These are some of the oldest bird house catalogue offerings which were manufactured and sold throughout the country.Many of the purple martin houses were very heavy and often shipped by rail. Have a look at some of the earliest references to purple martins at the beginning of the 20th century. These are all found at the Internet Archive:
- Albert Crescent bird architecture
- Warren Jacobs Bird Houses
- Joseph Dodson Birdhouses
- Gleanings from Nature
The updated Jacobs Purple Martin House
The Jacobs Birdhouse Company is a small family business based on Kent and Ann’s grandfathers’ business. J. Harold Jacobs, as son of J. Warren Jacobs, drew the plans used to build current production houses. Harold was an architect and a partner with his brothers in the business after his father died. Bly and Dan work in the shop as often as they can. Kent does all the legal work for the company, and also advertises in New England (his state of residence). Ann keeps the books and handles advertising for the company, spending about two hours a day five days a week on the paperwork.
Most advertising for The Jacobs Birdhouse Company is done via word-of-mouth, local papers, and one national magazine, The Collector. They have built up many clients with whom they keep in touch with. They have contacted Walt Disney World as a possible client, and have also talked to the Greene County Commissioners about building houses for their parks and trails.
Each year, the company attends many festivals to showcase their products and raise general awareness of their company. These festivals include: The National Pike Festival, Rain Day, The Covered Bridge Festival, and The Harvest Festival.
George Blystone, pictured above with the Old Capitol at the Greene County museum and beside the Warren Jacobs grave headstone continues to build modified Jacob’s Houses still copying the architectural references the Jacob company was so fond of. They are still beautiful functional houses by today’s standards. The photo below is a 1904 #4 house with purple martins.
Style 4- 78 Rooms
Overall size: 50x50x84 inches
On May 28, 1902, I took the seventh annual census of the colony with the following results: Rooms occupied, 72; containing eggs, 50; containing both eggs and young, 2; nests undergoing construction, 20; total number of eggs and young on this date, 245. After this date I ascended to the boxes only to replace young which had fallen out; so the exact number of eggs laid in the remaining twenty nests was not ascertained, but I feel safe in stating that at least three hundred eggs hatched. Of this number one half died of starvation about the time they were ready to leave their nests. Warren Jacobs