Handheld History: A Virtual Exhibition of Fashion Fans from Across the Globe
Object Details:
Advertising Hand Fan, 1915
Made in Japan
Rice Paper, Wood, Paperboard, Metal, and Paint
This advertising folding fan was exported from Japan to promote Singer Sewing Machines. The semi-translucent rice paper leaf includes a hand painted "SINGER" label in dark blue. The upper center of the fan includes three sprays of white, red and pink flowers with leaves underneath. The lettering and sprays are encompassed by a light blue decorative frame bordered by gold scrollwork and embellished with gold, white and black flowers. On the back of the leaf, the flowers are painted in light blue. 22 white painted paperboard sticks are stamped with gold decorative floral and checkerboard designs and the two white painted wooden guards are stamped with "SINGER" and floral motifs in gold paint.
Donated by Caroline Moller '57. This fan is part of a collection started by Donor's Grandmother, Fannie Parker Mallory Hemingway (July 10th, 1864- January 26th, 1948)

Singer Building Vintage Postcard
Singer Building Vintage Postcard
Cultural Connections:
Hand painted fans were produced in the early 1900s as promotional giveaways, in this case by the Singer Sewing Machine Company. By 1908 Singer had completed a 47-story building, the tallest in the world, designed by Ernest Flagg located in lower Manhattan. The advanced production and wide distribution of Singer sewing machines created a home sewing phenomenon where efficiency enabled seamstresses to create personal wardrobes. As a result, companies such as Butterick, McCall, Vogue and Simplicity offered a wide variety of fashionably styled clothing patterns by the 1920s.
The Singer hand fan from the Lasell Fashion Collection may have been a promotional gift for the public at the 1915 Panama Exposition where Singer displayed its modern innovation.
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2019.11.16 Leaf Detail2019.11.16 Leaf Detail
2019.11.16 Blades2019.11.16 Blades
2019.11.16 Back2019.11.16 Back
2019.11.16 Guard2019.11.16 Guard
2019.11.16 Back Detail2019.11.16 Back Detail