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Jay T. Last Collection of American Fairs and Expositions Prints and Ephemera: Finding Aid
priJLC_FAIR  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administration Information
  • Scope and Content
  • Related materials in the Huntington Library
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Jay T. Last Collection of American Fairs and Expositions Prints and Ephemera
    Dates (inclusive): 1834-1970
    Bulk dates: 1875-1893
    Collection Number: priJLC_FAIR
    Collector: Last, Jay T.
    Extent: approximately 1,900 items
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Prints and Ephemera
    The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: 626-405-3473
    Email: lastcollection@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: The Jay T. Last Collection of American Fairs and Expositions Prints and Ephemera contains more than 1,900 printed items that relate to fairs, exhibitions, expositions, and other similar gatherings and events in the United States from 1834 to 1970, with the bulk of material pertaining to the United States Centennial Exhibition held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1876. The collection consists of advertising prints, promotional ephemera, business records, and illustrations produced for specific events, for exhibitors at these events, and for businesses that provided collateral services to event-goers including food, lodging, and transportation.
    Language: English.
    Note:
    Finding aid last updated on March 31, 2014.

    Administration Information

    Access

    The collection is open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, please visit the Huntington's website: www.huntington.org.  

    Publication Rights

    In order to quote from, publish, or reproduce any of the visual materials, researchers must obtain formal permission from the office of the Library Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Huntington as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

    Preferred Citation

    [Item title, Call number]. Jay T. Last Collection of American Fairs and Expositions Prints and Ephemera, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

    Provenance

    This collection forms part of the Jay T. Last Collection of Lithographic and Social History, which was donated to the Huntington Library by Jay T. Last in 2005 as a gift in progress. The bulk of the American Fairs and Expositions Prints and Ephemera were transferred to the Library between 2010 and 2012.
    The collection partially consists of materials assembled by collector Russ Mascieri, which were acquired by Last in 2000. The majority of these materials were incorporated into the main body of the fairs and expositions prints and ephemera, with the exception of a group of trade cards that has been kept intact (see Series I, Subseries B, Binder 13).

    Background

    The Jay T. Last Collection is an unparalleled archive of printed paper artifacts that documents American lithographic, social, and business history. The collection began in the early 1970s when physicist and Silicon Valley pioneer Jay Last moved to Southern California and started collecting citrus box labels he found at local flea markets and rummage sales. As his collection grew, Last realized that these labels conveyed important information about commercial printing, graphic design, and social history, and he expanded his collection to include other forms of American visual culture. Today this collection contains more than 185,000 lithographic prints, posters, and ephemera of mostly nineteenth- and early twentieth- century American origin and represents works by more than five hundred lithographic companies.

    Scope and Content

    The Jay T. Last Collection of American Fairs and Expositions Prints and Ephemera contains more than 1,900 printed items that relate to fairs, exhibitions, expositions, and other similar gatherings and events in the United States from 1834 to 1970, with the bulk of material pertaining to the United States Centennial Exhibition held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1876. The collection consists of advertising prints, promotional ephemera, business records, and illustrations produced for specific events, for exhibitors at these events, and for businesses that provided collateral services to event-goers including food, lodging, and transportation.
    Materials are arranged in two series: small-size items (11 x 14 inches or less) and large-size items (bigger than 11 x 14 inches). Small-size items are described broadly at the series level; large-size items are fully inventoried, and all printers, artists, and publishers are indexed by name. The collection includes over 85 large-size items comprised mainly of lithographic and engraved prints, including advertising and promotional prints, souvenir programs and specialty newspapers, and view prints depicting exhibition buildings. Small-size items number approximately 1,825 and contain a variety of promotional materials including trade cards, calendars, booklets, programs, tickets, leaflets, guides, stationery, and printed billheads and letterheads with manuscript text. Each series is divided into three subseries and sorted by fair or exhibition. General Fairs and Expositions materials form Subseries A and are arranged chronologically, with the United States Centennial Exhibition and World's Columbian Exhibition each contained in their own subseries (Subseries B and C, respectively).
    Prints and ephemera pertaining to international, regional, and local fairs and expositions make up the collection. The bulk of the material is related to the United States Centennial Exhibition held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1876, but also prominent are materials related to the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition held in Chicago, Illinois, to commemorate the 400th anniversary of explorer Christopher Columbus' arrival in the New World. Other fairs and exhibitions represented in the collection include the Great International Exhibition in London, England, the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco, California, the Exhibition of the Industry of All Nations in New York City, the World's Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition in New Orleans, Louisiana, and various local county fairs.
    The collection touches on topics of American business development, tourism, industrial advances, agricultural exhibitions, community events and celebrations. The images are primarily promotional in nature and provide information about the history of fairs and expositions in the United States and their roles in both small and large communities, as well as the evolution of advertising strategies in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The collection also reflects America's progression from a rural agricultural society to an urban industrial environment, and the technological innovations that developed during this transformation. As graphic materials, the items offer evidence of printmaking techniques and trends, as well as information about the artists, engravers, lithographers, printers, and publishers involved in the creative process.

