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

  • Overview of the Collection

    Title: Jay T. Last Collection of Personal Care Prints and Ephemera
    Dates (inclusive): approximately 1832-approximately 1931
    Bulk dates: 1860-1900
    Collection Number: priJLC_PC
    Collector: Last, Jay T.
    Extent: approximately 865 items
    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 Personal Care Prints and Ephemera contains approximately 865 printed items related to grooming and personal care in the United States from approximately 1832 to 1931, with the bulk of the content dating from 1860 to 1900. Most items are lithographs, but engravings and woodcuts are also included. The collection deals with products and services relating to grooming, cleansing, and preserving one’s hair, scalp, skin, or teeth to promote individual hygiene or to beautify one’s appearance.
    Language: English.
    Note:
    Finding aid last updated on March 22, 2018.

    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 Personal Care 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 Personal Care 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 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.

    Access

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

    Scope and Content

    The Jay T. Last Collection of Personal Care Prints and Ephemera contains approximately 865 printed items related to grooming and personal care in the United States from approximately 1832 to 1931, with the bulk of the content dating from 1860 to 1900. Most items are lithographs, but engravings and woodcuts are also included. The collection deals with products and services relating to grooming, cleansing, and preserving one’s hair, scalp, skin, or teeth to promote individual hygiene or to beautify one’s appearance. Materials focus on consumer goods or acts of assistance that do not require medical direction to purchase or use. Such products include cosmetics, hair oils, perfumes, razors, shaving creams, shampoos, skin lotions, talcum powder, toothpaste, tooth powder, brushes, combs, hair pins, and wigs. Such services include barbers, hairdressers, wigmakers, and styling salons. As graphic materials, the collection highlights developing techniques and trends in printmaking while documenting the artists, engravers, lithographers, printers, and publishers involved in the creative process.
    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-size items are described broadly at the series level; large-size items and select small-size items are fully inventoried with printers, artists, and publishers indexed by name. The collection includes 14 large-size items comprised mainly of advertising prints and leaflets. Small-size items number approximately 850 and contain a variety of materials, including trade cards, stationery, calendars, leaflets, and printed billheads and letterheads (with and without manuscript text).

    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 two series:
    • Series I. Personal Care Prints and Ephemera (small size)
    • Series II. Personal Care 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.
    Chromolithographs.
    Ephemera.
    Ephemera -- United States -- 19th century.
    Ephemera -- United States -- 20th century.
    Engravings.
    Handbills.
    Intaglio prints.
    Leaflets (printed works).
    Letterheads.
    Lithographs.
    Price lists.
    Printed ephemera.
    Promotional materials.
    Relief prints.
    Stationery.
    Trade cards.

    Subjects

    Advertising -- Perfumes industry.
    Advertising -- Toilet preparations.
    Beauty, Personal -- Pictorial works.
    Butterflies -- Pictorial works.
    Cosmetics -- Pictorial works.
    Flowers -- Pictorial works.
    Hair -- Pictorial works.
    Men -- Pictorial works.
    Women -- Pictorial works.

    Printer, Publisher, Artist Index

    The following is a complete list of printers, publishers, and artists represented in the fully-cataloged items in this collection.
    F. Heppenheimer & Co.
    P.S. Duval & Son
    Kellogg & Comstock
    Dearborn, Nathaniel, 1786-1852
    Donaldson Brothers (Firm)
    Herline & Co.
    Sarony, Major & Knapp Lith.
    Traubel, M. H. (Morris H.), 1820-1897
    Aiken, Mark M.
    Reen, Charles