THE CALIFORNIA CURRENT NEWSLETTER

MAY 2013
CLEO MUSES: COMMERCIAL CATALOGS
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"The comforts of home while on the road are assured to all owners of Mendel Wardrobe Trunks," customers of Cincinnati’s Mendel & Co. read in the tenth edition of the J. Prince Trunk Co. catalog. "No wearisome packing or unpacking. Everything in sight when you open the trunk and every garment accessible without disturbing any other garment." The pages above depict the Mendel Make wardrobe trunk - "the best wardrobe trunk made" - in its closed position, along with a warning to avoid imitations that don't bear the company's triangle brand. "Demand our name plate and label as shown above," the company urged. A range of styles offered in this catalog ensured that every traveler could be "at home on the road."
    Hundreds of commercial catalogs dating from the 1850s to the 1950s are found in the collections of the California Historical Society. From gardens to farm equipment to terra-cotta tile, they offer a wealth of information to an endless variety of researchers: architectural preservationists, fix-it hobbyists, and landscape historians among them. Fun and quaint to the untrained eye, to those seeking real data or period observations about society, catalogs are the ultimate primary source.
hollywoodland 3   indian papoose with poppies 6   eBook
California Past & Present(ly) Processed
 
Roar back to 1920s Hollywoodland. These unique photographs document real estate development in the hills and canyons of Hollywood, Los Angeles. Newly built homes and roads under construction dramatically altered the landscape of the fast-growing metropolis from 1924 to 1929.
  ONLINE NOW:
MAY FLOWERS


April showers or not, California poppies find a way to sprout up all over the Golden State this time of year. Enjoy some fine examples of botanical beauties captured on canvas from the CHS collections online at the Bridgeman Art Library.
  Digitizing History:
an app for that


The approach of the 76th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge on May 27th is the perfect time to download our free eBook A Wild Flight of the Imagination: The Story of the Golden Gate Brige. One reviewer praised, “This app presents a beautiful, vivid history of our favorite landmark.”
 
 
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