I have always liked the image on this Snow Boy Washing Powder Soap metal sign. I can only speculate the use of the Lautz Bros. & Company product would clean your clothes to look as white as fresh snow again. The use of a young boy gliding down a hill on his sled carrying a box of their detergent is rather unusual to say the least. I have not seen this image on any other advertising sign, so it is certainly not a stock type of sign, but was designed for this companies brand specifically. This particular sign is a three dimensional tin sign, circa 1900.
The Lautz Family were prolific businessmen in early Buffalo, N.Y. history. Originally started as a candle making company, Adam Lautz quickly saw a need for a better soap, and started selling soap out of a horse drawn wagon in downtown Buffalo. As this side business grew, the candle business slowly receded in importance, and Adam was on his way to creating history. Interestingly one of the sad aspects of his success was his companies prolific use of racially driven advertising showing how the companies soaps would make the skin white again. One must remember this was a different time in history, not too long after the end of the Civil War. So times were much different in the late 1800’s than they are today. Fortunately such advertising would not be allowed in today’s environment.
Adam Lautz’s success allowed him to start several other well known Buffalo companies including The Niagara Starch Company, The Niagara Stamping and Tool Company, and The Onyx Grinding and Polishing Company. Mr. Lautz also had several boys who all became very active in the Buffalo business community. One of the sons was a well known land developer in the early 1900’s in Buffalo and helped develop much of Buffalo’s industrial areas with other local businessman.