Philadelphia: Lilienfeld Bros. Steam Power Printers, . 36 pp, with 3 illustrations from photographs, many ads. Original stapled wrappers have chipping and internal tape repairs and are detached from text block; internals very good. Not found in OCLC. The Pannonia Beneficial Organization was founded in 1896 through the merger of three existing Jewish benevolent societies, all of which had been formed between 1882 and 1894, a period during which thousands of Russian Jewish immigrants settled in Philadelphia. The Home for Jewish Orphans, located at the corner of Tenth and Bainbridge Streets, was one of Pannonia’s first projects. This pamphlet offers a brief history of the organization, lists its officers and board members and those of the Young Men’s Hebrew Union and Women’s Auxiliary, and urges “every Jewish heart in Philadelphia” to “rejoice over the colossal achievement of the Jewish community in the founding, in so short a space of time, of an institution which shelters its fatherless and motherless children.” The publication appears to have served its fundraising purpose well, as it carries advertisements from more than 75 local businesses.
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n.p., n.d. ca. 1869-70. Small broadside, 4.5 x 8.5 inches. Faint foxing (primarily to the verso), minor creasing; near fine. Admittedly, this undated, uncredited broadside is a bit of a puzzle. The "Old Hunkers"--depicted here as managing the balloon "Union League"-- were the more conservative of two factions of the Democratic Party in New York State during the 1840s. According to John Farmer's Americanisms Old and New (1889), "the Hunkers themselves clung to the homestead or old principles, but unkind critics insisted that it meant a clinging to a large hunk of the spoils of office." Although the original Hunkers were long gone by the time the Union Leagues formed in the early 1860s, "hunkerism" remained in use to describe politicians who toed the party line, clinging tightly to the rewards they received in return. Union Leagues were elite clubs established during the Civil War to promote loyalty to the Union. Members were generally wealthy men who supported the Republican Party and donated money to organizations supporting the war effort. After the war, Union League leaders were accused of using their political weight to promote members to positions from which they could line their own pockets. Although the manipulation of the (Republican, 1860s) Union League by the (Democratic, 1840s) Old Hunkers depicted on this broadside is at first hard to fathom, it seems likely that the reference to the Hunkers here is simply shorthand for a certain kind of political patronage. But what specific circumstances provoked this cartoon—whose nominations were being bought by whom--remains to be discovered. Not recorded in OCLC, but we are aware of two other extant examples.
Np, nd, but likely 1892. 7 x 9 inches,  pp, front wrapper illustrated with a portrait of George Washington in a “frame” composed of small portraits of all the succeeding Presidents through Benjamin Harrison. Illustration design credited to E.M. Beckerman and copyrighted by the Nonpareil Publishing Co., both of Chicago. Old folding creases, a few chips and short tears, “Monday Evening” in pencil on front wrapper. Good. Not recorded in OCLC. According to a February 1892 notice in the Logansport [Indiana] Reporter, A.R. Carrington offered a series of six “Illustrated Entertainments,” in which he presented “more than 300 colored scenes and crayon sketches thrown upon canvas by a powerful stereo-sciopticon” (i.e., magic lantern). This particular program offered a whirlwind illustrated survey of the first hundred years of American history, covering “literary, social, and religious advancements; commercial, financial and political uses and abuses; the labor and race problems; the educational and common school question, and a general summary of the most stirring and thrilling events in the nation’s history.” This was accompanied by stirring patriotic speeches by Thomas Jefferson, Daniel Webster, Andrew Jackson, Grover Cleveland, James Garfield, Charles Sumner, Horace Greeley, James G. Blaine, and Benjamin Harrison. We found little information about A.R. Carrington himself, but someone of that name was billed as a “champion drum soloist” in the 1870s, and appeared on the New York Vaudeville scene in the first decade of the twentieth century.
