Guide to the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana Subject Categories: Lighting
Digitized Content

Collection ID:
Warshaw, Isadore, d. 1969
circa 1833-1943
Physical Description:
2.9 Cubic feet
consisting of 5 boxes, 1 folder, 5 oversize folders, 2 map case folders, 2 flat boxes (partial), plus digital images of some collection material.
A New York bookseller, Warshaw assembled this collection over nearly fifty years. The Warshaw Collection of Business Americana: Lighting forms part of the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Subseries 1.1: Subject Categories. The Subject Categories subseries is divided into 470 subject categories based on those created by Mr. Warshaw. These subject categories include topical subjects, types or forms of material, people, organizations, historical events, and other categories. An overview to the entire Warshaw collection is available here: Warshaw Collection of Business Americana

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
This subject category- Lighting-consists of numerous examples of business ephemera relating to manmade illumination. The material dates from the early-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries, although the bulk of the material is from 1880 to 1910.
Manufacturers, dealers and distributors of lighting fixtures and supplies makes up the largest portion of this subject category. Items are organized alphabetically by the name of manufacturer, dealer or distributor. Materials in this section include advertising cards, scraps, trade catalogs, price lists, pamphlets, labels, business letterheads, bills, receipts, greeting cards, periodical illustrations, lithographs, printed advertisements, periodicals, newspaper clippings, broadsides, shipping documents, handbills, premiums, promotional items, announcements and business cards.
Items relating to municipal lighting companies deal with both gas and electric illumination, and is organized alphabetically by company name. Materials include bills, receipts, payment slips and announcements.
Lighting associations and societies correspondence, pamphlets, brochures and other literature is organized alphabetically by the name of the organization.
Export, Import and Patent Documents includes patent certificates and drawings organized alphabetically by the name of the patent holder, importer or exporter.
There is a significant accumulation of illustrations, lithographs and advertisements of lighting implements and paraphernalia that cannot be linked to a specific inventor, manufacturer, dealer or supplier. The bulk of this material consists of loose pages of trade literature, clippings from periodicals, trade cards, and advertisements.

Processing Information
In 2016, with funding provided by the Smithsonian Institution's Collections Care and Preservation Fund, the Archives Center at the National Museum of American History implemented the use of minimal level processing standards to increase information about and facilitate access to more of our collections. A large portion of stored material from the original acquisition received minimal level processing, which resulted in additions to this Subject category. This effort included basic arrangement and replacement of non-archival housing for long-term stability, but staples and other fasteners have not all been removed. Revisions to the encoded finding aid were made to reflect the added content in context to the previously processed material.
Minimal level processing and enhancement of the machine-readable finding aid completed by Nicole Blechynden, September 2017.
Vanessa Broussard-Simmons and Nicole Blechynden
Funding for partial processing of the collection was supported by a grant from the Smithsonian Institution's Collections Care and Preservation Fund (CCPF).
Immediate Source of Acquisition note
Lighting is a portion of the Business Ephemera Series of the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Accession AC0060 purchased from Isadore Warshaw in 1967. Warshaw continued to accumulate similar material until his death, which was donated in 1971 by his widow, Augusta. For a period after acquisition, related materials from other sources (of mixed provenance) were added to the collection so there may be content produced or published after Warshaw's death in 1969. This practice has since ceased.

Digital Content

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation note
Warshaw Collection of Business Americana Subject Categories: Lighting, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Conditions Governing Access note
Collection is open for research. Some items may be restricted due to fragile condition.
Conditions Governing Use note
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.

Materials in the Archives Center
Materials in the Archives Center
Archives Center Collection of Business Americana (AC0404)

Forms Part Of
Forms Part Of

Other Finding Aids note
Other Finding Aids note
An inventory for Boxes 1-4 and oversize materials is available. Details for additional collection material can be found in the Contents/Container List.

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Ephemera Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Business ephemera Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012