MATERIAL: Lithography
TYPE: Poster
DIMENSIONS: 22x31 inches
COMPONENTS: chromolithograph poster; enclosed by a printed wood grain "frame,"
CONDITION: the frame has some abrasion; the bottom left corner chipped, not affecting the image at all.
NOTES: This is indeed rare as I think I stated in the catalogue. But probably didn't expand on it. This is a poster designed after a very well-known American painter's version of life in the cotton fields. (William Aiken Walker) As we all know, life in the cotton fields was wretched. Children's hands bled from the prickly stems of the cotton boll, until they became calloused and then cracked and bled some more. This is only the second copy of this poster I have ever seen. The other is in a private collection and is in pretty rough shape, with the edges quite worn. I would recommend this poster to you on several levels. It is a striking visual item, and it is a stark representation of how American business tried to give the impression of domestic slavery as a benign means of employment for the simple-minded African. Mind you this was issued thirty-one years after the Emancipation Proclamation. Nothing had really changed except the word slavery. Johnson & Johnson is the leading brand of cotton bandage in the country if not the world.
ITEM ID: 502

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Johnson & Johnson Cotton Advertisement depicting Slaves

Year: 1894
Decade: 1890s
Century: 19th (1801-1900)

A chromolithograph Johnson and Johnson point-of-purchase poster for “Red Cross Cotton, From Start to Finish;’ which depicts people picking cotton. This poster, depicting happy slaves in the cotton fields of the South, may have been inspired by American painter William Aiken Walker’s oil “Cotton Plantation” (1881). Another version of Walker’s painting, quite similar to the present poster, was engraved by Currier and Ives in 1884. Johnson and Johnson was later involved in litigation over the trademark “Red Cross.”