California State Library Foundation
California State Library Foundation
Gary F. Kurutz editorial assistant
Ta b l e o f C o n t e n ts
Kathleen Correia Copy Editor
M. Patricia Morris Board of Directors
Kenneth B. Noack, Jr. President George Basye Vice-President Thomas E. Vinson Treasurer Donald J. Hagerty Secretary
Robert Dickover Allan Forbes Herbert Hunn Mead B. Kibbey Virginia Livingston
Gary F. Kurutz Executive Director
Thomas Miller Sue T. Noack Marilyn Snider Thomas W. Stallard Sandra Swafford Julia Schaw Administrative Assistant
2 -5 . . . . . . . . . Maynard Dixon, Artist of the Bookplate By Robert M. Dickover
6-9 . . . . . . . . . . Fred Gunsky: Letterpress Printer of California Keepsakes in the Tradition of Gutenberg By Peter Hayes
10-15 . . . . . . . Sacramento’s Historic 1862 Flood as Reported in the Illustrated London News By George Basye
16-25 . . . . . . . The Dr. Dean L. Mawdsley Collection of Rare Prints, Posters, Trade Cards, and Western Americana By Gary F. Kurutz
26 . . . . . . . . . . Mike Marlin Appointed Manager of Braille & Talking Book Library By Sandra Swafford
27-28 . . . . . . . Recent Contributors
Susan Hildreth State Librarian of California The California State Library Foundation Bulletin is published when we are able. © 2004-2008. Opinions of the authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of their institutions, the California State Library or the Foundation. The Bulletin is included as a membership benefit to Foundation members and those individuals contributing $40.00 or more annually to Foundation Programs. Membership rates are: Associate: $40-$99 Contributor: $100-249 Sponsor: $250-$499 Patron: $500-$999 Institutional: $500 Corporate: $750 Lifetime Member: $1,000 Pioneer: $5,000 Subscription to Libraries: $30/year
Bulletin Number 89
Front Cover: Artist Maynard Dixon created this classic desert landscape view for a bookplate. It is based on a painting entitled Red Gateway. See article by Robert Dickover on pages 2-5. Back Cover: U. S. Twin Screw Steel Cruiser, San Francisco. This lithograph is one of many prints donated by Dr. Dean L. Mawdsley. See article on pages 16-25 Illustrations: page 5 from the collection of Donald J. Hagerty; all others from the California History Section, California State Library.
Design: Angela Tannehill, Tannehill Design California State Library Foundation 1225 8th Street, Suite 345, Sacramento, CA 95814 tel: 916.447.6331 web: www.cslfdn.org email: [email protected]
Maynard Dixon, Artist of the Bookplate By Robert M. Dickover
Above: The timelessness and immensity of the western landscape is captured in this Dixon bookplate. Below: Margaret Loeb’s bookplate by Dixon embodies the theme of religious mysticism in a dramatic way.
he California State Library’s collection of the paintings, murals, illustrations, and other artistic works of Maynard Dixon, the acclaimed artist of the West, lends particular distinction to it. The fortunate person who enters the Stanley Mosk Library and Courts Building (the original Library and Courts Building) has the privilege of seeing Dixon’s monumental mural The Pageant of California on the wall of Gillis Hall on the Library’s third floor. If the visitor descends to the second floor, he or she will be treated to a view of four exceptional mural panels that the artist originally painted for the home of Anita Baldwin McClaughry near Arcadia, California. While Dixon’s murals established him as an exceptional artist in large scale works, he was equally good in smaller projects. Indeed, he was even an accomplished miniaturist in at least one area, the bookplate, and the Library has a number of these in its collection. The first half of the twentieth century was a period of great interest in the bookplate (also known as the ex libris or plate) in California and elsewhere. Numerous artists, including some highly accomplished ones like Dixon, found the ex libris to be an opportunity for income and artistic expression. The Library has six of his efforts in this medium. Four of these are illustrated in this article; and one, that of R. F. McGraw, is on the cover of this issue. Dixon biographer Donald J. Hagerty notes in his Bulletin article (No. 63, Summer 1998) on the newly acquired McClaughry murals that Dixon expressed two themes in his art: “the timeless truth of the immense western landscape and the religious mysticism of the Native American.” The artist’s bookplates in the Library illustrated in this article and on the cover of this issue convey these themes very effectively. The ex libris of Margaret Loeb, a collector of Dixon’s work, embodies the theme of religious mysticism in a dramatic way. It Robert M. Dickover is a Foundation board member, letterpress printer, and author of California Bookplates published by The Book Club of California in 2005 as its annual keepsake.
California State Library Foundation
depicts a Native American engaged in the culturally prescribed ritual of seeking a vision, one that would perhaps reveal the power of supernatural forces and communicate the message that they would act favorably upon him in the future. The plate of attorney Irving Kahn and his wife Beatrice mirrors the other theme, the timelessness and immensity of the western landscape. The handling of color on these two plates is extremely impressive. In contrast to many bookplates, the designs on these plates are uncluttered, and the Kahn plate suggests the isolation of the setting especially well. The two monochromatic bookplates illustrated here, one of Charles de Y(oung) and Ruth Elkus and the other of Joan C. Bowly, both feature images of expansive western vistas and perhaps the hope of Dixon that they would remain as such in perpetuity. The sharply pinnacled black peak in Bowly’s ex libris is very striking as is the immense cloud formation in the Elkuses’. The latter bookplate was printed in two sizes both of which are in the Library. The quotation from Act 1, Scene 5 of Shakespeare’s Hamlet on the Elkus plate is Hamlet’s observation to his friend Horatio to the effect that there are more things in heaven and earth than are within their speculative knowledge. This may express the view of Dixon (and the Elkuses) that the scenery of the western United States is so spectacular that the person who has not seen it cannot imagine its beauty or power beforehand. Of course, the dialogue between Hamlet and Horatio occurred after Hamlet’s encounter with his father’s ghost, while another friend, Marcellus, stood by. Nevertheless, the use of the quotation by Charles and Ruth Elkus in the scenic context of their bookplate was entirely appropriate. No information is accessible in the State Library about the affiliations and interests of the Kahn and Bowly households. Margaret Loeb may have been the wife of Joseph Loeb, Dixon’s attorney. A good deal of information, however, is available about Sacramento-born Charles Elkus. Elkus’ middle name, de Young, indicates his kinship to the de Young family of the San Francisco Chronicle and manifold other commercial, political, and cultural activities in the city and the state. He was one of San Francisco’s most important lawyers, and during the ‘20s he and his equally well-connected legal partner, Tadini Bacigalupi, occupied an office at 550 Montgomery Street not too far from Dixon’s sometime studio on the top floor of number 728 on the same street. This propinquity may have been a basis for the connection between Dixon and Elkus, but a number Bulletin Number 89
Dixon in this bookplate combined a quotation from Shakespeare’s Hamlet with one of his classic Western landscape views.
