(Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp) | Women's Peace Camp zine
A rare zine-style newsletter published in February 1983, early in the history of the Greenham Common Peace Camp. It contains camp news and information, including upcoming events, a map of the airfield, diagrams of Holloway and Drake Hall prisons, and who to contact to arrange Non-Violent Direct Action training. There are letters and essays reflecting on the methods and philosophy of the protest, and first-hand accounts of recent actions, the most interesting of which is a graphic-novel style retelling of an attempt to enter the base in snake costumes during the visit of Secretary of State for Defense Michael Heseltine at the beginning of February. The rest of the zine is heavily illustrated, including photographs taken by both activists and professionals (including several famous photos by journalist Raiasa Page) as well as drawings by camp members. Greenham Common zines, particularly from so early in the movement, seem to be rare in trade. We cannot locate any copies of this or similar issues in WorldCat, at auction, or with other booksellers.
The Greenham Common protest was established in September of 1981 by the Welsh group Women for Life on Earth, who were opposed to the deployment of nuclear tipped cruise missiles at the site. What was initially planned as a single march became a permanent protest camp, one of the most significant and longest lasting women’s protests of the 20th century. In February 1982, for political reasons, the camp was made women only, and the following month they engaged in their first blockade of the base.
The Greenham Common camp had no hierarchy, and its nature was defined by the thousands of individual women who visited when they could or lived permanently onsite for years. The activists engaged in non-violent resistance by disrupting movement in and out of the gates, cutting down portions of the fence, and trespassing on military property, and they endured frequent police raids, arrests, and evictions. A large number of the protesters were middle aged and older; they considered themselves ordinary mothers and working women, and made a point of the fact that they were opposed to nuclear weapons for deeply personal reasons. Their gender was crucial to their message: “a woman’s place was not in the home, but at a protest. Women could use their identity as carers and mothers to say, this is about the future safety of our children. We weaponised traditional notions of femininity” (Suzanne Moore, “How the Greenham Common Protest Changed Lives”, The Guardian, March 20th, 2017).
February 1983. 1983.
32 page photocopied magazine (293 x 210 mm). Original black and white wrappers, the upper decorated with snakes and the lower with a printed poem. Some of the text in typescript and some reproduced from manuscript. Illustrations from photographs and drawings throughout. 40p price sticker to the upper cover. Wrappers very lightly rubbed, minor creasing to the upper corner and head of spine, contents toned as expected. Excellent condition.
A Seattle Flapper's Jazz Age Scrapbook
A wonderful scrapbook compiled by a young Seattle flapper named Lillian during the late teens, 1920s, and later, with nearly 400 photographs, many depicting adventures around the northwest coast.
Lillian appears often in the album, a striking young woman with a boyish elegance, always impeccably dressed in up-to-date styles. In one of the earlier photos she appears in a late-Edwardian outfit with her hair up, but she apparently transitioned quickly to the flapper style, and appears in most of the images wearing classic 1920s fashions with her hair charmingly bobbed. In one small photo she is seen in an attractive Deco-style bathing suit and in others, on cruises and at the Queen City Yacht Club, she appears in yachting whites and sailor-style outfits. In the ukulele photo and some of the sailing shots she is even wearing trousers.
Lillian and her friends appear to have been an outgoing bunch; included are photographs of musical events where Lillian plays the accordion, with a newspaper clipping showing their group performing at the yacht club. Friends appear in their nursing and Red Cross uniforms, with some photos taken on a children's ward. There are social gatherings; car trips along the Columbia River Highway, a cruise on the Princess Marguerite Steamship to Victoria, British Columbia (Lillian seems to have been fascinated by the icebergs); and numerous camping and fishing trips.
A number of the photos were taken at what appears to be the family home in Seattle, a brand new Craftsman-style house, which would have been an important symbol of the family's upward mobility. Lillian and her family seem to have been animal lovers, as there are numerous photos of pets, including a boxer dog, a terrier, and cats with kittens - Lillian appears with the terrier in a series of images. There are also shots from around Seattle, including a series depicting huge drifts of snow, which may have been taken during the snowstorms of 1916, which left drifts of up to five feet, or 1920, when a storm deposited more than 18 inches. Some photos identify apartment buildings in Seattle and Los Angeles that are still standing today (220 Belmont Ave. in Seattle and 1616-1618 Main Street in LA), and there is a large, evocative photograph of a 1920s hardware store with stylish counter displays. Finally, the scrapbook continues into the 1930s and early 40s with a handful of photographs from that period scattered in amongst the other material.
We have been unable to conclusively determine Lillian's last name, but it is possible that she was Lillian Christoffersen, a child of Norwegian immigrants who became a schoolteacher and was known to enjoy playing the accordion (source 1, source 2). Overall, this a fantastic photographic record of the life of a young woman and the changing fashions of one of the most exciting periods in American history.
- Seattle, WA, 1920. Oblong quarto (175 x 270 mm), 100 thick black pages. Contemporary purpose-made cloth scrapbook bound with a silk tie, title "photographs" in gilt to upper cover. Containing approximately 384 mounted original silver gelatin photographs (sized between 25 x 25 mm and 127 x 178 mm), a few with annotations indicating places, dates, and people; 9 real photo postcards; several newspaper clippings; and a greeting card. Some wear and bumping of the corners, a few photographs removed, occasional creases, splits, and chips to page edges, occasional damage to photographs. Very good condition.
