Images from the 19th Century


Tradesmen’s Tokens

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The Tradesmen’s Token series of images caught my eye when looking through todays Flickr set Images from the 19th Century.  There’s a humourous story surrounding them as written about in this excerpt from The Gentlemen’s Magazine – Volume 31 – March 1849 page 248:




FEW of your antiquarian readers are unacquainted with the small “Tradesmen’s Tokens” current in the seventeenth century. During the period of the Protectorate and the Restoration they abounded, and the necessities of the time gave them an extensive local circulation. The earliest known date is 1648; in 1672 they were suppressed by royal ordinance; and, if we may judge from dates, the largest numbers appear to have been issued in 1665 and 1666, the period of the “greate fyre” and the plague. Pinkerton has spoken of these pieces with the utmost scorn, disdaining them as utterly unworthy of notice; but we are not of those who yield to the dictum of that learned pedant. Many of them are of very neat workmanship, and interesting as illustrative of costume and heraldry; others are of a political or satirical character, while some describe trades and occupations, a few of which are now obsolete; to say nothing of them as records of old localities, and the orthographical designation of towns, buildings, and streets, now swept away by the ruthless hand of time, the great fire, and the no less devastating march of modern improvement. As illustrative of old London, they abound in interest.

The Token delineated above, which we have selected for illustration, was issued by the master of a tavern or public-house at Hockley in the Hole, in the county of Bedford.

The “sign” is one that dates from the period of the Reformation. Not only were learning and argument then employed in exposing the fallacies of the Popish system; but, in the fierce contentions of the time, scurrility and buffoonery were resorted to, as auxiliaries well adapted for prejudicing the common people. The conclave of cardinals was irreverently designated as a ‘set of old women’, and hence “Old Mother Red Cap” became a popular sign with the vulgar and the profane.

George Hall may have been a Puritan, and probably intended the device on his token to convey a sly sarcasm on the orders of the Popish priesthood. There is considerable ingenuity in the pictorial management of the device. If Popery were in the ascendant, the publican might aver that his token represented merely a tapster with the symbols of his occupation in his hands. On the other hand, the sign might be regarded, as it was obviously intended to be, as a caricature of a cardinal bearing the elements of the Eucharist. Transubstantiation was one of the points most fiercely contested.

Yours, &c. B. N.

* Mr. J. Y. Akerman has now in the press a work on the “Tradesmen’s and Tavern-Tokens of London in the Seventeenth Century,” which promises to be of considerable antiquarian and historical interest.


There are more in this series, so keep a watchful eye out for follow up postings.

The Chautauquan



The Chautauquan

We’ve got 652 images from 10 early volumes of the Chautauquan, they’re grouped together on Contact Sheets and published to our Flickr Photostream and also as a Flickr set.  The Contact Sheets contain a random selection of images from these several volumes.

The Chautauquan, first published in 1880,  was a monthly magazine devoted to the promotion of true culture – Organ of the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle.

These images are from Volumes 5 (1885), Volume 8 (1888), Volume 9 (1889), Volume 10 (1890), Volume 11 (1890), Volume 14 (1892), Volume 15 (1892), Volume 16 (1893), Volume 19 (1894), Volume 57 (1909).


Images and Contact Sheets



A History of the Rise and Progress of the Arts of Design in the United States

by William Dunlap c.1918

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Of the millions of images and graphics within our library a small percentage are online.  Its quite a big job to identify, tag and categorise them, so we thought we’d use Contact Sheets to publish them initially.  Although the individual images aren’t yet tagged and a full size image isn’t yet available, the contact sheet is useful as a stepping stone and a teaser of whats to come.

We’re publishing Contact Sheet sets to our Flickr photostream, each contact sheet set is labelled with the publication or book title and contains a random selection of images, illustrations, plates, photographs, hand drawings and graphics – collectively called ‘images’.

Our first Contact Sheet contains images from A History of the Rise and Progress of the Arts of Design in the United States, by William Dunlap.  First published in 1884 it served as a primary source of information for the student of early American art of the time.  Dunlap’s opportunity for gathering facts regarding the artists who had preceded him was limited, and his own judgment in many instances was biased by the professional opinions and personal envy of others.


