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Jay T. Last Collection of Maritime Prints and Ephemera: Finding Aid
priJLC_MAR  
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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 Maritime Prints and Ephemera
    Dates (inclusive): 1704-approximately 1942
    Bulk dates: 1840-1890
    Collection Number: priJLC_MAR
    Collector: Last, Jay T.
    Extent: approximately 1,150 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
    Abstract: The Jay T. Last Collection of Maritime Prints and Ephemera contains approximately 1,150 printed items that pertain to travel, shipping, and other maritime-related activities and businesses in the United States primarily dating from the second half of the 19th century. The collection consists of advertising and promotional materials, business records, and illustrations produced for or relevant to steamship companies, sailing vessels, shipping entities, passenger lines, and related businesses and publications.
    Language: English.
    Note:
    Finding aid last updated on September 24, 2015.

    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 Maritime 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 Maritime Prints and Ephemera was 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.

    Scope and Content

    The Jay T. Last Collection of Maritime Prints and Ephemera contains approximately 1,150 printed items that pertain to travel, shipping, and other maritime-related activities and businesses in the United States primarily dating from the second half of the 19th century. The collection consists of advertising and promotional materials, business records, and illustrations produced for or relevant to steamship companies, sailing vessels, shipping entities, passenger lines, and related businesses and publications.
    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 are fully inventoried, and all printers, artists, and publishers are indexed by name. The collection has more than 55 large-size items comprised mainly of lithographic and engraved prints of ships, certificates and contracts, and advertising materials for passenger and shipping routes. Small-size items in the collection number approximately 1,100 and are comprised mainly of advertising and promotional ephemera and business documents. The vast majority of these items are bills of lading and steamship passes, but the collection also has trade cards, timetables, booklets, directory ads, menus, passenger lists, postcards, handbills, and printed billheads and letterheads with manuscript text.
    Subjects addressed within the collection include commerce, advertising, technology and engineering, and tourism as related to river, lake, and ocean travel mostly in the United States. The images are primarily promotional and provide information about the history of passenger travel and commercial shipping, as well as the advertising strategies employed by these industries in the 19th and early 20th centuries. As graphic materials, the items offer evidence of visual culture and 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 two series:
    • Series I. Maritime Prints and Ephemera (small size)
    • Series II. Maritime 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.
    Broadsides.
    Business cards.
    Business records.
    Certificates.
    Chromolithographs.
    Contracts.
    Ephemera.
    Ephemera -- United States -- 19th century.
    Ephemera -- United States -- 20th century.
    Engravings.
    Handbills.
    Intaglio prints.
    Leaflets (printed works).
    Letterheads.
    Lithographs.
    Maps.
    Menus.
    Newspapers.
    Passenger lists.
    Postcards.
    Printed ephemera.
    Promotional materials.
    Relief prints.
    Stationery.
    Tickets.
    Timetables.
    Trade cards.

    Subjects

    Advertising -- Tourism.
    Advertising -- Transportation.
    Boats and boating -- Pictorial works.
    Docks -- Pictorial works.
    Dry docks -- Pictorial works.
    Fenians.
    Flags -- Pictorial works.
    Hudson River (N.Y. and N.J.) -- Pictorial works.
    Industrial buildings -- Pictorial works.
    Mississippi River -- Pictorial works.
    Palms -- Pictorial works.
    Rivers -- Pictorial works.
    Sailboats -- Pictorial works.
    Sailors -- Pictorial works.
    Ship captains -- Pictorial works.
    Shipbuilding.
    Ships -- Pictorial works.
    Shipwrecks -- Pictorial works.
    Steamboats -- Pictorial works.
    Steamboats.
    Transportation accidents -- Pictorial works.

    Printer, Publisher, Artist Index

    The following is a complete list of printers, publishers, and artists represented in the large-size items in this collection.
    A. Hoen & Co.
    American Lithographic Co.
    Bixler & Corwin.
    Britton & Rey.
    Bufford, John Henry, 1810-1870.
    Century Lith. Co.
    Clapp, David, 1806-1893.
    Clay, Cosack & Co.
    Cleveland, James A., 1811-
    Currier & Ives.
    Davids, Oscur.
    De Young, M. H. (Michael Harry), 1849-1925.
    Democrat Print.
    Drew, Clement, 1806-1889.
    Endicott & Co. (New York, N.Y.)
    F. Sala & Co.
    Forbes Lithograph Manufacturing Company.
    George F. Nesbitt & Co.
    Gies & Co.
    Gladwin, George.
    Harper & Brothers.
    Hatch Lith. Co.
    Hoogland, William, 1794 or 1795-1832.
    J.O. Seymour & Co.
    Kelly, Thos., active 1867-1868.
    Magnus, Charles.
    Major & Knapp Engraving, Manufacturing & Lithographic Co.
    Martinet, Alf.
    Menger, L. R.
    N. Currier (Firm)
    Nagel & Weingärtner.
    Otis, Fessenden N. (Fessenden Nott), 1825-1900.
    P.S. Duval & Son.
    Palmer & Co. (1842-1851)
    Parsons, Charles, 1821-1910.
    Pendleton’s Lithography.
    Pollock & Doty.
    Propeller Power Presses.
    Queen, Jas. (James), 1824-approximately 1877.
    Rand McNally and Company.
    Russell, E. N.
    Strobridge & Co. Lith.
    Swett, Moses.
    T. Moore’s Lithography.
    Tidd, M. M., 1827-1895.
    Todhunter, Francis Augustus, 1884-1963.
    Wade, William, active 1844-1852.
    Weale, John, 1791-1862.
    Webber, W.
    Weingartner, A.
    Wickersham, S.