From the Antioch Bookplate Archives — Simplicity

Although the Antioch Bookplate Company certainly didn’t invent the concept of  bookplates, it did explore perhaps a wider variety of bookplate styles than any other company in history.

Antioch_36 Antioch_37

In an acquisition of antique books Dark Star Books recently found a couple of examples of Antioch College Library bookplates printed well before the founding the Antioch Bookplate Company (see above). Both are markedly simple in design, being comprised of text and a modest border.

The earliest bookplates manufactured by the Antioch Bookplate Company (see also this post) as conceived by company co-founder Walter Kahoe share this same simplicity, merely adding a printer’s ornament to the text-and-border concept.

Antioch Bookplate C-208 (early)

C-208 (early numbering)

Antioch Bookplate E-135/F-135


Antioch Bookplate E-220


Antioch Bookplate A-129


Antioch Bookplate A-107


Antioch Bookplate B-145/F-145


Antioch Bookplate B-408 (early)

B-408 (early numbering)

Antioch Bookplate B-240 (early)

B-240 (early numbering)

Antioch Bookplate A-225


Antoch Bookoplate E-105


Antioch Bookplate E-110


Antioch Bookplate E-140


The final bookplate was one of the same series, but shows a transition to more complex designs:

Antioch Bookplate B-246

B-245 (early numbering)

Posted in Antioch Bookplate Archives, Artifacts | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The Excellent Tradition of Local Sourcing

Today’s unlabeled photograph from the Carr album could be seen as a celebration of the re-emergence of local food sourcing.


Posted in Artifacts | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Recreation in the Glen — Chautauqua Follow-Up

With Labor Day behind us the summer festival season is winding down. Yellow Springs has the Cyclops Festival this weekend, but a century ago as was mentioned in this previous post, one of the main cultural and entertainment events was the Chautauqua (returning to the area in 2015 in Clifton).

What follows is a redacted article by Paul M. Pearson, founder of the Swarthmore Chautauqua Association (and first civilian governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands) in a periodical of 1912 devoted to agricultural concerns called The Country Gentleman. (Among other articles like “The Revolution in Market Duck Culture” was one with the rather startling title of “Alcohol as a Labor Saver — The Boon to Country Women That Few Appreciate”.)

Pearson describes the Chautauqua experience generally and in Yellow Springs in particular.

The Chautauqua for the Country: Instruction and Wholesome Amusements Broaden the View — by Paul M. Pearson

"There is no more democratic audience than that at the Old Salem Chautuaqua, Illinois"

“There is no more democratic audience than that at the Old Salem Chautuaqua, Illinois”

That work is easier and life more joyous in rural communities is not due merely to free delivery, the telephone and improved roads. Consider what the Chautauqua movement is doing.

From its inception the Chautauqua has been a rural movement. The original Chautauqua, founded by Bishop John H. Vincent, supplemented a Methodist camp meeting—likewise an institution maintained by rural communities. Though tents are no longer used at that famous summer assembly, though Chautauqua has now become a great resort where thousands of people find recreation, yet it has thus far resisted all attempts to make it fashionable and its patrons are still recruited from farms and small towns.

Most of these summer gatherings are held in tents pitched on the schoolhouse grounds, or on a vacant lot in or within walking distance of small towns. Chautauquas flourish in towns of from 2000 to 5000 population. Only a few are to be found in towns of more than 15,000, while a large number flourish in those that have less than 1000. Two towns—Yellow Springs, Ohio, and Rockport, Missouri—are typical. In a beautiful park at the edge of Yellow Springs the big Chautauqua tent is pitched for ten days. Some fifty families rent living tents on the grounds so that they may attend all sessions of the Chautauqua. Almost every house in the neighboring village is closed, while most of the 1500 men, women and children that make up the population walk out to the Chautauqua. During a part of the afternoon and evening business is at a standstill, and many of the shopkeepers prudently lock their doors and join heir customers at the Chautauqua. The traction line from Xenia and Springfield brings carloads of farmers from along the way, though a much larger number come n buggies and automobiles. Some farmers’ families buy season tickets and attend every session, bringing basket lunches for the day, tenting for the entire season, or motoring home between the afternoon and evening programs. Some farmers have bough automobiles in order that they may attend every session, and on special days a score of farmers’ automobiles may be counted at almost any Chautauqua.

