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Stewart Culin collection of 19th century advertisements

Ms. Coll. 980

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Summary Information

Repository:
University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Creator:
Culin, Stewart, 1858-1929
Title:
Stewart Culin collection of 19th century advertisements
Date [inclusive]:
1884-1886
Call Number:
Ms. Coll. 980
Extent:
0.4 Linear feet (1 box and 2 volumes)
Language:
English
Abstract:
Stewart Culin (13 July 1858-8 April 1929) was an American anthropologist and ethnographer primarily interested in games, fashion, and the decorative and commercial arts. Culin assembled a collection of advertisements related to businesses and products largely located and sold in Philadelphia between May 1884 and February 1886. The collection features two scrapbooks and a series of 93 loose advertisements organized by topic.
Cite as:
Stewart Culin collection of advertisements, Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, University of Pennsylvania
PDF Version:

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Biography/History

Stewart Culin (1858-1929) was an American ethnographer and author interested in games, art and dress. Born in Philadelphia to John and Mina Barrett Daniel Culin, he was educated at the Nazareth Hall boarding school in Nazareth, Pennsylvania. Before truly beginning his career, Culin displayed traits of a good anthropologist, collecting data on human behavior, in particular trade and advertising. Between 1884 and 1886, Culin assembled a collection of advertisements related to businesses and products largely located and sold in Philadelphia. Although never a professionally-trained anthropologist, Culin continued to work in the field. In 1889, Culin read a paper on dice games played by Philadelphia's Chinese American laborers to fellow members of the Oriental Club of Philadelphia, of which Culin was a founder. The following year he published an article on Italian marionettes in the Journal of American Folklore, inspired by an encounter with a Sicilian puppeteer troupe in New York. Over the course of the 1890s and early 1900s, Culin pursued his interest in gaming across cultures, publishing papers on street games played by boys in Brooklyn, African mancala games, and the games of American Indians, native Hawaiians, and native Filippinos. Working within the theoretical framework of cultural diffusionism developed by Leo Frobenius and Franz Boas, Culin believed that similarities in gaming across cultures demonstrated contact and diffusion of ideas and culture among peoples across the world. From 1892 to 1903, he served as director of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Paleontology (the present-day Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology). In 1893, he presented and published on the gaming exposition at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. There he met fellow anthropologist and ethnologist Frank Hamilton Cushing, with whom Culin endeavored to create the world's first exhaustive documentation on gaming. Culin became curator of ethnography at the Brooklyn Museum in 1903. In this capacity, he undertook several collection expeditions to the Southwest for Native American artifacts. In addition to gaming, in 1907 Culin became interested in fashion, furniture, costumes, and related paraphernalia as decorative art, using his position as curator to display them and encourage interest in fashion design. He died having elevated the study of games and the decorative arts to academic respect.

Scope and Contents

The Stewart Culin collection of advertisements consists of handbills, broadsides, and advertisement cards collected by American ethnographer Stewart Culin between May 1884 and February 1886. The advertisements are primarily for products produced and/or sold in Philadelphia, services offered in Philadelphia, and Philadelphia businesses and companies, although some advertisements for businesses in New York, Chicago, Atlantic City and elsewhere are present. Types of firms and products advertised include public dining rooms, cigarettes and cigars, groceries and foodstuffs, apothecaries, health and cleaning supplies, clothiers, travel and transport services, theater shows and public exhibitions. The collection comprises two scrapbooks and a set of loose advertisements which may have fallen out of, been purposefully excised from, or otherwise omitted from the scrapbooks.

The collection is divided into two series, Scrapbooks and Loose advertisements. Scrapbooks consists of two large volumes. The advertisements are pasted down on both sides of each leaf, with one or more advertisements per page, depending upon the size of each ad. Occasionally there is evidence of an ad that has since fallen out or been removed. The advertisements in both volumes are pasted in chronological order. The first volume contains advertisements from May through December of 1884. The second volume features advertisements from September 1885 to February 1886. The intervening months (January to August 1885) are tentatively covered by the contents of Loose advertisements. Of the 93 items in this series, some feature dates between January and August of 1885. However, since not all are dated, this series has been organized according to subject rather than chronology. The items are grouped into eight subseries: Customer services and consumer products, Entertainment and public events, Foodstuffs and ingredients, Household goods, Laundry and cleaning supplies, Personal clothing and accessories, Pharmaceuticals, and Tobacco products. Occasionally an advertisement will be fragmentary or have a portion of another ad pasted to its back. When this occurs, both advertisements are described in the item-level entry.

