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An early leaflet (1910-1911?) - anyone has seen the same one?

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I am unable to date this old leaflet... I suppose that is from the very early years, because on the back side is specified the date (February, 10th) which makes me think that later only the year (1910.) has been important is such a kind of ephemera. But, that is just my thought. Any idea about the year from which is this ephemera?

 

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First of all, welcome to the forum. 

 

This is an interesting piece, but might not be as significant as one might wish it to be. 

 

Although it refers to 10-FEB-14, one also must note that it makes reference to the Boy Scouts of the World numbering over 2 million boys.  That gives one the clue that it might be only as old as the mid-1930's.  According to THE HISTORY OF THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA, by William D. Murray, copyright 1937, the active world membership in 1935 was 2,472,014. (p. 531)  This would mean that the membership would need to be at least 2 million when these pamphlets were first being handed out. 

 

Therefore my guess would date this piece mid to late 1930's  With the Great Depression taking it's toll on the program, they might even have been still floating around into the WW II era.

 

It is interesting to note the boys needed to be proficient in semaphore, Morse and MEYERS.  Most scouts don't  even know what a Meyers flag looks like.  :)  Thumbs up to the mess kit cooking reference too.  Try that nowadays with your plastic mess kits.

 

Nice historical piece!

Edited by Stosh

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Hi! Thank you for the welcome and for the detailed observation.

 

Yes, I have also noted the high number of the world members ("enrollment over 2 million boys" and "active world membership" are not exactly the same terms)... also, it is refered to the "Boys Scouts of the World" organization (?)... nowhere is mentioned the official name or abb. of the World organization founded in 1922. ... which should be mentioned if the card is printed after that year (especially so late in 1930-ies.

 

The leaflet (in fact it is a card, about 1mm thick) is printed by "Powers Eng. Co" from New York... it is also pretty large (a 1/4 dollar is on the 2nd scan for compare).

 

What is also interesting... the back side is printed "upside-down" to the front.. I am not sure is that some kind of error or was a usual practice for that days.

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@@fleep, there is a guy on the Internet named Clarke Green. He does a podcast for Scouters and those interested in Scouting. He did a podcast a while back with an author named David C. Scott who did ten years of research for a book he wrote about the early days of Scouting. If you want to track down the date of this document you might try there.

 

You could also try the National Scout Museum. They have an archive there where someone might be willing to help track down the publication date for you.

 

If those sources don't know, I am at a loss for who might know. ;)

Edited by Krampus

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That is an interesting treasure.

 

Going by the stated second class requirements, my guess is the leaflet was printed  between 1911 and 1915 when the Myer (not Meyer as spelled) code was a Second Class requirement. The Myer code requirement was dropped/restated in the 1915 revision of Second Class requirements in favor of the International Morse Code.

http://www.troop97.net/pdfbin/bsa_ranks.pdf

 

"Boy run"  troops also meant "boy started" back then! Scoutmasters "commissioned" by Headquarters.

 

I like it. Simple but challenging.

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Hi! Thank you for the welcome and for the detailed observation.

 

Yes, I have also noted the high number of the world members ("enrollment over 2 million boys" and "active world membership" are not exactly the same terms)... also, it is refered to the "Boys Scouts of the World" organization (?)... nowhere is mentioned the official name or abb. of the World organization founded in 1922. ... which should be mentioned if the card is printed after that year (especially so late in 1930-ies.

 

The leaflet (in fact it is a card, about 1mm thick) is printed by "Powers Eng. Co" from New York... it is also pretty large (a 1/4 dollar is on the 2nd scan for compare).

 

What is also interesting... the back side is printed "upside-down" to the front.. I am not sure is that some kind of error or was a usual practice for that days.

 

I find it difficult that an organization of over 2 million boys that would not have a recognizable name.  The founding of the WOSM did not necessarily mean organized scout movements throughout the world would join it right away and be counted in the WOSM's membership either.  So knowing in 1922 the WOSM has lets just say, 1M scouts and there might be yet another 1M out there that aren't joined in but are part of BP's scouting principles,, what would you call the WHOLE of scouting in the world at that point? See the problem?  There are still countries today that have scouting movements that have yet to join the WOSM.

