Bibliophagist

A novelty card for a “Jerusalem Overtaker” (a 19th c. slang term for a fine tooth comb). One of 25 interesting items from our latest online-only illustrated catalog of antiquarian manuscript material and ephemeral, Occasional List 18: By Hand For Hand In Hand (available as a PDF here).
For a brief rundown of some examples of the Jerusalem Overtaker, see our description of the card,

The origins of the slang term “Jerusalem Overtaker” as meaning a fine-tooth comb remain obscure to this cataloguer; the term dates at least from the Civil War and seems current up through the first part of the 20th century; see for instance the great chronicler of the traveling salesman James Perry Johnston’s How to Hustle (Chicago 1905) which includes a sample pitch for just such a comb, without any explanation of the association: ‘Here we have the little Jerusalem overtaker; catch ‘em on the hop, skip and jump, wet or dry, cold or warm, or any kind of climate at all; catch them j-u-s-t as well where there isn’t any as where there is; and sells in the regular way for — — .’ Or, for a change: ‘The little joker that takes them at h-o-m-e or on a journey, as they trot, as they hop, dead or alive, asleep or awake, running or walking, on their sides or on their backs; and sells usually for — —.’One Charles M. Porter of Wisconsin writes in to the January, 1911 issue of Hunter—Trader—Trapper magazine  with an anecdote of being troubled by a flea while walking his traps, and that, “Do you know, followers of the gun and the trap line, that it is necessary, or at least mighty convenient at certain times to have at hand on those trips a ‘Jerusalem Overtaker,’ or, in other words, a fine-toothed comb?” (He notes “a lot of agony can be avoided, and also one might avoid causing a blue haze to settle around that would obscure a barn two rods away.”) William Baillie-Grohman’s travel account in the American West, Camps in the Rockies (London 1882) notes the “raggedest cowboy” using his “‘Jerusalem Overtaker’—as he calls his remnant of a tooth-comb,” while a one example of its use in the Civil War might be found in a brief anecdotal memoir by Civil War veteran T. C. Murphy of Pass Christian, Miss., in the American Journal for Clinical Medicine of May, 1915, where he notes, Professor Lowry complains of the plague of lice in the army. Professor, you should say graybacks; and the only way to keep away from them is, to stay at home. You ask for experience. Here you get it… . Soldiers are not furnished looking-glasses or bath-towels; in fact, Father Abe could not furnish clothes at times. Let the Professor pull off his clothes and skirmish, boil them and pull them on to dry. I have seen the generals skirmishing. No doubt, while in camp the soldiers can keep clean in time of peace. The old ‘unniguintum’ was our great standby; close-cropped hair and a fine comb (‘Jerusalem overtaker’) kept my head clean. Measles, meningitis, and lice will follow any army.A local history of Johnson County, Iowa (Clarence Ray Aurner, Leading Events in Johnson County Iowa History, 1912) notes that an early Iowa Civil War unit, “In addition to the clothing each man carried an equipment of personal needs, contained in one package, such as needles, pins, thread and buttons, court plaster, and a ‘Jerusalem Overtaker,’ bandages and lint in sufficient quantity, it was hoped, to be more than enough to last the service through. Yet, how little they knew of the future!” (That the term is here used without explanation suggests perhaps it was in part euphemistic.) A trifle worn at the corners, some light toning and dust-soiling; in very good condition.

A novelty card for a “Jerusalem Overtaker” (a 19th c. slang term for a fine tooth comb). One of 25 interesting items from our latest online-only illustrated catalog of antiquarian manuscript material and ephemeral, Occasional List 18: By Hand For Hand In Hand (available as a PDF here).

For a brief rundown of some examples of the Jerusalem Overtaker, see our description of the card,



The origins of the slang term “Jerusalem Overtaker” as meaning a fine-tooth comb remain obscure to this cataloguer; the term dates at least from the Civil War and seems current up through the first part of the 20th century; see for instance the great chronicler of the traveling salesman James Perry Johnston’s How to Hustle (Chicago 1905) which includes a sample pitch for just such a comb, without any explanation of the association:

‘Here we have the little Jerusalem overtaker; catch ‘em on the hop, skip and jump, wet or dry, cold or warm, or any kind of climate at all; catch them j-u-s-t as well where there isn’t any as where there is; and sells in the regular way for — — .’ Or, for a change: ‘The little joker that takes them at h-o-m-e or on a journey, as they trot, as they hop, dead or alive, asleep or awake, running or walking, on their sides or on their backs; and sells usually for — —.’

