Royal marmalade: old advertisement for sweets

November 7

We do not know exactly what the taste of sweets or cookies was 100 or more years ago but we can imagine how the advertising of confectionery products effected on Muscovites of that time. It is impossible not to admire the colorful posters, for the development of which famous artists were involved. The Moscow Glavarchiv, where many old posters are kept, has chosen several ones with a very interesting history. About how entrepreneurs Siu, Abrikosovs and Einem effected consumers - in the material.

Siu: from a small candy store to a huge factory

This bright poster still works great today, more than 100 years later. It instantly makes you want to brew stronger tea and put something sweet, crunchy and crumbly on a saucer next to a cup. Cookies, sweets and other confectionery products of the ‘S. Siu and Co.’ (until 1908 — ‘A.Siu and Co.’) trading house were in great demand in pre-revolutionary Russia. After the revolution, when the company was nationalized, its fame continued under the ‘Bolshevik’ new name. It was one of the largest and most famous Soviet confectionery factories.

French cookies for tea of the trade house ‘S. Siu and Co.’ Advertising poster. 1895. Glavarchiv of Moscow.

The founder of the factory, Adolf Siu, came to Moscow in the middle of the XIX century from France to work in the field of perfumery and confectionery. He opened his own small confectionery shop with a chocolate factory as part of it in 1855 in Vargin's house on Tverskaya Street. The old house has not been preserved, now house 8 built in the 1940s stands in its place. It is believed that the outlines of its upper floor and roof repeat the contours of its predecessor.

The business brought the Adolphe Siu family — wife Eugenie and sons Charles, Louis and Adolphe — a very small income. Everything changed when an ambitious Frenchman got a leadership position in one of the perfume companies. The family started to have money that could be invested in sweet production. However, under the terms of the contract, he could not engage in entrepreneurship — then the confectionery business was secured for Eugenie.

Armed with the principle of ‘high quality at a low price’, Sius gradually won the love of not only Muscovites, but also residents of St. Petersburg, Kiev and Warsaw, where their branded stores worked. The product range was very wide and constantly replenished: the family company produced cookies, sweets, pastilles, nougat, waffles, gingerbread, cakes, pastries and ice cream, as well as coffee and cocoa.

In 1884, the business passed to Adolf Siu sons. Two important changes have taken place under their management. Firstly, an exemplary factory built by French architect Oscar Didio and equipped with the latest technology was opened on the Petersburg Highway (now Leningradsky Prospekt). Secondly, Siu began to produce perfume products — it was due to father, who wanted to fulfill his long-standing dream. Since 1908, confectionery products have been produced under the brand name ‘S. Siu and Co.’ (where S means ‘sons’), and perfumes - under the brand ‘A. Siu and Co.’  In 1913, the trade house received the title of ‘Supplier of the Court of His Imperial Majesty’. Sius received this honor after the release of cologne "In Memory of the 300th Anniversary of the Romanovs House ", sweets ‘Susanin’ and cookies ‘Jubileynoye’.

Notification of the transformation of the ‘A. Siu and Co.’ trade house in the ‘Partnership of A. Siu and Co. factories’.  1908. Glavarchiv of Moscow

By the way, the advertising of Siu products has always been the best — and it's not just about posters. The enterprising sons of Adolf Siu ensured a stable interest in their products not only by their high quality, but also by attracting collectors. At that time, many confectionery factories placed inserts with drawings on a certain topic in boxes with sweets, which formed collections. For example, Siu offered children to collect the series ABC, Geography, History, for adults — Pushkin, Russian Romance and Cabinet Portrait. The boxes themselves were very beautiful — famous artists were involved in their design. Tin boxes with a lock, in which sweets of the highest grade were sold, remained in the homes of buyers for many years becoming favorite boxes for small things.

