Digital North Carolina Blog

Digital North Carolina Blog

This blog is maintained by the staff of the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center and features highlights from the collections at DigitalNC, an online library of primary sources from institutions across North Carolina.

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Viewing entries posted in December 2014


Images from the Oliver Nestus Freeman Round House Museum added to DigitalNC

Detail from Round House Museum Scrapbook 4, page A second batch of images from the Oliver Nestus Freeman Round House Museum of Wilson, NC, has been added to DigitalNC.

Many of the images document civic clubs and sororities in Wilson. Included is an image of Booker T. Washington with the Wilson Men’s Club.

We’re also pleased to present four very fragile scrapbooks from the Museum. The first three are full of portraits and family scenes. Although the photos are labeled with a good number of first names or familial titles, we have very little definitive information about the people inside. (If you know more, contact us.) The fourth scrapbook has a collection of pressed leaves.

Forty-five photographs from the museum are now available online, in addition to a number of other documents and items related to Freeman and others in Wilson. You can view all of the items here.

 


Season’s Greetings…from Cigarette Santa

The R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company ran full-page, full-color ads from 1935-1942, all featuring a Santa who stresses that tobacco is above all such an acceptable gift, though he is never pictured smoking himself. R.J. Reynolds, located in Winston-Salem, N.C., ran these advertisements in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Carolina Magazine, a long-running campus publication that served as a literary supplement to the Daily Tar Heel, the campus newspaper.

1935: “Of course you’ll give cigarettes for Christmas. They’re such an acceptable gift.”

"Of course you'll give cigarettes for Christmas. They're such an acceptable gift."

 

1937: “A gift of Camels says: ‘Happy Holidays AND Happy Smoking!'”

1937: "A gift of Camels says: "Happy Holidays AND Happy Smoking!""

 

1940: “No problem about those pipe-smokers on your gift list!”

1940: "No problem about those pipe-smokers on your gift list!"

 

 

1941: “More smokers prefer Camels than any other cigarette. And that preference holds for men in the Army, Navy, the Marines, and the Coast Guard, too! So remember those lads in uniform…”

1941: "More smokers prefer Camles than any other cigarette. And that preference holds for men in the Army, Navy, the Marines, and the Coast Guard, too! So remember those lads in uniform..."
 

 

In 1942, another tobacco comopany, the Virginia-based Liggett & Myers, switched their Chesterfield advertising tack focus from glamorous winter women to Santa, perhaps following RJ Reynolds’ success with their campaign.

1942: War Santa urges you to “Send them to the ones you’re thinking of…their cheerful appearance says I wish you A Merry Christmas, and says it well…”

1942: War Santa urges you to "Send them to the ones you're thinking of...their cheerful appearance says I wish you A Merry Christimas, and says it well..."

 

1944: “Your Chesterfield Santa Claus” offers you a a cigarette jovially, while a holly-draped V reminds you to “Say it with Bonds for Victory”.

1944:  "Your Chesterfield Santa Claus" offers you a a cigarette jovially, while a holly-draped V reminds you "Say it with Bonds for Victory".

Then, just as suddenly as they started in 1935, there are no more holiday-themed tobacco ads in the Carolina Magazine. The magazine itself continues until 1948, and various tobacco advertisements still appear, but none are as festive as these.

To see more cigarette ads from the Carolina Magazine, check out tumblr; or view the full Carolina Magazines from 1892-1948 on DigitalNC.

 


More yearbooks from Johnston County now Online

Senior Trip, from the 1962 Glen-Cedo

Senior Trip, from Glendale High School’s 1962 The Glen-Cedo Yearbook.

The Johnston County Heritage Center has shared more yearbooks from the 1950s and 1960s through DigitalNC. The schools represented in this latest batch are:

There are now 240 yearbooks and campus publications from Johnston County available on DigitalNC, and over 170 of those were contributed by the Johnston County Heritage Center.

 

 


Yearbooks from Caldwell County, from a New Partner, Now Online

The 1964 Hudson High School Band.

The 1964 Hudson High School Band.

The Caldwell Heritage Museum has partnered with us to bring the first high school yearbooks from Caldwell County high schools to DigitalNC. Over 40 high school yearbooks, along with 9 yearbooks from Davenport College are included in this batch. (The Museum is located in the only remaining building of Davenport College). The schools represented are listed below:

View all of the materials from the Caldwell Heritage Museum on DigitalNC.


Anna Siedenburg

Monday Matchup

Here on our blog, we occasionally feature “matchups” that showcase relationships between different items in our collection. Today’s matchup? Illustrations in yearbooks from Salem Academy (Winston-Salem) and Elizabeth College (Charlotte).

An idle interest in the illustration below led to today’s rather extensive blog post.