Armstrong, C. C. [Mary Ann] | New Zealand Ferns
A rare, sixteen-page album of artistically arrayed and scientifically labeled New Zealand ferns by the award-winning botanical artist and entrepreneur Mary Ann Armstrong, known commercially as “Mrs. C. C. Armstrong” (1838-1910). This is a nice example of Armstrong’s work, which is notable for its elegant presentation, including the use of symmetry and sweeping arcs, and the ingenious placement of moss to “ground” the specimens. Each page is an artwork unto itself, usually featuring between three and six large fronds accompanied by carefully chosen smaller samples, all given scientific labels in a large and neat hand. The ferns in this volume are generally in excellent condition, clearly professional prepared and maintaining their fine details and sense of vitality.
Historian Molly Duggins, of the National Art School, Sydney, has done important work on Armstrong, providing a deep understanding of her work within the contexts of the international fern trade and the economic and cultural landscape of colonialism. She explains that, beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, a craze for ferns swept Britain and its colonies, providing “a form of popular rational amusement that was intimately linked to scientific progress and colonisation” and that “held special significance for the colonies where the plethora of local species became a symbol of proto-nationalistic pride” (Duggins, “Mary Ann Armstrong”, Design & Art Australia Online, 2011).
In New Zealand and Australia ferns became a major commercial industry encompassing both living plants and artistically arranged pressed specimens. “Few women, however, engaged in the New Zealand fern industry as a significant and sustained business venture. The fern work produced by Mary Ann Armstrong is distinctive in this regard” (Duggins, “The world’s fernery: New Zealand, fern albums, and nineteenth-century fern fever”, New Zealand’s Empire, p. 108).
Armstrong was born in Birmingham and emigrated to Australia in 1853. Five years later she married Charles Clark Armstrong and in the early 1860s the couple moved to Dunedin, but Charles’s business ventures fared poorly and it may be that Mary, who was developing a serious interest in ferns, began selling pressed specimens to supplement the family’s income (in total there would be eleven children to feed).
“Active from roughly the late 1870s to the 1890s, her body of work revolves around the artistic arrangement and scientific notation of ferns in albums and framed compositions, sometimes composed into decorative, collage-like landscapes”. (Dugins, “Mary Ann Armstrong”). Though they don’t feature in this particular album, she frequently incorporated photographs of the New Zealand landscape and the indigenous Maori, depicting an exoticised New Zealand “cloaked under the mantle of romantic botanical tourism” (Duggins, “The world’s fernery”, p. 113).
In addition to albums, Armstrong produced ferns mounted on postcards and paper goods with fern transfers, supplying them to local booksellers and fancy goods shops. Other family members were involved in this extensive enterprise; when Armstrong and her husband moved to Melbourne in 1887 her son Charles remained in Dunedin, where he worked as a “scenic photographer and fern artist”. He imported ferns and fern products to Australia, and also supplied them to his mother, whose business remained active until the mid 1890s (Duggins, “Mary Ann Armstrong”).
Though Armstrong’s work stemmed from the 19th-century culture of domestic botanical art, Duggins argues that it is, “distinct from this feminine tradition in that it was displayed alongside the work of men at a series of international and intercolonial exhibitions from 1879-89... Moreover, her work was unabashedly commercial: unlike the domestic arts which were largely created and displayed within the home, Mary Ann marketed and sold her fern compositions to the general public. As an entrepreneur, she relied upon the reputation she established through her commendable exhibition record”. And “rather than wholly succumbing to decoration, a majority of Mary Ann’s compositions retained a strong scientific element that was firmly grounded in the systematic notation of each specimen. The classificatory fluctuation of her entries from horticulture to fancy goods at international exhibitions reflects this duality, indicating that her compositions straddled the divide between art and science.” (Duggins, “Mary Ann Armstrong”)
Armstrong’s albums are rare in commerce, appearing at auction only three times in recent decades (Dominic Winter in 2011 and 2008, and Christies in 2008). Institutionally, they are mainly represented in Australasian institutions: the National Library of New Zealand, the Universities of Wellington and Waikato, the National Library of Australia, and the State Libraries of New South Wales and Victoria. Examples are also held at Harvard, the University of Georgia, and UCLA.
Dunedin, NZ, [late 1870s or 1880s].
Tall quarto (370 x 280mm). Original green cloth, upper board blocked in gilt and black. The contents comprise approximately 56 fern specimens mounted on the rectos of 16 card leaves with scientific names in manuscript, the leaves bound in on linen stubs. Maker’s ticket to the front pastedown. Some wear and small bumps, and spots and marks to the binding, contents toned. 4 of the specimens are loose or have a small piece that has come loose, but are still retained, one specimen is lacking a frond. Very good condition.
Barker, Marguerite | Photo album & scrapbook from Occupied Japan
A remarkable photo album and scrapbook compiled in Occupied Japan and Thailand by a Far East Air Forces clerk, the historical record of a young American woman’s adventures in a world newly opened to her.
The compiler, Margaret Barker, graduated in Des Moines, Iowa and worked as a clerk and stenographer just before the Second World War began. When the US entered the war she joined the Air Force and worked in Washington D.C. and Pasadena, and then in Guam with the Far East Air Forces. Barker was stationed at the Tokyo headquarters in 1949, where she remained until the end of 1952, when she returned to the United States and lived in San Francisco, where she worked at the Hamilton Air Force Base.
Barker was clearly an engaged traveler, and this album is a superb record of Occupied Japan. It includes original photographs of the Army Hall in downtown Toyko where she worked, urban street scenes, women and children in traditional dress, day-to-day activities in small towns and rural villages, well-known tourist sites, friends and Air Force coworkers, trips and leisure activities, and the ruins of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Two pages contain Barker’s photographs of the Cherry Blossom festival, with a fabulous series depicting schoolchildren and their teachers in kimonos under a blossoming tree. Another series comprises six attractive and carefully staged photos of young women in traditional dress. Barker saved numerous photographs and postcards from trips around Japan, having visited the temples at Kyoto, the famous deer of Nara Park, the smoking Mt. Aso (Japan’s largest active volcano), and the iconic floating Torii gate of the Itsukushima Shrine. There are six large, engaging photos of cormorant fishers at work, including night shots, which may be professional shots made for tourists. A full page (containing two photographs by Barker and six that are probably professional photos sold to tourists) is devoted to the Ama, the famous female pearl divers, probably on the Izu Peninsula. There are a number of photographs of a fishing village, probably taken by Barker in the same area. She also visited the ruins of Nagasaki, taking photos of the plaque marking ground zero, and probably Hiroshima, as she has included photos of the skeletal “Atomic Bomb Dome”, the remains of the Hiroshima Commercial Exhibition building which is now a peace memorial.
