Flower Frog Gazette/ The Making of a Book, p.7

The Making of a Book

Dorothy Biddle Service /
Blue Ribbon Flower Holder Co.

On the way back from New York, we stopped by the Dorothy Biddle Service in Greeley, Pennsylvania. Here they sell flower frogs and many other items related to flower arranging. The building also houses the Blue Ribbon Flower Holder Co. Now owned by Lynne Dodson, the business began with her grandmother, Dorothy Biddle and continued with Lynne's Dad, Rodney Johnson, who purchased the Blue Ribbon Flower Holder Co. in 1959 from Ida Sinclair.
Dorothy Biddle (Mrs. Walter Adams Johnson) traveled all over the United States lecturing and demonstrating the art of flower arranging to garden clubs and women's groups. She was the first editor of the magazine Arts and Decoration and went on to edit several other gardening magazines. She also co-authored several books and articles with her daughter, Dorothea Blom.

 Dorothy's son, Rodney B. Johnson (right), often accompanied her on her flower arranging tours. After the demonstration he would sell flower holders and books written by his mother on flower arranging. Dorothy's favorite arranger was the Blue Ribbon hairpin flower holder patented by Ida Sinclair in 1936. In combination with the lecture tour sales Rod managed to build up a flourishing mail order business while still in high school.

In 1959 Rod bought the Blue Ribbon Flower Holder Co. from Ida Sinclair, moving it from Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, to Hawthorne, New York. In 1981 he moved the business to Greeley, PA.

That's Ida Sinclair on the right with her Blue Ribbon flower holders in front of her. She patented the design in 1936 and manufactured the Blue Ribbon Flower Holder until 1959 when she sold the business to Mr. Johnson.

Blue Ribbon patent Be sure to push your browser's back button to come back to this page.

The ladies at left are Ida's manufacturing crew.

And here I am with Amy (middle) and Lynne Dodson (right). Lynne went to work with her Dad in 1973. When he retired in 1986, she took over the business. Lynne continues to make the Blue Ribbon Flower Holder right here in Greeley, PA. The manufacturing process hasn't changed at all since it began in 1936. In fact Lynne still uses much of the original equipment that her father purchased from Ida Sinclair.

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