American Beach was established in 1935 on Florida's east coast under the leadership of Abraham Lincoln Lewis, one of seven co-founders of the Afro-American Life Insurance Company, and one of Florida's first black millionaires. His vision was to create a beach resort as a benefit for company executives and as an incentive for employees.
In the era of Jim Crow segregation laws, few public places in Florida or the rest of the South were open to African Americans. From the Depression until well into the 1960's, American Beach served as a holiday and vacation destination for thousands of African Americans, and was a magnet for black celebrities such as entertainers Cab Calloway and Ray Charles, heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis and writer Zora Neale Hurston.
But in 1964, the area began to decline. Hurricane Dora destroyed much of the beach, and passage of the Civil Rights Act meant that blacks were, finally, no longer restricted to segregated beaches and the businesses that catered to them.
A fabulous and historically relevant piece of Black Americana!
Mr. Layton was a skilled pitcher with a strong bat who had a four-year career in the Negro Leagues, playing for the Indianapolis Clowns, the New York Black Yankees and the Raleigh Tigers. One of his teammates was a promising infielder by the name of Hank Aaron, who signed with the Boston Braves in 1952, and eventually became a Hall of Famer. Layton received an invitation in 1951 to try out for the Brooklyn Dodgers, but by then his shoulder was troubling him so he declined, hoping it would heal and another opportunity would present, which unfortunately never came. As of 2016, Mr. Layton, at the age of 87, was enjoying retirement as an associate pastor in a North Carolina ministry.
A brief history of the Negro League:
African-Americans first began to play baseball in the late 1800s on military teams, college teams, and company teams, eventually finding their way to the established professional baseball teams of white players. However, racism and “Jim Crow” laws would force African-Americans from these teams by 1900, with black players left to form their own teams.
In 1920, an organized league structure was formed under the guidance of Andrew “Rube” Foster, a former player, manager, and owner for the Chicago American Giants. In a meeting held at the Paseo YMCA in Kansas City, Mo., Foster and several other Midwestern team owners joined to form the Negro National League. Soon, rival leagues formed in Eastern and Southern states, which brought black baseball to major urban centers and to rural countrysides in the U.S., Canada, and Latin America. The Leagues maintained a high level of professional skill and inspired economic development in many black communities.
In 1945, when Major League Baseball’s Brooklyn Dodgers recruited Jackie Robinson from the Kansas City Monarchs, Robinson became the first African-American in the modern era to play on a Major League roster. While this historic event was a key moment in baseball and civil rights history, it marked the decline of the Negro Leagues. The best black players began to be recruited for the Major Leagues with their black fans following them, and the last Negro Leagues teams folded in the early 1960s.
Recently acquired from a private collection, the framed diecut is without glass (which can be easily and inexpensively added).
The embossed-surface diecut is in near excellent condition, the only noted issue being a crease in the bigger girl's left leg (see close-up photo). An unusual find, with vivid, colorful imagery!
Featuring a delightful, cartoon-like caricature of a black man, this board is in very good condition with minor edge wear, slight age-discoloration and a teeny missing piece of the front rim of the hat.
An interesting, seldom-found piece of Black Memorabilia!
Please disregard reflections in photos that are due to the presence of protective plastic wrap.
The display is quite appealing with embossed and raised detailing featuring both the interior and exterior eye anatomy.
The sign dates to the 1950s and is in fine condition. It is complete with its original fold-out display stand, and it measures approximately 13 inches high x 8 inches wide.
This product was produced by the lime manufacturers, Hatmaker and Place, of Canaan, Connecticut, in the late 1800s. This small company was located within a large "lime belt" that stretched from Connecticut to Vermont. Back in the day, lime powder mixed with water was quite commonly used to "white wash" or paint numerous surfaces, and it was also used as a medicinal disinfectant! The manufacture of lime from marble was one of the earliest and most successful mineral industries in Connecticut, with historical records dating the establishment of the first CT lime manufactory to 1722.
