PIERCETON — Jas. Townsend & Son Inc. has been in business for over forty years. Located on North First Street in Pierceton, they offer authentic reproduction clothing and products related to the Colonial, American Revolutionary and War of 1812 periods, specifically in the time frame of 1750 to 1840.
Townsend & Son is a major supplier to historical sites, museums, the motion picture industry and theatrical companies. Their products have been used in TV series such as “John Adams” and “Turn” as well as in well-known movies such as “The Patriot” and “The Revenant”.
Recently, Townsend & Son has seen a surge in popularity, mostly due to the interest generated by their YouTube channel.
Eight years ago they decided to experiment with incorporating YouTube as part of their marketing strategy. Initial response to the YouTube channel was underwhelming. They tried different approaches, including humor, but with little interest from the public. Last summer they began posting videos featuring recipes from the 17th, 18th and 19th century and the response has been nothing short of incredible. Their YouTube video for fried chicken using an 18th century recipe got over one million views, and the number of subscribers to Townsend & Son’s YouTube channel doubled overnight.
The popularity of Townsend & Son’s YouTube channel caught the attention of Nightline, a half hour program featured on ABC. David Wright, a correspondent from Nightline, recently visited Townsend & Son to film a segment for their program. No airing date has been determined at this time.
Jon Townsend, president of Jas. Townsend & Son Inc. and executive producer of the YouTube channel, is featured in the cooking videos. Both the videos and Jon as the host have been met with an overwhelmingly positive response. Here are some of the comments posted on Townsend & Son’s YouTube videos:
“This guy may be the nicest man on the planet.”
“I know right? He’s too nice for the internet lol”
“Thank you for the amazing videos. My wife and I love them. We stumbled onto your channel a few weeks ago and are thankful you spend the time to explain things the way you do. be blessed.”
“WOW so well done, even outdoor kitchen & clothes are from the era. thx”
“I like watching your videos. They are relaxing.”
Kevin Carter, director of marketing and producer/director of the YouTube channel, reports that since the launch of Townsend & Son’s YouTube channel in 2008 they have seen their subscriber list grow to roughly 250,000 people with 21 million channel views. Aaron Bushong is the primary videographer, audio technician and video editor.
Current playlists include approximately 600 videos spanning a broad range of topics and genres, all relating to 18th and early 19th century history.
According to Carter, “There is a certain irony in the fact that we’re using 21st century technology to promote 18th century products.”
For anyone interested in the fried chicken recipe, here is the video.