"Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)
Elliott and the friends with whom he recorded in middle school in Texas (photo courtesy of Dan Pickering)
My last post concerned the photoengraving industry of the pre-Depression period. This week it’s pre-WWII lithography!
“Litho Media: A Demonstration of the Selling Power of Lithography,” published in 1939 by Roger Stephens and edited by H. Homer Buckelmueller and Colin Campbell, is a 206-page, 12-by-15-inch slipcased bible produced to help publicize the successful and effective results of using the lithography process for marketing purposes. It doesn’t pretend to be anything other than a “Toot Your Own Horn” compilation of uses (employing tipped-in examples of the produced work discussed), accompanied by testimonial letters from the various people responsible for utilizing the craft for their products. There are no technical descriptions or images that explain the process.
The major difference I find between this publication from 1939 and the subject of my prior post (“Achievement in Photo-Engraving and Letter-Press Printing,” 1927) is the more aggressive approach to presenting the cause for using the technique. The 1927 catalog felt more like a “Gentleman’s Game” of marketing. This newer reference edition uses a more modern/familiar approach to promoting the craft — a bit more brash and direct.
(When it comes to the images, remember to click on the picture to enlarge and click again to go in even further …)
Back to our feature presentation …
The remaining eight spreads are actual ads at the end of the book.
If you relish a tactile design experience, you might also enjoy the DesignCast “Freaks of Fancy, or Everything You Wanted to Know About Wild, 19th-Century Printing Techniques (But Were Afraid to Ask).”
Heatmiser publicity shot (L-R: Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson, Neil Gust, Elliott Smith) (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott and JJ Gonson (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
"Stray" 7-inch, Cavity Search Records (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott's Hampshire College ID photo, 1987
Elliott with "Le Domino," the guitar he used on "Roman Candle" (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Full "Roman Candle" record cover (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott goofing off in Portland (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Heatmiser (L-R: Elliott Smith, Neil Gust, Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson)(courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
The Greenhouse Sleeve -- Cassette sleeve from Murder of Crows release, 1988, with first appearance of Condor Avenue (photo courtesy of Glynnis Fawkes)
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