The Jay T. Last collection of sports
and leisure prints and ephemera contains about 1,770 printed materials related to the
history and advertising of sports, recreational activities, pyrotechnics, gambling, and
games in the United States. The materials date from approximately 1758 to approximately
1938, although the bulk of the items date from the mid-19th to the early-20th centuries. The
collection consists of about 67 large-sized items, and over 1,000 smaller-sized items,
including paper dolls, playing cards, lottery broadsides, novelty items, trade cards, puzzle
cards, dime novels, and promotional billheads, and letterheads. Images on materials range
from scenes of indoor pastimes to outdoor sports and activities.
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
24.1 Linear Feet
(13 binders, 2 boxes, 6 flat-file drawers)
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.
Open for use by qualified researchers and by appointment. Please contact Reader Services at
the Huntington Library for more information.