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Jay T. Last Collection of Horticulture Prints and Ephemera: Finding Aid
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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
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Overview of the Collection

    Title: Jay T. Last Collection of Horticulture Prints and Ephemera
    Dates (inclusive): 1840-1933
    Bulk dates: 1865-1920
    Collection Number: priJLC_HORT
    Collector: Last, Jay T.
    Extent: approximately 1,425 items
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Prints and Ephemera
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2191
    Email: reference@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Prints and Ephemera
    Huntington Library
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: 626-405-2191
    Email: reference@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: The Jay T. Last Collection of Horticulture Prints and Ephemera contains approximately 1,425 printed items from 1840 to 1933, with the majority of material dating from 1865 to 1920. The collection consists of advertising prints and ephemera promoting businesses whose products and services relate to growing flowers, fruits, and vegetables. This includes the tools, equipment, and supplies used for planting and cultivating gardens, orchards, and lawns for commercial and noncommercial purposes by nurseries, florists, fruit growers, and home gardeners. Seed companies are most prominently represented.
    Language: English.
    Note:
    Finding aid last updated on August 9, 2016.

    Access

    Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

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

    Provenance

    This collection forms part of the Jay T. Last Collection of Graphic Arts 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 horticulture prints and ephemera was transferred to the Library between 2010 and 2013.

    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 200,000 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 Horticulture Prints and Ephemera contains approximately 1,425 printed items from 1840 to 1933, with the majority of material dating from 1865 to 1920. The collection consists of advertising prints and ephemera promoting businesses whose products and services relate to growing flowers, fruits, and vegetables. This includes the tools, equipment, and supplies used for planting and cultivating gardens, orchards, and lawns for commercial and noncommercial purposes by nurseries, florists, fruit growers, and home gardeners. Seed companies are most prominently represented.
    Materials are arranged in two series: small-size items (11 x 14 inches or less) and large-size items (bigger than 11 x 14 inches). Small-size items are described broadly at the series level; large-size items and selected small-size items between 8 x 10 inches and 11 x 14 inches are fully inventoried, and all printers, artists, and publishers are indexed by name. The collection has more than 50 large-size items comprised mainly of lithographs and engravings, including seed advertisements, decorative floral prints, and promotional materials related to fruit, vegetable, and floral products. Small-size items in the collection number almost 1,400 items and are comprised mainly of trade cards, stationery, handbills, and seed packets from various businesses. Approximately 285 ephemeral items featuring images of anthropomorphic fruit, vegetables, flowers, and other plants are also contained here, even though the products they promote do not always relate to horticulture.
    The collection's prints and ephemera are primarily promotional in nature and provide information about American fruit, vegetable, seed, and flower-related industries, as well as the evolution of advertising strategies employed by these businesses in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Materials in this collection also provide a perspective on American aesthetic sensibilities during this period, as many of these prints were offered as decorative items as well as advertisements. As graphic materials, the items offer evidence of printmaking techniques and trends, as well as information about the artists, engravers, lithographers, printers, and publishers involved in the creative process.

    Alternative Form of Materials Available

    Visit the Huntington Digital Library: Jay T. Last Collection   to view digitized items from this collection.

    Related materials in the Huntington Library

    Arrangement

    The collection is arranged in the following series and subseries:
    • Series I. Horticulture Prints and Ephemera (small size)
    • Series II. Horticulture Prints and Ephemera (large size)
    Items are arranged numerically by call number and described in the following format:
    • Title of print. Date
    • Artist(s) (when known). Printer(s). Publisher(s)

    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.
    Chromolithographs.
    Contracts.
    Ephemera.
    Ephemera -- United States -- 19th century.
    Ephemera -- United States -- 20th century.
    Engravings.
    Handbills.
    Intaglio prints.
    Leaflets (printed works).
    Letterheads.
    Lithographs.
    Postcards.
    Printed ephemera.
    Promotional materials.
    Relief prints.
    Stationery.
    Tickets.
    Trade cards.

    Subjects

    Advertising -- Agriculture.
    Advertising -- Floral products.
    Advertising -- Seeds.
    Flowers -- Pictorial works.
    Fruit -- Pictorial works.
    Gardens -- Pictorial works.
    Girls -- Pictorial works.
    Men -- Pictorial works.
    Trees -- Pictorial works.
    Vases -- Pictorial works.
    Vegetables -- Pictorial works.
    Women -- Pictorial works.

    Printer, Publisher, Artist Index

    The following is a complete list of printers, publishers, and artists represented in the individually cataloged items in this collection.
    Adolph Nolte & Co.
    American Lithographic Co.
    Baudot, L.
    Beatty & Co., Lith.
    Brett Lithographing Co.
    C.F. Muntz & Co.
    Calvert Lithographing Co. (Detroit, Mich.)
    Clay & Richmond.
    Clay, Cosack & Co.
    Coffin, Haskell, 1878-1941.
    Cosack & Clark.
    Cosack & Co.
    Crump Label Co.
    Currier & Ives.
    Dewey, D. M. (Dellon Marcus), 1819-1889.
    Editorial Seix Barral.
    Ensigns & Thayer.
    Forbes Lithograph Manufacturing Company.
    Frauenberger, George F.
    Goffart, J. L.
    Hirschberg, Alice, 1856-1930.
    J. Ottman Lithographic Company.
    Kellogg & Comstock.
    Kratzer, E.
    Krebs Lithographing Company.
    Lehman & Bolton.
    Lith. & Chromo Co.
    Lockhart, W. (William J.)
    Lunzer, A.
    Mensing & Stecher.
    Peters, G. W.
    Rahn, Anton.
    Richmond & Co.
    Stecher Litho. Co.
    Strobridge & Co. Lith.
    W.F. Humphrey Press.
    Wall, H. M.
    Walton, J. (Artist)