The Joseph Downs Collection of Manuscripts and Printed Ephemera
Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum, Winterthur, DE 19735
302-888-4600 or 800-448-3883
OVERVIEW OF THE COLLECTION
Creator: World’s Columbian Exposition
Acc. No.: 68x155, 78x321, and others
Quantity: 10 boxes
Location: 16 H 1-2 and I 1
Columbian Exposition celebrated the 400th anniversary of the landing of
Christopher Columbus in the
of the day designed the fair's buildings in a classical architectural style
that had been adopted as the standard.
The physical exhibits in these massive, yet temporary, structures were
supplemented by The World's Congress Auxiliary, a series of lectures on a wide
range of subjects. The Columbian
Exposition was also the first world's fair with a separate amusement area. Still sometimes called the world's greatest
world's fair, the World's Columbian Exposition was the largest public
exposition to have been held in
SCOPE AND CONTENT
The bulk of this
collection consists of printed ephemera produced by exhibitors at the fair to
promote their products. There are
brochures, fliers, trade cards (these have the accession number 68x155) and
giveaways promoting a wide range of contemporary consumer, professional, and
industrial products. There are also
transportation schedules for routes to
As well, the collection contains miscellaneous items such as souvenir ribbons with illustrations of fair buildings woven in the fabric; postcards; a block print textile sample with a design that includes Christopher Columbus, the U.S. Capitol, and stars representing the states; a traveler’s notebook; a photograph of a family at the midway; and decks of souvenir playing cards, each card illustrated with views of different buildings. Another item of interest is a permission form signed by the artist Childe Hassam.
Materials in the collection suggest that the papers with the accession number 78x321 may have been accumulated by someone associated with the Essex Institute or Peabody Academy of Science, both exhibitors at the fair.
The materials are arranged in accession number order, with accession 78x321, which includes printed ephemera and photographs from the fair, found in Boxes 1-8; accession number 68x155 (the trade cards) in Boxes 9a-b; and various accession numbers, including souvenir playing cards, postcards, textiles and ribbons, and other miscellaneous items related to the fair, in Boxes 8 and 10-11.
LANGUAGE OF MATERIALS
Most of the materials are in English; some are in French.
RESTRICTIONS ON ACCESS
Collection is open to the public. Copyright restrictions may apply.
Purchases and gifts from various sources.
The Downs Collection also has diaries that record trips taken to the exposition, and drawings of souvenir spoons designed by Charles Osborne. Trade catalogs from the exposition are in the Printed Book and Periodical Collection.
Columbian Exposition (1893:
Exposition universelle de 1889 (
Booksellers and bookselling.
Buildings – Pictorial works.
Buildings – Photographs.
Card games – Design.
Clothing and dress.
Industrial supply houses.
Music--Equipment and supplies.
Printing – Specimens.
Professions--Equipment and supplies.
Publishers and publishing.
Sewing – Equipment and supplies.
Stone industry and trade.
Textile fabrics – Specimens.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE COLLECTION
Location: 16 H 1 and I 1
Note: The items
in Boxes 1-7, 9, and the photos in
Folder 1: Photographs:
78x321.983-986: Exposition universelle de 1889 (
Folder 2: Scrapbook:
69x168: Pages from a scrapbook,
apparently kept by Georges Glaenzer, including an invitation to a ball given in
Folder 3: Bookmark
or ribbon: 77x59: A
souvenir ribbon or bookmark, with the paper to which it was originally mounted;
this ribbon depicts Mrs. Potter Palmer, president of the Board of Lady
Managers, and a view of the Woman’s Building, and ends with a gold tassel. The ribbon was woven by John Best & Co.
Folder 4: bookmark or ribbon: 77x82: A souvenir ribbon or bookmark “woven in the Worlds Columbian Exposition,” with an illustration of the Administration Building, American flags, some words from “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and a blue tassel. (Trex no. 7253)
Folder 5: Cloth: 79x113: Sample of cloth woven in honor of the exposition, including the head of a man (probably supposed to be Columbus) and the U.S. Capitol, both surrounded by wreaths, stars with the names of the states, and shields honoring the discovery of America and the fair (with the date 1892). Also photographs of the cloth. (Trex no. 8070)
Folder 6: Handkerchief:
83x140.2: A silk handkerchief
printed as a souvenir of the fair. It
reproduces a picture of
Folder 7: bookmark
or ribbon: 84x138.2: A souvenir
ribbon or bookmark, depicting the
Boxes 9a-b: Trade cards: 68x15.1-.350
Folder 1: Autograph: acc. 78x69: Card signed by the artist Childe Hassam, giving permission to Mr. Barrie to photograph his works on exhibit at the Department of Fine Arts.
Folder 2: Cog[illegible]
scrapbook: acc. 79x99: A scrapbook kept
by Charles Cog[illegible], with railroad tickets, admission tickets, a
workman’s pass, and postcards from his trip to the World’s Columbian
Exposition. The book also includes
tickets for trains and information about sites in
Folder 3: Note
book: acc. 77x69: “Note Book
for Visitors to the World’s Fair,” presented by the Travelers [insurance
Folder 4: Postcards: acc. 79x359.1-.11: A group of ten “Official Souvenir U.S. Postals” with their wrapper, identifying this as series 1, designs. 1-10; Charles W. Goldsmith was the agent responsible for these cards; each card has a different illustration with room for a message on one side, and address space on the other.
Folder 5: Postcards: acc. 83x233.1-.5: Four souvenir postcards (and the ca.1980 envelope in which they came) from the fair. These are designs 1, 5, 8, and 9 from the same set described in 79x359, above. Design 8 has had one corner removed.
Folder 6: Postcards:
acc. 99x144.1-.11: Another group of ten
“Official Souvenir U.S. Postals,” with their wrapper, same as described in
79x359. Two were mailed from the fair
(see special postmark) to
Folder 7: Souvenir album, with passes: acc. 02x30.64a-b: two pages of a souvenir album with views of the buildings at the fair, and three return pases
Folder 8: Trade cards and advertising brochures:
73x127.1 Trade card for jacquard machines made
by Schaum & Uhlinger of
73x127.2 Trade card for McIndoe Cylinder Job Press, made by McIndoe Bros. of Boston.
73x127.3 Trade card for Crane Elevator Co. of Chicago, listing locations of its elevators in exposition buildings.
73x127.4 Trade card for Canton Steel Roofing
73x127.5 Advertising brochure for Mann’s Cable Ware, a kind of pail, tub, and keeler.
73x127.6 Advertising brochure for B.C. Taylor
Folder 9: trade cards: acc. 02x30.1-.35: trade cards for Singer Manufacturing Company, depicting people from different countries using Singer Sewing Machines; most of the people are in native costumes
Folder 10: trade cards and advertising brochures: acc. 02x30.36-.63, .65-.67: trade cards for a variety of companies; not all the cards in this group contain a specific reference to the World’s Columbian Exposition; includes a souvenir album for some unnamed group’s 13th International Convention, held in Cleveland, Ohio, July 11-15, 1894
80x121 Souvenir playing cards, decorated with illustrations of different buildings, in a case, put out by a Chicago company (name might be Winters Art Line Co.)
96x45 “Columbian Souvenir Playing Cards,” a different set from those in 80x121, each with an illustration of a different building. Copyrighted by G.W. Clark.
Subject headings used in describing the above items in the Access finding aid:
Advertising--Hotels, taverns, etc.
Clothing and dress
Industrial supply houses
Music--Equipment and supplies
Professions--Equipment and supplies
Publishers and publishing