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Jay T. Last Collection of American Firefighting Prints and Ephemera: Finding Aid
priJLC_FIRE  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Access
  • Administrative Information
  • Scope and Content
  • Related materials in the Huntington Library include:
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Overview of the Collection

    Title: Jay T. Last Collection of American Firefighting Prints and Ephemera
    Dates (inclusive): 1826-1907
    Collection Number: priJLC_FIRE
    Collector: Last, Jay T.
    Extent: approximately 150 items in 1 flat-file drawer, 1 binder, and 1 folder
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Prints and Ephemera
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: 626-405-3473
    Email: lastcollection@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: The Jay T. Last Collection of American Firefighting Prints and Ephemera contains more than 150 printed items that relate to firefighting and the activities and organizations of firemen in the United States from approximately 1820 to 1909. The collection consists of advertising and promotional materials, business records, and illustrations produced for or pertaining to firefighting organizations, related social or charitable events, and firefighting vehicles, equipment, and supplies.
    Language: English.
    Note:
    Finding aid last updated on February 18, 2014.

    Access

    The collection is open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, please visit the Huntington's website: www.huntington.org.  

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    In order to quote from, publish, or reproduce any of the visual materials, researchers must obtain formal permission from the office of the Library Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Huntington as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

    Preferred Citation

    [Item title, Call number]. Jay T. Last Collection of American Firefighting Prints and Ephemera, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

    Provenance

    This collection forms part of the Jay T. Last Collection of Lithographic and Social History, which was donated to the Huntington Library by Jay T. Last in 2005 as a gift in progress. The bulk of the firefighting prints and ephemera were transferred to the Library between 2010 and 2012.

    Background

    The Jay T. Last Collection is an unparalleled archive of printed paper artifacts that documents American lithographic, social, and business history. The collection began in the early 1970s when physicist and Silicon Valley pioneer Jay Last moved to Southern California and started collecting citrus box labels he found at local flea markets and rummage sales. As his collection grew, Last realized that these labels conveyed important information about commercial printing, graphic design, and social history, and he expanded his collection to include other forms of American visual culture. Today this collection contains more than 185,000 lithographic prints, posters, and ephemera of mostly nineteenth- and early twentieth- century American origin and represents works by more than five hundred lithographic companies.

    Scope and Content

    The Jay T. Last Collection of American Firefighting Prints and Ephemera contains more than 150 printed items that relate to firefighting and the activities and organizations of firemen in the United States from approximately 1820 to 1909. The collection consists of advertising and promotional materials, business records, and illustrations produced for or pertaining to firefighting organizations, related social or charitable events, and firefighting vehicles, equipment, and supplies.
    Materials are arranged in two series: small-size items (11 x 14 inches or less) and large-size items (more than 11 x 14 inches). Small materials broadly at the series level; large-size items have been fully inventoried and all printers, artists, and publishers are indexed by name.
    The collection has 46 large-size items comprised mainly of lithographic and engraved prints that include:
    • Fire department membership and discharge certificates
    • Depictions of fires and firefighters working to extinguish blazes
    • Builders prints of fire engines and similar vehicles
    • Images and advertisements pertaining to social and charitable events involving fire departments and related organizations
    Small-size items in the collection number more than 100 and consist mainly of business documents and advertising and promotional ephemera such as printed booklets, trade cards, small programs, menus, tickets and invitations for charitable and social events such balls, concerts, musters, and celebrations, business cards, lapel ribbons, book and periodical illustrations, membership certificates, and stationery with printed billheads and letterheads filled out in manuscript.

    Note

    The Jay T. Last Collection is a gift in progress. Container numbers may change as the collection expands.

    Related materials in the Huntington Library include:

    • The Huntington Library Historical Prints Collection contains six related items (priHHC_FIRE_0000008 - priHHC_FIRE_0000013) that are listed in the "Related Materials" section in Series II.

    Arrangement

    The collection is arranged broadly by size in two series:
    • Series I. Firefighting Prints and Ephemera (small size)
    • Series II. Firefighting Prints and Ephemera (large size)

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  

    Genres

    Billheads.
    Business cards.
    Business records.
    Business records -- United States -- 19th century.
    Chromolithographs.
    Engravings.
    Ephemera.
    Ephemera -- United States -- 19th century.
    Intaglio prints.
    Leaflets (printed works).
    Letterheads.
    Lithographs.
    Printed ephemera.
    Prints.
    Prints -- United States -- 19th century.
    Promotional materials.
    Relief prints.
    Tradecards.
    Views.

    Subjects

    Fire departments.
    Fire departments -- United States.
    Fire engines -- Pictorial works.
    Fire extinction -- Equipment and supplies -- Pictorial works.
    Fire fighters -- Pictorial works.
    Fire stations -- Pictorial works.
    Fires -- Pictorial works.
    Fires -- United States.
    Steam-engines -- Pictorial works.

    Printer, Publisher, Artist Index

    The following is a complete list of printers, publishers, and artists represented in the large-size items in this collection.
    Amory, Thomas C. (Thomas Coffin), 1812-1889.
    Armstrong, McLellan & Green.
    Bachelder, John B. (John Badger), 1825-1894.
    Bennett, W. J. (William James), 1787-1844.
    Bloomfield, J. J.
    Brooks Bank Note Co.
    Bufford, John Henry, 1810-1870.
    Calyo, Nicolino, 1799-1884.
    Chas. H. Crosby & Co.
    Clay, Cosack & Co.
    Clover, Lewis Peter, 1790-
    Crump Label Co.
    Currier & Ives.
    Disturnell, John, 1801-1877.
    Dunston, G. H.
    Eddy, Isaac, 1777-1847.
    Endicott & Co. (New York, N.Y.)
    F.M. Baker & Co.
    Frizzell, S. S. (Samuel S.), 1843-1895.
    Heiss, Geo. G.
    Imbert’s Lithographic Office.
    J.H. Bufford's Lith.
    Jones, J. R.
    Kellogg, Jarvis Griggs, 1805-1873.
    Ketterlinus, Eugene, 1824-1886.
    L.H. Bradford & Co.
    Mayer & Stetfield.
    Mayer, Merkel & Ottmann.
    Miller, Fred. J.
    Miller, W. G. (Artist)
    Morgan, William P., active 1811-1872.
    N. Currier (Firm)
    New York (N.Y.). Common Council.
    P.S. Duval & Co.
    P.S. Duval & Son.
    Pendleton’s Lithography.
    Queen, Jas. (James), 1824-approximately 1877.
    Richardson, W. J. (Engraver)
    Rogers, E. (Edward), 1831 or 1832-
    Rowland, H. E., 1848?-1911.
    Salmon, Robert, 1775- approximately 1848.
    Sarony, Major & Knapp Lith.
    Schmidt Label & Litho. Co.
    Searle, Frederick A.
    Smith, John Rubens, 1775-1849.
    Tappan, Ebenezer, 1815-1854.
    Tuthill, William H.
    Wagner & M’Guigan.