Two conditions have operated to make Chautauquas flourish in the Middle West. Most of the people are too busy or too poor to take a vacation, and when they do they are too serious-minded to spend it aimlessly. To such conditions Chautauqua has ministered. It has provided a vacation without dissipation and a small expense. Though demanding amusement, rural communities enjoy lectures. Speakers who could not draw a corporal’s guard in cities pack the Chautauqua tents in rural communities. It is a common observation among public speakers that in rural communities they get the most thoughtful audiences.

…What do the people come out to see? Why do hundreds sit through hot afternoons and hot nights and sweat and fan, but stay until the lights are put out to drive them home?

Everywhere the reply would be “the splendid program.” It may include humorists, magicians, motion pictures, bands, quartetts, orchestras, clean novelties of various kinds—in short, any wholesome entertainment, all of which attracts large crowds and contributes to the joy of living.

Attractive as are the entertainments, musical concerts and lectures offered on these programs, there is something deeper and more significant in the popularity of the Chautauqua movement: through the Chautauqua the best elements of the community have an opportunity of asserting themselves in a bigger and better way than has before been offered. Let us see how.

Chautauqua is not organized to make money. If there is a profit one year the surplus is used in bettering the program the next year. Chautauqua is educational and inspirational. It figures how cheaply the season tickets can be sold, no how much people will pay for them. A ten-day ticket is sold from $1.50 to $3, making five or six cents for each event on the program. No salaries are paid to the local committee which does the work. Religious instruction is often given and there is a religious atmosphere about the whole movement, and always the program is educational.

Chautauqua is not a church, it is n ot a school, it is not a political party, it is not an entertainment. Chautauqua cannot take the place of the church, the school or the political party. It supplements the work of all of these. It is a community clearing house for the churches, the political parties, the school and all movements for community uplift. It brings a spirit of tolerance among the workers of many groups—brings them into a spirit of cooperation. Thus waste is eliminated and unity of purpose is secured.

Posted in Narratives | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Carr Nursery Catalog — Palms, Pansies, Etc.

1898 Carr Nursery Catalog page 14(Previous entries in the series — (23456789, 10 11, 12, 13)

The plants on this page (as before, transcript follows), with a few exceptions, are readily available to today’s gardener.


Palm illustrationNOTICE.—It may be well to state here that young Palms do not resemble the illustration given, as they do not show their character leaves until the second year, so that when you get your Palm plants and see long, narrow leaves instead of the character leaves; as shown in the illustrations, do not think that the wrong kind has been sent you.

A Great Bargain. Four Choice Palms, Our Selection, for 50 Cents.

Latania Barbonica[sic].—The well known Fan Palm. This is one of the most exquisitely graceful among Palms. Its wide-spreading, gracefully arching leaves are elegant and effective for apartment decoration. It is considered the handsomest and most valuable of all the Palms. Price, 25 cents each; fine large plants, $1.00 to $2.00 each.

Kentia Fostoriana[sic].—This is one of the finest pot plants imaginable, and the easiest to grow of any of the Palm family. Being almost hardy, it is not injured by slight changes in temperature, and its stiff, glossy leaves enable it to stand the dry, hot air of the living room without injury. The leaves are a deep, glossy-green, fan-shaped, split deeply into segments. This is, without exception, the most hardy of its class. Very graceful for table decoration. Scarcely equalled. Price, 50 cents each; strong plants, $1.00 to $2.00 each.


Pansy illustrationThese Pansy Plants are unrivaled. Besides all the leading kinds of commerce, it contains plants of the Giant, Bugnot, Cassier and Trimardeau, with flowers measuring, when full grown, three inches in diameter, and such beautiful colors as gold-bronze, silver-edged, marbled, mahogany, spotted, claret-red, and many others. Our International Pansy Plants will produce for you, as they have for others, a Pansy bed which shall be the wonder of the neighborhood and the joy of the owner. Price, 5 cents each; 50 cents per dozen. Per hundred, $2.50, postpaid.


