Friday, December 31, 2010

A Toast with a Side of Humor: Happy New Year!

I've been hemming and hawing for days trying to figure out how to explain the lack of the new look many of you may have anticipated @ Months of Edible Celebrations. Well, guess what? I plum never got around to it. Rather, I spent the last couple of months getting "close-up and personal" with my cookbook collection. Specifically with the numerous advertising leaflets, pamphlets and recipe booklets nestled in sleeves and tucked in binders on my bookshelf.

In the coming months, I will be sharing with you what I uncovered during my encounter. My approach to cataloging this portion of my collection led me on a rather slippery goose chase yet, more often than not, I made it to bed before sunrise:)

On this final day of 2010, I would like to reintroduce you to one of my oldest "friends;" simply titled Toasts. Shaped like a beer stein, enveloped in a soft suede-like cover, Toasts was published by The Penn Publishing Company in Philadelphia in 1904 and compiled by author W.H. Rhoads. Apparently, popular, this edition was published in 1905. (click any image to read a toast from the past:)

I dug and I dug but unfortunately, with the exception of this copyright notice I found in The Cumulative Book Index (1908) I couldn't unearth any other evidence of Mr. Rhoads.
I did, however, discover another hidden treasure tucked inside this shapely book; Clare Victor Dwiggins.

Drawn by the name and the graceful style of Art Nouveau, I needed to unmask this illustrious artist, who inscribed his name as Dwig.

Here's what I uncovered.
  • Clare Victor Dwiggins was born June 16, 1874 in Wilmington, Ohio
  • Clare Victor Dwiggen's name is derived from a combination of his mother's love of County Clare in Ireland and famed author Victor Hugo.
  • Dwiggins was on a path toward a career in architecture but detoured into cartooning when his artwork was published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the New York World in 1897.
  • Dwig's first postcard designs were published by Raphael Tuck and Sons in 1903.
  • At the height of his career, 1902-1910, he created artwork for at least ten different publishers.
  • He also composed a number of nationally syndicated comic strips including Ophelia, Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer, Peter Tumbledown, School Days, and Footprints on the Sands of Time.

Happy New Year!

"On New Year's Day, 1802, President Thomas Jefferson received a gift of mythic proportions. Amid great fanfare, a "mammoth" Cheshire cheese was delivered to the president's House...According to eyewitnesses, its crust was painted red and emblazoned with Jefferson's favorite motto: "Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God." (read more...)
Cumulated Book Index
The Clare Victor Dwiggins Papers, UCLA (the collection consists of original cartoons, scrapbooks, newsclippings & ephemera by & about Clare Dwiggins.)
Sheet Music Cover Art History


  1. happy new year louise - sounds like you have been having fun while taking time out from blogging - hope to hear about more of your discoveries in the new year - meanwhile I hope you are enjoying your toasts!

  2. Hello, hello, hello! Welcome back to blogging, Louise. Can't wait to read about all your discoveries, too. And, of course, Happy New Year!

  3. I'm delighted to see that you are back as you promised -- happy New Year and I'm looking forward to reading lots of fun history in 2011. And thanks for the New Year's greetings you sent me.

    Best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

  4. Happy New Year Louise, and welcome back. I wouldn't worry too much about those "best laid plans," your blog is terrific just as it is! A great way to start off my new year is with one of your interesting posts.

  5. Happy New Year! Your blog is very nice and doesn't need to be changed a bit! We're just happy to hear from you again. Your posts are always so interesting, fun, and informative, can't wait to see what the future brings. :0)

  6. What fun! Thank you for sharing some of the adventure with us. Happy 2011!

  7. Happy New Year, Louise! Dare I ask ... does this mean you're back? I hope so! (Boy, I would have loved to have been Jefferson and received a mammoth piece of cheese yesterday!

  8. Hi everyone! Thank you for your warm "lovins." I missed you "guys" also. I have a feeling 2011 is going to be a scrumptious year!

  9. Happy New Year! Love the old fashioned toasts!

    I like:

    Here's to you, as good as you are.
    And here's to me, as bad as I am.
    As bad as I am and as good as you are..
    I'm as good as you are, as bad as I am.

  10. Glad you are back blogging. Happy new year to you!

  11. Love these ! Is a lovely post!! Have a lovely and happy New Year!! gloria

  12. I'm so sorry I haven't dropped in before this! Happy New Year, Louise; I'm glad to see you back!

  13. Thank you everyone! it sure is good to be back. The world of blogging is truly amazing.

    I know I may be just a wee bit prejudice but I think food bloggers are the tops on the muffin!!!

    Thank you!!!


Through this wide opened gate,
none came too early,
none returned too late.

Thanks for dropping in...Louise