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 by Katie McNeirney


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.

 


Wilkes Community College Items Now Online–Plus a History of MerleFest

In addition to the excellent music reviews and the hottest fashion tips of 1999, the recently uploaded student newspapers from Wilkes Community College offer an insider’s history of the annual music festival MerleFest. MerleFest began in 1988 and honors the memory of Eddy Merle Watson, son of music legend Doc Watson. What started out as a one-time event to fund a garden for the blind (Merle Watson Garden of the Senses) is now a huge source of income for the county and region. It is estimated that the “traditional plus” festival brings over $10 million to the region (source: MerleFest Reflections). Watch the festival grow through the years in these photographs and articles from the newly-digitized Cougar Cry student newspaper.

To see the full-size image, click on the date below the image.

To view all items from Wilkes Community College, including yearbooks from 1968-1995, click here.


Scrapbooks, Yearbooks, and a Grand Achievement for Wayne County Public Library

From Carver High School in Mount Olive, N.C., 1961.

From Carver High School in Mount Olive, N.C., 1961.

The Digital Heritage Center staff just uploaded several items that brought our partner Wayne County Public Library past a milestone: over 1000 items on DigitalNC! This summer we’ve been busy digitizing a range of Wayne County materials, including school yearbooks and all types of scrapbooks. The scrapbooks range from 4-H club records (pigs galore!) to several on the Major-League Baseball player and pickle salesman Ray Scarborough.

Most recently uploaded are the Wayne County War Memorial scrapbooks from 1923-1925. The two scrapbooks cover the Wayne County 1924-1925 Scrapbook pagehistory of the building from inception to completion, and are an excellent record of post-war sentiment in Wayne County. The building, which opened in 1925, was a monument to the Wayne County soldiers who fought in the first world war. For almost 80 years, it functioned as a community center, administrative office building, and recreational facility (an indoor swimming pool was added in 1935). It also served as a monument not only to World War I soldiers but to honor those who served in subsequent wars as well. Sadly, the building burned down in 2004; in its place the Wayne County Veterans Memorial was constructed. For more information on the memorials, visit the Wayne County Veterans Memorial website.

Also digitized are several yearbooks from two Wayne County high schools. The African-American Carver High School in Mount Olive, NC now has six volumes from 1959-1964 available, and Pikeville High School in Pikeville, NC has six new volumes from 1958-1961.

For all items from Wayne County Public Library, click here.


Stanly County Scrapbooks, Ledgers, Postcards, and Civil War Letters Now Online

The North Carolina Digital Heritage Center recently digitized a variety of materials from the Stanly County Museum in Albemarle, N.C. Prominent in the materials is information on the Jones family.

The Jones Family Materials

Brothers James Read Jones, left, and Will Jones (circa 1861-1862). Their letters, among others, comprise the Jones Family Letter Collection from the Stanly County Museum.

Brothers James Read Jones, left, and Will Jones (circa 1861-1862). Both were soldiers from Indiana in the Union army. Their letters, among others, comprise the Jones Family Letter Collection from the Stanly County Museum.

The  Jones Family Letter Collection was donated to the Stanly County Museum by Janice H. Mitchener. The letters, which number in the hundreds, are correspondence between James Read Jones, his wife Achsah Gilbert Pleas Jones, and various friends and other members of their family. The complete, numbered letters appear first in the collection (Letters 1-169), followed by incomplete letters (Loose 1-51). Biographical information about the Jones family is at the end of the letter collection (Documents 1-5). The numbered letters are roughly grouped–first are James Read Jones’s letters, and then Achsah Gilbert Pleas Jones’s letters (for a chronology, see Document 5).

The correspondence tracks many threads: the couple’s relationship, from infancy to past marriage, and the life and death in 1862 of Will Jones, James Read Jones’s brother. Though the letters date from January 1861 to April 1894, the bulk of the letters date from 1861-1862, when James and his brother served in the Union army. As Documents 2-4 detail, Sergeant J. R. Jones was mustered into Company E, 36th Regiment of the Indiana Infantry, in September 1861. He met Achsah Gilbert Pleas and on April 7, 1862, just after the Battle of Shiloh, they were married. Sgt. Jones was promoted to Second Lieutenant in March 1862 but discharged for an inguinal hernia on December 2, 1862. He then spent much of his life traveling the world as a Quaker minister, while Achsah raised their children in North Carolina. Achsah and Jimmy were married until Achsah’s death in 1898.

