I found this lovely little cup in a box the other day.
It’s just one of those cute little demitasse cups you would pick up in a souvenir shop. This one has a picture of the White House in Washington, D.C. On the bottom is a foil sticker marked “A Capsco Product.” It’s a pretty retro collectible from the late 1960s.
Capsco actually stands for Capitol Souvenir Company and it has a longer history than I thought. My original thought was that this company was a pop up in the 1950s but it actually started in the early 1920s. In 1922 a man named Jacob Goozh opened Empire Photo Studio at 917 Pennsylvania Avenue.
He was someone with a lot of drive. He grew his business by going out onto the streets of Washington and photographing soldiers returning from WWI. He used “tin-type” photography so within minutes, the soldiers could take home their souvenir.
By 1930 Jacob had relocated the business, which was by then Capitol Souvenir Company, to 105 Pennsylvania Avenue. The move allowed the company to catch the tourists visiting Washington D.C. by train and sell them souvenirs. This new location was minutes from Union Station. Location! Location! Location! Am I right?!
I have to say, he knew what he was doing and really worked hard to make this life in America, where he had moved to in the early 1900s from Europe, be his dream.
As time went on, Jacob branched out his business into Virginia and Maryland. He hired more salesmen and opened a retail shop. He also began visiting the Asian markets to import the souvenirs directly. In the 1940s his son, Joseph, took over the business which was growing into a national company.
Then during the 1960s Joseph’s sons, Jay and Martin joined the business and Capsco became one of the most well-known names in souvenirs. They are still in business, actually. Under Jacob’s great-grandson, Capsco is still running out of Washington D.C. They also provide souvenirs at historic sites, museums, zoos, aquariums and more.
It’s always amazing to me how people can make their own destinies. An interesting company for sure.I got most of this information from Capsco-inc.weebly.com in case you want more in depth info.
If you have any memories of a Capsco souvenir, share it with me. I love to hear from all of you! I will be partying at the link parties listed on the right this week. Great blogs, all of them. Have a great week!