Title: YALE SCRAPBOOK, 1898-1902
Book Condition: Very Good
Half mottled cloth and leather boards; 10 x 13 inches; approximately 200 pages, nearly bursting with photographs and ephemera relating to student life at turn-of-the-century Yale. Compiled by a Mr. Jay Morse Pickands (1890-1913), whose family was prominent in the industrial and commercial life of Cleveland, Ohio. (His father, Col. James Pickands, co-founded Pickands, Mather, and Co., Iron Ore, Pig Iron, and Coal.) While at Yale, Jay Pickands was affiliated with Alpha Delta Phi fraternity, and seemed an active participant in many sporting events, theater events, and possibly a secret society (Scroll and Key). This unique tome manages to amass the commonplace and the surprising – though significantly more of the latter. It begins with all the trappings of Freshman life (a student handbook, list of rules, course offerings, exam schedules, school songs, telegrams, bills, invitations to debates), then quickly gives way to sports (football, swimming, baseball – and we know that young Mr. Pickands reserved two seats to the Ladies’ Bicycle Race), social clubs (and their politics), a fair amount of hedonism (present as a preserved wine cork, bottle cap, and cigar butt), and The Theater. Collects numerous menus, ticket stubs, announcements, and play programs from Alpha Delta Phi and H. Boyah, as well as a number of newspaper clippings relevant to Yale sports and social events. Interestingly, a number of these newspaper clippings address the abolishment of Sophomore Societies, including one about a poor student being blackballed (supposedly as a display of that society’s power), and another about two prominent students who refused to join Skull and Bones. Along with this batch of newspaper clippings are four issues of "The Horoscope," concerned wholly with Yale’s Secret Societies. Another major presence in Pickand’s scrapbook is that of the theater, with announcements and invitations from the Glee and Banjo Club, and, more prominently, The H. Boyah Minstrels, present not just as ticket stubs and announcements, but as full programs and b/w photographs, both individual and group portraits, showing the entire troupe gathered together in drag, black face, or a combination thereof. Pickands provides very little text or explanation for the items he’s collected, though the personal does weave its way into this "narrative" of Yale: Pickands’ brother’s wedding announcement is amongst the newspaper clippings, as is a short article recording the sighting of "the first horseless rig in Negaunee," which belonged to Harry Pickands. (And it should be noted that Negaunee did have one other technically horseless rig, which was powered by mule.) There is a lock of baby hair. There are pictures of the family dog. He includes a few hastily scrawled notes from his roommate, asking "Dear Pick" to please wake him up if he sleeps too long. And, finally, amongst Pickands’ calling cards and dance cards, you will find the name of Alice Reynolds, who would become his wife. A rich volume. Lacking backstrip; boards a bit soiled; a little waviness from what might've once been dampstain. Bookseller Inventory # D2245
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