Ten pages hold photos from Barker’s trip to Thailand with a group of FEAF employees, beginning with photos of Barker and a man (who appears frequently in the album and was probably her boyfriend Ed), in front of a plane at an airfield. There are numerous views of temples, including the famous Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, and many images of Bangkok street life. Among the ephemera are two newspaper clippings about the trip, one with a photo of Barker showing off a piece of souvenir jewellery to a fellow FEAF employee who had also been on the trip. The final four pages contain photographs from a visit with family in the Midwest in 1952 or early 1953.
Among the charming ephemera are postcards and greeting cards, cocktail napkins, engravings, business cards, and wedding invitations, and there is also a heartfelt telegram sent from Ed, then in San Francisco, on Valentine’s Day, “Love to my Valentine. You are more than ever in my thoughts at this time. I wish we together on this special occasion”. The album's themes are attractively reflected in its binding of Japanese-style silk. Overall a fascinating and evocative album documenting the life of an American woman in Occupied Japan.
- Barker, Marguerite. Photo album and scrapbook recording her life and travels in postwar Japan and Thailand. [Tokyo: 1949-1953.] Folio (370 x 300 mm). Contemporary binding of elaborate, padded Japanese-style silk with silk ties. 36 heavy black paper leaves containing 289 photographs mounted with silver album corners (most taken by Barker but a few being shots sold to tourists), 45 colour postcards, and numerous other postcards, cards, newspaper clippings, cocktail napkins, manuscript letters, telegrams, and advertising ephemera. Minor fraying and untying of the lower silk ties, a few items that were previously mounted now lacking, just a little minor rubbing and mild creasing to a small number of photos. Excellent condition.
Catalogue and Report of Obstetrical and Other Instruments Exhibited at the Conversazione of the Obstetrical Society of London.
First and only edition of this “key reference source for mid-19th century [obstetrical] instruments. Many of these instruments became incorporated into the Museum of the Obstetrical Society of London, the contents of which became the property of the Royal Society of Medicine, who in turn presented it as a loan collection to the Royal College of Surgeons of England in 1912... Regrettably this outstanding collection was almost totally destroyed by bombing during the Second World War” (Hibbard, The Obstetrician’s Armamentarium pp vii-ix). WorldCat locates a number of institutional copies, but this book is uncommon in trade.
- ...Held, by permission, at the Royal College of Physicians, March 28th, 1866. With numerous illustrations. London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1867. Octavo. Original green pebble grain cloth rebacked with the original spine laid down, title to spine and Obstetrical Society device to upper board gilt, cloth elaborately blocked in blind. Engravings throughout the text. New endpapers, edges of boards and corners worn, some loss of cloth from the head and tail of the original spine, contents fresh. Very good condition.
de Salm, Constance | Vingt-Quatre Heures d'une Femme Sensible
First edition. Author Constance de Salm (1767-1845) was a highly regarded French writer and moral philosopher, and an important member of a circle of leading intellectuals and scientists. Though forgotten for much of the 19th and 20th centuries, she is now the subject of renewed historical interest, providing a window onto the lives and intellectual networks of women in Revolutionary and Napoleonic France.
De Salm spent most of her life promoting the equality of women, and her most important work, the poem Épître aux femmes (1797), was a direct attack on the language and social structures that uphold patriarchy, as well as an exhortation to women to liberate themselves. During her career “she used a variety of genres to address issues of importance to women, such as equal access to educational opportunities and to family courts, recognition of intellectual achievement, the infantilization of women and the denigration of their abilities, the cost to women’s health of reproduction, and adequately renumerated work for poor, widowed, and single women. In many ways she can be usefully compared to Mary Wollstonecraft…” (Hine, Constance de Salm, Her Influence and Her Circle in the Aftermath of the French Revolution, p. 4).
De Salm’s friendships with scientists were an important part of her intellectual life. She was close to the astronomer Joseph-Jérome Lalande, who left her his unpublished manuscripts and asked her to write his eulogy. “Not only did she know Lalande well enough to have him entrust her with securing his legacy, but she was acquainted with renowned scientists like the natural philosopher Auguste de Candolle, the botany professor at the Jardin du Roi, Antoine de Jussieu, the naturalist Alexander von Humboldt… all of whom were among her circle of friends and frequented her salon… Her involvement can be used to illustrate the shift from earlier philosophical debates among scientists to the increasing interest on the part of women in scientific culture in the latter part of the eighteenth and the early part of the nineteenth centuries ” (Hine pp. 2-3).
The present text, Twenty-Four Hours in the Life of a Sensitive Woman, is an epistolary novel exploring the mindset of a woman whose lover may have abandoned her for another. It was praised by her friend, the author Stendhal and is now rare in the first edition. We can locate only one institutional copy, at the British Library.
- ...ou Une Grande Leçon. Paris: Arthus Bertrand, 1824. Octavo. Contemporary quarter black skiver, blue boards, spine gilt in compartments. Engraved frontispiece. 1 leaf of publisher’s ads at rear. Spine rolled, binding rubbed, spotting and toning of contents, primarily in the margins. A very good copy.
