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“The Queen of Charcoal Alley”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music for the song “The Queen of Charcoal Alley” was written by Andrew B. Sterling and composed by Howard and Emerson. The music was originally published by T. B. Harms and Co. of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1900, and appeared as a musical supplement to the “Philadelphia Press” on Sunday, November 25, 1900. The cover features an illustration of a well dressed black couple with a poodle, and the illustration is framed with drawings of sunflowers.

“The Poem of Fujiwara no Michinobu Ason” from the series The Hundred Poems Explained by the Nurse (Hyaku’nin Isshu Uba-ga-Etoki)

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Travelers setting out at the first blush of dawn shows pairs of men running with heavy cargo balancing on their shoulders — two sets in the foreground alternate between men who are carrying bails of round sacks. Shown in the bottom right corner is a man bent over to fix his sandal with his heavy load resting on the side. The background shows a trail of workers running further in the distance. In front of them is a slower group of people hunched over as they walk towards the rising sun. Throughout the landscape are meandering trails and the silhouette of a forest just beyond the horizon.

“The Pick of the Family”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music is for the song “The Pick of the Family (Take a Look at Her).” The lyrics were written by Jeff Branen and the music was composed by Arthur Lange. The sheet music was published by Joe Morris Music Co. of New York City in 1914. The cover features an illustration of an old father pointing to a multitude of daughters behind him, and an inset photograph of Chappy O’Donnell at the bottom of the cover. The cover illustration is signed De Takacs, by illustrator André De Takacs.

“The Old Pine Tree”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music is for the song “The Old Pine Tree” with lyrics written by Sarah M. Delano Cornell and music composed by J.C. Wilson Hughes. The Berlile Music Publishing Company of Boston, Massachusetts published the sheet music in 1905. The cover has an illustration of a large pine tree by a country road running along a lake. The illustration is signed “Fisher” in the lower left, and there is an inset photograph of an unidentified actress on the right.

“The Old Gum Tree”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music is for the song “The Old Gum Tree.” The cover notes that the song was “sung with rapturous applause by the Ethiopian Serenaders,” and “composed for the Piano Forte by R.O. Wilson.” The song was composed in 1848, and was part of the culture of “coon songs” that became popular entertainment during the period. “Ethiopian” singers and performers were what blackface performers often called themselves, traveling in troupes and performing various song and dance numbers in often crass and racist stereotypes.

“The New Adventures of Superman” Script and Storyboard

National Museum of American History
These pages are from “The Neolithic Nightmare,” an episode of the animated series “The New Adventures of Superman.” The documents include a revised script and illustrated storyboards. Written by Oscar Bensol, the episode aired in November of 1966, and features cub-reporter Jimmy Olson falling into a cave filled with monsters.

Filmation produced 68 six-minute Superman stories between 1966-1970. The shorts were aired as part of three programs “The New Adventures of Superman;” “The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure;” and “The Batman/Superman Hour.”

The character of Superman first flew into action in 1938. The costumed superhero was created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, two Jewish teenagers from Cleveland Ohio, who used, among other things, Classical mythology, philosopher Fredrich Nietzche’s concept of the “uber mensch,” and the era’s popular science fiction and adventure writing, for inspiration.

With his debut in Action Comics #1, Superman became an instant sensation with audiences, inspired by the “Man of Tomorrow’s” virtue and heroics at time when the Nation was slowly emerging from the economic catastrophe of the Great Depression and moving closer to World War.

Born on the doomed planet Krypton, Superman was sent to Earth as a child, where our world’s yellow sun granted him extraordinary powers such as flight, super-strength, near-invulnerability, as well as other extraordinary abilities including heat and X-Ray vision. As an adult living in the city of Metropolis, the alien, born Kal-El, protects his identity by assuming the persona of Clark Kent, a “mild-mannered” journalist.

Fighting for “Truth and Justice,” Superman birthed a cultural fascination with superheroes, and has become one of the most recognizable and influential fictional characters in history. In addition to comic books, the character has been explored in all forms of media, including radio, television, and film, and has been used to promote a variety of successful consumer products, educational initiatives and public service campaigns.

“The Musical Gift”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music for the song “The Musical Gift” was published by Spear and Denhoff of New York, NY in 1881. The cover features a border of flowers that enclose the title with a lyre, trumpet, and violin crossed in the center. This “Musical Gift” seems to have been the sixth volume of a collection of popular music published by Spear and Denhoff.

“The Mockingbird Quickstep”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music is for the song “The Mockingbird Quickstep” that was arranged for the piano by J.A. Rosenberger. The song was a quickstep march published by George Dunn & Company of Richmond, Virginia in 1864. Interestingly, this song was published in the South during the Civil War, as the cover notes that the song was entered “by Geo. Dunn in the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of the Confederate United States of America.”

“The Man Behind the Gun"

National Museum of American History
This sheet music is for the song “The Man Behind the Gun” March. The song was composed by John Philip Sousa, and published by The John Church Company in 1899. The cover features an illustrated portrait of John Philip Sousa with a rope tied to an anchor in front of a flag of stars. The song was part of the musical “Chris and the Wonderful Lamp,” which Sousa wrote the music for.

“The Maine's Avenger”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music for the song “The Maine’s Avenger: A March Dedicated to Commodore George Dewey” was written by E.A. Couturier in 1898, and featured in “New York Herald” on Sunday, May 8, 1898. Couturier was noted as the conductor of Gilmore’s Band. The sinking of the U.S.S. Maine in Havana resulted in the outbreak of the Spanish-American War, with American forces engaging Spanish forces in its various colonial holdings. One such engagement was the Battle of Manila Bay, a decisive American victory in the Philippines that was led by Commodore George Dewey, who was hailed as a hero.

