This week we have chosen the Paymaster Canadian Series X-900 for our artifact of the week. In the mid-twentieth century, Paymaster became synonymous with most cheque-writing machines. The Paymaster company was founded some time in the 1930s and its machines found their way to many businesses. The machine could be set to an amount as high as $99,999.99, though generally the far left column was ignored when producing paycheques. T.B. Hirschberg, president of Paymaster, was the assignee on a patent for a new cheque-writing device developed by Arthur G. Rindfleisch.
Variations on this original Rindflebisch Paymaster were still used in offices up into the 1980s and 1990s.
Our particular Paymaster, was patented in Canada in 1962 and is similar to the X-550 model, the only difference is that it is a 7 column cheque writer with an electronic alarm system. The alarm system prevented theft and the illegal making of cheques with a business' Paymaster. The anti-theft alarm system was powered by battery and required the user to turn a key to lock the machine. Once locked, if the paymaster was lifted an alarm would sound, signalling a theft.
To operate the device, all you needed to do was set it to the desired amount, slide the blank cheque into the slot at the bottom, and pull the lever. You can find more information about Paymaster machines and the coroporation at the Made-in-Chicago Museum website and come into the museum to try creating a cheque for yourself.
Image obtained from https://www.madeinchicagomuseum.com/single-post/2015/12/22/Paymaster-Check-Machine-by-Paymaster-Corp-1960s
This weeks Artifact of the Week is a bottle of Panogen 15 Liquid Seed Treatment from 1962 that was found in the Agriculture Building.
Panogen 15 is made of the chemical compound Methylmercuric dicyanamide and was used as a fungicide and seed treatment for cereal crops, cotton, flax, and sorghum.
The container contained one imperial gallon of seed treatment (160 fluid ounces) and claimed to treat 213 bushels of cereal seeds. It was recommended for the control of diseased caused by organisms carried on the seed. This seed treatment was used to help prevent or control a number of diseases that infected seeds including: wheat bunt, oat smut, oat blight, covers and black loose barley smut, barley stripe, root rot and scab of cereals, and seedling blight of flax. The container provides in-depth directions on how to use the treatment as well as how to store and label treated seeds.
While researching the Panogen 15 seed treatment, one of the summer students found an article on the 50 year celebration of the Three Hills & District Seed Cleaning Plant. The story has been attached below.
Come to the museum to check out all our amazing artifacts, including this weeks artifact of the week.