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Object Name Fan
Date ca. 1880s
Description Rigid fan (handscreen). Die cut cardboard in the shape of a maple leaf has a chromolithographed illustration on each side. Front has an image of a young girl standing in a field holding a rake over her shoulder, surrounded by depiction of a leaf in autumn colors. Reverse side is an image of a leaf in autumn colors. Bamboo handle. Printed inscription on front: "Presented by / WM HILL'S SONS & CO / BROADWAY & 10th ST." Printed inscription on reverse: "WM HILL'S SONS & CO / DRY & FANCY GOODS. / Broadway cor. 10th St. New York. / DONALDSON BROTHERS, FIVE POINTS, N.Y."
(Keywords: Accessory, Retail, New York City)
Acquisition From Alice Austen
Ownership and History Alice Austen (1866-1952), the original owner of this fan, was a noted amateur photographer. She lived on Staten Island but often traveled into Manhattan to take photographs. Perhaps she acquired this fan on one of her trips to the city.

The distribution of fans as advertising novelties was a widespread practice that continues to this day. As useful, inexpensive items with space for graphics and text, fans make an effective format for promotional messages.
Earliest Date 1878
Latest Date 1890
Maker Donaldson Brothers
Material Cardboard/Wood
Subjects Advertising
Stores & shops
Lexicon Sub-category Advertising Medium
Associated People Austen, E. Alice
Catalog Number 45.002.0011
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.