A Menagerie of Mansfield Manufacturing

If you step in to the urban environment of downtown Mansfield today looking for wild animals, you don’t have to hunt far to find lions, giraffes, bears, even ostriches: just look on the Carrousel.

But if you had made that same search a hundred years ago, when there was no merry-go-round to provide exotic fauna, you still could find abundant evidence of wildlife downtown: on the broadsides, placards and signboards advertising various products made in Mansfield.

In 1915 Mansfield was known for—and easily identified by—a goat, a rooster, two dogs, some hunting horses, an eagle, and a pair of bunnies.  This photo essay assembles a bestiary of those critters that once represented our town to the wide world of American consumers.

The Starving Rooster

The Aultman & Taylor Company on North Main Street manufactured threshing machines, for harvesting crops, that were reputedly so efficient they left no grain behind in the field for chickens to feed on…and that is why the sad, starving rooster become the company logo.

This A&T rooster watch fob was created as a service reward for employees.

The Billy (William) Goat

Probably the best known mascot in Mansfield was the old billy goat who represented Bill William cigars made by the Bowers Cigar Co.

This old boy not only loaned his image to every box of cigars and cigar band sold, he also made personal appearances all over town for special events and marched in parades.

This photograph caught him at the Casino in North Lake Park on the occasion of Bill Williams Day.

The Eagle

When Renner & Weber set up brewing operations in Mansfield, they took over the old Eagle Brewery on Fourth Street, and in the process adopted the noble bird as their business representative: relying on the strength of its talons to deliver kegs on all of their advertising and a number of their beer bottle labels.

The Thoroughbreds

The Bissman Comapany, still a familair landmark on North Main Street, began business as an importer and retailer of groceries. In addition, they roasted coffee, and they also sold cigars: most popularly the Bang Tails, represented around town by a pair of well groomed foxhunt horses.

The Two Rovers

The Tracy & Avery Company began life as an importer and wholesaler of groceries, and became well known during the second half of the 20th century for their string of T&A groceries. Their warehouse is still a familar landmark downtown on the corner of Diamond and Fifth Streets, seen on this deck of cards.
One of their popular cigar brands was the Two Rovers, represented by a couple of friendly dogs who certainly wouldn’t bite.

Two Bunnies

Though Tracy & Avery began by importing cigars, they learned that it was just as easy to manufacture them. The Two Bunnies is one of their own products, made in Mansfield.

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