Friday, June 13, 2014

Object of the Day: Punch Presents Quick Meal Coal Ranges, circa 1904


This little booklet will amuse the Children. Let them
copy the pictures on the Tissue Paper.

Punch and Judy 
          of olden times
     Are now the subject of
          our rhymes.
Punch’s appetite was
     So he ordered Judy to 
          cook a steak.

Now Judy, you know,
     had an old time
     And to cook for
          Punch she often
But Punch could not
     be pleasant or glad,
     And oft at mealtime
          he was mad.

One day, when he was
          in a fit,
     And Baby cried ‘till
          it was sick, 
Punch threw it madly,
          out of doors;
Poor Judy shrieked
          aloud, of course.

A Policeman came
          into the door,
      And Judy cried
          aloud some more;
But Punch could not
          be taken in,
     And swore the battle
          he would win.

He won the battle
          To be sure,
     But could not win
          Poor Judy more.
A bright idea popped
          in his head—
     “I’ll get a QUICK
          MEAL RANGE,”
               he said.

So when the Range
           was set up right,
     Judy worked with
          all her might,
And cooked, and
           noon and night,
     You never saw such
           a pretty sight. 
Click images to enlarge.

This fanciful little booklet, complete with its original tracing paper inserts, was made to advertise St. Louis-based “Quick Meal Coal Ranges” and Gas ranges for the Ringen Stove Co. of Missouri. Since the booklet mentions the World’s Fair, we can guess that it was made after the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair.

This American company has cleverly featured Britain’s Mr. and Mrs. Punch and their baby. Punch, as you’ve just read, is annoyed by Judy’s slow range and tosses the baby out of the window. But, after gleefully smashing the Beadle, Punch decides he can make everything right by buying Judy a new range. And, actually, it does seem to do the trick.

I can’t tell you how much I love the illustrations in this booklet. They’re too wonderful, and I adore the look of utter joy with which Punch approaches everything he’s doing. He’s as happy with his meal of turkey and hams as he is just to throw the baby out of the window. And, that’s why we love Mr. Punch.

I’ve scanned most of the book for you. Enjoy the pictures. They’re quite a treat. You’ll see that some of the pages are covered by the original tissue paper. I’ve moved the paper out of the way in the next image.  I'm just surprised it was never drawn in.

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