Scope and Contents note
Series 13, Agriculture, Business, and Law, 1827-1985, undated, contains approximately 3,300 pieces of sheet music and other materials documenting the development of and popular attitudes towards business, commerce, farming and food, finances, labor, law, and social order in the United States. The series comprises nine cubic feet, plus two boxes of ephemera. The materials are grouped by subject and arranged alphabetically by title within each folder unless otherwise noted in the container list. The dates of the sheet music refer to the copyright of the music, and not to the subject on the cover, songwriter's life or other events.
Subseries 1, Business and Jobs, 1927-1982, undated, includes songs, mostly popular titles, published by businesses to advertise the store or product, and songs about specific jobs, work in general, and unions. Note that Series 5, Politics and Political Movements also has songs about unions. Specific jobs with their own folders are Barbershop/Beauty Parlor, Mining, and Stenographer/Typewriter. Songs about traveling salesmen are in Series 15, Holidays and Celebrations, in subseries 1; folder C, "Travel."
Subseries 2, Agriculture: Farming, Food, and Tobacco, 1836-1986, undated, includes many songs about life on the farm, the 4-H Club, blacksmithing, dairy, and shepherding. Several foods warrant their own folders, including baked products and candy. Beverages include alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks --especially beer, wine, and coffee, Prohibition, and general songs about drinking.
Subseries 3, Finances and Valuables, 1841-1982, undated, includes music about gems, gold, silver, and treasure; and numerous songs about money, taxes, and those with money problems such as bums, hobos, and tramps. Folder N has ethnic imagery. (During the 1880s to the 1900s the term "coon songs" was used to designate a specific genre of song that conveyed African American stereotypes using lyrics in dialect. The images of African Americans in these songs were more virulently racist than in any other period of American song. Additional sheet music in this genre is found in Series 3.4 of the DeVincent Collection.)
Subseries 4, Law and Social Order, 1858-1972, undated, includes music about law, jail, prison, and guns. Note that some music and ephemera about specific crimes or outlaws are in other parts of the collection, such as articles about the murder of Stanford White in Series 11, Entertainment, Ephemera, Evelyn Nesbitt; also Jesse James in Series 8, Geography, Missouri; and Billy the Kid in Series 16, Country, Western, and Folk, Outlaws.
Subseries 5, Public Services and Utilities, 1836-1984, undated, includes music about electricity, light, fire, gas and oil, postal service, soldiers' mail, and telegraph, telephone, and wireless. Also see Series 1l, subseries 14, for more items relating to radio, telegraph, and wireless.
Ephemera, 1901-1987, (two boxes) relating to the subseries subjects and are arranged in the same order as the music. About one half of the items pertain to farm animals.
Material related to this series within the DeVincent Collection may be found in Series 1, Transportation; Series 2, Armed Forces; Series 5, Politics and Political Movements; Series 7, Sports; and Series 15, Holidays and Celebrations.