This is a detailed collection of commercial art from two years of the late 19th century. Due to its eclectic nature it may be of incidental value to researchers, rather than serving as a single source of information. However, the wide variety of products and services represented offer multiple entry points. The collection may be of great interest to researchers in the commercial and social history of Philadelphia, commercial art, 19th century advertising techniques and commercial culture, and historical business maps of the city. Indeed, many of the advertisements contain addresses, so a portion of the business-scape of Center City Philadelphia circa 1884-86 could be virtually reconstructed from this collection. Since this collection immediately predates Culin's first lecture to the Oriental Club, it is an invaluable insight into his early interests.

Administrative Information

Publication Information

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts,  2014 June 25

Finding Aid Author

Finding aid prepared by Kevin Stuart Lee

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for researchers to use.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Source of Acquisition

Gift of Stewart Culin, 1913.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

At the University of Pennsylvania Museum Archives: Stewart Culin games collection records

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Controlled Access Headings

Form/Genre(s)
  • Advertisements
  • Commercial art
  • Coupons
  • Scrapbooks
Geographic Name(s)
  • Philadelphia (Pa.)--Commerce--History--19th century
Subject(s)
  • Advertising--United States--History
  • Sales promotion

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Collection Inventory

I. Scrapbooks.

Call-Number

1884 May to December.

Folio 659. H192 v.1

1885 September to 1886 February.

Folio 659. H192 v.2

II. Loose advertisements.

I. Customer services and consumer products, 1885.

Box Folder

Bailey, Banks and Biddle Stationery[sic] Department, handbill, 1885.

1 1

DeBrunner & Bros. Oyster & Dining Saloon, handbill, 1885.

1 1

Chicago Beef Co., price list, 1885.

1 1

933 Morgan St. and 1233 Vine St., handbill for room and board, 1885.

1 1

Joe Lee Chinese Laundry, price list, 1885.

1 1

E.W. Smith & Co., humorous advertisement card announcing the map seller's new address, 1885.

1 1

Heiss' New Ladies' Oyster Parlors and Restaurant, handbill, 1885.

1 1

Ladies' and Gent's Dining Rooms, handbill, 1885.

1 1

Port Kennedy Ice Co., handbill, 1885.

1 1

Beach's Acme Bath Houses, advertisement card, 1885.

1 1

Paxon & Bros. Ocean Pier Bath Houses, advertisement card, 1885.

1 1

Beach's Acme Bath Houses, advertisement card, 1885.

1 1

The Great Southern Despatch Fast Freight Line, advertisement card, 1885.

1 1

Knickerbocker Ice Co., advertisement and order card, 1885.

1 1

The Commercial Union Assurance Co., advertisement card, 1885.

1 1

The Steamboat Twilight, broadside advertising schedule change, fares, and call for freight, 1885.

1 1

James P. Park's, Grocer and Jobber in Store Supplies, Baker's and Ship Supplies, broadside with grocery prices, 1885.

1 1

II. Entertainment and public events, 1885.

Box Folder

Indian Wigwam, advertisement for Native American show, 1885.

1 2

Alvah Bushnell, Stationer and Printer, broadside notifying the public the office will be closed for the funeral of General Ulysses S. Grant, 1885.

1 2

The Fairmount Steamboat Co., handbill advertising excursions up the Schuylkill to the Fairmount Park mansions (back contains price list for hat sale at W.H. Saunders), 1885.

1 2

Mrs. May, handbill for psychic medium, 1885.

1 2

Mrs. Bertha King, handbill for public seance, 1885.

1 2

Captain J.D. Rhodes, handbill for exhibition, 1885.

1 2

The Great Walking Contest performed by Ladies, handbill, 1885.

1 2

Carl Abs vs. Joseph Action, handbill for wrestling championship, 1885.

