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  • [Apperson Automobile Photo Album, 1908]

[Apperson Automobile Photo Album, 1908]

200.00
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[Apperson Automobile Photo Album, 1908]

200.00

A lovely album, likely a marketing tool, documenting the October, 1908 weekend car trip of the "Gunther's Apperson Touring Club," presumably from Chicago, to Pistakee Lake, in McHenry County, some 50 miles Northwest of the city. The photographs are well executed and exceptionally sharp for early 20th Century prints with 5 featuring an Apperson touring car prominently in the frame. The balance record the weekend's meetings, festivities, outdoor activities, etc..., often in a light-hearted, booze-fueled spirit.

Gunther was a prominent early automobile man in Chicago and regional dealer for the Kokomo, Indiana produced Apperson Automobile. An issue of the trade magazine THE MOTOR WAY about contemporary with this album (Vol. XVII, No. 8, 1907) included a lengthy profile:

"Since Sept. 10 the Apperson cars, made by the Apperson Bros. Automobile Company of Kokomo, have been handled in Chicago by the Jos. F. Gunther Company, 1240 Michigan Avenue. Mr. Gunther is one of the best known and oldest automobile salesmen in the west, having been connected with the automobile trade ever since motor cars were sold in Chicago. Previous to the formation of Thomas B. Jeffery & Company, Mr. Gunther was connected with Gormuly & Jeffery, of Chiacgo which made the well known Rambler bicycles. All told, Mr. Gunther has been associated with the Jeffery interests for the last 18 years He is President of the Chicago Automobile Trade Association and has done a great deal for the promotion of the automobile business in Chicago.“ (pp. 51)


Photography is attributed to a Ralph Radnor Earle, whose business card is mounted to the interior of the rear cover, touting: "Newspaper and Magazine Photography," and with an address of 263 LaSalle St. in Chicago. Earle seems to have been an evidently skilled, though largely unheralded photographer who achieved at least some measure of notoriety as an early motion picture photographer on the west coast in the 1910's. 

An evocative and rich album of early American and Chicago automobilia. Possibly a unique production. 

EARLE, Ralph Radnor (photographer) : [Automobilia] : [Photo Albums]. TOUR OF THE GUNTHER APPERSON TOURING CLUB: To Pistakee Bay Oct. 24-25-1908 [Interior Title - Original Photo Album]. [McHenry County, Illinois]: 1908. Oblong 4to. Custom album. Plain paper wraps with an oval cut-out at front. Approximately 11 1/2" x 9 1/2." String bound through three punch-holes at left margin. Introductory leaf with a photographic title illustration (executed in the negative) followed by 12 leaves holding 12 sepia toned silver print photographs (sized from approximately 5" x 7" to 3" x 4 1/2'). Prints adhesive tipped onto page at left print margins to rectos only. Title leaf detached from string binding. Outer paper wraps mildly worn, chipped from edges. Prints exceptionally sharp, well preserved.

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A lovely album, likely a marketing tool, documenting the October, 1908 weekend car trip of the "Gunther's Apperson Touring Club," presumably from Chicago, to Pistakee Lake, in McHenry County, some 50 miles Northwest of the city. The photographs are well executed and exceptionally sharp for early 20th Century prints with 5 featuring an Apperson touring car prominently in the frame. The balance record the weekend's meetings, festivities, outdoor activities, etc..., often in a light-hearted, booze-fueled spirit.

Gunther was a prominent early automobile man in Chicago and regional dealer for the Kokomo, Indiana produced Apperson Automobile. An issue of the trade magazine THE MOTOR WAY about contemporary with this album (Vol. XVII, No. 8, 1907) included a lengthy profile:

"Since Sept. 10 the Apperson cars, made by the Apperson Bros. Automobile Company of Kokomo, have been handled in Chicago by the Jos. F. Gunther Company, 1240 Michigan Avenue. Mr. Gunther is one of the best known and oldest automobile salesmen in the west, having been connected with the automobile trade ever since motor cars were sold in Chicago. Previous to the formation of Thomas B. Jeffery & Company, Mr. Gunther was connected with Gormuly & Jeffery, of Chiacgo which made the well known Rambler bicycles. All told, Mr. Gunther has been associated with the Jeffery interests for the last 18 years He is President of the Chicago Automobile Trade Association and has done a great deal for the promotion of the automobile business in Chicago.“ (pp. 51)


Photography is attributed to a Ralph Radnor Earle, whose business card is mounted to the interior of the rear cover, touting: "Newspaper and Magazine Photography," and with an address of 263 LaSalle St. in Chicago. Earle seems to have been an evidently skilled, though largely unheralded photographer who achieved at least some measure of notoriety as an early motion picture photographer on the west coast in the 1910's. 

An evocative and rich album of early American and Chicago automobilia. Possibly a unique production. 

EARLE, Ralph Radnor (photographer) : [Automobilia] : [Photo Albums]. TOUR OF THE GUNTHER APPERSON TOURING CLUB: To Pistakee Bay Oct. 24-25-1908 [Interior Title - Original Photo Album]. [McHenry County, Illinois]: 1908. Oblong 4to. Custom album. Plain paper wraps with an oval cut-out at front. Approximately 11 1/2" x 9 1/2." String bound through three punch-holes at left margin. Introductory leaf with a photographic title illustration (executed in the negative) followed by 12 leaves holding 12 sepia toned silver print photographs (sized from approximately 5" x 7" to 3" x 4 1/2'). Prints adhesive tipped onto page at left print margins to rectos only. Title leaf detached from string binding. Outer paper wraps mildly worn, chipped from edges. Prints exceptionally sharp, well preserved.