Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Type Tuesday - Modi-Film

Modi-Film was offered by San Francisco-based Timely Typography. The following sheets were tucked into a Timely Typography specimen book that was undated but looks to be from the mid to late 1960s. No description of Modi-Film or instructions for its use accompanied the material, but it seems it was Timely Typography's answer to Letraset, a London based company that offered sheets of type that could be transferred onto other materials through a wet or dry process. 

The much simpler dry process, which involved rubbing a letters from a sheet of plastic onto the desired surface, made Letraset a household hit - even a children's game, Action Transfers, was introduced by the company. Of course such a popular and simplified printing process would create other dry transfer products, such as Timely Typography's Modi-Film. 







If you have any information about Modi-Film, feel free to email me!

Jaime Henderson,
Archivist
jhenderson@calhist.org

Monday, April 14, 2014

Manuscript Monday--A San Francisco salon




E. L. Treat watercolor sketch, Bertha Stringer Lee guest book, Vault MS 41, California Historical Society.

This lovely watercolor sketch by the artist E. L. Treat is part of the California Historical Society’s recently cataloged Bertha Stringer Lee guest book. A native San Franciscan and student of William Keith, Lee was a California landscape painter who exhibited widely in the Bay Area. She was also a brilliant socialite, as her guest book, kept between the years 1912 and 1934, makes clear. Cards were dropped, and original sketches, poems, and songs contributed by, an astonishing array of celebrities, artists, writers, and musicians, including Winston Churchill, Arthur Cahill, Will Sparks, Charmian London, Theodore Wores, and William Keith. Lee’s guest book provides a remarkable view into the artistic milieu of San Francisco before the Second World War. 

Marie Silva
Archivist & Manuscripts Librarian
msilva@calhist.org

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Type Tuesday - Moise-Klinkner Company

The Moise-Klinkner Company of San Francisco, "mastercrafters of marking devices," provided customers with a wide variety of trinkets and tools to help identify anything from pencil sharpeners to cattle. The following are samples from their 1923 catalog, which marked the company's 50 year anniversary.  









Jaime Henderson,
Archivist
jhenderson@calhist.org

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Type Tuesday - Wallace, Kibbee & Son

Mid-century advertising typography from local printers Wallace Kibbee & Son





Jaime Henderson,
Archivist

Monday, March 31, 2014

Manuscript Monday--A confederate sympathizer in Amador County?

Affidavits against L. P. Hall, MS 922, courtesy, California Historical Society.

 On May 8, 1865, less than a month after the assassination of President Lincoln, the U.S. Army arrested two Jackson newspapermen, L. P. Hall and William Perry, for treason, and marched them in chains to Alcatraz. Ten days later, neighbors gave these affidavits against Hall, testifying that he was the author of the newspaper's anti-government editorial matter, and a self-proclaimed secessionist.

Although the residents of Jackson surely knew the political sympathies of the Dispatch's editor, Mr. Freeman's affidavit, in particular, has an implausible ring:

"George Freeman, Post Master. As personally acquainted with one L. P. Hall. That on or about the 1st day of February 1865 said L. P. Hall came into the P. O. and stated as follows: I am an out and out secessionist and don't care who knows it; I write the editorial matter of the Amador Dispatch."

And the recorder's interpolation of a parenthetical "who?" in Mr. Springer's affidavit is curious, to say the least:

"Hall has said to him while he was under the influence of intoxicating liquors (who?) on one or two occasions that he was the author of the editorial articles that had appeared in the Dispatch...."

Marie Silva
Archivist & Manuscripts Librarian
msilva@calhist.org

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Type Tuesday - Cleveland Type Foundry

Today's Type Tuesday offers selections from the H.H. Thorp Manufacturing Company's Cleveland Type Foundry (c. 1890). Located on the corner of Ontario and St. Clair streets in Cleaveland, Ohio, the foundry offered their customers "only type of our own cast" and encouraged persusers of the catalog to pay "special attention to the artistic specimens of New Designs in original and ornamental faces, which are cast only by the Cleveland Type Foundry."
Featured here are some of the foundry's more ornamental selections. 








Jaime Henderson, 
Archivist
jhenderson@calhist.org


Monday, March 24, 2014

Manuscript Monday--A Filipino love letter?


You never know what you’ll find in the CHS archives. I discovered this 1897 letter—written mostly in a Filipino language, with a sprinkling of Spanish endearments and other words (“mi esposa mia”)—in a folder labeled “Philippine Islands.” A friend of CHS believes that the letter is written in Ilonggo (also known as Hiligaynon), the language of the Negros region from which her family hails. Can any of our cosmopolitan readers help us identify and translate this mysterious turn-of-the-century missive?

Eugenio Juron [?] letter, Apostadero de Filipinas records, MS 1666, courtesy, California Historical Society.
Marie Silva
Archivist & Manuscripts Librarian
msilva@calhist.org

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Type Tuesday - Typographical Bouquet

Spring is almost here! Celebrate with a typographical bouquet from the Elmwood Press!










Fifty copies of this 2.5 x 3 inch "Typographical Herbal" were printed by the Elmwood Press of Berkeley, California in December, 1980. 


Jaime Henderson,
Archivist






Monday, March 17, 2014

Manuscript Monday--Mortality in Gold Rush Sacramento



Mortality register for Sacramento City, 1850-1852, Vault MS 162, courtesy, California Historical Society.

Discovered in a box labeled “unprocessed genealogies,” this death register provides a remarkable record of health, disease, and death in Gold Rush Sacramento. In it, city undertakers E.S. Youmans & Co. recorded the name, age, hometown, cause of death, and physician of each deceased person for the years 1850-1852. By late October 1850, they began to enter the terrible word “cholera” on the pages on the register, marking the beginning of a scourge that, according to medical historian Henry Harris, killed approximately 15% of the population of Sacramento.

By November, the disease was killing Sacramentans (mostly young and middle-aged men) at a ferocious pace. This page records death on the 4th, 5th, and 6th of November: 

Mortality register for Sacramento City, 1850-1852, Vault MS 162, courtesy, California Historical Society.
The outbreak seemed to recede almost as quickly as it appeared. On this page, beginning on December 18, not a single death caused by cholera is recorded (although it is interesting to consider how physicians and undertakers distinguished between diarrhea as a cause of death and the diseases like cholera with which it was associated): 

Mortality register for Sacramento City, 1850-1852, Vault MS 162, courtesy, California Historical Society.
Recently cataloged, this register is a wonderful resource for historians of the Gold Rush, epidemics, and public health in California. 

Marie Silva
Archivist & Manuscripts Librarian
msilva@calhist.org

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Type Tuesday

A poster advertising a large selection of type from Price Typography of San Francisco has been in my office for some time. It is awaiting its home in our Kemble ephemera collection, but I have been slow to house it. I am too thrilled by the gigantic square sheet listing types alphabetically from Advertisers Gothic to Zeppelin, delighted by its quirky mix of traditional type, such as Baskerville, and novelty type with names like Hobbit Initials and Unicorn. The later two types look as if they could have been carefully rendered on to a Peechee folder during an excruciatingly long third period American Government class. 



The poster looks to have been created in the mid-1970s which probably has much to do with my fascination as I was also created in the mid-1970s and can therefore associate much of the type with the products and popular culture I grew up with. Celtic makes me think of Fleetwood Mac's Rumors album; a mix of Cooper Black and Cooper Black Italic recalls the opening credits to Diff'rent Strokes; and I am quite sure Gallia was the font used on the cover of the copies of The Great Gatsby we were assigned to read in high school. 




Do any of these types spark recollections?




Jaime Henderson,
Archivist