Philadelphia: Elliott, 1911-1917. Ephemera. A large collection of 56 West Point engraved hop cards, mostly from "the Class the Stars Fell On", the class of 1915 as well as 1916 & 1917.
The cards were collected by sisters Ruth Hill [1892-1976] and Ethel Hill [1893-1983], daughters of Manhattan realtor Spencer Hill. Both sisters later moved to Bronxville, New York, where they worked as teachers. Ethel later married and divorced newspaper editor and author Clarence Lovejoy; Ruth never married. Both sisters attended the same hops so there are multiples of the same dance card, but an impressive array. The cards have attractive die-cut lithographed covers in a variety of patterns; a few cards illustrated with pen and ink drawings; many with attached buttons and related ephemera. The women recorded the names of their dance partners, often with nicknames, and some are amusingly decorated.
Several pieces of related ephemera, most notably an engraved invitation to the graduation exercises of the Class of Nineteen Fifteen, with the Class Roll printed in three columns, including: Dwight D. Eisenhower, future president; Omar N. Bradley, first Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Hubert R. Harmon, founder of the United States Air Force Academy; Donald A. Davison, Aviation Engineer after whom the Davison Army Airfield was named; and all 59 of the graduates who later became generals.
The hop cards and other ephemera includes numerous members of the Class of 1915, and the years immediately following. They usually list the Cadet by surname and class year. Among the many dance partners from the Class of 1915 were Messrs. Eisenhower, Harmon, McNarney, Davison, Lester, Keliher, Woodruff, Howell, Ferris, Wood, Bethel, Mitchell, Hess, Covell, Randolph, and many others. Ethel Hill's card for the Academy's "Yale Hop" on October 19, 1912 gives the fifth dance to "Mr. Eisenhauer, 1915" in manuscript. Later that evening, she also danced with Hubert Harmon. Eisenhower is listed (with his name spelled correctly) as an extra at the November 23, 1912, fall hop. His name is also penciled in as an extra for an undated 1912-13 "Winter Hop". A dance card from the winter hop held on January 10, 1914, lists several cadets with their nicknames: Mr. Larkin, "Spoonoid;" Mr. Donnelly, "Irish;" Mr. Reed, "Mexican Athlete;" Mr. Eberts, "Cutie;" Mr. Davis, M.F., "Baby Boy;" and Mr. Newman, "Hall Dodger." A card from the 1915 Furlough Hop has each name followed by what appears to be Chinese script, likely stating the name and class year. Other cadets include: Class of 1917 - Joseph S. Tate, Thomas S. Sinkler, Jr., George F. Wooley, Jr., Coalter B. Compton; Class of 1916 - Otto F. Lange, Charles H. Cunningham, Robert B. McBride, Joseph M. Tully; and many more. Condition varies but mostly very good.
The design values for the hop cards is very high, showcasing the design dominant in the period and superbly printed by Elliott of Philadelphia. Condition varies but mostly very good. Item #24319