Public Libraries of New Jersey
Madison (James Library)
Early Rotograph card with entire back.
The Scheller Co. postcard is copyright 1962.
(L) Valentine & Sons 'Souvenir Post Card' was printed in Great Britain.
(R) Dated via inscription to 1907. Possibly a Rotograph card, with entire back.
Photo & Art Postal Card Co., of New York City, product.
One very unlucky library. The Lyceum building, built in 1875, burned in 1914. The little which remained of the collection and some books purchased with insurance monies were housed in the YMCA until the building (R) was built.
Well aware of the first catastrophe, Grinnell Willis, retired textile merchant, wished to donate a fireproof building to house the library (1917), and kindly donated money for a children's wing in 1929. Things went swimmingly for quite a while: the residents of the city and Morris Township turned the association into a Free Public Library; another addition was built in 1987; and its last addition was built in 2006.
But a series of unfortunate events occurred. In 1994, an electrical issue closed the library for over a month. In February, 2010, manhole covers started blowing up. Then, in May, 2010, smoke was noticed drifting from manhole covers in the area. The library never opened that day, evacuating instead. The anticipated explosion buckled the original building. The assistant library director was quoted:
They can't blow us up any more. They need to stop blowing up the public library.
All of us can agree with that sentiment.
Hurricanes don't listen. But, by gum, the library is still open!
Now a branch of the Parsippany-Troy Hills Library System.
Remarkably, this 1889 building is still in use, and yes, it is octagonal. And no, I would not want to pay its heating bill.
Postcard mailed in 1911.
(L) German 'Souvenir' card mailed in 1910.
(R) Sol-Art Print brand card by the Rotograph Company,with an entire back. Mailed in 1905.
Building still in use: the Library is currently in need and appears to be prioritizing its services toward students.
Newton (Dennis Library)
Built 1939, in Georgian Revival style. Merged ca. 1957 with the Sussex County Library System, which site pictures some spectacular bookmobiles. It now serves as the Dennis Branch.
1941 Curt Teich card, mailed in September of that year.
Orange (Stickler Memorial Library)
Stickler for eye appeal.
(L) Produced for the New Jersey Post Card Co., one of their 'Views of Quality.' If Curt Teich printed this, as I suspect, it dates to 1916.
(R) Photo by Jewett: printed in Germany.
Stickler for accuracy.
According to a May 14, 1900 New York Times headline, ground was broken for this $100,000 structure, presumably the day before. Joseph W. Stickler died almost three years later.
McKim, Mead and White designed a timeless structure, which is still in use, but looking as if it could use a little TLC.
Unusually, both of these buildings are still in use.
Julius Forstmann Library
The Library's benefactor, Julius Forstmann, was a textile magnate.
In a rare instance, the Tichnor Quality View postcard image truly resembled the library building. It was mailed in 1947.
Reid Memorial Library
New Jersey Post Card Co. product, never mailed. This may have been printed by Curt Teich: if so, it dates to 1916.
Now known as the Reid Memorial Branch, and currently under renovation. It looks as if it went along nicely, although an enormous wrought iron fence detracts from appearances, in my opinion. The main location is the Julius Forstmann Library.
Paterson (Danforth Memorial Library)
Its 1885 founding makes this Library the oldest public library in the state. The current facility was built in 1905 after the Great Fire of 1902: on the New Jersey Register of Historic Places. Its architect, Henry Bacon, also designed the Lincoln Memorial.
The publisher of the card is unknown; it was mailed in 1911. Over the Library entrance reads:
Erected Anno Domini MCMIII and Presented to the Free Public Library of the City of Paterson.
Plainfield (Job Male Library)
This 1886 library was replaced by a Carnegie library. I believe it, plus the Carnegie building, were demolished around 1968 for a third iteration.
The Litho-Chrome brand postcard was mailed in 1907.
Pompton Lakes (Emanuel Einstein Memorial Library)
Still in use. Emanuel Einstein was the president of Raritan Woolen Mills: Pompton Lakes was his summer home.
A city web page contains the historical information about this 1912 Tudor Revival building. It was rehabilitaed in 1952, and named as a historical site in 1994.
Dexter Press postcard.
The library was clobbered by Hurricane Floyd in 1999, and its building demolished in 2001. Whether the pictured building was the unfortunate victim, I'm uncertain.
F.J. Temme card, mailed in 1909.
Ridgewood (George L. Pease Memorial Library)
Apparently replaced: the current building's entry resembles that on this card, but the brick color is very different on the Google street view of the address.
Chrome postcard, mailed in 1962.
(L) Temme Co. postcard, mailed in 1909.
(R) Image by Geo. C. Garraway. Mailed in 1905.
Said to have been a Presbyterian church building before its conversion to the Library. It was demolished in 1957, and its blue stone was salvaged by Charles A. Van Winkle.
Salem (John Tyler Library Building)
Established in 1803: built in 1885. I don't know if this is still in use.
I wish that this were a better postcard. I see so many architectural styles in the Library's features: Romanesque, Aesthetic Movement, and Eclectic. Let's go with Eclectic.
Part of the Somerville County Library System, along with Bound Brook.
The current building looks like a former church building.
A.C. Bosselman card, mailed in 1907.
May not be the same as the South Orange Township Library.
According to the person who sent this card in 1918, those are chestnut trees. I wonder how much longer they survived?
Despite everything, still in use.
(L) With message (1906):
Isn't this a beautiful library? It has only been built a few years and we are very proud of it. On the slabs under the windows are the names of famous writers.
Shakespeare, Franklin, and Motley are the ones I can read.
(R) Dexter Press card from the 1950s. Add Henry and Scott to the writer roll.
Amusing remarks by Raphael Tuck & Sons:
The Free Public Library is of a severely plain style of architecture, two stories high, with an imposing entrance portion of Ionic columns, and cost about $100,000.
The Library, both circulating and reference in character, contains about 30,000 volumes, and is supported by a permanent endowment fund.
Union County. Part of a municipal complex from 1954-1984. The city had had a Carnegie building, which is still extant.
The over-exuberant chrome postcard was produced in 1957 by the Scheller Company.
Woodbury (Deptford Library)