In the early 1940s, during the midst of World War II, The Saginaw News, introduced a new feature – a weekly local recipe contest. It was a competition with a purpose: helping advertisers promote their services and merchandise. In fact, the contest rules reminded the reader: ”Only through the cooperation of the business enterprises whose announcement on this page is this recipe feature possible. Note the services and products offered here and include them in your weekly shopping lists.” Also, entrants were reminded: “Select a favorite home tested recipe. Don’t copy one from some current magazine.”
Each week, a featured advertiser donated three prizes. For the week of July 27, 1942, the sponsor was Saginaw Hardware. The article included a history of the firm:
West Side Hardware One of the Oldest Firms: Nearly 80 Years of Service in the Same Location Both Retail and Wholesale Businesses; Covers Northeastern Michigan with complete Line of Hardware, Mill Supplies, Appliances, Glass and Paint.
Veteran residents of Saginaw won’t recall when Saginaw Hardware Company entered business in this city. The amazing reason for this is that there are few, if any old timers in town who are old enough to recall seeing the founders of this company, A.W. Archard and William Seyfardt, nailing up their business shingle more than three-quarters of a century ago.
Another remarkable fact in the Saginaw Hardware Company’s album of reminiscences is that today the firm remains in the site as was chosen in 1863. True, the company has grown from a very small store to a business firm which occupies the better part of a square block and contains approximately 100,000 square feet of floor space, yet it is still doing business at Adams and Hamilton in Saginaw’s West Side.
The Saginaw Hardware Company does a large wholesale business in addition to its retail trade. No salesman needs to detail the firm’s established place in the hardware field because practically everyone in Michigan and in fact the entire state is familiar with its name and reputation for integrity. That’s what a long and honorable career means to a business house.
Originally strictly a hardware firm catering primarily to the old lumber and salt industries, as the years progressed the hardware field was liberalized to include a great many other lines of merchandise. Today this company not only carries a topflight of hardware, but an enviable variety of fishing tackle and sporting goods, appliances, radios, household requisites, paints and countless other items.
The people who have been executives of this concern throughout the years have had the ability to make friends and retain goodwill of countless thousands of patrons. And the Saginaw Hardware Company is proud of the long record of service of its executive, E.F. Archard, who is chairman of the board, is the son of one of the original founders, and has been connected with the company since 1878. C.F. Schoenberg, who is now secretary, purchasing agent, and a director of the firm, has been with the store for nearly 60 years, starting as an office boy. Others who have contributed years of service to the company are Fred Zahner, president, Norman Hubinger, who is in charge of the retail store and has been with the company for 25 years; A.F. Archard, vice-president and sales manager; and Milton Wager, treasurer.
While war shortages and curtailments have affected practically all branches of the Saginaw Hardware Company’s business, they still have a good stock of many needed items. Of special interest to women are dishes, including dinner and luncheon sets and glassware, baking dishes of all kinds, kitchen ware and utensils, unusually attractive floor lamps, and many other articles for the home.
Saginaw Hardware Company also takes particular pride in its complete line of Benjamin Moore paints – a standard of quality for many years. Many housewives will be interested in an attractive booklet containing suggestions for decorating your home by addressing Bety Moore in care of the Benjamin Moore Paint Company of Chicago, Illinois.
The Saginaw Hardware Company offers three useful prizes for the home to Recipe Contest winners this week. (The Saginaw News, July 27, 1942, p. 9.)
Saginaw Hardware Company was a fixture on Saginaw’s Westside until it closed on December 31, 1959. Although the Hamilton Street showroom was demolished in 1967, portions of the firm’s warehouses along Hamilton Street remain standing. In fact, shadows of painted signs are still visible - especially on the east façade.
And the winner of the Contest
First place was awarded to Mrs. George L. Beyer of 1922 Benjamin Street for her creation, upside-down ham loaf. Florence Anna Rogner was born in Tuscola County on May 22, 1899, and married George L. Beyer on February 10, 1923. A member of Zion Lutheran Church. She passed away on September 11, 1994.
The Recipe: Upside Down Ham Loaf
Ingredients: 2 cups ground ham (leftover) 1 ½ lb. ground fresh pork 2 eggs 1 cup milk 1cup cracker crumbs ½ teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon black pepper ?/4 cup brown sugar 1 teaspoon dry mustard ¼ cup vinegar 10 Maraschino cherries 6 slices pineapple
Mix together the meat, slightly beaten eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Grease a large rectangular bread pan generously and pour the brown sugar, which has been mixed with the mustard and vinegar, over the bottom. On this press six slices of pineapple with a Maraschino cherry in the center and between each slice. Over this spread the meat, packing in place. Bake 400-degree F. oven for 1 ½ hours. Turn out on a platter and serve with baked or scalloped potatoes, Serves 6 with plenty left over, for cold meats or sandwiches.
“First Prize -Attractive Red and White 8-Piece Refrigerator set.” The Saginaw News, July 27, 1942 Although we do not have a photograph or catalog listing for the exact 8-piece refrigerator set Mrs. Beyer won, it was almost certainly similar to the sets described on this website: