COLLECTING: Wells, Richardson & Co.

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 


SMALL EQUALS KEEPSAKE BOXES

Keepsake box, small equals, chicken painting by Liza CowanSmall Equals Keepsake Box, chicken painting by Liza Cowan
For those readers who have been enjoying my ephemera and my art over the years - I'm now putting them on the Keepsake Boxes I've been developing for the past couple of years.
I have the boxes made for me in Vermont, of Vermont pine, so they are lovely and local. Small footprint for me, please. Vermont Wooden Box, the company that manufactures the boxes, is a tiny outfit on a dirt road about an hour's drive from my studio. Feels just right to me.
Box-sew_to_the_moon_for_store
Small Equals Keepsake Box. Sew To The Moon. Cowan Ephemera Collections
I know there are a lot of needle pack lovers out there, and these make great sewing kits.  See more about needlepack HERE on this blog.
Box lacted food open
Small Equals Keepsake Box, Wells Richardson Lactated Food, Cowan Ephemera Collections

You can read more about Wells Richardson & Co. HERE on this blog.


Small Equals Keepsake Box, Trumpet Vine, photo Liza Cowan
These boxes and more are available at the Small Equals Online Store HERE

 


INTERVIEW WITH LIZA COWAN AT THE BLOG "EPHEMERA"

diamond dyes, easter, trade card, chromolithograph,  Ephemera is one of my favorite blogs. The impressario (host/blogster)  Marty Weil interviewed me recently and the post went up today. Check it out, and keep it bookmarked because there's always something fascinating going on there for all of you ephemera lovers. 

Here's a snippet:

"One of the ways I use ephemera differently than many people is that I work a lot with details. I love to see what happens when a small portion of the item is isolated and enlarged, so you will often see details on my blog and in the reprints. My photography is often about small abstracted details of larger objects, so it's not a big stretch to see how I come to love the abstracted details of printed images. "


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.