Monday, March 3, 2008

Brooks Glace Spool Cotton

You never know what you're going to find when you browse the internet. This paper doll was posted on a Web site with a remarkable story: a man found an interesting box in a Dumpster, took it home, but didn't open it for six months. When he finally got around to opening the box, he discovered a treasure trove of ephemera dating from the 1870s - 1890s belonging to one Charles Steele of Newton, NJ. Mr. Steele was an engineer, and his box contains ephemera pertaining to his work, as well as photographs of long ago theatre stars, playbills, baseball letters, advertising cards (including the one paper doll posted here) and more.

See and click on the link in the left column labeled "the box" for the full story. The man who found this treasure, Mark Forder, scanned in many images; there are a handful of bad links, which I think means he might have sold those items, but he also hasn't updated this site in many years. Luckily, the site and many good links still exist. He also did some excellent research on old time theatre stars.

Here are some other items here that I found fascinating:
Lulu Prior played Little Eva in a production of Uncle Tom's Cabin.

An excursion to Coney Island during its heyday.

A playbill from 1874.

Emily Rigl was a ballet dancer in the original production of The Black Crook, considered by historians the first Broadway musical.

Lotta Crabtree was an actress who also amassed a fortune of $4 million in her lifetime.

An ad for mechanical dolls.

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