Tag Archives: holidays

A Revolutionary North Carolinian’s Reading List

On a quest for some Fourth of July inspiration, I began browsing the thousands of volumes that comprise our rare book collection when I found a copy of Thomas Jefferson’s A Summary View of the Rights of British America, his lesser known indictment of British transgressions of colonial rights written in 1774—a time when Jefferson, among other future revolutionaries, still felt possible “fraternal love and harmony throughout the whole [British] empire.”

Bound with A Summary View are several other political tracts from the revolutionary era, The Justice and Necessity of Taxing the American Colonies, Demonstrated, 1766; An Answer to the Declaration of the American Congress, a British response to the American Declaration of Independence; and, finally, Letters from General Washington to Several of his Friends in the Year 1776, published in 1777.

My interest in this modest volume was piqued by the gilt-stamped initials “J. G.” found on the cover and the name “J. Gillespie” scrawled on the title page. Could this J. Gillespie be North Carolina’s own revolutionary, James Gillespie? James Gillespie was born in 1747, owned a plantation in Kenansville, North Carolina, and, during the American Revolution, fought with a N.C. militia regiment. He later served in the state senate, attended the state’s constitutional conventions, and later sat in the U.S. House as a Federalist.

If you are also in need of a dose of revolutionary spirit come to the RBMSCL (tomorrow—we’re closed today!) and explore the ideological origins of the American Revolution through these tracts, the same ones that were perhaps perused by a revolutionary North Carolinian.

Post contributed by Josh Larkin-Rowley, Research Services Assistant.

Happy International Women’s Day!

International Women's Day Flier, 1973
This flier is from a 1973 event sponsored by the Atlanta Anti-Imperialist Coalition celebrating International Women’s Day. From the flier: “International Women’s Day dates back over 100 years of struggle to March 8, 1857, when women garment and textile workers went on strike in New York. . . . People have continued to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8 since 1910.”

Activists have used this holiday to celebrate the achievements of notable women in history as well as to advocate for women’s equality, particularly labor issues such as better child care, maternity leave, and equal pay for equal work.

(The flier is from the Atlanta Lesbian Feminist Alliance Archives, box 14.)

Post contributed by Kelly Wooten, Research Services and Collection Development Librarian for the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture.

Scrapbooking for Victory

“Every Girl Pulling for Victory.” 
“Back Up the Boys.” 
“Keep Him Smiling!” 
“Morale is Winning the War.”

These chipper slogans grace the 20 posters, handbills, brochures, stickers, song lyrics, newspaper ads, and cartoons found in a United War Work Campaign Scrapbook recently acquired by the John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History. This collection of fundraising and morale-boosting materials was produced for a multi-institutional drive during the final months of World War I. Only one other copy is known to exist at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution Archives.

On September 9, 1918, President Woodrow Wilson wrote to Raymond Fosdick, coordinator of the War Department’s Training Camp Activities, requesting that aid organizations pool their resources on a massive single campaign to raise funds for soldier morale programs “in order that the spirit of the country in this matter may be expressed without distinction of race or religious opinion in support of what is in reality a common service.”

The campaign coordinated the efforts of seven organizations that had previously managed individual fundraising drives: the YMCA, YWCA, American Library Association, War Camp Community Service, National Catholic War Council (Knights of Columbus), Jewish Welfare Board, and Salvation Army. Each organization would continue to address their traditional demographic or service focus (for example, the Knights of Columbus worked primarily with Catholic communities, and the American Library Association sent books to soldier encampments) while organizing their activities around a central set of promotional messages.

The goal was to raise $170 million during a campaign scheduled for the week of November 11-18, 1918 (whether prescient or brilliantly planned, November 11 was also the day that Germany signed the Armistice, officially ending hostilities.) The end of the war was already in sight during the campaign-planning period, but it was estimated that the demobilization of nearly four million U.S. troops would require at least two years and a staggering sum for programs to maintain the morale of returning soldiers. With a nearly $1 million operating budget, a National Publicity Committee was formed and chaired by Bruce Barton, a journalist and magazine editor who had been an active official with the YMCA. All media would be employed: print, outdoor advertising, leaflets, stickers, lapel pins, radio spots, motion picture shorts, even a women-run telephone brigade. The campaign was a resounding success, raising over $203 million dollars that funded soldier aid programs through 1920. It was hailed in the press at the time as the largest fundraising event in human history.