Flapper Sewing Sample Books
- Three evocative Jazz Age sewing sample books created by 15-year-old June Schroetlin for a school course in Portland, Oregon during 1929. Each volume is carefully ordered with an index, reading lists, notes (some are in manuscript and others are printed class handouts), fabric samples with information on their uses, and laboratory records including the lengths and costs of material used in projects. Each volume contains sewing exercises which Schroetlin completed and tipped-in, including examples of attaching snaps and clasps, a variety of stitches, buttonholes, smocking, pockets, and pin tucks. One assignment sees Schroetlin clipping contemporary fashion plates and assigning them to design categories such as "repetition", "opposition", "formal balance", and "gradation". Also of interest are Schroetlin's suggestions (based on fashion plates) for outfits for various "types", such as "a sport outfit suitable for a high school school girl who is a brunette [and] is short and thin in build"; "an afternoon dress for a tea for a large elder woman whose hair has begun to turn gray"; and "a dress for myself for an informal high school dance". The workbooks were graded by hand, with the teacher making notes in red pencil regarding Schroetlin's sewing work and her aesthetic choices. These books are a wonderful historical survival, recording the fashion interests and practical education of an American teenager during the late 1920s.
- 3 sewing sample scrapbooks created by a schoolgirl in 1929. 33, 44, and 34 leaves. Original paper wrappers, 1 volume bound with metal rings. Fabric samples, original sewing samples, and magazine and pattern clippings tipped-in throughout. Wrappers rubbed, tanned, and spotted with some chips and short splits at the edges, leaves toned, fabric and sewing samples in fresh condition. A very good set.
Late Georgian Hairwork Memorial Brooch
During the first half of the 19th century, hairwork was a popular way to both mourn the dead and to commemorate friendships and family connections with the living. A largely female workforce specialised in preparing hair for brooches, pendants, and bracelets. In some cases hair from two or more individuals was braided together, in others the hair was arranged decoratively or used to create elaborate sentimental images. This is a particularly nice example of the art, mounted in 14-18k gold and dating from the first decades of the 19th century. The hair clipping has been fanned and curled into an elegant wave shape with a tiny seed pearl “clasp” at the base, and the reverse is monogrammed “AB”.
Britain, early 19th century.
Rectangular brooch in gold with scrolling foliate surround, the woven hair and seed pearl panel glazed, engraved monogram “AB” to the reverse. 2.5 x 1.5 cm. All original. Localised scratches to the reverse, minor wear commensurate with age. Very good condition.
Mansion [Andre Leon Larue] | Letters Upon the Art of Miniature Painting
First edition of this guide to miniature painting designed for the education of young ladies. The author, Andre Leon Larue was born in 1785 and known professionally as Mansion. The son of a portrait painter, he worked as a miniaturist and also achieved remarkable results as a tinter of photographs during the 1840s and 50s. This was his first book on painting; the second was The Principles and Practice of Harmonious Colouring in Oil, Water, and Photographic Colours on Paper, Glass and Silver Plate. The present volume was reviewed by The Gentleman's Magazine as "a pleasing and useful assistant to the young student, affording much instruction in all departments of the art; with a short sketch of the various merits of many of the Old Masters, and most of the eminent modern ones".
At the time this book was published miniature painting was considered an important accomplishment for young upper-class women, a demonstration of moral virtue and elevated aesthetic sensibility. Painting guides provided technical information but also "took pains to situate both the reader-cum-painter and the product within a social and cultural milieu of aestheticized gentility". In this case, Mansion has written the guide not solely as a technical manual, but as a story with a young female protagonist whose "adventures and relationships grounded the sentiments associated with miniatures in narrative and dialogue" and whose "progress as a painter, specifically as a miniaturist, unfolded apace with her progress as a young lady" (Kelly, Republic of Taste, p. 110).
- London and Paris: R. Ackerman; L. Janet, . 12mo. Original pink boards, printed paper label to spine. Frontispiece and hand-coloured folding plate. Near-contemporary ownership inscription dated 1842. Boards rubbed and tanned at the edges with some small marks and spots, spine browned, ends of spine worn and chipped, corners bumped and worn, a few lights spots to early and late leaves, otherwise contents fresh. A very good copy.
Mason, A. | Cabinet card depicting a female cyclist.
Cabinet card depicting a female cyclist.
The cabinet card, essentially a larger version of the carte de visite, was a popular format for portraiture from the 1860s until the early years of the 20th century, when Brownies and other affordable cameras made it possible for people to take their own photographs. Meanwhile, the introduction of the safety bicycle in the 1890s had created a wave of interest in the sport, and women were especially keen on the freedom and power they offered. Some suffragettes argued that they could help upend traditional gender relations, and they contributed significantly to the reform of women’s dress. Suffragettes or not, cabinet cards photographs of women posing with their bicycles - usually dressed to the nines as in this example - became popular. The photographer who created this example, A. Mason, is not recorded, but his studio was in Herne Hill, and one wonders if he did a good trade with the cyclists using the velodrome. A charming record of women’s cycling history.
Herne Hill, London: A. Mason, c. 1900-1910.
Cabinet card (165 x 108 mm). Gold bevelled edges. Remnants of an old sticker or ticket next to the photographer’s address. A few tiny spots and a minor scratch. Very good condition.
Ridley, Elizabeth | Second World War photo album compiled by an American Red Cross worker on the home front.
