10/23/2014

In admiration of violets

Viola is a large and diverse genus of flowering plants with over 500 species around the world. The Common Blue Violet (Viola sororia) is the type best known here in Kentucky as an early spring wildflower. Not everyone likes violets in their lawn, but their heart shaped low growing leaves can be an attractive ornamental yard feature when grown in clumps, borders or as a ground cover.



 These Midwestern wild violets generally bloom in the Spring and produce seed pods in the Fall. The violet seed pods can be gathered before they explode. Store the seed pods in a paper sack while they dry out and pop open. Listening to the seed pods pop in a paper bag is like listening to microwave popcorn . . . in slow motion.


8/18/2013

Little Leather Library Identification Guide

For the history of the Little Leather Library and a list of published titles,
see the Little Leather Library Page.

There are different types of Little Leather Library books

The details of Little Leather Library publications were not well documented at the time. The publishers did not seem to have much concern for the curiosity for those of us who come poking around some one hundred years later. The publishers were busy adapting to changing times and experimenting with new marketing and printing technology. It now seems odd to think of what they did as ever being "new," for now, to us, it is all very old. The publishers were busy making money and did not give much thought to the fact they were also making history.

The big watershed event of the early Twentieth Century was World War I, and the impact of that global cataclysm is reflected in the changing face of the books produced by the Little Leather Library over ten short years. There are the pre-WWI Little Leather Library books made with genuine leather and the post-WWI books made with imitation leather.

Seeing the different types of Little Leather Library books side-by-side, it is easy to notice the difference between the real and the fake leather covers, However cheesy the early fake leather covers are upon close examination, the fakes are still good enough to fool people today. Either people don't bother to look closely or the power of the name, Little Leather Library, is enough to make many see what isn't there.

I've been watching people buy and sell Little Leather Library book on eBay for about ten years, I still see folks who describe the fake leather books as "genuine leather" and I laugh to myself.

The Little Leather Library Corporation of New York started off in 1915 making real leather covered books. When World War I caused serious leather shortages, the switch was made to imitation leather-like book covers. My research suggests the imitation leather was an early cellulose-based plastic impregnated canvas fabric that was embossed with a texture on one side and a flocking on the other. This synthetic leather was produced by DuPont and it was further embossed and printed over by the publisher.

I have seen five clearly different types of Little Leather Library books with one minor variation. The first two types have genuine leather covers and predate WWI and the last three types have the DuPont fake leather covers after WWI into the 1920s.

Before the War - Genuine Leather
It's hard to know for sure which came first, Type I or Type II. Based upon the general scarcity of the Type I volumes in the marketplace, and for other reasons, I believe Type I came first in time before Type II. That is why I names it Type I. I have no doubt that both the real leather Types I and Types II were manufactured before World War I.

 photo 01arabian-a1.jpg
Type I
Distinguishing marks:
  • Soft suede real leather covers.
  • Leather dyed different bright colors. Blue, green etc.
  • Book title and "Little Leather Library" embossed on front cover
  • Pages sewn into signatures with end papers glued to inside front and back covers
  • Limited number of titles.

 photo 01arabian-a1.jpg
Type II
Distinguishing marks:
  • Soft polished leather covers.
  • Natural leather color.covers
  • Book title embossed on front cover
  • "Little Leather Library" embossed on back cover
  • Pages sewn into signatures with end papers glued to inside front and back covers
  • Expanded number of titles.



After World War I and Into the Roaring Twenties - Fake Leatherette




Type III
Distinguishing marks:
  • Red leatherette covers.
  • Book title and "Miniature Library" printed on front cover with gold ink.
  • "Little Leather Library Corporation New York" on title page.
  • Pages sewn into signatures but no end paper.
Type IIIa and Type IIIb differ mainly in that:

  • Type IIIa is one-eighth inch taller than Type IIIb, 
  • The two types are different shades of red,
  • The Type IIIa cover.has only the texture of the underlying canvas fabric whereas Type IIIb covers are embossed with a granular-pebbly texture . 

It's anybody''s guess which came first.My guess is that type IIIa came first.




