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Canvas Products Co.

Canvas Products Co. Innovative Button Museum
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Canvas Products Co. button back Innovative Button Museum
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CANVAS PRODUCTS 3328 ST. CLAIR AVE. CLEVELAND 14, OHIO UT 1-2244 Service- Repairs New Tarpaulins
Image Description: 

White text on a green background with a clip attached

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This bulldog clip advertises for Canvas Products Co. of Cleveland, Ohio. Before the ubiquitous plastic blue tarp, canvas was the preferred material for making tarps. The full word, tarpaulin, is a compound word from “tar” and “palling” which refers to sailors covering objects on ships with tar-coated canvas palls.

Canvas Products Co. is not well documented, although they are in the 1955 Cleveland City Directory. At best estimate, this clip dates between 1949 and 1963. In 1949, Cleveland telephone numbers went from six digits to seven by adding a 1 after the exchange name, the old number UT-2244 became UT1-2244. This lasted until Cleveland phased out exchange names in 1963, and UT1-2244 would have become 881-2244. (Exchange names might seem puzzling today. Telephone exchanges were the offices where switchboard operators connected calls. Under the old Bell telephone system, every phone number began with a word; this was the exchange name, and the first two letters in the name were the first two digits of the phone number. The letters under the numbers 2-9 on every telephone keypad are a legacy of the system.)


Cleveland Ohio City Directory. (1955). Retrieved from

Tarpaulin. (2020). Retrieved from

Private correspondence with Bob Prochko, Cleveland historian

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