This touching photo can be identified as the work of Beatrice Tonnesen through the bassinet and carpet, seen in other verified Tonnesen works. This scene, circa 1916, features Virginia Waller (1913-2006) as the big sister. I believe the mother was portrayed by professional model Adelyne Slavik (189? - 1984). The back of the fan (not shown) states: "Keep Cool and Trade With M. L. Saylor, Dealer in Staple and Fancy Groceries, Notions, Shoes and General Merchandise, Confectionery and Drugs. Woodsboro, Md. Phone 17-F5." The fan was printed by Myers Mfg., Harrisburg, Pa.
While calendars were probably most often mailed to the homes or businesses of a firm’s existing customers, hand fans, with an appealing picture on one side and the advertiser’s name and message on the other, were more often used to lure both new and existing customers into the advertiser’s establishment. The intriguing book, Fans- Advertising & Souvenir, by Donald Bull and Rudolphe Roger (Schiffer Publishing Ltd, 2012. www.schifferbooks.com) offers several examples of the ways in which fans were used as advertising premiums. They were offered free with a purchase, or free for just stopping in, or sometimes even as a contest, engaging the customer with games or drawings for prizes, as described in print on the fans.
These beautiful relics of a mostly bygone era are popular now with collectors of vintage illustration art, as well as with those who collect various types of advertising or historical memorabilia, perhaps from a hometown or state, or a long gone business establishment. The accompanying slideshow includes samples of the materials used to market the fans, as well as the artwork and advertising on the fans themselves. Not surprisingly, all of the fans I’ve chosen for display feature images that originated as photos by Beatrice Tonnesen, but the work of many more of the most prominent artists of the Golden Age of Illustration – R.A. Fox, L. Goddard, Zula Kenyon, Rolf Armstrong and Hy Hintermeister, to name only a few- can also be found on these beautiful collectibles. Scroll over the images in the slideshow for information on each.
Copyright 2013 Lois Emerson
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