Type IV

Type IV is the common Redcroft Edition with the familiar brownish-green covers. Millions of these volumes were printed and mass-marketed in the early 1920s, before 1924 when ownership of the Little Leather Library changed hands.



Distinguishing marks:
  • Brown leatherette covers.overprinted with green ink.
  • Book title and author embossed on front cover.
  • "Little Leather Library" and "Redcroft Edition" embossed on back cover.
  • Leather-like "grain" embossed onto cover material
  • Unfortunate tendency to stick together due to green ink overprint
  • Pages sewn into signatures but no end paper.




Type V

Ownership of the Little Leather Library changed hands in 1924. The next new edition bore the name "Little Luxart Library" and was published by Robert K.Haas, Inc.




Distinguishing marks:
  • Bright red leatherette covers
  • Book title and author embossed on front cover
  • "Little Luxart Library" embossed on back cover.
  • "Robert K. Haas, Inc. Publishers, (Formerly Little Leather Library Corporation)" printed on inside title page
  • Pages sewn into signatures but no end paper.

8/12/2013

Don't Trash That Laptop!

Computer and electronic gadgets contain poisons that should never go into the garbage and end up in a landfill. The heavy metals and other toxins in the circuit boards will end up in groundwater and will poison the planet.

Act responsibly. Re-use, restore, salvage, reclaim, re-cycle and dispose safely.

  • Functional equipment can be sold or gifted
  • Non-functional equipment can be repaired or salvaged for parts.
  • The useless residue must be disposed of by environmental professionals.

Louisville, Kentucky is environmentally progressive with its Electronics Recycling program in partnership with Creative Recycling, certified by e-Stewards.

Louisville's Electronics Recycling program is located near downtown.

Louisville Waste Reduction Center
636 Meriwether Avenue

Please let me help you to properly dispose of your unwanted computers and electronics.

8/05/2013

Zenit-122 SLR Camera User's Manual - English

The Zenit 122 is a 35mm SLR film camera with a through-the-lens light meter and split-screen manual lens focus. It was made in the U.S.S.R.
This is the Owner's Manual, in English, that came with the camera from Russia.

7/27/2013

Stamp collection on eBay Yugoslavia, Austria, Norway and Pakistan

11 Yugoslavia Postage Stamps - 1950s


-oOo-

16 Postage Stamps of Norway 1950s & 1960s


10 Austria Regular Issue Postage Stamps 1958 - 1960 - used


10 Postage Stamps from Pakistan 1950s-1960s

-oOo-

7/25/2013

!971 - One Hundred Years of Rex, King of Carnival

Mardi Gras Centennial  Ball celebrating one hundred years of Rex on Shrove Tuesday, February 23, 1971 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Invitation and envelope postmarked February 9, 1971.






7/14/2013

Charles H. Bradford, silversmith

Charles H. Bradford (1821-1903) was a 19th Century American silversmith, jeweler and watchmaker from Westerly, Washington County, Rhode Island, who went west in his middle age. Bradford advertised his related trade crafts in the 1860 New Albany Directory, City Guide, and Business Mirror, in Indiana, where he settled for several decades.

Charles H. Bradford is also listed in the 1871-1872 edition of William's New Albany Directory at 93 Pearl Street, for watches and jewelry.

Bradford is documented online in William Erik Voss's American Silversmiths.

Surviving examples of Bradford's silversmith work seem to be sparse. A single silver teaspoon crafted by Bradford was donated as part of a memorial to his wife by prominent Cincinnati attorney Vincent H. Beckman to the duPont Winterthur Museum near Wilmington, Delaware.

This Bradford teaspoon was but one piece in a larger silver spoon collection donated by Beckman to the Winterthur Museum.

Other than that, there is hardly any mention of Bradford or his work online.

Here are two samples of Bradford's silversmith work: A berry spoon and a butter knife. Since these are family pieces from the general New Albany, Indiana area, I assume they were crafted by Bradford when had his shop there during and after the Civil War.


The hand-tooled decorative design on the butter knife is distinctive.


Bradford's mark. "CHAS. H. BRADFORD."