Rathbun, Frank A.

1890

Early Cyanotype Advertisement for Rathbun's Wagon Jack and Wrenches

Rare folk-art cyanotype ad for a buggy or wagon jack

DESCRIPTION: A rare 19th-century cyanotype print folk-art advertisement ca. 1890 for F.A. Rathbun's wagon jack and wrenches. No other copy of any advertisement for Rathbun or his equipment is found online. The blueprint (cyanotype) photographic process, invented in 1842, was not adopted widely as a business document reproduction technology until after 1880.

With two cartoon-like drawings illustrating the "Worst Way" and the "Best Way" to change a wheel on a buggy or wagon (no mention of automobiles). The best way according to the author is Rathbun's Wagon Jack and Wrenches. Compliments of F.A. Rathbun Beloit, Wisconsin.

With an additional 3" x 7" cyanotype print of a large wrench labeled "F.A. Rathbun Beloit Wis."

The ad copy reads:
"Compliments of F.A. RATHBUN. BELOIT WIS. Manufactuer [sic] of his celebrated Wagon Jacks & Wrenches. By the use of which any one can grease thier [sic] wagon or buggy in less then one half the time required by the use of any other jack and wrench in the market without soiling hands or clothes. The pecular [sic] construction of the jack and manner in which it is used, recommmends its-self to all who know the trouble usually experienced with all jacks that have to be used under the buggy. This is the only jack that can be used at the end of the axle so that the wheel can be slid out on it for support. The 'wrench' also recommends itself to all who would avoid geting [sic] themselves greasy and dirty or straws and dirt on the nut to be scraped off or remain on to wear out the spindle. It is always ready. Never slips, and is quickly and easily operated. All who have used them recommed [sic] them to others. Liberal discount, to the trade and agents."
In April 1887 Frank A. Rathbun a machinist of Beloit Wis. assigned a patent he held on a wheeled scraper to F.W. Kimball of Milwaukee, Wis. However there is no mention of a patent on Rathbun's wagon jack.

CREATOR: Rathbun, Frank A.

PUBLICATION DATE: 1890

GEOGRAPHIC AREA: United States

BODY OF WATER: N/A

CONDITION: Good.  Generally strong with two light / stained areas near the drawings. One 2" tear at left center repaired archivally from verso.

COLORING: Much blue.

ENGRAVER: 

SIZE: 8 " x 7 "

ITEM PHYSICAL LOCATION: 

PRICE: $560


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