Zephyr Used & Rare Books has a Winter Amalgam. It's an amalgamation of different types of works on different subjects. You could also call it a miscellany or variety. Zephyr focuses on pamphlets, flyers, advertising pieces, archives, photographs and the like, but also includes some books since that's in their name. It is mostly material from the twentieth century, some of which you will remember, others of which are from before your time. Zephyr regularly brings us back to memories of things we or our parents and grandparents experienced in times gone by. These are a few.
With the opening of the Transcontinental Railroad, tourist opportunities in the West opened to residents of all parts of the country. The railroads jumped on the opportunity. We begin with The Pacific Tourist: An Illustrated Guide. The Pacific R. R., California, and Pleasure Resorts Across the Continent. It comes from 1879-1880. It covers territory of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific Railroads. Zephyr explains, “Included are sections on Yellowstone, Yosemite, history, cities & views of Utah, California, the Chinese & Chinatown in San Francisco, desert scenes & towns in New Mexico, and Arizona, along with camping, hunting, and fishing." It also describes Indian tribes along the route. Priced at $450.
Do you like to draw? For a century, budding artists were asked that question in newspaper ads, matchbook covers, and later television. It was asked by Art Instruction, Inc., a large correspondence art school in Minneapolis. They would send you lesson plans, you'd return your work, and they would evaluate your progress. Offered is a 36-page catalogue from 1950 of what they offered and descriptions of their teachers. Look, here's one you know. Charles Schulz was an instructor at Art Instruction before he became famous for his Peanuts comic strip. He had taken the course himself several years earlier. If you had applied in 1950, he might have been the one reviewing your work. That was also the year he began drawing Peanuts. Some of its characters were based on people who worked there, including Charlie Brown, Linus, and Freida, the “red-haired girl.” Snoopy was not a co-worker. By 1952, Schulz had retired as an instructor and hired on a few of his co-workers to assist him as his comic strip became a huge sensation. Unfortunately, if you wish to follow Schulz's path to enormous success, you are too late. Art Instruction shut down in 2018. $250.
Kitchens didn't always have kitchen cabinets. I don't know why no one thought of that for so long. Instead, cooks, mostly housewives, had to bring such things as utensils, salt, pepper and spices, and regularly used essentials from somewhere else. That was a lot of unnecessary steps. There was an interim stage before someone came up with the logical idea of kitchen cabinets. They were freestanding cabinets called Hoosier Cabinets because they were invented and mostly manufactured in Indiana. One of the best-selling models was made by Coppes Brothers of Napanee, Indiana. These cabinets had a flat food preparation surface, like a small countertop, plus lots of drawers and closets to store items needed for preparing a meal. They would generally be placed close to the stove to reduce the number of footsteps needed to prepare a meal. This item has two promotional pieces for the Nepanee Dutch Kitchenet. It points out that Emerson Engineers somehow determined that the average housewife would save 1,592 steps a day, or 10%-15% of her steps by having one of these in the kitchen. Hoosier Cabinets were extremely popular and several makers raked in lots of business selling them until someone started building cabinets into kitchens. Sales shrank drastically. Coppes Brothers was the only company still making them in the 21st century. $195.
This is one of the earliest books to discuss climate change and the affect of human activity on climate. The title is The Climatic Changes of Later Geological Times A Discussion based on Observations made in the Cordilleras of North America, published in 1882. The author was Josiah Dwight Whitney, a geology professor at Harvard who undertook geologic surveys in several states before being named state geologist for California in 1860. He was next put in charge of a geologic survey for the state. This is one of several publications by Whitney. The book discusses human impact on climate in relation to excessive logging in New England where forests had declined from 90% of arable land to 10% by 1870, and how similar activity in Asia affected soil moisture in the Americas. Mt. Whitney, the tallest mountain in the contiguous 48 states, is named for Whitney. $1,100.
What is the shape of your face? This is a question for women only. Nobody cares for men. The book is Fashion Dos and Don'ts in Hats, Hairdo's, and Makeup, published in 1943. The author was Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, better known as just Colette. She was a French author, actress, and journalist. Her best known work is Gigi, which was made into a popular movie in the 1950s. In this book, she provides the detailed dos and don'ts for those with oval, long, round, square, heart-shaped, diamond-shaped, and triangle-shaped faces. $95.
Here is a book for those searching for “Sasquatch, Bigfoot, Mountain Devil, Smy-a-likh, Bushman, Dsonoqua, Omah, Bukwas, Seeahtik, Wild Man, or Creek Devil.” I presume these are all the same mysterious creature said to inhabit the woods of the West Coast of America. The book is The Sasquatch File by John Green. It is dedicated to Roger Patterson and other pioneers in the search for Sasquatch aka Bigfoot. The book was published in 1973, meaning it is now 50 years old and still no one has found Bigfoot, though true-believers soldier on. $75.