October 06, 2016 12:00 PM EDT Cincinnati


World War I-Era Red Cross Nurse, Frances M. Simmons, Archive incl. Pocket Journal, Letters, Photographs, & More

Lot of approx. 65+ items, featuring a pocket journal for "A Line A Day" over the course of 5 years, between 1914 and 1918 (with a few 1919 entries thrown in). It is signed on the inside cover "Frances M. Simmons, 420 N. Pleasant St., Hillsboro Texas." The companion item is an American Red Cross Text Book On Home Hygiene and Care of the Sick (published 1918). Inside the front cover, the book is signed with the same name, and then "American Red Cross Public Health Nurse, Glenwood Springs, Colo." Accompanied by approx. 39 photos (cabinet cards, real photo postcards including some showing identified nurses, silver gelatin photos, with some picturing Frances M. Simmons and snapshots of other family members; 7 loose letters; 7 postcards; an engraved plate use to print calling cards for Simmons; 3 booklets; and more.

The highlight of the archive is the pocket journal, with entries that generally consist of a line, or two in Simmons' tiny, neat handwriting. The entries start in Texas with family, "calling," ordering and receiving gloves and glove cases, picnics, etc. By 1915 Simmons is in NYC, either training or fully working as a public health nurse. The year or so in New York is quite interesting. Not only does it have medical significance (references to hospitals, "tube" cases [tuberculosis, we assume], even a good new "Scarlet" [fever] case), but also social, from the low (visiting tenement houses) to her incredible social life. Wannamaker's was a favorite, as was the Metropolitan Opera (she wrote down what she saw, and who was singing, including Caruso); lots of movies too--everything from "Birth of a Nation" to "Baby Peggy." She went to the theater, skated in Central Park, mentions Brooklyn and the Bronx the most. The other significant time period is 1917, where she mentions "Unrestricted Submarine warfare declared by Germany" (2/1/17), watching Naval reviews, and even buying $100(!) worth of Liberty Bonds. Throughout the diary, lots of references to "auto drives," and "calls by phone." She travelled quite a bit--to various parts of New England, New Jersey (esp. Sandy Hook), back and forth from the North and the South. Her family travelled a lot too, including "by sea," indicating that the family had some money.  The text book indicates that she eventually wound up, at least for a time, in Glenwood Springs, where a TB sanitarium may have been located at one time. (I found her listed online in a mid-1920s phone book for Glenwood Springs). The accompanying book is written in throughout, including notes to the person (I assume Frances Simmons) to "hand out pamphlets" (including their full titles, etc.) and what parts to "read aloud!"; it appears that Simmons was actively using this book as part of her duties with the Red Cross. It includes some interesting handwritten notes on slips of paper inside as well.

Includes a book: Kellogg, Ella Eaton. Science in the Kitchen. Principles of Healthful Cookery. Battle Creek (MI): Modern Medicine Publishing Co., Ltd., 1892, revised ed. 8vo, tan cloth with gilt front, printed endpapers, 508pp. Ella Eaton Kellogg (1853-1920) was the wife of John Harvey Kellogg (of cereal fame)



Good condition with typical folds on the letters. 

Book: Front inner hinge weakening. A few "breaks" in the text block. Slight shelf wear.

Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium