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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 radium’s promise of beneficial possibilities appealed to Dad’s 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.

The CompetitionBinder 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.

Pullet and cockerel chickenThe 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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