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Bird's Eye View of Loda, Iroquois Co. Illinois 1869.
- Chicago: Chicago Lith. Co., 1869. 22" X 17". Good plus. Mildly age toned, more so about the edges. Bright, nice original print of this rare color lithograph of this small central Illinois town, drawn by A. Ruger (Chicago artist whose printed name appears at lower left). What's fascinating about this particular specimen is that's it's extra-illustrated: That is, some early owner or more likely the artist or publisher has neatly pencilled in two columns of building identifications and addresses in a miniscule hand in the blank areas at lower left (13 structures) and lower right (13 structures), with corresponding numbers pencilled alongside those buildings in the image. Six structures are identified in print in two small columns at immediate right and left of the title, thus these additions begin with number "7" and go up through number "30." He has also neatly pencilled in other geographic features unidentified in the image ("Leckie's Lake," "Large Dam," "Picnic Grounds," "Oak St.," "99 miles Chi," "Cooper Shop," even a boat in the lake noted as "Petrell," etc.) Along the top blank margin he pencils in "EAST" in a large Times Roman script, in the left margin "NORTH" and in the right margin "South." Immediately below the printed title, he also adds "The Loda Distillery Employs 100 men, consumes 1,000 bushels of grain / and pays over $2,000 Tax to Government per day." It's our belief these were additions meant for a projected second printing -- which never came to pass. These handwritten additions thus constitute a one-of-a-kind record of these structures, an exhaustive inventory of this town's 1869 structures. In addition to this unique feature, this print has an interesting provenance: It comes from the collection of Illinois' former two-term senator, ADLAI E. STEVENSON III (b. 1930), to whom it was handed down within the family. The likelihood is strong this print originated with his great-grandfather, ADLAI E. STEVENSON I (1835-1914), who served as vice president under Grover Cleveland. In 1852, when Adlai I was 16 years old, the Stevenson family moved from Kentucky to Bloomington, Illinois -- 42 miles west of Loda -- and the Stevenson family has been intimately connected with Bloomington ever since. It's perfectly reasonable they would have wanted this bird's eye view of their neighboring town -- which Adlai I then handed down to his son, who handed it down to his son Adlai II (governor of Illinois), and from there to the current Adlai. An extremely unusual copy of an exceptionally scarce print. Framed in a vintage (not contemporary with the print, but circa 1970) 1" wooden frame under a single new cream matte (overall dimensions 29½" X 23½"), making for a clean, simple presentation. John W. Reps (in "Views & Viewmakers of Urban America") shows only the Library of Congress copy. HEBERT 166. REPS 900.
      [Bookseller: Main Street Fine Books & Mss, ABAA]
Last Found On: 2014-10-10           Check availability:      IberLibro    

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