Contact Sheet for  

A History of the Rise and Progress of the Arts of Design in the United States

by William Dunlap c1918

 Google Book Search Original

Phoenician and Roman Antiquities

Report on the Phoenician and Roman antiquities in the group of the islands of Malta. By A. A. Caruana.  Published in 1883.

Between the primitive Phoenician period and the Roman occupation, an early Greek colony settled in the islands of Malta, contemporarily with the colonies led from Chalcis (Egripo in the island of Negropont) by the Athenian Theocles and other Greek emigrants in Sicily, by whom, as Thucydides, book IV, ch. III, relates, were founded Leontium, Catana, Taurominium, Zancla (Messina), &c., and with those led by Archias from Corinth by whom Syracuse was erected.  Subsequently, the Carthaginians held these islands up to the beginning of the second Punic war.

I understand the Phoenician and Roman antiquities as the limit of the survey called for by the Secretary of State for the Colonies, although it would seem to me, that it ought to comprehend the other monuments of Malta and Gozo between these two periods.


History of the World War

Archduke Ferdinand
Archduke Ferdinand

THE LITERARY DIGEST – History of the World War – Volume 1 (1914-1918). Compiled from Original and Contemporary Sources: American, British, French, German, and Others in ten volumes.

IN the first year of the war a press censorship, more severe than ever known before, was imposed on news from all battlefronts, the result being that it was not until long after events occurred that the public acquired any clear knowledge of them.

As the censorship, in the course of the second year, gradually relaxed, special correspondents were able to send dispatches from the fighting front and did not suffer from serious restrictions, conditions in which there came into existence a service, which, for efficiency and literary excellence, surpassed anything ever known in previous wars.

 Written by FRANCIS WHITING HALSEY in ten volumes, the History of the World War compiles reports from multiple sources.


BECAUSE a poor Bosnian student named Gavrio Prinzip, eighteen years old, fired two shots from a revolver which killed the Archduke Francis Ferdinand, Crown Prince of Austria, and his wife, the Duchess of Hohenberg, when driving through the streets of Serajevo in broad daylight in June, 1914, more than thirty states, great and small, entered into war.

Almost overnight was the world involved in this war, a conflict which transcended the Napoleonic Wars, as those dwarfed the Thirty Years’ War, and as that in turn dwarfed the Hundred Years’ War.



The Royal Tribes of Wales

The Royal Tribes of Wales – 1
Originally uploaded by Ultrapedia

There are many beautiful plates and illustrations with our library. We are building a photostream on Flickr.

A fine example is this picture of Sir Thomas Egerton, the First Viscount Brackley.

Born in Cheshire in 1540. He was an english nobleman, Statesman and Judge, serving as Solicitor General, Attorney General, Master of the Rolls, Lord Keeper and Lord Chancellor. He also served as Queens Counsel to Queen Elizabeth I.

A Book of North Wales


CONCERNING the purpose and scope of this little book I have but to repeat what I have said in the prefaces to my other works of the same nature—A Book of the West, A Book of Dartmoor, A Book of Brittany—that it is not intended as a Guide, but merely as an introduction to North Wales, for the use of intending visitors, that they may know something of the history of that delightful land they are about to see.

Welsh history is a puzzle to most Englishmen; accordingly I have made an attempt to simplify it sufficiently for the visitor to grasp its outlines. Without a knowledge of the history of a country in which one travels more than half its interest is lost.

I have to return my warmest thanks to kind friends who have helped me with information, notably the Rev. J. Fisher, B.D., of Cefn, S. Asaph; Mr. J. E. Griffith, of Bryn Dinas, Bangor; the Rev. E. Evans, of Llansadwrn; Mr. C. H. Jones, of the Public Library, Welshpool; Mr. A. Foulkes-Roberts, of Denbigh; Mr. D. R. Daniel, of Four Crosses, Chwilog; and Mr. R. Williams, of Celynog, New-town.  I am also much indebted to Mr. R. J. Lloyd Price, of Rhiwlas, for kindly allowing me to reproduce the portrait of Catherine of Berain in his possession; and to Mr. Prys-Jones, of Bryn-Tegid, Pontypridd, for sending me a photograph of the painting.  But, indeed, everywhere in Wales I have met with general kindness and hospitality; and if I have failed to interest readers in the country and people the fault is all mine.  It is a glorious country,  and its people delightful.


