The Definitive Dwiggins no. 105—Addendum to W.A. Dwiggins’ Ancestry, Part III: Moses and Eva Dwiggins

Five artifacts associated with Moses and Eva Dwiggins survive in the W.A. Dwiggins Collections at the Boston Public Library: two programs for theatrical events, one each involving Moses and Eva, their marriage license, a certificate for Moses as a medical examiner for an insurance company, and a book entitled Living Poems. [1] All are of interest beyond their use as documentation of W.A. Dwiggins’ parents’ lives. [2] They are fascinating for their design and typography which is typical of the 1870s and 1880s, the era of Artistic Printing in the United States; and for the peek they provide into American culture during those years.

S. Teez Theatre program (c.1872)
The program for the S. Teez Theatre is from top to bottom a literary jest full of juvenile orthographical play, bad puns, riddles and jokes: e.g. “A Ditty, a comic Refrain, Mother I’ve come home to di(n)e”;  and “If a Hog’s Tale is two inches long, and one inch comes to ten cents; what will the other inch come to?” S. Teez is a reference to Prof. L.A. Estes, the principal of Wilmington College. The ostensible date—”1872nd Day, + 3 Months, – 4 yrs.”—is a play on the Quaker calendar which avoided the familiar names of months and days of the week because they were derived from pagan gods. [3] The real date may have been March 27, 1872 when the Douglas Literary Society of Wilmington College presented an “entertainment” that included an original paper by Eva Siegfried and a declamation by Emma J. Hadley (whose name appears as Emma H. Jadley in the S. Teez Theatre program). The Douglas Literary Society, named after John Henry Douglas, the benefactor of Wilmington College, met each second day (Tuesday) at candlelight. Its president in 1872 was Moses F. Dwiggins. [4] As “Little Mose Dwiggins” he was responsible for performance no. 21 on the program, “Grand-Finale Bust up… Last Heat, Home Stretch.” [5]

S. Teez Theatre Program (n.d.) Courtesy Special Collections, Boston Public Library.

S. Teez Theatre Program (c.1872) Courtesy Special Collections, Boston Public Library.

Typographically, the program has the appearance of a 19th century “Wanted” poster. The typefaces are a mix of French Clarendon for “Big Thing! Laugh & Grow Phat!” and French Clarendon Shaded for the date; Doric for “S. TEEZ THEATRE”, “Unprecedented Attractions!…PRO-GRAM”, and “REFRESHMENTS”, and Great Primer Title Extended No. 3 for “Admission” and “N.B.—Babes in arms”. The small type is probably Two-Line Agate No. 7. Most likely the type came from the Cincinnati Type Foundry, less than fifty miles away from Wilmington. [6]


Announcement for Esther, The Beautiful Queen (1878)
Esther, The Beautiful Queen was a cantata or short oratorio composed in 1852 by William A. Bradbury with words by C.M. Cady. A revised operatic version was made by R.W. Seager in 1874. As a cantata or oratorio Bradbury’s work was immensely popular with performances throughout Ohio during the 1870s. [7] This announcement is for two performances at Preston Hall in Wilmington, Ohio on April 19 and 20, 1878. The cantata was performed by The Schubert Quartette, a touring vocal and acting group, with local musical talent. Among the latter was Eva Siegfried, the future mother of W.A. Dwiggins. [8]

The Wilmington Journal carried a lengthy review of the two performances several days later which began thusly:

On Friday night, unfortunately for Miss Stella Cleveland, her voice failed on account of a bad cold. She sang for quite a while but finally had to allow some one else to do the singing while she did the acting. Had her voice held up she would have made quite a hit in the leading role. On Saturday evening Miss Eva Siegfried took the part of Queen and did splendidly. The compliments she received on all sides were not only merited but really earned. There are but few young ladies who would step in and assume the leading character after it had been offered to some one else. Miss Siegfried showed her kind disposition in manifesting a desire to accommodate, for which she deserves a double portion of credit. [9]

Eva was also lauded, though to a lesser degree, for her performance on Friday in her assigned role of Mordecai’s sister. When the oratorio was repeated on May 25, 1878, the newspaper remarked that, “Miss Eva Siegfried pleased her hearers by some fine singing which she did. Her voice was not strong enough to fill the hall [Town Hall instead of Preston Hall], but its sweetness made up for the lack of volume.” [10]

Esther, the Beautiful Queen program (1872). Courtesy Special Collections, Boston Public Library.

