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The Mountain Goats of Princeton

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This is one of two Canadian mountain goats given to Princeton University by J. Monroe Thorington, Class of 1915. As a young man,Thorington (1894-1989) spent his summers in the Bavarian Highlands and that was all it took to ignite a life-long enthusiasm for mountaineering. He became an avid explorer of the Canadian Rockies watershed, in particular, where Mount Thorington was named after him.

Roy, as his friends called him, graduated from Princeton University in 1915, received his M.D. at the University of Pennsylvania in 1919 and after residency at the Presbyterian Hospital became a practicing ophthalmologist. He worked at the American Ambulance Hospital, Neuilly-sur-Seine, France and then, spent six years as an Instructor in Ophthalmology at the University of Pennsylvania.

But it was mountain climbing that remained the focus of his life. A scholar of alpinism, Thorington published an long series of guidebooks for mountaineers, biographical travel journals, and dozens of articles for international sporting magazines.

See Mountains and Mountaineering; a List of the Writings (1917-1947) of J. Monroe Thorington. Limited edition. (Privately printed, 1947). Firestone Library (F) Z8874 .M686 1947

Printing Plate for Tobacco Paper

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Copper printing plate for Kemp’s Old Tobacco Successor to M. Wheatly near [?] New Church IIIV Strand, London, 1700s. Gift of Allen Scheuch II, Class of 1976. Graphic Arts Collection 2012- in process.

London directories for the 1780s and 1790s all list two tobacco merchants named Kemp: Kemp & Bourguigon, 28, King-Street, Tower-hill; and Anthony Kemp, Tobacconist & Brandy Merchant, 87, Aldgate. We have not been able to find one on the Strand or named Wheatley.

Roman Soldiers

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In 1919, the Princeton University Classics Department added two new professors, Paul Coleman-Norton in Roman studies and Shirley Weber (1883-1962) in Greek studies. Weber left in 1937 to become librarian of the Gennadeion of the American School in Athens. Except for a brief hiatus during WWII (1941-1946) when the library was closed, Weber worked in Greece until his retirement in 1953.

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It was at this time that he returned to Princeton to work on Princeton’s Virgil collection, preparing a check-list and descriptive catalogue we still keep in our reading room. Professor Weber also donated a small, colorful collection of tin Roman soldiers, which now resides in TC074 the toy theater collection under the graphic arts collection. Here are a few of the figures.

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The Vergil Collection in the Princeton University Library. A Check-List and Descriptive Catalogue, compiled by Shirley H. Weber … ([Princeton, N.J.] Princeton University Library, 1956). Typescript. Rare Books: Reference Collection in Dulles Reading Rm. (ExB) Z8932 .xP7

The Democrats of Ohio

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In January 1902, the Ohio Democratic Party opened its first permanent state headquarters in Columbus. Ten years later, Ohio voted for Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924), the first Democratic president in the 20th century and the 28th president of the United States.

The Graphic Arts Collection holds the engraved printing plate for a certificate of greeting to President Wilson from the Democrats of Ohio, “as a humble testament of their pride in the great party of principle founded by Jefferson, immortalized by Jackson, and symbolized by your choice as titular head and dignified (?) bearer, and this greeting is a modest token of confidence in you…” The plate is not dated but we believe it to be ca. 1912/1913.

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In a strong wooden box with the name Myers stamped on the side, we recently discovered a wrapped banner. When it was unrolled, we found this beautiful lithographic World War I recruitment poster (~5 x 8 feet) in perfect condition.

William Starr Myers (1877-1954) was a professor of history and politics at Princeton University and a noted historian of New Jersey and the Republican Party. Our Mudd Manuscript Library holds the William Starr Myers Papers documenting the history of his teaching career and published works [MC098].

The bulk of the collection was donated by Mrs. Margaret Myers in May 1956. Most likely, this box came later or perhaps was separated from the rest of the collection. Happily, it is now moving back to Mudd Library to be included with Mr. Myers’ papers.