Given its age and the fragility of paper, condition of this wonderful box is quite good. The lower portion of the back side of the box evidences light surface wear with some of the printing on the lower portion of the box worn away as a result. The front of the box has a 3.25 inch long tear which resulted in the loss of the lime powder from the box.
This early piece of Black Americana advertising is EXCEEDINGLY RARE and may well be a ONE-OF-A-Kind item! The Hatmaker and Place Company was one of a number of very small manufactories located within the "lime belt" that were ALL bought out and immediately closed down by a wealthy group of investors who then created and incorporated the mammoth monopoly, The New England Lime Company, early in 1902.
This fabulous piece of Black Americana is NOT to be missed by the serious collector!
This pleasant diecut is in excellent condition and comes protected in an attractive, walnut-tone, oval decorative frame! The frame bears some minor veneer loss that does not impact the frame integrity, nor is it immediately noticeable.
A sweet piece!
Researching the drug store's history was fascinating as the same family operated it for over 50 years! The SHANNON family founded and ran this all-inclusive, community-centered, soda fountain and drug store from 1912 until 1964. The years spanning from its 1912 opening through the 1950s appeared to be the drug store's heyday as it served as a popular community gathering place catering to local servicemen and their families for decades and through both World Wars. A wonderful article dated January 4, 2019, found in THE WILSON POST describes this drug store's fascinating history and is a must read!
This brightly colored, hand-painted, metal advertising sign measures 20 inches wide x 14 inches long, an ideal size for easy display in one's collection. Its condition suggests that it may never have been used. Upon close inspection, hand-applied, yellow brush strokes are noted, with the black lettering possibly applied as a stencil. Various small areas of paint loss and minor metal imperfections exist, all commensurate with age. A fabulous piece of Lebanon, Tennessee, advertising and local history!
Featuring a double heart motif, the advertising slogan spouts, "When Two Hearts Beat As One, It's Time To Buy Your Furniture From "Old Reliable" Petersburg Furniture Company, "Petersburg's Oldest Furniture Store!
Neat mid-20th-century advertising piece in very fine original condition!
This glass SPECIAL CONSULTATION sign once hung near the entryway of the Medical department and is ready for your collection!
The sign measures 13 inches long x 3 inches high and is of thick, heavy, plate glass construction. The sign sports gold-toned, applied lettering and is finished off in black paint such as in the style seen in reverse-painted glass objects. There is modest paint loss and lifting which is commensurate with older painted glass.
The Arm & Hammer Baking Soda Recipe Booklet, 33 pages, measures 5.50" long x 3.25" wide, and was published by Church & Dwight Co. of New York City in 1925, with recipes compiled by the principal of Miss Farmer's School of Cookery, Boston, Massachusetts. It is in wonderful condition with no missing pages, and just the teeniest edge-rip on front cover near the top staple--so teeny that I nearly missed it! Some minor age-related foxing noted. Bound together tightly by two original staples. Fabulously colored and detailed front and back covers. .
The Swan's Down Cake Flour Booklet measures 7" long x 4.50" wide, and was published by Igleheart Bros of Evansville, Indiana in 1922. The cover of this booklet shows more wear than its offered companion, all wear appropriate for the age of the item. The booklet is bound by the original staples which remain very tight and intact. There is edge wear to covers as well as crease lines and scuffing. While the front cover is rather nondescript, the interior pages feature multiple, colored drawings of various, luscious confections as well as the company's history, a table of weights and measures, and an index. Interior pages have yellowed a bit from age and a couple pages here and there are stained presumably by ingredients as the particular recipes were being concocted.
Would love to try out a couple of these vintage recipes myself!
Remaining in its original frame, this watercolor retains its vibrant color. A lovely piece of Black Americana executed with some naivete!
Please ignore any white streaks seen in photos; these are the result of light reflection off of the glass.
Dr. T.D.M. Wilson graduated from Jefferson Medical College in 1875, and the following offered items from this estate auction provide an historical glimpse into his long medical career.
The first item is a fabulous 19th century brass DOCTOR T.D.M. Wilson sign measuring 14L x 9W inches, which likely adorned the entrance way to Dr. Wilson's office.
