Tag Archives: holidays

The British Are Coming! The Printer is Leaving!

Among the many treasures of the Rubenstein Library is an impressive collection of nearly 3,000 historic American newspapers. As part of our major renovation project, these items along with all our collections are being physically prepared for their impending move. In the case of the newspapers, this is a particularly daunting task. Large in scale, centuries old, sometimes folded, and typically preceded, superseded, and sometimes paralleled with alternative titles, it is often difficult to know what goes together and in what order. While such changes in title and places of publication can befuddle those of us working on rehousing the collection in appropriate order, they sometimes offer remarkable clues about America’s history.

Take, for instance, the Massachusetts Spy. Begun by Isaiah Thomas in 1770, it was the first American newspaper geared toward the middle class.  While an average newspaper of the time might have 400 subscribers, Thomas grew the circulation of his paper to more than 3,500. An adamant patriot with close connections to John Hancock, Paul Revere, and other Sons of Liberty, Thomas used his paper to broadcast anti-British views and inflame the colonists to action. The British considered Thomas so dangerous that his name was on the list of twelve people to be summarily executed if captured.

The last edition we have of the Mass Spy published in Boston is issue number 217 published on March 30, 1775, less than a month before the Battle of Lexington.  Subtitled Thomas’s Boston Journal, Thomas included a version of Benjamin Franklin’s “Join or Die” cartoon in the paper’s masthead.

The paper next appears in Worchester, under a new title—The Massachusetts Spy, Or, American Oracle of Liberty—and with a new masthead—this one proclaiming in large letters “Americans!—Liberty or Death!—Join or Die!”

While changes in newspaper titles and places of publication are common, the significance of this one cannot be overstated.  With tensions rapidly escalating in Boston, and with Thomas on the British’s most wanted list, the printer waited until the last possible moment to smuggle his press and himself out of heart of the controversy and to the relative safety of Worchester, some forty miles west of Boston.  And, when he printed his first issue of the newly reconstituted paper on May 3, 1775 he deliberately changed the subtitle and masthead to reflect the nature and urgency of his message.

On the paper’s front page, Thomas gave his own account of the dramatic events that unfolded in prior weeks: “I accordingly removed my Printing Materials from Boston to this Place, and escaped myself from Boston on the memorable 19th of April, 1775, which will be remembered in future as the Anniversary of the Battle of Lexington!” He devotes much of the issue to firsthand accounts of the battle, the first published: “Americans!  Forever bear in mind the Battle of Lexington!—where British Troops, unmolested and unprovoked, wantonly, and in a most inhuman manner fired upon and killed a number of our countrymen, then robbed them of their provisions, ransacked, plundered and burnt their houses!  nor could the tears of defenceless women, some of whom were in the pains of childbirth, the cries of helpless babes, nor the prayers of old age, confined to beds of sickness, appease their thirst for blood!—or divert them from their DESIGN of MURDER and ROBBERY!”

Given the rarity of this issue with its firsthand accounts of the very first battle of the American Revolution, I was surprised to discover that there are two copies in the Rubenstein Library’s newspaper collection.  A further curiosity is that each is signed by Thomas in the lower left-hand corner.

Closer inspection reveals that the signature is photo-mechanically reproduced, a technology not available in 1775. Both our copies are in fact facsimiles reproduced from Thomas’s own copy which resides at the American Antiquarian Society in Worchester, the nation’s third oldest historical society which Thomas founded after he retired as a printer and editor. The facsimiles were most likely produced in 1876 in celebration of the country’s centennial.

The fact that our copies are facsimiles produced more than 125 years ago is fascinating in its own right, and tells us something about the history of how this country has celebrated anniversaries. I do not know yet how these two copies will be boxed and foldered with other original issues from the Mass Spy; but, I do know that our newspapers will be ready to move out of Perkins in time for the renovation — just like Thomas was ready to move out of Boston in time for the Revolution.

Post contributed by Kat Stefko, Head of the Technical Services Dept. in the Rubenstein Library.

It’s St. Patrick’s Day (in the morning)!

Thomas F. Perry music collection
First page from the Thomas F. Perry music collection, 1833, which features many Irish melodies.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from the Rubenstein! Here are the “Irish Quick Step” and “St. Patrick’s Day in the Morning” to enhance your celebrations. These dances and more can be found in the Thomas F. Perry Music Collection, dating from about 1833.

Post contributed by Alice Poffinberger, Archivist/Original Cataloger in the Technical Services Dept.