The Jones Family materials also includes a scrapbook. The James Read Jones Scrapbook of Writings is a collection of letters and newspaper clippings by or about James Read Jones. Dated materials in the collection range from 1885-1911. The scrapbook includes many newspaper columns and articles written by J. R. Jones, as well as assorted correspondence, photographs, and poems.

School newspapers

Also new are newspapers from two Albemarle schools. There are two late 1930s issues of The Seven Stars newspaper from Albemarle Central Elementary School, and several volumes of The Full Moon newspaper from Albemarle High School:

  • Volume 11, numbers 3-4 (December 14, 1934 – February 14, 1935)
  • Volume 12, numbers 1-6 (October 18, 1935 – May 15, 1936)
  • Volumes 24-33 (October 3, 1958 – May 24, 1967)
  • Volumes 56-63 (September 1990 – June 1998)

Other new materials include:


New on DigitalNC: Photographs and Documents from the Braswell Memorial Library in Rocky Mount

Sarah Skyler and Doris Weeks posing with basketball (1940).

Sarah Skyler and Doris Weeks posing with basketball (1940).

The North Carolina Digital Heritage Center recently uploaded more materials from the Braswell Memorial Library (Rocky Mount, N.C.). Several of the items and documents had belonged to Selma Lee Rose, including a collection of photographs, her high school transcript, and a certificate of baptism for Selma Joyner. Also included in the recently digitized Braswell Memorial Library materials is not the first but the second commemorative napkin in our digital collection!


Wake County Yearbooks Now Online

From the 1922 Rattler, Raleigh High School's yearbook. Part of a photo essay of Raleigh.

From the 1922 Rattler, Raleigh High School’s yearbook. Part of a photo essay of Raleigh.

The Digital Heritage Center partnered for the first time with the Olivia Raney Local History Library in Raleigh to digitize nearly a hundred Wake County school yearbooks, catalogs, reunion books, and graduation programs.  The materials, which span 1909-2008, are windows into the daily lives and times of North Carolinians throughout the century.

Some of these yearbooks come from schools no longer in operation. Here, we’ve provided a brief history of each former school (when available), and a link to the volumes from that school (see section “Closed Schools” below). We also digitized yearbooks from schools that still exist today (see “Current Schools” section at end).

Closed Schools

Charles B. Aycock Junior High School (Raleigh, N.C.)

Aycock Junior High School Cheerleaders, 1969.

Aycock Junior High School Cheerleaders, 1969.

History: Junior high school in operation from 1965-1979, when its campus was absorbed by William G. Enloe High School, which was built in 1962. The building was and still is known as the “East Building” on Enloe’s campus. Its original students were from the recently closed Hugh Morson Junior High School (formerly Hugh Morson High School).

Volumes: Aycock [1967]; Charles B. Aycock Junior High School [1974]; six of The Owl’s Nest [1968-1973]; two of Owl’s Nest [1975-1976]

Fuquay Springs High School (Fuquay-Varina, N.C.)

Students of Fuquay Springs High School at work, 1953.

Students of Fuquay Springs High School at work, 1953.

History: Three elementary schools in the area joined together to open Fuquay Springs High School in 1918. The was renamed Fuquay Varina High School in 1963 and operated until fall 1970, when it combined with Fuquay Consolidated High School to form the new Fuquay-Varina High School. That school is still in operation today (history from Fuquay-Varina High School website).

Volumes: three of The Greenbriar [1953-64]

 

Hugh Morson High School (Raleigh, N.C.)

Hugh Morson High School building, 1928.

Hugh Morson High School, 1928.

History: On September 2, 1925 the students of the overcrowded Raleigh High School moved into the brand new school called Hugh Morson. The school spanned the block of Morgan Street bounded by Person, Blount, and Hargett Streets. It was named for the long-time teacher and beloved first principal at Raleigh High School, Mr. Hugh Morson. Today, all that remains is a plaque and two gargoyles. The school newspaper was The Purple and Gold; its colors, purple and gold. These colors live on today as the colors of Needham B. Broughton High School (more details in this Good Night Raleigh post; history summarized from an excellent entry in Historical sketches of the Raleigh Public Schools by Mrs J. M. Barbee, 1943).

Hugh Morson High School was demoted to a junior high school in 1955 and operated until 1965, when it closed. Over winter break in 1965, the students were transferred to the new Charles B. Aycock Junior High School and the school was officially closed and demolished in 1966.

Volumes: 18 of The Oak Leaf [1927-1955]; Morson Memories [1962]; Hugh Morson High School Class of 1955 50th Year Reunion Memorial Directory [2005]

Hugh Morson Junior High School (Raleigh, N.C.)

