Diverse Americana From Michael Brown Rare Books
Item 27 is an odd pamphlet. It's headed Facts Relating to ________ the Only Tattooed Lady....All Clearly Proving Her to Be One of the Most Remarkable and Rarest Curiosities Now on Exhibition. Why the name was left blank is unclear, but the wrappers indicate she was known as "M'lle Aimee," who appears to be Irene Woodward, aka "La Belle Irene." Supposedly she claimed to have been tattooed in West Texas to hide her identity from the Indians, although an old newspaper indicated she was actually tattooed in New York. Maybe it was someone other than the Indians she was trying to fool. Perhaps in a few more years we will see on display at some carnival the last woman on earth without a tattoo. $350.
The New Jersey Woman Suffrage Association in 1868 published To The Women of New Jersey. Why You Should Vote. The pamphlet was offered for sale by Lucy Stone. It calls on women to "Demand the ballot." "Bring your influence to bear on the government, and sweep corruption out of politics." Well guess what. Women have been voting for nearly a century now. Has it "swept corruption" out of New Jersey politics? As a male, it's comforting to know that women vote for the same corrupt politicians that we do. Item 125. $450.
Arthur, Burnham & Co. offered Fresh Fruits and Vegetables, All the Year, At Summer Prices; and How to Obtain Them. How were they able to do this back in 1855? This pamphlet explains that the answer is "Arthur's Patent Self-Cleaning Can." Is this not canned fruits and vegetables, not fresh, or am I missing something here? It's no more likely that these fruits and vegetables were "fresh" than it was that this can actually cleaned itself. However, they were accurate on one point. You could buy this produce "at summer prices," since obviously you bought them in the summer to can them for winter. Duh. Item 17. $125.
An insight into medical practice in the first half of the 19th century is offered by Dr. Walter Channing in Professional Reminiscences of Foreign Travel, published in 1852. He had traveled to England, Russia, and many countries of continental Europe over the years, and made a point of visiting physicians and hospitals. Dr. Channing was one of Boston's most notable physicians, having taught at Harvard Medical College from 1815 until 1847. His papers, including the manuscripts for this book, are housed at the Massachusetts Historical Society. You can find out more at www.masshist.org/findingaids/doc.cfm?fa=fa0018 Item 76. $125.
Michael Brown Rare Books may be found on the internet at www.mbamericana.com and reached by phone at 215-387-9808.