Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Three Misses From Minneapolis

To tidy up my posts about Minnesota seedswomen from around the turn of the 20th century, here are seed catalogs from the three from Minneapolis.

 The University of Minnesota has featured the three women's catalog art - Miss C. H. Lippincott,  Miss Jessie R, Prior  and  Miss Emma White.  I looked at Lippincott earlier this year.

Here are a few pages from the UM archive (above thumbs from their Pinterest page).
Visit the Andersen Horticultural Library's  Pinterest page for these and other worthwhile pins.

I am having an awful time finding out anything about Miss Jessie Prior.  Thanks to the University of Michigan we have a bit.

Check out that "finger spade" (above)!!  Is that cool, or what?!! 
 I wonder what people think it is when they find one at a flea market.

"The Andersen Horticultural Library collection is a rich resource for everyone from the weekend gardener planning a perennial border to the professional horticulturist. Its vast collection of nearly 20,000 books and 300 subscriptions to magazines, newsletters, and scientific journals provides information and inspiration—from the literature of horticulture, botany, landscape architecture, and local natural history to children's books and specialized horticultural research."                                 

Miss Emma White is easier to find full catalogs for and the catalogs give you starters for looking things up.  Below she mentions she bought out E. Nagel & Co.  Cashing in wisely on the popular conception at the time that women were more careful and honest seed dealers, Miss Emma emphatically emphasizes she is a woman. You go, girl!!

Link to UM Pinterest page...really full of fantastic, lush catalog covers.

1898 catalog issued by Miss Emma White (PDF download) was pixie filled and had no color.

By 1899 she had a marvelous color lithographed front and back cover.  Download PDF.

Below is the 1900 catalog cover.

I am confused on how little info pops up about these 3 seedswomen in business journals.  I have done an immense amount of focused research for two other projects over the last 10 years.  One project is all about antique outboard motors from the same period this blog focuses on - 1890s to 1920.  There is tons of mentions of the 50 or more companies I follow in trade mags, exhibition coverage, patents, magazines that cover new consumer goods, racing sports, commercial fishing,  and a weird assortment of other stuff, all in addition to the company catalogs.   Why Miss Lippincott is the only one I have so far found an article written about her business seems to say I just haven't stumbled on the right searches yet. Google Books is being more opaque than usual!  Burpee  was a great self promoter with books and articles, but what I like is third party mentions of business deals, expanisions, buy-outs, managers acquired from other companies; all the nitty gritty which is probably so boring to most people.  Over the years I found that there are always people that like what you do (which feels so very, very nice!) so it is worth documenting what calls to you.

My other projects are done for my husband who collects American  turn of the 20th century outboard motor ephemera and the motors themselves!  I have caught the bug insofar as my interest in documenting the European motors of the same period lets me weasel around the internet with a focus.   The sites are:

             • Jack Craib's Rowboat Motor Information Site

             • Jack Craib's Caille Outboard Motor Information Pages

Most of my interest is on the rowboat motors.  The Caille site is a research site to help people identify what model they have plus learn about the company.  The rowboat site is more interesting as it includes period articles (of which there were many), plus the many models of early motors are interesting if you are a gearhead :-)