As an advertising history-related aside, the United War Work Campaign may have been the launching platform for one of America’s most successful advertising agencies. Ad men Roy Durstine and Alexander Osborn worked on the campaign alongside Bruce Barton. In early 1919, just a few months after the campaign wrapped up, the three men founded ad agency Barton Durstine & Osborn, which merged in 1928 to become Batton, Barton, Durstine & Osborn (BBDO). BBDO rapidly grew to become one of the largest and most respected advertising agencies in the United States. The Hartman Center is proud to add this important scrapbook to its growing collection of war-related advertising materials.

For more photos from the scrapbook, take a look at the scrapbook’s set on the RBMSCL’s Flickr photostream.

Post contributed by Rick Collier, Technical Services Archivist for the John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History.

Our National Sweepstakes

In the spirit of election day, we are highlighting a new acquisition: the James Cartoons Posters, a series of political cartoon posters created by the New Process Electro Corporation in 1920 and 1921.

They are remarkable for a number of reasons—including their large size (21 x 31 inches) and their beautiful colors. Originally offered as a subscription for $1.25 per week, the posters feature not-so-subtle commentary on everything from the League of Nations, prohibition, Russian aggression, and the Ponzi scheme. One common topic is the 1920 presidential election, where Warren G. Harding challenged James Middleford Cox. One of our favorites, “The Home Stretch!,” stars Harding (riding on the GOP Elephant) and Cox (being pulled in a wagon by the Democratic Donkey) racing towards the Election Day finish line.

Detail from “The Home Stretch!”

Many of the posters reflect America’s increasing isolationism, particularly regarding Europe and the League of Nations. Harding’s campaign for a “return to normalcy” struck a chord with voters who were exhausted by World War I and disillusioned by global politics. He defeated Cox in a landslide on November 2, 1920.

The James Cartoons Posters collection has only a sampling of the originally published series, so unfortunately we don’t know what the artist had to say about Harding and the Republicans post-election.

Detail from “The Home Stretch!”

Post contributed by Meghan Lyon, Accessioning Associate.

D is for Diaries, Drama, and Dracula

Buck and his chewing gum.

I’m lucky. As a volunteer at the RBMSCL, I’ve been creating finding aids for small manuscript collections—collections such as love letters and travel diaries from the 19th century—which can be more compelling than any historical novel. One in particular I found to be especially memorable is the John Buck Diary.

Elaborate script and comic sketches recount the eight week long vacation in England and Scotland in 1887 of John Buck, an affluent, young American who spent several days in close company with Henry Irving, the famous English actor; the equally famous actress and Irving’s rumored paramour, Ellen Terry; and the business manager of the Lyceum Theatre as well as Irving’s personal assistant, Bram Stoker. Yes, the Bram Stoker who later wrote Dracula. His visit begins with the Royal Lyceum’s performance of another popular demonic tale:

I reached Edinburgh at seven o’clock and was met by Mr. Stoker. He took me to the Edinburgh Hotel (close by the station) where Mr. Irving was staying. . . . Mr. Stoker after fixing me comfortably hurried away to the theatre and I had my dinner served in Mr. Irving’s dining room. The dinner was good but I was so anxious to see some of “Faust” that I left at the end of the third course and jumping into a hansom drove to the Royal Lyceum Theatre, where I found Mr. Stoker “laying” [?] for me. He . . . took me into the only remaining private box. Mephistopheles was just transforming Faust into a young man as I entered the box, so I had not missed much of the play. . . . At the end of the act Mr. Stoker took me around [to the stage] to see Mr. Irving and Miss Terry. . . . While we were chatting and I was being questioned about “home affairs” the scene shifters were building Marguerite’s room around us, and very soon I was compelled to “skip” as the curtain was about to be rung up. . . . Mr. Irving was grand, and he will make a tremendous hit with Faust in America. (pages 67-70)

One of Buck's sketches.

The diary is so extraordinarily descriptive and entertaining; it is as if Buck, who loved the theater, were writing the storyline for his own theatrical play. At times, I could imagine his diary recast as a BBC period drama! Equally remarkable is the extent to which Buck’s personality is so clearly revealed. He was sometimes irreverent and informal, even when visiting the Duke of Beaufort at Badminton House in Gloucestershire, highly competitive, a bit arrogant, and more interested in pretty young women, having fun, and socializing than sightseeing; he seemed so American, and so amazingly like a few modern young men that I have known.

