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The Decorative Arts of the Forties and Fifties
 The Decorative Arts of the Forties and Fifties
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Titles produced by the International Correspondence School, Scranton, PA, from the late 19th Century through the 1940's. This publisher commissioned instructive technical articles by experts in every field of work, grouping them into books for students who could subscribe to the International Textbook Company to learn a trade by mail. We concentrate on ICS titles related to our other categories. The thorough and practical nature of these books afford detailed glimpses at how architects, builders, carpenters, masons, draftsmen, "sign men", paper hangers, commercial artists and many more, plied their trades in earlier times.

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ICS Staff, Show-Card Writing, Show-Card Design and Ornament, Letter Formation, #113, Scranton, PA, International Textbook Company, 1906, 8vo (9" x 6"), HB, 1/2-leather boards w/ gilt spine titles, VG- / none. Leather worn, boards slightly exposed at corners, hinge starting, sm. edge-spoting to 3 preliminary pps.

256pp. Brown/ red patterned endpapers (showing symbols of various occupations). 198 illustrations of lettering, typography, decorative ornament, advertising and sign design, fonts, and period motifs, in b/w and color, many full-page, 5 color plates, 2 of which are double-page. Several double-page alphabets, versos blank. A correspondence course textbook to teach the sign-makers' trade to the subscriber(s) in the early 20th century, and which today documents, in great detail, the complex, skillful workmanship required for this trade, and offers us a glimpse at the beauty of this nearly lost craft.

Contents by Section:

Show-Card Writing: Purpose of the Course; How to Become and Expert Card Writer; Description of the Course; Colors ; Handling of Colors; Water Colors; List of Oil Colors; Brushes; Materials; Elements of Lettering; Component Parts of a Letter; Spacing of Letters; Shading; Letter-Face Lighting and Shading; Classification of Letters; Ornamental Letters; Grotesque Letters; Illuminated Capitals; Treatment of Letters; Brush Work; Speed in Lettering; Methods and Application; Dry Colors; Illumination of Show-Cards; Letters; Modification of Letters; Relief Letters; Beveling; Mounting; Manifolding; Store and Window Signs; Outside Signs; Card Hangers; Punctuation; Rules for Punctuation

Show-Card Design and Ornament: Elements of Design; Simple Figures; The Ellipse; The Panel; Ribbons; Practical Designing; Inscription Designing; Location of Inscription; Supplementary Alphabets; Indexes; The Eye; Applied Design; Forms Used in Card Writing; Composition of a Design; Natural Forms Used; Ornament; Various Styles and Application; Various Designs; Price Tickets; Inscriptions for Show Cards

Letter Formation: Freehand Alphabets; Plates: Brush Stroke Letters; Condensed Egyptian; Capitals: Lower Case and Numerals; Heavy Egyptian: Eccentric Egyptian; French Roman: Capitals, Lower Case; Roman: Capitals, Lower case and Numerals; Transparent Color Work; Eccentric Roman; Ogee Curve Stroke: Capitals, Lower Case; Square English: Capitals, Lower Case; Half Script: Capitals, Lower Case; Script: Capitals, Lower Case; Opaque Water-Color Work.

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