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The Press Battalion

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Unidentified artist, The Press Battalion to be attached to the Manhattan Rifles, the attention of pressmen, compositors, engravers, journalists, and every department of the Art of Printing, is called to this Battalion, no date [1861-1865]. Graphic Arts Collection GC179 Broadsides Collection

Our Civil War era recruitment broadside is similar to the one held by the New York Historical Society:

Manhattan Rifles! 1861-65. Civil War Recruitment Poster, featuring a Zouave, for New York Infantry Regiment, 12th (Lieut. Col. Geo. F. Watson, Comm’dg. Major Jno. M. Freeman). © New York Historical Society PR.055.3.226

The central image in our broadside is signed Shugg.
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Thanks to the Verona Printers in Gill, Massachusetts, we known their family’s printing business was begun in the early 1850s by the New York City chromolithographers at Richard Shugg & Company. “His son, Calvin Shugg, was a photoengraver and Calvin’s brother, Charles B. Shugg, was a pioneer in zinc plate printing. Their cousins were Proctor and James Shugg, of Shugg Brothers Engravers and Lithographers in New York City. Charles’ son, Charles P. Shugg, was also a well-known lithographer and plate-maker. Calvin’s son, William Shugg, worked in photography for print advertising.”

In 1903, the Manhattan Rifles became the first all Jewish regiment in the American National Guard. It is unclear what the relationship is, if any, between the first and the second organization.

The Black Crook celebrated

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“In commemoration of the seventy _ time of the Black Crook. The Boston Theater on Wednesday November eighth MDCCCXCIII [1893].” Cast plaster. Graphic Arts GAX 2012- in process.

The Black Crook opened at the Boston Theatre on September 4, 1893 and played until January 6, 1894. At that time, eighteen weeks was the longest consecutive run of any Boston Theatre production. The original 1866 production of this 5 1/2 hour musical comedy ran for over 2 years in New York City. It’s success may have been due to the 100 “scantily-clan” female dancers.

Nearing the seventieth performance at the Boston Theater, a celebrate was arranged. The Boston sculptor Max Backmann was commissioned to create this commemorative souvenir: an artist’s palette with the actor’s faces as the painter’s colors.

See also Cecil Michener Smith (1906-1956), Musical Comedy in America: from The Black Crook to South Pacific (New York: Theatre arts books, 1981). Mendel Music Library (MUS) ML200 .S66

The New York Public Library has released a number of tracks with recreations of the musical’s numbers:
You Naughty, Naughty Men Libby Dees and Adam Roberts
The Black Crook Gallop Adam Roberts
The Fairy Queen March Adam Roberts

These songs are released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 2.0 license. This means you can download, share, and remix the files as long as you credit the original artists, do not use them for commercial purposes, and license any new work you make with the audio under a similar license.

Clayton's Ascent

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The American bandbox is traditionally made from curved and sewn paste-board, covered with decorative wallpaper and sometimes lined with newspaper. These inexpensive storage boxes were made in all shapes and sizes and used to house all types of clothing and objects. They were sometimes created with designs connected to an event or holiday.

The first flight in a hot air balloon to exceed 500 km (311 miles) was made on April 8, 1835 by Richard Clayton, an aviation enthusiast. Clayton left from a Cincinnati, Ohio, amphitheater and landed nine and one half hours later in Monroe County, Virginia.

To celebrate this event, a bandbox was created with printed wallpaper showing Clayton’s balloon ascending over the Ohio countryside and the word’s Clayton’s Ascent on the cover and sides. The series was probably marketed soon after the flight in 1835 or 1836.

“Most of the bandbox papers were made from wall papers and designed by Pares & Fayes, 377 Pearl Street, Paper Hangings Warehouse, and Parrish of Delancey and Essex Streets.” (quoted from “History In Our Grandmothers’ Bandboxes,” The New York Times, February 25, 1912.)

This bandbox comes with a handwritten note stating, “Purchased July 1931 from Frank McCarthy, Longmeadow, Mass. … $17.50. It is part of the Aeronautical collection collected by Harold Fowler McCormick, Class of 1895, and given to Princeton University by Alexander Stillman of Chicago, a relative of the McCormick family.

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Stubborn Elephant Dead

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One of the headlines in the April 23, 1900, New York Times reads, “Stubborn Elephant Dead, Killed by Two Others at Madison Square Garden.” The article goes on to recount a Saturday performance by the Sells Brothers’ Circus, which was “bereft of one of its best dancing elephants. The animal, whose name was Dick, was killed while an attempt was being made to move him with two large ropes pulled by two other elephants. Ever since the show came here Dick has been misbehaving although his conduct had before that been most exemplary. Every now and then he became restive, refusing to perform his part in the elephant quadrille, and making the utmost precautions necessary to prevent him from harming the keepers.”

