Friday, May 7, 2010


These have no company name, but a patent search reveals they were invented by Hans Kanoffsky of Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1921 and patented in 1925.  He also patented it in Canada that same year.  His idea was to have flexible buttons that would stand up to use and washing and ironing and be flexible.  Well, these are no longer flexible, but they have outlived Mr Kanoffsky!

I found Hans and wife, Martha Wallschlaeger, on the 1930 Milwaukee census.  They were both 50 years old and had been married for 10 years (Martha was actually 5 years older).  He was born in Bavaria and she in Wisconsin.  He immigrated in 1892 and was naturalized.  He was a chemist with his own shop and she was a department store artist.  I didn't find either of them in the Social Security Death Index or at Find-A-Grave.

Note the cigarettes on both cards.  Why is it that men are always portrayed with a stink-weed from the '20's through the '50's?  Is it supposed to be sophisticated?  Devil-may-care?  Urbane?  Note the half-closed eyes of #2.  He is trying very hard to look cool.  #1 is laughing, but won't be in 30 years when his face looks like an old shoe.

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