C.A. Seward

1884 - 1939

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The promotional piece distributed by The Western Lithograph Company in 1923 to announce the hiring of C.A. Seward as the Director of the newly established of Art Department included one of Seward’s early advertising pieces for W.C. Coleman.  This company still retains wichita as its home base.


From the Coleman Company, Inc. website:

“More than 100 years ago, a young man with an entrepreneurial spirit and a better idea began manufacturing lanterns in Wichita, Kansas. His name was W.C. Coleman. And the company he founded would change life in America. A fascinating saga, if we do say so ourselves. One filled with historical significance, amazing innovations and delightfully fun things to know.”


1900-1929

“W.C. Coleman could see the light for the darkness. The young salesman was taking a stroll after a hard day’s work selling typewriters, and spotted a new type of lamplight in a drugstore window in Brockton, Alabama. This new light burned with a strong, steady white flame and was fueled by gasoline. The standard lamp of the era burned kerosene and produced a smoky, flickering, yellowish light. W.C. was stricken with very poor eyesight, and was very interested in this new, steady white light that enabled him to read even the smallest print in books and on medicine bottles. Coleman saw potential in the new light, and through his vision a new company was born that would put America’s farms and ranches in a new light, and would eventually make his name synonymous with outdoor fun.”


“In 1905, W.C. Coleman wanted to demonstrate just what his new gas lamps were capable of. He strung his lamps from poles on both sides of the football field at Fairmount College in Wichita, Kansas. According to Coleman historians, the first night football game west of the Mississippi occurred that evening under Coleman gas lights and resulted in a 24-0 shutout of Cooper College by the Fairmount College Wheatshockers.”


“At the turn of the century in America, electric service was not an option in rural parts of the country. When the sun went down, the work day ended. In 1909, W.C. Coleman started selling a portable table lamp that would became a staple in rural homes, and five years later introduced a product that would help transform the company from a local concern into a national necessity. The new 300 candlepower lantern provided working light in every direction for 100 yards and could light the far corners of a barn. The Coleman® lantern lengthened the time farmers and ranchers could work. This significantly boosted productivity, and fundamentally changed the work dynamic in rural America. It wasn’t just for civilians either, as the U.S. Government declared this lantern an “essential item” for the troops serving in World War I, and nearly 70,000 lanterns were distributed to American forces fighting in Europe.”


“W.C. Coleman could see the light for the darkness. The young salesman was taking a stroll after a hard day’s work selling typewriters, and spotted a new type of lamplight in a drugstore window in Brockton, Alabama. This new light burned with a strong, steady white flame and was fueled by gasoline. The standard lamp of the era burned kerosene and produced a smoky, flickering, yellowish light. W.C. was stricken with very poor eyesight, and was very interested in this new, steady white light that enabled him to read even the smallest print in books and on medicine bottles. Coleman saw potential in the new light, and through his vision a new company was born that would put America’s farms and ranches in a new light, and would eventually make his name synonymous with outdoor fun.”

 

Seward - the Coleman Company

Images on this page (top to bottom, left to right): Advertisement signed by Seward from the collection of the Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum Photos courtesy of the Coleman Company, Inc., two early print advertisements.

Saturday, May 16, 1908

Wichita Eagle


“The Hydro-Carbon company, now located at 313 North Main street, yesterday purchased a 50 foot frontage between 1st and 2nd streets on North St. Francis, just north of the Western Planing mill, and extending back 130 feet to the alley.  Cost was $34,000.  The seven year old company proposes to build a four story building there at cost of about $20,000.  Officers of company are W. R. Dulaney, president; J. F. Shearman, vice- president; W. C. Coleman secretary-treasurer and general manager. “