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  • Jerry King Musser


Like everyone else in Columbia during Lloyd Mifflin's day, he had his daily routine and he used certain items in the exercise of that routine. Take shaving and a relaxing time for tea.

Recently, the Columbia Historic Preservation Society was gifted items to be added to their collection of artifacts—in this case, artifacts associated with Lloyd Mifflin's everyday routine. Friend to the Society, Donald Fox, donated a nearly complete tea set.

This set came from Bawo & Dotter, a New York company established in the 1860s to import porcelain mainly from Limoges, France (a town long known for beautiful and quality porcelain). About ten years later, Bawo & Dotter established a porcelain decorating factory in Limoges they named The Elite Works. They began manufacturing their own porcelain in 1896 and paused production during WWI, only to resume at the end of the conflict.

Lloyd, always interested in the newest thing—especially if that 'thing' was beautiful—had to have a set. Yes, he liked the having the best. We can't say if he ordered from New York, or picked a set up directly from a supplier in town or in Lancaster. We could fantasize, too, that Lloyd picked it up in France. He was a keen traveller, of course, but by this time, he was slowing down.

The other item Donald Fox donated was somewhat more pedestrian and practical... his shaving cup. For this, it's likely he needed one and choose his favorite drug store of his day. We don't know which one: Bucher's, Zeamer's, Schroeder & Hinkle's, or Smoker's? Who's to say? He may have seen a good deal at the local Watt & Shand. In the day, he had more choices in town than we have today.

A word about donating significant artifacts: No matter where you are, there's likely an historic society or association in your region. It's important that we support these entities. Whether you support them with cash or artifacts, a gift to your local society will allow the generations afterwards to know something of their past. It's more important than ever. Once these artifacts are lost, they're gone forever.

"For what is the worth of human life,

unless it is woven into the life of our ancestors

by the records of history?"


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