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

Friday, December 24, 2010