An evocative Second World War photo album and group of naval publications representing life on the American home front for Red Cross worker Elizabeth Ridley (1912-2004) and her sister Christine Ridley (b. 1920), a naval air mechanic. The sisters were originally from New Jersey, but moved throughout the US as part of their wartime work and would later settle in Washington D. C. Elizabeth’s pre-war career is unknown, but after the war she continued to work for the Red Cross in Riverton, New Jersey, and in later life was employed at the Library of Congress. Christine was originally a teacher before joining the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES - officially the Naval Women’s Reserve), which began operating in 1942. Her preliminary training as a naval aviation mechanic was undertaken at the Naval Air Technical Training Center in Memphis, Tennessee, followed by advanced training for Petty Officer Second Class in Atlanta Georgia.
Elizabeth’s album compiles several years worth of photographs beginning in 1941, presenting a wonderful cross-section of American life during the War. The pages are filled with both formal and informal snaps of friends and family, the many individuals in military uniform evoking the War’s long reach into ordinary Americans’ lives. Included are numerous pictures of Elizabeth and her colleagues in their Red Cross uniforms, two large and particularly nice shots of a Red Cross office with booster posters on the walls, and an image of Red Cross workers marching in a parade. There are also numerous photos of Christine in her naval uniform, two taken outside a Naval training office.
Despite the troubled times most of the images are light-hearted and depict family reunions, days out, and travel, including trips to Florida; Texas (with shots of the Alamo and one of a bomber approaching Kelly Field); Gulfport, Mississippi; the beach at Hampton Bays, New York (with a series of shots of the sisters and their friends in bathing costumes and also bicycling down a country road); the Rochester Yacht Club; Washington D.C., and other unnamed locations.
A charming series of photos taken during Christmas 1941 depicts John Knight and Bob Phelps, who appear in what may be police uniforms, posing with the girls, horse-playing, and making snowballs. Two pages include photos taken with four male friends, “Vic & Jock” in naval uniforms and “Ted & Chippy” in suits. Two pages are devoted to formal shots of Elizabeth’s wedding day on April 10th, 1942, and the single full colour photo, a small Kodachrome, shows Christine’s wedding day, with Elizabeth as the maid of honour in a red dress. Later images include Christine and her husband posing with their first baby, and the child, a little older now, playing with a puppy and various toys, followed by black & white shots of Christine’s wedding.
Also included are three Naval publications related to Christine’s training as a member of WAVES. The first, titled Navy Log, is the yearbook for her course in aviation mechanics at the Naval Air Technical Training Center in Memphis, Tennessee. We Keep ‘Em Flying is an entertaining and richly illustrated souvenir book on life at the same center, and Tattoo is a similar publication produced for the US Naval Air Station in Atlanta, Georgia, where Christine had her second round of training. Bot publications include information on life at the stations, including images of military personnel at work and pursuing leisure activities, and information on sites of interest in the surrounding areas.
Overall this collection is a compelling look at life for two American women participating in the mass mobilization of American society during the Second World War.
Together with three wartime Naval yearbooks & souvenir books owned by her sister Christine, a naval air mechanic in the WAVES programme.
Oblong folio (340 x 260 mm). 1941-45. Contemporary dark blue skiver elaborately embossed in grey with military motifs including an American Eagle, planes, tank, battleship, artillery, and blimp. Bound with black nylon ties that may not be original. 80 black paper pages containing 219 photographs attached with photo corners. The photos range in size, with the majority measuring 90 x 60 mm, and the largest 255 x 200 mm. A few items, including some photos, a small colour Kodachrome, several negatives, and an unused Anchor Line trunk label are loosely inserted. Elizabeth has written her name and address on the front free endpaper and annotated many of the photos with white ink. Boards separated and reattached with cellotape, some rubbing and wear at the extremities. The leaves are brittle and exhibit cracking and chipping at the edges. Good condition.
The naval books owned by Christine Ridley include We Keep ‘Em Flying: A Visit to the Naval Air Technical Training Centre, Memphis Tennessee; Navy Log, a yearbook from the same centre, and Tattoo: United States Naval Air Station, Atlanta, Georgia. Loosely inserted in the Navy Log yearbook is a certificate showing that Christine passed the training to become an aviation machinist mate in October 1943. Loosely inserted in Tattoo is the certificate she received upon becoming an aviation machinist’s mate second class in June 1944. These volumes are in generally very good or excellent condition with just a little rubbing and toning at the extremities.
Smith, W[illiam] Tyler | A Manual of Obstetrics
First edition of one of the key Victorian obstetrics manuals. Uncommon in commerce.
Physician William Tyler Smith (1815-1873) earned his MD in 1848 and for several years worked mainly as a writer and educator, serving on the editorial staff of The Lancet and helping found the Medical Directory in 1845. Beginning in 1851 he worked as an obstetrician and lecturer at St. Mary’s Hospital, and was examiner of obstetrics at the University of London for the typical term of five years. Smith was one of the founders of the Obstetrical Society, and was elected its second president in 1860. “The subsequent success of the society was largely due to his contributions in memoirs and in debate and to his capacity for work” (ODNB).
“Urged by his close friend Marshall Hall, Smith studied the applications of the reflex function to obstetrics, with the result that the practice of obstetrics became, for the first time, guided by physiological principle. The results of his researches were published in The Lancet in the form of weekly lectures. The earliest series was collected and issued separately as Parturition, and the Principles and Practice of Obstetrics (1849), with a dedication to Hall. Some further lectures similarly contributed to The Lancet formed the basis of his Manual of Obstetrics (1858). Both books are remarkable considering they were written when Smith had little practical experience. The Manual of Obstetrics immediately became, and long remained, the favourite textbook in Britain, despite being defective in certain practical aspects, especially regarding operative procedures” (ODNB).
...Theoretical and Practical. Illustrated with 185 Engravings. London: John Churchill, 1858.
Octavo (170 x 103 mmm). Late 20th century quarter dark brown calf, brown cloth sides, new dark brown calf labels, new endpapers. Steel engravings throughout the text. Half page of related manuscript notes in pencil to the verso of the rear free endpaper, occasional pencil notations in the text. Text well-thumbed with some toning of the edges of the leaves, particularly at the rear. Very good condition.
