105 East Water Street, Syracuse, New York | Unmarked Location
For a time, L. Frank Baum worked as a traveling salesman for his brother Benjamin William Baum, whose company began in Buffalo but then moved to several locations in Syracuse; this is one. Its lead product was a premium axle grease consisting of castor oil blended with petroleum that resisted clumping at low temperatures. This is one of the company’s Syracuse locations and also the site of the Carbon Oil Company, operated by the brothers’ father, Benjamin Baum.
The Building. The Wieting Block, an ornate office structure, was erected at an unknown date by physician and medical lecturer John Manchester Wieting (1817-1888). In 1879 it became the site of Syracuse's second telephone exchange. One year later, the two competing exchanges merged, forming the Syracuse Telephonic Exchange which then had just 36 customers.
This is one probable location of a company owned by L. Frank Baum's brother Benjamin William that marketed an axle grease made of castor oil combined with petroleum and also the Carbon Oil Company, operated by the brothers' father, Benjamin.