Calla illustrationThis is the well-known Egyptian Lily, or Lily of the Nile, with large white flowers, broad foliage, and it will prosper under very adverse circumstances. If you want large Callas send to us, as we are headquarters for them. We have three sizes. Prices, small plants; to bloom next Winter, 10 cts. Each; strong, blooming bulbs, 25 cents each; extra strong bulbs, that will produce a dozen blooms, 50 cents each.

CALLA RICHARDIA. (Spotted Calla.)

A plant with beautiful spotted leaves. It flowers abundantly during the Summer months, when planted out in the open border. The flowers are shaped like those of a Calla, and are pure white, shaded with violet inside. Keep dry in Winter, and start in the Spring, like a Dahlia. The plant belongs to the same order as Calla Ethiopica. Price, blooming bulbs, 15 cents each; large bulbs, to produce an abundance of bloom, 25 cents each.


New Hydrangea, Stellata Fimbriata.—This is a beautiful Hyrdrangea, with bright pink flowers. Each individual blossom is beautifully fringed. Nothing else like it in the Hydrangea family. Price, 20 cents each.

New Hydrangea, Sapphire.—Everybody has wanted a blue Hydrangea, and at last we have it. Any Hydrangea flower will come blue when iron filings are placed in the soil, but this one is blue of itself, and is a wonderful novelty. Price, 25 cents each.

New Hydrangea, Monstrosa.—This is a new plant of the greatest merit. Color of bloom intense rose, shaded white, borne in clusters over eighteen inches in diameter. The flowers of Monstrosa are twice the size of any other Hydrangea, quite small plants bearing bloom of the most enormous size and of very lasting quality, often staying on the bush for a month. This plant is one of the finest novelties on our list. Price, 20 cents each.

New Hydrangea, Red-branched.—(Ramis Pictus.) A valuable addition to the list of Hydrangeas, with dark-red branches that brighten to a clear crimson color as they near the flower trusses. The plant is of robust habit, and produces freely immense heads of deep rose-colored flowers. A novelty of sterling merit that is sure to become very popular. This is by all odds the prettiest Hydrangea. Price, 10 cents each.

New Japanese Hydrangea, Paniculata Grandiflora.—A new, very striking and elegant hardy flowering shrub, suitable for lawns, recently introduced from Japan. The flowers are pure white, afterwards changing to pink, and are borne in immense pyramidal trusses more than a foot long and nearly as much in diameter. It blooms in mid-Summer, and remains in bloom two or three months. It creates a great sensation wherever seen. Is scarce and difficult to obtain. The plant is of busy and compact growth, attains a height of three to four feet, and is perfectly hardy in all parts of the country. Needs no protection of any kind. Price, young plants, 15 cents each; extra strong two-year-old plants for immediate effect, 30 cents each.

Otaksa.—This is the old-fashioned pink variety known by everybody. Price, 10 cents each.

Thomas Hogg.—A pure white variety, with trusses of flowers measuring fifteen inches in diameter. The plants, when full grown, attain a height and width of six feet. Perfectly hardy. One of the finest plants for cemeteries. Price, 10 cents each.

SPECIAL OFFER — The entire set of seven Hydrangeas for 80 cents.

Posted in Artifacts | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Farewell to Summer

School has started, which means summer’s activities will trail off, so let us bid farewell to summer with several camping scenes.

Whoever created the scrapbook of photographs in the Carr collection unfortunately did not annotate, so neither the participants nor the location of this camping experience are known. While there is much that remains familiar, like the tent and the fishing poles, it is hardly likely that present-day campers favor white shirts and ties.

Carr-Camping_1 Carr-Camping_2 Carr-Camping_3 Carr-Camping_4

Posted in Artifacts | Tagged | Leave a comment

From the Antioch Bookplate Archives — Dominic Pitoni

Dominic Pitoni’s contribution to bookplate design might well be noted as “rags to riches”.

As an armorist (or heraldry expert) Pitoni was responsible for designing the mantling in heraldic bookplates. Although mantling can resemble leafy Baroque ornamentation, the original idea was to represent the drapery (also known as a lambrequin) covering a knight’s helmet and tattered from damage sustained in battle.