“The Maiden's Prayer”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music is for the song “The Maiden's Prayer” which was composed by Thécla (Tekla) Badarzewska in 1856. The sheet music was published by the Armstrong Music Publishing Company in the early 1900s. The white and red cover features an inset illustration of a maiden kneeling before a cross and candles in front of her window, as light shines down on her face. This song was published in Polish and French prior to being published in English, which is why the sub-title is “La Priére D’une Vierge.”

“The Lord Is My Shepherd (23rd Psalm)”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music for the song "The Lord Is My Shepherd (23rd Psalm)" was written and composed by John B. Marsh and published by the William. A. Pond and Co. of New York, New York in 1898. This cover is plain paper with black text, but the phrase “The Lord” is underlined by the image of a shepherd’s staff. The contralto solo was written with affectionate regard to Mr. Warren Pond.

“The Last Time I Saw Paris”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music is for the song “The Last Time I Saw Paris.” The lyrics were written by Oscar Hammerstein and the music was composed by Jerome Kern. The sheet music was published by the T.B. Harms Company of New York, New York in 1940. The cover features an illustration of a silhouetted woman as well as images of Paris floating across the cover. There is an inset photograph of Hildegarde sitting at a piano, which notes that the song was “introduced and featured by Hildegarde,” meaning that she had been performing the tune at shows and clubs, and now her image was being used to sell the sheet music.

“The Ladies Guide to Needle Work, Embroidery, etc” by S. Annie Frost, 1877

National Museum of American History
“The Ladies Guide to Needle Work, Embroidery, etc” by S. Annie Frost. Bound hard cover book with full description of all the various stitches and materials and a large number of illustration for each variety of work. New York;1877. 158 pgs

“The Kinkajou”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music is for the song “The Kinkajou,” that was composed by Harry Tierney and written by Joseph McCarthy. The music was published by Leo Feist Inc. of New York, New York in 1926. The book was written by Guy Bolton and Fred Thompson, and the musical starred Bebe Daniels and John Boles, and was an RKO Production. The cover is a deep red color featuring an illustration of a seductive looking woman wearing a wide brim hat with red tassels. The song is from Ziegfeld’s musical "Rio Rita" and the woman on the cover is the character of Rio Rita.

“The Jack O'Lantern Girl”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music for the song “The Jack O’Lantern Girl” was written by Glen MacDonough and composed by Victor Herbert. The music was published by Witmark and Sons of New York, New York in 1904, and appeared as a supplement to the New York Herald on March 12, 1905. The cover features an illustration of “Jack O’ Lanterns” wearing trench coats and top hats behind a photo of Miss Bessie Clayton dancing “on point.” An inset photograph of Lew M. Fields is on the lower left. The cover notes that the song was “sung by Miss Bessie Clayon in “It Happened in Nordland.”

“The High School Cadets March”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music is for the song “The High School Cadets March,” which was composed by John Philip Sousa. The sheet music was published by Harry Coleman of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1930. The song was part of a compilation called “Popular Compositions for Piano by John Philip Sousa.” The cover notes that Sousa was the director of the Marine Band, a position he held from 1880-1892.

“The Girlie with the Baby Stare”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music is for the song “The Girlie with the Baby Stare” that was written by Ernest Hanegan and composed by William H. Penn. The sheet music was published by Sol Bloom of New York, New York in 1902. The purple and orange cover features an inset photograph of Frank Daniels, who sang the song with great success in “Miss Simplicity.”

“The Girl You Love”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music is for the song “The Girl You Love,” a song that was written and composed by Paul A. Rubens. The sheet music was published by Sol Bloom of New York City in 1901. The white and purple cover has a central photograph of Edna Wallace Hopper seated on a stool. Wallace performed this tune in John C. Fischer’s production of the musical “The Silver Slipper.”

“The Girl I Left Behind Me”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music is for the song “The Girl I Left Behind Me.” This version of the song was composed by William Dressler, and published by S. Brainard & Co. in 1861. The cover describes the song as “a popular Irish melody with variations.” There is an image of a soldier marching off to war waving to his girl who is waving to him. This song was likely published in 1861 as the Civil War was beginning to get underway, and was often used as a marching song during the 19th century, although the Confederacy and Union had different versions.

“The Fencing Girl Waltz”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music is for the song “The Fencing Girl Waltz,” that was composed by Fred T. Ashton. The Ashton Publishing Company of Bloomington, Illinois published the sheet music in 1902. The black cover has an image of a young girl holding a fencing foil, drawn in white.

“The Fairest of the Fair”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music is for the song “The Fairest of the Fair” that was composed by John Philip Sousa. The sheet music was published by The John Church Company in 1908. The march was written for the annual Boston Food Fair, and was dedicated to the Boston Retail Grocers Association. The cover has a background of blooming water lilies, with an inset photograph of Sousa on the left.

“The Deacon” Name Tag

National Museum of American History
WANN radio DJ “The Deacon” used this name tag during the 1950s and 1960s in Annapolis, Maryland. The blue fabric name tag is on a pin-back rectangular brass frame that reads “THE DEACON.” A blue ribbon hangs from the brass frame that reads “WANN/DIAL/1190” in gold lettering.

“The Coldest Coon in Town”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music for the song “The Coldest Coon in Town” was written by Andrew B. Sterling and composed by Harry Von Tilzer. The song was originally published by W. C. Dunn and Co. of New York, New York in 1899, and republished as a supplement to the “New York Herald Supplement” on March 16, 1902. The sheet features an illustration of a caricatured black man ice skating on ice that is cracking.
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