Eleven tickets, each printed on colored cardstock, with information about the event on the front and song lyrics (and, in a few case, local ads) on the back, some with small illustrations or decorative borders. Most include ticket prices and the names of bands or orchestras. Size ranges from 2.75 x 4.75 inches to 3.5 x 5.5 inches. A few with corners broken off, one with creasing, but very good overall. These tickets are artifacts of what the Encyclopedia of Chicago History describes as an “explosion of popular culture” experienced by Chicagoans between 1900 and 1920. Amusements such as movies, music, vaudeville, cabarets, and dance halls “redefined success to include pleasure and consumption, and as mixed-sex institutions they also created new ways for men and women to court, establishing greater equality for women in leisure activities.” Dances—especially those sponsored by local clubs associated with Chicago’s many ethnic enclaves—were seen as a socially acceptable and safe place for young men and women to mingle. Many of the tickets in this group were given by organizations now long forgotten. In 1911, the Irving Pleasure and Athletic Society held its “Fourth Grand Ball and Hard Time Party,” and the Bohemia Lion Athletic and Benevolent Association held a moonlight picnic at Pilsen Park Pavilion. In 1913, the Radomesler Unterstuetzungs Verein (a German benevolent club) sponsored a dance at the Lessing Club House, and the Employees Aid Society of United Dairy Co. held its first dance at the West Side Auditorium. By 1920, you could hear “music supreme and jazzy by Nelson’s Famous Jazzcopators.” Each ticket offers enticing clues about the social life of a particular group or neighborhood, and collectively they document popular musical tastes in the years leading up to the Jazz Age.
NP: . 5 x 8 inches, oblong.  pp, in pictorial stapled wrappers. Many b/w illustrations from photographs, including a double-page panorama at the center. Light handling wear, mild vertical crease; very good. Willow Grove Park, which opened in 1896, was a genteel version of an amusement park, developed by the People’s Traction Company of Philadelphia to encourage trolley ridership to the end of the line. Billed here as “the finest summer resort in the world,” the Park offered peaceful spots for picnicking, strolling, and boating, pavilions for concerts and dancing, and amusements “of a character pleasing to the most refined tastes,” which included a tame roller coaster (the “Mountain Scenic Railway”), two carousels, an interactive anthracite coal mining exhibit, and the “Sir Hiram Maxim Captive Flying-Machine.” The latter was 100 feet high and boasted “ten great extending arms from which are extended ten ‘airships’ in which the passengers take their novel flight,” suspended from long steel cables. The Park became nationally famous for the concerts in its music pavilion, particularly after John Philip Sousa and his band started playing annual concerts there in 1901. This well-illustrated booklet provides the summer’s line-up (which also featured the Herbert’s Orchestra, Conway’s Ithaca Band, the United States Indian Band, and Damrosch’s Orchestra) and describes each of the Park’s attractions. New in 1905 was the Willowgraph Theater, which offered visitors “an unprecedented exhibition of moving life pictures, including an entirely new assortment of comic, magic, mystic views and trick film novelties,” and “the longest continuous moving picture entertainment ever given in the United States, employing for this purpose three thousand feet of film.” Although this title was apparently issued annually between 1903 and 1910, we located only 7 copies of any edition in OCLC.
A group of 8 pieces of printed ephemera: one flier, one broadside, one pamphlet, an order form, a 3 x 5.5" insert, two mailing envelopes (one with a canceled stamp and postmark datelined Baltimore, 1905, the other unused) and a typed mimeographed letter printed on Stevens Medical Institute letterhead. Aside from the used envelope and the typed letter, which is creased at the folds, all items are clean and bright; near fine. This material appears to have been part of a multifaceted direct-mail campaign by the Stevens Medical Institute, one of countless fly-by-night quack operations peddling cures for whatever might ail you in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The "medicines" offered here were hawked under the same names -- and often with the exact same verbiage -- by dozens of outlets across the United States. They included "Cutol" (anti-septic, antimicrobic, soothing, healing, purifying, strengthening, for all Cutaneous Diseases, and Mucous Membrane troubles, of the Rectum, Vagina and Os-Uteri, for Exzema, Herpes, Erythema, Nettle Rash, Ring Worms, Itch, Pimples, Tumors, Salt Rheum, Fever Blisters, Etc.! -- no woman's toilet is complete without it!") and "Vir-Leo Skin Food," which promised to not only remove wrinkles, lines, and blemishes" but also to "increase the measurement of the bust from four to six inches!" Another boasted the ability to correct bowel issues and backaches with the same pill. The Stevens Institute itself appears to have left no trace -- which was undoubtedly by design.
