Lost Advertisements—1870s “Buy your Base Ball Supplies”

1 May

west&co

This advertisement from around 1870 was for West & Co., a book and stationery business founded by Henry Harris West in 1857.  West was instrumental in forming the first post-Civil War team in Milwaukee.  The Milwaukee Cream Citys were organized in October of 1865, with West serving as the team’s first president.

The Cream Citys were a dominant amateur team in 1866 and ’67, playing in Wisconsin and Illinois—although they lost

By the time this ad appeared the Cream Citys had declined in stature.  They joined the National Association of Base Ball Players (NABBP) in 1868, and while remaining an amateur team, were  badly beaten by quasi-professional teams, losing 67-13 to Brooklyn Atlantics and 43-16 to the Unions of Morrisania (South Bronx).

When openly professional clubs were admitted to the NABBP in 1869, things got even worse for the Cream Citys, they were beaten 85-7 and 84-17 by the Cincinnati Red Stockings in two July games.

Milwaukee would have its first fully professional team in 1877 when the West End club joined the League Alliance.

West died in 1893; the company would eventually be renamed H.H. West & Co. The  East Water Street headquarters was destroyed by fire the following year.

H. H. West & Co., 1870s

H. H. West & Co., 1870s

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