Grand Celebration! Introduction of Swale Juice in Keene! . . . [caption title]. Public Utilities, Anonymous, Satire.

Grand Celebration! Introduction of Swale Juice in Keene! . . . [caption title].

[Keene, N.H. n. p., 1869]. First edition. Broadside, 13 x 8.69 inches. Old folds, with a few small closed splits along the folds; some light soiling and foxing and wear; in very good condition. Item #19793

“The citizens of Keene and vicinity, without regard to sex, color, or previous condition, propose to celebrate this important and thrilling event, on or about the first day of October next, in the following appropriate manner.” A satiric extravaganza lampooning both civic celebrations and local figures, this aimed at the opening of the new Keene waterworks, which had been approved by the town for construction in 1868 to draw its water from Goose Pond (purchased by the town that year); the waterworks seem to have been completed and in operation by November, 1869. A number of local figures are here given thinly-veiled disguises (“Beethoven’s Mounted Band, led by Prof. Chas. Bee Muss, on the trombone, accordean [sic] attachment, Willia M. A. Son on two jews-harps,” etc.), the procession also to include such luminaries as “Thirty-nine old maids, delegates fro the Woman’s Rights Convention, dressed in bloomer,” as well as “Citizens who use water as a beverage, in a two-seated buggy” as well as “Citizens who take something occasionally for medicine. As this will be the largest part of the procession it will be divided into platoons.” The street by street parade route is given (some 20 miles or so if current maps are to be believed), various pot-shots are taken at the quality of both local water and local liquor, a grand banquet to include “Toads, on the half shell,” etc., and an oration from a prominent citizen who will “feelingly allude to the destruction by accident (?) or his dwelling by the fiery element some years ago, expressing his sorrow for the loss of same, in which expression he will be heartily joined by the Fire Insurance Companies who deeply sympathized with him at the time. He will also prove beyond controversy that the Goose Pond and the River Jordan are fed from one and the same source.” In all, a welcome antidote to local pieties. For a summary of the development of the waterworks, see Griffin, Simon Goodell. A history of the town of Keene from 1732. Keene N.H.: Sentinel Print Co. 1904. OCLC locates a single copy, at AAS.

Price: $350.00

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