1970 · various
The archive was collected in the 1970s (presumably by someone in the fireworks business), and placed in old photograph albums with the "magnetic glue" format which has unfortunately transferred to the backs of many of the labels, and in some cases is visible on the front of the labels. We've left the labels in the albums as is, partly because there are some penciled notes on some pages indicating a date or (in album 4) "PGII CONV" presumably for the Pyrotechnics Guide annual conventions. They are easily removable, but we feel the choice of what storage to transfer them to was best left to the next owner.
Label artwork ranges from very ornate to very plain. Names are as varied as the marketers could make them - and the graphics vary from beautiful girls (as often on the Indian labels) to "American themes" reflecting the marketing target. The names are as creative as the images and evoke their use: "Mines", "Aerial Colored Flares", "Flower pots", "Flash Ray Gun", "Crackers", "Square Bombs", "V-2 Rocket, "Neptune Rocket", "Cable Car", "Electric Sparklers", "Flaming Torches", etc. Three Ring Binder. These labels represent a wonderful piece of American Cultural History and conjure images of kids with family, bright smiles and loud booms on the 4th of July, a uniquely American phenomena. The fact that someone collected these is a boon. By definition after the BOOM, the rest of the packaging isn't very useful to most. And some of the labels in Album #4 show the results of use (with occasional charring). Checking various online auction sites, we find labels selling from a few dollars for modern labels to many hundreds for earlier ones. A more detailed listing is available upon request to interested purchasers.
A highly visual collection, this archive would provide a nice basis for a larger collection in the area. (Inventory #: 24038)