Leap Year Ladies of Laughter

For Leap Day 2012, Prints & Photographs proudly presents an 1896 circus poster for Adam Forepaugh & Sells Brothers Enormous Shows Combined which promotes the Leap Year Ladies of Laughter. As “the only clown women who wear the comic crown,” these alliterative ladies are said to have a comedic touch as “variable as the shade […]

A Window on the Bolshevik Revolution

When James Maxwell Pringle departed for Russia in November 1917, his intent was to visit the Petrograd (St. Petersburg) branch of his employer, National City Bank. His business trip turned into an unexpected window on the Bolshevik Revolution. Arriving in Petrograd in the days just after the October Revolution, when Bolshevik forces overthrew the Russian […]

Happy Valentine’s Day

In honor of Valentine’s Day, here is a vintage 1883 advertisement for Prang’s Valentine Cards which shows a woman holding a group of tethered cherubs, who float like a bunch of balloons above her head. The advertisement also shows that the sale of Valentine’s greetings has been of commercial importance for well over a century. […]

A Poster Comes to Life

“Meet an American soldier of production. … His uniform is a pair of overalls and a welder’s mask. Not reveille, but a battered alarm clock awakens him six days a week at 6 a.m. There are no service stripes on those welder’s sleeves he wears but his part in the winning of this war is […]

Robert Burns Day: Haggis, Anyone?

“Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face, Great chieftain o’ the pudding-race!” (Robert Burns, Address To A Haggis) I hope you’ve already begun preparing your Burns Supper, because today is Robert Burns Day, and it takes several hours to make a proper haggis! If the prospect of dinner cooked in a sheep’s stomach does not appeal, […]

Chinese New Year Greetings

The following is a guest post by Brett Carnell, Acting Head, Technical Services Section, Prints & Photographs Division. Here’s wishing you a happy Chinese New Year. We usher in the Year of the Dragon with a photo from 100 years ago showing two men toasting the new year in New York’s Chinatown. Running for fifteen […]