[Cincinnati, Ohio]: [Golden Specific Company], n.d. (but early 1920s). Stapled pamphlet, 4 x 5.75 inches, 24 pp., with chromolithographed wraps and full-page chromolithographed illustrations throughout. Rear wrap partially detached, with a small scrape and a tiny chip, but very good overall. Haines (1849-1893) was a physician, educator, and sometime Quaker minister best known for this, his "cure" for alcoholism. The powder--consisting ostensibly of bichloride of gold, but actually composed of milk sugar, starch, capsicum, and trace amounts of ipecac--was marketed primarily to women, who were encouraged to clandestinely slip it into coffee cups to effectuate a painless cure upon their unsuspecting menfolk. The graphic and grisly color images (healthy vs. unhealthy stomachs, livers, kidneys, eyes, brains, and noses) culminate in a pair of family portraits, one happy (smiling, well-kempt, upwardly mobile), the other dour (listless, slatternly, sinking into despair), which provide an extra turn of the screw to the unhappy housewife or mother wavering at the point of sale. Undated, but testimonials at the rear of the pamphlet are dated as late as 1921, providing evidence that the American Medical Association's 1917 denunciation of the treatment as "a cruel humbug" had done little to curb the Golden Specific Company's marketing activities. OCLC locates one copy only, at Yale.
Boston: J.V. Himes, 1850. 3.25 x 5.25 inches, pp iv, 331,  (index of first lines). Contemporary calf binding with black spine label. Chip to head of spine, rubbing to extremities, one signature partially sprung; very good. Compiler Joshua Vaughn Himes (1805-1895) was a dedicated social reformer, publisher, and promoter of the teachings of millennialist preacher William Miller. After meeting Miller in 1839, Himes became convinced of the imminent return of Christ, and in 1840 he began publishing the first Millerite newspaper, The Signs of the Times. He organized camp meetings and conferences, published hundreds of Millerite pamphlets (including the first Millerite prophetic chart), and organized a lecture tour for himself and Miller. With Josiah Litch, he published the first Adventist hymnal, Millennial Musings, in 1841. After the "Great Disappointment" (when Christ failed to return in 1844), he worked to guide the movement forward. Reflecting one of the inevitable schisms of that period, Hymns of the Advent Harp, which first appeared in a larger-sized edition in 1849, was published specifically for those who persisted in keeping the Sunday (rather than Saturday) Sabbath. According to the Preface, this pocket edition "retains all the pieces that have been considered valuable [and] replaces many pieces that have been seldom sung, with new pieces that have never appeared in any other collection." Seven copies of this edition located in OCLC.
Los Angeles: The Fellowship Publishing Co., n.d., but ca. 1906. 4.5 x 5.75 inches, pp. [1-4], 9-126, , in original gray cloth boards with titles stamped in gilt on upper board. Table of Contents written neatly by hand at p. . Boards soiled; offsetting to front endpapers from a tipped-in typed biographical note, with similiar toning at pp. 84-85 from another laid-in typed note; good. Three copies located in OCLC. Mary Russell Mills was born in Minneapolis in 1859, married at age 20, and bore six children. Her husband, Benjamin Fay Mills, served as a Congregationalist minister in Minnesota, New York, and Vermont, before taking up his own style of itinerant evangelism, using the revival platform to engage Christians in social reforms. In 1904, Benjamin and Mary Mills together established the Los Angeles Fellowship, which aspired to transcend sectarian affiliations. Encouraging its members to always ask "What is the loving thing to do?", the Fellowship and was engaged in community life and dedicated to helping the needy. Mary, who was ordained a minister in 1905, here delves in the some of the theological and philosophical foundations of the organization, with discussion of the nature of love and faith, the "good of evil" ("we know all good things by contrasts. We see beauty, we feel comfort, we are led into the choices of wisdom, by strongly defined contrasts"), and the progress of the soul into "highest consciousness" and unity with the Eternal. The couple later went on to establish another branch of the Fellowship in Chicago.