    Alternative Form of Materials Available

    Visit the Huntington Digital Library: Jay T. Last Collection   to view digitized items from this collection.

    Related materials in the Huntington Library

    The Huntington Library Historical Prints Collection contains two related items (priHHC_FAIR_0000015, priHHC_FAIR_0000016) that are listed in the "Related Materials" section at the beginning of Series II in this finding aid.

    Arrangement

    The collection is arranged in the following series and subseries:
    • Series I. Fairs and Expositions Prints and Ephemera (small size)
      • Subseries A. General Fairs and Expositions, 1850-1939 (small size)
      • Subseries B. U.S. Centennial Exhibition of 1876 (small size)
      • Subseries C. World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 (small size)
    • Series II. Fairs and Expositions Prints and Ephemera (large size)
      • Subseries A. General Fairs and Expositions, 1834-1970 (large size)
      • Subseries B. U.S. Centennial Exhibition of 1876 (large size)
      • Subseries C. World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 (large size)
    Items are arranged numerically by call number and described in the following format:
    • Title of print. Date
    • Artist(s) (when known). Printer(s). Publisher(s)

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  

    Genres

    Billheads.
    Broadsides.
    Business cards.
    Business records.
    Calendars.
    Catalogs.
    Certificates.
    Chromolithographs.
    Ephemera.
    Ephemera -- United States -- 19th century.
    Ephemera -- United States -- 20th century.
    Engravings.
    Intaglio prints.
    Leaflets (printed works).
    Letterheads.
    Lithographs.
    Maps.
    Newspapers.
    Photographs.
    Photomechanical prints.
    Planographic prints.
    Postcards.
    Price lists.
    Printed ephemera.
    Programs (documents).
    Promotional materials.
    Relief prints.
    Stationery.
    Stereographs.
    Stock certificates.
    Tickets.
    Tradecards.
    Views.