1 2

Haverly's Theatre, advertisement card for performance of Gilbert & Sullivan's 'Patience', 1885.

1 2

Dime Museum, handbill for beauty show, 1885.

1 2

Pennsylvania Railroad, broadside advertising tickets for President Cleveland's appearance at Gettysburg (back features typed letter from printer Oliver Braden), 1885.

1 2

Gentlemen's Driving Park, broadside advertising horse races (back contains advertisement for Mormon Elders' Damiana Wafers), 1885.

1 2

Base Ball To-Day, broadside card with baseball scores, 1885.

1 2

Chestnut Street Theatre, advertisement card for showing of Buchanan's 'Alone in London' (back contains advertisement for Dreydoppel's Borax Soap), 1885.

1 2

III. Foodstuffs and ingredients, 1885.

Box Folder

Managua Coffee, handbill for roasted coffee, 1885.

1 3

Armour's Leaf Lard, advertisement card for leaf lard, 1885.

1 3

James Trimble & Co. Wholesale Grocers, trading advertisement card for Niagara Corn Starch, 1885.

1 3

Cusick & Bro., Tea Packers, advertisement card and price list for Oriental tea caddies, 1885.

1 3

Warner & Merritt, advertisement card for cocoa, 1885.

1 3

A. Colburn & Co., advertisement card for Colburn's Philadelphia Mustard, 1885.

1 3

A. Colburn & Co., advertisement card for Colburn's Philadelphia Mustard, 1885.

1 3

Niagara Corn Starch, advertisement trading card, 1885.

1 3

Knowles & Anderson, advertisement card for Anderson's pure fruit preserves and jellies and Anderson's celebrated mince meat, 1885.

1 3

Muzzy's Corn Starch, advertisement card.

1 3

George B. Evans, Apothecary, advertisement card for Frick & Co.'s imports of Cibil's Fluid Beef Extract, 1885 January.

1 3

IV. Household goods, 1885.

Box Folder

McCahan & Cooper, advertisement for musical alarm clock giveaway with bulk purchase of pepper, cinnamon, mustard, and ginger, 1885.

1 4

Ansonia Clock Company, advertisement card for Peep o' Day musical alarm clock, 1885.

1 4

A.J. Weidener, Dealer in Chandeliers, Brackets, and Parlor Lamps, advertisement card for "Gem" Chimney parlor lamps, 1885.

1 4

Hing Chong & Co., advertisement card for Oriental wares, 1885.

1 4

Ferdinand Keller, Importer of Real Antiques, advertisement card, 1885.

1 4

A.H. Andrews & Co., advertisement card for Andrews' parlor folding beds, 1885.

1 4

The Florence Machine Co., handbill for Crown sewing machines.

1 4

V. Laundry and cleaning supplies, 1885.

Box Folder

Electric Steam Collar & Cuff Company, promotional advertisement card offering free collar and cuff washing for any who can solve the puzzle on the back of the card., 1885.

1 5

A. Colburn & Co., advertisement card for Colburn's Bag Blue laundry soap, 1885.

1 5

Niagara Gloss Starch, advertisement trading card, 1885.

1 5

James Tribmle & Co., Wholesale Grocers, advertisement trading card for Acme Soap, 1885.

1 5

The Charles McKeone & Son Soap Manufacturing Company, advertisement card for McKeone's Friends' Soap, 1885.

1 5

S. Smucker & Co., Wholesale Grocer, advertisement card for P.C. Tomson's Red Seal Granulated Lye, 1885.

1 5

M.W. Kase & Co., advertisement card for Kase's Patent, Four-Sided, Everlasting Washboard, 1885.

1 5

VI. Personal clothing and accessories, 1885.

Box Folder

Wanamaker's, handbill advertising Ball's Corsets, 1885.

1 6

Wanamaker & Brown, advertising card announcing clothing sale at Oak Hall store, circa 1885.

1 6

Taylor, handbill and partial price list for hat sale (back features advertisement from Wrigley Manufacturing Company offering a free 56-piece tea set with a certain wholesale order), 1885.

1 6

The Pall Mall Electric Association of London, handbill for Dr. Scott's Electric Hair Curler and Tooth Brush, 1885 July 1.

