Type Punch Matrix has published a new catalogue of... This one is hard to identify. It has no title, not even a number or date. The subjects are widely varied, generally a few of similar titles followed by a couple of something different. Nevertheless, this is a very well designed catalogue (catch that image on the cover) and the material is interesting and important. It is a fine catalogue with something for just about everyone. We will present a few items for the flavor but there is all sorts of material missed for space constraints.
We begin with a major document in the beginnings of the American Civil Rights movement. It is the Proceedings of the National Negro Conference 1909. It took place on May 31-June 1 in New York and participants and contributors of essays to this account included W.E.B. Du Bois and Ida Wells-Barnett. It came on the heels of the Springfield (IL) Race Riot the previous year, where a white mob attacked black homes and lynched two black men. A group of important black and liberal white leaders came together to found an organization that recognized “the most neglected side of the Negro's welfare is his right to civil and political equality.” The timing was perfect as it recognized the 100th birthday of the man who brought as much honor to his hometown of Springfield as the rioters brought shame, Abraham Lincoln. The organization they founded was the NAACP which went on to be the most important civil rights organization in American history. This founding document is very rare in commerce today. Item 6. Priced at $25,000.
Next we move ahead almost half a century to another defining event in the Civil Rights movement. Item 78 is a copy of Our Struggle: The Story of Montgomery by Rev. Martin Luther King. This pamphlet was the first separate printing of King's explanation of the reasons for the Montgomery bus boycott, published by the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). King led a boycott of buses in Montgomery, Alabama that year. Black passengers provided an important part of the city's bus budget, yet they were forced to sit in the back of the bus, and if they were filled when a new white person boarded, a black closest to the front had to give up their seat. Realizing blacks had economic power, King led a boycott of their buses. Rosa Parks initiated it by refusing to give up her seat to a newly entering white. It took over a year, but Montgomery finally yielded to the boycotters demands and desegregated the buses. In his explanation, King also promoted his belief in nonviolent activism as the right way to achieve their goals. $1,000.
This next item takes us back to the roots of rock and roll music. It is a copy of the 1948 issue of Local 174 Price List and Conditions from the American Federation of Musicians Local 174 of New Orleans. That by itself doesn't mean much except this was the personal copy of Antoine “Fats” Domino. Domino was playing in local clubs in New Orleans at the time but in late 1949 he released the record that changed the music world, “The Fat Man.” Perhaps no song can truly be called the first rock and roll song as it evolved from blues, jump blues, and other forms, but if there is any other song that is clearly rock and roll recorded earlier I have yet to hear it. This manual is filled with Domino's notes, including mentions of performances past and future, amounts paid, and meetings with others. One was an early meeting concerning union membership with trumpet player Dave Bartholomew. Bartholomew co-wrote most of “Fats'” 1950s and early 1960s hits, of which there were many. Domino would go on to sell well over 100 million records and be an inaugural member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His influence was such that Elvis Presley referred to him as the “real king of rock and roll” and Jamaican musicians attempting to imitate his style gave rise to the birth of ska music. Item 7. $15,000.
The title of this booklet is The Thirteen Most Wanted, though I don't know who would want this bunch. It was issued by the New York Police Department in 1962. It was intended to assist police in finding these criminal suspects. The publication was inspired by the FBI's most wanted lists, but it is now better known for the inspiration it played itself. It inspired Andy Warhol's censored mural prepared for the 1964 New York World's Fair. Warhol was hired to prepare a mural for the New York State pavilion. He chose silkscreen portraits of these criminal suspects. Curator Philip Johnson demanded it be taken down, reportedly at the insistence of New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller. Rockefeller evidently didn't think these gentlemen represented New York well and was concerned the number of mafia suspects would alienate his Italian-American constituents. Item 67. $1,500.
This next book was written by William Popple, a man ahead of his time. A rationalist and believer in toleration, he was unusual for the time of this book, published in 1687. He was a friend of John Locke who shared many of his views. Popple was the first to translate Locke's “Letter Concerning Toleration” from the original Latin. His book is A Rational Catechism or, An Instructive Conference between a Father and a Son. He expresses his views on education in the form of a dialogue with his son, but was concerned about leaving out his daughters, as virtually all education did at that time. So he wrote a dedication of the book to his two daughters. He wrote, “In the doing of it I have made use of your Brother's Name, and have thereby given him a peculiar Title to the thing. But as I am desirous that it may be a common Memorial of me unto al of you... I therfore make it yours also by this Dedication.” Three and a half centuries later there still are many people who have not caught up to Popple's forward thinking. Item 34. $3,000.