Friday, August 20, 2010

Bathing Bans and Birds' Eggs

This broadside was posted about 100 years ago by the town of Hanover to prohibit skinny dipping near the Ledyard Bridge. Different public safety issues exist currently, with the College prohibiting swimming, clad or otherwise, in the Connecticut River this summer.

A broadside is a single sheet, usually printed only on one side, and used to convey information, publish poetry, or make public announcements, protests and proclamations. While some broadsides contain a graphic element, the text usually predominates. Rauner's broadside collection is typical in the wide range of topics it documents: railroad schedules, the offerings of a dealer in birds' eggs, an announcement of a public appearance by Siamese twins, a warning to fugitive slaves... pretty much anything from the advantages of Dr. Richardson's pectoral balsam to a protest against the outrageous spending of the New Hampshire legislature on "a palace for prostitutes and criminals."

Unfortunately, not all items in the collection are cited in the online catalog, so please feel free to come in and ask if you need to know more about indelible golden friction for coating matches.

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