The author wishes to acknowledge the assistance of Foundation Board of Directors member, Donald J. Hagerty. He is the author of a major book on the artist, Desert Dreams: The Art and Life of Maynard Dixon. Hagerty has contributed notably to the development of the Library’s collection of the works of this artist and has also written a number of important articles on him for the California State Library Foundation Bulletin, the most recent of which is a beautifully illustrated essay in the early 2007 issue (No. 87) on Dixon’s illustrations for newspapers and magazines. 3
of others also existed. Dixon included among his friends Albert Elkus, another member of the de Young-Elkus family, whom earlier generations of U.C. Berkeley alumni will remember as one of that institution’s professors of music. Charles Elkus also shared Dixon’s identification with the Native American. Elkus had a deep concern with bettering the lot of these peoples. He served as a trustee of The Indian Defense Association of North America and as a member of the Association of American Indian Affairs. Certainly Charles and Ruth Elkus found a soulmate in Dixon for the creation of their ex libris. Dixon designed the fifth plate illustrated here for his mother, Constance Maynard Dixon. In his biography of Dixon, Hagerty describes Constance as “an omnivorous reader of history, novels (the more romantic the better), and poetry.” He asserts that she “surrounded her children with classics” and that “one of her particular joys was to read to them.” A woman with an enthusiasm for books and a highly artistic son might very well induce him to create an ex libris for her own use. Dixon’s design of her plate differs markedly from that of the other bookplates shown here. The central figure in her bookplate is an angelic being
with immense wings holding a large open book displaying the maxim “Man’s Soul Lives in His Books.” Certainly this is a sentiment most bibliophiles would applaud, although today’s PC standards would suggest that humankind or some term like it should be substituted for “man.” Some people have described the style of this plate as reminiscent of art deco. Quite possibly Mrs. Dixon had her own idea of what she wanted on her bookplate, and her son responded to her wishes even though the style of the ex libris was representative of only a minor portion of his work. Maynard Dixon scholar, Donald J. Hagerty allowed us to reproduce Constance Dixon’s ex libris from his personal copy of a biography of Pocahontas she once owned. Since Mrs. Dixon regarded herself as a descendant of Pocahontas, this book must have been one of her really important possessions. Hagerty also shared with us his copy of a reminiscence of Constance Dixon written by her daughter, Rebecca (Mrs. Arthur T. Chambers), possibly about 1920. Rebecca described her brother, Maynard, as his mother’s “idol” and characterized her mother as follows: Like many people of her temperament, . . . she could be inflexible, stubborn: if she made up her mind to do a silly thing, nothing could turn her aside. Her always red mouth (no lip rouge in those days) would set in a thin line, her face would flush, her eyes would shine, but nothing could move her—at least, I couldn’t nor (could) her other children. This description of Constance Maynard Dixon suggests a person who could get her way with her son in the comparatively minor issue of the design of an ex libris. Not surprisingly, given his artistic achievements, Dixon possessed considerable skill as a letterer as evidenced on these plates. He chose a variety of styles of lettering for them and he executed the individual letters quite well. Where he did get into trouble was in the spacing between the letters within the words — the “letterspacing.” The “EX LIBRIS” on the Irving and Beatrice Kahn bookplate is a charming example of problematic letterspacing. He starts out with smaller visual distances between the pairs of letters on the left and then expands them between the B and the R and the R and the I. He then slants the letter S, quirkily ending the line. To those who can restrain their compulsiveness, especially printers, this is really quite delightful. Certainly Dixon’s bookplates are exceptional as is his artistry in other areas. I selected the plates and wrote the text for California Bookplates, the 2005 keepsake of The Book Club of California. The eighty-one bookplates I chose for it generally represented a superior quality of design and printing. The three I included of Maynard Dixon were among the very best in all respects — choice of scene, design, use of color, quality of printing, and even lettering.
California State Library Foundation
Left: Dixon designed this bookplate for his mother, Constance Maynard Dixon.
Above: McGraw’s bookplate is a miniature reproduction of Dixon’s 1944 oil on canvas painting entitled Red Gateway. The actual painting measures 30 x 25 inches.
Left page: The sharply pinnacled peak is an example of how Dixon captured the expansive Western landscape even in such a small format as a bookplate.
Dixon, Rebecca (Mrs. Arthur F. Chambers). Unpublished reminiscence of her mother, Constance Maynard Dixon.
Library Foundation Bulletin 69 (Fall 2000/Winter 2001): 28–32.
Hagerty, Donald J. Desert Dreams: The Art and Life of Maynard Dixon, Layton, Utah: Gibbs Smith, 1993.
Kinnaird, Lawrence. History of the Greater San Francisco Bay Region, Vol. III Family and Personal History. Lewis Historical Publishing Company: New York and West Palm Beach, 1966.
_________”Maynard Dixon and the McClaughry Murals.” California State Library Foundation Bulletin 63 (Summer 1998): 1–6.
Willis, William L. History of Sacramento County California. Los Angeles: Historical Record Company, 1913.
_________ “History on the Walls: The Maynard Dixon and Frank Van Sloun Murals in the California State Library.” California State Bulletin Number 89
Letterpress printer and bibliophile Fred Gunsky relaxes between jobs.
Fred Gunsky: Letterpress Printer of California Keepsakes in the Tradition of Gutenberg By Peter J. Hayes
he California State Library has acquired a collection of hand-set letterpress publications on California history and natural history that Frederic R. Gunsky printed on his home press. A prolific member of the Sacramento Book Collectors Club, he produced the broadsides, booklets, and other ephemera as keepsakes for family, friends, and club members, including long-time friends Jo and George Smith of Sacramento who donated their collection of forty Gunsky imprints to the library. Fred Gunsky was a writer and an avid book collector. He loved history and nature. His father was a printer. His financial savior and mentor was a University of California literary scholar and author of a book on fine printing. It was no surprise then that, three years into retirement and at the age of sixty-seven, Gunsky took up the hobby of letterpress fine printing in 1984 and handset dozens of publications over a fifteen year period. He died November 11, 2006. With a succession of four presses, Gunsky immersed himself in an avocation rooted in the process of movable type invented by German printer Johannes Gutenberg and used to print his famous Bible in the mid-1400s and that continued until the late 1800s when linotype methods were developed. It remains in limited use today for specialty fine printing and by dedicated hobbyists.
Peter J. Hayes is the author of An American River Almanac: Prehistory to Parkway, a retired columnist from the Sacramento Union, and friend of Fred Gunsky. 6
One of the first hand-set, letterpress jobs that Gunsky printed at the Sylvan Oak Press at his home in Citrus Heights was about a personal hero, Daring Young Man: Jedediah Smith in California, 1826–28. He authored the twenty-eight-page booklet in 1985 after retracing by auto the route taken by the trailblazing beaver trapper. Another Sylvan Press project was a menu at “Chez Shirley” for a dinner party that he and his wife Shirley hosted. Inscribed “Fruits of the earth beside a friendly hearth” and the menu’s bill of fare offered catch of the day (halibut from the broiler), risotto a la Shirley, tossed Salad, The house bread, and meringues a la mode de Sylvan. Vince Lozito, one of Gunsky’s colleagues in the Sacramento Book Collectors Club, said a favorite of his and others was About Walking, handsomely illustrated selections from various authors on the rewards of going about on foot. This booklet went to the heart of Gunsky’s passion for the outdoors. He was a tireless hiker and backpacker, often with companions such as Merick H. Chaffee who said a maxim from the booklet, “I have two doctors, my left leg and my right,” might have been Gunsky’s mantra. For the benefit of fellow letterpress practitioners, Gunsky printed technical data on the last page: “About Walking was hand-set on Bembo (type) by Frederic R. Gunsky who printed 62 copies on Mohawk Superfine paper, using a Vandercook No. 4 proof press. The cover paper is Stonehenge, and the flyleaf is Fabriano Ingres. The bindings were sewn by Shirley Gunsky. Sheer piracy is responsible for most of the illustrations. The Sylvan Oaks Press March 1989.” California State Library Foundation
Though an angel should write, still ‘tis devils must print. -Thomas Moore (Letterpress by Fred Gunsky)
Placed throughout this article are examples of Gunsky’s beautifully designed and printed keepsakes.