New York: Knapp Press, 1907. Only edition. 5 x 6.5 inches, in original illustrated wrappers. 54 pp, printed rectos only. Some old dampstaining visible on wrappers and page margins, otherwise very good. A scathing indictment of John D. Rockefeller, delivered in the form of a poem running 54 pages and some 1,070 lines. The author (about whom, alas, we know nothing) envisions the newly deceased Rockefeller (who actually still had a decade to live) strolling up to St. Peter with a cadre of lawyers in tow to argue his case. When St. Peter is unmoved, Rockefeller starts to list his good deeds:On Earth I gave millions to religion So claim a favorable decisionTo aid my fellows my soul was yearning I made donation to seats of learningAlthough countless moneys I have hoardedI trust my private gifts you've recorded. But St. Peter, who apparently follows the earthly press, is unmoved: We know your earthly history very wellAs we have read the record by Tarbell...Your charities were not above reproachAnd very near to business lines approachTen millions to some charity you sentThen raised the price of oil one-half percentSo profit came with every donationBeside the plaudits of a great nationYour charities were tainted by deceitAnd carried on your advertising sheet. The more Rockefeller pleads his case, the more details of his selfish motivations are revealed by St. Peter. At last, realizing the Pearly Gates will not be opening, Rockefeller is forced to make his way to "Satan's dark abode," where he is welcomed with open arms. A rare item, about which little (if anything) seems to have been written. We locate one copy in OCLC, at the New York Public Library.
1903. Bifolium, 8 x 12.5 inches,  pp, lithographed handwritten text with hand-colored illustrations on three pages and a b/w illustration on the fourth. Very good, a little soiled, with a later full-height reinforcing paper hinge at the spine, the paper of the hinge itself chipped, but without loss to the original paper or infringement upon the original text. Shipboard newspapers date at least to the early 19th century, but came into their own on the ships of the California gold rush (examples included titles such as "The Emigrant," "The Petrel," and "The Flying Fish") and, perhaps most famously, on several polar expeditions. In some instances, these ephemeral publications contained useful information about onboard activities and shore leaves; others were more fanciful, existing mainly to combat boredom, maintain morale, and distract from the discomforts of sea travel. They were often short-lived, curtailed not only by the length of the voyage, but by the difficulty of their production. "The Tramp" is a prime example of the genre, handwritten, lithographed, and then nicely embellished with large hand-colored illustrations. It is a prospectus only, "merely an introduction to the first issue," which, we are told, "will appear next Monday. Contributions to the same will be thankfully received" and "copies will be sold by auction." In the pages that follow we are treated to the details of a hotly contested bridge tournament; edified about previously unknown Creatures of the Deep; and informed that a concert has taken place, but "unfortunately the music critic is prejudiced, and we are unable to publish his article." What ship The Tramp was produced on and where it was headed are uncertain, but we do have some clues. A lightly penciled note on the bottom of the first page reads "Sardinia April 1903." The text on page 2 indicates that the ship departed Bombay on April 11th and arrived in Aden on the 17th. A standard route at the time would have been Bombay-Aden-Suez-Sardinia-London, so this may have been a passenger vessel sailing that route. It could also have been the S.S. Sardinia, a troop transport ship used by the British Navy at the end of the Second Boer War. As we have a catalogue to complete, we leave it to the next owner to figure out.