Société Excelsior | Préservatifs pour Dames
A nice copy of this rare French contraceptives catalogue, first issued around 1907 and decorated in the Art Nouveau style.
At the time this catalogue was published family planning was being championed by French syndicalists as a response to capitalist exploitation, an idea that influenced both Emma Goldman and Margaret Sanger. However, Sanger’s insistence that she was forced to travel to Paris to get information on contraceptives was a clever bit of self-mythologising; despite the passage of the Comstock Act in 1873, resources were available in the United States. It’s therefore interesting to note that the catalogue’s title page advertises “Pessaires Américains”, showing that the exoticising of contraception travelled in both directions across the Atlantic.
Among the articles advertised here are diaphragms (only recently invented), sponges, douches and enemas, belts for sanitary napkins, lubricant (”pommade virginale”), antiseptic creams and artificial breasts, as well as novelties such as chastity belts and intimate perfume. Included are numerous engravings depicting the products, as well as two diagrams of the female reproductive system.
This catalogue is rare; there are no auction records and WorldCat locates no copies with this specific title. Institutionally, there is only one other contraceptives catalogue by the same publisher, at the Bibliothèque Interuniversitaire de Santé, Paris.
...Préservatifs de tous modèles. Insufflateurs de Poudre Anticonceptionnelle. Pessaires Américains. Éponges préservatives. Appareils d’hygiène féminine. Produits et Objets intimes nouveaux. Paris: Société Excelsior, c. 1907.
Duodecimo. 64 page catalogue, original blue wrappers printed in red and black. Orange decorative border to each page, engravings throughout. Wrappers a little rubbed and creased, small white spot to the upper wrapper and a darker spot to the lower, light wear at the spine ends, contents toned and with occasional light spots. Very good condition.
Suryaninov, Ruben. Greenham Common — Peace
A stylish and uncommon Soviet agitprop poster celebrating the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp.
During the early 1980s, in response to Soviet arms stockpiling in Eastern Europe, NATO began siting nuclear-tipped American Cruise missiles in Western Europe. In turn, the Soviet Union supported and infiltrated the growing Western anti-nuke movements, and also regularly used peace propaganda at home which positioned the US and NATO as aggressors. This particular poster, depicting two women whose clasped hands smash the perimeter fence at Greenham Common, is a excellent example of the genre and in superb condition. It was designed by the noted poster artist Ruben Suryaninov, who graduated from the Art Academy of Latvia in 1956 and specialised in public health and social subjects.
The Greenham Common protest was established in September of 1981 by the Welsh group Women for Life on Earth, who were opposed to the deployment of nuclear tipped cruise missiles at the site. What was initially planned as a single march became a permanent protest camp, one of the most significant and longest lasting women’s protests of the 20th century. The Greenham Common camp had no hierarchy, and its nature defined by the thousands of individual women who visited when they could or lived permanently onsite for years. The activists engaged in non-violent resistance by disrupting movement in and out of the gates, cutting down portions of the fence, and trespassing on military property, and they endured frequent police raids, arrests, and evictions. A large number of the protesters were middle aged and older; they considered themselves ordinary mothers and working women, and made a point of the fact were opposed to nuclear weapons for deeply personal reasons. Their gender was crucial to their message: “a woman’s place was not in the home, but at a protest. Women could use their identity as carers and mothers to say, this is about the future safety of our children. We weaponised traditional notions of femininity” (Suzanne Moore, “How the Greenham Common Protest Changed Lives”, The Guardian, March 20th, 2017).
Moscow: “Poster”, October 1984.
Mechanically printed poster (480mm x 670mm). Professionally mounted, framed, and glazed using archival materials. Illustration in blue, black and white depicting two female activists. Light rubbing and a little minor creasing at the extremities. Excellent condition.
Talbot, Marion | The Education of Women
First edition, first printing. In the rare dust jacket.
Marion Talbot (1858-1948), one of the founders of the American Association of University Women, was raised in a family “deeply involved in education”, her mother serving as a leading figure in the establishment of Girl’s Latin School, a Boston institution offering a college preparatory curriculum for women.
Talbot graduated from Boston University and then joined the new Woman’s Laboratory at MIT. “The Laboratory was then studying the adulteration of foods an the chemical constituents of common household materials” (Ogilvie, Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science, p. 1262). Talbot worked closely with Ellen Swallow Richards, the laboratory’s founder, and together they published a book on home sanitation. Later, Talbot joined the University of Chicago as an assistant professor in home economics, becoming dean of women’s instruction three years later. “At Chicago, Talbot actively investigated the nutritional requirements of college women and wrote a second book with Richards on this topic. She also developed a house system for the women and helped establish a woman’s student union with a hall that included a gymnasium and pool” (Ogilvie, p. 1262).
The present volume describes recent social and economic changes in the lives of women in the United States, and explains how women’s needs can be better met at every level of education.
Chicago: The University of Chicago, 1910.
Octavo. Original dark green cloth, title to spine gilt. With the rare dust jacket. Spine rolled, dampstain and loss of size affecting the head of the spine, top edge of the lower board, and verso of the jacket, contents faintly toned with occasional light spots. A very good copy in the price-clipped jacket that is rubbed, toned, and foxed, with tanned spine panel, a small chip from the upper panel, and small chips at the head and tail of the spine panel.
The American Products Company | Zanol. The Better Way to Buy. Catalog No. 20
A beautiful, 78 page chromolithographic catalogue for the American Products Company’s Zanol line of cosmetics, food products, and home goods, including 16 pages in full colour. A superb example of Art Deco marketing design.
