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Photographs ➔ Photograph, Tree Tanglefoot Being Loaded Onto A Boxcar

This is a photograph of Tree Tanglefoot being loaded on to rail road box car.  Tree Tanglefoot is used on tree trunks, espeically fruit and nut trees, to prevent pests from affecting the tree health.

The Tanglefoot Company was a well established fly-control and pest-control company in Grand Rapids.  
circa 1931
8" h 10" w 1" d
Current Location Status:
In Storage
Museum Collection
The Camera Shop
The Camera Shop was formed in 1908 by Walter K. Schmidt (1865-1938) to provide photo supplies to the Grand Rapids, Kent County Michigan community. He retained ownership of the Camera Shop until 1936. All of the known photographs which carry the Camera Shop markings come from the era of Schmidt’s ownership. The Grand Rapids Public Museum and the Grand Rapids Public Library have photographs from the Camera Shop in their collections.

Tanglefoot Company
Founded in 1885 in Grand Rapids by William Thum, a Pharmacist.  Originally a manufacturer of fly-paper with a patented sticky adhesive.  The company also manufactured and sold tanglefoot, an adhesive for use on trees to prevent pest damage.

William Thum founded the business that became Tanglefoot in 1885. They developed an adhesive using castor oil, resins and wax. The blend didn't soak through the paper backing, and lasted longer than its competition. The Thums patented the design in 1887, launched a plant in Grand Rapids, and soon were shipping fly paper around the world. 

As pesticides and lower insect numbers reduce the demand for fly paper, the company's primary product, it shifted towards devlopping green gardening products.  In recent years this has allowed the company to see some resurgence as the organic market has expanded.


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