1946 ORIGINAL PHOTO ALBUM OF 30+ PHOTOGRAPHS DEPICTING THE LEAD UP AND PERFORMANCE OF A RACIST BLACKFACE MINSTREL SHOW PUT ON BY THE ALL WHITE EMPLOYEES OF PHILADELPHIA’S PROCTOR & SCHWARTZ COMPANY

By: PROCTOR MINSTREL CAST & COMMITTEE

Price: $1,355.99

Quantity: 1 available


On offer is a photo album of 32 photographs detailing a minstrel show that took place at the Philadelphia Moose Hall on April 12, 1946. The show was put on seemingly for the employees of the “Proctor & Schwartz” company, an appliance manufacturing company in Philadelphia and put on by some employees themselves, calling themselves the “Proctor Minstrel Cast & Committee”. The photographs show various scenes of the minstrel show put on the by the all-white cast. There are only three men in full blackface, singing and dancing on stage, with a few rows of men in suits behind them, who took place in the production as well. There is also one man, presumably one of the heads of the company, in a full white suit sitting in a large chair directly behind the performers and microphone. Who this was is not certain, though it may have been A. O. Hurxthal. Watching the performance is a large audience of white middle aged men and women. There is also an orchestra in the pit playing music for the show. This was obviously a well put on production. There are also included photographs of all the men practicing their songs and routines, sitting around a woman playing the piano for them and an older man conducting and rehearsing the men. Finally, the photo album contains 4 typed letters of congratulations to the “Proctor Minstrel Cast and Committees,” “Proctor Minstrels and Assistants,” and the “Minstrel Cast and Committee”. The first three letters are signed by H.T. Hershey, Walter M. Schwartz, and T. Waller. These were all executives at the company. The last letter is typed and signed by A. O. Hurxthal and is the longest and most in depth. “The entertainment provided by the Minstrel Cast and Committee for the employees of P&S was high class and thoroughly entertaining. I had not forgotten the same character of Minstrel of many ears ago and, as a result of my favorable recollection, I brought along two guests, not employees of the Company...They were highly pleased and applauded loudly at all events...and further expressed their opinion that it was an outstanding Minstrel, in which everything was clean and no jokes were produced at the expense of others...Now back to my feelings about the matter. I am very greatly gratified at the amount of talent in our Company, of which, I am sure, the Minstrel could only use a part. I was proud of all who took part, because they did a fine job. I only hope that more of this type [of] entertainment can be enjoyed by all of us...” All the photographs was done by “Cramer and Roming”. Each photograph and letter is in a laminated sleeve. All are in very good condition. All the sleeves are bound in a professionally made black binder. The typed letters are in very good conditions as well. The racism espoused in this book is thankfully from another era, but these photographs show a very good example of how Minstrel shows were used for white folks entertainment. (Background: The minstrel show, or minstrelsy, was an American form of racially charged entertainment developed in the early 19th century. Each show consisted of comic skits, variety acts, dancing, and music performances that mocked people specifically of African American descent. The shows were performed by white people in make-up or blackface for the purpose of playing the role of black people. There were also some African-American performers and all-black minstrel groups that formed and toured under the direction of white people. Minstrel shows lampooned black people as dim-witted, lazy, buffoonish, superstitious and happy-go-lucky. From 1850 to 1870 minstrelsy was at its height, and in the 1850s ten theaters in New York City alone were devoted almost solely to minstrel entertainment. After 1870, the popularity of the minstrel show declined rapidly, and in 1919 only three troupes remained in the U.S. However minstrel show acts continued to be depicted in the cinema and on television well into the 1950s. Amateur minstrel shows continued to be performed in the 1960s and high schools, fraternities and local theater groups would usually perform the shows in blackface. The amateur minstrel shows in blackface finally died out in the US in the late 1960s as African Americans asserted more political power, but even today minstrel shows are still used as a theme for amateur productions.) OVERALL: G.

Title: 1946 ORIGINAL PHOTO ALBUM OF 30+ PHOTOGRAPHS DEPICTING THE LEAD UP AND PERFORMANCE OF A RACIST BLACKFACE MINSTREL SHOW PUT ON BY THE ALL WHITE EMPLOYEES OF PHILADELPHIA’S PROCTOR & SCHWARTZ COMPANY

Author Name: PROCTOR MINSTREL CAST & COMMITTEE

Categories: Books and Manuscripts General Overview, 20th Century Manuscript, 20th Century Ephemera,

Publisher: PHILADELPHIA MOOSE HALL, PENNSYLVANIA PA, 1946

Book Condition: Good

Jacket Condition: Fine

Type: Manuscript

Size: 4to - over 9¾" - 12" tall

Seller ID: 0009169

Keywords: KEYWORDS: HISTORY OF, POST WORLD WAR II, BLACKFACE MINSTRELSY, MINSTREL SHOWS IN AMERICA, PROCTOR & SCHWARTZ COMPANY, PROCTOR MINSTREL CAST & COMMITTEE, PHILADELPHIA MOOSE HALL, PENNSYLVANIA, A.O. HURXTHAL, RACISM IN AMERICA, RACIST SYMBOLISM, WHITE ATTITUDES TOWARDS THE BLACK RACE, LATE HISTORY OF BLACKFACE, CRAMER & ROMING PHOTOGRAPHY, AMERICANA, HANDWRITTEN, MANUSCRIPT, DOCUMENT, LETTER, AUTOGRAPH, WRITER, HAND WRITTEN, DOCUMENTS, SIGNED, LETTERS, MANUSCRIPTS, HISTORICAL, HOLOGRAPH, KEEPSAKE WRITERS, AUTOGRAPHS, PERSONAL, MEMOIR, MEMORIAL, ARCHIVE, DIARY, DIARIES, JOURNAL, LOG, ANTIQUITÉ, CONTRAT, VÉLIN, DOCUMENT, MANUSCRIT, PAPIER ANTIKE, BRIEF, PERGAMENT, DOKUMENT, MANUSKRIPT, PAPIER OGGETTO D’ANTIQUARIATO, ATTO, VELINA, DOCUMENTO, MANUSCRITTO, CARTA ANTIGÜEDAD, HECHO, VITELA, DOCUMENTO, MANUSCRITO, PAPEL