Category Archives: Ephemera

The first eight Surgeons-General of the United States Navy

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, The Maltine Company of Brooklyn published a series of pamphlets advertising the company to the general public through interesting facts and medical history. This was the first, ca. 1898, listing the Surgeons-General of the U.S. Navy.

William P.C. Barton (1786-1856), Princeton Class of 1805, studied medicine at the University of Pennsylvania before entering the Navy at the age of 23 as a surgeon. The portrait below left is by Thomas Sully (1783-1872), depicting Barton in his first uniform [Philadelphia Museum of Art]. The artist of the portrait used by the Maltine Company is not identified.

Besides teaching and practicing medicine, Barton was a talented botanical illustrator, publishing: Vegetable Materia Medica of the United States or, Medical botany: containing a botanical, general, and medical history, of medicinal plants indigenous to the United States (Philadelphia: M. Carey & Son, 1817-1818). Graphic Arts Collection 2015-0057Q


A Flora of North America. Illustrated by coloured figures, drawn from nature by William P.C. Barton (Philadelphia: M. Carey & sons, 1821-23). Graphic Arts Collection 2015-0055Q

According to Appletons’ Cyclopaedia, the U. S. Naval Bureau of Medicine and Surgery was organized by Barton and he was the first chief clerk of that Bureau, appointed in 1842 by President John Tyler. Although the post of Surgeon General of the Navy wasn’t created until 1871, Barton is considered the first to hold the Navy’s senior position.

Surgeon-Generals of the Navy
William P. C. Barton 1842–1844
Thomas Harris 1844–1853
William Whelan 1853–1865
Phineas J. Horwitz 1865–1869
William Maxwell Wood 1869–1871
Jonathan M. Foltz 1871–1872
James C. Palmer 1872–1873
Joseph Beale 1873–1877

Notre-Dame Cathedral in silent films

The Graphic Arts Collection of French silence movies from the 1920s holds several films that include images of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Two are documentaries and one is a movie about several tourists on holiday [see above]. Each of these can be downloaded to your own media device, if you like. Because the title frames are held for a long time (our first attempt at digitization), you might want to fast forward to get to the pictures.

For more information about the collection or to search it by key work, use this link:

Grand jeu de l’histoire de Paul et Virginie

Grand jeu de l’histoire de Paul et Virginie. Avec figures coloriées (France, after 1863). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2019- in process

The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired a scarce set of playing cards inspired by Bernardin de Saint-Pierre’s popular novel Paul et Virginie, first published in 1788. The cards are housed in a mid-nineteenth-century romantic paneled cloth binding, ornately decorated with gilt and colored detailing. The central panel on the front cover has been cut away to enclose a further colored vignette and title caption from the playing cards.

Rare book dealer and historian Amanda Hall determined that the previous occupant of the binding was “Madame Wolliez’ Souvenirs d’une mère de famille, a collection of educational stories that was first published in 1833 but which continued in print through to the end of the century. This seems most likely to have been a publisher’s binding issued by the booksellers Mame in Tours for their ‘fifth’ edition of 1863. Madame Wolliez’ work has been removed from its binding and is has been replaced by these beautiful playing cards, each separately mounted.”


The date of this collection is hard to judge but might be sometime after 1863, given the binding. OCLC suggests a date of 1815 but the Morgan Library copy has a watermark of the Dambricourt paper mill suggesting that it was created around 1834. “Some of the unsigned etchings can be traced back to the first illustrated edition of 1789, containing plates after Moreau le Jeune and Joseph Vernet.”–Morgan, Corsair online catalog.

It has been suggested that the cards were the work of Jean-Charles Pellerin at Epinal: “Dès 1800, Pellerin inaugure sa longue série d’illustrations du roman [de Bernardin de Saint-Pierre] avec son Grand jeu de l’Histoire de Paul et Virignie” (see François Cheval and Thierry-Nicolas C. Tchakaloff, Souvenirs de Paul et Virginie, 1995, p. 153). Paul Toinet, however, ascribes them to the celebrated artists and engravers of rue Saint Jacques in Paris (see Toinet, Répertoire bibliographique et iconographique de Paul et Virginie, no. 742).

Both the Morgan Library and Yale University record copies of the twenty-five cards printed on a single sheet. There are also copies in the Musée Léon Dierx de Saint Denis de la Réunion and at the Rouen Musée national de l’éducation.