Esther, the Beautiful Queen program (1878). Courtesy Special Collections, Boston Public Library.

The announcement for Esther, The Beautiful Queen shows the changes that were occurring typographically in the 1870s as “fancy types” began to proliferate. “ESTHER” is set in Two-Line Pica Ray Shade No. 2; “The Beautiful Queen” is set in Double Great Primer Old Style (i.e. Caslon); “PRESTON HALL” is in Two-Line Rimmed Roman; ”Friday and Saturday Evenings…” is in Great Primer Gothic Condensed No. 4; ”Grand Chorus of Sixty Voices!” is Long Primer Engraver’s Italic; ”THE SCHUBERT QUARTETTE” is probably Pica Latin Antique; ”Charming Music, Grand Choruses…” is in Pica Gothic Italic No. 1; ”PERSONATIONS” is Large Primer Light-Face Extended while “19 SOLO PERSONATIONS! 19″ is Large Primer Antique Extended No. 3; actors and their roles are in Long Primer No. 11; ”Admission, 35c. …”  is in Nonpareil Gothic No. 2; and ”Sale of Reserved Seats…” is  Pica Italic Title No. 2. All of the types are from the Cincinnati Type Foundry or from the Franklin Type Foundry, also located in Cincinnati. [11] The Two-Line Rimmed Roman is an old-fashioned face that feels out of place with the others.


Marriage license of Moses F. Dwiggins and Eva Siegfried  (1878)
The marriage license for Moses F. Dwiggins and Eva Siegfried is a slack bit of design. There is no strong focal point. “The State of Ohio, Clinton County,” the governmental authority, is overwhelmed by the three elements in the center, which themselves are aesthetically at odds. The winged figure bearing a cornucopia and laurel wreath—intriguing symbols for marriage—is Renaissance in style while the two flanking ornaments are typical 1870s in their fluidity and lightness.

The heading is set in Four-Line Pica Title Text Open. “To Any Person Authorized to Solemnize Marriage in Said County” is set in 20 pt Paragon Black No. 4—the text has two mistakes in it with U used for T and Y used for P. ”JOHN MATTHEWS” is probably Long Primer No. 11 with the text that follows, “Judge of the Probate Court…”, set in Long Primer Law Italic. “TO BE JOINED IN MARRIAGE” is Two-Line Small Pica Ornamented No. 18; and ”In Witness Whereof…” is set in Madisonian Script. [12] Although the Cincinnati Type Foundry and Franklin Type Foundry specimen books include flourish ornaments, border pieces, and corner elements similar in lightness and complexity to those of the marriage certificate, none are identical; and none of the corner elements is as ornate. The source of the winged figure is also unknown.

The announcement for Esther, The Queen of Beauty is not a great piece of design, but at least it mixes types in an adept manner. In contrast, the marriage certificate is simply a mishmash. The printer probably tried to update his design while retaining some older elements such as the winged figure and the rimmed Tuscan type. [13]

Marriage license for Moses F. Dwiggins and Eva Siegfried 24 September 1878. Courtesy Special Collections, Boston Public Library.

Marriage license for Moses F. Dwiggins and Eva Siegfried 24 September 1878. Courtesy Special Collections, Boston Public Library.