Sacramento Book Collectors Club member Robert (Bob) Dickover, whose printing experience goes back to junior high school days, was regarded by Gunsky as a master printer. He said Gunsky’s presswork was somewhat handicapped by vision problems, and details of design were not always perfect. “But his designs were attractive enough to be eye-catching, he had a knack for choosing interesting subjects, and his work appeared on lists turned out by sellers of good fine printing that might sell for $25 or $30.” Fred Gunsky was lean, fit, enthusiastic, and possessed a wry sense of humor. At a 1999 meeting of the book collectors club, he presented a letterpress, hand-set keepsake from his Press off Winding Way, Carmichael. It was an anonymous spoof from an Bulletin Number 89
Oregon State University Valley Library publication announcing that “A new aid to rapid learning has made its appearance. If it catches on, it will make all the electronic gadgets just so much junk. This new device is called Built-in Orderly Organized Knowledge or BOOK.” Gunsky was born in San Francisco and grew up near the Presidio military base, “a personal wilderness refuge.” There he collected frogs, butterflies, bees, and snakes, and brought them home for further inspection until his mother laid down the law. His journalism career began in the early 1930s, not with a boy’s handpress, but with an old-fashioned typewriter and handcranked mimeograph machine, a pile of blue stencils, a can of ink and some correction fluid. His medium was a Boy Scout 7
troop newspaper. He progressed in print journalism as editor of his high school newspaper. In 1933 at the height of the Great Depression, he enrolled at the University of California, commuting from San Francisco to Berkeley by streetcar, ferry and rail. But he was forced to drop out for lack of funds and go to work as a shipping clerk. In the fall of 1935, he re-entered Cal as an English major, living in a garret room near the campus and waiting on tables in a sorority house. Then he signed up for a stipend from the National Youth Administration (NYA), one of President Roosevelt’s New Deal programs. After a year in a tedious file job, “a remarkable thing happened,” Gunsky said. A newly-minted Harvard Ph.D. named James D. Hart was hired by UC as an assistant professor. He needed a research assistant to help him on a reference manuscript that was to become the distinguished Oxford Companion to American Literature, now in its sixth edition. Gunsky got the job, and was rescued from financial pressures while expanding his knowledge of American literature by typing Hart’s manuscript and classroom lecture notes on 5x8 cards. “There was another way in which James Hart influenced me,” Gunsky wrote later. He and his wife (Ruth) enjoyed a lifelong hobby of hand-press printing. I’m sure that I would not have pursued this interest as diligently if I had not known fine printing from the Harts,” Gunsky said. Meanwhile, Gunsky’s propensity for reading, honed in San Francisco libraries, and his natural writing ability caught the eye of San Francisco Chronicle book editor Joseph Henry Jackson. While still at the university he began reviewing new books for the Chronicle, some briefly, some extensively, in return for the books. “With my slender means at the time, I did not keep the books I had reviewed—I sold them to one of the city’s leading booksellers, Paul Elder,” he wrote later. Graduating summa cum laude and with a Phi Beta Kappa key, Gunsky was hired as a copy editor by the Chronicle in 1940 and worked there until 1961, interrupted by four years in the Army. Then, a growing “awareness of social concerns,” prompted a move to writing jobs with state employment and education agencies, the latter in Sacramento. But as he was to observe, “I have lost count of the nonprofits that have taken advantage of my can’t-say-no-volunteering proclivity.” Outside activities included serving as editor of the Sierra Club Bulletin magazine, editor and author of Sacramento County Historical Society Golden Notes publications, and as a founder and first president of the American River Natural History Association. In the early 1980s and well into retirement, he enrolled in an evening letterpress printing class at American River College. Jean Pratt, an art professor, presided over a cantankerous, two-ton 8
Acorn press that, some said, had been brought by Mormon leader Samuel Brannan from New York in the sailing ship Brooklyn with 238 adherents in 1845 to start a colony in California. Pratt said Gunsky was a diligent student. “He would come in on his own time and make a lot of extra things on the press, like pamphlets and broadsides (sheets of paper printed on one side),” he said. “It was a laborious process. There’s an art to rolling the ink evenly on the type so it doesn’t blur, then pulling the ‘devil’s tail’ lever to make an impression on the paper, one page at a time.” After a succession of letterpress publications printed by his Sylvan Oaks Press in the garage of his Citrus Heights home, Gunsky, his wife Shirley, and their Yorkshire Terrier Little Liza Jane moved to Arcata on the northern California coast where he established the Tall Trees Press and for the next four years turned out a four-page quarterly called Redwood Log. Struck off on a venerable Challenge-Gordon platen press for members of the American Amateur Press Association and friends, the Redwood Log was an elegant blend of personal memoirs, historical vignettes, and reflections on the natural beauty of the region. In the Spring 1993 Log, Gunsky replied to a letter from Robert Dickover, who had surmised that Gunsky’s garage printing plant was warmer than his. “Well, Bob,” he said, “you should have seen me at the press, flannel shirt over long johns, jacket buttoned at the neck, apron tied securely, feeding the sheets with numb fingers. What prompts our breed of underground, garage-based publishers to such desperate endeavors? Whatever it is, my case is chronic.” Chronic? Perhaps, but Johannes Gutenberg might have understood.
In his Winter, 1993 Redwood Log, Fred Gunsky observed that the genus Antiquarian Printer includes at least four distinct species: • The packrat, collector of old presses and cases of type, with premises crowded to the eaves with ink-stained relics, only occasionally in use; • the prestidigitator, possibly a packrat too, but nimble and prolific, who
turns out a dazzling array of ephemera in every color, type face, paper and format; • the dabbler, with a tabletop hand-press who keeps a composing stick half-filled and intends to finish the job, sometime; • the practitioner, who has a minimum of equipment and just enough of type to produce a steady output of printed matter in various formats.
California State Library Foundation
A Checklist of Fred Gunsky’s letterpress printing, keepsakes, and other writings. (listed chronologically) 1. A Tribute to Trees. Various Authors. Carmichael: The Press off Winding Way. No date. 2. “We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike.” – Maya Angelou. No date. 3. “Though an angel should write, still ‘tis devils must print.” – Thomas Moore. No date. 4. Natural History? For Jo Smith’s 70th, An Alternative Field Guide. No date. 5. “Progress is impossible without change.” George Bernard Shaw. No date. 6. In the Redwoods with John Muir. Sylvan Oaks Press, 1984. 7. Daring Young Man: Jedediah Smith in California, 1826-28. By Fred Gunsky. Sylvan Oaks Press, 1985. 8. “What a Grand Sight!” By William Brewer. Sylvan Oaks Press, 1985. 9. Chez Shirley [Menu]. At the Sign of the Sylvan Oak, May 11, 1985. 10. Chez Shirley [Menu] At the Sign of the Sylvan Oak, November 1, 1985. 11. Elk Hunter, Yarn Spinner, by Chad L. Hooper. The Sylvan Oaks Press, 1985. 12. “Mud Bay Musings.” By Peter and Nancy Ashenfelter. Sylvan Oaks Press. February 1987. 13. “I Heard of GOLD at Sutter’s Mill,” Five Gold Rush Ballads. Sylvan Oaks Press, June 1987. 14. The Rime of the Ancient Prospector: Forty-niner Place Names Revisited. Sylvan Oaks Press, February 12, 1988. 15. How Sutter Came to This Place, as Captain Billy Davis Remembers It. Sylvan Oaks Press, January 13, 1989. 16. “Food for Thought, Something to Chew on, to Get One’s Teeth into. Various Authors. Sylvan Oaks Press, March 1988. 17. About Walking, Various Authors. Sylvan Oaks Press, March 1989. 18. “Pathfinders of the Sacramento Region,” by Fred Gunsky. Sacramento County Historical Society Golden Notes. (Spring 1989). 19. Big Tree of the Valleys. By Fred Gunsky. Sylvan Oaks Press, November, 1989. 20. “Effie Yeaw: Teacher, Naturalist, Visionary,” By Fred Gunsky. Published by Sacramento County Historical Association and American River Natural History Association, 1990. 21. “Jedediah Smith and the First Crossing of the Sierra Nevada,” by Francis P. Farquhar, edited by Fred Gunsky. Sacramento County Historical Society Golden Notes. (October 1990). 22. The Celebrated Jumping Flea of Mariposa County. By Mark II. Sylvan Oaks Press, July 1991. 23. In the Redwoods with John Muir. Tall Trees Press, 1992. 24. Naming the Rivers of the Great Valley. By Fred Gunsky. Sylvan Oaks Press. May 1992. 25. Redwood Log. Arcata, Tall Trees Press. (Fall 1992). 26. Redwood Log, Sylvan Oaks Press, Now the Tall Trees Press. (Winter 1992). 27-36. Redwood Log, Tall Trees Press. (Spring 1993–Fall 1995). 37. Redwood Log, (Selections from previous Redwood Logs). Carmichael: Press off Winding Way, 1996. 38. Thoreau at Katahdin. By Fred Gunsky, an essay written for Sierra Club Bulletin in 1960. Carmichael: The Press off Winding Way, January 9, 1998. 39. BOOK or Build-in Orderly Organized Knowledge. Carmichael: Press off Winding Way, January 8, 1999. 40. The 31st State. By Hubert Howe Bancroft. Carmichael: The Press off Winding Way, Carmichael, January 14, 2000.
