Wednesday, March 5, 2014

In From Eric McGuire

Sorry I haven't been able to respond sooner regarding the Ainaxab bottle.  It's just crazy that, when you retire, you don't seem to have enough time to do anything. Anyway, I have seen two variants of this bottle. The earliest is the one pictured by Dale M.  First advertised in 1881, in 1882 a change in the name occurred from J.A. GIRARDIN & CO.  to the AINAXAB MANUFACTURING CO. This may have reflected an incorporation, and or, the exit of the previous proprietor. What I assume to be the later version does not have the name of Girardin embossed on it.

 The first and second initial of Girardin is transposed in all the advertisements compared to those on the bottle. All of the early ads for this product, and there are a good number, show "J. A. Girardin & Co." as proprietor.  I am fairly confident  this person was Jesus Augustin Girardin. He was born in Monterey, CA, in 1850 to Swiss born Jean (Juan) Girardin and Mexican born, Manuela  Perez, once the owners of what is now called "The Stevenson House", a historic  landmark in Monterey where Robert Louis Stevenson had rented a room in 1879, the same year that Juan Girardin died.  Manuela then married Victor Canet on February 23, 1883. She died in 1906. Jesus Girardin died in 1897 and is buried in the Girardin plot at San Carlos Cemetery in Monterey. His grave marker  Jesus was a jeweler by trade. His brothers, Manuel and John Girardin, were  barbers in San Francisco, and since Ainaxab was a beauty product for the skin, I suspect they were involved with the product as well.

Born in Prague in 1845, Maximillian Taubles escaped the unrest of his country and came to California, where he became the manager of the Ainaxab Manufacturing Company in 1882. He didn't stay long and quickly joined on as manager of Ichi Ban, a San Francisco store specializing in the sale of Asian goods. Not satisfied with this line of work, and succumbing to his love of writing, Taubles gained dubious fame when he traveled to Seoul, Korea, to write for Harper's Monthly Magazine.  He witnessed a period of widespread disease and contracted small pox, becoming the first Westerner to die in Seoul, on March 15, 1886
The last mention of the Ainaxab Manufacturing Company that I could find was in 1894 when Willis P. Haynes was the manager. Haynes was the son of California State Supreme Court Judge, John Haynes. Willis was a successful businessman who died in Tucson, AZ, on January 17, 1911. Haynes moved to Arizona about 1886 where he gained notoriety as a photographer. Beginning about 1898 Haynes worked in the insurance and real estate fields, mostly in Tucson. It is somewhat of a mystery what happened to the Ainaxab Manufacturing Company from the end of 1882 until its documentation in 1894 when Haynes was manager.  It is equally surprising that Haynes became associated with the company in 1894, when most of that decade he resided in Arizona. After 1894 Ainaxab appears to have gone into permanent hibernation.

The above advertisement was published in the 1894 edition of the San Francisco Directory
Thanks Eric for the well researched info on the AINAXIB