The American Products Company was founded in 1907 by three brothers, Albert, Edgar and Clarence Mihalovitch (Albert later changed his surname to Mills), of Cincinnati, who hoped to capture the growing Midwestern consumer market (see “Cosmetics by the American products Company”, Collecting Vintage Compacts blog, January 2012). This catalogue promotes “Shopping in Your Own Home the Zanol Way”, and explains that “the Zanol plan affords you the opportunity of buying the finest products possible to produce, direct from the maker, delivered right to your home, absolutely fresh, unconditionally guaranteed... The complete Zanol line comprises more than 350 products... all of them made from the choicest ingredients in our sanitary, daylight Pure Food Kitchens and Laboratories, under the direction of skilled chemists, chefs, and dieticians”.
Advertised here are a wide array of consumables, with a focus on powders and syrups that could be shipped easily and would appeal to an emerging middle class who were time and money-conscious. For the kitchen there are food flavourings and colours, and numerous instant mixes for soft drinks, jams and jellies, icing, cakes, pies, and puddings. Among them are Ezemade pumpkin pie filling (”it is now possible to serve delicious pumpkin pie throughout the year”); Flakykrust instant pie crust; Mapelade instant maple syrup (”now you can afford delicious maple syrup whenever you want it”); and even Ezemade ice cream powder (”just add to a quart of milk and freeze”). The broad selection of home goods include medications and hygiene products, house cleaning and repair supplies, hot water bottles, paints, insecticide, and even a set of salt and pepper shakers. Perhaps the most appealing section is the beauty line, comprising soaps and toothpaste (”don’t envy pretty teeth - have them”); face and body powders; a variety of lotions including almond, lemon and witch hazel, cucumber and benzoine, and “dermaline of roses” (”keep the alluring charms of radiant youth”); shampoos, pomade, and hair tonics; cosmetics including powder compacts and tubes of lipstick; and perfumes, primarily their three main lines, La Bara (named after the silent film “vamp” Theda Bara, best known for playing Cleopatra), Fleur d’Orient, and Dream Girl. There are also a number of gift sets packaging perfumes, soaps and cosmetics, including a shaving kit for men, sets for new mothers, and an attractive La Barra manicure kit.
Edition A. Cincinnati, OH: The American Products Company, May, 1925.
Perfect bound (355 x 280 mm). Original brown wrappers printed in blue and cream, brown cloth backstrip. 78 pages, of which 16 are in full colour and the rest being uncoloured lithographs on single-colour backgrounds. With the original order form loosely inserted. Light rubbing at the extremities, small chips at the ends of the spine. A fresh copy in excellent condition.
War Manpower Commission | Women in the War—We Can't Win Without Them
An original Second World War poster promoting women in the wartime workforce, produced in 1942 by the War Manpower Commission. At the time, “Women in the War” was one of the most widely distributed images of a woman labouring in war production, unlike the “We Can Do It” poster, which was produced only for Westinghouse plants during a few weeks in 1943 and did not become iconic until the 1980s.
“Among the many agencies President Roosevelt had created during the war was the War Manpower Commission, formed in April 1942 to oversee war labor issues in the military, industrial, and civilian sectors. And in June 1942, the Office of War Information was formed to manage the flows of news and propaganda about the war to the public. By 1943, when the labor shortage was most acute, the two agencies worked together in concerted campaigns, targeting employers to hire women and women to become ‘production soldiers’” (Yellin, Our Mothers’ War, p. 44). Women labouring in factories, even in the service of the war effort, was controversial, with only 30 percent of husbands giving unqualified support to the idea of their wives performing such jobs. “Despite the tide of public opinion against working wives, War Manpower Commission director Paul McNutt had a strategy for quelling opposition: ‘The money appeal will continue strong,’ he said in 1943, but we’ll concentrate on patriotism’. Sure enough, all across the country, the public was bombarded with spirited print and radio ads, magazine articles, and posters with slogans like ‘Do the Job He Left Behind’ or ‘Women in the War—We Can’t Win Without Them’ depicting noble, pretty but serious, female war workers on the job... The campaigns glamorized war work, always showing that women could maintain their femininity and still be useful” (Yellin, pp. 45-46).
Examples of this important poster are held at numerous institutions, including the Library of Congress, Imperial War Museum, MOMA, and the Pritzker Military Museum. Copies in such beautiful, unused condition are uncommon in commerce.
Washington D.C.: US Govt. Printing Office, 1942.
Colour poster (28 x 40 in). Professionally mounted, framed and glazed using archival materials. Original creases from folding, else bright and fresh. Excellent condition. Professionally mounted, glazed and framed using archival materials.
[Avon] California Perfume Company | Art Deco chromolithographic perfume & cosmetics catalogue for 1926
An early edition of this sumptuous chromolithographic beauty catalogue originally introduced at the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition by the California Perfume Company. The firm was founded in 1886 by door-to-door book salesman David H. McConnell and would later become Avon. This catalogue includes 31 plates depicting perfumes and air fresheners, soaps, shampoo, skin creams, shaving kits, toothpaste, gift sets, food flavourings and colours, laundry powder, detergent, and household cleaning supplies. Of particular note are the attractive Art Deco packaging designs, a key aspect of the company’s success.
These catalogues were expensive to produce but extremely successful at promoting the company’s products. Between 1915 and 1917 they were bound with screw-back posts so that pages could be added and removed, but after 1924 the use of screw-back posts was discontinued, so that salesmen were required to buy new catalogues. Price lists were originally issued separately, but this was discontinued in 1919, and this catalogue includes product details and prices interleaved on a lighter paper stock.
New York: California Perfume Company, .
