Jay T. Last Collection of Medicine 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
© 2017
The Huntington Library. All rights reserved.


Overview of the Collection

Title: Jay T. Last Collection of Medicine Prints and Ephemera
Dates (inclusive): approximately 1750-approximately 1929
Bulk dates: 1850-1910
Collection Number: priJLC_MED
Collector: Last, Jay T.
Extent: approximately 4,030 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 Medicine Prints and Ephemera contains over 4,000 printed items related to medical, dental, and vision products and services in the United States from approximately 1750 to 1929, with the bulk of the content dating from 1850 to 1910. Most items are lithographs, but engravings and woodcuts are also included. The collection deals with medical and drug-related advertising and practice including the tools, equipment, and supplies used by the medical field in the United States during the 19th and early 20th centuries. This includes the wide and varied assortment of patent medicines that proliferated during this time.
Language: English.
Note:
Finding aid last updated on June 16, 2017.

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 Medicine 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 Medicine 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 Medicine Prints and Ephemera contains over 4,000 printed items related to medical, dental, and vision products and services in the United States from approximately 1750 to 1929, with the bulk of the content dating from 1850 to 1910. Most items are lithographs, but engravings and woodcuts are also included. The collection deals with medical and drug-related advertising and practice including the tools, equipment, and supplies used by the medical field in the United States during the 19th and early 20th centuries. This includes products and services relating to human health care and the remedies to treat, relieve, and cure medical, dental, and vision conditions as prescribed or administered by doctors, pharmacists, dentists, and quack practitioners often affiliated with patent medicine manufacturers, drug companies, hospitals, asylums, institutes, and/or sanitariums.
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 30 large-size items comprised mainly of advertising prints and leaflets. Small-size items number approximately 4,000 and contain a variety of materials, including trade cards, product labels, stationery, calendars, booklets, leaflets, periodicals, and printed billheads and letterheads (with and without manuscript text). Of note are over 150 product labels for remedies offered by Dr. A. De Fontaine of Boston, Massachusetts, circa 1840-1850, and approximately 100 items of advertising ephemera for products made by C. I. Hood & Co. of Lowell, Massachusetts.
The collection supports various fields of research relating to medical and drug-related merchandising, advertising, and practice in the United States in the 19th and early 20th centuries. This includes the wide and varied assortment of patent medicines that proliferated during this time. The images provide a rich visual resource for studying the history of American medical practitioners, methods, and materials, as well as a perspective on ailments and illnesses common during this period. 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.

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

The Huntington Library Historical Prints Collection contains two related items (priHHC_MED_0000021 ; priHHC_MED_0000022) that are listed in the "Related Materials" section at the beginning of Series II in this finding aid.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged in the following two series:
  • Series I. Medicine Prints and Ephemera (small size)
  • Series II. Medicine 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.
Calendars.
Certificates.
Chromolithographs.
Ephemera.
Ephemera -- United States -- 19th century.
Ephemera -- United States -- 20th century.
Engravings.
Handbills.
Intaglio prints.
Leaflets (printed works)
Letters (Correspondence).
Letterheads.
Lithographs.
Manuscripts.
Printed ephemera.
Prints.
Relief prints.
Trade cards.
Views.

Subjects

Advertising -- Drugs.
Advertising -- Medicine.
Boys -- Pictorial works.
Buildings -- Pictorial works.
Children -- Pictorial works.
Girls -- Pictorial works.
Industrial buildings -- Pictorial works.
Landscapes -- Pictorial works.
Medicine.
Men -- Pictorial works.
Patent medicines.
Sick -- Pictorial works.
Storefronts -- 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.
Anderson, Walter W.
Aspinwall, Horatio G.
Bannan, Benjamin, 1807-1875
Calvert Lithographing Co. (Detroit, Mich.)
Cosack & Co.
Crosby, Charles H., 1819-1896
Haehnlen, Jacob, 1824-
Hanford, Albert, 1807-1883
Hawkins, Ezekiel C.
Hop Pill Mf'g Co.
J. Ottman Lithographic Company
King, W. A. (Artist)
Longacre & Co.
Queen & Co. (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Reed, Edwin O., approximately 1824-
Samuel Bowles and Company
Sarony, Major & Knapp Lith.
Shields, C. (Printer)
Stevens, H. R.
Theo. Leonhardt & Son
Thomas & Eno
Thoubboron, J.
Tobin, M. F.
William H. Forbes & Company