Although formal heraldic interpretations include specific colorations for mantling, today the mantling is often depicted as a standardized motif applicable to any blazon.

Pitoni’s mantling was used in two universal bookplate designs by Antioch Bookplate as well as several private heraldic bookplates.

Bookplate design F-432, later M-432

F-432, later M-432. This was another example of cooperative design. The mantling was provided by Dominic Pitoni, and the shield by Whitmore

Bookplate design M-7

M-7, popular for about 30 years, was another Pitoni/Whitmore collaboration. Pitoni again provided the mantling and scroll, Whitmore another version of the “Book Tree”.


Posted in Antioch Bookplate Archives, Artifacts | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Yellow Springs Wellness History — The Water Cure

The Antioch College Fitness Center (due to open soon) is certainly not the first example of wellness as a pursuit in Yellow Springs. The very  name of the village is testimony to the water source thought by many early inhabitants to have special healing properties.

Illustration from the Springfield Weekly News of June 8, 1860

Illustration from the Springfield Weekly News of June 8, 1860

There was, however, another institution located just off Grinnell Road not too far from Antioch College which combined a concern for wellness with what has come to be another grand Yellow Springs tradition — controversy. The history of the Yellow Springs Water Cure (also called the Glen Forest Water Cure) has been described by Antiochiana archivist Scott Sanders here and here, and anyone curious to learn more about one of the figures associated with the Water Cure is urged to read Shameless: The Visionary Life of Mary Gove Nichols by Jean L. Silver-Isenstadt. A PowerPoint presentation to the 2011 Annual Meeting of the Ohio Academy of Medical History can be downloaded here.

Excerpt from 1855 map showing Water Cure location off of Grinnell Road

Excerpt from 1855 map showing Water Cure location off of Grinnell Road

The Water-cure Journal of 1851 included the following advertisement for the Yellow Springs Water Cure (and a transcribed newspaper report of a visit to the establishment can be seen here):

YELLOW SPRINGS WATER-CURE ESTABLISHMENT, GREEN COUNTY, OHIO — The Public are respectfully informed that the above establishment is now open for the reception of Patients and Visitors. It is located one mile south of the town of Yellow Springs, in a region of country well known for the purity of its atmosphere, healthiness, and for its beautiful and romantic scenery. The buildings were erected for their present purpose, are large and commodious, and capable of accommodating over one hundred Patients. The bath-rooms are large, and fitted up with every convenience for the application of water; having 109 acres of the most beautiful woodland attached, comprising every variety of hill and dale, with a clear limpid stream running through it. There is sufficient space for exercise within the enclosure. The Springs are inexhaustible, and of the purest water. There is also a bowling saloon 100 feet long, with other descriptions of amusements, where patients can engage in such healthful and diverting exercises as will be best calculated to restore their muscular strength. The great success which has attended our treatment in nearly every case of chronic disease, including those diseases peculiar to females, has been such as to warrant us in holding out inducements and encouragement to the afflicted to try the effects of the healing properties of nature’s great curative agent, “Water,” particularly in Rheumatism, Nervous affections, Spine diseases, Dyspepsia, Chronic Diarrhoea, Chills and Fevers, Diseases of the Lungs, and, indeed, in almost every form of chronic disease, the success of Hydropathy, or Water Cure, has been unparalleled. To remove wrong impressions, we would wish to remark that winter treatment is always more successful than summer, patients not being subject to the debilitating effects of the weather. The Medical Department is under the care of A. CHENEY, M.D., and G. W. BIGLER, M.D. TERMS.—For Board and treatment from the 1st of October to the 1st of April, from $5.00 to $8.00 per week, according to the room occupied and the length of time the patient may remain. Friends accompanying patients, $4.00 per week. Visitors, $5.00 per week; transient do., $1.00 per day. Patients are requested to bring two cotton sheets, and one linen sheet, three comforts, one blanket, and four towels. Patients not bringing the above ill be charged $0.50 per week extra. The Establishment can be by railroad from almost every direction. Persons will please notify the Conductor on the cars, who will leave them at the station expressly erected for their accommodation, immediately opposite, and a few rods from the house. Further information will be given on application, by letter or otherwise, to Dr. A. CHENEY and CO., at the premises, or to Dr. G. W. BIGLER, N.W. cor. Of 6th and College streets, or to Dr. EHRMANN, 7th street, between Vine and Walnut, Cincinnati, Ohio.


