*Post written by James Wethington, senior library assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.
*Item descriptions written by Mona Meyer, archives and special collections metadata librarian, Susan Sauls, director of the art collection, Tom Lonnberg, curator of history at the Evansville Museum, and Pat Sides, archivist of Willard Library.
The crowds are going crazy! Pure pandemonium! Arch Madness is back and we have some stiff competition. The University Archives and Special Collections (UASC) is competing against the Lawrence Library, Evansville Museum of Arts, History, & Science, and Willard Library. You can vote online at amusingartifacts.org or in-person at Rice Library 3021. Voting begins on March 11 through April 7, 2019.
Let’s look at this year’s competitors!
University Archives and Special Collections (UASC)
Imagine going swimming in this 1920’s era swimsuit! It’s all one piece, made of wool, and the only way to get into it is the unbutton the 4 buttons on one shoulder. This was considered quite racy when first introduced as it showed a lot of skin and the actual shape of a woman’s body. It reflects a change from early Victorian times when a woman would be completely covered up and did little more than wade, to a time when women began to swim (competitively as well as for pleasure) and thus needed considerably more freedom in their attire.
The word burlesque roughly means to make fun of, to mock, to joke. This element remained, but later burlesque shows became huge extravaganza variety shows. As time went on, they became more and more bawdy, and by the 1930s, they were striptease shows. Sugar Babies was a Broadway musical that paid tribute to the extravaganza style of burlesque. It debuted in October 1979 and originally starred Mickey Rooney and Ann Miller. A road company with Eddie Bracken, Jaye P. Morgan, and Toni Kaye came to Evansville on February 25, 1982 and performed at Vanderburgh Auditorium.
From 1965-1984, USI was a branch campus of Indiana State University, known as ISUE. The blue and white colors on this letter jacket are the colors of ISU, and the S stands for Sycamores, the name of its athletic teams. ISUE would have used these colors and logo (with the ISUE added to distinguish it from ISU) until its independence in 1985. This jacket was made by Kaye Brothers in Chicago, and was donated by Patti Riggs Marcum, a 1978 graduate. The jacket was worn by 1974 graduate Patricia Adkins.
A city with a strong German heritage, Evansville once had as many as seven breweries. One of the largest was F.W. Brewing Company. The company began in 1853 as a partnership between Fredrick Washington Cook and Louis Reis. Cook became the sole owner in 1873 and the company was incorporated as F.W. Brewing Company in 1885. With small name changes, it was in business until the mid-1950’s. Goldblume Beer, which they advertised as “The Best Beer in the World” was one of their signature brews. Note that one of these bottles still contains some beer!
The incantation bowl, which goes by many names such as a demon bowl or a magic bowl, was usually buried face down in a home’s courtyard or near cemeteries to capture demons or evil spirits. Once retrieved, a hole would be made in the bowl to release the spirits. This bowl belongs to the collection of Michael K. Aakhus.
*Defending 2018 Arch Madness champion.
Warhol created Annie Oakley from the Cowboys and Indians suite in 1986. This print is an “Extra, out of edition” that was given to USI by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. in 2013 for education and research.
The Psalter is essentially the Book of Psalms from the Christian Holy Bible and may include a liturgical calendar and Litany of the Saints. This gift of devotional book was typically owned by wealthy layperson and is believed to have originated in Ireland in the 6th century. This gift is from John M. Lawrence ’73.
Nacho the Defender, a toddler sized figure, is a part of the greater installation piece “Child’s Play” by Matt Perez. Nacho’s role within the work is to defend the pillow fort from other attacking toddlers. This figure belongs to the University Art Collection, Efroymson Fellow Collection.
Evansville Museum of Arts, History, & Science
This fossil fish from the Green River Formation can be dated to around 40 million years ago when a tropical sea was present over what is now Wyoming. The boney fish is a primitive relative of a modern-day herring. The fossil record preserved within the Green River Formation is world-renowned for its quality fossil preservation. This fossil is a gift of Charles LaFollette.
Mark Fowler received his Bachelor of Arts from Brescia College, Kentucky, in 1981, and Master of Fine Arts from the University of Illinois in 1990. With a diverse background in the fine arts, Fowler interprets natural environments through the scope of photography, painting, and glasswork. This vase harmonizes urbanization through a utilitarian object. With the red casted core and brick-work pattern overlay, the artist offers a dialog that debates the beauty of nature in an industrious environment. This vase is a gift of Elizabeth Zutt.
The O’Dell No. 4 is a unique index style of typewriter from the late 19th and early 20th century. This style of typewriter does not have a keyboard. One hand operates a pointer that selects a letter from an index while the other hand depresses a lever that moves the type to the paper. Index typewrites were a less expensive alternative to keyboard typewriters. This model was manufactured by Farquhar & Albrecht of Chicago, Illinois. This typewriter is a gift of Ralph E. Woods.
These pistols were made for the famous English poet and politician Lord George Gordon Byron, 1788-1824. Among Byron’s best-known works are Don Juan and Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage. Lord Byron had several controversial relationships before he married Annabella Milbanke in 1815 who left him a year later because of his infidelity. The pistols are engraved with Lord Bryon’s coronet and a “B” and were crafted by H.W. Mortimer and Company of London circa 1809. These dueling pistols are gifts of Harry D. Oppenheimer.
The company opened as Fendrich Brothers Cigar Company on Main Street in 1855, after moving Evansville from Pennsyvlania. (The brothers were Francis, Charles, John, Joseph, and Herman.) The Main Street factory was destroyed by fire in 1910, and a new one was built at Pennsylvania and Oakley, opening in 1912. A local newspaper claimed it was the largest cigar factory “in the world”, and Fendrich was one of Evansville’s largest industries. The company closed in 1969 and moved back in Pennsylvania.
The original charter of the city of Evansville was passed on January 27, 1847 and approved a year later. This volume contains the original charter, as well as subsequent amendments. It beginswith a description of the city’s physical boundaries and contains General Ordinances, as well as Agreement Annexing the Town of Lamasco City to the City of Evansville.
In April 1854, Evansville residents voted overwhelmingly to support free schools by taxation under a new Indiana law, and the city’s public-school system was born. The ledger lists the teachers in the system, the schools where they were employed, the grade levels or languages they taught, and the salaries they received.
Sponsored by the West Side Business Association, the current West Side Nut Club began in 1921, but prior to that, three “Halloween type festivals” were held. The purpose of the festivals was “to initiate, promote, and support any and all movements which are for the betterment of the West Side of Evansville as a whole…”.