Illustration by Anna Siedenburg from Elizabeth College's Caps and Belles yearbook, 1901

Illustration by Anna Siedenburg from Elizabeth College’s Caps and Belles yearbook, 1901

It wasn’t the artwork that caught my eye, albeit the image is lovely, but the inscription of “copyrighted” at the bottom. This isn’t something I’ve ever noticed accompanying such an early hand-drawn yearbook illustration (and I’ve looked at a lot of them). So I began investigating this copyright-aware student artist… and discovered it wasn’t a student, but a faculty member. Using just the collection at DigitalNC, I was able to unfold a good bit more about this woman: Anna Magdelene Siedenburg.

Siedenburg illustration from the 1907 Salem College Sights and Insights

Siedenburg illustration from the 1907 Salem College Sights and Insights

Signed illustrations by Siedenburg can be found in the 1901 yearbook for Elizabeth College, from which the image above is taken, as well as yearbooks from Salem Academy and College in 1906 and 1907 (see right). There are a good number of unsigned illustrations that could be her work as well (as here), or perhaps they are by students emulating her style.

From these yearbooks, I was able to piece together that Siedenburg taught at the two institutions mentioned above from at least 1900 to 1912. She was president and faculty sponsor of art clubs at both schools, and is listed as an instructor in drawing and painting (especially on ceramic and glass), as well as French and German.

But where did she come from? The Salem catalog for 1906 states her accomplishments: exhibiting in large American cities like New York, and winning various medals of excellence as well as designing for “leading art journals.” For more information I had to move beyond items on our site.

Anna Siedenburg was born in Bremen, Germany on February 23, 1854*.  I’m unsure when she arrived in the United States, but if she traveled to North Carolina around 1900 she would have been a seasoned artist in the mature part of her career at age 46. I was able to track down more information using what was hinted at in the 1906 Salem College catalog. Siedenburg’s name is peppered throughout The Art Amateur from 1892-1900. She is both subject and author, with reviews of her exhibitions along with articles she wrote about painting on glass and advertisements for her as an instructor. Through the Amateur I learned that she lived in Cinncinnati in 1892, Chicago in 1895, and New York in 1898**. During this same time period (late 1890s-1900), Siedenburg authored several books on painting as well as a curious little volume of Fairy Tales and Fancies, which she illustrated. (List of her authored publications on WorldCat.)

The cover of Fairy Tales and Fancies, by Anna Siedenburg, Chicago, 1895. Courtesy Davis Library, UNC Chapel Hill.

The cover of Fairy Tales and Fancies, by Anna Siedenburg, Chicago, 1895. Courtesy Davis Library, UNC Chapel Hill.

It’s hard not to try and imagine the personality of a moderately successful female artist of that time period who traveled widely and seemingly on her own, eventually making her way to North Carolina to devote time to instructing young women. She seems to have been a thoughtful woman who was well liked by her students; the 1906 Salem College yearbook includes a poem entitled “My Seniors,” in which she expresses especial affinity for the graduating class. She was creative. Her book of original Fairy Tales includes a good number of princesses but also strays beyond the stereotypical, as in “Just a Match” which is an allegorical tale about, well, a match.

The other pieces of personal information I could find are few, but include a reference to a friend visiting her at a cottage called “Galax,” in Blowing Rock***. I also know she died, single, in Winston-Salem on November 12, 1926*. She was buried in God’s Acre, the Moravian cemetery that’s now part of Old Salem.

My hope was to find a picture of her in one of the yearbooks on our site, but most of the faculty photos were unreliably labeled. Thankfully, I have something even better. It’s with pleasure that I can present this photo, cheerfully provided by the archives at Salem College, of Anna Siedenburg.

Undated photograph of Pauline Bahnson (left) and Anna M. Siedenburg, Bahnson graduated Salem College in 1910. Courtesy Salem College Archives.

Undated photograph of Pauline Bahnson (left) and Anna M. Siedenburg, Bahnson graduated Salem College in 1910. Courtesy Salem College Archives.

 

*Source: Ancestry.com. North Carolina, Death Certificates, 1909-1975 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007. Original data: North Carolina State Board of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics.North Carolina Death Certificates. Microfilm S.123. Rolls 19-242, 280, 313-682, 1040-1297. North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, North Carolina.

** The Art Amateur (February 1898) p. 76.

***The Orange County Observer newspaper (June 25, 1908) p. 3.


Yearbooks from Davidson County Added to DigitalNC

Lexington High School Football Team 1964

The Lexington High School Football Team, 1964.

Over 50 yearbooks from several branches of the Davidson County Public Library system, a new partner, are now online. These are the first high school yearbooks we’ve been able to present from Davidson County. The schools represented are listed below:

We also found several famous folks in the yearbooks above, including Richard Harrison of the Pawn Stars television series and the artist Bob Timberlake. The yearbooks above come from the Lexington Library and the North Davidson Public Library. You can view all of the yearbooks from Davidson County Public Library System on DigitalNC.