Happy Halloween!

Post contributed by Danielle Moore, RBMSCL Technical Services volunteer.

Devil’s Food

Our celebration of National Dessert Month has been surprisingly chocolate-free, so we’re aiming to correct that today with recipes from Chocolate and Cocoa Recipes, published around 1922. Instead of boring candy bars, we at The Devil’s Tale want our plastic pumpkins filled with Devil’s Food cake!

Devil’s Food

2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter
4 ounces Baker’s Premium No. 1 Chocolate
4 eggs (3 may be used)
2 1/4 cups flour
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon clove
1 1/4 cups milk

Cream butter and add sugar gradually, while beating to a cream; add chocolate, melted, and beaten yolks and mix thoroughly. Sift together flour, salt, cinnamon, clove and baking powder and add to butter mixture, alternately with the milk. At the last, fold in the stiffly beaten egg whites and bake in a deep pan and ice when cold.

And, just because you can never have too many chocolate recipes (and because there were no pictures of the Devil’s Food cake):

Chocolate Jelly

1 pint boiling water
Pinch salt
1 square Baker’s Premium No. 1 Chocolate
2 tablespoons gelatine
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Put the water, salt and chocolate in a saucepan. Cook, stirring until the chocolate melts, then let it boil for three or five minutes. Soften the gelatine in a little cold water and pour the boiling mixture over it. Stir until disolved, then add sugar and vanilla. Pour into a mould and set aside to harden, serve with cream and powdered sugar or sweetened whipped cream.

Voting = Cake

In honor of National Dessert Month (which everyone celebrates, right?), we’ll be posting recipes from the RBMSCL’s collection every Friday this month. Last Friday—The Devil’s Tale’s first birthday—we started the celebration with a recipe for a pretty pink birthday cake.

Today’s recipe comes from an advertising brochure with a marvelous title: How to Make Bread (But Not in This Disagreeable Old-Fashioned Way). Really, we’re not making that up:

You see, this brochure advises the smart homemaker to purchase The Universal Three Minute Bread Maker from Landers, Frary & Clark (of New Britain, Connecticut). The transformation is nothing short of astonishing:

And, of course, no advertisement for an absolutely revolutionary bit of kitchen gadgetry would be complete without a few recipes to make with said gadgetry. So, in honor of a certain approaching first Tuesday in November, we offer this fine recipe:

Loaf, or Election Cake

Put into the Bread Maker one and one-half cups milk, one cup potato yeast, one cup sugar, five cups flour, turn crank three minutes, put on cover and raise till light. When light, add one cup shortening, (half butter and lard), one cup sugar, whites of two eggs, nutmeg to season, turn crank five minutes, cover and raise again till light. Fill pans with batter and fruit (raisins or citron, or both), well floured alternately, until pans are two-thirds full, add also fruit on top.

The cake should stand in the pans about one-half hour and then be baked in a moderate oven.

Now we’re off to eBay to find a 100-year-old Universal Three Minute Bread Maker.

Having Our (Birthday) Cake….

The Devil’s Tale’s birthday (today!) happens to coincide with National Dessert Month. In honor of these two very important occasions, we’re going to be publishing dessert recipes from our collections every Friday this month. We’ll begin today, of course, with a birthday cake recipe from Gold Medal Flour’s 1931 New Party Cakes for All Occasions, part of the fine Nicole Di Bona Peterson Collection of Advertising Cookbooks.

It might be slightly more . . . normal than some of the recipes we’ve previously posted (frozen cheese, anyone?), but it sure is pretty.

Birthday Cake

3/4 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
3 1/2 cups cake flour
5 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 tsp. flavoring
5 egg whites

Cream the shortening and add the sugar gradually. Sift the flour once before measuring. Mix and sift the flour, salt, and baking powder, and add alternately with the milk. Add the flavoring—vanilla and almond together are good. Fold in the stiffly beaten egg whites. Pour into well greased and floured pans and bake. Cool and frost with pink and white icing.

NOTE: Part of icing may be colored pink with vegetable coloring matter and used on sides of cake with white icing on top and between layers. Pink candles to match sides can be placed on top of cake for birthday party.

Happy birthday, Devil’s Tale!

Special thanks to Lynn Eaton, Hartman Center Reference Archivist, for helping us find this recipe.