Saturday, August 23, 2014

Vegetable Garden Harvest Humor from Iowa

A neighbor just stopped by and gave me bags of string beans and tomatoes and cucumbers from their garden.  He keeps many families in fresh vegies all summer! Gordon said a pumpkin he threw out into the field last year for the chickens to play with had been so successful in sprouting this spring that his pumpkin harvest is his best ever!  They are so big his neighbors have to drive over and get their pumpkins!!

Photographic exaggeration postcards are really common so these good humored drawings caught my eye as I cruised eBays postcards one year.  The top one was mailed in 1914. I assume they were drawn by the same hand.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Vegies With Attitude

I hope you enjoy these!  I'm off to school to set up my art room.  I got moved around at the last minute last June and need to rebuild my kingdom :-)  Art teachers in elementary school have tons of "stuff" since we deal with kindergarten through 5th grade!  The trick is knowing what you have on hand AND where it is.  I had my last storage room for 25 years...and now I am unpacking into a new place, new configuration, etc.  Think of all the dendritic growth my brain is working on!!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Very Self-possessed Gardener - New Yorker Cover

I'm busy ferreting out some stuff about engravings in seed catalogs in Philadelphia AND getting ready to start the new school year... argh... I need to clone me!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

TheTalented Mr. Frauenberger of Rochester

George Frauenberger Leaves His Mark

 history Rochester's notable people mentions the talented Mr. Frauenberger in the section on engravers of wood and copper.  Both Briggs & Bro. and Vick's used his services.
Autumn of 1866, Vick's Illustrated Catalogue of Hardy
Bulbs and Floral Guide included one brightly hand-colored,
 wood engraving "by George Frauenberger,
expressly for Vick's Bulb Catalogue".
"The earliest wood-cut engraver here was Martin Cable. He made a few coarse wood-cuts of our early newspaper offices, for show-bills, etc. He has left no record by which his fame could be perpetuated. V. R. Jackson commenced engraving here about 1835. He engraved on copper and wood; also the first copper-plate map of the city was made by him about the year 1840. He did a large amount of work on wood, and was a man of decided talent in his profession. About 1845 Charles Mix came here and formed a copartnership with John Miller, under the name of Miller & Mix.  This firm for a number of years were the only engravers here. They executed first- class work on steel, copper and wood, and acquired a good reputation as artists. Miller moved away, and Mix continued the business for a time, when he was succeeded, in 1850, by George Frauenberger, who, as engraver on wood or copper, as a draughtsman in mechanical drawing, and as a horticultural draughtsman from nature, has acquired an enviable reputation. George D. Ramsdell and E. M. Sasseville are also good engravers, with plenty of work on hand."

Semi-centennial History of the City of RochesterWith Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers -William Farley Peck1884

From a snippet return on a Google search I read -"George Frauenberger (b. Hildburgshausen, Germany, 1829; d. Rochester, New York, April 18, 1899), "Wood Engraver," advertised in the Rochester city directory, 1861, that he was a "Designer and engraver on wood..."

 ‎Read the is an interesting magazine to explore.

George Frauenberger had an office at #60 in the Arcade.  The Reynold's Arcade was a big deal in Rochester.
 from City Building on the Eastern Frontier: Sorting the New Nineteenth-Century City - By Diane Shaw

Below is the 1877 interior of the Arcade.

More History of the Arcade
Abelard Reynolds purchased two lots near the bridge in 1812. 

He brought his family from 
Pittsfield, MA to the 100 Acre Plot in February 1813 and became the first person to complete a frame house. He ran a saddlery and the first tavern on the west bank on the site and with the help of Colonel Rochester became the settlements first postmaster, a position he held for nearly 17 years. 
In 1828, backed by capital from Albany and New York City, he moved the house 150 feet to the rear of the plot and built the 4 ½ story Reynolds Arcade.