The novel tells the story of Paul and Virginia, who are raised as brother and sister by two widows. Both mothers agree to marry the two children when they are old enough. Virginia’s aunt proposes to send her niece to France. Virginia accepts, though she is heartbroken to leave Paul, whom she loves. Two years later, she sails back to Mauritius Island, but her ship is pushed against reefs by a tempest and Paul fails to save her. Shortly after, he dies from grief.

In The French Revolution: A History, Thomas Carlyle wrote: “[It is a novel in which] there rises melodiously, as it were, the wail of a moribund world: everywhere wholesome Nature in unequal conflict with diseased, perfidious art; cannot escape from it in the lowest hut, in the remotest island of the sea.”


Board games on view

Ellen Liman, Georgian and Victorian Board Games: the Liman Collection. Arthur L. Liman, foreword; A. Robin Hoffman, introduction (New York: Pointed Leaf Press, 2017). Graphic Arts Collection -On order


Our colleagues at the Yale Center for British Art are presenting the exhibition Instruction and Delight: Children’s Games from the Ellen and Arthur Liman Collection, on view through May 23, 2019. Please forgive the dark cell phone photography here, which doesn’t do justice to this bright and colorful show.

Curated by Elisabeth Fairman, Chief Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts at the Center, with the assistance of Laura Callery, Senior Curatorial Assistant, they note:

By the beginning of the eighteenth century in Britain, parents and teachers had begun to embrace wholeheartedly a suggestion from the philosopher John Locke (1632–1704) that “Learning might be made a Play and Recreation to Children.” The material culture of this period, and the subsequent generation, reveals a significant shift in thinking, as adults found fresh value in childhood and in play for its own sake. British publishers leapt at the chance to design books and games for both instruction and delight. This small display celebrates the recent gift of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century children’s games and books to the Center by Ellen and Arthur Liman,

Happily, many of these rare and fragile games are also available to students in the collections of Princeton University Library.

See also:
Francis Reginald Beaman Whitehouse, Format Table Games of Georgian and Victorian Days. Revised 2nd ed (Royston (Herts.), Priory Press Ltd., 1971). Cotsen Children’s Library GV1243 .W59 1971

Giochi dell’Oca e di percorso by Luigi Ciompi & Adrian Seville:



Lew Ney comes to Princeton

The Greenwich Village printer, publisher, and celebrated bohemian Lew Ney (born Luther E. Widen, 1886-1963) left over 100 of his books and small magazines to the Princeton University Library without a clue as to why, having no known attachment to the institution or its faculty. A recent discovery may shed a small light on this question.

On November 1, 1920, Lew Ney (pronounced looney) and his friend Emil Luft traveled to Princeton where they stopped for the night, sleeping on the floor in the office of the Daily Princetonian, before traveling on to Trenton to visit Dr. Henry A. Cotton (1876-1933). As the director of the New Jersey State Hospital, Cotton experimented with unusual treatments to cure insanity, of particular interest to Lew Ney, who used to commit petty crimes and plead insanity, in order to interview the patients at various asylums.

The details of this trip were recorded by Lew Ney himself who had begun publishing a series of news sheets, typed and mimeographed on rented equipment, which he would personally distribute around Greenwich Village. His first attempts were The Village Gossip and Atmosphere, which both came and went in 1919. The following year, he began The Vagabond, illustrated by Emil Luft. “This was a vagabond’s newspaper,” he declared, “a daily diary of a damn dead-for-sure Bohemian.”

Until recently only one issue of The Vagabond was known to have survived, held in Widener Library at Harvard University and dated August 23, 1920. Thanks to a visiting researcher, a second issue of The Vagabond dated November 1, 1920, has been discovered, saved by Richard Halliburton, Princeton Class of 1921, who served on the editorial board of The Daily Princetonian and became chief editor of The Princetonian Pictorial Magazine (The PIC) [Halliburton papers C0247].

The issue describes in detail the men’s journey to Princeton, their adventures along the way, and one entire page in which Lew Ney insists his readers subscribe to the various Princeton newspapers. He writes “The Princeton Pictorial, also known as PIC. Edited by another vagabond, managed by a hobo, and pictured by a tramp. Moreover the best paper of its kind in the world. Is full of vagabondia, pictures, and free advertising for Ford, Cookstours, Herlick’s Malted Milk tablets, … and such.” This praise might be repayment for Halliburton’s friendship during their visit.

