Sunday, May 31, 2009

New Arrivals - The Elite Eight - Part II

No. 5. = Billhead for John Stainton Printer, Bookseller, Bookbinder and Stationer, Dealer in Paper Hangings, Floor Cloths, and Table Coverings, Music and Musical Instruments, in great variety, Agent for London and Countey Newspapers, Bibles and Prayers in plain and elegant bindings, Genuine Patent Medicines. No graphic on this billhead. Dated 1840.

John Stainton is listed in Slater’s National Directory under Booksellers and under Printers located at 305 High Street.

No. 6.= Billhead for Thomas Winn Linen and Woolen Draper of Lincoln. Billhead has a left side graphic of a woman in flowing garb holding a shield that states Funerals Furnished. Lion in background and ship too. Engraved by Thomas. Dated September, 1826.

No. 7. = Two billheads for Winn & Whitton Linen and Woolen Drapers Funerals Furnished. First one has a left side graphic of a seated smiling woman this time with a lion under her feet on the coast with a ship in the background and the woman is sketching on a pad the words Silk Mercers. The second one has the same scene of a woman sketching but the print is cruder than the first. Engraved by Thomas. Dates are February & April of 1838.

Slater’s National Directory lists Winn & Whitton under Linen Drapers and Woolen Draper located at 234 High Street.

No. 8. = Billhead for Joseph Simpson (successor to Mr. Skepper) Furnishing Ironmonger and Dealer in Bar & Sheet Form, opposite the Butter Market. Edge-Tool Warehouse – Best Prices Given for Old Metal. Two crude graphics – left side of a Simpson padlock and the right side of a decorative key. Dated April 22, 1837.

Slater’s National Directory the firm Ann Simpson & Son is listed under Ironmongers located at 233 High Street.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

New Arrivals - The Elite Eight - Part I

As promised, below are pictures and informative information about the wonderful eight billheads I bought online two weeks ago. One item to note about billheads, is while I tend to think of them as letter size or slightly smaller, some of the other UK billheads I own are very small. My guess is that making them smaller was a cost savings and also easier to package along with the article purchased. I also wonder if the standard letter size was not the standard back then - thus the smaller form. Most of the billheads are from business of Lincoln in the UK.

Lincoln is a cathedral city and county town of Lincolnshire, England. The Lincoln Cathedral was completed in 1092 and rebuilt after fire and an earthquake in 1185. The Bishops of Lincoln were among the magnates of medieval England. Lincolnshire, the largest diocese, had more monasteries than the rest of England put together. One of the four surviving originals of the Magna Carta is now preserved in Lincoln Castle. By 1150, Lincoln was among the wealthiest towns in England. The basis of the economy was cloth and wool. The Weavers Guild was known for its Lincoln Cloth - dyed scarlet and green, and made famous by Robin Hood. During the 13th century, Lincoln was the third largest city in England, but by the 14th century its fortunes declined. The lower city was prone to flooding and plagues were common. In the 16th century the dissolution of the monasteries further crippled Lincoln and by 1549 the cathedral’s spire had rotted, collapsed and was not replaced. Between 1642 and 1651, during the English Civil War Lincoln was on the frontier between the Royalist and Parliamentary forces. By the Georgian Era, Lincoln’s fortunes began to pick up, thanks in part due to the Agricultural Revolution. With the railroad, Lincoln boomed in the Industrial Revolution and several world famous companies arose – Ruston’s, Clayton’s, Proctor’s and William Foster. Lincoln excelled in building industrial equipment including diesel engines and steam shovels.

No. 1. = Billhead for William Thomas a Gun and Pistol Maker and dealer in Powder, Caps and Percussion Caps. Billhead has a wonderful left side graphic of a hunter with his hunting dogs and with a large gun in his hands. Dated 1838 of Lincoln High Street. Engraver is T. Powell of Birmingham. Dated 1838.

Slater’s National Directory a William Thomas is listed under Gun Makers with an address of 7 Strait.