n.d., but ca. 1920s. 5.5 x 8 inches,  pp, with a photographic illustration on each page. Faint folding creases, 1/4-inch chip out at the foot of the spine, else very good. A souvenir pitch book for Serpentina, "the Eighth Wonder of the World, the Despair of Doctors, the Puzzle of Scientists," whose career on the vaudeville and carnival circuit spanned several decades, beginning around 1920 in Oakland, California. According to Mark Hartzman's "American Sideshow: An Encyclopedia of History's Most Wondrous and Curiously Strange Performers," by the 1930s Serpentina was appearing with the Travelling Mammoth Marine Hippodrome Show, and in the 1940s at Coney Island (where "a baby carriage was used to move her about, and her exercise was limited to having someone reposition her limbs," per Hartzman, who adds, "her snakelike flexibility was demonstrated by tying her limbs in knots"). When she wasn't being turned into a pretzel, Serpentina was presented as the "sensational siren of the seven seas," a living mermaid, or "Sea Tiny," with scales on her "boneless" legs. Her actual condition, identified in this biographical sketch as "arrested ossification" (due, the pamphlet tells us, to "lack of developing power of the mother, probably due to over work before the child was born") was most likely some form of osteogenesis imperfecta, a disease in which a lack of collagen in the connective tissues leads to severely weakened bones. The pamphlet in hand appears to have been reproduced at various points in her career, the only variation being in the age assigned to her. Here we are told she is 22 years old; there is at least one other version in which her age is given as 38, and likely others were issued as well. However, OCLC lists only one institutional holding, at McGill, with a publication date of 1938. Ours would appear to be an earlier version, from some time in the 1920s.
New York: Damon & Peets. Undated sideshow pitch book, c. 1880. 3 x 4.5 inches, 16 pp, in original illustrated wrappers. One full-page illustration and 2 within the text. A few small chips/short tears; very good. Waino and Plutano (also called Plutanor) were a pair of exceptionally strong dwarf brothers from Ohio named Hiram and Barney, born c. 1825 and 1827. They were each 40 inches tall and weighed about 45 pounds, yet they could perform feats of great strength such as lifting heavy weights and wrestling with audience members on stage. Discovered and subsequently promoted by a traveling showman in 1852, the brothers were renamed and given a sensational backstory in which they were wild savages captured in Borneo after a great struggle with armed sailors. They were exhibited at state fairs across the United States in the 1860s, and they later toured with William C. Coup's circus. They joined P.T. Barnum's traveling exhibitions around 1880 and went on to earn more than $200,000 over the next two decades. This scarce pitch book describes the isolated "negritos" of Borneo ("yellowish in color and undersized"), the wild "monkey antics" of the brothers when they first reached America, their amazing strength, and their travels and gradual domestication.
Pierre, SD: South Dakota Rural Credit Board. Undated, but 1930s. Four-panel brochure, 3.5 x 8.5 inches when folded. Fine. Feeling like a cog in the machine or a slave to industry? South Dakota is the answer! This 1930s promotional piece seeks "real men and women" to settle on the state's homestead lands. "If you are dissatisfied with your lot in life, if you are tired of the worries and uncertainties of city life, if you are at present farming high priced land or paying a high rental, if you have only become a cog in the machine....here is offered a golden opportunity to build a future as you would like to have it."
Boston: Boston Chemical Printing Company. Undated, but ca. 1835. Handkerchief printed in black on white cotton. 10.25 x 11.25 inches. Text in three columns, decorative border, small illustration at the head of each column. A very good example, with some scattered foxing. Technological developments of the early nineteenth century made printed textiles available in greater quantity and at a lower price than ever before. Not only were textile companies offering new printed fabrics, but traditional publishers of books, pamphlets, broadsides, etc., began printing some items on cloth. As Diane Affleck of the American Textile History Museum explains, "Textile prints produced by paper printers usually combined text with images or other decorative elements to create a publication which, like a broadside, was self-contained and printed on a single sheet, in this case, fabric instead of paper. Some prints had no purpose other than as a keepsake or souvenir, while others functioned, at least in theory, as handkerchiefs. The subjects of the textiles were generally commemorative, persuasive, or instructional" (Textiles in New England II, p. 195). This handkerchief, which falls into the "instructional" category, was one of several produced for children by the Boston Chemical Printing Company. It is of particular note for including "Mary's Lamb," the poem which would come to be beloved by generations of schoolchildren and known by its first line, "Mary had a little lamb." Although the poem's authorship would later become the subject of heated debate, it was first published by American writer and editor Sarah Josepha Hale in 1830, and it is credited to her here. Collins (Threads of History 229) puts the date of the handkerchief as ca. 1850 (and this is repeated some catalogue entries), but the Boston Chemical Printing Company appears to have been actively only between 1834 (when it was incorporated) and about 1840, so an earlier date is more likely.