“Fortune smiled on Emil and I when we met Dick Halliburton, managing editor of the PIC at the Frenchman’s lunch room past midnight [elsewhere described as “a lunch room where French is spoken free and lunches served a la carte. We eat 95¢ worth”]. Emil made a sketch of Dick on page 3. He waited for us to finish our saw dust and milk and then led us away to his office. I moved or removed our bulky baggage [to] the Princetonian’s office and suggested to him that I wanted to make a stencil and he invited both of us to remain as long as we cared to. He stuck around himself until 2:30 a.m. and then went home to spend an hour telling his room-mate all about us.

Emil helped himself to a bath in the basement and came up ready for bed as soon as Dick left. And so I spread out the blanket on the bare floor, put a chair against the door, and put out the lights. At eight I was up and banging away on the typewriter again. The janitor entered and grinned when he saw Emil’s bare feet, and several students came to the door for information. One intimated that Dick might have invited us to his club, where there is lots of room – on the floor. We were satisfied with our lot, however, I for one preferring floors to beds.”

There is no other recorded contact between Lew Ney and Halliburton, who was lost at sea and presumed dead in 1939. However, this visit may have had a lasting impression on the Greenwich Village bohemian and may have been one small influence in his final bequest to the University.
See more:
Daily Princetonian, Volume 7, Number 13, 6 October 1928 — WELL KNOWN PRINCETON GRADUATE SWIMS THE PANAMA CANAL; Richard Halliburton Had to Pay His Tonnage Through the Locks to Be Allowed to Swim From the Atlantic to the Pacific Like Other Steam-boats.

Programmes of the Theatre Royal, Haymarket, for the Season of 1836

The Graphic Arts Collection has been given, on deposit, 135 programs from the Theatre Royal, Haymarket, for the Season of 1836. The bound set is inscribed from the actor and playwright Sir Edward Seymour Hicks (1871-1949), best known for the role on stage and screen of Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol.

Our thanks to Bruce Willsie, Class of 1986, for finding and donating this volume. Here are a few samples assumed to have been collected and bound by Hicks:


Jeu d’Ovide

Jeu d’Ovide ou de Métamorphoses = The Game of Ovid or the Metamorphosis, ca. 1923. Graphic Arts Collection 2019- in process


This early 20th-century transformation game is played by rotating 18 wooden joysticks to change various facial features and create an almost unlimited series of profiles or expressions. The complex device won the Grand Prize at the 1923 Lépine Competition in Paris.

Louis Jean-Baptiste Lépine (1846-1933), Prefect of the Paris police,  established this annual competition for inventors, originally intended to encourage small toy manufacturers but expanded to include a wide variety of innovations.

The 118th edition of the Concours Lépine Show will take place April 27 to May 8, 2019 at the Foire de Paris in the Porte de Versailles. If you wish to enter, you can download information here. Applications should be mailed to: Lépine competition, 12, Rue Beccaria, 75012 Paris France






From 1903 to 1917, the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) served as the leading militant organization campaigning for women’s rights in London. Run exclusively by women, the WSPU was dedicated to political action and civil disobedience led by Emmeline Pankhurst (1858-1928) and her daughters Christabel and Sylvia.

The game’s title, “Pank-a-Squith,” comes from a combination of the names Emmeline Pankhurst and Prime Minister H.H. Asquith, the two major players in the struggle.

Fighting for women’s suffrage, members became known as the suffragettes, represented here in the six figures making their way around this 1909 board game sold to help raise money for the WSPU. Each of the women carries a rolled petition, traveling from the first square representing home and family to the winning square of the Houses of Parliament.

Along the way, there are arrests, hunger strikers, and many other setbacks. This game, recently acquired by the Graphic Arts Collection with the help of Sara Howard, the Program in Gender & Sexuality Studies librarian, also includes the rare instruction sheet outlining the consequences of landing on each square.

Pank-a-Squith [board game.] (Germany: [Women’s Social and Political Union, 1909]) Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2019- in process.


See also: Elizabeth Crawford, The women’s suffrage movement: a reference guide, 1866-1928 (New York: Routledge, 2001). Firestone JN979 .C73 2001


German Prospectors in California

Fortuna im Goldlande oder das Lustige Kleeblatt in Californien. Unterhaltendes Gesells chaftsspiel. Nürnberg: Verlag von J.L. Lotzbeck, [n.d., c. 1855]. Hand-colored lithograph and illustrated board, folding down into the original card slipcase with a hand colored label. Graphic Arts Collection 2019- in process


On the morning of January 24, 1848, James Wilson Marshall discovered gold on John Sutter’s property in California and the American Gold Rush began. Within a year, the ’49ers flooded the area in search of their fortune, traveling from across the United States and as far as Europe. Few men and women were successful, but a game was produced around 1855 to allow the German public to join with these optimistic prospectors.


