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This is the second page of a 2-sided advertising sheet by the American 3 Color Co. of Chicago showcasing designs for advertising fans, cards and blotters in their 1901 product line. The first page featured pictures of sample calendars.
In the days before air conditioning became commonplace, cardboard hand fans were often the best way to stay cool on a hot day. Decidedly useful, they were attractive and informative, as well. A lot has been written about the “calendar art” of the Golden Age of Illustration. Here on our blog, we’ve been focusing on the period roughly between 1900 and 1930, and the role Beatrice Tonnesen played. But it struck me recently that we have been so interested in presenting the art itself, that we’ve said little about the fact that what we call “calendar art” is really so much more. Most of the publishers of the era produced a whole line of advertising items in addition to calendars. Many of the paintings and photographs that were printed and offered to advertisers on calendars, were also available on blotters, trade cards and, perhaps most notably, on hand fans.