New York & Washington, D.C. Telepost Company, n.d. (but ca. 1910).  pp, 6.5 x 8.25 inches (folding to 3.25 x 8.25 inches), in stapled wrappers printed in black and red, illustrated with photographic portraits. A little soiling at the creases, staining at the bottom edge of the front wrap; very good. One copy located in OCLC, at Yale. A relic of the early telephony/telegraphy wars. By the turn of the 20th century Bell (American Telephone & Telegraph) was ascendant in the telephone sphere, and "The Telegraph Combination" (Western Union combined with the Atlantic and Pacific Telegraph Companies) dominated the realm of telegraphy. Enter the small, scrappy, independent telephone companies trying to eke out a corner of the market for themselves. One of these was Telepost, a company possessing superior technology allowing for far faster and far cheaper telegraphic transmissions. Based on the inventions of American electrical engineer Patrick B. Delany, their automatic telegraph system was capable of transmitting and recording 3000 words a minute over a single wire. The company made a brave stand, with an impressive marketing campaign in the pages of Popular Mechanics, the Journal of Telephony, and other journals both high-brow and low. This little pamphlet bravely sallies forth, offering short biographies of its accomplished and highly respectable trustees, providing glowing testimonials to the speed and economy of their services, anointing Telepost "The People's Telegraph," and declaring "The Combination cannot get the Telepost Company." Alas, despite its bravado, Telepost could not beat the big boys, and by the late 'teens, Western Union had gobbled it up whole.
4.75 x 6 inches, 16 panels of photolithographic views, accordion-folded into brown cloth boards decorated in gilt. Edgewear, two sets of facing panels with a small spot of abrasion where the pages stuck together, otherwise very good. Uncommon view book, dating from a time when Knoxville's population was only a little over 40,000. Includes a double-page bird's eye view of the city; street scenes, many small inset views of individual churches, schools, hotels, residences, and office buildings; University of Tennessee campus; Island Home Park, Knox Business College; Knoxville Iron Company, and more. A single page of text on the rear pastedown includes the eyebrow-raising assertion that "possibly no city in the world is more cosmopolitan than Knoxville." Lest any potential visitor be unsettled by this promise of pluralism, they are quickly reassured that "there is no Southern city with so small a percentage of colored population. Our colored people are, as a rule, industrious, self-respecting, good citizens."
Thirteen black and white photographs, 7.5 x 9.5 inches, mounted on boards measuring 12 x 14 inches, each with a brief penciled caption on the back. Mounts are chipped at the edges; some images show some light soiling, rubbing, or staining. Good to very good overall. This photographic tour of the interior of a furnished home in San Antonio offers excellent documentation of Texas material culture at turn of the twentieth century. The house is identified on the back of one image as "511 South Pressa [i.e., Presa] St. San Antonio Texas.1897 or 98." The photographs provide views of the reception hall, dining room, living room, library, and three different bedrooms (captioned as "Ethel's," "Father's," and "Mother's"). Each room exhibits different patterns of carpeting and wallpaper, a gas chandelier, and a variety of art and decorative objects. A Frederic Remington painting hangs on one wall of the living room, which is also graced with a grand piano, ornately carved furniture, and at least one other painting of the American West. The library boasts an enormous glass-fronted bookcase filled with finely bound volumes, a tiger-skin rug (complete with head), and other hunting trophies. Ethel (a teenager?) has tacked photos and drawings to her walls and hung a gauzy fabric embroidered with the word "Dixie" above her bed. Only Mother's Room has an occupant (presumably Mother herself), and she is seated at a desk facing side-on to the camera with her forehead resting on her hand. Maybe it's just a pose, but it's hard to imagine not being tired out by the weight of the enormous amount of fabric in her bustled dress.
