Beautiful certificate from the Page & Shaw (Canada) Limited
issued in 1930. This historic document was printed by Goes Banknote Company and has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of the company name. This item has the signatures of the Company's President and Secretary and is over 78 years old. The certificate was issued to Otis Emerson Dunham.
Story from Time Magazine on Aug. 19, 1935
Page & Shaw. So inordinately fond of sweets was the late teetotaling James Buchanan ("Diamond Jim") Brady that he was known to eat a pound of candy in five minutes. One day he was given a box of chocolates made by a small Boston confectionery named Page & Shaw. "It's the best goddam candy I ever put in my mouth!" cried "Diamond Jim," who vowed he would thereafter buy no candy but Page & Shaw's. Later, according to his biographers, he offered the struggling little candy company $150,000 without interest.
Page & Shaw did not remain obscure for long. Styling itself "the only international candy company," it opened branches in England, France and Canada, a chain of swank stores from Manhattan to San Francisco. By 1924 its sales reached a peak of 2,200,000 lb. per year. Then troubles came to Page & Shaw. Sales slumped, cash dwindled. Control had fallen into the hands of a Boston lawyer named Otis Emerson Dunham. Promoter Dunham shocked the Boston Better Business Bureau by giving away one share of common stock with every $2 worth of candy. In 1930 Promoter Dunham and two stockbrokers were found guilty of conspiracy in floating $2,000,000 worth of Page & Shaw stock. According to the prosecution, half of the money received from selling the stock went to the brokers. Otis Dunham was sentenced to two years in a Massachusetts house of correction. Before his sentence began, Page & Shaw quietly toppled into bankruptcy.
Last week, firmly convinced that he had been victimized, Otis Dunham emerged from retirement to file in Massachusetts a damage suit against six of his stock-selling cronies. Claiming that the brokers had forced their way into the company in 1929 and "caused his name to be forged on papers and letters," he demanded $1,500,000 damages and complete vindication of blame for the shady stock deals. Page & Shaw has never recovered from the Dunham spree. It still operates a factory in Cambridge, but all its retail stores have been closed. Most of its candy is sold today through drug stores and specialty shops.
"Vegecandy." Before Depression, burly, white-haired James M. Washburne, 80, operated all the Martha Washington Candy Stores in New York City. He thought nothing of paying $250 for a single suit of clothes. He bought his wife so many jewels her friends began calling her "Diamond Anne." They lived in a $4,700-a-year apartment in Manhattan, had two houses and a farm in New Jersey, a winter home in Florida. In a good year the Martha Washington stores each grossed $6,000 a day and Mr. Washburne's income was $50,000 a year.
One by one, as Depression deepened, Candymaker Washburne's stores sank into debt, were closed. He dismissed his chauffeur, sold his houses, pawned his wife's jewels. Martha Washington candies vanished from public sale in New York. Last year, penniless, Mr. Washburne moved to a one-room flat. There he spent his days puttering with candy on the kitchen stove, finally concocted some sweets made of fresh fruit and vegetables. Each day he slipped out of the flat, went to Times Square. There he tied a placard on his chest, stood by subway exits selling candies made from corn, spinach, beets, carrots, peas. Too proud to tell his wife what he was doing, he explained each night that he "sold to old customers." One day a newshawk discovered him. When the story of his plight was published, letters and checks poured into his apartment. Peddler Washburne returned the checks with thanks, kept on selling his candies. Finally a Long Island candy manufacturer named Joseph B. Kaufman called to say that he wanted to buy Mr. Washburne's formula for "Vegecandies."
Last week James Washburne, dapperly clad in a grey coat and pin-striped trousers, sat thumbing a fistful of stock in a Manhattan office. Proudly he read in black letters on the face of each certificate: ''James M. Washburne Candy Specialty Corp." The company is capitalized at $1,000,000 with James M. Wash-burne as president, Joseph B. Kaufman, treasurer. In the street below the office stood Mr. Washburne's shiny new Cadillac. ''I'm beginning to live all over again," beamed Candymaker Washburne.
The following is an excerpt from a History of Massachusetts Industries by Orra L. Stone (1930) pgs. 829-831. Please note that Page & Shaw was located at 18-20 Ames Street in Cambridge at the time this was written.
"From a modest little candy shop, established at 9 West Street, Boston, in 1888, to a six million dollar business a year is the story of Page & Shaw, which forty-two years later operates not only its own retail stores in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Detroit, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Rochester, N. Y., Pasadena, Lynn, Salem, Pride's Crossing, Glacier National Park, Montana, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Paris, and London, in all of which places an aggregate of thirty-five shops are conducted, but also candy factories in Cambridge, New York City, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Montreal and London, and chocolate and box factories, in Cambridge.
"With no reputation to lose, Page & Shaw might naturally have yielded to the temptation which besets manufacturers of sacrificing quality for quick profits, but such a course did not appeal to the founders who, regardless of expense or of profits, firmly determined to use only high-grade materials, and to exercise the utmost care in the process of manufacture.
"The earlier every-day methods of production were rapidly replaced by novel improvements, which revolutionized the manufacture of candy, the firm being the first to employ modern refrigerating methods in dipping chocolates, thus preventing the fats from working to the surface, and turning the candy gray in color.