Happy New Year from the Rubenstein Library!

As we say good-bye to 2011 and welcome 2012, the staff of the Rubenstein Library would like to thank its researchers, fans, and supporters. This has been an incredibly busy and exciting year!

New Year's Eve Card
New Year's Eve Card, Postcard Collection

Highlights were the generous gifts from David M. Rubenstein and Merle Hoffman.  The library formerly known as the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library is now the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library. Bingham Center Director Laura Micham is now the Merle Hoffman Director.

We also welcomed wonderful new colleagues! The History of Medicine Collections and their curator, Rachel Ingold, joined us in July.  We are thrilled to add these rich materials, which beautifully complement our existing collections, and such a knowledgeable colleague.  We were delighted to welcome Valerie Gillispie as our new Duke University Archivist and Kat Stefko as Head of Technical Services.  Finally, Molly Bragg, former Drill Intern, has returned to work as our move coordinator, assisting us in preparing for renovation.

The excitement will continue in 2012 as plans for the Rubenstein renovation are finalized.

We wish you all health, happiness, and plenty of good books (and manuscripts!) in the New Year!


Post contributed by Elizabeth Dunn

Holiday Shopping with Don Draper

Looking through some 1960s print ads from the J. Walter Thompson Competitive Advertisements Collection, we couldn’t help but wonder what would’ve been on Don Draper’s holiday shopping list.  The Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History has a few suggestions for him. . . .

Click to enlarge.

For Sally: Topper Toys advertised a line of Suzy Homemaker® products for girls who were “square” because they washed regularly, wore shoes rather than beads, and got “more fun out of being a cook than a kook.” Rebellious Sally will surely love spending the day cleaning with her new Vacuum and Super Sweeper, baking Dad a chocolate cake with the High Speed Mixer and Safety Oven, and then getting gussied up at the Vanity before she sneaks out to see Glen. The perfect gift to reinforce traditional gender roles (or perhaps the best way to create a feminist)!

Click to enlarge.

For Roger Sterling: What could be better than Milton Bradley’s Drop in the Bucket game, the highlight of the next office holiday party! Apparently it was “so zip-zap new” that you would be “hailed like Columbus for discovering it.” Who else would have the nerve to strap a net to his waist as coworkers try to drop “bouncy cubes” in it?  Just add a few martinis and watch the merriment commence!

Click to enlarge.

For Megan:  Jewelry is the obvious choice for Don’s new young wife, and nothing says “I love you” more than the tagline “Fake hair, fake nails, fake lashes, but real jewelry.”  Only the best for his lovely bride!

Click to enlarge.

For Betty:  Don still has a soft spot for his ex-wife, so he needs to find something that says “Merry Christmas and I’m sorry I never told you my real name.”  How about astrology soap on a rope!  “Boldly sculptured” in “fragrances and colours to match every personality,” I’m sure he will find the one that fits Betty’s polished, repressed and passive aggressive nature.

Click to enlarge.

And Don, don’t forget Rover! French’s People Crackers for Dogs would be the perfect choice for the furry member of his family. The dog can literally take a bite out of the mailman, the policeman, and even the dogcatcher!

Don will surely be thirsty after all that shopping.  Since he is cutting back on alcohol, why unwind with some drink ideas from Campbell’s Soup? Perhaps he could make Tomato Ice by freezing Tomato Soup, or chill some Consommé until it jellies and serve it with “a lemon slice, cucumber or sour cream.” And who doesn’t love Beef Broth on the Rocks “poured right from the can over ice”? That’s what we call “Mmm Mmm  Good!” (This ad is from the Roy Lightner Collection of Antique Advertisements.)

Click to enlarge.

Happy Holidays from the Hartman Center!

Post contributed by Jackie Reid, Director of the Hartman Center, and Liz Shesko, Hartman Center intern.

Turkey leftovers? Problem Solved.

Need something to do with the turkey leftover from Thanksgiving? One of our 1950s advertising cookbooks put out by the Poultry & Egg National Board had 33 suggestions, including turkey and corn casseroles, turkey macaroni loaf, and something called “Turkey Red Devils.” However, the Home Economic Staff of the PENB Laboratory Kitchen (pictured below) really got creative when it came to putting turkey in salads. Tied for grossest in my book are the Jellied Turkey Pineapple Loaf and the Turkey Mousse. Which wins your vote? Let us know below, or suggest a third choice in the comments!

