More comments on Walter Pelham (William F. Taunton) . . .

Not long ago, I received an email from Betsy Miller, who is a great-great granddaughter of Walter Pelham!  (Thanks to Mike Goodall for facilitating the contact!)

Some years ago, Betsy wrote an article for the International Trumpet Guild Journal, about Walter Pelham.  The article is entitled “Emerson Grand Concert and Walter Pelham.”  It could have been called “The Two Walters,” since it is about two men named Walter, namely Walter Emerson and Walter Pelham.

From the article, it is plain that Walter Emerson was one of America’s great cornetists.  I gather he was something of a prodigy with a rare aptitude for playing the cornet.  Betsy gives many details regarding Pelham’s tour with Emerson.  The article is very well-done!

Included in the article are three portraits of Pelham.  One of them is nearly the same as is shown in an earlier post.  There is this primary difference:  the version in Betsy’s article is far better!  You might say that the version I showed had been modified in certain respects.

The other two portraits are completely different, although they seem to show Pelham at about the same age.  One of them shows Pelham “in character.”

The portraits were reproduced from examples in the Harvard Theatre Collection.  From what Betsy has told me, it appears that Harvard has further examples as well.

Betsy also sent me a link to an auction site, relating to an auction in which a Pelham-related poster was auctioned.  In the relevant image on that website, you can plainly see features that are characteristic of Pelham’s lettering.  Most obvious, perhaps, is the “L” with the gigantic serif — a characteristic of much of Pelham’s lettering, which Mike Goodall has discussed.

–Tom Sawyer

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

About 285 words.

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