Posted in Narratives, Places | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Carr Nursery Catalog — Ivy Geraniums / Coleus

(Previous entries in the series — (23456789, 10 11, and 12) This page (transcript follows image as in previous posts) again shows the durability of the general plant, but the fragility of the individual varieties. Almost none of the particular varieties listed on this catalog page are available for today’s gardener, but for the curious, you can find typical contemporary offerings of ivy geraniums here and coleus here, and the anyone interested in horticultural history can find a wealth of fascinating detail here.


Our Splendid New IVY GERANIUMS

Ivy-GeraniumOne of our local florists who grows for the home market a house full of these new Ivy Geraniums says that he sells as many of them as all other Geraniums combined. This speaks volumes for their loveliness. Try them.

SPECIAL OFFER.—The set of six Ivy Leaves for 50 cents; any three for 30 cents.

New Double White Ivy Geranium, Joan of Arc.—The flowers are perfectly double, white as snow, and literally cover the plant when in full bloom. The foliage is extremely handsome, the leaves a dense, glossy-green. Price, 10 cents each.

New Double Ivy Geranium, Comptesse Horace de Choiseul.—A fit companion of Joan of Arc. The plant is vigorous. Color a bright, golden salmon. Price, 10 cents each.

New Double Ivy Geranium, Galilee.—Another grand sort. One of the most remarkable of recent introduction, and of a most charming shade of lovely rose-pink, varied with lilac. Price, 10 cents each.

New Double Ivy Geranium, Souvenir Charles Turner.—The color is a deep, bright pink, approaching scarlet in color, the upper petals feathered maroon. Quite double. Price, 15 cents each.

New Double Scarlet Ivy Geranium, Peter Crozy.—A grand hybrid between the Zonals and Ivies, having the foliage of the former, but very heavy in texture. The color is a soft, bright scarlet, with veinings of maroon. Habit of plant very dwarf and compact. Price, 10 cents each.

New Double Ivy Geranium, Bastian Le Page.—This is the most beautiful variety of the ivy-leaved class. The flowers are very double, the color a rich carmine and lake. Price, 10 cents each.


Price, 6 cents each; three for 15 cents; ten for 50 cents.


Queen.—Single red.

Dr. Glennet.—Brilliant scarlet.

Queen of the West.—Single, bright orange-scarlet.

Madonna.—Soft, pale pink.

Dell Ross.—Beautiful rose tint.

Lillian Smith.—Brightest dazzling scarlet.

Sam Sloan.—Velvety crimson.

Queen Olga.—Single bright pink.

Rev. H. Harris.—Flaming scarlet.

Winslow.—Beautiful pink.

Athlete.—Bright, clear scarlet.

Alfred Neuner.—Soft red.

Ralph.—Rich amaranthian purple.

Apple Blossom.—Blush, with white eye.

Mrs. Todd.—Pink and rose. Very fine.

R. G. Churchill.—Bright, soft shade of red.

White Perfection.—Pure white.


Madame Thebeau.—Double, rich rose.

William Scott.—Beautiful vinous rose.

Higgins.—Beautiful dark red. Very double.

Alfred Myers.—Semi-double, soft, rich red.

White Swan.—Beautiful pearly-white.

Enitle.—Colored rose. [likely typo]

James Vick.—Rich salmon.

General Grant.—Brightest red.

John Heron.—Beautiful tint of red.

Emerson.—Rich, darkest red.


Price, 5 cents each; any 10 for 50 cents, twenty distinct varieties for $1.00; by express, 30 for $1.00. We will send the below twenty choice named Coleus by mail, prepaid, for $1.00. These are all good bedders, standing the hot sun without losing their color.

ColeusAutumn Glow.—Has all the beautiful tints of Autumn leaves.

