5 Leap Ephemera

During more than 60 years of book collecting, William W. Leap paid special attention to a category of material often overlooked by book collectors and well-established libraries. He amassed a wide range of ephemeral texts pertaining to South Jersey, a selection of which is presented in this case. These are the sort of items that can tell much about a bygone time and place, but because of their scarcity are often overlooked.

Most of the items reveal points of contact between the local business community and history, civic pride, or cultural events.

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West Collingswood 4th Celebration; Under the Auspices of Fire Company No. 1, 1915.

Details of West Collingswood’s annual 4th of July festivities for 1915 are interspersed among 20 pages of advertisements for the sponsors. Events began at 9:30 A.M. and continued all day, including athletic contests – 100 yard dash, standing broad jump, 220 yard dash, 50 yard dash, a potato race, sack race, target throwing, skipping rope contest, elephant race, 3-legged race, and running broad jump. Afternoon and evening concerts followed; the celebration concluded with a fireworks display.

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Five Score Years Ago The First National Bank of Woodstown, N.J. Began an Era of Public Service. The First National Bank of Woodstown, N.J., 1964.

This pamphlet is a 14-page history/advertisement for The First National Bank of Woodstown on its 100th anniversary. Consider these noble sentiments: “Necessity and imagination serve as the incubator for creativity in banking, as in all theatres of life. But, without faith in their own abilities and the industriousness of the people they intended to serve, The First National Bank of Woodstown would never have seen the light of day.” The text provides a lovely, short history of a bank and its enduring relationship with the town and area that it serves; three-quarters of the text is history, one quarter is advertisement (or at least an attempt to build good will).

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Runnemede’s 1st Annual Mardi Gras and Halloween Celebration. Fun – Frolic and Prizes for Young & Old. Runnemede, N. J. October 30th & 31st [1947].

At the center of this pamphlet is a four-page program describing the events of Runnemede’s first annual Mardi Gras and Halloween Celebration. The program is sandwiched between 18 pages of advertisements for the sponsors of the celebration.

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277 Years of Growth of the City of Camden, 1631-1908. Camden: Sinnickson Chew & Sons Co., [1908].

This booklet contains historical bullet points concerning the founding, development, and major achievements of Camden. Interspersed are advertisements for the West Jersey Press and its publisher Sinnickson Chew & Sons Company, which just so happens to be the printer and publisher of this pamphlet.

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Weekly Guide of Ocean City, N.J. Week Beginning August 22, 1959.

The Weekly Guide of Ocean City is filled with local advertisements and includes a church directory, coming events, dining suggestions, and more. “Published and distributed free every Saturday during the summer months, through the Hotels, Apartment Houses, Chamber of Commerce, Boardwalk Information Bureau, Recreation Centers and Advertisers throughout the city.” Carol Lee Bergey, soprano, is featured on the cover; she was guest soloist at the Music Pier concerts for one week, beginning Sunday, August 23.

In 1959 Hickman’s Seafood, which today remains in business at the same location, 1155 Asbury Ave., advertised Broiled Fish Platters for $1.45, a Fried Chicken Platter for $1.45, a Broiled Lobster Tail Platter for $2.15 and a complete Lobster Platter for $3.15. A pound of onion rings cost 75 cents.

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An invitation card to “George Washington Inaugural Bi-centennial Reception” held in Woodbridge April 22, 1989, commemorating the 200th anniversary of Washington’s arrival in Woodbridge.

Two hundred years before the reception for which this small card served as an invitation, on April 22, 1789, George Washington stayed overnight in Woodbridge at the Cross Keys Tavern. He was on his way to his first inauguration in New York City, on April 30th.

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The Trolley Tourist, 1906. A Book of Trolley Routes in Eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. Copyrighted 1904 by E. H. Rosenberger.

The front cover has a sentence that reads: “Look at the back page.” The back cover has a full-page advertisement for the trolley to West Chester, “The Prettiest Ride near Philadelphia.” The inside back cover has an advertisement for the Baltimore and Philadelphia Steamboat Company that takes “a beautiful inland route – the Delaware River, Chesapeake and Delaware Canal and Chesapeake Bay” to Baltimore and points south. No worry about a congested Interstate 95. Riding in 20-knot steamers, passengers embark in Philadelphia at 7:30 A.M. weekdays, 8 A.M. Sundays, and arrive in Baltimore early on the same evening.