COLLECTING: Diamond Dyes

JUST HATCHED FOR EASTER GIFT GIVING

Hot off the presses: Small Equals Keepsake box with image from a chromolithographed trade card from former  Burlington manufacturer Wells, Richardson & Co. Here are children painting their eggs with Diamond Dyes.

small equals keepsake box with image from Wells Richardson & Co, children painting easter eggs with Diamond Dyes

Small Equals Keepsake Box, paint your eggs with Diamond Dyes

For a tiny eco footprint...and less money than it would cost to send a dozen roses, why not send a box filled with seedbombs? Invest in the future with one small gift.

Available at Small Equals Online Shop HERE 


LAKE CHAMPLAIN VINTAGE POSTCARDS

This summer marks the 400th Anniversary of Samuel Champlain discovering  invading the body of water known by the Abenaki as Biawbagok - the waters in between, and by the Iroquois as Caniadari Guarunti, the door to the country. The hoopla over the quadricentennial of Lake Champlain now begins.

Ephemera fans can rejoice not in Native American images but in a bounty of European-American images produced over the last hundred or so years. Here are but a few I've collected:

Steamboat Vermont 1809 postcard 

Postcard. Steamboat Vermont. copyright 1909. PSAW ephemera collections

Steamboat Vermont postcard back 

Postcard back.

"This is a picture of the first Steamboat on Lake Champlain. (and the second in the World) It was built and launched at Burlington Vermont, in 1808, just 200 years after Champlain had entered its waters in a birch bark canoe.

The owners and builders were two brothers, John and James Winans; it was called the "Vermont;" and it was 120 feet long, 20 feet beam, 167 tons measurement; with an engine of 20 horse power, and commanded by Capt. John Winans"

Lake Champlain, steamer Ticonderoga, Lake Champlain, burlington 

Postcard. Steamer Ticonderoga.  Ephemera Collections PSAW.

Steamboat Ticonderoga web

The Ticonderoga is now at the Shelburne Museum, Shelburne VT.

"Built in Shelburne in 1906, it operated as a day boat on Lake Champlain serving ports along the New York and Vermont shores until 1953. In 1955, the Ticonderoga was moved two miles overland from the lake to Shelburne Museum in a remarkable engineering effort that stands as one of the great feats of maritime preservation."

Rock Point, lake champlain, huge rocks, tall rocks, rocks on shoreline, pink sunset, hand tinted postcard, vermont 

Rock Point, Lake Champlain. Postcard. PSAW ephemera collections

lake champlain, red rocks, auto 1910, women looking over fence, island lake champlain, burlington vt

Lake Champlain from Red Rocks. Postcard PSAW ephemera collections.

Red Rocks is about a mile from Pine Street Art Works. 

Diamond dyes, 1890's, children's clothing. clothing dye, burlington vt, wells richardson & Co, pug, girls with doll stroller, girls with little dog, girl carrying basket, park bench, sad girl, haughty girl 

Wells, Richardson & Co, Diamond Dyes Trade card. PSAW ephemera collections

Wells, Richardson & Co was a huge business in Burlington during the late 1800's up to the 1930's. I've always imagined that this image takes place at Red Rocks. See the Lake in the background?



COLOR SEPARATIONS

I was browsing around the website COLORlovers, looking at how they analyze color trends in magazine covers and blogs and I was inspired to take a look at the color trends in some of the art I've been looking at and posting lately.

Coloraid The last time I did something like this was when home computers were a gleam in their inventor's eye, during my first (and only) year at The School Of Visual arts in New York City in 1968. We used Color-aid paper. Yumm.

Now I use a design software that I love but almost nobody I work with has heard of. It's called Swift Publisher, and although it has only a fraction of the horsepower of Adobe Illustrator, which everyone recommends, I find it flexible and, best of all, I actually know how to use it.

Like most design software, it has a way to copy color from one place and put it in a designated location. Nifty. I depend on this feature for most of my digital color choices.

I did this mainly as a color exercise, but it turns out they're fun to do and quite nice to look at. I hope you enjoy them.

Colors of Jell-o for dessert
colors in Jello recipe booklet.

This Jell-o booklet was printed by chromolithography, which separates (and combines) colors in many many layers of printing plates, often dozens of layers. The way they combine, and the way the light hits the colors and the eye decodes the message is both subtle and tricky - think of a pointillist painting. So in this Jell-0 cover, it looks like there's lavender, but there isn't an actual lavender ink. These are the colors that separate and combine to make the final impression.


Colors of diamond dyes egg detail blog

Diamond Dyes booklet. Circa 1890's. Wells Richardson & Co. Burlington, VT

This is a detail from a Diamond Dyes chromolithographed booklet, circa 1890. The colors I've defined don't necessarily reflect the colors of ink that were used to make this chromo. I'm sure there's a way to figure that out, but darned if I know it. The colors I've extracted are from a digital scan, as all of these images are. The colors, at least on my screen, are faithful to the original, but they are still digitized. So if two layers of ink are superimposed - layered on on the other, they will read as a third color. Even to the scanner. Still, its quite interesting, I think.


