Saturday, May 2, 2009

Free Scrapbook Embellishment: Vintage Poster for "Over the Garden Wall"

Click the vintage poster scrapbook embellishment to see a larger version

I thought this vintage poster was a riot, so I wanted to share it. I don't know if this gentleman is Mr. George S. Knight or if he's the Snitz who took "a smile over the garden wall." If he's Snitz, it looks like he took more than a smile over the wall, more like a guffaw. Whoever it is, he's having a good time.

I don't know a lot about this vintage theatrical poster, other than what I can see on the face of it. It was created and printed by W.J. Morgan & Company in Cleveland, Ohio. (The appearance of the word "lith," which is short for "lithographed" or "lithography," indicates that.) An Internet search for Mr. and Mrs. George S. Knight unearthed a scanned New York Times newspaper entry from 1885 that said the couple had had popular success with "Over the Garden Wall" at the Boston Globe Theatre and were going to open at the Fifth-Avenue Theatre on March 23 of that year. I don't know whether this poster came from runs in New York or Boston or another city, or if it was used in all of them.

A search for W.J. Morgan & Company reveals that they printed a lot of theatrical posters and maps during bygone eras. According to a scanned excerpt from the Annals of the Early Settlers Association of Cuyahoga County, W.J. Morgan, a civil war captain, opened W.J. Morgan & Company Lithographers in 1870 and continued to run it until his death in 1904. The Annals also say that at the time of publishing, W.J. Morgan & Company was one of the largest lithographers in the world.

None of the aforementioned information means a thing if you just want to use this as a fun element in a scrapbook or craft project, or on a handmade card. But if you're a history buff like me, you'll enjoy knowing at least some of the background of this unusual vintage theatrical poster.

I hope you enjoy Snitz or whoever he is and make something fun out of this vintage poster.

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