Michael Heller gave a presentation on “Early Illustrated Lettersheets” at our October 11 meeting.
While most of the examples shown were folded lettersheets that were either stamped or had stampless postal markings on the outside, some of the lettersheets were accompanied by stamped envelopes.
The presentation started with a folded letter sheet dated in 1837 that depicted a wood engraving of a factory for a surveying equipment manufacturer (West Troy, NY). Some of the highlights included: wood engraving of a cotton press manned by a slave (1842); wood engraving of the Astor House, franked by a NYC Postmaster Provisional (1845); a highly detailed wood engraving (of the city of St. John) for Sear’s Popular Illustrated Works (1846); and an intaglio engraving of Union College (1846).
Other highlights included: a large intaglio engraving for Chesebrough, Stearns & Co., depicting their store next to the NYC Post Office (1847); a large lithographic print for an umbrella factory in NYC (1847); an intaglio engraving of Hamilton College (1849); a full page lithographic print showing a view of Cincinnati, Ohio, including a very detailed map and a number of building in the city; a wood engraving of a NYC sugar refinery (1853); an intaglio engraving of the Lawrence Academy (Groton CT., 1853); and a wood engraving of Lowell, Massachusetts (1859).