Ephemera Society Fair Catalogue from Zephyr Used and Rare Books

- by Michael Stillman

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Ephemera Society Fair Catalogue from Zephyr Used and Rare Books

Zephyr Used & Rare Books has issued a catalogue titled Summer Heat: Ephemera Society Fair – 2021. Being a Pacific Northwest dealer, they felt the heat of this record hot summer even more than the rest of us. Zephyr is a logical participant in Ephemera Society fairs since that is most of what they sell. There are, however, some books mixed in with this collection. Ephemera can be hard to categorize since it tends to be so varied, but here are a few samples of the type of material you will find.

 

San Francisco suffered a devastating earthquake in 1906. Between the earthquake damage and the ensuing fires, it was practically destroyed. Building it back was a monumental task, but they did it. Now it was San Francisco's time to shine. In 1915 the city hosted the Panama-Pacific Exposition. It was designed to celebrate the opening of the Panama Canal, but for San Francisco, it was also a chance to show they were back. There were all sorts of exhibits on the 636 acre site of this world's fair type event. Item 58216 is a photographic souvenir album from this show titled Views of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in Natural Colors. Among the photographs are the Palace of Fine Arts as seen at night, the Tower of Jewels at day and night, the Avenue of Progress, and the Great South Gardens. Most spectacular of all is the double-page birds-eye view of the exposition taken by airplane, showing the entire fair and surrounding area. Priced at $300.

 

Would you like to move to the land of opportunity, a place where you will find “health, happiness, success, independence?” Of course you would, but you probably don't know where it is. Well, here it is the answer – South Dakota! I know what you might be thinking. What about brutal winters, baking summers, little rain, and not even underground reservoirs of oil like the Dakota to the north? No place is perfect, not even paradise. Head to The Land of Greater Opportunity, “where one crop often pays for the land.” The state also boasted newly graded roads and a place that would heal sufferers from asthma and tuberculosis. This 16-page brochure was published under the name of Loyson G. Troth, Secretary of Agriculture of South Dakota, in 1932. The thought of someplace offering prosperity must have been inviting in 1932, the heart of the Great Depression. Item 58215. $75.

 

This is sort of a travel book, or alternatively a “screwball comedy.” The title is The Moon and the Wind, by one A. P. (Alvin Percy) Carroll. Here is how Zephyr describes it - a “comedic automobile and trailer travel novel, set against the backdrop of escaping marital strife in a bid for mountain lake fishing, discovering a surprise stowaway Hollywood starlet, as well as avoiding State Troopers and Justice Department investigators who believe he kidnapped her.” Happens every day. Carroll was a Washington State proponent of the Good Roads movement, organizers of the Olympicans, who promoted construction of scenic drives in the Olympic Peninsula, and one who promoted the planting of rhododendrons (bet you didn't know that). Item 58227. $200.

 

Here is a vehicle you could have used in the days before good roads, and can be used on the back roads today. Item 58168 is the Training Handbook for the first Bronco 4-Wheel Drive. It was introduced for the 1965 model year, Ford's answer to the popular Jeep. It appeared sort of under the radar as the prior year Ford had introduced the wildly popular Mustang. The boxy Bronco looked like a pick up with a cabin over the truck bed, not surprising since that is essentially what it was. However, it filled a niche, and that niche, now called “SUVs” (sports utility vehicle), is the most popular of types around now, passenger cars disappearing. The 1965 model came in three styles, including the even more Jeep-like roofless version with inserts instead of doors. This guide provides instruction in such things as driving off-road, through water and mud, and maintenance. The Bronco was discontinued in 1996, but a new version of it was brought back for the 2021 model year. $175.

 

Here is something I did not know existed. I am familiar with brand books for cattle. They record the brands ranchers use on their cattle. That way if a cow wanders up to your door, you can tell who it belongs to, sort of like a lost dog with a tag. The more practical use was knowing a cow was yours if it escaped, ran on open range, or even more, if someone stole it. What I did not know is there are also brands for logs. Chances are, your lumber isn't going to wander off on its own, but someone might steal it. Evidently, this is a bigger problem than I realized. In the days before World War I, Zephyr informs us, pirates were stealing hundreds of thousands of logs. I don't know how they did that. You can't slip a log under your shirt. But these swashbucklers of the forests must have had their ways. These sheets are in a three-ring binder. There are hundreds of brand symbols and listings of who owned each one. These listings were issued after the creation of the State of Washington Department of Natural Resources in 1957. They helped to cut down smaller mills that purchased “hot logs” from bootleggers. Item 58170. $350.

 

For many, probably most people, there is one book about the wonderful world of Oz, the first, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by creator L. Frank Baum, published in 1900. Had it received only a modest reception, it likely would have been the only one. It was a great success, and Baum knew when he had a good thing. He kept putting out sequels, a total of 13 more before he died in 1920. It was still too good to quit, so his family turned it over to Ruth Plumly Thompson, who wrote more Oz books than Baum, 19 in all. In 1940, John R. Neill, who illustrated every Oz book after the first, took over writing too. He wrote three, but then died in 1943. That takes us to the fourth Oz “historian,” whose name was Jack Snow. Now for an aside – there have been hundreds of Oz books, but only 40 are recognized as “canonical” by serious Oz aficionados. Snow wrote numbers 37 and 38. New authors took on the last two. Item 58220 is #37 by Snow, The Magical Mimics in Oz, published in 1946. It was illustrated by Frank Kramer, the first in the series since #1 not illustrated by Neill. He did not stray far from Neill's style. $100.

 

Zephyr Used & Rare Books may be reached at 360-695-7767 or zephyrbook@gmail.com.