No. 2. = Billhead for H.Y. Blyth of Lincoln Grocer-Tea Dealer and Tallow Chandler Wholesale and Retail. This billhead has two wonderful graphics on either side of the decorative title. On the left side is a wonderful Orient scene with a pagoda, boxes of tea and Asian figures having tea with a small teapot in the center of the table. A caption under the graphic states that Blyth sells teas direct from the East India Company. The right side graphic shows a person making candles - very detailed graphic. Billhead is engraved by L? & Horton, Birmingham. Dated July, 1837.

No. 3. = My favorite of the eight. It is for George Smith Malster Brewer and Porter Merchant Dealer in Malt, Hops, and Coals. Casks, Hampers, and Bottles to be Returned Soon as Empty or Paid For (an early recycler?). Dated 1841, address of No. 28 Waterside South Swing Bridge Lincoln. Absolutely wonderful center graphic of Smith’s factory. Wonderful building with smoke pouring from the chimney. Out front is a horse and cart with a dapperly dressed man encouraging the horses to pull a cart of barrels. Outside of the front door is a brewer with his hands on his hips watching the horses pull away from the business. To the left of the brewer is a little dog running down the walkway. Engraved by Morehead of Lincoln.

Drunkenness was a significant problem in Victorian Lincoln with the passage of the Sale of Beer Act of 1830, which established free trade in beershops and beer. It was passed to promote the sale of malt and hops, cheapen the poor man’s beer, and thus decrease beer sales. What it did do was increase the number of public houses in the city.

No. 4. = Billhead for Geo. Rumble & Co. Chemists, Druggist, Teeth Extracted, Physicians, Prescriptions and Family Recipes accurately dispensed, Superior Siedlitz, Soda and Ginger Beer Powders, Oils, Paints and Colours, Horse and Cattle Medicines. Double sided graphics. Left side has an eagle under a fire and the right side has a motor and pistil.

Slater’s National Directory (1852) Rumble shows up located at 182 High Street and 32 Waterside North under Chemists.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Tobacco Billheads

Tobacco advertising in America first appeared in 1789, when the Lorillard brothers advertised their snuff and tobacco products in a local New York daily paper. Advertising for tobacco, and most other products, over the next 70 years took this same form - mostly unadorned advertisements in local or regional newspapers. It wasn't until the 1840s that brand names slowly began to appear on labels. Customers traditionally would ask for the "best" product, rarely requesting a specific brand, when they purchased their tobacco from the local grocer, or possibly from a traveling peddler. After the Civil War, there was an increased demand for tobacco products in general. The tobacco companies used trade cards (similar to business cards), tin tags and posters to advertise their products. Color lithography developed in the late 1870s, and businesses could now promote themselves with a variety of attractive colorful images, some having nothing at all to do with any of their products. (Taken from Duke University Tobacco Advertising Collection).

Tobacco advertising collectors usually focus on the small tobacco cards, trade cards and larger advertising pieces. However, some tobacco manufactures produced nice graphic billheads. Sometimes I see these billheads command premium prices, other times they can be picked up for a song.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Insurance Receipts

A receipt is an acknowledgment of monies received. Receipts can be in manuscript format (handwritten) or in printed format. The printed receipt first appeared due to the levying of taxes with later adoption by charities, universities and other commercial enterprises. Soon security devices were added to the receipts to counteract counterfeiting. Rickards states that the earliest British receipts are those for lighthouse dues papers in use in the 17th century and later port dues in use in the 18th century. The 19th century started a proliferation of receipts in all manner of life. Some of the most coveted American receipts includes those involved in whaling and slavery. It is also among the most commonly encountered ephemera. One thing to note about receipts is the utilitarian form. Receipts are not highly decorated, nor do they tend to carry stylized printing. The receipt was a means of putting in writing what one received.

One area of receipt collecting to consider is that of insurance premium receipts. One can find some very early examples and some may be decorative (although the companies tended to save their creativeness for the actual insurance policies).

Also, check out the website for the Museum of History for more examples of receipts and other insurance ephemera.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Some more recent purchases - UK

I am also giddy with glee over an ebay auction I won this afternoon for 8 awesome 1830s and 1840s billheads. I thought for sure I was going to have to spend a bundle but $56 won the lot. I tried sniping manually for the first time and it worked really well. I haven't decided if I want to try a sniper program yet. Anyway, here are two billheads I bought separately on ebay UK. I will show off the others when I receive them.