Monday, March 5, 2012

Advertisement for Johnston's Library Outfit

I'm one of the bloggers for the Philatelic Literature & Research Blog of the American Philatelic Research Library and earlier today I posted an item that is also relevant to this blog. It concerns an advertising postcard (shown here) that is an advertisement for Snow White products for libraries manufactured by the J. W. Johnston Company of Rochester, NY. It is addressed to the Bath Free Public Library in Bath, NH, and is franked with a Rochester NY precanceled postage stamp. On the back of the card is an elaborate advertisement for "Johnston's Library Outfit". What prompted me to do an article for the Philatelic Literature & Research Blog was an article in the March issue of the American Philatelist about the National Recovery Administration (NRA), a Depression era program that promoted fair competition practices for businesses, and its logo. Charles A. Fricke, the author of the article, had several items in his postal card collection with the logo of the NRA. It reminded me of the J. W. Johnston Company postcard in my collection which also has a label with the NRA logo. A little investigation found that J. W. Johnston was John White Johnston who turns out to be somewhat of a Renaissance man. In addition to inventing a white ink that could be used to mark books and photo albums, he was a historical researcher and publisher with an emphasis on Gettysburg in the Civil War, and a musician who founded a Scottish pipe band. Johnston founded his company in 1915 to manufacture his white ink invention. It's nice to come across a postal artifact that has a story that applies to two of my blogs.

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