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1899 Antikamnia Chemical Calendar with Skeletons


This is fantastic and I would like to own it. It’s a complete Skeleton Sketches calendar from 1899, put out by the Antikamnia Chemical Company, St. Louis, MO. Each panel depicts a skeleton, dressed in various styles/occupations:

January/February, “Extra! All About The [—–]!!!,” as a raggedly-clad newsboy, hawking newspapers;

March/April, “His Fourth of July!”, with March 17 printed in green, the skeleton wearing a top hat with clover leaf, and green sash, smoking a pipe;

May/June, “Ein Stein!”, with beer stein and German pipe;

July/August, “The Doctor’s Enemy,” as patent medicine salesman, with top hat and spectacles, in one hand a bag marked “No Genuine Goods, Substitutes Only,” in the other, a card “Fred. Smith & Co. Manf’g Chemists / Motto / Quantity not Quality”;

September/October, “Practicing – At The Bar,” as a prosperous-looking attorney or business man, with top hat and cigar, leaning against a bar with shot glass in hand;

and (pictured) November/December, “A Rough Rider,” as a cowboy, with appropriate hat, gun and holster/ perched atop a box “From the Antikamnia Chemichal Comp. / St. Louis, Mo.”

Verso of each card with text regarding the various products of the company and the diseases for which they are recommended (a sampling: Chronic Rheumatism, Puerperal and Malarial Fevers, Bronchitis, Pneumonia, Tuberculosis, Typhoid, all Neuroses due to Irregularities of Menstruation, etc.).

I love it. So ghoulish!

The Antikamnia Chemical Company hired local physician-artist Louis Crucius to do the art for the calendars. Crucius was also a pharmacist, and did the “Skeleton Sketches” drawings while working at a pharmacy. Five years worth of the calendars – 1897, 1898, 1899, 1900, and 1901 – were printed.

I found one of the Skeleton Sketches calendars from 1897, too:

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Beth Carswell

About Beth Carswell

I've been reading, selling, researching, loving and writing about books with AbeBooks since 2000.

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