It was built of brick, fronted 99 feet on Buffalo Street and had 86 rooms. The building was divided through the middle by a lofty skylighted corridor. Shops and offices were on the ground floor and a second balconied gallery level. The post office was at the rear of the hall. It had six large stores facing Buffalo Street, hotel rooms on the upper floors and on the roof an observatory 89 feet above the street. It was remodeled in the 1880's and rebuilt in the Art Deco style in 1933.                               from Walking Tour of Rochester's One Hundred Acre Plot

This engraving was done in 1840.

The bustling street below in the photograph is 1920s Rochester.

The building has been changed a bit but still looks good but dated. Not to mention, short.  It was torn down in 1933 for a grand Art Deco building of, I think, 12 floors.   It looks stumpy now.

The Art Deco Building is a little down on its luck.  A pizza place is a featured renter.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Promptitude is Appreciated

I love testimonials!  Two whole pages of testimonials from Briggs and Bros. happy customers were featured in the 1972 catalog.  These encomia are, I need to admit, were often carefully chosen from the more formal newspaper reviews, so they do not have the maximum of folksy charm.  Still and all, the period mind set that carefully crafted the two pages is interesting to observe, and the testimonials are still of interest in themselves!


The following is interesting.  I'll have to see if other seedsmen make as big a selling point of their assortment strategy.

Can't forget a cabbage or two :-)

 Couldn't resist the globular magnificence of this Cluster Tomato.

You can find the entire catalogs at the Biodiversity Heritage Library.

Monday, August 18, 2014

More Clever Seedsmen from Rochester, New York - Briggs & Bros.

What a treat it must have been in the 1870s to have the Briggs & Bros. catalog arrive in the mail.

They had a clever hook to tempt people to send for their catalog - and then buy $5 of seeds or more,  a very nice original chromolithograph of flowers. I suspect the print was displayed in many homes. They are certainly sought by collectors now!

While we can't see them in this dinky little image, there are tiny numbers by the flowers that correspond to a key.

Illustrated And Descriptive Catalogue Of Flower And Vegetable Seeds, And Summer Flowering Bulbs,
FOR 1871.
Is now ready for mailing. It is printed on a most elegant new tinted paper, and Illustrated with nearly
And two finely-executed Colored Plates—specimens for all of which were grown by ourselves the past season, and from our own stock of seeds. All the drawings and engravings were executed by Artists of acknowledged taste and ability, who have made the subject of Floral and Vegetable representations a special branch of their business for the last eighteen years. In the originality, execution, and extent of the engravings, it is unlike and eminently superior to any other Catalogue or " Floral Guide" extant.
The Catalogue consists of more than One Hundred Pages, and will be sent free to all who ordered Seeds from us by mail the last season. To others a charge of Fifteen Cents per copy will be made, which is really not the value of the Colored Plates. We assure our friends that the inducements we offer to purchasers of Seeds, as to quality and extent of stock, discounts and premiumB, are unsurpassed. Please send orders for Catalogues without delay.
We have now the beet artists in the country at work upon A COLORED CHROMO FOR 1871. It will be ready to send out about the middle of January. The Chromo represents Forty-Two Varieties of the moBt showy and popular Flowers, of natural size and color. We design to make it the best plate of Flowers ever issued. Size 1!) x 24 Inches. The retail value would be at least Two Dollars; we shall, however, furnish it to customers at 75 cents per copv, and shall offer it as a premium upon orders for Seeds. See Catalogue. Address,
I found this image on eBay sometime ago but had not seen the chromo until recently.

Here below is the chromolithograph from 1871.

Unfortunately, I have not found the literature with the key for 1871 yet!!  

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Seed boxes and Seed Packets of Hiram Sibley Co.

Gifts keep raining from the sky...or at least, cyber space!
I  just bumped into these photos of Sibley's  display boxes and seed packages and packets!  I had never found any seed packets before.  I don't know why I hadn't, given the size of his operation.

These plump bags filled with seeds and tied with what was probably red string are the first I have seen of this type package from any company.  Packages are so ephemeral it is alway exciting to find them!

This following box seems to have been varnished at some time and it has darkened.