[Continental, Ohio]: [Curtiss Show Print], [ca. 1930's-1940's]. More than 250 pieces of original letterpress printing, composed of about 100 large, letter block poster prints (most measuring from approximately 28" x 21" to 24" x 36"); about 150 smaller prints in a narrow, long format (majority approximately 10" x 24" window displays); about 25 block letter prints in various, smaller formats (from about 6" x 15" to about 15" x 36"). Majority on thin, acid paper stock. Most larger examples with center folds from storage. Frequent chipping to edges, stressing at center folds. Contents well stored and preserved. About very good overall. Very good. Item #22836
A substantial archive of Depression-era letterpress printing, advertising various vaudeville, circus, magic, minstrelsy shows, community events, and the like — mostly in and around northern and western Ohio, all produced by the Curtiss Show Print Company of Continental, Ohio. Curtiss was a longtime job printer, active for more than 100 years from its primary location in Continental, Ohio (a small town of about 1,000 residents in the very northwestern corner of the state). The shop was subject of a 2005, local PBS-aired documentary, CONTINENTAL, OHIO and its massive archive of original print blocks, file prints, correspondence, photographers, etc. resides at the Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Theatre Research Institute at The Ohio State University, having been donated by 70+ year employee (and the shop's second owner), Nyle Stateler in 2006, with this selection being shop duplicate surplus. This archive composes a rich and highly ephemeral record of the bold, primary color performance advertising prevalent during the heyday of traveling circuses, theater troops, minstrel shows (often depicting discomfiting period blackface, as above), and vaudeville companies of the Depression. The typography, often printed from massive and intricately-carved blocks, exhibit the striking designs for which Curtiss was well known. Most of the examples here are on an cheap paper stock common during the era, its inherent lack of durability and the utilitarian nature of most designs here make for a scarce surviving group. An uncommonly large, unified, and comprehensive collection of regional American performance advertising. Also creepy clowns.