 

That would place it pre-1922 in that case, but then Who is the "chief" designated as recipient of the message? 

 

And to throw a wrench into everyone's thinking - the uniform shown in the picture is pre-1917.  I know the world wide numbers in 1935 as 2.4M members, but what was it in 1917?  from 1900 (Britian) to 1935 steady growth to 2.4M means the numbers only were 1.2m  at the halfway point 1917.  I didn't hear of any major numbers tapering off in the Great Depression to skew the trend.  Maybe others have more information on that.

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@ Krampus -  thank you for the tips. I am not sure is it smart to contact an bestselling author (as Mr. Scott is) about this single one, probably unsignificant, paper? I will need to think about it :) But, thank you for the advice!

 

@ RememberSchiff - thank you for the details which I didn't find out. On the printing is visible publisher: "POWERS ENG CO"... which is also known as "Powers engraving company" from New York. I have tried to Google out "Boy scouts" and "A message to the chief" together... and I didn't find any other sample of this card mentioned anywhere. Also, they way that it is printed (front to back in upside down position) possible suggests that this could be just a trial printing or something... in that position printed as an error? I found interesting how emblems are printed over the photgrapy, and the photography is still visible under the bottom of the right emblem. All looks very crude for the later printings (1920-ies, 1930-ies), especially when it was made by a respectable company which Powers was.

 

@ Stosh - it looks that a lot of info on this leaflet is not reliable... possibly written and prepared in the very early years when the real numbers and data have not been available. So, possibly was a gossip that already are "over two million boys" in the world are scouts, and, who has prepared this leaflet, didn't have a source to check it. That will also explain other mistakes in spelling (Meyer - Myer, which RememberShiff notice). In the very early days, the reliable sources (as almanacs or so) didn't exists, and that will explain why the numbers are not correct.

 

 

When we are talking about mistakes errors... please, excuse me for my insufficient English... I am from Central Europe :)

 

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The picture seems to be a crude photoshp image of multiple layers of printing.  So the engravers could be doing some fancy techniques for the era or printing on old stock of some sort.  The two tones of coloring indicate it is not a photograph with printing superimposed over it.

 

The style of the hat on the boy on the left is also unique.  The crease of the hat should be centered over the ear if it was American and the "dip" if it were European.  It doesn't appear to be either.  The other scout's hat is a bit obscured with the logo, but if the shadows are correct it would seem to be a European style hat.

 

I don't see this as an official BSA publication in that the logo is incomplete (no Good Turn knot).  I don't know if that was omitted at one point and added later or not.  But with all the questionable historicity to it, I'm thinking it was made by a local organization at one point to publicize BSA and give instructions on how units can be formed in the different areas of the country. 

 

Don't worry about your English, from where I'm sitting, it's spot on perfect.

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@@fleep, I'm friends with some scouts from Central Europe. They stay at my house on a school breaks. Your English compares well to theirs.

 

"A Message to the Chief" is merely a text depiction of the activity: a scout relaying a message to his leader.

 

But, it could also be an excerpt of text from a national report: the equivalent of what chosen scouts now present to our President as "The Report To The Nation" (http://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/category/report-to-the-nation/).

 

One reason for the inverted printing may be this was a cover to a flip book (bound at the top). The text seems incomplete. It looks like the bottom margin was trimmed. So it leads me to think there may have been more pages. I know of no such book, but maybe someone else could comment to that possibility. Could this be a notebook about signalling?

Edited by qwazse

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@ quazse - It could be a front cover of the flip book, but I will place my bet on a blank flip note-book... not on the any entirely, or partial printed manual-type "notebook".

 

Possibly a flip note-book with a blank papers, which should have been torn-out at some time and used for a message to the "chief" to be written on them??

 

It is pretty large... 20 x 13 cm (8 x 5 inches).