One Charles M. Porter of Wisconsin writes in to the January, 1911 issue of Hunter—Trader—Trapper magazine  with an anecdote of being troubled by a flea while walking his traps, and that, “Do you know, followers of the gun and the trap line, that it is necessary, or at least mighty convenient at certain times to have at hand on those trips a ‘Jerusalem Overtaker,’ or, in other words, a fine-toothed comb?” (He notes “a lot of agony can be avoided, and also one might avoid causing a blue haze to settle around that would obscure a barn two rods away.”)

William Baillie-Grohman’s travel account in the American West, Camps in the Rockies (London 1882) notes the “raggedest cowboy” using his “‘Jerusalem Overtaker’—as he calls his remnant of a tooth-comb,” while a one example of its use in the Civil War might be found in a brief anecdotal memoir by Civil War veteran T. C. Murphy of Pass Christian, Miss., in the American Journal for Clinical Medicine of May, 1915, where he notes,

Professor Lowry complains of the plague of lice in the army. Professor, you should say graybacks; and the only way to keep away from them is, to stay at home. You ask for experience. Here you get it… . Soldiers are not furnished looking-glasses or bath-towels; in fact, Father Abe could not furnish clothes at times. Let the Professor pull off his clothes and skirmish, boil them and pull them on to dry. I have seen the generals skirmishing. No doubt, while in camp the soldiers can keep clean in time of peace. The old ‘unniguintum’ was our great standby; close-cropped hair and a fine comb (‘Jerusalem overtaker’) kept my head clean. Measles, meningitis, and lice will follow any army.

A local history of Johnson County, Iowa (Clarence Ray Aurner, Leading Events in Johnson County Iowa History, 1912) notes that an early Iowa Civil War unit, “In addition to the clothing each man carried an equipment of personal needs, contained in one package, such as needles, pins, thread and buttons, court plaster, and a ‘Jerusalem Overtaker,’ bandages and lint in sufficient quantity, it was hoped, to be more than enough to last the service through. Yet, how little they knew of the future!” (That the term is here used without explanation suggests perhaps it was in part euphemistic.) A trifle worn at the corners, some light toning and dust-soiling; in very good condition.

— 3 weeks ago
#lice  #comb  #slang 
A hand-painted full plate tintype from ca. 1860-1870, one of 25 interesting items made by hand or for the hand or written by hand, from our latest online-only illustrated catalog, Occasional List 18: By Hand For Hand In Hand. Download a PDF from our website here:http://www.bibliophagist.com/gscott/images/pdfs/OL18.pdf
Who doesn’t love pseudo-lesbian erotica or 1877 accounts of living along Chicago’s “Stink River” during violent labor unrest?

A hand-painted full plate tintype from ca. 1860-1870, one of 25 interesting items made by hand or for the hand or written by hand, from our latest online-only illustrated catalog, Occasional List 18: By Hand For Hand In Hand. Download a PDF from our website here:

http://www.bibliophagist.com/gscott/images/pdfs/OL18.pdf

Who doesn’t love pseudo-lesbian erotica or 1877 accounts of living along Chicago’s “Stink River” during violent labor unrest?

— 3 weeks ago with 1 note
#tintype  #manuscripts  #stink 
It’s 1927 and you’re a megachurch pioneer, something of a Southern California entertainment mogul, somebody who has enough juice with God to heal the lame and the halt. 1926 had been something of a strain — you’ve either just survived a bizarre kidnapping that dragged you through the California desert or you got caught up in an elaborate hoax to cover up your extramarital affair. A grand jury gets involved. The press is having a field day.
What do you do to restore your good name?
You compose and publish an ersatz Negro spiritual* that concludes with the stirring lines, “Oh! some of these days, When judgement comes, (when judgement comes,) My Lord’s goin’ to stop, (my Lord’s goin’ to stop,) All these gossiping tongues.”
(This sheet music makes a nice example of Aimee Semple McPherson-branded merchandise from the heyday of her media presence. The attractive portrait vignette perhaps anticipates Elsa Lanchester’s Bride of Frankenstein by some seven years.)
—* “Can’t you see that sun, See how she run, Nebber let her ketch you, With your work undone,” etc.

It’s 1927 and you’re a megachurch pioneer, something of a Southern California entertainment mogul, somebody who has enough juice with God to heal the lame and the halt. 1926 had been something of a strain — you’ve either just survived a bizarre kidnapping that dragged you through the California desert or you got caught up in an elaborate hoax to cover up your extramarital affair. A grand jury gets involved. The press is having a field day.

