Advertising Through Marching: Sheet Music at LPA
The Music Division has an amazing amount of sheet music, much of which is not listed in the online catalog. Over the years, some of this sheet music has been compiled into different collections. One of these collections called, P.I. Marches or Popular Instrumental Marches, contains marches that were arranged for the piano.
While compiling a database of these marches I came across several that were written as advertisements. These marches were published between 1897 and 1923. They represent a range of companies whose products were being advertised. These products ranged from common household goods such as Pride of the Kitchen Soap dedicated to the "Housekeepers of America," to the new wagons built by the Studebaker Vehicle Works of South Bend, Indiana.
The "Eureka March," published in 1923, as well as the "Pride of the Kitchen Soap March" were accompanied by a song chorus. Here the housekeeper's helper is the Eureka Vacuum cleaner. "My one love is Eureka, no other shares my happy heart... from you, my love, I ne'er will part."
In 1903, Uncle Sam Shoemakers of Springfield Massachusetts commissioned The "Uncle Sam Shoe March" to advertise their shoes for men. The sheet music not only contains the march, but also drawings of each of the shoes and their prices.
In 1897, the Rose Manufacturing Company of Philadelphia commissioned a march in honor of its Neverout Patent Insulated-Kerosene Safety Lamp. The "Neverout" was the “light of the epoch” for bicycles and carriages. In that same year The Columbus Bicycle Co. of Columbus Ohio commissioned Fred Neddermeyer to write The "Columbus Bicycle March and Two Step."
Two years later, in 1899 the Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Co. commissioned L. Marda to write the "Studebaker Grand March" to celebrate the success of the Studebaker Company and its Vehicle Works. Before the Studebaker Brothers began manufacturing their automobile they produced wagons for every type of task. They started in humble beginnings in Pennsylvania, as pictured on the front cover of the sheet music, and expanded to a 98 acre factory in South Bend Indiana.
In 1916, Victor Herbert, the famous composer of operettas such as Babes in Toyland and Naughty Marietta, wrote a march for and dedicated to the Associated Advertising Clubs of the World titled "The World's Progress." These advertising "Mad Men" of the early twentieth century commissioned a march to celebrate themselves!
All of these marches as well as some 2,500 more can be viewed at the Music Research Division, on the 3rd floor of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. To see the full inventory of the marches, search BiblioCommons under the title: Marches for piano or the call number P.I. (Marches). Here is a link to the catalog record.