National Life Association medical examiner certificate (1883)
The National Life Association was chartered in Columbus, Ohio in May 1881. It was led by Milton Barnes, the former Secretary of State of Ohio and John F. Follett, the former Speaker of the House of Representatives in Ohio. It lasted until November 1887 when it merged with the Mahoning Mutual Life Association of Cleveland. The company issued a medical examiner certificate to Dr. Moses F. Dwiggins in 1883.

The design is far more coherent than that of his marriage certificate, even though it has a similarly large number of disparate elements. ”NATIONAL LIFE ASSOCIATION” is set in Double Great Primer Ruskin; and  ”COLUMBUS, OHIO” is Double Small Pica Circlet. But I am unable to identify the shaded blackletter used for ”This is to Certify”. ”CERTIFICATE OF AUTHORITY” at the left side of the certificate is Two-Line Great Primer Ray Shaded. The main text is Spencerian Script (note the ligatures and alternates) with Gothic Italic No. 1 (e.g. “IN WITNESS WHEREOF”) and Keystone (e.g. “Medical Examiner”) also used. The closing text “The President and Secretary of said Association…” is set in Long Primer Law Italic. [14]

The chain border is Pica Border No. 202, but I have not been able to identify the scalloped border. The other decorative elements, described by the Cincinnati Type Foundry as “card gothic” ornaments or “typographic charms,” are from the Combination Ornaments series patented by Mackellar, Smiths & Jordan in 1878 and 1879. The ornaments above “NATIONAL LIFE ASSOCIATION” are nos. 19, 20, 25, 26 37 from Series 9; those flanking “HOME OFFICE” are no. 25 in Series 8; the design below “COLUMBUS, OHIO” is composed of nos. 15 and 28 from Series 8;  and the corner decorations include nos. 46 and 47. [15]

National Life Association Medical Examiner certificate for Moses F. Dwiggins (1883). Courtesy Special Collections, Boston Public Library.

National Life Association Medical Examiner certificate for M. F. Dwiggins (1883). Courtesy Special Collections, Boston Public Library.

Combinations Ornaments Series 8. From Shniedewend & Lee Co. (Chicago: Shniedewend & Lee Co., 1888).

Combinations Ornaments Series 8. From Shniedewend & Lee Co.’s Second Specimen Book & Price List of Type… (Chicago: Shniedewend & Lee Co., 1888).


Living Poems by Ellen E Dickinson (1889?)
For Christmas 1889 Moses Dwiggins gave his wife Eva this copy of Living Poems by Ellen E. Dickinson (Munich & New York: The Art Lith. Pub. Co., n.d.). It is apparently a unique copy as no copies are listed on Worldcat.org or any of the online booksellers. Dickinson was the author of The Christmas Wreath (New York: White, Stokes, and Allen, 1883), New Light on Mormonism (New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1885), Wayside Flowers (New York: White, Stokes, and Allen, 1886), a novel The King’s Daughter (New York: The United States Book Co., 1890), and other books of poetry and texts on Mormonism.

Living Poems was published by The Art Lithographic Publishing Co., the New York branch of Munich lithographers Gebr. Obpacher, which also issued Christmas cards, calendars, and Sunday School cards. [16] The books were printed in Germany, but the design is entirely American in its sentimental illustrations and its “artistic” lettering.

Cover of Living Poems by Ellen E. Dickinson (Munich and New York: n.d.). Courtesy Special Collections, Boston Public Library.

Cover of Living Poems by Ellen E. Dickinson (Munich and New York: The Art Lith. Pub. Co., n.d.). Courtesy Special Collections, Boston Public Library.

Page from Living Poems by Ellen E. Dickinson (Munich and New York: The Art Litho. Pub. Co., n.d.). Courtesy Special Collections, Boston Public Library.

Page from Living Poems by Ellen E. Dickinson (Munich and New York: The Art Litho. Pub. Co., n.d.). Courtesy Special Collections, Boston Public Library.