[McAllen, Texas]: [Eskildsen Studio]. Undated, but 1920s. Group of ten b/w photographs, 5 x 7 inches, each captioned in the negative by hand and credited "Eskilosen," and with "DK" added in pencil on the verso of each. About fine, with the occasional faint finger-smudge. The Lower Rio Grande Valley extends 100 miles north and west from the mouth of the river near Brownsville on the Gulf of Mexico through Mercedes, Weslaco, Progreso, Hidalgo, Llano Grande, McAllen, San Juan, and Rio Grande City. The completion of irrigation projects in the late nineteenth century and of the St. Louis, Brownsville, and Mexico Railway in 1904 led to a period of explosive growth in the region over the next two decades. According to The Handbook of Texas Online, "In Hidalgo County, land that had been selling for twenty-five cents an acre in 1903... was selling for fifty dollars an acre in 1906 and for as much as $300 an acre by 1910." Cattle ranching continued to thrive, but successful marketing efforts by land companies and the railroad brought an influx of farmers, who settled down to grow citrus trees, grapes, cabbage, tomatoes, and other crops. The 10 photographs here, commercially produced by the Eskildsen Studio of McAllen, Texas, perfectly showcase the boomtown flavor of the Valley in the 1920s. They show bountiful fields of cabbage, alfalfa, and onions (and in one case, the African American laborers who made it all possible), a grapefruit tree bent to the ground under the weight of its abundant fruit, fields of grass-fed pigs and dairy cattle, a newly built farm house captioned "New Eden," and—perhaps most importantly—a major irrigation canal. Taken together, this small archive provides an edifying glimpse into the energy and optimism of pre-Depression South Texas.
Original mounted photograph of a large assembly of dolls and other toys, captioned in pencil on the back in an adult hand, "Miriams and Lydias Sunday School Class." Images measures 4 5/8 x 6 5/8 inches. Mount measures approximately 8 x 10 inches. Chip missing from one corner of mount, otherwise very good. Undated, but after 1912 (when the first Kewpie dolls were sold). A charming image documenting the prized possessions of two little girls. The photo shows at least 25 dolls of a wide range of sizes and types--many having a very bad hair day--all seated together on a sofa awaiting their lessons. More dolls, several stuffed animals, and a few other toys made of wood, tin, or cast iron occupy the foreground.
Hartford, CT: Pope Manufacturing Co., . 8.75 x 11.75 inches,  pp, in illustrated stapled wrappers. Some scratching and light soiling to front wrap, internals clean. Very good. Not located in OCLC. Boston businessman Alfred Pope saw his first bicycle at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. Enchanted by the invention, he studied the manufacturing process and was soon producing bicycles from a plant in Hartford, Connecticut and championing the development of better roads to ride them on. By the 1890s, the Pope Manufacturing Company was making about 250,000 bicycles a year. But Pope recognized that the automobile was the way of the future. “In 1896, he founded the Columbia Electric Vehicle Co. in Hartford and, a year later, demonstrated the world’s first public production model electric-powered car. His production of 2,092 cars (some gas-powered) in 1899 accounted for nearly half the automobiles made in the United States" (connecticuthistory website). This catalogue advertises five different styles (Touring, Roadster, Phaeton, Limousine, Coupe) of the company's 1913 Model 31, a gas-powered vehicle with a powerful engine said to embody "all of those features thus-far perfected and deemed essential to a perfect motor car." Prices ranged from $2,250-$3,750. Today, a restored Model 31 will set you back about $200,000.
San Francisco: David Hardwood Company, 1922. 3.75 x 7.75 inches, 32 pp, stapled wrappers. Not located in OCLC. One corner with a small crease; about fine. A scarce, nicely illustrated catalogue for this San Francisco company, whose owner, William Davis, traveled up and down the Pacific Coast to show his wares and was dubbed "the Philippine Mahogany King" (yes, really). A handsome lithograph graces the cover, and photographic illustrations inside show the plant, workers, and methods of transporting the lumber, as well as finished products (paneled walls and doors, a Pierce Arrow auto body made with 8 different woods) and an exhibit then on view at the Panama Pacific Exposition. Prices are given for more than 15 species (from Australian Ironbark to Walnut), along with brief information about the uses of each.