Colors of kitchen american gas blog
Ad for American Gas Association, Saturday Evening Post 1940

This 1949 ad uses different printing technology. Using a four color printing process, the inks combine to create colors from only four colors: cyan, yellow, magenta and black. The finished print, of course, is defined by the original work, in this case a painting, probably guache.The colors of the kitchen are a simple yellow, blue and white palette. The greens are only in the out doors. I've written about this ad before in this blog. It's one of my favorites and I keep coming back to it. Also, the American Gas Association has a google notifier, and last time I posted this ad I got a really nice note from them, so if you are reading this from AGA, hello!

Color fields for liza leger

Liza Cowan aka Liza Leger from FAKE!Paintings by Liza Leger et. al.

This is a digital photo (by Dok Wright) of a painting by me, Liza. The colors are paint in the original, and they look pretty faithful to me. I paint using mixtures of only five colors: Cadmium yellow medium, cadmium red medium, cobalt blue, titanium white and black. I get my neutral grayish greens and etc. by mixing all three colors plus white.

I was having so much fun with my color game that I introduced it to my children. I showed them how to do it and they each came up with one.


Color fields wg

Photo by Liza Cowan 2002

Older daughter, WG, decided to do this photo I took of her many years ago. It was a digital capture, so the image was pixilated in it's inception. She chose to design her page with the colors right up against one another in different sizes.


Color M gw blog

detail from Alphabet Of Country Scenes. 1875, McLaughlin Bros. NY.

Younger daughter GW did this one, another chromo, and I love how she made the colors different sizes. Lively composition. I didn't discuss options of box sizes with the children, nor did we explore using different shapes or placement. We'll save that for another time.




DIAMOND DYES and WELLS, RICHARDSON & CO.

Wells:richardson building blog

The Wells Richardson Building on College Street is a Burlington, Vermont landmark. These days it houses Bennington Potters, but in it's heyday at the end of the 19th Century, Wells Richardson & Company patented, manufactured and distributed analyne dyes under the name of Diamond Dyes, as well as butter dye, baby food and proprietary medicines like Celery Compound.

Wells richardson butter color adPrint Advertising was a part of their marketing strategy. Before the advent of color ads in newspapers and magazines manufacturers and distributors relied on trade cards and medical pamphlets -featuring their own cures - to sell their products. These they made by the gajillion, and distributed nationwide. They would be distributed for free in retail stores or any public venue where they might drum up  business.  Trade cards were hugely collectible, even in those days, and would often end up in scrapbooks, which were also the rage. The trade cards and pamphletss were printed by chromolithography, and retain their brilliant colors to this day.

Two links in the above text are from The Library Collection of Philadelphia, which has great collections. Check out their website.

 

Images below are from the Liza Cowan Ephemera Collections.

Diamond dye kitchen stove
Diamond Dyes, Wells Richardson trade card. 1890's Vermont. Cowan ephemera collections.

 

Diamond dye kettle detail blog
Diamond Dyes Trade Card. Detail.

 

Diamond dyes cousin john's wife blog
Diamond Dyes booklet. Cousin John's Extravagant Wife, A Story. 1890'st. Cowan ephemera collections.

Diamond dye cousin john detail 2 blog


Diamond dye cousin john detail blog
Diamond Dyes booklet, detail.


Diamond dyes boys blog
Diamond Dyes. Unequaled for making Ink, or for color
ing any articles any color. Cowan ephemera Collections.


Diamond dyes boys detail blog

Diamond Dyes, detail.


Diamond dyes class tryptich blog
Diamond Dyes booklet, front and back covers. Cowan ephemera collections.

Diamond dyes egg color blog
Diamond Dyes, back cover detail. Dying Easter eggs.

 

Diamond dyes egg detail girl blog

Diamond Dyes, back cover detail. Easter eggs.

 

 

Diamond dyes class blog
Diamond Dyes booklet, front cover


Diamond dyes color your children's clothes detail blog
Diamond Dyes, back cover detail. Color your childrens clothes with  Diamond Dyes.


Diamond dyes detail girl with doll stroller log 

Diamond Dyes booklet, detail. She's sad because her clothes haven't been dyed with Diamond Dyes.

 

Lactated -girl in can blog
Wells, Richardson & Co. Lactated  Food.

 

Lactated food babies blue back 2 blog 

Wells Richardson & Co. Lactated Foods, What Are These Babies after. Die cut trade Card. Cowan ephemera collections.

 

Lactated food babies blue back 1 blog  

Wells Richardson & Co. Lactated food. Die  cut trade card. Cowan ephemera collections. The background here is blue because I scanned it on  a piece of blue paper. 

 

Lactated orange baby blog 

Wells  Richardson & Co Lactated food trade card. Cowan ephemera collections.

Paynes Celery Compound probably contained opiates or other drugs, which were perfectly legal. Before the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906, manufacturers didn't have to list ingredients or prove their effectiveness. This Wells Richardson & Company ad from the 1889 book from Burlington Business Association.

Wells:richarson celery blog

In this ad it is touted as a cure for Nervousness, one of the most "popular" diseases of the 19th Century middle class. Here is a link to a good post about 19th Century Nervousness from  the blog (what is this).

I did my Master's Thesis in Anthropology on 19th Century American Uterine diseases, in which I write a lot about middle class women and nervousness or neuresthenia. Someday I'll write more here about it.

Diamond dyes trade cards seen on SeeSaw a blog by liza cowan