The illustrator is not credited which seemed to be common for many of the company’s titles. [17] The “rustic” title lettering on the cover was presumably done by the illustrator and it is possible that the interior text was as well. The text lettering is so carefully done (and loosely spaced) that it looks like type at first glance. It is very similar to a number of monoline typefaces issued by American type foundries in the 1880s that sported decorative elements such as curls, crossed strokes and loops, “swashes,” and parallel lines (e.g. Card Gothic). [18] The lettering is actually not as extreme as some of these typefaces, though it does have curled strokes. However, the exaggerated ascenders and descenders, splayed legs of m and n, and descending f are all features found in non-monoline “artistic” types of the period.

The printed artifacts associated with Moses and Eva Dwiggins have little to do with W.A. Dwiggins directly. However, they are exactly the kind of Victorian typographic styles that would have been singled out as examples of “bad” design by Frederic W. Goudy, his lettering instructor at the Frank Holme School of Illustration. They provide a visual context for assessing Dwiggins’ youthful work.

Notes
1. The artifacts are located in Box 25, 2001 W.A. Dwiggins Collection, Boston Public Library: Folder 5 (marriage license); Folder 6 (National Life Association certificate); Folder 7 (S. Teez Theatre program); Folder 8 (Living Poems); and Folder 10 (announcement for Esther, The Beautiful Queen).
2. For more on Moses and Eva Dwiggins see The Definitive Dwiggins no. 90—W.A. Dwiggins’ Ancestry, Part III: Moses and Eva Dwiggins.
3. For more information on the Quaker calendar see the Swarthmore College Friends Historical Library website.
4. See the announcement of an “Entertainment of the Douglas Literary Society, Fourth Day. Third Month [March] 27th 1872 at 10 o’clock A.M.” in The Clinton [County] Republican 14 March 1872. (The Clinton [County] Republican from November 17, 1870 to September 14, 1876 microfilm roll no. 13961.) A more serious meeting of the Douglas Literary Society, though still with playful elements, took place on April 2, 1872 in the parlor of Mr. and Mrs. Stagg. Among the activities were a musical piece involving E.S. Hadley playing “blowangle,” Miss Eva Siegfried making a “Select Reading,” E.S. Hadley reading an “Essay,” Miss Ella Siegfried making a “Select Reading,” and “a very laughable and well-performed farce ‘Irish Assurance and Yankee Modesty’,” involving Eugene Hadley and Ella Siegfried, as the concluding number. The Clinton [County] Republican 4 April 1872. (The Clinton [County] Republican from November 17, 1870 to September 14, 1876 microfilm roll no. 13961.)
5. There are two references to Moses in the program which surely are about Moses Dwiggins as much as the Biblical Moses: “‘The Red Sea’s Passage’ in which MOSES Paddled his own Canoe” and “You found MOSES in the Bullrushes Now… HUNT AARON.” Aaron Hunt (1850–1926) was part of the first graduating class (1875) of Wilmington College. See Wilmington by Laura Lanese and Eileen Brady (Charleston, South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing, 2010), p. 79.
6. All of these typefaces are present in the Fifteenth Book of Specimens (Compact Edition) from the Cincinnati Type Foundry (Cincinnati: Cincinnati Type Foundry, 1882). Only a few are in The Cincinnati Type Foundry Co.’s Specimen and Price-List (Cincinnati: Cincinnati Type Foundry, 1870).
7. A quick survey of Ohio newspapers shows performances, sometimes for multiple years, in Tiffin, Hillsboro, Mt. Vernon, Marysville, Xenia, and Wilmington between 187o and 1879.
