USO Reveal: Recycling Cubed

Unidentified Scrap Object: Recycling History

 

Welcome back! It’s that time, time to let you all in on the secret. Last week we posted a distorted picture of an object we found in our yard. To check that out click here. Each month we bring you a cool object we found in our yard. We give you a week or so to take guesses on what the object could be and then we reveal what it is, along with some history.

Keep scrolling to see what this month’s object is!

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It’s a Cube!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a cube! Ok, it is more than a cube, it is some type of pin cushion cube. There is a lot of information on this cube, and it is in pretty good shape. With a quick glance we can determine a few things. The “Neuss Brother LTD” company created the cube, called the “N.B. Quality Cube”. The cube was most likely created in a place called Aix-La-Chapelle, Germany. I can confidently say that this is a German based company. Strangely the town seems to be a French name and translates to “Aachen” in German. Besides the basics of location, I could not find much else on the company.  As for the age of the cube, that is also hard to figure out. We can figure out that the cube is somewhere between 1907 and early 1950’s, which will make sense if you keep reading. My guess is that this cube dates at around the 1920’s.

This history lesson doesn’t stop with the Nuess Brothers company and their lack of information. If you look at the cube carefully you will see a sticker that says, “Rhodes Co. Seattle” and while I had the least amount of information about this company, I was able to find the most history about them.

Originally a coffee company, the Rhodes Company morphed into a department store. That story was not one I was able to find, though I am sure it is an interesting one. While the company started in Tacoma in 1892 as the coffee company by 1903 they transitioned into a department store. By 1907 they made the decision to move to Seattle. Things must have been going well because the store added floors in 1911, as well as a library branch. The department store added a discount section in 1935 and a men’s shop by 1937. The men’s shop even had a vault that held 5,000 coats! Eventually Washington highways had signs that said, “All Roads Lead to Rhodes” and gave how many miles a driver had until they reached the Tacoma store.

In the mid 50’s Western Department Stores bought out the company. They were able to keep the names “Rhodes” but changed the full name to “Rhodes Western”. It wasn’t long until all the stores were under the Rhodes name. In 1979 the company was then bought by Fredrick and Nelson. Fun facts! Fredrick and Nelson were pioneers in Santa photos and also created the beloved Frango chocolates.

By 1992 the company was gone and almost all traces of Rhodes were gone with it. The Seattle building on 2nd & Union was demolished in 2004 to to build the Chase building that stands there now.

This cube, while small, holds a large amount of history. Not just the history of the manufacturers, but also the history of who sold it. I wish I could have found out more about the Nuess Brothers company, but I am great full to find out a little more about Pacific Northwest history.

 

 

Make sure you like us on Facebook to keep up with all our news. Check back next month for another USO installment.

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