Abrikosovs: technological know-how, risk and a lot of advertising

Alexey Abrikosov, one of Adolf Siu's main competitors, was also aware of the importance of good packaging in the confectionery business. Having inherited a small factory from his father, which employed 30 people, he almost immediately opened an art workshop in it. Abrikosov hired the famous painter Fyodor Shemyakin to lead professional artists. Colorful packages of Abrikosov’s sweets appeared on advertising posters, house facades, billboards and, of course, in shop windows. Abrikosov also used a trick with inserts — especially young sweet tooth loved cards with images of animals that could be found in boxes with Abrikosov’s cookies and sweets.

Marmalade ‘Tsarsky’ ‘Factory and Trade Association of Abrikosov & Sons Partnership’.  Advertising poster. 1900s. Glavarchiv of Moscow

His five sons, who took over the management of the family confectionery business in 1874, continued their father's endeavors. This red poster, designed in the spirit of the fashionable Art Nouveau at the beginning of the twentieth century, probably brought them a considerable profit — there should have been a lot of people who want to try the novelty of the Abrikosov & Sons Partnership, about which three cute herons bethought.

The Abrikosov sons actively introduced new technologies. For example, in 1882 they patented a special machine that simplified the production of marmalade. And they also brought specialists who developed a method for making glazed fruits — this popular dessert was brought exclusively from abroad at that time. In 1899, entrepreneurs received permission to place the state emblem on their products package.

Advertising of the Abrikosov & Sons Partnership.  1896

After 1917, the Apricot factory became confectionery factory No. 2, and then received the name of Pyotr Babayev, a revolutionary, chairman of the Sokolniki district Committee.

Having handed over the affairs to his sons, Alexey Abrikosov did not sat idle but engaged in the tea trade. One day he came up with the idea to try to bring tea to Russia from China not by land, but by sea — through Odessa. Nobody did that then. Abrikosov was dissuaded, explaining that the brew could deteriorate due to humidity, but the idea turned out to be successful. So the Abrikosovs marked a place for them in the tea trade.

Einem: confectionery music and candy tongs

Shortly before Adolf Siu, another young foreigner arrived in Moscow, intending to do confectionery business here. The Prussian subject Ferdinand Theodor von Einem, or Fyodor Karlovich, as he began to call himself in Russia, began with the sawn sugar trade. In 1951, he opened his tiny shop on the Arbat. Previously, this room was occupied by an Italian pastry chef Ludwig Pedotti, who recently got rich and left for Tverskaya. A few years later, Einem also moved to Petrovka.

Einem managed to earn his first big money during the Crimean War: in 1853-1856, he supplied syrups and jam to the army. His business went uphill when he took a fellow countryman, Julius Ferdinand Heuss (or Julius Fedorovich Geiss, as he was called in Moscow), as a partner, a great specialist in advertising. His ideas made Einem's products even more attractive.

In addition to the usual postcard inserts, branded accessories — special tongs and napkins — could now be found in candy boxes. And Heuss also came up with the idea of hiring a composer who would write special music on the confectionery theme. The notes of Chocolate Waltz, Cupcake Gallop or Montpensier Waltz could be obtained for free when purchased at the manufactures' store on Theater Square (the partners opened it in 1860).

Soon the most important event happened: having collected the necessary amount, Einem and Heuss ordered a steam engine from Europe and began building a factory on the Sofia embankment. The Einem Partnership factory, founded in 1867, produced not only confectionery, but also cocoa and coffee.

‘Einem’ Cocoa Partnership. Moscow — Berlin. Advertising poster. 1897. Glavarchiv of Moscow

Fyodor Karlovich was very much loved in Moscow not only for sweets, but also for his goodness. It was said that for every pound of cookies he sold, he donated five kopecks in silver, and half of this money went to charity institutions, and half to a German school for poor orphans. It is not surprising that Julius Heuss, who took the helm of the factory after the death of his partner, did not change its name.

Even after the nationalization and renaming of the factory to Krasny Oktyabr’ (Red October), it was difficult to abandon the name of the kind Fyodor Karlovich: for several more years, the packaging of products was marked in parentheses: "Ex. Einem."


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