Turkey Mousse:Cookbook from the Poultry & Egg National Board

  • 4 envelopes unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup broth
  • 1½ cups boiling turkey broth
  • 2 cups finely chopped or ground cooked turkey
  • 1 cup finely diced celery
  • ¼ cup finely diced sweet pickle
  • ¼ cup finely diced green pepper
  • 1 pimiento, chopped
  • 1 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. white pepper
  • Dash of cayenne
  • 2 to 3 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 cup heavy cream, whipped
  • Parsley or celery leaves
  • Deviled egg halves

Soften gelatin in the cold broth. Dissolve thoroughly in boiling broth. Chill until jelly-like. Combine turkey, celery, pickles, pepper and pimiento. Add mayonnaise, seasoning and lemon juice. Add thickened gelatin mixture. Fold in the whipped cream. Taste and add more seasoning if necessary. Pour into a 1½  to 2-quart mold. Chill. Unmold. Garnish with the greens and deviled eggs. 10 to 12 servings. Increase gelatin to 5 envelopes in warm weather.

Jellied Turkey Pineapple Loaf:

Pineapple Layer:

Home economists debating a turkey
"Have some Turkey Mousse. I molded it into a turkey shape." "It's beautiful! Too bad I've already had dessert in the form of a Jellied Turkey Pineapple Loaf!"
  • 1 package lemon gelatin
  • ¾ cup hot water
  • 1 cup pineapple juice, drained from a No. 2 can crushed pineapple (2½ cups)
  • 1¼ cups well-drained crushed pineapple
  • ½ cup grated carrot

Turkey Layer:

  • 1 package lemon gelatin
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • ¾ cup hot water
  • 1 cup cold water
  • Grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 cup finely chopped cooked turkey
  • 1 cup finely diced celery
  • ¼ cup sliced stuffed green onion
  • ½ tsp. salt, or more

Pour hot water over lemon gelatin. Stir until gelatin is dissolved. Stir in pineapple juice, pineapple and carrot. Blend and cool until mixture is thickened. Pour into a 1½ quart mold. Chill until set. Pour turkey layer on top. To make turkey layer: Dissolve the gelatin and the bouillon cube in the hot water. Add cold water stirring constantly. Cool until mixture is thickened. Add remaining ingredients. Season to taste with salt. Pour mixture over top of set pineapple layer. Chill until firm. Turn out of mold on lettuce or other greens. Serve with salad dressing. 8 to 10 servings.

Now that you’ve perused and possibly tried them both, we want to know: Turkey Mousse or Jellied Turkey Pineapple Loaf? Vote now! Or, peruse the Emergence of Advertising in America cookbooks and find your own options for turkey leftovers.

Post contributed by Liz Shesko, Intern for the John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising, and Marketing History.

Soup or Salad? Sealtest Suggests Soup.

Sealtest Recipes CoverToday’s Thanksgiving menu comes from a 1940 advertising cookbook published by Sealtest Dairy, which was a division of the National Dairy Products Corporation, a predecessor to Kraft Foods. They marketed their dairy products as having “scientific supervision unsurpassed,” and printed recipes developed in their Laboratory Kitchen. Despite the cover image showing turkey, a creamy soup, and cheesy potatoes, their dairy-heavy Thanksgiving menu had pork as a main dish:

  • Pea Soup Supreme with Cheese Croutons
  • Roast Stuffed Shoulder of Pork
  • Mashed Turnips
  • Buttered Broccoli
  • Hot Rolls with Butter
  • Orange Salad with French Dressing
  • Pumpkin Pie with Whipped Cream and Ginger
  • Coffee with Cream

Pea soup, you say? Why yes, complete with a quart of milk, butter, and cheesy croutons!

Thanksgiving menu
Sealtest's Thanksgiving menu, featuring pea soup and pilgrims

Pea Soup Supreme with Cheese Croutons

  • 1 cup diced potatoes
  • 1½ tbsp. chopped onion
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 No. 2 can peas
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 1 quart milk
  • Few grains pepper

Combine the potatoes, onions, salt and water in a saucepan. Cover and cook until potatoes are tender. Add the peas and liquid and heat thoroughly. Drain and boil down the liquid to ¾ cup. Press vegetables through a sieve. Melt the butter in a double broiler, add the flour and mix well. Add the milk gradually and cook, stirring constantly until thickened. Add the pureed vegetables and liquid. Reheat. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with Cheese Croutons made as follows: Sprinkle small toast squares with cheese and place under the broiler until cheese is melted and lightly browned. Serve on the soup. Serves six.