"The development of the business was slow, but steady, depending not upon advertising, but upon the personal recommendations of satisfied customers, the giving of full weight, and in refraining from the use of any synthetical substitute for pure raw materials.
"The original West Street shop still holds the record as the busiest candy store of its size in the world.
"It was not until Otis Emerson Dunham, now president of the corporation, acquired the control of all the common stock of the company, about ten years ago, that its ramifications became world-wide. He established branches and stores in England and France, built a large modern factory in Canada, erected a half-million-dollar chocolate plant in Cambridge, more than doubled the number of retail branches, quadrupled the total of distributing agencies, increased the annual sales more than six-fold, and arranged to sell the products of Page & Shaw, not only throughout this country, but in Canada, Europe, Asia, South Africa, South America, Cuba and Australia. Regular shipments are made monthly to the offices of large mining companies in Peru and Mexico City, the confections being packed in air-tight, galvanized iron boxes, while in the Arctic circle Page & Shaw candy is bartered for valuable skins at some of the far-North ports of the Hudson Bay Company.
"A tremendous mail order business has been built up, and the concern is the only company engaged in the production of candy that carries on manufacturing operations in four countries of the world.
"The concern makes everything it markets, and trained men are constantly seeking every possible improvement that pertains to the production of over 1,100 varieties of confections.
"A factor that has aided in establishing the record of Page & Shaw, other than the quality of its products, has been the utilization of the ancient art of the Moors in adorning the world-famous shops and packages.
"President Dunham hit upon Moorish designs as most original and distinctive, and spent many years searching for the best and most authentic books on Moorish art, and at length discovered a volume that comprehensively covered the entire sweep of the subject. Guided by its descriptive text and illustrations, he began furnishing the stores with that impressive touch that gives life to geometrical figures. Prohibited by the tenets of their faith from representing life, plant or animal in their art, the Moors early learned to give to the prosaic lines of geometrical design, that brilliance and vivacity which so distinguishes their designs. The tiny tracery of lines, the grace of many sweeping canoes, and the weaving of the three primary colors, red, yellow and blue-into a blend that is unique, were transferred to the Page & Shaw store decorations and to the candy boxes.
"Artists from France and England, and from the Orient were drawn upon to ornament the packages, and assisting President Dunham in this work is M. Pierre J. Sequin, a French designer, who won a croix de guerre as sergeant in the first camouflage company, in the World War, and who spent twelve years specializing in Moorish art before becoming a member of the decorative staff maintained by Page & Shaw.
"The Cambridge factory, where more than 6,000,000 pounds of chocolate candies are produced annually, probably has no equal in cleanliness, ventilation, lighting arrangements, and comforts and convenience for the health and welfare of its employees. Its interior shows the most elaborate decorative scheme employed in any manufacturing plant in the United States. The stairways have continuous scenes extending from floor to floor, while in the work rooms are extensive landscapes, depicting beautiful scenes from all over the world. The assembly and dining room is similarly treated, and is equipped with a player piano. All employees are paid a weekly bonus, besides the annual bonus based upon length of service and efficiency.
"The Cambridge chocolate factory is owned and operated by Dunham & Kattwinkel, Inc., a subsidiary corporation, all the common stock being owned by Mr. Dunham. The plant is sanitary and dust-proof, and adjoins the candy factory. It is equipped with the latest types of chocolate milling and bar-wrapping machinery.
"In the box factory several million boxes in over two hundred varieties are produced annually, together with all the paper supplies for the packing rooms, and for the retail shops. Here also is the company's printing department, where all the embossing and gold work is done, besides the regular printing.
"The Canadian business is conducted by Page & Shaw (Canada) Limited, a corporation owned by President Dunham, and in every community having a population of a thousand persons or more, an agency is maintained.
"The English company, known as Page & Shaw, Ltd., is also owned by Mr. Dunham, and the factory is located at Kensington, aeroplane deliveries being made from there of many of the delicate varieties to the Paris shops.
"Page & Shaw scour the world markets for the choicest of raw materials. Each year the company places about twenty tons of pure butter in refrigerators because it has been found that the product made when cows are securing fresh, green grass has a better flavor than is obtained later in the year. The finest white comb honey, Clermont cherries from France, the best Mayette and Chabert walnuts, true fruit flavors, and the best quality of cocoa beans are used by the concern. Over five hundred different materials, coming from all parts of the world, are required, and while the books of the company carry the names of upwards of 10,000 wholesale accounts, covering five countries. The easiest part of the Page & Shaw business is to sell its products, and the greatest difficulty it experiences is in overcoming the droughts, wet seasons, crop shortages, strikes, wars, plagues, new customs regulations, changes in food laws, and the fluctuations in the rates of exchange all of which affect the required flow of raw materials, and the prompt deliveries of its confections.
"President Dunham holds many improvements on candy and chocolate machinery, and one for the manufacture of vitamine chocolate, this commodity being supplied to hospitals and sanitariums, and it has been used on relief expeditions to Russia, Labrador, and China.
"The company officers are Otis Emerson Dunham, president, and A. C. Crehan, secretary. Upwards of 1,200 operatives are employed, and the corporation has capital of $1,000,000. Dunham & Kattwinkel, Inc., has capital of $1,000,000 and employs fifty hands. Otis E. Dunham is president of that unit, A. C. Crehan, secretary and Max Kattwinkel, treasurer and general manager.