Fortuna im Goldlande oder das Lustige Kleeblatt in Californien = Fortune in the Gold Land or the funny shamrock in California was first published by the Nuremberg publisher Johann Ludwig Lotzbeck (1816-1886) and very successful, given advertisements in local newspapers. The game takes you along with four German friends, who are traveling to California in search of gold. Along the way, they (you) encounter Native Americans and various wild animals (lions, crocodiles, bears, etc.), eventually digging for gold with unusual tools. If you make it to the center point, riding an ostrich or a lion, the goddess of fortune will pour your gold out of two cornucopias.

For more information, see Norbert Finzsch and Michaela Hampf: “’Fortuna in the Gold Land: or the funny shamrock in California.’ Rhenish emigrants in California, 1830 to 1900,” Schöne Neue Welt, 2001, pp. 237-57.


A Slap at Slop


The Lenny Bruce of the early nineteenth century, William Hone (1780-1842) was a radical comic writer and publisher who joined forces with the visual artist George Cruikshank (1792-1878) to expose and ridicule abuses in British politics as well as the news media supporting the conservative government.

Hone was charged with three counts of libel in 1817 but brilliantly acquitted of all charges citing his use of parody. It wasn’t a crime to be funny.


One of the greatest but least celebrated publications issued by the two men was a serial news sheet titled A Slap at Slop, lampooning the work of John Stoddard, publisher of The Times and The New Times newspapers.

Along with two variant editions of A Slap at Slop, the Graphic Arts Collection holds Hone’s personal copy of Factiae and Miscellanies (1827), a collection of 14 of his tracts and 120 engravings by George Cruikshank, which includes Hone’s manuscript annotations, autograph letters, newspaper clippings, and a likenesses of William Hone and George Cruikshank. These came to Princeton thanks to the astute collecting and generous gift of Richard W. Meirs, Class of 1888 and Gordon A. Block Jr, Class of 1936.

Rather than talk about their work, here are some examples (obviously just a taste) reproduced hopefully large enough for you to read the hilarious texts for yourself:





George Cruikshank (1792-1878), A Slap at Slop and the Bridge-Street gang: Royal cuckoo clock, 1821. Pencil drawing for the Royal Cuckoo Clock, with inscription in George Cruikshank’s hand “Reward for the discovery of the Royal Society–south of the pendulum of England”. References: Cohn 749. Graphic Arts Collection GC022/George/Drawings

William Hone (1780-1842), A Slap at Slop and the Bridge-Street Gang (London: Printed by and for William Hone, 1822). Illustrations by George Cruikshank. Graphic Arts Collection Cruik 1819.41

William Hone (1780-1842), A Slap at Slop and the Bridge-Street Gang; with twenty-seven cuts (London: Printed by and for William Hone, 1822). Illustrations by George Cruikshank. Graphic Arts Collection Cruik 1817.28

William Hone (1780-1842), A Slap at Slop and the Bridge-street gang ([London, W. Hone, 1821]) 5th edition; 26 illus. by G. Cruikshank. “By a closer setting of the material, room is made for an extra illus. and over a column and a half on the Queen’s death. Included also is an octavo sheet with 4 original pencil sketches with explanations, 3 of them from “A slap at slop.” The two issues and the drawings inserted in a red cloth wrapper and slip case. Graphic Arts Collection Cruik 1821.28

William Hone (1780-1842), Factiae and Miscellanies. With one hundred and twenty engravings drawn by George Cruikshank (London: Published for W. Hone by Hunt and Clarke, 1827). A collection of 14 of Hone’s tracts gathered together and published under the above title. There is an additional woodcut on the title representing two men seated at a table. These are likenesses of William Hone and George Cruikshank. Laid in: “The queen’s matrimonial ladder / printed by William Hone, Ludgate Hill, London. Price (with the pamphlet) One shilling.” 30 x 6.5 cm., folded to 15.5 x 6.5, on cardstock. Provenance: The author’s copy, containing his ms. annotations, with autograph letters bound in, and newspaper clippings laid in. Front free endpaper has trial title page, entitled “A history of English parody …” Annotations by George T. Lawley, noting he purchased the volume from Hone’s family. Graphic Arts Collection Cruik 1827.61