Collection Contents

 

Series I. Medicine Prints and Ephemera (small size) approximately 1750-1929 (bulk 1850-1910)

Physical Description: approximately 4,000 items in 26 binders and 1 box

Arrangement

Items smaller than 8 x 10 inches are housed in binders.
Items that are between 8 x 10 inches and 11 x 14 inches in size are arranged in boxes. 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

Medical equipment, services, and supplies, A-Z by company (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 115 items
Binder  2

Dental and vision equipment, services, and supplies, A-Z by company (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 75 items
Binder  3

Patent medicine, A by company (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 200 items
Binder  4

Patent medicine, Ba-Bri by company (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 125 items
Binder  5

Patent medicine, Bro-Bu by company (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 135 items
Binder  6

Patent medicine, Ca-Cl by company (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 145 items
Binder  7

Patent medicine, Co-Di by company (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 235 items
Binder  8

Patent medicine, Do-Fl by company (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 145 items
Binder  9

Patent medicine, Fo-Fu by company (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 200 items
Binder  10

Patent medicine, G by company (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 190 items
Binder  11

Patent medicine, Ha-Hea by company (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 145 items
Binder  12

Patent medicine, Hec-Hu by company (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 210 items
Binder  13

Patent medicine, I-J by company (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 105 items
Binder  14

Patent medicine, K by company (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 115 items
Binder  15

Patent medicine, L-Mc by company (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 170 items
Binder  16

Patent medicine, Me-My by company (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 210 items
Binder  17

Patent medicine, N-Pl by company (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 200 items
Binder  18

Patent medicine, Po-Ri by company (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 165 items
Binder  19

Patent medicine, Ro-Sh by company (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 195 items
Binder  20

Patent medicine, Si-Te by company (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 185 items
Binder  21

Patent medicine, Th-V by company (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 170 items
Binder  22

Patent medicine, Wa-Wh by company (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 110 items
Binder  23

Patent medicine, Wi-Z by company (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 130 items
Binder  24

Patent medicine, C.I. Hood (1) (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 95 items
Binder  25

Patent medicine, C.I. Hood (2) (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 20 items
Binder  26

Patent medicine, Dr. Fontaine (8 x 10 inches or smaller in size)

Physical Description: approximately 160 items
Box  1

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

Physical Description: approximately 55 items

Note

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

 priJLC_MED_002609  Ayer’s sarsaparilla. approximately 1843-1878

 

 priJLC_MED_002614  Dr. McMunn’s kinate of quinine and cinchonine. approximately 1862-1864

Printers: Thomas & Eno
 

 priJLC_MED_004466  Golden sheaf bitters. after 1866

Printers: Calvert Lithographing Co. (Detroit, Mich.)
 

 priJLC_MED_004467  Lactopeptine in cholera infantum and all digestive ailments. 1895

 

 priJLC_MED_004473  Schweizer alpen kraüter. Swiss alpine herbs bitters. approximately 1854-1873

Printers: Haehnlen, Jacob, 1824-
 

 priJLC_MED_004484  Dr. H. Cox's compound syrup of sarsaparilla. approximately 1850-1853

Artists: Anderson, Walter W. ; Hawkins, Ezekiel C. Printers: Reed, Edwin O., approximately 1824-
 

 priJLC_MED_004707  Quaker bitters. approximately 1874

 

 priJLC_MED_004711  The Hop annual. ©1887

Printers: J. Ottman Lithographic Company Publishers: Hop Pill Mf'g Co.
 

