Illustrated Children’s Books from the Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum Library Collection

Over the past several weeks, I explored the Cooper-Hewitt Museum Design Museum Library’s collection of illustrated children’s books…

Postcard Types

The Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum Library boasts more than 10,000 postcards in its “hidden” collection. Arranged by subject in card file drawers, they range in date from the turn of the century to the 1990’s. In our last post, the history of postcards was featured. In this fourth and final post, the Libraries will feature different types of postcards. Postcards are typically broken into eight eras: Pioneer Era (Pre-1898) In the early years of the postcard, only the address could be printed on the back; any messages would have to be scrawled around the picture on the front.  Those printed before 1898 were known as the Pioneer Era, and are characterized by an undivided back with lines printed on the back for the name of the addressee and his or her address. Private Mailing Card Era (1898-1901) In the United States, on May 19, 1898, Congress granted private printers permission to print their own postcards, but they were required to inscribe “Private Mailing Card” on the top of the more »

More Postcards from the Cooper Hewitt Library

The Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum Library boasts more than 10,000 postcards in its “hidden” collection. Arranged by subject in card file drawers, they range in date from the turn of the century to the 1990’s. In our last post, Parisian fashion was featured. In this second post, the Libraries will feature the architecture of New York and Los Angeles. Postcards bear testament to seminal moments and monuments of history. They record the interiors and exteriors of some of the most celebrated hotels of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, many of which no longer stand today. This includes photographs and etchings of buildings from every state in the United States as well as cards from virtually every major European city. Many of the cards in the collection depict scenes from New York. A few capture the Hotel Astor, a luxury hotel that opened to New Yorkers in September 1904, but in 1967, less than three-quarters of a century later, was demolished to make room for a 50-story office tower. more »

The History of Postcards

The Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum Library boasts more than 10,000 postcards in its “hidden” collection. Arranged by subject in card file drawers, they range in date from the turn of the century to the 1990’s. In our last post, the architecture of New York and Los Angeles was featured. In this third post, the Libraries will feature the history of postcards. Sending postcards did not appear out of thin air.  A number of innovations in the postal system in the preceding quarter of a century helped create this new postal age. One such innovation was the introduction of uniform penny postage in Great Britain in 1840 that made mail delivery easy and affordable. Previously, prices for shipping letters was based on the distance the mailman had to travel. Fees were not collected up-front from the sender, but instead a surprised recipient would find a mailman on his or her doorstep, demanding payment. Post offices had been hemorrhaging money through this system, for recipients would often refuse their mail and more »

Postcards from the Cooper Hewitt Library

The Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum Library boasts more than 10,000 postcards in its “hidden” collection; arranged by subject in card file drawers, they range in date from the turn of the century to the 1990’s. This collection includes notes from youth embarking on the Grand Tour, descriptions of dorm life from students at elite educational institutions, souvenirs from World's Fairs, and photographs of historical buildings that have since been demolished, as well as letters to and from the Hewitt sisters, the granddaughters of innovative scientist, engineer, and entrepreneur Peter Cooper, who founded the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in 1859. In 1897, Sarah and Eleanor Hewitt started a gallery of the decorative arts on the fourth floor of the Cooper Union, which expanded to become what we now know as the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. In this first post, the Libraries will feature Parisian fashion postcards. The latest international fashions were printed on postcards and recorded as both photographs and hand-drawn illustrations. Those interested in more »

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