The 469 Ultra-Fashionables of America -- A Social
Guide Book and Register to Date,
by C. W. de Lyon Nicholls (1912). Probably the last
time in American history when a hereditary American upper class existed.
See our Americana page for more
to a Continent --
The Grand Central Zone
artist(s), publisher, and date.
Of all the publications in our catalog,
this one is the one that most deserved republication in book form.
The quality of the paper, the delicate
artwork forming the backgrounds for each page, the overall feel of the
document demonstrates its quality – and, at the same time, clearly
defines the market to which it was directed. The book – and, we hope,
this digital reproduction captures some of it – was clearly directed at
the senior corporate executive, the wealthy socialite, what remained of
the upper class as the Great Depression was drawing to an end. It is
clearly a marketing piece, yet it is sufficiently subtle about the fact
that it lists no publisher or sponsor. The advertising it contains are
the articles and photographs themselves. One surmises that it was a
cooperative effort of the owners of the buildings mentioned in the text
Subtlety pervades the document. There is,
as noted, no publisher or author or printer named. We must deduce even
the date of publication. The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, cited as “ultra
modern” in the text, was built in 1931. A mention later of 1934
suggests it was published after that date, and a notation on a map that
the World’s Fair would be in Flushing, accessible via the Subway running
under Grand Central, would begin in 1939, provides a likely end date.
So we date it between 1935 and 1938 – surely not a good time to be
marketing expensive office space or high-end hotels or nine room Park
Avenue apartments. Yet this is clearly the objective of this book.
We think that this republication will
interest not only students of marketing of luxury goods, those
interested in New York City history, and those with an interest in
historic railroad stations (not a small group, by the way!), but also
those interested in the development of urban planning theory. The
introduction to the book suggests that the Grand Central Zone – the
first we have encountered this term for the area – will become a
paradigm for future American urban development.
40+ pages, PDF format, full color.
Download now for $6.75.
The New York County chapter from
French's Gazetteer of the State of New York (1860).
French’s Gazetteer is, of course, a
standard reference for New York information at the point just before the
Civil War began. Most county gazetteers – and there were many,
including some re-published by us – subsequent to French’s either
acknowledged their use of information from this source or simply used
French’s information without attribution. Much has been written about
New York City, so little new will be found in these pages -- but these
33 pages are packed with information at a critical point in time in
American history. 33+ pages, PDF format. Download now for
Barnard College Catalog for 1923-1924.
A college catalog is pretty dull stuff – unless one is
looking for significant differences between educational requirements of
a different time and those today, or if one reads the catalog as a
document of formalized social differences. If your grandmother went to
Barnard (or another of the Seven Sister schools) back in the 1920s, this
will help you understand why she knew as much as she did. If you found
her attitudes about the role of women to be a bit odd, you might find
factoids from this document (for example, the note inside the back cover
stating that while most graduate programs at Columbia were open to women
“The courses in the Faculties of Law and Applied Science are not open to
women.”) to be a bit jarring – and perhaps enlightening. 122+
pages, PDF format, download now for $3.50.
New York County chapter
in Mather & Brockett's Geographical History of the State of New York
(1848). We have grouped the counties and provided several in a
download according to their sequence in this historic volume.
Included in this grouping are Albany County, New York County, Kings
County, Queens County, Richmond County, and Suffolk County. 50+
pages, PDF format, download now for $3.75
Barnard College Song
published by the Undergraduate
Association of Barnard College. We’ve not previously
published music, but that may be an oversight. As this songbook of
nearly 100 years ago, the music of a time is frequently a good measure
of the times. While this volume includes the venerable Columbia
University (of which Barnard was and is an occasionally uneasy part)
songs, of even more interest are the songs that would not have been
heard being played by a marching band. Indeed, some of them may not
have tunes at all and were written only as social commentary on the
college and on life in general. The girls who attended Barnard circa
1920 were a privileged lot, yet also came from families where a high
premium was place not just on education, but on education of females.
To understate the case, in those years, the idea of educating women was
by no means one that was generally accepted. When we read the lyrics of
some of these songs today they seem insipid, yet many of them make what
may have been at the time fairly daring social statements. The mystery
of blank page 13 may be evidence of a song that, after much of the book
was printed, was deemed inappropriate for publication, or, perhaps, even
for reading by delicate female eyes. There’s no index entry for page
13, so we will likely never know the drama that led to the page being
blank, or the drama that ensued when the page was discovered to be
blank. But that is change, and, in 1920, change was already in the air
on Morningside Heights as it was in few other places in America.
64+ pages, in PDF format, download now for $3.00
Charity in New York State in 1906: State
Institutions. This chapter from volume II of the Annual Report of the State
Board of Charities for the year 1906 contains a section about the New
York State government's Society for the Reformation of Juvenile
Delinquents in the City of New York located on Randall's Island.
See our New York State Miscellany page
for more information about this chapter.