What do you do to restore your good name?

You compose and publish an ersatz Negro spiritual* that concludes with the stirring lines, “Oh! some of these days, When judgement comes, (when judgement comes,) My Lord’s goin’ to stop, (my Lord’s goin’ to stop,) All these gossiping tongues.”

(This sheet music makes a nice example of Aimee Semple McPherson-branded merchandise from the heyday of her media presence. The attractive portrait vignette perhaps anticipates Elsa Lanchester’s Bride of Frankenstein by some seven years.)


* “Can’t you see that sun, See how she run, Nebber let her ketch you, With your work undone,” etc.

— 7 months ago
#pentacostal  #sister aimee  #sheet music  #los angeles  #four square 
"I’d rather be shopping for obscure 19th century eschatological pamphlets."

"I’d rather be shopping for obscure 19th century eschatological pamphlets."

— 8 months ago with 1 note
#matrimony  #eschatology  #book shop 
Usually.
(From the American Social Hygiene Association, Inc. Health Helps: Jim and Bill Go on Leave. Is This Your Town? New York, 1940.)

Usually.

(From the American Social Hygiene Association, Inc. Health Helps: Jim and Bill Go on Leave. Is This Your Town? New York, 1940.)

— 8 months ago
#brothels  #low amusements  #social hygiene 
"Retardo Remedies Nature’s Mistakes" — or as the advertising copy of this attractive little mail-order sexual dysfunction remedy brochure has it,

"Science boldly points to the real cause! It admits that one of the strangest discrepancies in nature is the lack of perfect co-ordination between husband and wife at a time when nervous systems are strained to the utmost. It blames Nature for the over sensitive nerves of the husband which according to medical experts makes ninety percent of men, at one time or another, victims of prematurity."

Happily, Retardo “soothes and quiets over-sensitive nerves locally, for a period of 7 to 10 minutes. In fact, neither one is conscious of its action—and the other need not know of its use.”
(Though sexual intercourse is nowhere mentioned, this  promotional piece from “Perfection Laboratories” is of course aimed squarely at men suffering from premature ejaculation.)

"Retardo Remedies Nature’s Mistakes" — or as the advertising copy of this attractive little mail-order sexual dysfunction remedy brochure has it,

"Science boldly points to the real cause! It admits that one of the strangest discrepancies in nature is the lack of perfect co-ordination between husband and wife at a time when nervous systems are strained to the utmost. It blames Nature for the over sensitive nerves of the husband which according to medical experts makes ninety percent of men, at one time or another, victims of prematurity."

Happily, Retardo “soothes and quiets over-sensitive nerves locally, for a period of 7 to 10 minutes. In fact, neither one is conscious of its action—and the other need not know of its use.”

(Though sexual intercourse is nowhere mentioned, this  promotional piece from “Perfection Laboratories” is of course aimed squarely at men suffering from premature ejaculation.)

— 8 months ago
#sexual  #dysfunction  #mail order  #quack quack quack 
A sweet photographic trade card for a St. Louis art instructor and bookseller (ca. 1885-1895?).

A sweet photographic trade card for a St. Louis art instructor and bookseller (ca. 1885-1895?).

— 8 months ago
#photography  #art  #trade card  #st. louis  #19th century 
"Are we dragging men to Hell by our modern dress?"(A vivid tract that despite its mild case of petitio principii provides an entertaining look at the snares of short skirts and rolled stockings.)

"Are we dragging men to Hell by our modern dress?"

(A vivid tract that despite its mild case of petitio principii provides an entertaining look at the snares of short skirts and rolled stockings.)

— 9 months ago with 5 notes
#sexual panic  #tracts  #dress  #Old Time Religion 
The bicycle of spiritual truth! From John Bunyon Lemon’s delightful allegorical Bicyclist’s Dream of the Road to Heaven (Manchester N. H., 1899).

The bicycle of spiritual truth! From John Bunyon Lemon’s delightful allegorical Bicyclist’s Dream of the Road to Heaven (Manchester N. H., 1899).

— 9 months ago with 3 notes
#bicycle  #pilgrim's progress 

The drunken misadventures (published in 1877) of Thomas S. Doner, who “Having lost both arms through intemperance, he wrote this book with his teeth.”

— 9 months ago with 21 notes
#mendicant  #temperance  #skeletons  #disability