Series II. Medicine Prints and Ephemera (large size) approximately 1839-1915 (bulk 1850-1900)

Physical Description: 29 items

Related Material

Items in the Huntington Library Historical Prints collection:

  • priHHC_MED_0000021 Chart to Dr. Kline's Philadelphia Medical & Surgical Institute for the treatment of all diseases. ©1868 Link 
  • priHHC_MED_0000022 Cholera medicine, for the cure of diarrhea, summer complaints, colics, cramps, & c. 1843 Link 

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_MED_000686

Manufacturing chemists : Powers & Weightman. approximately 1876

Printers: Longacre & Co.
priJLC_MED_000731

View of Ascutney Mountain taken from High Bridge at Claremont, N. H. ©1868

Artists: King, W. A. (Artist) Printers: William H. Forbes & Company
priJLC_MED_002610

Dr. S. S. Fitch’s celebrated medicines. approximately 1847-1855

Printers: Shields, C. (Printer)
priJLC_MED_002611

Hamlin’s wizard oil good for man and beast. after 1867

Printers: Calvert Lithographing Co. (Detroit, Mich.)
priJLC_MED_002612

Humphrey’s specific homeopathic remedies. after 1853

priJLC_MED_002613

Hood’s sarsaparilla. approximately 1872-1922

priJLC_MED_002615

Dr. Solon Osmond Richardson's jaundice bitters. ©1840

priJLC_MED_002616

Bitters S. S. Wyckoff & Co. ©1861

Printers: Sarony, Major & Knapp Lith.
priJLC_MED_002617

Standard eye colors. Shades of brown. ©1891

Publishers: Queen & Co. (Philadelphia, Pa.)
priJLC_MED_002618

Dr. J. Bovee Dod’s imperial remedy and family physician. approximately 1855-1878

Printers: Samuel Bowles and Company
priJLC_MED_002619

Hunnewell’s standard preparations. approximately 1856-1872

Printers: Crosby, Charles H., 1819-1896
priJLC_MED_002620

Dr. D. Jayne's alterative. ©1845

priJLC_MED_002621

Dr. J. P. Mann’s offices & reception days. after 1875

priJLC_MED_002622

Use Renne’s pain killing magic oil. It subdues pain instantly. approximately 1859-1893

Printers: Thoubboron, J.
priJLC_MED_002623

Dr. Sage’s catarrh remedy. approximately 1878-1891

Printers: Cosack & Co.
priJLC_MED_002624

Barker’s Liniment. approximately 1874-1890

Printers: Theo. Leonhardt & Son
priJLC_MED_002625

Green mountain boys gathering materials for Paine's celebrated Green Mountain Balm of Gilead and Cedar Plaster. ©1868

Printers: William H. Forbes & Company
priJLC_MED_002626

Dr. Leons’ celebrated preparations. approximately 1854-1873

Printers: Haehnlen, Jacob, 1824-
priJLC_MED_002627

The celebrated oxygenated bitters a sure remedy for dyspepsia asthma, and general debility. approximately 1843-1847

Printers: Hanford, Albert, 1807-1883
priJLC_MED_003721

On guard. approximately 1886-1899

Printers: Tobin, M. F.
priJLC_MED_004503

Thomas' American mechanical leech, breast glass, cupping glass & eye glass. approximately 1852

priJLC_MED_004504

The national life. Devoted to the heath and interests of the people. approximately 1878

Publishers: Stevens, H. R.
priJLC_MED_004505

Herbert M. Rogers & Co.'s pure Newfoundland cod liver oil. 1877

priJLC_MED_004507

Dr. J. P. Mann's offices and reception days. after 1875

priJLC_MED_004508

Societas Medica Insula Rhodi. approximately 1839

Printers: Aspinwall, Horatio G.
priJLC_MED_004704

Reliable, soluble, permanent, sugar coated pills. approximately 1858

priJLC_MED_004705

A treatise on diseases of the lungs, describing the virtues of Haas' expectorant... approximately 1851

Printers: Bannan, Benjamin, 1807-1875
priJLC_MED_004706

Watkins vegetable anodyne liniment. after 1914

priJLC_MED_004766

Hood's calendar companion. 1915