Fireworks packaging, labels, wrappers and boxes. Many of the labels contain illustrations and logos with ethnic imagery, often stereotypical, and a variety of other subjects.
Scope and Contents:
The collection consists of fireworks labels, wrappers, and packaging, part of a crate, and one product catalogue for the Martin's Real Fireworks Displays of Iowa. The majority of the fireworks labels and packaging were made in China or Macao, but some were made in the United States, Canada, and India. The labels are in Chinese, English, French, and German. Many of the labels are for "firecrackers," small noisemaking cylinders that are an inch and a half in length, often strung together with others and fused consecutively. Other types of fireworks include ladyfingers (a small ¾" firecracker), cherry bombs and M-80s (illegal firecracker with a small red sphere an inch in diameter with flash powder), rockets (a cylinder with cone shaped head filled with pyrotechnic materials), shells or bombs (a canister fired out of a mortar), and torpedoes (fulminate of mercury mixed with grit and twisted in a piece of paper). The collection is particular rich in ethnic imagery. Other images include" elephant, birds, cowboys, anchors, pirates, tigers, cats, dogs, camels, cocks, lions, coyotes, dragons, wheels, horses, gorillas, rick shaws, rockets, fishing, and superman to name a few. The collection is divided into one series by fireworks brands and is arranged alphabetically. Information is provided for where the fireworks were manufactured, what company made them and what company distributed them. Most labels are undated.
The collection is arranged into one series.
Series 1: Brands
Biographical / Historical:
Collector of patriotic ephemera and fireworks dealer.
The collection was donated to the Archives Center, National Museum of American History through Sgt. Leonard Anderson, Office of the Sheriff, Santa Clara County, California on July 11, 1995.
Colection is open for research and access on site by appointment.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
The papers of public relations consultant and journalist Emily Nathan measure 5.0 linear feet and date from circa 1943-1985. Included are files on clients, among them Towle Manufacturing and its gallery; the Smithsonian Institution, including the Archives of American Art, Radio Smithsonian and the National Portrait Gallery.
Interviews conducted by Nathan for Radio Smithsonian include New York, N.Y. cartoonist and inventor Rube Goldberg (1883-1970), 1970; art historian and writer Richard B. K. McLanathan, 1970; Director of the Archives of American Art William E. Woolfenden, 1970, Abram Lerner, Director of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, and art collector Joseph Hirshhorn, 1969. Also found is an interview of William Woolfenden May 6, 1983 upon his retirement as Director of the Archives of American Art.
Among the correspondence are letters to Georgia O'Keeffe regarding a pending oral history with the sculptors Dorothy Dehner and David Smith and a letter from museum administrator and lecturer Daniel Catton Rich expressing his pleasure at having met Jannis and Zoe Spyropoulous in Athens, Greece and describes the painting by Jannis that he purchased for the Worcester Art Museum. The majority of the photographs are of personalities long associated with the Archives of American Art. There are two photographs of Jasper Johns, and one each of Mark Rothko and Tony Smith, all taken by Hans Namuth, 1960.
Also found is a folder of material assembled by Nathan regarding Jose de Creeft's story, as told to Nathan, of his pet rooster, intended by Nathan to be submitted for publication under the title "Roosty Was My Friend." Included are an introduction by Nathan, providing biographical information on de Creeft; sample text for the story (2 pages) and an outline for the remainder (3 pages), 24 drawings by de Creeft illustrating the story; and a photograph of de Creeft with a wire sculpture of Roosty, 1957, taken by Budd studio.
Biographical / Historical:
Emily Nathan (1907-1999) was a journalist and public relations consultant specializing in arts and cultural heritage institutions.
Donated 1973-1988 by Emily Nathan and in 2000 by the Emily Nathan estate, via Edgar S. Nathan, III, executor. The letter to Nathan from Daniel Catton Rich was donated by Rich, 1977.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.