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Grolier Club Exhibitions


Here’s Your Special Prize Gift—and also the 5000 Roller Skate Winners in My Island-Naming Contest! Ovaltine and Little Orphan Annie, 1938.

The cartoon Little Orphan Annie was serialized on radio during the 1930s. Its sponsor was Ovaltine chocolate drink. In 1938, the Orphan Annie character announced she had discovered an imaginary island and asked listeners to name it and describe why they chose the name. 5000 lucky winners are listed in this folded paper sheet. (It’s hard to believe that 5000 children received roller skates just for sending in island names.) For the others whose island names were not chosen, there is a reward of the Shado-ettes. These six movable-jaw puppet heads, representing characters from the Orphan Annie story, were to be punched out, assembled by the child, then placed in front of a light source to create “talking” shadows. An additional set of Shado-ettes was available for sending in the gold seal on the Ovaltine package. The roller skates, by Union Hardware in Torrington, Connecticut, could be had for sending in the coupon cut from the accompanying flyer and five cents to cover postage and handling. What a promotion!

Carnaval Nice 1950: De soleil de ciel bleu et de fleurs [blue sky and flowers]. Monte Carlo, France: Monaco [Watch Company], 1950.

The boutique watch company, Monaco Watches, sponsored this booklet about fifty years of carnivals in Nice, 1900–1950. The die-cut color pages reveal the black-and-white illustrations on the next page. There are also three pop-ups, Harlequins, ballroom dancers, and trumpeters. The last page lists Nice’s 1950 winter carnivals. Another example of providing a service that also keeps the product’s name handy.

Kenneth Feld presents Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey brought to you by Sears: See Ariana the Human Arrow. 1996.

Using five glossy photographs and five two-page bios of several featured circus acts, this promotional pop-up folder highlights a new act, Ariana, the human arrow. A colorful paper “proclamation” exclaims her unique abilities and states “she will never be captured on film.” Journalists were not allowed to interview her. She was kept such a mystery that it was rumored she was a man or a robot. There is no photo of her in the pamphlet. Despite the “brought to you by Sears” on the cover and proclamation, there is no other reference to Sears in the pamphlet.

Arnold Schwartzman. Flicks: How the Movies Began. Beverly Hills, CA: Academy Imprints, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, 2001.

Those fortunate enough to attend the Oscar ceremonies are treated to various kinds of swag. In 2001, attendees to the 73rd Academy Awards received this belly-banded pop-up book using various movable paper mechanisms to demonstrate the progression from 2D illustrations to cinema with a brief history of each. The book contains a removable phenakistoscope, thaumatrope, and zoetrope, all steps leading to the invention of motion pictures. The zoetrope is spun with a finger in the back-cover depression. Tor Lokvig, working for Intervisual Books, is the leader among paper engineers. The book’s mechanisms may be seen on YouTube.