Bulletin Number 89
California State Library Foundation
Sacramento’s Historic Flood as Reported in the Illustrated London News By George Basye
The historic flood of January 1862 on the Sacramento River and its tributaries is described in this colorfully written article from The Illustrated London News of March 29, 1862. Its devastation was so great that it even attracted international attention. Feelings of doom and gloom as narrated by the anonymous London journalist changed to one of revelry. The News went so far as to call it an “aquatic carnival.” Because of the article’s upbeat approach, written in the grand Victorian style of that era, it seemed appropriate to republish this fascinating and informative article during Sacramento’s wet season. This inundation is widely assumed to be the largest flood since California became a State. The full extent of this aqueous disaster cannot be known with certainty. A flood’s peak flow, in cubic feet per second, is measured within defined channels, and no such defined channel then existed. Rudimentary levees had begun to be built at Sacramento and elsewhere along the river to further elevate its natural banks, but the 1862 flood easily broke out into the adjacent lands. When flood water leaves the riverbed it slows down and drops much of its silt creating, over time, an elevated natural bank. The Sacramento River constructed such elevated natural banks downstream from Chico, where it leaves the hills and extends into the open valley. These banks were, however, perforated by “sloughs” that released high flows into the adjacent basins. Accordingly, the extensive basins which lie on either side of the river’s elevated natural banks received a vast amount of water. As the London News article indicates, the flood water also easily overflowed the islands in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta where these same elevated natural banks held out daily tides, but not flood waters. Flood waters, therefore, extended well beyond the river’s banks on either side, from Chico to the Bay, making an accurate measurement probably impossible. The copy of the 1862 The Illustrated London News article was discovered by happy coincidence in the seaside town of Bolinas in Marin County in 1970. Bolinas is a town which tries hard to hide. The residents are famous for taking down the signs on Highway 1 that point to Bolinas. This 1862 news article was found in a small shop in an old house on the main street of Bolinas specializing in Californiana. Left for speculation are who preserved it, how it got to Bolinas and who tinted the illustrations. The Illustrated London News was no doubt not yet printed in color. The article tells an important story about Sacramento’s major flood event. As a water lawyer, it was of great interest to me, and it has hung in my office for many years. The article, as framed, has been donated to the California State Library for preservation and accessibility to the public.
Left: This dramatic hand-tinted page of the Illustrated London News gave prominent coverage of the flood that ravaged Sacramento in the winter of 1862.
Bulletin Number 89
George Basye is past president and now vice president of the California State Library Foundation and a noted California water law attorney. He is the author of Battling the River: A History of Reclamation District 108. 11
A Note on the Artist The Illustrated London News engaged a distinguished California artist named Edward Vischer to provide the illustrations for this article on the Sacramento flood. Bavarian born, Vischer (18091878) first migrated to Mexico at the age of nineteen and became affiliated with a trading company. In 1842, he made his first visit to California representing his firm and settled permanently in the state in 1849 during the helter-skelter days of the Gold rush. Prospering in the import business, he built a Bavarian-style mansion/village on Nob Hill and took up sketching as an avocation. Clearly impressed by California’s scenery and its history, he created elaborate publications reproducing scores of his watercolor sketches either as lithographs or photographs. Vischer’s publications include Mammoth Tree Grove (1862), Pictorial of California (1870), and Missions of Upper California (1872). In addition, Vischer supplied drawings for publication in illustrated magazines. Once The Illustrated London News received Vischer’s sketches of the flood, engravers employed by the periodical reproduced them on wood blocks. Popular in the nineteenth century and used in an era before reliable photomechanical processes, the medium of wood engraving allowed for great detail, and prints in this genre could be reproduced in great quantity. For the time, its realism could not be matched. The three engravings in this particular issue were further enhanced by hand-tinting. No doubt, the tinting was done at a later date. Harper’s and Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Magazine are examples of American periodicals that employed this illustration method.
Gary F. Kurutz 12
California State Library Foundation
Above: The Embarcadero of Sacramento at K Street became a watery concourse during the early morning of January 24, 1862. Below: Based on a drawing by Edward Vischer, this wood engraving depicts a revenue steamer bringing help to flood victims at the Sacramento Delta town of Rio Vista.
The Illustrated London News, March 29, 1862 ccounts have from time to time appeared in this Journal of the severe floods with which California was visited at the close of last year and the beginning of the present one. In the present Number we are enabled to give three illustrations from sketches forwarded by Mr. Edward Vischer, of San Francisco, showing the lamentable condition of Sacramento City, which, as our readers are aware, suffered terribly from the floods. The Views were taken by Mr. Vischer whilst on a visit to Sacramento City immediately after the third flood. Our Artist, like many residents of San Francisco, went (he says) to witness the extraordinary sight of an inland lake thirty miles in width, with steam-boats plying over vast plains but lately furrowed by the plough, and all the customary means of communication reduced to the frail tenure of telegraph wires, or supplanted by feats of extraordinary daring. He went prepared to see misery and dejection for the doom apparently sealed, of the commercial emporium of that region, the capital of the State. He returned convinced that Sacramento will Bulletin Number 89
survive the present calamity, and that Californian energy will recover from the heavy blow its interests have received. On arriving at the Levee in Sacramento, on the night of Jan. 23, the chaotic scene, faintly discernible by the light of the rising moon, with blocks of buildings emerging out of the engulfing waters, was impressive in the highest degree; it suggested the goomiest of forebodings; but a few hours later, with the rising sun, the gloom was dispelled. The impressiveness of the scene changed into the life and revelry of an aquatic carnival; and the jostling of hundreds of boats in those desolate streets, the merry shouts, the passing jest, gave the impression of a merry crowd indulging in some favorite sport. Even the Pavilion, the headquarters of the relief committee, which had been successively the refuge of thousands who had become homeless, and at the time was the asylum of some six hundred recipients of relief, seemed empty during the day. The main body was about, fighting the battle of life; and not until light would the hall be thronged by those who, having lost their all had no other refuge. 13
The Engraving below shows the steam-boat landing-place in Sacramento City, on the Levee opposite K-street, at three o’clock on the morning of the 24th of January last, on the arrival of the Antelope from San Francisco during the third flood. On page 323 is a View taken at the corner of L and Fourth streets, looking eastwards towards the pavilion of the Agricultural Society, which was then the head-quarters of the Howard Benevolent Society, and, as before mentioned, the refuge of hundreds whose homesteads were destroyed by the floods. The relief boat is shown going for orders from the committee. At the left of the picture are scows from the country bearing farmers and their stock; whilst in the background may be seen the Roman Catholic church and schools. Below it is given another view of the partially-submerged city — Sixth-street, between M and N streets, looking south, towards the great break in the R-street Levee, through which numbers of houses were swept by the violence of the floods. 14
The condition of things in Sacramento City after the second and immediately before the third flood is described by a correspondent to a San Francisco journal of the 14th of January last: — “This unfortunate city presented a sad picture when we arrived on Sunday night. Although they told us the water had lowered considerably, still boats were plying from the Levee inwards through all the streets we could see. Yesterday morning the water had settled on Front-street, and some of the principal longitudinal streets — taking the line of the river as a diametrical one — were passable for short distances on muddy and slippery sidewalks. At the intersection of J and Second streets a piece of dry land was gradually rising from the surrounding waters. The water was falling fast, and it is very probable that before this time some sort of foot transportation is possible through several of the main business streets. The general appearance of the city yesterday was one of gloom and dampness. A dank fresh-fishy smell pervades the atmosphere; and such houses as were open to public view bore California State Library Foundation
Notwithstanding the great and severe loss of the
A rowboat navigates Sixth Street in Downtown Sacramento during the inundation of 1862.
people of Sacramento, their faces were not downcast. They seemed hopeful and sunshiny.
