Jay T. Last Collection of Science Prints and Ephemera: Finding Aid

Finding aid prepared by Charla DelaCuadra.
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
© 2018
The Huntington Library. All rights reserved.


Overview of the Collection

Title: Jay T. Last Collection of Science Prints and Ephemera
Dates (inclusive): 1840-approximately 1921
Bulk dates: 1880-1900
Collection Number: priJLC_SCI
Collector: Last, Jay T.
Extent: approximately 40 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 Science Prints and Ephemera contains approximately 40 printed items related to science and natural history in the United States from 1840 to approximately 1921, with the bulk of the content dating from 1880 to 1900. Most items are lithographs, but engravings and woodcuts are also included. The collection deals with products, services, activities, and imagery relating to the pursuit of knowledge by observation and/or experimentation in the fields of physical science: astronomy, chemistry, earth science, ecology, oceanography, and physics; life science: biology, botany, and zoology; and pseudoscience: astrology, alchemy, occult beliefs, and phrenology. Scientific illustrations, equipment, lectures, and expeditions of discovery can be found here.
Language: English.
Note:
Finding aid last updated on March 13, 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 Science 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 Science 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 Science Prints and Ephemera contains approximately 40 printed items related to science and natural history in the United States from 1840 to approximately 1921, with the bulk of the content dating from 1880 to 1900. Most items are lithographs, but engravings and woodcuts are also included. The collection deals with products, services, activities, and imagery relating to the pursuit of knowledge by observation and/or experimentation in the fields of physical science: astronomy, chemistry, earth science, ecology, oceanography, and physics; life science: biology, botany, and zoology; and pseudoscience: astrology, alchemy, occult beliefs, and phrenology. Scientific illustrations, equipment, lectures, and expeditions of discovery can be found here. 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 26 large-size items comprised mainly of astronomy and natural history prints. Small-size items number approximately 15 and contain a variety of materials, including trade cards, leaflets, documentary prints, and printed billheads and letterheads (with manuscript text). Notable items include a complete set of 15 astronomical drawing prints by E. L. Trouvelot published by Charles Scribner’s Sons in 1882 (Series II).

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. Science Prints and Ephemera (small size)
  • Series II. Science 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

Animals -- Pictorial works.
Astronomy -- Pictorial works.
Auroras -- Pictorial works.
Birds -- Pictorial works.
Comets -- Pictorial works.
Eclipses -- Pictorial works.
Galaxies -- Pictorial works.
Meteors -- Pictorial works.
Microscopy -- Pictorial works.
Moon -- Pictorial works.
Nebulae -- Pictorial works.
Observatories -- Pictorial works.
Phrenology -- Pictorial works.
Planets -- Pictorial works.
Stars -- Pictorial works.
Sun -- 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.
Armstrong & Co. (Boston, Mass.)
Audubon, John James, 1785-1851
Bien, Julius, 1826-1909
Bowen, John T., approximately 1801-1856?
Charles Scribner’s Sons
Compton, Richard J.
Fowler, L. N. (Lorenzo Niles), 1811-1896
J.H. Bufford & Co.
Johnston, David Claypoole, 1799-1865
Kurz & Allison
Munn & Co. (New York, N.Y.)
Trouvelot, E. L.


Collection Contents

 

Series I. Science Prints and Ephemera (small size) approximately 1845-approximately 1921

Physical Description: approximately 15 items in 1 binder and 1 flat-top box

Arrangement

Items smaller than 8 x 10 inches are housed in one binder.
Items that are between 8 x 10 inches and 11 x 14 inches in size are arranged in one box. Items with individual call numbers are arranged numerically. Select items have been fully cataloged and are described in the following format:
  • Title of print. Date
  • Artist(s) (when known). Printer(s). Publisher(s).
Binder  1

Science (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 10 items
Box  1

Science (between 8 x 10 inches and 11 x 14 inches in size)

Physical Description: approximately 5 items

Note

Select items in this box have been fully cataloged and are listed below.
 

 priJLC_SCI_001813  American eagle 1161. approximately 1880-1921

Printers: Kurz & Allison
 

 priJLC_SCI_001814  [Birds with nest in branches]. approximately 1845-1873

Printers: J.H. Bufford & Co.
 

 priJLC_SCI_003448  Eagle owl 1191. approximately 1880-1921

Printers: Kurz & Allison
 

 priJLC_SCI_004477  Know thyself! Lectures on phrenology. approximately 1850-1900

 

 priJLC_SCI_005021  A drop of Long pond water magnified by the solar microscope. approximately 1846-1848

