Cincinnati: Times Print, [ca. 1861]. Illustrated broadside, approximately 25 1/4 x 18 3/4 inches. Small dampstain in upper right corner. Soft horizontal fold, minimal wear, slight chips at corners. Very good. Item #WRCAM55263
A charming and attractively-illustrated advertisement for a new general store opening in Olive Green in Delaware County, in central Ohio at the outbreak of the Civil War. The overall message of the broadside is interesting in that it seeks to reassure customers that despite the potential fear of shortages caused by the Civil War, "fresh goods at prices suited to the war times" would still be readily available. In the large woodcut in the center of the broadside, a crowd gathers around an arriving train, exclaiming, "A large stock has been received by J.N. Stark. It is astonishing at what low prices he is now enabled to sell Goods. Well this arrival beats them all; I'll give him a call." The train belches a plume of black smoke and a sign on one of the cars reads "Liquors, Groceries, Farming Utensils, &c, &c, just arrived." It appears as though someone has attempted to cross-out the word "liquors." Stark promises (with apparent contradiction) that "Country Produce of all kinds taken in payment for Merchandise.... Buying and selling for cash alone, I am enabled to give customers as good bargains as they can find anywhere else in the country." Among the goods offered are "hardware, glassware, clothing, notions, boots, shoes, hats, caps, stationery, wooden and queensware" all to be sold from a "well furnished store." The woodcut is arranged between text composed of large, bold wooden type. The town of Olive Green did not survive long, and has been unincorporated territory in Ohio for some time. The commercial firm that created the broadside, Frazer & Denis (their name is featured in the woodcut) was most active mainly in the early 1850s, producing everything from circus posters to views of Cincinnati buildings and other businesses; the "Times Print, Cincinnati" imprint was used from about 1861 to 1880. Frazer & Denis tout themselves in the CINCINNATI BUSINESS MIRROR of 1852 as specializing in "Designing and engraving on wood....Our establishment is the largest in the west, and our facilities such that we are enabled to execute work on the shortest notice, in the first style of art." James N. Stark (1823-1899) was listed as a wealthy merchant in Delaware County in the 1860 census. A rare broadside, with no copies listed in OCLC. A copy (likely this same one) was offered by Ernest Wessen's Midland Books, for $7 in 1959. MIDLAND NOTES 74:390.