evident signs of inundation on the walls and ‘slumgullion’ on the floors. The latter gave occupation to numberless men with brooms in their hands. Notwithstanding the great and severe loss of the people of Sacramento, their faces were not downcast. They seemed hopeful and sunshiny. Many were plying their brooms and tuning their voices at the same time; and not a few wore that genial expression which Laveter might translate to every-day minds by the cheerful line, ‘We may be happy yet’.” The effect of the floods on the City is detailed in a number of the Sacramento Bee published after the third flood. It says: — “Many lots and blocks of this City have been elevated by deposits left by the flood. In the eastern portion whole blocks have been covered to the depth of four to eight feet with sandy soil, so that the eaves of one-story houses and outhouses are on the level with the new-made soil. The east Levee in the vicinity of the Fort has secured a backing which no press of water can break through. In some orchards the tree-tops just peep above the soil, while elsewhere the vines are all under. The R-street Levee is a total wreck for its entire length, there being in many places no semblance of it left, and the east Levee is not in much better condition. Rabel’s tannery property and his dwelling seem to be secured against the current of the American. A great sandbar, very nearly as high as the natural surface of the bank, has formed in front of his property, which directs the current from him and forces it to strike the bank lower down, where the break is through which the steamer Gem was carried by the force of the water. He has secured a permanent and most substantial bulkhead at that point.” Meanwhile — extracting from the catastrophe such comfort as we best can — it is certain that this dire calamity has called forth some of the best and loftiest feelings of human nature; so that one hardly knows which to admire most — the fortitude of those who were the immediate sufferers, the ready, devoted courage of those who rushed to their rescue at the risk of their own lives, or the warm, untiring charity of the community at large spared from the visitation, though not exempt from loss. Bulletin Number 89
Sacramento City has often been nearly destroyed by fire, yet has always been quickly restored and improved. So, it is to be hoped, as indeed, all accounts unite in averring — that the State capital will ere long lift its head above the floods and be re-established in more than its former greatness. The United States’ revenue steamer Schubric anchored in the stream near Rio Vista (of which we give an Engraving) was the rendezvous of the relief fleet of whale-boats and scows searching for sufferers from the flood over the plains on each side of the Sacramento. A passenger on board the Nevada, which started from San Francisco on January 12 with a large supply of baked meats, bread and other provisions hastily collected for the immediate relief of the destitute sufferers of Sacramento, thus describes the scene at Rio Vista: “For sometime before we reached this little town, numerous floating indications of the destruction above were visible on the water. Portions of houses, tables, chairs, fencing and other débris were hurrying along on the current; but until we reached Rio Vista the stern reality of human misery was not presented to our view. Here was a whole town with the water reaching to the roofs of the one-story buildings. Many of them were careened over, and all, with the exception of the second story of the principal building deserted. A few hundred yards from the town, on a neck of land, were huddled together the major part of the waterbound inhabitants, together with as much livestock as could be hastily gathered together. Here, without shelter, cold, wet and hungry, were they destined to await the falling of the waters.” By subsequent accounts we learned that that the few buildings at first spared by the floods have since been washed away, so that not a vestige of this late pleasant and prosperous village remains.
London: Printed and Published at the Office, 198, Strand, in the Parish of St. ClementDanes, in the County of Middlesex, by George C. Leighton, 198, Strand, aforesaid – Saturday, March 29, 1862. Page 326. 15
California State Library Foundation
The Dr. Dean L. Mawdsley Collection of Rare Prints, Posters, Trade Cards, and Western Americana By Gary F. Kurutz
r. Dean L. Mawdsley of Hillsborough generously donated to the State Library an extensive and impressive collection of California and Western prints, ephemera, and books. The prints represent the single largest donation of the genre in recent memory and cover such wide-ranging subjects from an 1816 hand-colored lithograph of Native Americans dancing in front of Mission Dolores by Louis Choris to a spectacular large folio chromolithograph of a wagon train in Ute Pass, Colorado, used to advertise Schuttler wagons. Dr. Mawdsley has been collecting pictorial documentation for many years and lives in a spacious home that is a veritable museum of Western iconography. Although a highly successful doctor of medicine, he has developed considerable knowledge as a student and scholar of Western history making frequent trips to the “Big Sky Country” of Wyoming and Montana. His journeys have taken him to dozens of galleries, book fairs, and artist’s homes. This collector’s love of Western art led to the publication of his superb book The America of Eric Sloane: A Collector’s Bibliography. A man of diverse interests, he has also written Cruise Books of the United States Navy in World War II: A Bibliography and Steel Ships and Iron Pipe: Western Pipe and Steel Company of California: The Company, the Yard, the Ships. Highlights of the Mawdsley Collection form the basis and inspiration for an exhibit in the Library’s Mead B. Kibbey Gallery entitled “Envisioning California and the West.” The exhibit was installed in December and will be on display through March. Many of these prints in the exhibit document the mythic or romantic view of Westward expansion. Before installing the display, Jeff Cox, the Library’s photographer made 4 x 5 and 8 x 10 inch color transparencies of the largest prints. These, in turn, have been expertly scanned by Technician Vincent Beiderbecke, and several have been put on the Library’s Web site in the Picture Catalog. By typing in the keyword of “Mawdsley,” the viewer will be able to see several examples from this splendid
collection. At the end of this short article is an annotated listing of selected items from his gift. In addition to the above described illustrations, Dr. Mawdsley has donated an extensive collection of Victorian era pictorial trade cards, illustrations from the Pacific Railroad Survey Reports of the 1850s, and wood engravings of Western scenes published in Harper’s, Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Magazine, The Illustrated London News, and other illustrated periodicals. Trade cards were popular in the nineteenth century and are slightly larger than modern business cards. Businesses used the cards to advertise their products. To catch the eye of a customer, one side of the cards carried a colorful allegorical scene such as a mermaid or a California forty-niner. Despite their ephemeral nature, trade cards preserve important information on individual businesses as well as documenting trends in commercial art. Dr. Mawdsley also presented the Library with an extensive number of books. Dr. Mawdsley knew and admired historian, writer, and raconteur Oscar Lewis. Lewis ranks as one of California’s best known historians having authored such important works as The Big Four, Bonanza Inn, Bay Window Bohemia, California Heritage, and High Sierra County. One does not appreciate how prolific Lewis was until viewing the Mawdsley Collection. It occupies twenty-one feet of shelving! The collection not only includes books autographed by the respected San Francisco author but also scores of pamphlets, keepsakes, offprints of periodical articles, and his write-ups on California for the Encyclopedia Americana. Reflecting Dr. Mawdsley’s interest in the popular image of the West, his donation includes an extensive, if not comprehensive collection of books illustrated by Nick Eggenhoffer (1897–1985), one of the West’s most acclaimed book illustrators. He was noted for meticulous accuracy in his portrayals of the West inspired by Buffalo Bill and the “Wagon-Train Era.” Once cataloged, these books will be available for research in the Library’s California History Room.
Left: Bosqui Engraving Company printed this striking full-color poster to advertise the famed San Francisco insurance company.
Gary F. Kurutz is curator of special collections of the California State Library and executive director of the Foundation.
Bulletin Number 89
Highlights of the Mawdsley Collection of Western Prints N.B. The dimensions given in the following are for the image size only. California Scenes and Subjects:
Silver Creek, California. New York: Currier & Ives, c. 1855. Hand-colored lithograph. 8 1/2 x 12 1/2 inches. Currier & Ives, the great American print maker, produced this dreamy, bucolic, moonlit scene of somewhere in California. Currier & Ives did not rely on images created on the spot but on general perceptions of what they thought it should look like. There is a Silver Creek in Alpine, El Dorado, and San Bernardino counties.
Destruction of San Francisco by Earthquake and Fire, 1906. Chicago: Kurz & Allison, 1906. Lithograph. 20 x 26 inches. Louis Kurz and Alexander Allison of Chicago published this dramatic colored print of the city following the devastating 1906 earthquake and fire. It is replete with nineteen vignettes of the city in its glory before the 1906 cataclysm as well as views of the devastating destruction it wrought.
On the Coast of California. New York: Currier & Ives, c. 1850. Hand-colored lithograph. 8 1/2 x 12 3/8 inches. The famed New York printmaker’s artist must have thought that California was in Central America, as the lithograph depicts a tropical scene unlike anywhere in the state. Palm trees and white-washed adobes with a giant snow-capped volcano form the scene. It demonstrates the East Coast perception of the Golden State when Southern California was called “semi-tropical California.”
San Francisco in Ruins. Chicago: George R. Lawrence Company, c. 1906. Photograph. 18 x 48 inches. The text accompanying this dramatic panorama reads: “From Lawrence Captive Airship, 2000 Feet Above San Francisco Bay Overlooking Water Front. Sunset over Golden Gate.” Through the use of a kite, Lawrence (1869–1938) managed to hoist a forty-five pound camera high above the devastated city to take this remarkable view. His view of the city was his most famous panorama and garnered for him a sizeable income in sales.