Volumes: PTA Year Book [1963]; Morson Junior High [1964]

Raleigh High School (Raleigh, N.C.)

Raleigh High School, 1923.

The Raleigh High School building on W. Morgan St, 1923. The school closed in 1929 and was later demolished.

History: Raleigh High School, which preceded both Hugh Morson and Broughton High Schools, was built in 1909 next to “the Raleigh water tower, across the street from fire station #1, on W. Morgan Street” (Good Night Raleigh post). The city of Raleigh decided to build a high school in 1905, reported the News and Observer. The paper also reported that the school’s principal would be Professor Hugh Morson, who ran a successful and well-known boys’ school. The West Morgan Street location was selected for its proximity to both the State and Olivia Raney libraries (the school had no library of its own). The school was built to contain 250-300 students in 1907, but enrollment was soon up to 500. The school built a two-story brick annex during 1921-1922, just east of the city water tower. But schools were soon closed during an influenza pandemic, and the buildings of the high school were used to house patients. In, fact, the school never re-opened. By 1928-1929, the building closed for good, as Hugh Morson and Needham B. Broughton High Schools had both been built. Later the building was used by the Salvation Army, and then divvied up and sold. (Note: history summarized from an excellent entry in Historical sketches of the Raleigh Public Schools by Mrs J. M. Barbee, 1943)

Volumes: seven of The Rattler [1909-1923]; Rattler [1913]; Cylinder [1924]

Rolesville High School (Rolesville, N.C.)

Volumes:Blue Devils [1960]

James E. Shepard High School (Zebulon, N.C.)

Shepard High School boys' basketball seniors, 1970.

Shepard High School boys’ basketball seniors, 1970.

History:  African-American high school from 1933-1970.

Volumes: The Lion [1970]

 

 

 

Wakelon High School (Zebulon, N.C.)

Wakelon High School, side view, 1948.

Wakelon High School, side view, 1948.

History: Wakelon School opened in 1908 in an “eclectic brick building” in Italian/Neoclassical style (National Register of Historic Places; the building was added in 1976). It was designed by C. E. Hartage, a Raleigh architect, and features a prominent center octagonal tower. The school’s construction was a big boon for the town of Zebulon, which was incorporated just a year before the school’s construction. Its construction was a result of the 1907 General Assembly act that also established Cary High School. It operated until it was merged with the integrated Zebulon Elementary. The last of the students graduated in the 1980s, and the building was sold to GlaxoSmithKline. It has since been bought back and is now a town hall (News and Observer).

Volumes: two of The Wak-Igh-An [1941-1948]

Washington High School (Raleigh, N.C.)

Washington High School building, 1945.

Washington High School building, 1945.

History: In 1869, a school for African-American students was built at West South Street in Raleigh by the American Missionary Society of New York. The school was bought in 1875 by the city of Raleigh and organized as a public elementary school. The school grew, but by 1918 Shaw University and St. Augustine’s College had both discontinued their high school programs, leaving black students nowhere to pursue education beyond the elementary level. In the fall of 1924, Washington Elementary and High School opened (Historical sketches of the Raleigh Public Schools by Mrs J. M. Barbee, 1943). It was designed by C. A. Gadsen Sayre in the Jacobean style, a popular style for school architecture in in the 1920s, and continued as the only public high school for African Americans in Raleigh from its inception until 1953 (source). The building now holds Washington Gifted and Talented Magnet Elementary School.

Volumes: two of The Echo [1945-1950]

Current Schools

Cary High School (Cary, N.C.)

Volumes: three of Catalogue [1925-1927], a course catalog and campus publication with photographs of the classes and details of the curriculum; yearbooks: The Chsite [1920]; Chsite [1924], six of The Yrac [1952-1962]

St. Mary’s School (Raleigh, N.C.)

Volumes: The Muse [1917]; five of The Stage Coach [1927-1945]

North Carolina State School for the Blind and the Deaf (Raleigh, N.C.)

Now the Governor Morehead School for the Blind.

Volumes: four of The Reflector [1954-1960]

Needham B. Broughton High School (Raleigh, N.C.)

Volumes: 21 of The Latipac [1931-1964]; Needham Broughton High School Classes of 1939-1940 Reunion XXXXV [1984]; Perspectives: 50th Reunion, Class of 1958 [2008]; Journeys: NBBHS Class of 1959 50th Reunion [2009]

To view all of the new Wake County materials, click here.


