Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Lamps and Lanterns

Check out the following neat billheads for lamps and lanterns.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Some early US billheads

On ebay last week was a really neat group of 4 early U.S. billheads. I really would have liked to have had the funds to add to my collection, but maybe if I had a healthy dog I could have. I thought the end price was cheap about $140 = $35 a piece. These billheads are hard to come by and each had graphics on them too - even harder to find in pre-1840 billheads. Here are some pictures of them. The one I was drooling over was the Bartlett & Brewer.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Better late then never - May billhead of the month

Well, May came and went and I forgot to post a Billhead of the Month. Between the class action at work and the medical needs of Gus the dog. my mind was elsewhere. Its June, and unfortunately the class action got decertified, which means I have time to do and think other things.

1863 billhead for T. Noakes show card writer located at 212 Broadway over Knox's hat store in New York City.
Billhead has an oval signboard which states: ready made cards for ever business always on hand. It looks like Noakes made charts for DHR Davis.

A show card at that time would be considered a poster today. While Noakes mainly states he is a writer of show cards, the signboard also indicates he has them on hand, so maybe he printed them too. At the time Noakes was in business it was the beginning of the market for colored lithographed advertisements.

Jay Last's The Color Explosion p. 262 discusses show cards in further detail. Last states show cards were meant t be prominently displayed and kept for an extended period. They usually were carefully framed and on store walls and windows. Full colored cards were first produced shortly before the Civil War and production peaked in the 1870s when smaller trade cards became more popular.

Noakes' history in the industry is murky. Last doesn't mention him in his book. We can follow Noakes through old city directories:

1845 a Thomas Noakes is listed as a grocer
1858 there is a Thomas Noakes listed as a writer
1860 Daversen & Noakes - champion show cards
1865 Thomas Noakes - cards
1872 - Thomas Noakes - cards

From April 1859 until June 1860, Noakes was in business with Charles Daversen at 208 Broadway. In May 1860, Daversen proposed that the two burn the business down to receive $1,100 in insurance money on the firms stork from the Hamilton Insurance Co. Fearing Daversen was going to proceed with the plan, one night Noakes went to the business found burning materials and extinguished them. The partnership dissolved thereafter.

Here is an example show card.

More bicycle billheads

A few more examples.