Danse des Habitans de Californie à la Mission S. Francisco. By Louis Choris. Paris: Lith. de Langulme, 1822. Handtinted lithograph. 7 x 12 inches. Choris served as the artist for the Russian expedition led by Otto von Kotzebue on board the Ruric. The expedition visited San Francisco and its bay in 1816. His work was published in a beautiful folio volume entitled Voyage Pittoresque Autour du Monde published in Paris in 1822. The dance of the Native Americans at Mission Dolores is one of the plates used to illustrate the folio.
Hotel del Monte: America’s Famous Summer and Winter Resort. San Francisco: Britton & Rey, c. 1890. Colored lithograph. 11 x 19 1/4 inches. Printed by the noted San Francisco firm of Britton & Rey, this aerial view advertises the Pacific Improvement Company’s Hotel del Monte as the perfect all-year resort. Located on the Monterey Peninsula, it suffered through several devastating fires. The first Del Monte opened in 1880 before hit by fire on April 1, 1887. A new one rose from the ashes as a replica of the first. However, in 1924, fire swept through this grand Victorian hotel.
Palace Hotel, San Francisco. San Francisco: Bosqui Engraving Company, 1886. Hand-tinted lithograph. 18 x 24 inches. This fabulous print of California’s first great luxury hotel was originally published as a double-page spread in the Christmas issue of the San Francisco Newsletter for 1886. It is embellished with vignettes of the hotel’s many amenities, including its famous interior court. William Sharon’s Palace Hotel opened in 1875 and became a destination for the beau monde. In addition, many well-to-do San Franciscans lived in the hotel.
Sutter’s Mill, 1851. First Discovery of Gold in California, January 19th, 1848. San Francisco: A. Roman & Co., 1867. Albumen photograph. 15 x 20 1/2 inches. Anton Roman marketed this famous scene of Sutter’s Mill via the medium of photography. He commissioned the photographic firm of Houseworth & Company of San Francisco to copy the painting by Hugo Wilhelm Arthur Nahl. Each print was then mounted on cardboard and included the above printed caption as well as Roman’s copyright statement. Roman used
California State Library Foundation
To celebrate Christmas in 1898, the San Francisco Examiner issued this fullcolor cover of California symbols dominated by a California grizzly bear holding a young girl amid a garland of golden poppies.
the discovery date often used in error by James W, Marshall and not January 24, the true date. The photograph shows Marshall, the mill and its race, and two tall trees next to the mill. Views of the New Ditch of the Columbia and Stanislaus Water Company. By F. Holzmann. San Francisco: Kuchel & Dresel, 1857. Lithograph. 19 x 25 inches. Miners, in an effort to break the monopoly of D. O. Mills’ Tuolumne County Water Company, formed their own company called the Columbia and Stanislaus River Water Company. Amid great excitement, the people of Columbia celebrated the opening of this cooperative effort in 1858. However, financial difficulties bankrupted the company in 1859. The lithograph is based on a drawing by F. Holzmann and consists of six images depicting the activities of the water company. Los Angeles . By Charles Koppel. Washington, D. C.: U.S. War Department, 1855. Lithograph. 6 x 9 inches. This famous lithograph documents “El Pueblo,” the earliest Spanish settlement in Los Angeles. Looking east over the plaza, it is regarded as the first published view of the future metropolis. It reproduces Koppel’s 1853 drawing. He served as the artist for the railroad survey led by Lt. Robert S. Williamson. This scene, as well as dozens of others, was published in a thirteenvolume work entitled Reports of Exploration and Surveys to Ascertain the Most Practicable and Economic Route for a Railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean. The survey reports represented one of the grandest publication efforts of the federal government. A complete set came with 725 prints. Dr. Mawdsley donated to the Library many other plates of Western scenes from this government publication. Bulletin Number 89
Golden Jubilee Edition, San Francisco Call. January 23, 1898. San Francisco: H. S. Crocker & Company, 1898. Colored lithograph. 23 x 17 1/2 inches. The Call issued this special “Golden Jubilee” edition on January 23, 1898, to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of James Wilson Marshall’s momentous golden discovery of January 24, 1848. The Call’s artist depicted a red-shirted miner holding a golden nugget. The spectacular color editions of that era have not been matched. San Francisco Examiner Christmas Edition, Sunday, December 20, 1896. San Francisco: H. S. Crocker. 21 x 17 1/2 inches. During the golden age of newspaper illustration, the newspapers often printed elaborate full-color pages to commemorate the holidays. In this particular issue two California icons are featured: a California grizzly carries a young girl with golden poppies. Both are surrounded by elves and two cherubs smile from above. 19
Wine Making and Agriculture:
El Pinal Vineyard, San Joaquin County. San Francisco: Bosqui Engraving Company. No date. Hand-tinted lithograph. 10 x 15 1 /4 inches. Owned by George West and Son, the winery was located between Stockton and Lodi. It depicts not only the grape fields but also men loading boxes of grapes into a horse-drawn wagon. The West’s home is seen in the background. Tipo. Italian Swiss Colony, Asti, California. No date. Chromolithograph. 11 x 21 inches. This oblong color advertising poster may have been used inside a bus, streetcar, or other form of public transportation. It depicts an inviting bottle of California Tipo red wine with a view of the winery in the background. The Vintage in California. At Work at the Wine Presses. By Paul Frenzeny. Harper’s Weekly, October 5, 1878. Hand-tinted wood engraving. 15 x 22 inches. Harper’s reproduced this double-page spread of an illustration by Frenzeny (1840-1902) depicting an iconic California scene: crushing grapes. The French artist came to California with Jules Tavernier from New York to San Francisco arriving in 1874. The engraving was hand-tinted at a later date. Frenzeny’s engraving has gained recent notice for its inclusion of Chinese vineyard workers. 20
California Raisins. W. H. Backusm, Riverside. San Francisco: Schmidt Label & Lithography Company, c. 1900. Chromolithograph. 19 x 9 inches. As demonstrated by this promotional piece, the warm setting of the Near East desert provided a motif to advertise California products. The print depicts three men and a woman walking alongside a camel in the desert; two women and children riding on a canopied platform on the camel’s back; and an Egyptian pyramid in the background. Schmidt Label & Lithography Company of San Francisco dominated the printed advertising industry during its heyday in the early part of the twentieth century.
The Great White Fleet:
The Pride of the Pacific in San Francisco Harbor, May 1908. San Francisco: William Diekelman. Chromolithograph. 14 x 38 3/4 inches. Printed by Schmidt Label & Lithography Company of San Francisco, this panoramic view portrays the warships of the Great White Fleet. Ships depicted in San Francisco Bay are the following: Kansas, Maine, Kearsarge, Ohio, Vermont, Connecticut (foreground), Kentucky, Louisiana, California, Georgia, Virginia, Minnesota, Missouri, So. Dakota, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Wisconsin, and Maryland. California State Library Foundation
Left: The arrival of the Great White Fleet in San Francisco Bay in 1908 was cause for much celebration. This print features its flagship, the U.S.S. Connecticut. Below: U. S. Twin Screw Steel Cruiser, “San Francisco,” 1889.
U. S. Twin Screw Steel Cruiser, “San Francisco”. San Francisco: Galloway Litho Company, c. 1891. Chromolithograph. 16 1 /2 x 28 3/4 inches. This steel-protected cruiser was the first to be named San Francisco. It was launched on October 26, 1889, from the Union Iron Works in San Francisco and commissioned the following year. The ship patrolled the coastlines of South America and Hawaii. Its length was 324 feet and it displaced 4,008 tons. The Navy decommissioned the warship in 1921.
Bulletin Number 89
Welcome to the Pacific Shores: U. S. Flagship “Connecticut.” San Francisco: Galloway Litho Company, 1908. Chromolithograph. 25 1/2 x 16 1/2 inches. Galloway Litho Company printed this full-color poster to celebrate the arrival of the flagship of the Great White Fleet. Called “The Pride of the Waters” the Connecticut led the fleet on its worldwide tour. The fleet arrived in San Francisco on May 6, 1908, weighed anchor on July 7, and continued across the Pacific.
