1915 -1919 Business Records for the Aznive Engraving Co. (United States Engraving Co). Boston
(Americana - Printing History - Illustration - United States Engraving Co. - Boston)

Boston, Massachusetts: United States Engraving Co., 1915. F Two business journals with printing records and owners' expenses accounting from this commercial photo-engraving firm. The Aznive Engraving Co. became the U.S. Engraving Co., noted in an entry for May 28 1918, registering the company in that name at city hall. Journal # 1: 139 pages with entries from November of 1915 to a few sparse final entries for 1919. These reflect the payments to the company from various entities, public and private. The resulting client list is impressively diverse, demonstrating the prolific use of photo-engraving at the time, for commercial, private and artistic use. The following are some of the entries from June of 1915: Enterprise Clothing Co.; New Orpheum Theatre; J.R. Ruiter & Co.; Ward Press; Irving Box Co.; Theodore Mayhew; Geo. L. Jeffery; Guardian Pub. Co.; J. M. Bagley; Fred E. West; Massello Bros.; Thos. Milligan; Jewish Advocate; Jos. D'Avino; Wm. P. Clarke; Acme Mfg. Co.; F.E. Hartnett; Fred Ahrleng; Newton Times; Mrs. Jones. Other monthly entries were made concerning Middleboro Gazette, Int. Trust Co., Maltby School of Shorthand, Waltham Watch, Rev. E.C. Pollard, Angel Guardian Press, Nugent Press, G. Colucci & Co., Dedham Transcript, Camb. Press, Prof. J.S. Fraser, Boston Theatre, Reliable Insecticide Co., Boston Jewish Voice, King Cove Boat Club, Caxton Press, Western News Union; Edison Electric. Ill. Co., Causeway Press, Womans Journal, Pittsburgh White Metal Co., N.E. Raincoat Co., Natick Box Co., Order of Alhambra, Kline's Corner Printery, Cambridge Recorder, Cambridge Press, Brief Press, Bay State Electric Protection Co., Boston Equal Suff. Assn., Winter Hill Press, Wagner the Sign Man, Monarch Service Co., Propagation of the Faith Soc., Boston Novelty Co., Junk Man Maniff, Union Furniture Co., Brock. Hospital Campaign, St. John's Prep College, Polish Young Mens Club, O'Malley Adv. & Selling Co., Lithuanian Assn. of Labor and many others. Also recorded in this journal throughout are cash disbursements to company executives Albert, Mary & Leon (Aznive) as wages & salaries and occasionally other expense pay-outs as necessary; purchases and sales of printing and engraving equipment are noted. Journal # 2: 366 pages with entries from January of 1915 to May of 1918. These entries note similar companies to the above, with the details of the work done, including sizes, prices for work including labor and short descriptions: various linecuts, including fashion, architecture, portraiture 'outline' cuts, cut-outs, retouching of pictures, photographs, color plates, artist work on copies, proofing, screen making, negatives, every aspect of the photo-engraving process. For instance: for J. Frank Facey "2. H.t. man with megaphone & etc. cut out head 4.75 feet 3.00" and Womans Journal "lineplate 8 ½ x 12 ¼ Drawing Suffrage News mortising" and " Lineplate elephant 6 ¼ x 8 parade to retouch photo." Also names of sitters for various photo-engraving jobs are identified: for the Enterprise Co.: "H.T. young girl with diploma 7 H.T. Helen Harper, Mary Raleigh, John Toomey, Marion Tucker, Alice Fox, Marion Winsor, Harold Lyons." There are hundreds of jobs documented, with similar detail given. Background: The Aznive concern was located in the Jeweler's building at 373 Washington St. Boston as well as at 333 Washington. Included here is a circular letter printed on their letterhead, noting the establishment of the business in 1877 and advertising the company's services with testimonials from satisfied customers, signed in type by another family member, B.H. Aznive. In the circular he notes "…I have just bought another engraving plant. I have now the largest and best equipped photo engraving plant in New England. I employ greatest hustlers and most expert workmen in the world. This is the only place that you can have a cut made in one-half hour…." One of the employees noted above, Albert Aznive (1892 - 1987), after being trained in the arts of photo-engraving, left the family business in 1918 (where these records end) and worked for the Boston Globe in that capacity for 60 years. Condition: # 1 is a Vernon's No. 95 Flat Opening Blank Book, approx. 9" x 14" size, faux red leather spine & corners, boards with cloth covering stripped away; # 2 is a Vernon's No. 12 Flat Opening Blank Book approx. 8 1/2" x 13" size, gray cloth with black & red leather spine labels, leather corners; both journals' bindings with much wear, rubbing, fraying; contents legibly written and in very good condition. Very Good Hardcover (Item ID: 24502)


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