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Charles Frost correspondence relating to his Comprehensive Calendar

Ms. Coll. 1242

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:
Frost, Charles W., 1848 1939
Title:
Charles Frost correspondence relating to his Comprehensive Calendar
Date [inclusive]:
1883-1896
Call Number:
Ms. Coll. 1242
Extent:
0.2 linear feet (1 box)
Language:
English
Abstract:
Charles W. Frost (1848-1939) was an advertising agent in Philadelphia who published a Comprehensive Calendar (a 250-year calendar beginning in 1753 and ending in 2002). This collection contains letters largely addressed to Frost relating almost exclusively to the perpetual calendar.
Cite as:
Charles Frost correspondence relating to his Comprehensive Calendar, 1883-1896, Ms. Coll. 1242, Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, University of Pennsylvania
PDF Version:

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Biography/History

Charles W. Frost (1848-1939) was an advertising agent in Philadelphia. He was also the owner of the Frost Block Company, a firm that manufactured building blocks, toys and novelties. According to the 1884 U.S. Patent Office, Frost had the patent for both the 200-year comprehensive calendar and the toy building block. He published Frost's Comprehensive Calendar in order to sell advertising and also to gather potential customers for his advertisers' businesses. An advertisement for the calendar, itself, describes it as "a compact and useful perpetual calendar, giving the entire annual calendars for any year in the present century, and one hundred and fifty others."

He was married to Isabel Freeman Frost, a member of a prominent Philadelphia family.

Scope and Contents

This collection dates from 1883 to 1896 and includes 41 letters, two of which were sent by Frost. These letters, almost exclusively, concern Frost’s Comprehensive Calendar, a 250-year calendar beginning in 1753 and ending in 2002. This calendar was used primarily for advertising purposes, but may also have been used to gather names and addresses of people requesting a calendar--all of whom became potential customers for his advertisers' businesses.

The numerous letters addressed to Frost place orders for calendars, make enquiries about them, or concern suggestions for improvements or the publishing of "decorative" or "artistic calendars." One correspondent, a journalist called Charles Marseilles of Exeter, New Hampshire, was a calendar collector and several letters relate to a competition in which contestants sent lists of names and addresses to Frost. Many letters reference advertisements in Ladies Home Journal and  The Market Journal, and both letters written by Frost make reference to his correspondents being referred to him by the magazine publishing firm, Curtis Publishing Company, which employed Edward Bok as editor of  Ladies Home Journal. Several letters are addressed directly to Curtis Publishing Company and/or Edward Bok and request the electrotype plates of the calendar. Other correspondents include the manager of the advertising department of  The Medical Record and N.B. Kneass, Jr. of Philadelphia, "Publisher for the Blind."

Administrative Information

Publication Information

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts,  2016 December 13

Finding Aid Author

Finding aid prepared by Kelin Baldridge

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research 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

Sold by Ian Brabner Rare Americana, 2016.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)
  • Curtis Publishing Company.
Form/Genre(s)
  • Advertisements
  • Correspondence
  • Financial records
Personal Name(s)
  • Bok, Edward William, 1863-1930
Subject(s)
  • Advertising, Magazine
  • Advertising--United States--History
  • Perpetual calendars
  • Publishers and publishing

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Collection Inventory

Box Folder

Letters, 1883-1885.

1 1

Letters, 1886-1887.

1 2

Letters, 1888-1889.

1 3

Letters, 1890-1893.

1 4

Letters, 1895.

1 5

Letters, 1896.

1 6

Letters, undated.

1 7