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Collection on the Crescent Manufacturing Company, 1909-1962

Overview of the Collection

Title
Collection on the Crescent Manufacturing Company
Dates
1909-1962 (inclusive)
Quantity
2 boxes including 81 photographs, (1.07 cubic feet)
Location of Collection
3a.3.10 (Box 1)
1a.4.16 ; (Box 2 - oversize)
VI.a.20 (oversize)
Collection Number
2005.24 (accession)
Summary
Photographs and other materials related to the Crescent Manufacturing Company in Seattle, known for producing the maple flavoring Mapleine and other extracts, as well as importing spices, coffee and nuts
Repository
Museum of History & Industry, Sophie Frye Bass Library
Sophie Frye Bass Library
Museum of History & Industry
P.O. Box 80816
Seattle, WA
98108
Telephone: 206-324-1126
Fax: 206-780-1533
library@mohai.org
Access Restrictions
The collection is open to the public by appointment.
Languages
English.

Historical NoteReturn to Top

The Crescent Manufacturing Company was established in Seattle in 1883 by Albert C. Larsen, as Larsen Extract Company. In 1886, the company was sold and re-named the Crescent Manufacturing Company. Shortly before the Alaskan Gold Rush, the company was sold to J. W. and W. J Kahle. The company’s original location was at 122 S. Jackson, then 315 Occidental Ave, and later moved to Sixth Avenue and Pike Street.

Crescent was most famous for their Mapleine imitation maple flavoring, the first on the market to not change flavor through time and temperature fluctuations. Mapleine was premiered at the Puyallup Fair in 1908. In addition to Mapleine and 75 other imitation extracts, Crescent imported and milled spices, coffee, and nuts. In 1926, the company moved to a plant at Railroad Ave South and South Connecticut Street (later Alaskan Way South and Royal Brougham Way). The Crescent factory of 1927 boasted the most modern communication technology, as well as a variety of spice mills and coffee-roasting equipment.

During the Depression, Crescent was able to retain all employees by implementing across-the-board pay cuts, from owners to employees. During World War II, spices sourced from Asia were unavailable, so Crescent worked to create and market imitation spices. After the war, competitors used Crescent’s imitation spices as a slur against them, but Crescent chose to use them as a marketing tool. In 1957, Crescent debuted the Gold Shield coffee line, but faced stiff competition from major brands. Eventually, they decided to sell Gold Shield to another company. At this time, Crescent also re-packaged their nuts, selling them in cup measurements instead of by “nines” price points. This innovation led them to become leaders in pre-packaged nuts for cooking.

In 1971, Crescent had outgrown its plant at Maynard and Dearborn, and the offices moved to the Hanford Center to give the plant room to expand. In 1989, Crescent was sold to McCormick and Company, and in 1990, Crescent consolidated its factory, laboratory, and offices into one building in Kent, Washington. Mapleine is still produced in limited quantities.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection includes an album of photographs of the factory, with accompanying typed descriptions; loose photographs of the Crescent factory, employees and product exhibits; trademark certificates, histories of the company and ephemera. The photo album is embossed on the front “Property of Crescent Manufacturing Co.”. The album contains 22 photographs of the interior workings of the “daylight” (makes use of natural light through large windows on each floor) factory at Railroad South and South Connecticut (now Alaskan Way South and South Royal Brougham), each accompanied by typewritten notes on facing page with handwritten corrections and notations.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Alternative Forms Available

View selections from the collection in digital format here or by clicking on the camera icons in the inventory below.

Restrictions on Use

The Museum of History & Industry is the owner of the materials in the Sophie Frye Bass Library and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from MOHAI before any reproduction use. The museum does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners.

Preferred Citation

Collection on the Crescent Manufacturing Company Plant, Museum of History & Industry, Seattle

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Factory promotional album, circa 1923Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box
1
1: Crescent Manufacturing Company factory exterior (105574)
Caption on page: RR So & Connecticut (note: now Alaskan Way S. and S. Royal Brougham Way.)
circa 1923
1
2: Birds-eye view of office (110728)
Photograph depicts “all the modern equipment, such as dictograph, pneumatic tube systems, private exchange switchboard, dictaphones, and other like devices."
circa 1923
1
3: Factory shipping office,including pneumatic tube system (110733)
circa 1923
1
4: Vats and workers in the Mapleine manufacturing process (110711)
circa 1923
1
5: Worker and machine in the Mapleine process (110715)
Caption on facing page: “Here the packages of family size are filled, labeled, cartoned, and packed."
circa 1923
1
6: Female worker in the extract department (110717)
Caption: “more than 75 different flavors are produced, as well as colors and many specialties for confectioners, bakers, and ice cream manufacturers."
circa 1923
1
7: Factory coffee-roasting department (110731)
circa 1923
1
8: Coffee-roasting equipment and worker (110723)
circa 1923
1
9: Baking powder manufacturing department and workers (110719)
circa 1923
1
10: Baking powder labeling and sealing department with female workers (110720)
circa 1923
1
11: Spice mill being operated by worker (110730)
circa 1923
1
12: Worker operating a spice cleaning apparatus (110724)
circa 1923
1
13: Women workers in the spice packing department (110716)
circa 1923
1
14: Women workers in the bluing and ammonia department (110729)
circa 1923
1
15: Factory printing department (110721)
Caption explains “more than 50,000,000 pieces of printed matter are turned out by the twelve people employed in this department."
circa 1923
1
16: Woman worker operating the carton stapling machine (110735)
circa 1923
1
17: Ladies’ rest room, and two ladies reading (110732)
circa 1923
1
18: Factory cafeteria (110722)
Caption notes that “more than 250 meals are served here each day."
circa 1923
1
19: Worker stacking cases of Mapleine for shipment
circa 1923
1
20: Crescent delivery truck at rail yards (109786)
circa 1923
1
21: Some of the Crescent delivery truck fleet (110734)
circa 1923
1
1: Crescent Manufacturing Company factory (105574)
Caption describes the factory’s cleanliness and order, the two cardinal principles for the factory operators. Women are described as wearing “fresh white aprons and caps", while men wear “clean khaki overalls".
circa 1923