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The article ends, “From tip to tip he measured 12 feet 6 inches, his weight being two and a half tons. The measurement of his body crosswise was 3 feet 9 inches. After the body was cut up yesterday morning by Taxidermist H.H. Vogelsgan, it was found that there were 110 square feet of leather in his hide, 10 of his truck, and 5 in his ears. Sixteen men worked half the day on the carcass. Negotiations for the purchase of Dick’s frame for mounting are being carried on by the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh.”

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Sells Brothers Millionaire Confederation of Stupendous Railroad Shows (Buffalo, N.Y.: Courier Company Show Printing House, 1880). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2012- in process

Apostles and Temples

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After George Edward Anderson (1860-1928), Apostles and Temples from 1835-1886:
Floral Record of the Apostles, Temples, Etc. etc. of the Church of Jesus Christ,
of Latter-day Saints,
1886. Albumen silver print of a broadside, which had letterpress and photographs mounted behind the board.
Graphic Arts GA 2008.00002

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“George Edward Anderson … was born 28 October 1860 in Salt Lake City and apprenticed as a teenager under renowned photographer, Charles R. Savage. … At the age of seventeen Anderson established his own photography studio in Salt Lake City with his brothers, Stanley and Adam. He subsequently established a studio in Manti, Utah …”

“He is perhaps best known for his traveling tent studio, set up in small towns throughout central, eastern, and southern Utah to capture the lives of the residents… . Although today we might think of Ed Anderson as a portrait photographer, his clear and artistic studio portraits are complemented by thousands of documentary portraits … “

“including the Scofield mine disaster, and the building of temples by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” — At Brigham Young University’s site, they note that the majority of this biographical information is taken from Rell G. Francis, The Utah Photographs of George Edward Anderson (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1979). (SAPH TR646.U6 F672 1979)

Shown above are photographs of Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, Brigham Young, and several members of “the former and current Quorum of the 12 Apostles.” Also pictured: Salt Lake Temple; Kirtland Temple; St. George Temple (Saint George, Utah); Nauvoo Temple; Smith, Joseph, 1805-1844; Smith, Hyrum, 1800-1844; Young, Brigham, 1801-1877; Woodruff, Wilford, 1807-1898; Marsh, Thomas B. (Thomas Baldwin), 1799-1866 Johnson, Luke S., 1807-1861; Smith, William, 1811-1893; Boynton, John Farnham, 1811-1890; Johnson, Lyman E. (Lyman Eugene), 1811-1856; Page, John E.; Wight, Lyman; Lyman, Amasa M. (Amasa Mason), 1813-1877; Taylor, John, 1808-1887; Pratt, Orson, 1811-1881; Rich, Charles C. (Charles Coulson), 1809-1883; Snow, Lorenzo, 1814-1901; Snow, Erastus Fairbanks, 1818-1888; Richards, F. D. (Franklin Dewey), 1821-1899; Smith, Joseph F. (Joseph Fielding), 1838-1918; Carrington, Albert, 1813-1889; Thatcher, Moses, 1842-1909; Kimball, Heber Chase, 1801-1868; Hyde, Orson, 1805-1878; Patten, David W, 1799-1838; McLellin, William E. (William Earl); and Pratt, Parley P. (Parley Parker), 1807-1857.

"Night Lunch for a Blank Generation" and other stories

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Search & Destroy (San Francisco, CA: [s.n.], v. 1, no. 1, 1977-v. 2, no. 11, 1979). “New wave cultural research.” Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2012- in process

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“Though small, San Francisco-based RE/Search is credited with beginning a fringe publishing phenom[enon],” writes Susan Carpenter (LATimes Aug. 13, 2002). [V. Vale] … had no career aspiration other than working as a clerk at City Lights Books when he started Search & Destroy. Vale put together the magazine with an IBM Selectric II correcting typewriter he used after hours at the bookstore. Using money he solicited from legendary beatnik Allen Ginsberg and City Lights founder Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Vale was able to print his first issue but had to rely on the money he made through benefit concerts to keep the venture going.”

Although the zine only lasted eleven issues, it was quite influential and remains a key source for interviews in late 1970s popular culture including music, art, literature, and film. Writers featured include William Burroughs, J.G. Ballard, Patti Smith, Octavio Paz, and Bob Flanagan among others.

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Jean Berté's Water Colour Printing Process



Not long after the French printer Jean Berté (1883-1981) immigrated to the United States, he applied for a patent to his watercolor printing process. The technique was similar to other letterpress methods, except plates were cut in soft rubber and the inks were water-based rather than oil. As in Japanese woodblock printing, a separate plate was cut for each color and the color was laid on in a particular order of translucent layers.

