Postcard Recreation Project – Fitch’s Dandruff

Today’s collection of recreated postcards are from downtown Boone area. When I recreated one of them, I did learn something about Boone history that I didn’t know. A fascinating, dry and itchy piece of Boone history.

The first picture is in downtown Boone, looking east down 8th Street from where the Fareway offices are.

Eighth St. East from and showing, P.O. - Original
Eighth St. East from and showing, P.O. – Original

Eighth St. East from and showing, P.O. - Redux
Eighth St. East from and show. P.O. – Redux

If I had to take a stab as to when this postcard was produced, I would say either 1907 or 1908 or maybe 1909. On January 28, 1907 the Butler House (a hotel) burned down. That hotel would be the first building east of the old Boone Post Office, which is the first building on the north side of Eight Street in the picture. The Butler House was a three story building. That spot was replaced by the Hotel Holst. It was a four story structure that was built from 1909-1910.

A personal opinion, but the old post office was a much cooler looking building than the post office building that would replace it and is still in use to this day.

The second picture is from a postcard that I’m not sure why anybody would want it. It is simply a picture of Tama Street looking north from the intersection with 4th Street.

Tama Street, Boone, Ia Original
Tama Street, Boone, Ia – Original

Tama Street, Boone, Ia Redux
Tama Street, Boone, IA – Redux

Not much to say about the history in this postcard. It does appear that most of the houses in this postcard are still standing, which is good, because it made it easy to find the location for this recreation pretty easy.

The final postcard recreation is a postcard of a business that I didn’t know ever existed. Which makes sense, because it was gone 50 years before I was born.

The Fitch Ideal Dandruff Cure Co's Building Postcard Original
The Fitch Ideal Dandruff Cure Co’s Building – Original

The Fitch Ideal Dandruff Cure Co's Building Postcard Redux
The Fitch Ideal Dandruff Cure Co’s Building Postcard – Redux

Here is some information about The F.W. Fitch Company from Wikipedia:

Fitch founded F.W. Fitch Company in Boone, Iowa, in 1892, and also owned a barbershop. Fitch’s first product was a hair tonic labeled “Ideal Hair Grower and Dandruff Cure.” Later products included the “Fitch scientific scalp treatment.”

Fitch moved his business to Des Moines at 15th and Walnut Streets in 1917; this district, F. W. Fitch Company Historic District, is now on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Fitch Company sponsored a national radio broadcast, The Fitch Bandwagon, from fall 1938 to spring 1948. It had with three different formats. The first featured many popular musical acts in its early years, including Cab Calloway, Ozzie Nelson, Tommy Dorsey and Guy Lombardo. The second was a variety show starring Cass Daley that featured popular bands between skits. The third and best-remembered version starred Phil Harris and Alice Faye for a single and final season; they later spun The Fitch Bandwagon into their long-running show, The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show.

The company did well throughout the early 20th century and during World War II but saw a decline in sales after the war due to the loss of military contracts.

In 1949, Fitch sold The F.W. Fitch Company to Grove Laboratories in St. Louis. The former F. W. Fitch Company building is now owned by Exile Brewing Company.

I found some more information on Fitch in a “The Boone News Republican” article from September 13, 1965.

Even though Fitch left Boone over 100 years ago, you can still see where the word FITCH used to hang on the front of the building over the front door.

Fitch Dandruff

Even though the building is starting to be in poor shape…

Fitch Dandruff

Fitch Dandruff

It is still in use as a dance studio and apartments. It is on the corner of Keeler and 7th Street.

Next time we tackle THE POSTCARD RECREATION PROJECT, it will probably involve the library.

3 thoughts on “Postcard Recreation Project – Fitch’s Dandruff”

  1. These are fascinating. I will have to ask my dad if he knew anything about Fitch’s – that seems like it would be a business just funny enough for people to remember!

    You’re right about the Tama St photo being sort of uninspired – I will say that I liked how crisp their curbs looked back then. Not sure if that was artistic liberty.

  2. I got this email from Olivia’s Aunt Janice:

    “Chris – Dad could tell you stuff about Finch’s. I think my aunt was their housekeeper in Des moines & I think Dad knows the Finch’s theme song. Finch,s Casey’s & Mamie…”

    I mean they have been gone a long time, but there are still people out there that remember them!

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