Also offered in this grouping is a rare group photo of Dr. Wilson (4th from the left) and other Phi Kappa Sigma members. The frame measures 16.5"L x 12.5"W. While the photo is a bit faded, the image is remarkable and includes a distinguished group of Phi Kappa Sigma members.
The third and fourth items in this grouping are a small, framed, 1909 AMA membership certificate with Dr. Wilson's name inscribed, and a very unusual IRS narcotic SPECIAL TAX STAMP from 1926. This Narcotic form is unique in that it names Dr. Wilson as the single physician allowed to dispense narcotics within the 23rd District of the State of Pennsylvania.
Finally, 2 handwritten letters postmarked in 1884 from Dr. Wilson to his loving wife are included, offering a small glimpse into his personal life.
Together, this is rich grouping of artifacts provides one a unique opportunity to further enhance one's collection of medical objects.
Quite visually appealing, the sign is in very nice condition with a minor paint spot on the top center above the "L" and one on the top frame. There is light wear on the wood finish as well but it is not obtrusive.
Eli Lilly was a proud manufacturer of proprietary medicines for over a century and often provided signage to drug store owners to both assist in promoting these local pharmacies as well as to advertise their own products.
These signs have a very colorful, folk-art appeal and certainly are utterly unique! They very much fit into the American, Southern "Outsider Art" collecting genre, a genre which highlights the work of self-taught, rural area artists who create fabulous and highly expressive art using the media and materials that they have at hand and which reflects the world that they know and live in.
The signs are quite heavy as each is made from a solid wood board. The signs are nearly identical in size and measure approximately 25 1/2 inches wide x 14 5/8 high x 3/4ths of an inch thick. One of the signs has very, very slight warping, but the warpage is not readily evident as seen by pictures. Each sign has 2 holes from which to hang them, and the old rusted hanging wire which is seen in the photos has been replaced by new hanging wire.
The origin of this sign is unknown, but given its very substantial size and weight, it likely once hung as a directional sign in a major bus or railroad station, designating the "WHITES ONLY" area where African-Americans were required to sit or stand.
The subtly convex sign has had no restoration and remains in all-original condition. It bears areas of paint loss, scratching and superficial rusting (some areas larger in scope than others) typical for its age and use as noted in photos. Please view photos for further assessment of the sign's condition. The age and use-related signs of wear do not impact the physical integrity of the sign and are more than appropriate to the age and purpose of the piece.
An utterly phenomenal, extremely RARE, one-of-a-kind, museum-worthy piece of Black American history!
Please take a moment to view the other "Jim Crow" Segregationist Era signs that I currently have the pleasure of offering.
GOLD DUST Trolley Signs are a very rare find in today’s market as they were made of cardboard, a material much less likely to withstand the test of time as opposed to tin advertising signs which were much sturdier!
This Gold Dust trolley sign features the Gold Dust Twins dressed in ruffled, red skirts emblazoned with the words “GOLD DUST”, busily scrubbing the front porch and the kitchen in a vigorous attempt at “Spring Cleaning”. The colors featured in this trolley sign are just stunning—greens, pale peachy-colored orange, pale blue, and yellows with white apple blossoms and red tulips flowering in profusion!! To the left of the Gold Dust Twin scrubbing the front porch, sits a large box of Gold Dust Washing Powder. The advertisement proclaims in black-outlined, peachy-orange lettering: “For Spring House Cleaning”.
The condition of this trolley sign is truly quite fine. Colors are very strong and consistent throughout; please ignore the various glass reflections seen in some of the photos- they were unavoidable and do appear to make the colors appear a bit faded—which is inaccurate! The sign is free of rips or tears although it does have two, early, fold-creases – one running from top to bottom of the sign along the left side of the pail and between the “O” and “L” in “GOLD” and the other vertical crease on the very right edge of the sign, running through the stove in the kitchen to the “T” in “DUST”. The creases are very unobtrusive and do not detract from the wonderful, colorful imagery this sign conveys.
An unusual opportunity to acquire a very RARE piece of Black Americana!!