Bronze Queen.—A deep bronze, with fine yellow edge.

Black Bird.—Very dark, with reddish cast.

Butterfly.—A crimson-bronze, old gold and green.

Bizarre.—Crimson center, edged with green and gold.

Beauty.—A crimson-bronze, with three colors.

Chicago Bedder.—Green and gold. An excellent bedder.

Dora Clapp.—Crimson center, with bronze and green edge.

Empress of India.—Crimson, with golden edge.

Fire Brand.—A fine bedder. Dark crimson, shaded garnet.

Fire Crest.—The foliage is a bright carmine-crimson shade, the edge is slightly marked with golden-yellow.

Golden Bedder.—A deep golden-yellow. A fine bedder.

Golden Verschaffeltii.—This ranks first in yellow varieties.

Hero.—A deep, jet black.

Hiawatha.—Bronze and yellow spotted.

Progress.—A beautifully mottled red, green and bronze.

Retta Kirkpatrick.—Bright green, large, deep, yellow center.

Setting Sun.—Crimson, with brightest golden edge.

Verschaffeltii.—A rich, velvety-crimson. The best bedder.

Yeddo.—The color is a deep golden-yellow, splotched with a bright green.

Remember, the above twenty choice Coleus for only $1.00; any ten for 50 cents. You have never seen anything so grand in the Coleus line. Try them, and see what a beautiful bed you can have, and with but little care.

Any thirty others of the most elegant sorts; saved from ten thousand seedlings. Nothing to compare to them. If a selection is left to us we make no discrimination, because they are all new; but all go at the same price.

Posted in Artifacts | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Recreation in the Glen

We do think of Glen Helen as a recreation center, but for the most part, because of its mission to preserve the environment the recreation is limited to hiking and bird-watching within the boundaries of the Glen.

Illustration of Neff House from 1855 Cone Map

Neff House as shown on 1855 Cone Map

This restraint was not always the case, particularly since the Glen has existed as an entity only since 1929. Since Neff House as a resort hotel was located in the Glen, for a while the Glen was the location of livelier pursuits, including boating and ice-skating on the lake created by the dammed-up creek (an early description of a visit to Neff House can be found here).

Neff Park Lake

Neff Park Lake

Luring up to 4,000 participants at one time, the Antioch Chautauqua cultural festival was held in the Glen between 1906 and 1916 (a sample Chautauqua program from the Antiochiana collections can be seen here and a picture from the Qala Bist collection of a similar Chautauqua taking place in Clay Center, Kansas can be seen here — note the large tent typical of Chautauqua festivals).


Posted in Artifacts, Places | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

From the Antioch Bookplate Archives — Raymond F. DaBoll

“Calligraphy; disciplined freedom is the essence of it, as of any other just form of government.” —Raymond F. DaBoll

Perhaps most popularly known for a calligraphy textbook for Speedball, Raymond F. DaBoll was sometimes known as the Dean of American Calligraphy, whose work also encompassed collectible items such as Oak Knoll Press’ book Hamlet to the Players by William Shakespeare (1564-1616).

Although we can find but one bookplate designed by Raymond F. DaBoll for the Antioch Bookplate Company, it was probably the single most popular design ever introduced. M-764 was introduced in the mid-1960s and was also adapted for private bookplates, including one for DaBoll himself.

Antioch Bookplate design M-764


Private bookplate for Raymond F. DaBoll

DaBoll’s own bookplate

Private bookplate adaptation of M-764, removing open book and adding text at upper left

Private bookplate adaptation of M-764, removing open book and adding text at upper left

Private bookplate adaptation for Masonic library replacing owls with Masonic logo

Private bookplate adaptation for Masonic library replacing owls with Masonic logo

Private bookplate adaptation of M-764 replacing owls with drama masks

Private bookplate adaptation of M-764 replacing owls with drama masks










Found in file of correspondence between Antioch Bookplate and DaBoll was a description of another potential bookplate, but we have yet to find evidence that it was ever produced, either as a universal bookplate or a private one.

bookplate correspondence

Posted in Antioch Bookplate Archives, Artifacts, People | Tagged , | Leave a comment