ARBUCKLES' ILLUSTRATED ATLAS
Actual Size: 6-7/8" x 11-1/8"
(shown approx. 1/2 scale, above)
This wonderful booklet was offered by Arbuckles' Notion Department as an advertising premium. All that was required was to send in 15 signatures cut from 1-lb. packages of Arbuckles' Ariosa Coffee, along with a 2¢ stamp, and the album would soon arrive in the mailbox, hopefully even before the next 15 pounds of coffee was polished off! I believe that this album, along with similar ones for the National Geographical ("Illustrated Atlas of Fifty Principal Nations of the World") and Zoological series ("Album of Illustrated Natural History"), was among the earliest premiums that Arbuckles' ever offered. This one is listed as No. 5 (of 22) in an 1896 premium list that I have, and was probably available for several years before and after that time.
The album contains illustrations of all 50 cards in the original State and Territory Maps series, arranged four to a page, with District of Columbia on the front cover (see above) and Alaska on the back (see below). The front cover also shows a globe featuring the Western Hemisphere at the left, and a branch bearing what I assume to be coffee beans at the right. The back cover shows a scene of the Arbuckle factories (or "stores", as it says on one building) and docks at night, with a full moon in the sky and the lights burning brightly in every window.
Each "card" in the album appears to use the
identical illustration as the corresponding individual
card in the series. However, the album also includes
several paragraphs of narrative text describing each
state or territory (except for the 2 on the covers). This
text did not appear on the original cards. (The narrative
for most states also includes a reference of some kind to
Arbuckles' Ariosa Coffee. In some cases they make rather
outlandish claims for the product, such as attributing to
it Chicago's quick recovery from the great fire of 1871,
and the low death rate in West Virginia!)
The inside of the back cover contains this monochrome map of the United States, and opposite it is the page shown below. It makes the astonishing claim that coffee can prevent yellow fever!
The album is bound with a thin cord and arranged so that when it's opened to any given page, the four states illustrated on the right-hand page are matched by their descriptions on the left-hand page (i.e., the back of the previous page). Only D.C. and Alaska, because of their positions on the covers, are not presented this way, and are, in fact, not described at all in the album.
There are (at least) two variations in the spacing of the holes punched for the binding cord. Some albums have a narrow spacing of 1 inch between the center hole and the top and bottom holes (shown on the two covers, above), while others have a wider spacing of just over 1.5 inches (which can be seen on the individual pages that follow). I don't know if the printer made a deliberate change from one print run to the next, or if there's any way to determine if one variety preceded the other. Perhaps they just had multiple presses (or binders) running which just happened to be set differently.
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Copyright © 1999-2016 Jeffrey Buck. All rights reserved.