The East Main St. Studio, 1897

Photo courtesy of the Clarence L. Miller Family History Room, Kalamazoo Public Library, Kalamazoo, Michigan
Photo courtesy of the Clarence L. Miller Family History Room, Kalamazoo Public Library, Kalamazoo, Michigan

By September of 1897, Orville had moved his studio to a larger space on the second floor of 104 East Main. In the photo, it’s the second building from the right below where the ‘Business College’ sign hangs. This studio was above the Foster & Post five and dime store.

Among Orville’s output by this time was two complete sets of instruments, one for his own Orpheus Mandolin Club and one for the John W. McLouth Ideal Mandolin Orchestra.

Source: 1897 Kalamazoo City Directory
Source: 1897 Kalamazoo City Directory

Orville had previously advertised in the newspaper, but at this point he also placed a pictured ad in the 1897 Kalamazoo City Directory. This advertisement also answers my question as to whether he had an exhibit at the 1893 World’s Fair.

 

 

Source: Kalamazoo Daily Telegraph, October 13, 1897
Source: Kalamazoo Daily Telegraph, October 13, 1897

The first annual Kalamazoo Street Fair took place October 12-13-14 of 1897. Since his studio was on the second floor, Orville probably displayed his instruments and wares on the sidewalk below as did many other merchants.

Orville’s Early Employment

Source: Kalamazoo Gazette, November 13, 1880
Source: Kalamazoo Gazette, November 13, 1880

Orville’s first known employment was at Arthur P. Sprague’s shoe store on Main Street in Kalamazoo. One day prior, this same advertisement appeared in the Gazette with the name of H. H. Baker as salesman.

It may be presumed that Orville was either promoted to a senior sales position at this time or he was newly  hired to replace Mr. Baker. Orville was said to have been a ‘popular and efficient’ salesman.

In December of 1891, he resigned his position with A. P. Sprague making him an 11 year veteran of the trade.