New Objects up for Adoption!

Due to the popular demand for “orphans” in our 2013 Adopt-a-Book online catalog, we have recently added twenty new titles for you to review.  All of these new items are priced below $200 and the group includes material from the  books, newspapers, children’s literature, manuscripts and graphic arts departments.

Here are two examples from the new additions that celebrate warmer climates and the arrival of spring (both things that we need here in Worcester, to date the snowiest city in America this winter!)

Orange you glad I’m up for adoption?

Adopt me for $75

Aurantia Grove, Indian River, East Florida. Springfield, MA: Clark W. Bryan & Co., ca. 1871.

The text on this circular promotes raising oranges for investment in the balmy Florida climate. Located northwest of Cape Canaveral, Aurantia Groves was typical of late-nineteenth-century Florida developments. Speculators bought up land and created lots for resale. Groves of orange trees were planted and could be managed from a distance, with a small financial investment. The circular lays out the details of prospective income and uses testimonials from previous investors as proof of success. They even quote Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Palmetto Leaves. An editor of a newspaper in Springfield, Massachusetts (where this circular was published) wrote glowingly of a Mr. A.S. Dickinson’s investment in Aurantia, which resulted in 100 boxes of oranges being shipped north in January and sold for 70 cents per pound.

A “Tweet” Children’s Book

Adopt me for $50

The Child’s History of Birds. New York: Mahlon Day, 1837.

Quaker publisher Mahlon Day (1790-1854) was among the most prolific children’s book publishers in antebellum America. This picture book features wood engravings of birds commonly seen by American children, including this description of the Cuckoo, the herald of spring. The description quotes from a poem about the bird from The Juvenile Album (also issued by Day).

Don’t forget we are holding our evening Adopt-a-Book event at the Society on Friday, April 5, 2013 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.  The curators will be displaying fifty more objects for potential adoption.  If you have pre-adopted from the online catalog, admission is free to this event, otherwise $10 at the door.  Come and hear the curators speak about recent acquisitions made possible through the Adopt-a-Book program, nibble delicious food generously provided by Struck Catering, and look over wonderful American books, colorful prints, and important newspapers and manuscripts.  We hope to see you there!

Published by

Lauren Hewes

Andrew W. Mellon Curator of Graphic Arts, American Antiquarian Society

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