WARSHAW COLLECTION OF BUSINESS AMERICANA, ca.
OTHER COLLECTION DIVISIONS, ca. 1790-1975
Scope & Content
This portion of the collection represents a significant accumulation
of one type of material rather than a mix of various types of ephemera.
The bulk of this material is Business Records, Cinema Lobby Cards, Fire
Insurance Maps and Sheet Music. The divisions are listed below in
alphabetical order. A box and folder listing of the contents of these
Records, ca. 1790-1895, (25 volumes) miscellaneous business
records including ledgers, daybooks, cash books, letter press copy
books, stock share books, minute books, waste books, memorandum books,
patent books and household account books. These documents relate to
patent medicine, clothing, perfume, scale, coal, dry goods, insurance,
banking, railroad, and a number of other businesses. There are also some
records from churches, fraternal organizations, schools, societies,
leagues and personal households. This portion of the collection
remains unprocessed. An inventory of the material is available.
Container List only available in repository at this time.
Lobby Cards, 1910-1944, (3 boxes), consists of 11x14 inch
placards advertising motion pictures. These cards were displayed in the
theater lobby in the same manner that posters are used today. Lobby
cards, along with posters and photographic stills, were issued by all
the major movie studios to publicize their films. The cards were to be
returned to the company that printed them after use. These materials are
important because movie audiences got their first impression of coming
attractions. Some of the lobby cards in the collection are in
complete sets. Many of these cards are tinted. A number of the cards
include images of such stars as Douglas Fairbanks, Rudolph Valentino,
and Mary Pickford from the teens and twenties. Most of the cards in the
collection, however, are from the 1930s. The lobby cards are arranged
alphabetically by name of film.
Insurance Maps, 1873-1896, (3 boxes) were designed to
assist insurance companies assess the risk of manufacturing companies. A
large majority of these maps were published by the Barlow Company. The
insurance maps include the name of the company, location, a description
of their foundries, interior features, fire appliances, manufacturing
processes, and a diagram of each company. Maps are arranged in
alphabetical order by name of company.
Researchers interested in
additional Barlow maps pertaining to the textile mills and related
industries should consult the Merrimack Valley Textile Museum in North
Andover, Massachusetts. The Museum has produced a geographical listing
of its holdings. The Baker Library of Harvard's Graduate School of
Business Administration holds about 1,600 maps and has produced a name
index for its holdings. Another 25 maps are in the New York State
Library. Both the Baker collection and the Merrimack Valley Textile
Museum's collection originally came from the Warshaw Collection before
the Smithsonian Institution purchased it.
& Wine Labels and Advertisements, 1893-1905, (2 boxes)
includes printed advertisements, dealers' receipts, labels and drink
recipe books pasted in a scrapbook in no particular order. A number of
well-known companies are represented, including Overholt, Charles
Bellows, Whiterock, Acker, Merrall, and Condit. Container List
only available in repository at this time.
1860s-1910, namely the carte-de-viste and cabinet prints,
were probably collected by Warshaw for subject content or as examples of
advertising ephemera rather than as photographic portraits. Researchers
using the collection may be more interested in these images as
documentation of clothing, hair styles, family life, leisure activities,
women, or a particular studio. The photographs are divided into three
groups: (1) those that have been re-housed as a separate series, namely
the stereographs, (2) those that remain housed in their original
locations within the main collection subject categories; and (3)
photographs that have been transferred to the Photographic History
A number of the
photographs were re-housed as a separate series because of preservation
concerns. Originally stereographs were interfiled with the other
materials in the business ephemera vertical files. It was felt, however,
that this arrangement could be damaging to the stereographs. In 1991
they were re-housed to ensure their preservation and were reorganized to
better facilitate their use as research tools. The stereographs have
been arranged by subject. Whenever possible the same subject categories
as the business ephemera vertical files have been maintained. Some new
subject categories have been created that were more conducive to typical
stereograph subject matter. The stereographs are organized first by
topical divisions and then by geographical location.
A number of photographs
remain in the collection in the business ephemera vertical files. Most
often these photographs were collected by Warshaw as documentation of
the particular subject matter that they are housed with. These
photographs tend to be grouped together and labeled as photographs at
the end of the company names in the container list. If there are one or
two photographs and a number of lithographs and engravings, these
materials are often grouped together and labeled as general images.
A number of the Warshaw
photographs have been transferred to the Photographic History
Collection. A listing of these photographs is available in the
Container List only available in repository
at this time.
and Wanted Posters, 1850-1957, are included in the oversize
materials. Most are dated from 1875 and 1876. A number of the posters
offer rewards for various responses, including information on capture
and return of robbers, murderers, runaway slaves, escaped prisoners,
thieves, lost objects, and prisoners of war. There is also a copy of the
wanted poster for John Wilkes Booth reprinted in the April 1896 issue of
Century Magazine. Victor Louis Mason, of the U. S. War Department,
describes the various conspiracies against the life of Abraham Lincoln.
Most of the posters have duplicates and negative numbers. (See
photographic reference prints in the Archives Center). Materials are
arranged in chronological order by date.
Music, 1803-1947, in this collection is of greatest
interest for the illustrations on the covers. Occasionally the
cover or the back of the sheet music would advertise a product such as
medicine, furniture, and sewing machines. Images include romance,
transportation, military, women, and African Americans. Themes often
included war, automobile riding, airplane riding, love songs, death,
childhood, patriotic songs, world's fairs and campaign songs. Such
themes reflected contemporary society -- advances in aviation, changes
in transportation from horses to trains and automobiles; the effect of
war; courtship and romance; and the changing status of women in American
society. Even the art styles changed from the realism of the
1800s to the use of lithographs and Art Nouveau styles of the early
1920s. The later pieces often use photographs of the performers or
composers to illustrate the music. The material is listed in
alphabetical order by title.
The Archives Center also holds the SAM DeVINCENT
COLLECTION OF ILLUSTRATED AMERICAN SHEET MUSIC, ca. 1790-1980.
Go to Isadore Warshaw Personal Papers