The patent was granted on August 10, 1926 and Berté began looking for a commercial distributor for his process. That’s when he found Fred A. Hacker in Belleville, New Jersey.

Through their partnership Hacker not only provided American commercial printers with a license to use the process but he also sold “engraving equipment, plate material, inks, and rollers … [for] the type and size of presses you wish to equip.” Perhaps Hacker got the best of the deal because the 1930 census has changed Berté’s occupation from artist to clerk and by 1940, he is teaching French in a private school.


Der blaue Vogel comes to London, 1923

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In the 1920s, Der blaue Vogel (The Blue Bird) was a theater/cabaret founded by Russian émigrés living in Berlin. Their performances combined Russian folk songs, modernist theater, and satirical sketches. Three of the men active at The Blue Bird were L. E. Duban-Tortsov, a former Moscow Art Theatre actor; Jasha Jushny (also written Sasha Yuzhny or J. Yuzhny); and the director André Andrejew (1887-1967). It was Jushny who took the company on a European tour in 1923, reaching London’s Scala Theatre in October.

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The Entire Blue Bird Company, [1923]. Lithographed poster. Printed by J. Weiner Ltd., London. Theater Collection GAX 2012- in process

One reviewer noted, “There are no people like the Russians for making us feel artistically ashamed of ourselves. We Westerners … have been taught to forget the evidence of any drama other than the fidgety compositions of our own stage. And then … Russia will send over one of her operas, her ballets, or her vaudevilles, and after the first gasp all our critical standards have to be adjusted to make room for the new-comer—at the top.”

“…The latest came from Moscow by way of Berlin. It is the Blue Bird Company under the direction of Mr. Yuzhny, who presents what is really a glorified cabaret performance consisting of a heterogeneous mass of singing, dancing, and mimic turns, with a running commentary from the director at the footlights.” (Manchester Guardian, October 5, 1923)

Another reviewer was less enthusiastic, “The ear, practically every time, comes off worse than the eye… . The Volga Boat Song, like a page torn from Gorky, is a cry from the depths. Only an artist with a strong sense of humanity and pity could have conceived those seven outcasts in their rags straining at a barge rope against a sunset sky… . As music supplies the basis of these “dramatizations,” surely it ought to be treated less as an intruder in the theater and more as an honored guest.” (The Christian Science Monitor, October 27, 1923)

Advertising The Sunday World

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F. Gilbert Edge (active 1890s), Advertising posters for The Sunday World, [1896]. Color printed letterpress posters. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2012- in process

We recently acquired nine color letterpress advertisements for Joseph Pulitzer’s Sunday World, the heavily illustrated Sunday edition of his daily newspaper The New York World. Pulitzer increased his advertising in 1895, when William Randolph Hearst established a rival paper The New York Journal and the two vied for subscribers.

Note in particular the announcement of an article by Garrett Putnam Serviss (1851-1929) describing “Monsters That Live on the Planet Jupiter.” Serviss was a trained astronomer with degrees from Cornell and Columbia, who wrote early science fiction. He published an unauthorized sequel to War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells, called Edison’s Invasion of Mars. This was followed by a second book about life on Venus and a third about the Moon. His story about Jupiter never made it beyond the pages of The Sunday World.

Vauxhall Ticket 1792

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This is a ticket to the Vauxhall Theatre, London, for the evening of May 31, 1792. It retains the original wax seal, to prevent forgeries. Thursday, May 31 was the opening night for the new season, which this year included a masked ball.

“On the death of the younger Jonathan Tyers in 1792 ownership of the Gardens passed to Bryan Barret, High Sherrif of Surrey, who was married to Tyers daughter Elizabeth. A Masked Ball was held on 31 May contemporary accounts describing the Gardens as a Blaze of Light. Admission charges were raised to two shillings, or three shillings on Gala nights.” —quoted from “Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens” on the Vaux Hall Civic Society website at:

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Stones given to Firestone Library


From Pembroke College, Oxford, founded 1624. The College of Doctor Johnson.


This stone from the Houses of Parliament was presented to Princeton University by His Britannic Majesty’s Government in grateful recognition of the hospitality shown by the University to the British Service Mission in the U.S. A.

