Radium Laying Mash for Chickens
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Dad was a careful man, and measured the ingredients with exactitude, and
the project prospered. But, the age of advertising had begun, and if the
product was to be advertised, it must have a name. And, the name, too,
should be protected. Hence a patent was applied for to the Trademark
Office of the Federal Government, and granted to the Gallivan brothers
under the name "Radium Laying Mash" [A search by the Heritage Community
Foundation of Canadian and United States patent records for this patent
has so far been unsuccessful].
Dad was a great reader, and had come to admire Madame Marie Curie, the
French physicist who with her husband had discovered radium, and radiums
promise of beneficial possibilities appealed to Dads imagination.
The sacks of listed ingredients were brought in, opened, tipped over and
poured into the pit, mixed by the auger, and the thoroughly mixed product
was shovelled into the waiting gunny ready on the scale. At exactly 100
pounds, the shovelling stopped and a large thick needle with a curved end
was brought into play.
Binder twine was used as thread, and we kids would stand in awe watching
the speed and skill that Dad displayed. He made a double loop and slipped
it over the gathered end of the opening of the sack, swiftly stitched
across the length of the opening, and then securely looped the other end
of the sack. Grabbing the two ears left available by the two looped ends,
Dad lifted the sack off the scale and piled it flat on the floor. After a
certain number of sacks were ready, a heavy cardboard stencil was brought
out, lain on the side of the sack, and the cut-away part was quickly
painted in with thick black paint.
The stencil fascinated us kids, as it was a cut-out of a mother hen
surrounded by a brood of chicks pecking in the ground, and above the
mother hen in semi-circle was the large, plain-lettered label, "Radium
Laying Mash." Eventually, this patented picture and title were painted
outside on the wooden wall of the store, and "Central Feed and Transfer"
became associated in the public mind (or in the mind of those who raised
chickens) with a product of quality and reliability.
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