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Dreaming of Trenton, New Jersey

To begin this page, so mysteriously titled (though the mystery will be explained soon enough), I will note that I encountered an advertisement for the IBM Selectric typewriter that said "Someday, all typewriters will be made this way. But why wait?".

I was pretty sure that this was quite an old advertising slogan, used before for other products. When doing a web search, however, many of the results I got referred to a later usage, by Seiko, for their Seiko Kinetic watch, and also for their first quartz watches.

However, I had better luck with another advertising slogan.

In 1913, the Giant Grip Horse Shoe company announced that "When Better Horseshoes and Calks Are Made We Will Make Them".

And in 1914, the Climax Manufacturing company proudly proclaimed, with respect to their Climax Cut Flower Boxes, that "When Better Boxes are Made, We Will Make Them".

And in 1915, the Kellar-Thomason company announced, "When Better Gates and Valves Are Made, K-T Will Make Them".

And this pattern of slogan continued in use for quite some time; in 1937, the Century Tie company announced that "When Better Ties Are Made, Century Will Make Them".

Perhaps one of its most famous applications was for Buick automobiles.

I found out that the city of Trenton, New Jersey has as its slogan "Trenton Makes, the World Takes"; in fact, a large sign on the Trenton Bridge bears this slogan.

That sign was erected in 1935, but the slogan itself originated in 1910, as the result of a contest held by that city's Chamber of Commerce.

Although these days, a lot of manufacturing has left the United States and other advanced nations, until the 1970s, Trenton was a major supplier of wire rope and rubber tires, and it was home to American Standard's largest factory.

There is also a large black neighborhood in Trenton, and so it isn't surprising that one Herbert G. Parris would have been aware of that slogan.

Yes, this page is concerned with tracing the sources of the following poem:

What Konje makes, the world takes.

The world takes, what Konje makes.

When better dream books are made,

Prof. Konje will make them.

which appeared at the end of The Lucky Star Dream Book which Herbert G. Parris wrote under the pseudonym of Prof. Konje.

Copyright (c) 2023 John J. G. Savard

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