Monday, March 10, 2014

State Bird Collection

The Black-Capped Chickadee's image
appears in many different places.
Jigsaw puzzle, Wild Republic, 2002.

Massachusetts designated the Black-Capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) as its state bird in 1941. Beth Carroll-Horrocks, head of the State Library Special Collections department, has amassed a collection of artifacts depicting the adorable songbird. She donated it to Special Collections this year for display and educational purposes.

This thimble displays an image of a
Black-Capped Chickadee. Ceramic thimble,
Birchcroft, England.

The collection contains items dating from 1922 to 2013, though most of the non-paper objects are undated. The range of objects demonstrates the universal appeal of the Black-Capped Chickadee. From salt-and-pepper shakers to greeting cards and jigsaw puzzles, the state bird of Massachusetts adds its unique charm.

These salt and pepper shakers are 
hand-painted with a Black-Capped
Chickadee. Glass salt and pepper shakers.

Hundreds of thousands of collectible cards were given out for
promotional purposes by companies in the late 19th and early 20th
centuries. This card, issued by Church and Dwight Co. in 1922,
was one of a set of thirty, all beautifully illustrated with North American
birds. The artist was Mary Emily Eaton, an English botanical artist
who worked in the United States in the early 20th century. 

These cards often had both promotional and
 informational text on the back. In this case, the
scientific name of the Black-Capped Chickadee
is incorrect. 

Katie Sietz
Special Collections Intern