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Object Name Fan
Date 1893-1897
Description Folding fan, "Mai Ogi" type. Printed paper leaf with red, white and blue images of a sailing ship, an American eagle and flag, a bust portrait (possibly Christopher Columbus), and more. Handwritten inscription "A.E.C. / Chautauqua / July 97". Bamboo sticks are stained or painted red, white, and blue, with tied cord on guardsticks. Made in Japan for the western market.
(Keywords: Fashion, Accessory, Asian, Commemorative, New York)
Acquisition Gift of Alfred A. Cole
Ownership and History An inscription near the left edge of this fan connects it to the chautauqua movement, which promoted self-improvement through knowledge and culture. It suggests that Staten Islander Annie E. Cole kept this fan as a souvenir of a chautauqua event held in 1897. Among the printed illustrations on the fan are an American eagle, a portrait resembling Christopher Columbus, a vignette of structures that may be exhibition buildings, and depictions of the hemispheres, possibly indicating a connection to the World's Columbian Exposition held in Chicago in 1893.

Annie E. Cole (1864-1952) was educated in the public schools of Staten Island and reportedly took summer courses at Columbia University, Cornell University, and Dartmouth College. She was an educator on Staten Island from 1884 until 1930, serving for many years as principal of Huguenot Public School (P.S. 5). Miss Cole was active in many literary, cultural, and civic groups including the Staten Island Historical Society. The fan was given to the Staten Island Historical Society by her nephew, Alfred A. Cole, in 1953.
Earliest Date 1893
Latest Date 1897
Material Paper/Bamboo/Cord
Subjects Chautauquas
Exhibition buildings
Lexicon Sub-category Personal Gear
Associated People Cole, Annie E.
Catalog Number C02.0810
Support Acknowledgment Online Collections Database record made possible by the Fan Association of North America (FANA), 2011. (
Legal Status Images and text in this database are copyrighted by the Staten Island Historical Society unless otherwise noted. Items represented here are from the collections of the Staten Island Historical Society. Materials reproduced for personal non-commercial use must credit the Staten Island Historical Society. Commercial licensing is available.