Part 5 of the vintage sports posters series takes a look at the Don Spencer Company, Inc. This mailer is one of my more recent acquisitions. When it was listed on eBay the dealer had it up as two lots. I'm glad I bid and won both lots because it turns out they were addressed to the same person (apparently a high school administrator) and made up Don Spencer's complete offering for 1948.
The first lot pertained to the company's posters and programs. The first letter above talks about the company's success with its high school football programs. The second letter, part of the second lot, talks about adding cartoons and features to the program. It's interesting to see how Spencer offered a complete package. The catalogs featured in previous posts were basically all about the art on the posters and program covers. Another note of interest is the use of 2 different letterheads.
1948 order form
Shown above and below is the 4-page poster supplement that was part of the first lot. My personal favorite is the ice hockey poster.
Also part of the first lot were 8 individual blank football program covers. Three of the covers were done by Lon Keller and 5 were done by Larry Tisdale.
Above and below are 2 of the Lon Keller covers along with their published game programs.
The 3 pieces show below are by Tisdale. His work seems to take a more cartoonish approach. I tried finding more about Tisdale's career, but didn't find anything. If anyone has any leads, please drop me a note.
The second lot contained items for the "guts" of the program.
The Cartoons and Features catalog includes 15 pages of work done by famous cartoonist Bo Brown.
Brown's work has appeared in such places at The Saturday Evening Post, The New Yorker and some six hundred other publications. He produced the syndicated comic strip Such is Life in 1936. He was the winner of numerous cartooning awards.
The features offered in the catalog include: "True or False?" "How Well Do You Remember?" "Do You Really Know Your Football?" "I See By The Rules." "The "T" Is Stalled-Now What?" "Bird's-eye View Of Present-Day Offensive Football," "Time-out For The Officials," "Extra Point Or No Extra Point," "Passing Through The Years," and True or False Answers.
The secret to Spencer's success in the program business was that he recognized that the cost of production could be reduced greatly if all the seasons programs were produced centrally at one time. Few schools could afford the cost of quality covers and printing in those days. As stated in the first letter, Spencer's programs accounted for 99% of all high school programs produced in 1946. That's pretty amazing.
I hope you enjoyed this mini series. I have more poster catalogs to share at a later date.