You can find more recipes to complete your meal in the Hartman Center’s Emergence of Advertising in America cookbooks!

Post contributed by Liz Shesko, Intern for the John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising, and Marketing History.

A Thanksgiving Menu from the Hartman Center

In honor of all the cooking and eating we’re planning to do for Thanksgiving, we wanted to share a few menus and recipes from Thanksgivings past. Over the next couple of days, look for delicious posts drawing from the Hartman Center’s extensive collection of advertising cookbooks.

Today’s recipe comes from a cookbook published by the Calumet Baking Powder Company in the 1920s. The following Thanksgiving menu, the author suggests, is perfect for “the average woman, who must prepare for her parties alone or with one maid to help,” without making everyone “uncomfortable” by becoming “a flushed and worried hostess.” I think we’d all appreciate the help of that maid this year!

  • Assorted canapés
  • Turkey with chestnut stuffing and giblet gravy
  • Baked onions
  • Baked squash
  • Caramel sweet potatoes
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Molded cranberry jelly with celery and olives
  • Orange delight salad
  • Pumpkin pie
  • Caramel Nut Cake
  • Salted Nuts
  • Bonbons

The featured recipe – Caramel Nut Cake (pictured below) – of course contained Calumet Baking Powder. The picture doesn’t look too appetizing, but it sure sounds good. And where can I get one of those mini turkeys?

Caramel Nut Cake

  • ½ cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cup sifted flour
  • 2 level tsp. Calumet Baking Powder
  • ¾ cup chopped nuts

Sift flour three times with baking powder. Cream shortening, add sugar, gradually add egg yolks and nuts. Add dry ingredients alternatively with milk. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites. Bake in 2 layers in a moderate oven  (375 degrees F.). Ice with caramel icing, sprinkle the top and sides of cake with chopped nuts.

You can check out more images like these in the Emergence of Advertising in America digital collection. Stay tuned for more recipes later this week!

Post contributed by Liz Shesko, Intern for the John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Marketing, and Advertising History.

Haunted Library Screamfest

Date: Halloween, Monday, October 31, 2011
Time: 11:00 AM-1:00 PM
Location: Rare Book Room
Contact Information: Rachel Ingold, 919-684-8549 or rachel.ingold(at)duke.edu

Have you ever wandered around a library’s stacks in the dark? Or wondered what might go bump in an archival box?

Stop by the Rubenstein Library’s Rare Book Room for a special Halloween “eeeks”-ibit and open house. We’ll be dragging out some of the creepiest and most macabre items from the shadowy depths of the library’s vaults—including the thirteen unlucky items below.

This event is free and open to the living and the dead. There will be candy. Lots and lots of candy.

49 Glass Eyeballs
49 Glass Eyeballs. From the History of Medicine Collections.

1. A travel diary written by John Buck, a young American who found himself face-to-face with Bram Stoker (before he wrote Dracula)

2. Letters to Duke University’s Parapsychology Laboratory describing the 1949 poltergeist case that became the basis for The Exorcist

3. Opera Omnia Anatomico-Medico-Chirurgica by 18th century Dutch anatomist Frederik Ruysch, featuring illustrations of fetal skeletons playing instruments  among “trees” made of veins and arteries and “rocks and stones” that are actually organs, gallstones, and kidney stones

4. An entire box of glass eyeballs (49, to be exact)

5. “Jack the Ripper” and “Cthulhu by Gaslight,” two board games from the Edwin and Terry Murray Role Playing Game Collection

6. Artists’ books Mountain Dream Tarot by Bea Nettles and Femmes Fatales by Maureen Cummins. Tarot cards and pictures of medieval torture devices!

7. Brochures and advertisements for coffins and other funeral-related paraphernalia from the Advertising Ephemera Collection

8.Two copies of Henry Milner’s 1826 melodramatic adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, with the very first illustration of (the actor portraying) “the Monster”

9. Bela Lugosi’s signature

10. Maps and photographs of the Rigsbee Graveyard (yes, the graveyard in the Blue Zone)

11. Comics Review #1, 1965, which includes  Stephen King’s first published story, “I Was a Teenage Grave Robber,”  from the Edwin and Terry Murray Fanzine Collection

12. Halloween postcards (complete with spooky messages . . . or invitations to Halloween parties) from our Postcard Collection

13. Trixie Belden and the Mystery of the Whispering Witch by Kathryn Kenny, 1980

Which one will give you nightmares come the witching hour?

Halloween Postcard, 1908.
Halloween Postcard, 1908. From the Postcard Collection.