SAM DeVINCENT COLLECTION OF ILLUSTRATED
AMERICAN SHEET MUSIC, ca. 1790 - 1987
Series 1: TRANSPORTATION, ca. 1800-1980
by: Karen Linn, 1989
Scope and Content:
The Transportation series contains ca. 3,900 pieces of sheet music documenting the development
of and popular attitudes towards transportation technology in the United States. Those modes
of transportation--airplanes and automobiles in particular--that developed during the heyday
of Tin Pan Alley sheet music publication (1890s-1930s) are especially well represented. Boats
and boating and railroads are also large sub-series. Two narrow topics are especially rich in
the DeVincent transportation series: the Charles Lindbergh file (ca. 200 items) and the Ford
automobile file (ca. 150 items).
The material dates from the 1800s to the 1980s; the bulk of the material is from the 1890s
to the 1930s. The earliest items are in the Boats and Boating sub-series. Most pre-1840 imprints
are not dated. Estimates have been made for the dates of many early imprints by checking publisher
and address of the publisher in the "Index of Publishers, Engravers and Printers"
in volume III of Richard Wolfe's Secular Music in America 1801-1825: A Bibliography and
in Oscar Sonneck's A Bibliography of Early Secular American Music. Several sheets that
appear to be very old could not be dated by this method.
The Ephemera file, arranged in the same sub-series as the sheet music, is described on the
page, following the container list. The transportation ephemera file constitutes one and a half
The eight sub-series in the Transportation series are arranged alphabetically and include:
1.1 Aeronautics; 1.2 Automobiles; 1.3 Bicycles; 1.4 Boats and Boating; 1.5 Horses; 1.6 Motorcycles;
1.7 Railroads; 1.8 Urban Transportation. See Container List.