The World of J. & I.E.M. Inks
By Dave Graci
Many people in the bottle world will recognize the bearded face of established and knowledgeable bottle dealer Ron Rainka. Some may know that he lives in Warren, Ma, a small town of 4,776 people, hidden in the hills northwest of the famous Brimfield Antique flea markets.
|John Morre||Ron Rainka||Ron's House|
Few realize that he resides in the home that was once headquarters for the famous ink manufacturer J. & I.E. Moore. John Moore was born October 27, 1802 and was sent to Farmington, Maine for his formal education at age 12. Residing in Maine, young John was to open a General Store in Hallowell, Me. in 1802, remaining in business there until 1827, when he returned to Warren, Ma. to take charge of his fathers various enterprises. John was twenty-five years old and would make a name for himself in the local community, where he took part in town government, becoming Town Clerk in 1836 and assuming the duties of Postmaster for a number of years. Ron Rainka has amassed a considerable collection of Moore material, painting a picture of a person with considerable business acumen and a keen eye to his future.
The town of Warren was originally called Western, with the name changed in 1841 due to numerous mix-ups with the town of Weston, Ma. John Moore was to become closely associated with this town through his business enterprise of manufacturing writing inks. John's first activity was operating a country store, begun in 1845 and continued until 1858, when his ink production business began. There is a strong possibility that his store was located in the same house in which Ron Rainka now lives on Main Street. Evidence for this store is found in some of the other products manufactured by the J. & I.E. Moore establishment. Moore's Crown Bluing for the Laundry is found in two different labeled bottles and Dr. Barron's Magnetic Pain Destroyer, put up in sided, labeled pontiled bottles contained within a labeled product box. A further reference to this store is contained within a letter written to Capt. Isaac Prouty, in North Spencer, Ma. ordering "6 pairs of calf boots, like the last order", dated June 19, 1849 and signed by John Moore.
Ron's Main Street house contained Moores initial factory facilities when he began the production of ink in 1858, and it wasn't until 1866 that Moore realized a larger quarters were needed. His new and enlarged d facility was located right behind the Main Street building, still standing today much as it appeared then. Moore's priced catalog, only three copies known and all owned by Ron, differ slightly only with the change of prices.
John Moores first style of ink bottle was the Igloo, with three different designs noted. The first was unembossed with a label, the second and rarest example is embossed "J.M.& Son," with the most common being embossed "J. & I.E.M." It was Johns son Isaac Elijah Moore, born April 7, 1839, who would join his father as a Junior Partner in 1860 and add the other initials.
Moore's most recognizable ink bottle is today called the "Turtle" style by most ink collectors and yet it was not called that by John Moore. Listed in his price catalog was the term used by Moore to describe this bottle. He called them "Monitors" after the famous Civil War Naval Ship. The patent model for this famous design is another treasure in Ron's collection, along with the actual Patent Papers, dated Oct. 31, 1865, #2,211. This date was also embossed on the first Monitor ink bottles produced. A final ink bottle design, that never reached production, was patented as #303,310 in 1884.
A hand written note on the back of an office invoice, and signed by I.Walter Moore, gives insight into the creation of their Hyperion Ink. It states "Hyperion Writing & Copying made August 14, 1907. Written and not blotted copy made in copy book page 386. Written Sept. 21, 1907. Drawn from bottom of barrell."
Numerous labeled Moore's Inks are contained in Ron's broad collection together with some outstanding bottle examples in rare colors that show the full range of Moore's efforts. Unknown even to Ron until a short while ago was a wonderful deep teal J. & I.E.M. Igloo example that now occupies an honored place. Three metal stencils seem to round out all this material and they are for the "Ebony Black Writing Ink", "Zulu Black Writing Ink" and "Moore's 1893 Improved Excelsior School Ink".
John Moore passed away on March 21, 1878 and his son Isaac Elijah Moore on April 16, 1921. The last Moore to operate the Ink business, before it closed in the mid 1930's, was Isaac Walter Moore. Ron Rainka personally knew I. Walter Moore, as he was called, before his passing on December 8, 1968 at age 92.....
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