    Subjects

    Advertising.
    Agricultural exhibitions -- Pictorial works.
    Amusement rides -- Pictorial works.
    Animals -- Pictorial works.
    Brooklyn Academy of Music -- Pictorial works.
    Carnivals -- Pictorial works.
    Centennial Exhibition (1876 : Philadelphia, Pa.) -- Pictorial works.
    Chicago (Ill.) -- Buildings, structures, etc. -- Pictorial works.
    Cincinnati Industrial Exposition (4th : 1873 : Cincinnati, Ohio)
    Columbia (Symbolic character) -- Pictorial works.
    Eagles -- Pictorial works.
    Exhibition buildings -- Pictorial works.
    Exhibitions -- Pictorial works.
    Fairs -- Pictorial works.
    Festivals.
    Flags -- Pictorial works.
    Foreign Exhibition (1883 : Boston, Mass.) -- Pictorial works.
    Great Exhibition (1851 : London, England) -- Pictorial works.
    Horse-drawn vehicles -- Pictorial works.
    Horses -- Pictorial works.
    Industrial buildings -- Pictorial works.
    International Industrial Fair (1888 : Buffalo, N.Y.)
    Landscapes -- Pictorial works.
    Livestock -- Pictorial works.
    London International Exhibition (1st : 1862 : London, England)
    Monuments -- Pictorial works.
    National Export Exposition (1899 : Philadelphia, Pa.)
    National Peace Jubilee and Musical Festival (1869 : Boston, Mass.)
    New York Exhibition of the Industry of All Nations (1853-1854 : New York, N.Y.) -- Pictorial works.
    Panama-Pacific International Exposition (1915 : San Francisco, Calif.)
    Philadelphia (Pa.) -- Buildings, structures, etc. -- Pictorial works.
    Portraits.
    Presidents -- United States -- Pictorial works.
    Steamboats -- Pictorial works.
    Uncle Sam (Symbolic character) -- Pictorial works.
    United States -- Centennial celebrations, etc.
    United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Pictorial works.
    United States -- History -- Revolution, 1775-1783 -- Pictorial works.
    World’s Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition (1884-1885 : New Orleans, La.) -- Pictorial works.
    World's Columbian Exposition (1893 : Chicago, Ill.) -- Pictorial works.

    Printer, Publisher, Artist Index

    The following is a complete list of printers, publishers, and artists represented in the large-size items in this collection.
    A. Brown & Co.
    Ackermann, Emil F., 1840-
    American Bank Note Company.
    Ames, Daniel T.
    Armstrong & Co. (Boston, Mass.)
    Aubrun, Louis.
    Banks & Co.
    Benecke, Theodore.
    Bentzen, B.M.
    Bien, Julius, 1826-1909.
    Bourquin, F. (Frederick), 1808-
    Breuker & Kessler Co.
    Centennial Photographic Co.
    Chapin, Will E.
    Church (Artist)
    Colby Poster Printing Co.
    Cosack & Co.
    Crosscup & West.
    Curran, M.E. (Artist)
    Currier & Ives.
    Davis, Theodore R.
    Day & Son.
    Donaldson Brothers (Firm)
    Ed. W. Welcke & Bro.
    Ehrgott & Krebs.
    Fair Pub. House.
    George Stinson & Co.
    Gilbert & Rivington.
    Gillin & Nagle.
    Goupil & Cie.
    Haddock, John A., 1823-
    Harper & Brothers.
    Heliotype Printing Co.
    Hunter, Thomas.
    Remacle, A. (Printer)
    Julius Bien & Co.
    Krebs, Otto.
    Kurz & Allison.
    Leighton Bros. (Printer)
    Lloyd Brothers & Co.
    Los Angeles Times (Firm)
    Majestic Poster Press.
    Major & Knapp Engraving, Manufacturing & Lithographic Co.
    Matthews-Northrup Company.
    Meyer, Gustav (Publisher)
    Miller, James, 1821 or 1822-1883.
    Murphy, John L. (Printer)
    Nagel & Weingärtner.
    National Publishing Company (Philadelphia, Pa.)
    New England Lithographic Co.
    Ohio. State board of Centennial managers, 1876.
    Olsen, Alex A.
    Orcutt Litho Co.
    P.S. Duval & Son.
    Queen, Jas. (James), 1824-approximately 1877.
    R. Hoe & Company.
    Rand McNally and Company.
    Riverside Press (Cambridge, Mass.)
    Riverside Printing Company.
    Russell & Morgan Printing Company.
    Schile, H. (Henry)
    Schmidt Litho. Co.
    Southern Lithographic Co.
    Tappan & Bradford.
    Telbin, William, 1813-1873.
    Thornton, Chester.
    United States. Bureau of Engraving and Printing.
    Walker, Edmund (Lithographer)
    Weingartner, A.
    Wheaton, W. F.