Ecstatic Alphabets / Heaps of Language

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“In 2004, The Museum of Modern Art approached typographer Matthew Carter about “refreshing” their icon MoMA, set in Franklin Gothic. Carter said it was, ‘like asking an architect to design an exact replica of a building.’ The result: The new logo - rechristened MoMA Gothic - looks just like the old one, but stretched vertically one eight-hundredth of an inch… . Will anyone notice? Glenn D. Lowry stated: ‘I suspect that if we’re really successful the public won’t really notice the difference, it will just feel right.’”

If I understand the evolution correctly, this text is a portion of an essay by Andrew Blum, originally published in The New York Times, July 21, 2003, as “The Modern’s Other Renovation.” In the winter of 2011-12, it became part of Identity, a wonderful exhibition video prepared by Dexter Sinister (Princeton University lecturer in graphic design David Reinfurt and Stuart Bailey) at The Artists’ Space in New York City. Most recently, it is part of The Serving Library’s 3rd issue and the exhibition catalogue for Ecstatic Alphabets/Heaps of Language at the Museum of Modern Art until August 27, 2012.

Bulletins of the Serving Library (Berlin, Germany: Sternberg Press; New York, NY: Dexter Sinister, 2011- ). Electronic resource

Complete Identity catalogue:

Ecstatic Alphabets/Heaps of Language brings together historical and contemporary works of art that treat language not merely as a system of communication governed by grammatical rules and assigned meanings, but as a material that can be manipulated with creative freedom, like paint, clay, or any other artistic medium.”—MoMA press release

An Umbrella Plane


Model for an “Umbrella Plane,” ca. 1910. Wood, wire, and varnished silk. Housed in a specially made fibre-board box. Museum objects.

Millionaire Harold Fowler McCormick (1872-1941) Princeton Class of 1896, was an aeronautics enthusiast and supporter of the work of the New York inventor William S. Romme (born 1867). Romme designed eleven unique airplanes including a circular plane, which became known as the McCormick-Romme cycloplane or “umbrella plane.”

Together with John D. Rockefeller, Jr., McCormick funded the research and construction of the umbrella plane, developed under the supervision of a twenty-year-old engineer named Chance Vought (1890-1930). A model of this aircraft hung in his Aviation room on 675 Rush Street in Chicago for many years, until the estate with donated to Princeton by one of McCormick’s step-sons Alexander Stillman.

“One of the first ultra-low aspect ratio designs was the McCormick Romme ‘Umbrella plane,’ which first flew on March 11, 1910. Designed by 20-year-old Chance Vought, it had a circular wing that was absolutely devoid of camber. Nicknamed the ‘Doughnut,’ the aircraft not only got airborne but also made controlled flights around its home field at Cicero, 111. About that same time in Britain, Lee Richard built a circular-wing monoplane with a conventional two-place fuselage reaching across the gap in the center. (A version of this aircraft flew in the great film Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines.) Walter J. Boyne, “Aerial Oddities,” Aviation History 16. 4 (Mar 2006): 18, 20.


Get Rid of the Words


Do words get in the way of your enjoyment of images?

Swiss Miss (a design blog and studio run by Tina Roth Eisenberg) just announced the Wordless Web: “a simple browser plug-in that makes the words on any site invisible, so the only thing left to see are the pictures. No text means no context. You’re free to enjoy the images in their purest form, without names, labels, definitions, or purpose. File this under playful and not necessarily all that useful. Project by Ji Lee / Coding by Cory Forsyth.”

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This is not unlike the 1969 piece in which Marcel Broodthaers (1924-1976) removed the words to Un Coup de dés jamais n’abolira le hasard ( A Cast of the Dice will Never Abolish Chance) by Stéphane Mallarmé (1842-1898).

Sweet Papers

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A single sheet of sixteen candy wrappers with color printed vignette and letterpress joke below. Ashford, Kent: Howland’s Steam Confectionery and Grocery Stores, 1800s. Sheet 575 × 450 mm; each wrapper ca. 150 × 110 mm. Graphic Arts GAX 2012- in process

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“The sweetmakers wrapped their goods in the cheapest paper from the stationer’s, or else recycled old books. In one home-based sweets factory, [Henry] Mayhew observed several volumes of the Acts of Parliament used for this purpose, as well as other books, which the confectioner ‘retained to read at his short intervals of leisure, then used to wrap his goods in. In this way he had read through two Histories of England!’ Mayhew counted about 230 sweetsellers trading, of whom twenty to thirty were Jewish ….” from Tim Richardson, Sweets: a History of Candy (Firestone TX 791.R523 2002)

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