Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Ricksecker's Perfumes

Theodore Ricksecker of New York City and Hoboken, NJ.The Ricksecker family established themselves in Dover, Ohio. Theodore Ricksecker eventually became a resident of Brooklyn and a druggist in New York City in the mid-1800s.




He is credited to have been the first American to establish a perfumery company, launching his first fragrance in 1868. Over the decades, he became renowned for his rich spice and floral fragrances in perfumes and colognes. His use of pottery and glass, in a variety of shapes, colors, techniques, and sizes were part of the appeal -- then, as is now for collectors.

In 1889, as an exhibitor in the Universal Exposition in Paris, he won a silver medal for one of his exhibits. Some rare Ricksecker perfume bottles are made up of porcelain, many of these pieces have delicate hand painting and little corks or metal crown stoppers. Even rarer are the perfumes in colorful end of day glass bottles.


The Theo. Ricksecker Co.  74 Reade Street New York. Established 1868. Incorporated 1896.

  • Theo Ricksecker, President 
  • A Ward Brigham, Vice President 
  • Frank B Marsh, Secretary and Treasurer 



Pharmaceutical Record and Weekly Market Review, Volume 10, 1890:
"Among Some of the Perfumers. At this season of the year there is always considerable activity in this branch of trade, and the various new patterns, novelties, and articles that have been in preparation, are now before the trade for the holiday purchases. Ricksecker odors have a splendid reputation for quality, and the styles in which they are offered, are chaste and unique, as to elicit complimentary mention at all times. But just now some new holiday styles even excel all previous patterns and make them sought more eagerly than ever." 

Merck Report, Volume 2, 1893:
"THEO RICKSECKER NEW YORK 
Theodore Ricksecker, one of our most popular manufacturers of perfumery was born in Dover, Tuscarawas Co., Ohio in 1846 and received his education in the public schools in that town. He commenced his business career in New York in 1863. In 1868 he established a druggist's sundries business at 28 Beekman Street in partnership with Mr. Waters under the firm name of Waters & Ricksecker. In 1876, Mr. Waters retired and Mr Ricksecker moved his business to William Street and confined himself to the manufacture of perfumery and toilet goods. EXHIBIT AT THE WORLD'S FAIR Meeting with remarkable success, he found it necessary three years ago to have more extensive premises and now occupies the six story building 58 Maiden Lane.
Mr. Ricksecker is thoroughly original in his ideas and methods. He is also a clever artist and designer. This is seen not only in his ability to create new and effective blendings of odors, but in the various bottles, boxes, labels, marks and advertising show cards, all of which designs emanate from his fertile brain.
Mr. Ricksecker has made many business trips to Europe visiting the leading laboratories, and making a thorough study of the soil and climate of the southern provinces of France, where are situated the leading flower farms. His assistants past and present are skilled manipulators from some of the oldest and most noted perfumery houses of the world. He has a branch factory in Montreal Canada, a resident agent in Chicago, one in London, and one also in Europe and Australia. One of his agents has just returned from his second tour around the world.
Among his notable perfumes we mention as specialties: Spanish Jessamine, Floral Echoes, Golden Gate, White Clover, Edgewood Violet, Florida Breeze and Martha Washington. The last which is a bouquet perfume is the most popular of them all. His special colognes are Lilac, Sweet Clover, Violet, Lavender, and Neroli, and the latest 93.
Ricksecker's Skin Soap which is a neutral vegetable toilet soap (bleaches white) without perfume has met with great favor everywhere. A statuette of a Clean Boy standing in a tub and holding a cake of  the soap above his head is no doubt a familiar advertisement to our readers. This also was his own design.