Insure in the Fireman’s Fund Insurance Co. San Francisco: Bosqui Engraving Company, 1889. Chromolithograph. 19 x 14 3 /4 inches. The San Francisco insurance firm commissioned this gorgeous advertising poster dominated by a heroic fireman carrying a young girl out of the smoke and flames. The Bosqui Engraving Company, was one of the foremost color printers in the United States. [No title] Promoting Peruvian Bitters. San Francisco: Bancroft Lithograph Company, c. 1900. Chromolithograph. 8 1/4 x 10 inches. This remarkable bird’s-eye view of San Francisco is dominated by a mammoth bird flying over the bay carrying a sign advertising the product. Holbrook Block. San Francisco: Edward Bosqui and Company, c. 1880. Hand-tinted lithograph. 27 3/4 x 17 inches. Edward Bosqui and Company printed this striking image of one of San Francisco’s leading business blocks. Located at the corner of Market and Beale Streets, the four-story Italianate building served as the corporate headquarters of the import company of Holbrook, Merrill, and Stetson. The company was incorporated in 1882. It sold a variety of goods ranging from stoves to mining machinery. Shown in the print are a variety of transportation modes, including a freight wagon, cable car, carriages, and a man and woman on horse back. The April 1906 Earthquake and Fire ravaged the building. Dr. Mawdsley’s gift included not only the print but also an engraved Holbrook stock certificate and bill head. R. F. Osborn & Company Importers of Coach Hardware. San Francisco: George H. Baker, c. 1870. Chromolithograph. 14 x 11 inches. The well-known lithographic firm of George H. Baker created this colorful advertising broadside for R. F. Osborn & Company of San Francisco. It is a superb example of the lithographer’s art as it employed an impressive number of colors and type faces. Robert F. Osborn founded the San Francisco hardware company in 1864. 22
Designed to advertise Peruvian Bitters, this Bancroft chromolithograph features a bird flying over San Francisco.
California State Library Foundation
Above: This chromolithograph for Schuttler Wagons is a fine example of a company using the theme of the Westward Movement to advertise its products. Right: The San Francisco hardware company issued this elegant color broadside to promote its carriages and related products around 1870.
Compliments of Mitchell & Lewis [wagon] Co. By Gean Smith. New York and Chicago: Gray Lithograph Company, c. 1901. Chromolithograph. 20 1/4 x 30 1/4 inches. Such prints as this issued by a variety of companies helped create the concept of the mythic west with images of heroic settlers in sturdy Mitchell & Lewis Company wagons battling “Savage” Indians. The bright red wagon wheels add to the allure. Artist Gean Smith (1858–1928) of Texas was known for his equestrian paintings and illustrations. The Racine, Wisconsin, wagon company distributed this print as a souvenir. Bulletin Number 89
Old Reliable Schuttler Wagons. Presented by Schuttler and Holtz, Chicago. Cincinnati: Ackert & Henckel, c. 1900. Chromolithograph. 17 x 24 1/4 inches. The romantic view of Ute Pass depicts a stream of pioneers in their “Old Reliable Schuttler Wagons” entering the Promised Land. Ackert & Henckel of Cincinnati printed this chromolithograph probably from a painting commissioned by the Peter Schuttler Wagon Company. Ute Pass is a high mountain pass west of Colorado Springs, Colorado.
General Western Themes:
The Prairie Hunter, “One Rubbed Out!” By Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait. New York: N. Currier, 1852. Hand-tinted lithograph. 14 1/4 x 20 1/4 inches. Arthur Tait painted a series of Western scenes that Nathaniel Currier reproduced in large folio format. This lithograph is based in part on William Ranney’s earlier work The Trapper’s Last Shot. This dramatically colored lithograph is one of the rarest and most beautiful of the Currier prints. In 1857, Currier entered into a partnership with James Ives to form the famous firm of Currier & Ives. Together, they published over 7,000 images.
Above: Artist Louis Choris captured this dramatic scene of Native Americans dancing in front of Mission Dolores in 1816. Right: The Prairie Hunter by Arthur Tait is one of the rarest and most dramatic Nathan Currier prints of the legendary West.
View of Front Street, St. Louis. By John Casper Wild. 1840. Hand-tinted lithograph. 10 x 15 1/2 inches. Beautifully hand colored, this rare print depicts a bustling St. Louis waterfront with several riverboats moored on the banks of the Mississippi River. St. Louis was the jumping off place for several exploratory expeditions into the interior of the Transmississippi West. In the 1840s, it became a crucial outfitting center for pioneers heading to California and Oregon Territory. The artist Wild (1806–1846) was known for his topographical and landscape paintings and lithographs. According to urban historian John W. Reps, he produced some of the earliest known depictions of urban America in the nineteenth century.
Mountain Meadows, Utah Territory. By S. H. Redmond. San Francisco: Britton & Rey, c. 1860. Lithograph. 17 x 24 3/4 inches. Drawn by S. H. Redmond and printed and published by Britton & Rey of San Francisco, this tinted lithograph depicts a wagon train going through the rugged wilderness of southern Utah. On the far right is a group of Indians, possibly whites in disguise. An Arkansas emigrant train was attacked in September 1857 by Mormon militia with the assistance of Piute Indians. The Mormons feared an invasion of federal troops. California State Library Foundation
Hot Springs of Gardiner’s River, Yellowstone. By Thomas Moran. Boston: L. Prang & Co., 1876. Chromolithograph. 8 1/4 x 10 inches. Noted Western artist Thomas Moran (1837–1936) painted a series of spectacular views of the Yellowstone region for the great surveyor Professor Ferdinand V. Hayden. These, in turn, were published as chromolithographs by Louis Prang of Boston to illustrate Hayden’s great folio The Yellowstone National Park (1876). It ranks as one of the finest examples of color printing in the nineteenth century. Each color required a separate lithograph stone or a total of twenty-four stones per plate. Pioneer Camp, Salt Lake Valley, July 24th 1847. By John Hafen. Denver: Denver Lithograph Company, 1891. Chromolithograph. 14 x 26 inches. This colorful and romanticized print of a group of Mormon wagons was published in the Utah Monthly Magazine. Brigham Young and 147 Mormon pioneers arrived in the valley on July 24, 1847, a key date in the Mormon migration to Utah. This chromolithograph reproduces a painting by John Hafen (18561910) of Utah. Bulletin Number 89
[Untitled] Sketch Made for a Mural. By J. K. Ralston. No date. Pencil sketch. 4 1/2 x 15 1/2 inches. Jerry and Paul Covert of Billings, Montana commissioned the artist James Kenneth Ralston (1896-1987) to paint a mural for the offices of their insurance company. He drew this pencil sketch of a wagon and men on horseback in preparation for the larger work. Ralston, one of Montana’s premier artists, painted murals for the Custer Battlefield National Monument, Montana; Jefferson National Memorial Westward Expansion, St. Louis Missouri; and the Montana Historical Society. He specialized in intricate Western historical themes. “Don’t Fence Me In.” By Tom Phillips. No date. Pencil sketch. 7 1/2 x 12 inches. Western genre painter Tom Phillips (1927–2005) produced this pencil sketch of a settler’s wagon and a boy pulling back the barbed wire fence. A Native American, Phillips was born in Chickasaw, Oklahoma, and gained notice for his sketches and paintings of Hereford cattle ranches. Phillips presented this sketch to Dr. Mawdsley.