:  Loose photographs, Return to Top

Container(s): Box

Container(s) Description Dates
Box
1
22: Exterior of building
circa 1894-1900
1
23: Exterior, Occidental and Jackson
Caption: “decorated for a celebration"
1917
1
24: Exterior, Alaskan Way and Connecticut St.
Caption: “Sales meeting"
1923
1
25: Exterior, Dearborn
circa 1965
1
26: Laboratory and workers
1925
1
27: Packaging coffee
circa 1920
1
28: Coffee roaster
Caption: “Made by A. A. Coleman"
1908
1
29: Coffee roaster
Caption: “Made by A. A. Coleman"
1908
1
30: Employees at assembly line
On verso: “Feb. 17, 1972"
1972
1
31: Employees
circa 1900-1922
1
32: Employees
1912
1
33: Employee picnic
Caption: “Kohle summer home- Seahurst 1916."
1916
1
34: Annual dinner, December 26, 1917, at Butler Hotel
1917
1
35: Employees
undated
1
36: Crescent bowling team
Caption: “The Mapleines, commercial bowling league champions."
1923
1
37: Sales meeting
1928
1
38: Crescent wagon
undated
1
39: Boxcar containing peanuts
undated
1
40: Crescent truck in Seattle Armistice parade
1918
1
41: Boxcar of Mapleine
Caption: “1st carload shipment of Mapleine."
1920
1
42: Crescent trucks and Rainier plane
1946
1
43: Pepper being unloaded from plane to Crescent truck
Text on verso describes Crescent’s efforts to import pepper during pepper shortage.
1946
1
44: Mapleine exhibit
On verso: “Eatons, Toronto March 1911"
1911
1
45: Mapleine exhibit
Caption: “ Waco Texas 1920"
1920
1
46: Mapleine exhibit
Caption: “Dallas Texas 1920"
1920
1
47: Mapleine exhibit with employees
Caption: “Dallas Texas 1920"
1920
1
48: Mapleine exhibit with employees
On verso: “Ottawa, Ont. 1923 Sept."
1923
1
49: Mapleine exhibit with employees
undated
1
50: Mapleine exhibit
undated
1
51: Mapleine exhibit
undated
1
52: Mapleine window display
On verso: “Anderson’s Grocery 8th and Pike"
undated
1
53: Mapleine window display at Shaw’s Cut Rate Pharmacy
undated
1
54: Mapleine exhibit
undated
1
55: Mapleine exhibit with employees
undated
1
56: Mapleine store display
circa 1955
2
57: Mapleine exhibit with two employees
1911
2
58: Mapleine exhibit
Caption: “Fair, San Francisco, 1914"
1914
1
59: Crescent Cream Coffee display
On verso: “Salem Fair, Dec. 1918"
1918
1
60: Coffee display with employees
undated
1
61: Coffee display in-store
undated
1
62: Coffee display in-store
On verso: “Miss Fredricks at Turnley’s North Side Market, Spokane at the Cup"
undated
1
63: Coffee window display
Caption: “April 11 to 18 –25- Tacoma News Tribune"
1925
1
64: Coffee window display
On verso: “Yakima Republic and Herald Oct. 2 – 1926"
1926
1
65: Coffee exhibit
1909
1
66: Coffee exhibit
Caption: “Toppenish Wash Mar 29-April 1922"
1922
1
67: Coffee exhibit
Caption: “Bellingham exhibit March 8-11-1922"
1922
1
68: Coffee exhibit
Caption: “Chehalis Feb 1-4-1922"
1922
1
69: Crescent coffee on the Takau glacier, Alaska
undated
1
70: Crescent baking powder exhibit with employees
undated
1
71: Baking powder exhibit, Oregon.
undated
1
72: Baking powder window display
undated
1
73: “Queen of the Crescent Tribe" advertisement
undated
1
74: Baking powder painted wall advertisement
undated
1
75: Baking powder exhibit
Caption: “Centralia June 14-18 1920"
1920
1
76: Exhibits at convention
On verso: “Doug and ??? convention Oct 1929"
1929
1
77: Exhibits at convention
undated
1
78-79: In-store nut displays
undated
1
80: Farm and field
undated
2
81: Coffee sorting operation, Padang, Indonesia
undated

Papers, Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box
1
82-90: Trademarks registered to Crescent
1905-1947
mapcase
VI.a.20
91: Chinese trademark
undated
1
92-94: Print advertisements for Crescent
undated
1
95-98: Seattle Times article about Crescent, Sept. 22, 1963
1963
1
99: History of Crescent, 1962
1962
1
100: Promotional history of Crescent, 1972
1972
1
101: Crescent envelope
undated