Moore County Yearbooks Now Available

Vicky Hardister, Chief Majorette of Aberdeen High School, 1960.

Vicky Hardister, Chief Majorette of Aberdeen High School, 1960.

We recently added our first five high school yearbooks from Moore County!

Carthage High School published the cleverly-named Egahtrac up until 1952, when it was renamed The Gauntlet (1952-1954 editions available). We also digitized the 1960 Timekeeper from Aberdeen High School.

Check out the yearbooks themselves here. These yearbooks were digitized with our new partner, Moore County Library.  To view more North Carolina High School yearbooks, visit DigitalNC.


1927-1948 Issues of Carolina Magazine Now Online

Illustrations from the October 1928 and February 1929 issues of the Carolina Magazine.

Printer’s ornaments from the October 1928 and February 1929 issues of the Carolina Magazine.

Issues of the Carolina Magazine from 1927-1948 are now available on DigitalNC. The Carolina Magazine was published for over a hundred years, from 1844-1948, and briefly served as a literary supplement for the Daily Tar Heel (1929-1934). The UNC Student Publications in the North Carolina Collection, Alphabetical Listing has some information on this publication:

Though it changed a great deal in the 104 years of its existence, the magazine always contained long well-written articles and essays on history, art, and education, as well as original stories and poems by Carolina students.

The Student Publications in the North Carolina Collection document (linked above) reveals that some prominent literary figures had early work published in the Magazine–figures such as Walker Percy (1935), and Shelby Foote (1935-36). The Magazine also contained reviews of new books by now classic authors such as Hart Crane, Daniel Defoe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ernest Hemingway, Aldous Huxley, Robinson Jeffers, Margaret Mitchell, and the beloved UNC graduate Thomas Wolfe.

Perhaps most interesting, though, is the several issues in the late 1920s that were dedicated to writings of and by black authors. Influenced by the sweep of the Harlem Renaissance to the north, UNC students invited prominent writer Lewis Alexander to guest edit the May 1927 publication of the Carolina Magazine, which they called the “Negro Number”. In his acknowledgement as guest editor, Lewis Alexander states that it was “the purpose of the editors to present an issue representative of Negro life and art.” The issue contained contributions from Lewis Alexander himself, Countee Cullen, Langston Hughes, and other well-known black writers. The tradition of dedicating a spring issue to black authors continued in May 1928. The following year produced the “Negro Play Number” in April 1929, and a final “Negro Number” in May 1930.

carolinamagazine58univ_0238

The New Negro, a print by Alan R. Freelon from the May 1928 issue.

For more on the “Negro Number” issues of the Carolina Magazine, read Robert K. Poch’s review of Charles J. Holden’s book, The New Southern University: Academic Freedom and Liberalism at UNC in The American Educational History Journal: Volume 40, #1 and 2, 2013; you can also check out the book itself from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill libraries.gremlin


Wayne County Yearbooks Now Online

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Additional yearbooks from five high schools in Wayne County are now available on DigitalNC: Seven Springs High School (1952), Fremont High School (1964), Grantham High School (1964), New Hope High School (1958-1959), and Dillard High School (1957-1963), an African-American high school that was integrated into Goldsboro High School in 1969.

The Dillard High School yearbooks in particular are worth a glance. They are full of delightful details like teachers photographed with props from their classroom, a photo of the City Schools supervisor that carefully mirrors the illustration, and lighthearted cartoons that replaced students who had missed picture day (collaged below).

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The yearbooks are available courtesy of Wayne County Public Library.  To view more North Carolina High School Yearbooks, visit here.


Watson Family Materials from Rocky Mount Online

Beth_Watson

The North Carolina Digital Heritage Center recently digitized a number of items related to the Watson family of Rocky Mount. The family is well known for their tobacco and other seeds grown on the Watson Seed Farm in Whitakers, N.C. The materials came to us from the Braswell Memorial Library (Rocky Mount, N.C.).

The items are diverse, ranging from greeting cards and wedding invitations to tobacco industry publications; and span over thirty years. Though the objects cluster around a few key players, most of the Watson family appears in at least one item; to help navigate the extended family a quick look at their family tree is very helpful. Due to the amount of overlap in naming, each family member is referred to by their full name as it appears on the family tree in descriptions of the objects. George Benedict Watson, Sr. is referred to as George Benedict Watson, and his wife Martha Anne Speight Watson is different from her daughter Martha Anne Watson.

braswell_watson_clips_0043