Mr. Ricksecker's perfumery exhibit at the World's Fair has been given the post of honor at the main entrance to the Manufactures Building, north end. The sale of perfumery was limited by the management to two syndicates, exclusively one of which was to sell souvenirs, and the other, perfumes by the popular slot machines. Although unsought by Mr. Ricksecker both syndicates selected his as the only perfumes to be sold at the Fair so that these goods enjoy beside the post of honor of position, the advertisement given by two hundred slot machines, and the booths of the Souvenir syndicate. His numerous friends mindful of his many years' untiring industry and conscientious endeavor to manufacture perfumery of the finest quality, will be glad to hear of these public recognitions of merit won in the face of many obstacles and much competition.
In his unique exhibit, Mr. Ricksecker has done his goods full justice. As the illustration lacks coloring, a very imperfect idea of the beauty of the original can be gained from it. The prevailing tone of the entire exhibit is a delicate shade of Nile green on which the silver wreaths and festoons stand out in beautiful relief .The showcases are of ebony with beveled glass, and contain a full line of his choice perfumes in bottles which attract great attention by reason of their artistic beauty and the originality of their designs, which as before mentioned are from Mr. Ricksecker's own. The total frontage is about forty feet. The side presented in the view measures about drawings twenty one feet. The height of the framework is twelve feet, and that of the bottles surmounting it four feet. The double mirror at the junction of three aisles is artistic and useful. It reflects the life size figure of "the first lady of the land" Martha Washington, after whom Mr. Ricksecker has named "the first perfume of the land". The artist who created this wax figure is the same who succeeded so admirably in the original productions which have made the Eden Musée famous. The handsome $150 costume of rich cream satin and lace is from Lord & Taylor, New York and is historically correct.


 

Other attractions are an immense cake of Ricksecker's Skin Soap, one hundred and sixty five pounds. A register is provided, visitors are invited to inscribe their names and addresses."




The perfumes of Theodore Ricksecker:
  • 1884 Damask Rose
  • 1884 Floral Chimes
  • 1884 Golden Gate
  • 1884 Lily of the Valley
  • 1884 Magnolia
  • 1884 Martha Washington
  • 1884 Mizpah
  • 1887 Ocean Spray 
  • 1884 Puritan Breeze
  • 1884 Subroga
  • 1884 Sweet Clove Cologne
  • 1887 Carnation Pink 
  • 1887 Kuli Kuli 
  • 1887 New Mown Hay 
  • 1887 Neroli Oil Cologne
  • 1887 Patchouly 
  • 1887 Real Violet
  • 1887 Rose Geranium 
  • 1887 Santalina 
  • 1887 Spring Flowers 
  • 1887 Sublime Frangipanni
  • 1887 True Tonquin Musk
  • 1887 Tube Rose 
  • 1901 Apple Blossom
  • 1903 Alhambra Violet 
  • 1903 American Flag Carnation 
  • 1903 Attar of Violets 
  • 1903 Attar Tropical 
  • 1903 Damask Rose 
  • 1903 Dentaroma 
  • 1903 Edgewood Violet 
  • 1903 Feuille D'Erable 
  • 1903 Floral Echoes 
  • 1903 Florida Breeze 
  • 1903 Fountainbleau 
  • 1903 Golf Queen 
  • 1903 Gyp (applied to Perfumes, Toilet Waters, Sachets etc) 
  • 1903 Ideal Heliotrope 
  • 1903 Japan Plum Blossom 
  • 1903 Josephine 
  • 1903 Kremlin 
  • 1903 Maple Leaf 
  • 1903 Orizaba 
  • 1903 Ping Pang 
  • 1903 Rose Royale 
  • 1903 Sublime Musk 
  • 1903 Sublime Violet 
  • 1903 Violet Incarnate (Perfume, Sachet, Toilet Water, and Face Powder)
  • 1903 White House Orchid 
  • 1903 Windsor Rose 
  • 1903 Ye Olde English Smelling Salts 
  • 1906 Violet
  • 1908 Indian Lilies
  • 1909 Jockey Club
  • 1909 Royal Heliotrope
  • 1922 Seven Roses
  • 1922 La Vie

Ricksecker's Face Powder

Ricksecker's Dentaroma

Ricksecker's  Martha Washington Perfume

Ricksecker's Skin Soap

Ricksecker's Martha Washington Sachet

Ricksecker's  Golden Gate Perfume

Ricksecker's Violet Water

Ricksecker's Dog Soap!

1 comment:

  1. Theo Ricksecker is my 2nd great uncle. Thank you for posting this fantastic synopsis of his life and his history in the perfumery business. Diane

    ReplyDelete

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