Hammond History


An early "billboard", painted on the wall of a large downtown Hammond building. It was commonplace to construct a building and just use the existing wall of the building next door. This was before "fire codes" came into existence requiring a separate wall to be constructed.

Only afterwards did it occur to advertisers that they could promote their business by building stand alone "bill boards"
and you did not need them on the side of a building. This concealed ad is still in downtown Hammond, buried by the new building.

Mail Pouch Tobacco (image 1907) built its business by advertising on the sides of buildings, including barns in rural areas. In exchange, advertisers would agree to paint the rest of the wall and, perhaps, put an ad up to promote the owner's business, as well.

The same picture taken in 1910 shows that the painted sign now reads
"Uneeda Biscuit" for Long's Hall. Plus, Minas has added a water tower
for fire protection, a sign that they were growing and becoming more successful.


The development of a sewer infrastructure in early Hammond, meant that water and sewer was becoming part of the Hammond household.  It would only stand to reason that Hammond businesses would be involved in the plumbing business.  Here, at 287 Sibley in 1920 has the John Q. Donaldson company so busy they have to store their plumbing and heating fixtures on the curb.

The truck on the left, is an electric truck. The truck is powered by four 60V 200 AMP GE electric motors. One on each wheel. Each motor should produce 16 hp for a total of 64 hp. The truck is geared out to 12 MPH.

The  delivery  truck was very popular in early Hammond.
E.C. Minas made it easy to purchase household goods and have them delivered to your home.


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"...a truly historical method requires us to take all the historical evidence into account..."
Robert M. Grant - University of Chicago