General characteristics—The Iberian race—Linguistic survivals—Brython and Goidel—Roman conquest—Irish occupation of Wales— Their expulsion by Cunedda—Saxon occupation of Britain—Causes of subjection of the Celtic races—The Celt in the Englishman of to-day—Divisions of Wales.

IT cannot be said that the Welsh have any very-marked external characteristics to distinguish them from the English.  But there is certainly among them a greater prevalence of dark hair and eyes, and they are smaller in build.  This is due to the Iberian blood flowing in the stock which occupied the mountain land from a time before history began, at least in these isles.  It is a stock so enduring, that although successive waves of conquest and migration have passed over the land, and there has been an immense infiltration of foreign blood, yet it asserts itself as one of predominant and indestructible vitality.

Moreover, although the language is Celtic, that is to say, the vocabulary is so, yet the grammar reveals the fact that it is an acquired tongue. It is a comparatively easy matter for a subjugated people to adopt the language of its masters, so far as to accept the words they employ, but it is another matter altogether to acquire their construction of sentences.  The primeval population belonged to what is called the Hamitic stock, represented by ancient Egyptian and modern Berber.  This people at a vastly remote period spread over all Western Europe, and it forms the subsoil of the French nation at the present day.

The constant relations that existed between the Hebrews and the Egyptians had the effect of carrying into the language of the former a number of Hamitic words.  Moreover, the Sons of Israel were brought into daily contact with races of the same stock on their confines in Gilead and Moab, and the consequence is that sundry words of this race are found in both Hebrew and Welsh.  This was noticed by the Welsh scholar Dr. John Davies, of Mallwyd, who in 1621 drew up a Welsh Grammar, and it is repeated by Thomas Richards in his Welsh-English Dictionary in 1753.  He says: “It hath been observed, that our Language hath not a great many Marks of the original Simplicity of the Hebrew, but that a vast Number of Words are found therein, that either exactly agree with, or may be very naturally derived from, that Mother-language of Mankind.”

The fact is that these words, common to both, belong radically to neither, but are borrowed from the tongue of the Hamitic people.  This original people, which for convenience we will call Iberian, migrated at some unknown period from Asia, and swept round Europe, whilst a second branch colonised the Nile basin and Northern Africa, and a third streamed east and occupied China and Japan.


The master idea in the religion of this people was the cult of ancestors, and the rude stone monuments, menhirs, cromlechs, and kistvaens they have left everywhere, where they have been, all refer to commemoration of the sacred dead. The obelisk in Egypt is the highly refined menhir, and the elaborate, ornamented tombs of the Nile valley are the expression of the same veneration for the dead, and belief in the after life connected with the tomb, that are revealed in the construction of the dolmen and kistvaen.


This same people occupied Ireland. It was a dusky, short-statured race, with long heads, and was mild and unwarlike in character.

Then came rushing from the East great hordes of fair-haired, round-headed men, with blue eyes.  Their original homes were perhaps the Alps, but more probably Siberia.  This new race was the Celt.  It was divided into two branches, the Goidels and the Brythons, and the Goidels came first.  Considerable difference as well as affinity exists between the dialects spoken by each.  Where a Brython or Britton would speak of his head as “pen,” the Goidel or Gael would call it “Ceann,”  pronouncing the c hard, as k. So “five” in Manx is “queig,” but in Welsh “pump.”   A like difference was found in Italy, where the Roman would name a man Quinctius (Fifth), but a Samnite would call him Pontius.

The Gael is now represented by the Irish, the Manx, and the Highlander: the Britton, so far as language goes, by the Welsh and Breton.  Where such names are found as Penmon in Anglesey, Pentire in Cornwall, Pen-y-gent in York-shire, there we know that the Britton lived long enough to give names to places.  But where we find Kenmare, Kentire, Kinnoul, there we know that the Gael was at home.




Munsey’s Magazine Dec 1899
An interesting article came up in Munsey’s Magazine all about how the magazine is put together, marketed and distributed to the public.  Written by Frank Munsey himself in 1899, it gives a detailed account of how he pioneered the ’10 cent magazine’. Rivalry is abound from his counterparts at Scribners, Harpers, and The Century Magazine.
Frank starts with what kind of material to include in the magazine and what the people want from a magazine.  He decides that rather than make a magazine for himself, or for any particular set or faction;  to make it for human nature,  as he understands it, and for all the people everywhere.