About the Collection

The 53 cards in this collection are monthly calendar cards printed by the Strobridge Lithography Company, spanning the years 1896 – 1912. The fine craftsmanship and artistry of Strobridge’s work has been heralded for over a century. Though the Strobridge firm was most famous for its circus posters, these cards are all prime examples of the design and craftsmanship that made Strobridge so famous throughout America and Europe. In viewing this exhibit of calendar cards, note the intricate designs, color separations, and printing techniques that all made Strobridge the premiere American lithography company of its day. To view all of the cards from any given month, click on the month name at the top of this page. To view all of the cards, in chronological order, click on the “all images” link above.

The Gaylord Oscar Shepherd Collection of Strobridge Lithography Company Calendar Cards was donated by Gaylord Oscar Shepherd Jr. in honor of his father who had passed them down to him. Gaylord Oscar Shepherd was the nephew of Harry Loud Bridwell, who worked as an artist at the Strobridge Lithography Company from 1896 – 1906. Following a stroke, Harry Bridwell became paralyzed in his right arm and taught himself to paint with his left. He is famous for his maritime images and for doing the decorations of the Cincinnati Grand Opera House. As a whole, the Bridwells were a prominent family accredited with founding the town of Harriman, Tennessee, about two hours east of Nashville. In Harriman, the Bridwells operated a major restaurant and started the town newspaper.

The artistic talent of the Bridwells has been passed down through the generations. Gaylord Oscar Shepherd was involved in radio, newspaper, advertising, and theater. His daughter, Judy Ave, now 90, is a well known artist in Sarasota Fl. His son, Gaylord Oscar Shepherd Jr., who so generously donated this collection of Strobridge calendars cards that were handed down to him by his father, reports that many of his children, grandchildren, and great grand children have been blessed with the Bridwell artistic talents. The Archives & Rare Books Library thanks Gaylord Oscar Shepherd Jr. for his donation which will undoubtedly benefit artists and scholars.

Please visit the ARB Lawrence F. Albers and George J. Albers Collection web exhibit to view more of our Strobridge holdings.

The following links may be of additional interest:

Duke University Library’s Guide to the Strobridge Lithographing Company Advertisements, 1910-1954 and undated

Article on the Circus Historical Society website about the pioneers in advertising lithography

An example of Strobridge’s advertising for Camel Cigarettes