1 6

Shoneman Bros., handbill for clothing and parasols (back contains paste-down Pharmaceutical advertisement for Buffalo Lithia Water), 1885.

1 6

De Young's, handbill for sale on pocket watches, 1885.

1 6

Custom Shoe Maker, handbill for made-to-order French calf shoes (back contains paste-down handbill for $1 savings on purchases from the Union Hat Company), 1885 June 12.

1 6

Hopkins Watch Tool Company, handbill for the "Waltham" Roller Skate, 1885 .

1 6

Wanamaker & Brown, broadside advertising clothing at Oak Hall, 1885.

1 6

4 and 6 North Second Street, handbill advertising assignee's sale of fine (back has portion of pastedown engraving depicting a train station, likely that of the Pennsylvania Railroad in Center City), 1885 May 9.

1 6

Hopkins' Corset Store, handbill advertising ladies' undergarments (back contains invitation to worship at Chambers Presbyterian Church), 1885.

1 6

Jacob Reed's Sons, 2 advertisement cards for clothing (cards apparently once pasted back-to-back), 1885 April 25.

1 6

VII. Pharmaceuticals, 1885.

Box Folder

Fowler & Wells Co., Publishers, handbill for the Phrenological Journal, 1885 January.

1 7

H.E. Butler, handbill for "Delineations of Character from Phrenology, Physiognomy, Palmistry, and a New System of Biology", 1885 July 5.

1 7

Johnston, Holloway & Co., broadside for Phelps' Rheumatic Elixir, 1885.

1 7

D. Smith's Arbozlinctus, handbill for "the Superior Expectorant Arbozlinctus", 1885.

1 7

Triumph Truss Co., broadside for trusses to relieve "rupture" (hernia), 1885.

1 7

2 partial clippings, one containing an advertisement for drugs, the other an entrance stub, 1885.

1 7

Alfred B. Taylor, advertisement trading card for D. Jayne's Expectorant and D. Jayne's Carminative Balsam, 1885.

1 7

B.J. Kendall & Co., advertisement card for Kendall's Spavin Cure, 1885.

1 7

T.M. Galbreath, Apothecary, directory of Atlantic City sponsored by the pharmacy for advertising purposes, 1885.

1 7

Edward H. Kaercross, Wholesale & Retail Druggist, advertisement card for Lydia E. Pinkham's Vegetable Compound and Lydia E. Pinkham's Liver Pills, 1885.

1 7

Edward H. Kaercross, successor to Samuel C. Hart, Chemist, handbill for Hart's Pulmonary Syrup, 1885.

1 7

The Camden Chemical Manufacturing Co., broadside for Anti-Bacterial Disinfectant (back contains partial advertisement for cereal Grainlet), 1885 .

1 7

VIII. Tobacco products, 1885.

Box Folder

Weissinger & Bate, advertisement card for Prune Nugget chewing tobacco, 1885.

1 8

Goodwin & Co., advertisement card for Old Judge Cigarettes, 1884 July 19.

1 8

Goodwin & Co., advertisement card for Old Judge Cigarettes, 1885 May 5.

1 8

Goodwin & Co., advertisement card for Old Judge Cigarettes, 1885.

1 8

Lone Jack Cigarettes, advertisement card, 1885.

1 8

Frank Wallace, Successor to Walter N. Heiss, Wholesale Dealer in Imported and Domestic Segars, advertisement trading card ("Jailer") for Gyp cigars, 1885.

1 8

Frank Wallace, Successor to Walter N. Heiss, Wholesale Dealer in Imported and Domestic Segars, advertisement trading card ("General Ollendorf") for Gyp cigars, 1885.

1 8

Frank Wallace, Successor to Walter N. Heiss, Wholesale Dealer in Imported and Domestic Segars, advertisement trading card ("Janitzca") for Gyp cigars, 1885.

1 8

Frank Wallace, Successor to Walter N. Heiss, Wholesale Dealer in Imported and Domestic Segars, advertisement trading card ("Bronislava") for Gyp cigars, 1885.

1 8

Charles W. Allen Company, Tobacco Manufacturers, handbill for Boot Plug chewing tobacco and offer of free pair of boots with order, 1885.

1 8