made by Charles Mason; Hydrozo
inventor E. E. Blackman and pottery sherds; Wheel Chair Model
by F. W. Cowles, 1869-1871; Cradle Crib Swing Model by F. W.
Hydrozo water repellent coatings were invented by former state
archeologist E. E. Blackman. Blackman discovered the substance
on prehistoric pottery sherds and after years of research and
study he was able to reproduce the resin as Hydrozite. He then
perfected a liquid formula. Production began in 1910. The company
was shut down during World War I but was reorganized in the 1930s.
The company remained in business in Lincoln until 1994, when
it consolidated with Thoro System Products of Bristol, Pennsylvania.
Inventor Francis Cowles of Nebraska City created a model for
a combination baby-jumper, baby walker, swing, clothes rack,
highchair, stool, crib, and rocking cradle. The patent was issued
in 1885. Cowles also designed a wheelchair between 1869 and 1871.
Founded in 1880 by O. V. Eaton, the Lincoln Pottery Works remained
an important Lincoln industry until 1902. The factory, located
in the South Bottoms neighborhood, produced a variety of stoneware
products including crocks, churns, vases, preserve jars, pitchers,
and many other vessel types.
William Gray of Lincoln designed an improved pressure cooker
in 1908 that was sold under the trade name "Perfection Cooker."
It was manufactured in Omaha.
Frank J. Richtig of Clarkson, a blacksmith by trade, experimented
with aluminum alloys until he came up with a knife that could
easily cut through thick steel bars. Richtig produced most of
his knives between 1935 and 1950, but he continued to make a
few at home until his death in 1977.
Company of Lincoln had its beginnings around 1917and manufactured
Fireless cookers. The company diversified and produced airplane
parts, bomb shelters, v-belts used by Goodyear, lawn-care implements,
and test kitchen equipment. One of the company's best known products
was the walking sprinkler. In 1985 the company was bought by
TMCO, Inc., which still produces the walking sprinkler. Walking Sprinkler courtesy: National
Upper left: German
immigrant Joseph Steiner founded the Deshler Broom Factory in
1890 and the Deshler firm soon became known as the world's largest
broom factory. Production peaked during the 1930s, when workers
hand-wound more than sixteen thousand natural-fiber brooms per
day. The factory closed in 1998.
Upper right: John "Jack" Teysman established the Lincoln
Art Glass Company in 1919, specializing in church windows. Teysman
operated his studio at 2129 K Street in Lincoln from 1925 until
his death in 1940.
Bottom: Walter D. Behlen of Columbus started Behlen Manufacturing
in 1935. Steel toecaps for the wooden shoes made by the Reece
Wooden Sole Shoe Company, also in Columbus, were an early product.
The company went on to manufacture lid fasteners, dental clasps,
and corncribs, but its most popular products were frameless farm
buildings and grain bins that changed the farm landscape forever.