Artists: Johnston, David Claypoole, 1799-1865
 

Series II. Science Prints and Ephemera (large size) 1840-approximately 1921

Physical Description: 27 items

Arrangement

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).
priJLC_SCI_001824

[Storks in field] 1019. approximately 1880-1921

Printers: Kurz & Allison
priJLC_SCI_001825

[Peacock on rocks] 1022. approximately 1880-1921

Printers: Kurz & Allison
priJLC_SCI_001826

[Jaguar] 1023. approximately 1880-1921

Printers: Kurz & Allison
priJLC_SCI_002967

Solar protuberances. ©1881

Artists: Trouvelot, E. L. Printers: Armstrong & Co. (Boston, Mass.) Publishers: Charles Scribner’s Sons
priJLC_SCI_002968

Total eclipse of the sun. ©1881

Artists: Trouvelot, E. L. Printers: Armstrong & Co. (Boston, Mass.) Publishers: Charles Scribner’s Sons
priJLC_SCI_002969

Aurora borealis. ©1881

Artists: Trouvelot, E. L. Printers: Armstrong & Co. (Boston, Mass.) Publishers: Charles Scribner’s Sons
priJLC_SCI_002970

The zodiacal light. ©1881

Artists: Trouvelot, E. L. Printers: Armstrong & Co. (Boston, Mass.) Publishers: Charles Scribner’s Sons
priJLC_SCI_002971

Mare Humorum. ©1881

Artists: Trouvelot, E. L. Printers: Armstrong & Co. (Boston, Mass.) Publishers: Charles Scribner’s Sons
priJLC_SCI_002972

Partial eclipse of the moon. ©1881

Artists: Trouvelot, E. L. Printers: Armstrong & Co. (Boston, Mass.) Publishers: Charles Scribner’s Sons
priJLC_SCI_002973

The planet Mars. ©1881

Artists: Trouvelot, E. L. Printers: Armstrong & Co. (Boston, Mass.) Publishers: Charles Scribner’s Sons
priJLC_SCI_002974

The planet Jupiter. ©1881

Artists: Trouvelot, E. L. Printers: Armstrong & Co. (Boston, Mass.) Publishers: Charles Scribner’s Sons
priJLC_SCI_002975

The planet Saturn. ©1881

Artists: Trouvelot, E. L. Printers: Armstrong & Co. (Boston, Mass.) Publishers: Charles Scribner’s Sons
priJLC_SCI_002976

The great comet of 1881. ©1881

Artists: Trouvelot, E. L. Printers: Armstrong & Co. (Boston, Mass.) Publishers: Charles Scribner’s Sons
priJLC_SCI_002977

The November meteors. ©1881

Artists: Trouvelot, E. L. Printers: Armstrong & Co. (Boston, Mass.) Publishers: Charles Scribner’s Sons
priJLC_SCI_002978

Part of the Milky Way. ©1881

Artists: Trouvelot, E. L. Printers: Armstrong & Co. (Boston, Mass.) Publishers: Charles Scribner’s Sons
priJLC_SCI_003442

Buffaloes at rest. ©1911

Printers: Kurz & Allison
priJLC_SCI_003444

Sciurus mollipilosus, aud. and bach. Soft-haired squirrel. approximately 1843

Artists: Audubon, John James, 1785-1851 ; Bowen, John T., approximately 1801-1856? Printers: Bowen, John T., approximately 1801-1856?
priJLC_SCI_003445

Smew or white nun, mergus albellus. L. 1860

Artists: Audubon, John James, 1785-1851 Printers: Bien, Julius, 1826-1909
priJLC_SCI_003446

Fish crow, corvus ossifragus, wils. 1860

Artists: Audubon, John James, 1785-1851 Printers: Bien, Julius, 1826-1909
priJLC_SCI_003447

Common crossbill, loxia curvirosta. Linn. 1860

priJLC_SCI_004945

Group of sunspots and veiled spots. ©1881

Artists: Trouvelot, E. L. Printers: Armstrong & Co. (Boston, Mass.) Publishers: Charles Scribner’s Sons
priJLC_SCI_004946

Star clusters in Hercules. ©1881

Artists: Trouvelot, E. L. Printers: Armstrong & Co. (Boston, Mass.) Publishers: Charles Scribner’s Sons
priJLC_SCI_004947

The great nebula in Orion. ©1881

Artists: Trouvelot, E. L. Printers: Armstrong & Co. (Boston, Mass.) Publishers: Charles Scribner’s Sons
priJLC_SCI_004948

The Trouvelot astronomical drawings. 1882

priJLC_SCI_004949

Scientific American. 1858

Publishers: Munn & Co. (New York, N.Y.)
priJLC_SCI_004950

The monster serpent of Silver Lake. approximately 1853-1855

Printers: Compton, Richard J. Publishers: Compton, Richard J.
priJLC_SCI_005037

Phrenological tree and chart, exhibiting the classification and location of the mental faculties. ©1840

Publishers: Fowler, L. N. (Lorenzo Niles), 1811-1896