Letters from Children to Santa in Historic North Carolina Newspapers

What did children in early 20th century rural North Carolina want for Christmas? Oranges.

Based on our highly unscientific survey of letters to Santa published in local newspapers from the 1920s through the 1940s, oranges appeared more often than anything else, usually paired with nuts and candy. In an age before widespread refrigeration and quick cross-country transport, oranges were still fairly exotic, and, apparently, in high demand among children. As far as requests for toys, they were split pretty predictably by gender. Lots of girls asked for dolls, especially dolls that had eyes that could open and close and could say “Mama,” while boys asked for toy guns and bikes or wagons.

These letters were a regular feature throughout the month of December in many of the small-town weekly papers that we’ve digitized. Many are short and to the point, lots are amusing, and a few reveal heartbreaking details about the difficult lives led by some of the kids. We’ve posted a handful of examples below and will share others throughout the month on our Twitter feed (@ncdhc).

Letters to Santa from The Elkin Tribune, December 24, 1936

Letters to Santa from The Elkin Tribune, December 24, 1936

 

Letters to Santa from The Franklin Press, December 21, 1933.

Letters to Santa from The Franklin Press, December 21, 1933.

 

Letters from The Franklin Press, December 2, 1932.

Letters from The Franklin Press, December 2, 1932.

Letters to Santa from the Forest City Courier, December 15, 1927.

Letters to Santa from the Forest City Courier, December 15, 1927.


Now Online: Materials from the Grand Lodge of North Carolina

The archives of The Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of North Carolina is one of our newest partners, with photographs, a scrapbook, Lodge publications and more added to DigitalNC.

Chartered in 1771, the Grand Lodge is one of the oldest institutions in the state. Many prominent early North Carolinians–William Hooper and Richard Caswell for example–were members. The archives is currently located in the Executive Office Building on Glenwood Road, in Raleigh; many photos shared through DigitalNC in the current batch show the building, including sketches of the murals in the main lobby created by Allyn Cox, who also provided murals for the U.S. Capitol.

Sketches for Grand Lodge Mural

Sketch of one of two murals in the Grand Lodge Executive Office Building in Raleigh. Artist: Allyn Cox.

NC Freemasons Mural South Wall

Photo of mural in Grand Lodge Executive Office Building, Raleigh, N.C. Courtesy the NC Museum of History.

Other items shared through DigitalNC include the following:

  • Scrapbook of Masonic Bicentennial Celebrations in North Carolina (1976)
  • Photographs of Grand Lodge buildings and staff, as well as the Orphanage at Oxford, NC
  • Directories and Bylaws for Lodges around the state
  • Programs from several building dedications

We hope to share more from the Grand Lodge in the future. View all of their items currently on DigitalNC.


Large Aerial Photographs, Manuscripts and School Materials from Stanly County Online

Stanly County Common School Register Excerpt

Excerpt from the Common School Register, September, 1860. The instructor closed the school during fair weather to “pull fodder.” Later that month, attendance decreased to “a very few in number.”

Perhaps you saw our recent tweet showing students holding a large bound volume of aerial photographs? This volume was one of two that were included in a recent batch of items digitized for the Stanly County Museum.

Other items in this batch include a group of indentures from 1795 – 1886. These are some of the oldest items on our site. Common surnames in the indentures include Blackwelder, Ridenhour, and Lyerly.

The final two items from this batch are the Stanly County North Carolina Common School Register (1838-1863) and the Albemarle School District Census (1906). The latter includes students’ names, ages, and whether they were male or female, and what we believe are parents’ names. The former includes a bit more detail, including attendance records, grades, and the occupations of parents. Down the right hand pages are notes from the teacher that are a diary of sorts, describing school activities, visitors, the weather, as well as an expulsion and several deaths. Also, be sure to take a look at the school rules, enumerated on page 7. No whooping or hallowing!

View all of the materials on DigitalNC from the Stanly County Museum.


Photographs, Documents from Old Jamestown High School Available Online

Jamestown High School photo, circa 1919Photographs, commencement programs, and other documents from Jamestown High School (later Ragsdale High School) of Jamestown, N.C. have been added to DigitalNC. The Old Jamestown School Association, which preserves the history of the Guilford County school and operates out of the Jamestown Public Library, has partnered with us to share these items online along with 17 yearbooks added back in June.

Included are photos dating back to the early 20th century, showing students and faculty as well as the school building and dormitories. There are also commencement programs from the 1880s to the 1970s, two school catalogs, report cards, and a few issues of the school newspaper.

You can view all items from the Old Jamestown School Association on DigitalNC here.