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Charles Frost correspondence relating to his Comprehensive Calendar


Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Charles W. Frost (1848-1939) was an advertising agent in Philadelphia. He was also the owner of the Frost Block Company, a firm that manufactured building blocks, toys and novelties. According to the 1884 U.S. Patent Office, Frost had the patent for both the 200-year comprehensive calendar and the toy building block. He published Frost's Comprehensive Calendar in order to sell advertising and also to gather potential customers for his advertisers' businesses. An advertisement for the calendar, itself, describes it as "a compact and useful perpetual calendar, giving the entire annual calendars for any year in the present century, and one hundred and fifty others."

He was married to Isabel Freeman Frost, a member of a prominent Philadelphia family.

This collection dates from 1883 to 1896 and includes 41 letters, two of which were sent by Frost. These letters, almost exclusively, concern Frost's Comprehensive Calendar, a 250-year calendar beginning in 1753 and ending in 2002. This calendar was used primarily for advertising purposes, but may also have been used to gather names and addresses of people requesting a calendar--all of whom became potential customers for his advertisers' businesses.

The numerous letters addressed to Frost place orders for calendars, make enquiries about them, or concern suggestions for improvements or the publishing of "decorative" or "artistic calendars." One correspondent, a journalist called Charles Marseilles of Exeter, New Hampshire, was a calendar collector and several letters relate to a competition in which contestants sent lists of names and addresses to Frost. Many letters reference advertisements in Ladies Home Journal and The Market Journal, and both letters written by Frost make reference to his correspondents being referred to him by the magazine publishing firm, Curtis Publishing Company, which employed Edward Bok as editor of Ladies Home Journal. Several letters are addressed directly to Curtis Publishing Company and/or Edward Bok and request the electrotype plates of the calendar. Other correspondents include the manager of the advertising department of The Medical Record and N.B. Kneass, Jr. of Philadelphia, "Publisher for the Blind."

Sold by Ian Brabner Rare Americana, 2016.

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Finding Aid Author
Kelin Baldridge
Finding Aid Date
2016 December 13
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This collection is open for research use.

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Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

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Letters, 1883-1885.
Box 1 Folder 1
Letters, 1886-1887.
Box 1 Folder 2
Letters, 1888-1889.
Box 1 Folder 3
Letters, 1890-1893.
Box 1 Folder 4
Letters, 1895.
Box 1 Folder 5
Letters, 1896.
Box 1 Folder 6
Letters, undated.
Box 1 Folder 7

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