Mike Marlin Appointed Manager of Braille & Talking Book Library By Sandra Swafford
he Braille and Talking Book Library has a new Manager – Mike Marlin. He comes to us with a variety of library experiences as well as many ideas for strengthening and expanding services to BTBL patrons. Mike’s interest in all things audio began as a boy who listened to his parents’ entire record collection – from the Beatles to LPs of famous political speeches. As a high school student he interned at WPFW, the Pacifica station in Washington, DC doing anything and everything: duplicating programs, cleaning LPs, filing, etc. After graduating with a Communications degree from Brown University in 1986, he went to work in broadcasting, interning at KUSP-FM in Santa Cruz and then finding a job with a salary in Ketchikan, Alaska. Along the way he learned and practiced many aspects of radio programming and production (on-site remotes, radio theater, music collection development, and hosting jazz, rock, and spoken word radio shows). When his vision began to deteriorate due to retinitis pigmentosa, it became difficult to continue his work in broadcasting. Fortunately he remembered a seed planted earlier in his life when, as a circulation clerk for a public library, the director had suggested he attend library school. It was time to take this advice. After receiving his MLS (Master of Library Science) from the University of Washington in Seattle in 1992, he worked as a cataloging librarian for the National Park Service, as a reference librarian for the US Environmental Protection Agency, and managed a regional library for a Northwest environmental engineering consulting firm. However, his vision continued to decrease, eventually reaching the point when low-vision magnifiers were no longer adequate for maintaining employment. Mike sought re-training at the Washington Vocational Rehabilitation Department and since then has been involved primarily in library programs helping other people with disabilities. He has been a counselor aide at the Vocational Rehabilitation Department and was a temporary librarian at the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library where he helped develop Braille 26
and audio titles for the Northwest Collection and focused on letting people know about library services. He worked at the Seattle Public Library’s LEAP program teaching both individuals and classes on how to use assistive technology, and then worked at the Pima County Public Library in Tucson where he provided programming and outreach to a diverse community. Serving the public has always been an important value of Mike’s. “There are many people who could benefit from assistive devices but who are unaware of their availability. With baby boomers retiring and injured Iraq veterans returning to our communities the number of clients needing alternate reading formats and information on adaptive technology will surely increase,” he says. One of his goals as manager at BTBL will be to work closely with public, university, and other NLS network libraries as well as with physicians and other care providers. Partnerships with those groups can deliver information to this population letting them know that equipment and services are available and encouraging them to make use of this assistance. He plans to poll current patrons to find out their attitudes about present services and to make suggestions for new ones, for example book groups where members might use speaker phones for their discussions. With the National Library Service launching limited digital service in 2008 (combining a select group of books already available for download with forthcoming releases and some older books) and with plans for eventually digitizing our own Californiana talking book collection, Mike sees an opportunity for BTBL to plant its feet firmly in the digital lexicon. With the utmost reverence for analog machinery and respect for his customers’ familiarity with it, he stands ready to help steer BTBL forward into the productive regions of hyperspace.
Sandra Swafford is a Foundation board member and devoted volunteer and supporter of the Braille & Talking Book Library. California State Library Foundation
Recent Contributors A S S O C I AT E
Dr. Durlynn C. Anema, Valley Springs
Sharon & Robert Balmain, Woodland
Dean L. Mawdsley, MD, Hillsborough
Jane & Tom Apostol, Pasadena
Collin Clark, Sacramento
Sheila F. Thornton, Sacramento
William J. Barger, Pasadena
Mrs. Chee Fat, Sacramento
John R. Windle, San Francisco
Barbara Biebush, Santa Rosa
Jerrold & Wendy Franklin, Sacramento
Michael & Waltraud Buckland, Berkeley
Mr. & Mrs. Herbert J. Hunn, Clarksburg
In Honor of Stacy Aldrich Urban Libraries Council, Chicago, IL
Rosemary M. Corbin, Richmond
Mr. & Mrs. John Kallenberg, Fresno
Green Library, Stanford University, Palo Alto
William A. Karges, Carmel
Barbara Jane Land, San Francisco Laura Murra, Berkeley Bart Nadeau, San Francisco RICOH Americas Corporation, West Caldwell, NJ Cy Silver, Berkeley Edgar L. Weber, San Francisco Linda M. Wood, Oakland In Memory of Barbara Campbell Linda Wilson, Monterey Park In Memory of Jay Cunningham Linda Wilson, Monterey Park In Memory of Barbara Will Christian Esquevin, Coronado Paula Brown Peeling, San Diego Heather L. Pizzuto, Oceanside
Ron Lerch, Sacramento Virginia G. Livingston, Sacramento John A. Ohlson, West Sacramento Bruce C. Paltenghi, Lafayette Mr. & Mrs. James O. Schuyler, San Carlos Charlene Simmons, Davis Winifred C. Walters, Piedmont In Memory of Barbara Will Vera Skop, La Mesa
SPONSOR Mr. & Mrs. George Basye, Sacramento United Way Sacramento, Sacramento
B R A I L L E & TA L K I N G BOOK LIBRARY Ms. M. D. Banks, Oroville Morton & Constance Besen, Menlo Park Nancy J. Broderick, Santa Rosa Lee W. Champion, Orangevale Robert C. Combs, MD, Santa Rosa Judge Bill L. Dozier, Stockton Hiroshi Kashiwagi, San Francisco Robert D. Livingston, Sacramento Christina L. Petteruti, Travis AFB Richard H. Plant, Davis Rosemarie R. Potter, Napa Verena R. Walther, Modesto William H. Wheeler, Oakland
P AT R O N
Merry C. Yonce, Yuba City
Elizabeth E. Gibson, Sacramento
In Memory of Sidney L. Fouts Mrs. Zelma Fouts, Santa Rosa Margaret E. Bock, Santa Rosa Nancy Jane & Thurston Egan, Santa Rosa
Carol & John Jewell, Davis
In Memory Lucille Hart Darwin & Barbara Funke, State Center, IA
continued on next page Bulletin Number 89
B R A I L L E & TA L K I N G B O O K L I B R A R Y continued In Memory of Richard Schmitt Vaughn W. Abbott, Sunnyvale Patricia D. Biallas, Westmont, IL Diane M. Desmond, Royal Oak, MI Karen Ann McHenry, Chico Brandi & David Newcom, Portland, OR Mr. & Mrs. Terence Vaughan, Royal Oak, MI Mr. & Mrs. Gordon Wade, Weed In Memory of Henry J. Hustedt Mary E. Milton, San Leandro
L.J. & Dan Dillon, Fair Oaks Tom Dillwith, Hutchinson, KS EBSCO Industries, Birmingham, AL Jane Fox Corporate Art, Roseville Gerrilee Hafvenstein, Cameron Park Mary A. Helmich, Sacramento Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, MA Insignia Films, Inc., New York, NY Terry & Penny Kastanis, Sacramento
CALIFORNIA HISTORY Aronson & Glenn, LLC, Maplewood, NJ Dennis Blegen, Sacramento The Bookery, Placerville Robert Bothamley, Rancho Palos Verdes
Mrs. Ormond R. Lamson, Walnut Creek McGraw Hill Companies, Hightstown, NJ M. Patricia Morris, Sacramento
White-Thomson Publishing, Lewes, England Zazzle.com, Redwood City In Memory of E. Eugene Black, Sr. Mrs. Barbara Black, Sacramento In Memory of E. Eugene Black, Jr. Mrs. Barbara Black, Sacramento In Memory of Joseph Addison Cox, Jr. Robert & Mary Swisher, Sacramento In Honor of Lowell Horwedel Gary F. & KD Kurutz, Sacramento In Honor of Gary F. Kurutz Friends of the Library, Placerville Zamorano Club, Pasadena OCTA Western Trails Collection George W. Davis Fund of the Marin Community Foundation, Novato
Mary E. Mueller, San Jose Doyce B. Nunis, Jr., Los Angeles
Russell H. Pearce, III, Orinda
John Cormode, Mountain View
Pearson, Livonia, MI
Willett C. Deady, San Rafael
Photosearch, New York, NY
Dorothy Demange, Palo Alto
Richard L. Press, Sacramento
Stephen Harris, Ph.D., Berkeley Nevah A. Locker, San Francisco
Robert & Mary Commanday, Oakland
Publications International, Lincolnwood, IL
Coughlan Companies, Mankato, MN
Gary E. Strong, Los Angeles
D. Geraldine Davis, Shoreline, WA
Robert & Mary Swisher, Sacramento
Michael Dawson, Los Angeles
Burt Lee Thompson, Granite Bay
Jacquelyn S. Brinkley, Cameron Park Peter Browning, Lafayette David Burkhart, San Bruno Bruce Cave Fine Books, Citrus Heights Robert J. Chandler, Lafayette
Martha E. Whittaker, Concord Women Descendants of the Ancient & Honorable Artillery Company, Marysville
David Vaught, College Station, TX
California State Library Foundation