MS 184 - John A. Himmelein Papers
|Title||MS 184 - John A. Himmelein Papers|
|Subject||Arts & Entertainment|
The papers of John A. Himmelein date from 1892 to 1905. The history of his theatrical company, "The Ideals," is reflected in this collection which consists of correspondence, contracts, receipts, box office statements, play ads, broadsides and programs, newspaper clippings, sheet music, and numerous plays used by the company.
The John A. Himmelein papers were donated to the Center for Archival Collections in May 1982 through the cooperation of his niece, Mrs. Robert I. Coulon, and Paul D. Yon, Associate Director of the CAC. Literary and property rights have been dedicated to the public and duplication is permitted for the purposes of preservation and scholarly research. The collection was processed and the register drafted in Fall 1982 by Karen Snow, graduate assistant in History.
Additional John A. Himmelein papers are located at the Ohio Historical Society in Columbus, Ohio. Dating from 1907 to 1934, these records document the later activities of Himmelein's theatrical business. The O.H.S. collection inventory follows:
John A. Himmelein managed and operated theaters in Sandusky and Elyria, Ohio, and Evansville, Indiana, in the late 1800's and early to mid 1900's. These theaters specialized in minstrel and vaudeville shows. Himmelein also managed the theatrical group, "The Ideals," from his hometown of Kelly's Island, Ohio, during this time period.
|Scope and Content|
The John A. Himmelein papers document the history of his theatrical group, "The Ideals," from 1892 to 1905. From a study of these records, predominately consisting of correspondence, contracts, receipts, box office statements, and plays, one can document the experiences of this theatrical group and its impact on the communities in which it performed.
A study of the group itself is best served by a combination of the correspondence, contracts, receipts, box office statements, and newspaper clippings. First, one will be able to formulate the basic touring route of the group, consisting of the cities visited and the length of stay. The success of "The Ideals" as a performing group can be derived from the box office statements, newsclippings, and correspondence from John Himmelein's manager, Dave H. Woods. The financial position of the group is found in the receipts and box office statements. From the examination of these two items, one can determine the types of goods and services purchased by the group as well as its overall financial standing. The incoming cash flow can in part be found in the box office statements and in the correspondence. Finally, an examination of the numerous plays will provide insight into the types of works performed by "The Ideals."
The John A. Himmelein papers also may be studied in the broader context of theater or entertainment in general. "The Ideals" can be compared with other theater or entertainment organizations of the time period or can be used to illustrate the development of American local theater up to the present time. A study of the plays themselves illustrate the type of works being performed during the late 1800's and early 1900's, thereby providing some insights into the accepted values of society at that time.
The following represents the possible routes of the John A. Himmelein Company, "The Ideals," for each of the years covered in the collection. The names of the cities and the dates were gathered from correspondence, box office statements, receipts, and contracts. It should be kept in mind that these are not positive routes, but those deduced from available material. Cities and dates, therefore, are approximate in most cases. They also may represent only the place of purchase of certain materials or the location of John Himmelein rather than the location of the group. This is especially true of those cities which do not fit into the emerging pattern of travel. An * denotes positive proof of the group's presence in that city during at least part of the time period stated.
BOX OFFICE STATEMENTS.
RECEIPTS AND BILLS.