8. Only two members of The Schubert Quartette are unequivocally identifiable: H.J. Parr and J.H. Donaldson who are both mentioned in contemporary newspaper accounts. The other two members of may have been Prof. R.W. Seager and Prof. Will H. Pontius who both took part in the Wilmington performances of Esther, The Beautiful Queen. In 1879 Donaldson was accused of seducing a 14-year old girl in Xenia, Ohio which prompted The Wilmington Journal to recall that during the time the Schubert Quartette was in Wilmington the year before “it was rumored that he was too intimate with some young ladies here, but he seemed so much a gentleman in every respect, little credence was then given to these reports.” It is possible that Eva Siegfried was one of the young ladies since she played Mordecai’s sister to Donaldson’s Mordecai the Jew in Esther, The Beautiful Queen. For a full account of the Donaldson incident see “A Singer’s Sin” in The Wilmington Journal 3o April 1879 and “Capture of the Seductive Singer” in The Cincinnati Enquirer 28 and 29 April 1879, all of which include accounts from Xenia and Greenfield. A follow-up in The Highland Weekly News of Hillsboro, Ohio 29 May 1879 from the Jamestown Tribune said that Donaldson was innocent and had cleared things with the girl’s father and local business men.
9. The Wilmington Journal 24 April 1878.
10. The Wilmington Journal 29 May 1878.
11. Most of the types are in the Fifteenth Book of Specimens (Compact Edition) from the Cincinnati Type Foundry (Cincinnati: Cincinnati Type Foundry, 1882). The exception is the Two-Line Rimmed Roman which is in The Cincinnati Type Foundry Co.’s Specimen and Price-List (Cincinnati: Cincinnati Type Foundry, 1870), but must have been dropped by 1882. Several, but not all, of the types (with point size designations) can be found in the Convenient Book of Specimens Franklin Type Foundry (Cincinnati: Allison & Smith, 1889).
12. The types have all been identified from the Fifteenth Book of Specimens (Compact Edition) from the Cincinnati Type Foundry (Cincinnati: Cincinnati Type Foundry, 1882), with the exception of 20 pt. Paragon Black No. 4 which is found in the The Seventeenth Book of Specimens from the Cincinnati Type Foundry (Compact Edition) (Cincinnati: Cincinnati Type Foundry, 1888) and the Two-Line Small Pica Ornamented No. 18 which is in Supplement No. 3 Late Specimens of Printing Types from Farmer, Little & Co., Type Founders… (New York: Farmer, Little & Co., 1866). The sample of the typeface, a rimmed Tuscan, is muddy so my identification is not rock solid. Farmer, Little & Co. advertised their types in Harpel’s Typograph (see note 13).
13. The printer may have been one of the two Wilmington newspapers, either The Wilmington Journal or The Clinton Republican, since 19th century newspapers often operated jobbing printshops on the side. It is very likely he was influenced by Harpel’s Typograph or Book of Specimens… by Oscar H. Harpel (Cincinnati: Oscar H. Harpel, 1870), e.g. p. 93.
14. All of these types are from the Cincinnati Type Foundry except Keystone and Two-Line Great Primer Ray Shaded which are from the Franklin Type Foundry.
15. These ornaments can be found in Shniedewend & Lee Co.’s Second Specimen Book and Price List of Type… (Chicago: Shniedewend & Lee Co., 1888). They were the western agents for Mackellar, Smiths & Jordan of Philadelphia. Although I did not find them in the surviving Franklin Type Foundry specimen book, they may have come from there since the company (officially Allison & Smith) began as an outpost of the Johnson Type Foundry, the predecessor of Mackellar, Smiths & Jordan.
16. See the advertisement for The Art Lithographic Publishing Co. in The American Bookseller vol. XXVIII, no. 9 (October 25, 1890), p. 274. Several booklets and books by Dickinson are listed, but not Living Poems.
17. Several books published by The Art Lithographic Publishing Co. are listed on Bibliopolis.
18. The Card Gothic series of typefaces, ostensibly designed by Edgar T. Dudley of the Poughkeepsie, New York printing firm Haight & Dudley, can be found in several specimen books of the late 1880s and early 1890s (e.g. the 1889 specimen book of the Franklin Type Foundry, p. 244).