Monday, March 23, 2015

page 170 -- Schumacher & Ettlinger Lithographic Company, the lithographic process

updated 6 February 2017
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The next four cards appear to be part of a series:










Schumacher & Ettlinger, lith., 32 Bleeker St., NYC, was purchased along with several other lithographic publishers and merged to become the American Lithographic Company in December, 1895

In 2009, before the Schumacher building was renovated, Google Street View captured this view of the edifice at Bleeker St.:


Want to see what this became?
visit nycurbed
2013 Google Street Views of
The American Lithographic Company
building at 50-52 E. 19th St., NYC
As can be seen above, the merged company
had an even grander facade

So what's the big deal?

Why did all these companies make so much money selling trade cards, reproductions of masterworks, etc.?

The answer is color. Before the mid-nineteenth century, most printed material was black and white. I suspect that Emma Jane Arnold began collecting cards to keep Earl and her other children occupied partly because she new they would marvel at the colors. As you have probably noticed, the cards are carefully arranged on each page, such as the one above, to focus attention and hold interest. The whole collection seems to shout, "Look at this color! Isn't it amazing?!" Visionary art  in scrapbooking is similar to composition in photography. People had never seen anything like it before. And they--especially kids--loved it.

For further information, the Wikipedia page on Lithography explains some of the process by which the cards in the Earl J. Arnold Advertising Card Collection were made, as does the page on Lithography in the Nineteenth Century put up by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

To give you a better idea of the state of the printing art in 1884, a portion of the Metropostcard printing invention timeline is presented below:





very colorful, but the markings are not familiar to me





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