Richmond, IN: The Wayne Works, . 7.5 x 10.5 inches, 31 pp, in wrappers illustrated to resemble carriage-house garage doors, opening at the center to reveal the full-color title page featuring an image of a Wayne Touring Home and some happy campers. Accompanied by a price list, cover letter, and original illustrated mailing envelope. Minor abrasion to wraps at two spots where the “doors” were glued shut, else fine. Not located in OCLC.Scarce and delightful (to those who like to wander) trade catalogue for an early motor home. Manufactured in Richmond, Indiana, Wayne Touring Homes were “constructed and fitted out to provide the same living conveniences to travelers as afforded by modern permanent homes.” They came in lengths of 11 to 19 feet and could accommodate up to six adults in the larger models. As with today’s RVs, customers could pick and chose from a range of furnishings and equipment, including cabinets, tables, seating, beds, overhead racks, stoves, refrigerator, etc., as well as smaller items such as tableware, cookware, bedding, and lanterns—all of which are illustrated and described in this catalogue. And for the man who might wonder why he should bother with a whole extra home, a compelling pitch is given. Once you own a Wayne Touring Home, “Time is of no importance. The weather is no obstacle…Your wife and children, too, are refreshed…with every road open to your passage, your vacation is spent where you want it. When you tire of a place, you’re not tied there. Move on!...You can’t be robbed by grasping hotel keepers. You don’t need to put up with vile accommodations.... Don’t tie up money in the expense a cottage becomes… Don’t have your neighbors spoil the value of your property…. Go where the fishing is!... Rest yourself from your labors. Get real rest, the kind that only a clean, outdoor life brings. Do you want to change your residence? Sell out and go in your traveling home. Look over the county as you go. Try out the new work, the new place. If you don’t like it, move on. The world is yours.” Who could resist?
Philadelphia: John Wanamaker, . 8.5 x 10.75 inches, 156 pp, in original light green wrappers. Black and white illustrations throughout, one double-page spread in color. Some toning around the edges, a few small chips; very good, with original order forms and a sample of Wanamaker Irish Linen paper bound in. A fully illustrated and comprehensive mail-order catalogue from Philadelphia’s first department store. Includes the latest styles of clothing for women, men, girls, and boys; undergarments of every variety; hats and ribbons; boots and shoes; fabrics, buttons, and trimmings; household linens; soaps and perfumes; hairbrushes and combs; dressing cases and luggage; lamps; bird cages; carpets and floor coverings; wallpaper; curtains; pocket watches; gold pens and pencils; gold and silver thimbles; eyeglasses, opera glasses, and lorgnettes; microscopes and stereoscopes; art supplies; penknives, scissors and razors; silverware, pots, and pans; clocks; refrigerators and other “housekeeping helps”: toys, games and sporting goods (sadly, these are not illustrated); and myriad other items to catch the eye and open the pocketbook.
Chicago and New York: Marshall Field & Company, 1921. 10.75 x 15.5 inches, extensively illustrated from photographs. Original brown wrappers with lettering stamped in gilt, red and gilt insignia. Light edgewear, bump to upper corner, minor damage to head of spine; very good. A lavish promotional book aimed at retailers and intended to reinforce the notion that Marshall Field's supplied only finest quality merchandise: "goods designed and built to give a maximum of service --goods representing the fullest possible measure of value -- goods which will secure and insure the full confidence of your community." This is accomplished through a detailed presentation of the company's textile manufacturing and quality control processes. Each of the company's North Carolina and Virginia textile mills is shown in all its glory, with photographs of rows of gleaming machinery used to weave, card, spin, and knit a variety of fabrics; piles of finished textiles; and shots of focused workers carefully inspecting the materials for defects. In a textbook show of industrial paternalism, the book also reassures customers that the flow of goods should continue uninterrupted, as the company provides its workforce with benefits that make them content, and thus efficient. The text describes educational facilities, "a staff of trained nurses" who safeguard the health and hygiene of the workers, and athletic, musical, and other recreational activities. There images of company-owned bungalows "leased to the employees at modest rentals," and "other views which show how Marshall Field & Company provide for the welfare of their textile operatives," including bowling alleys, a billiard room, a company baseball team, and even a "Girls' Mandolin Club."