Thomas Huston started his bakery in 1869 in Auburn, ME. He had saved money from his job as the driver of a bakery wagon in Portland, ME in order to buy his own bakery, which continued to grow until the building was destroyed by fire in 1882. He started over again. His sons, W. Roy Huston and N.A. Huston eventually joined the company and helped facilitate its move to Portland, where a modern, seven-story bakery/factory was constructed on 314-318 Forest Avenue in 1919. The factory was filled with the most state-of-the-art baking equipment, and also was equipped for premium levels of cleanliness, safety, and efficiency.
The company built a reputation based on the fact that they produced products from Maine, and they limited the distance of their shipping operations to only as far as they could guarantee continued freshness of their products. The entry to the main offices included the following slogan: “Made in Maine—for Maine—by Maine People. Taste a Huston Cookie Baked Fresh Daily and Delivered Direct from Our Ovens to Your Dealer. It’s Their Freshness that Makes Them So Delicious. T.A. Huston & Company ‘The Down East Bakers’ ‘Bakers of Better Biscuits Since 1869.”” One of their most famous products was the Sebago Lunch Biscuit, for which the company used only Sebago Lake water, “which had been said by government chemists to be the purest water to be found in the country.”
In 1931, the bakery was sold to the National Biscuit Company (Nabisco), which continued to operate the facility in 1954. They were forced to close because the building could not accommodate new modernizations in the industry. After many years during which the building was used primarily for storage and warehousing and then became vacant, the University of Southern Maine purchased the property in 1991 and converted it into the Albert Brenner Glickman Family Library.br> br>
This gallery is a facsimile of a salesman's catalog, ca. 1913, of T. A. Huston & Co. The catalog’s pages describe the array of candies, cookies/biscuits, and crackers offered by the company, with a photograph (likely hand colored) and typewritten labels describing them by name or identifying them with a number. The candy selection ranges from chocolates to hard candies, lollypops, caramels, and many other varieties. There are many varieties of cookies and crackers as well, some of which were imprinted with the Huston name. However, not all the selections seem to have been produced directly by T.A. Huston & Co. For instance, one page of the catalog depicts a selection of Necco wafers and others show Hershey products.br>
Cite as: T.A. Huston & Co. Salesman’s Catalog, Special Collections, University of Southern Maine Libraries.
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