 

I am not sure that both emblems and the official name of the BSA should have been used without their permission?

 

If it has been made by some local organization, I suppose that info will be placed somewhere on the front cover, too.

 

 

Thank you for the nice words about my English, folks! :)

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I agree with the observations about the vintage being pre 1920, at least.  Some Scouts would have used any hat they could get, not just the flat, wide brim campaign hat. Look at the leather strap "puttees" on those legs.

I like the idea,, as has been suggested,  this is the cover of a "notebook" to write "messages to the chief".

Another idea:   one of a set of trading cards, from Cereal, or bubble gum or even tobacco cards. Each card of the set  (ten?  20?)  might have a picture of a Scout activity on it.   I myself have a collection of cards that came in Shredded Wheat boxes of an Straight Arrow  Indian Guide Skills set. This might be a remnant of something similar.

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There is a name written in pencil above the photo which would indicate to me that this is indeed the cover to some sort of booklet or notebook.  The name starts with an E, perhaps Eric, and the last name looks like it is Trout.  I believe he would have been the owner of this booklet/notepad.

 

Powers Engraving is likely to be also known as Powers Photo Engraving of New York - the Power's brothers held a number of patents for the photo-engraving process.

 

I believe the title of the artwork is Message to the Chief, and though it could be interpreted as the Scout delivering a message to his Scoutmaster, based on the pointing by the Scoutmaster (yes, making an assumption on the relationship here), I suspect that it is a message the Scoutmaster is giving the Scout to relay to someone else - some unseen Chief.

 

What's interesting is the requirements - those are the 1910 temporary requirements.  In 1911, the cooking requirement was changed from cook the ingredients with the regulation kit to cook the ingredients without using regular kitchen equipment.  The First Class reqiurement to train a Tenderfoot in 1910 was changed in 1911 to train a Tenderfoot that the Scout has recruited.

 

It's unlikely that this was printed in 1910 - I don't believe there would have been time to start fully outfitting boys, and by late 1910, the BSA was being operated by the YMCA for a time until it was big enough and strong enough to go out on it's own.

 

I think folks are on the right track that this is the cover to some kind of blank page notebook.  I suspect that, despite the use of present tense, it was not printed with current requirements but with historical requirements.  Based on the membership numbers presented, which I interpret as the number of members in the "Brigade" of Boy Scouts of America and not of the entire world, I'm guessing this as printed sometime between 1946, when membership first reached the 2 Million plus mark and  1952 when membership reached the 3 Million plus mark.  Also, the background color being used - that light greenish-blue - is consistent with color printing from the late 40's and 50's and not from the 1910s-1930's. (Ok, your saying to yourself, Calico is really going out on a limb here but one way that folks can tell how old certain things are like quilts, and posters, and postcards (and other printed materials) is by the colors being used - every decade or so can be said to have a color palette - remember the 1970's with Avocado Green, that hideous Orange, and that equally hideous Yellow?  Color Palette.  Take a look at car colors - you can tell the difference between a 1950's car color and a 1960's car color.  The same holds true for printing.  There is even a whole color palette associated with Frank Lloyd Wright that can be used to identify his peak period.  Now I could be wrong, but I've seen that shade on other things from the late 40's and early 50's but not on things from earlier). 

 

ps - it's just occured to me - you know what else comes in size 8 x 5 (technically 5 x 8)?  Junior size Notepads.

Edited by CalicoPenn

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:)  If one ever does find out for sure anything on this poster, be sure to let us all know.  I have my bet placed on the early to mid-1930's based on the World membership comment of 2+ million boys in scouting world wide.

 

If I win send my winnings to a scout troop in central Europe that made his a fun thread for a change... :)

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It's 1914. That was the year that BSA botched up the Scout emblem on the new Lyendecker artwork Handbook and printed it the same way on everything else.

 

David C. Scott

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Thank you very much (once again) for the help, Mr. Scott!!

 

 

 

So, folks... it looks that the mystery has been revealed :)

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