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Accession Number: 1987.251.0

Physical Description: Red flannel throw decorated with tobacco premiums printed with the flags of the world. Throw is a large rectangular piece of red cotton flannel that has been stitched on one side with small rectangular pieces of flannel printed in multiple colors, but predominantly red, blue, and white. These patches of flannel are premiums that were distributed with tobacco products in the early decades of the 20th century. Small (3 1/2” x 5”) flannels are set end-to-end to form the borders of the throw, as well as a vertical stripe down the center. Larger (5 1/4” x 8”) flannels are widely spaced to show the red flannel ground, and are arranged in four vertical rows--two on either side of the central stripe. The flags of many different countries are represented; the U.S. flag is repeated. Each flannel is printed with a border, and all are captioned with the country’s name but for the U.S. flag. Two of the larger patches are printed in butterfly designs, and two more depict American Indian rugs. Machine-stitched.

History of Object: According to notes in the accession file, this spread was made for Erle W. Francis (donor) at Westmoreland, Kansas, by a neighbor. Erle was born in 1909 and used the throw for a few years on his bed. The premiums that make up this quilt were distributed in tobacco products from about 1911 until the start of World War I. The date range for the quilt begins with 1912 because its U.S. flags have 48 stars. Tobacco companies used these premiums to promote their products. They were collected as sets by many people during this time period. Stitching them onto quilts or throws was a popular fad.

Date: Between 1912 and 1920

Dimensions (in cm): 208.00 (H) 130.00 (W) L: 82" W: 51"

Index Terms

Associations and Subjects

    Origin, Place of: Pottawatomie County (Kan.)
    Origin, Place of: Westmoreland (Kan.)
    Individual: Francis, Erle W.

Status: Cataloged

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