Oblong folio. Original limp black cloth with fold-over lower cover, bound with metal rivets, title and floral design to upper cover gilt. Chromolithographic title and 31 plates depicting beauty products, each chromolithographic leaf with a numbered cloth thumb-tab, interleaved with informational pages on lighter paper stock. With a pink order form dated October, 1926 loosely inserted. Cloth a little rubbed with light wear at the extremities, the gilt title significantly oxidised and rubbed, spotting, discolouration and some short splits to the title, some spotting to contents not generally affecting the illustrations, lacking the final cloth thumb-tab. Very good condition.
[Avon] California Perfume Company | Art Deco chromolithographic perfume & cosmetics catalogue for 1929
An early edition of this sumptuous chromolithographic beauty catalogue originally introduced at the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition by the California Perfume Company. The firm was founded in 1886 by door-to-door book salesman David H. McConnell and would later become Avon. This catalogue includes 35 plates depicting perfumes and air fresheners, soaps, shampoo, skin creams, shaving kits, toothpaste, gift sets, food flavourings and colours, laundry powder, detergent, and household cleaning supplies. Of particular note are the attractive Art Deco packaging designs, a key aspect of the company’s success. There are a number of items from the Avon line, which by 1930 had become the dominant products.
These catalogues were expensive to produce but extremely successful at promoting the company’s products. Between 1915 and 1917 they were bound with screw-back posts so that pages could be added and removed, but after 1924 the use of screw-back posts was discontinued, so that salesmen were required to buy new catalogues. Price lists were originally issued separately, but this was discontinued in 1919, and this catalogue includes product details and prices interleaved on a lighter paper stock.
New York: California Perfume Company, .
Oblong folio. Original limp black cloth with fold-over lower cover, bound with metal rivets, title and floral design to upper cover gilt. Chromolithographic title and 35 plates depicting beauty products, all save the last two with with a numbered cloth thumb-tab, interleaved with informational pages on lighter paper stock. With a pink slip on the amount that a sales associate can expect to make loosely inserted. Significant vertical crease affecting the entire catalogue, a little toning of the non-illustrated pages, chromolithographs fresh and clean. A very good copy.
[Embrace the Base] Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp Invite Women to Take Part in an International Action
A rare poster advertising Embrace the Base, one of the key mass actions at the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp. We have been able to locate only two copies in institutional collections, at the LSE Women’s Library and the Glasgow Women’s Library.
The Greenham Common protest was established in September of 1981 by the Welsh group Women for Life on Earth, who were opposed to the deployment of nuclear tipped cruise missiles at the site. What was initially planned as a single march became a permanent protest camp, one of the most significant and longest lasting women’s protests of the 20th century. In February 1982, for political reasons, the camp was made women only, and the following month they engaged in their first blockade of the base. Embrace the Base was their next major action. Taking place on December 12th & 13th, 1982, it saw 30,000 women from across from across the UK—drawn by chain letter, word of mouth, and posters such as this one—join hands to surround the nine mile perimeter fence. This copy of the poster seems to have been used in Birmingham, and includes instructions for obtaining coach tickets at the “Peace Centre (opp New Street Station)”, as well as local activist contact details, in marker pen.
As well as being an early and rare example of Greenham Common ephemera, this poster is particularly interesting in that is features a spider web, “a frequently reoccurring symbol in Greenham women’s cultural imaginary” because of its mythological and symbolic associations. “The metaphor of ‘building a web’ and being connected to each other in a ‘web-like structure’ populated Greenham women’s speech and writing. Alison Young describes Greenham women’s reclamation of the spider as revolving primarily around the notion of the spider’s web. She writes that the web ‘shows connections between women or between ideas; it can be begun at any point or at any time; each single strand is weak and fragile, yet when interwoven it is strong, beautiful and efficient’ (1990, 38). In line with Young’s reading, Roseneil writes that, ‘the web was a symbol of women's collective power, seemingly fragile, but actually very strong’” (1999, 179, ft39)” (Feigenbaum, Tactics and Technology: Cultural Resistance at the Greenham Women’s Peace Camp, PhD thesis, McGill University, April 2008).
The Greenham Common camp had no hierarchy, and its nature was defined by the thousands of individual women who visited when they could or lived permanently onsite for years. The activists engaged in non-violent resistance by disrupting movement in and out of the gates, cutting down portions of the fence, and trespassing on military property, and they endured frequent police raids, arrests, and evictions. A large number of the protesters were middle aged and older; they considered themselves ordinary mothers and working women, and made a point of the fact were opposed to nuclear weapons for deeply personal reasons. Their gender was crucial to their message: “a woman’s place was not in the home, but at a protest. Women could use their identity as carers and mothers to say, this is about the future safety of our children. We weaponised traditional notions of femininity” (Suzanne Moore, “How the Greenham Common Protest Changed Lives, The Guardian, March 20th, 2017).
“Greenham was powerful. It taught my generation about collective action, about protest as spectacle, a way of life, incredibly hard but sometimes joyous. Still the image of resistance for me is not the famous photograph of a striking miner confronting a policeman at Orgreave, it is the picture of Greenham women dancing in 1982: witchy, unarmed women dancing on a missile silo. This magical, powerful image shows how the peace camp both played on traditional images of the feminine and then subverted them. Greenham created an alternative world of unstoppable women. It changed lives.” (Moore, 2017).
...to Stop the Siting of Cruise Missiles Anywhere in Europe. December 12th & 13th. Embrace the Base on Sunday. Close the Base on Monday.
Mechanically printed poster (420mm x 580mm). Professionally mounted, framed and glazed using archival materials. White text and illustration of a missile caught in a spider’s web superimposed over a grey and red photograph of the mushroom cloud over Nagasaki. Marker pen notes at the bottom of the poster give contact details and instructions for travelling to the camp by bus from Birmingham. Vertical and horizontal creases from folding, a little light rubbing. Very good condition.