PP159 An Overview of Pennsylvania German Broadsides

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Webinar Description

Thursday, July 20, 2023
2:00pm - 3:00pm Eastern US

The purpose of this webinar is to identify the Pennsylvania German broadside. In it, we will discuss the print houses of the culture as compared to the smaller, usually rural, presses. The subject matter important to the culture which influenced the printing will be discussed and compared to developments in America. Printers’ plagiarism was a common occurrence leading to one ballad or topic being repeated by many printers. As a result, variant broadsides sometimes repeat one theme. Those popular subjects will be addressed. 

A brief discussion of the decorative elements will be followed with a look into identifying later sheets, some of which might be confused with their earlier counterparts. Lastly, as the Pennsylvania German settler migrated, so did the broadside. That expansion will be conferred as well as the emergence of the English language on these sheets. 

Webinar Audience

Anyone with an interest in the printing of the Pennsylvania Germans would benefit from this webinar. 

Additionally, appraisers, collectors, auctioneers, design consultants, antiques dealers, and those interested in American printing history would find this webinar useful. 

General Webinar Information

Important login information will be e-mailed to registrants prior to the webinar. 

System Requirements

To ensure the best ASA webinar experience, be sure to download the Zoom app on your device before the webinar begins.

Continuing Education (CE) Information

This webinar will award 1.2 CE hours.

If you are a designated member of the American Society of Appraisers, CE credit will automatically be entered into your record ONLY if you participate in the live webinar. Please allow approximately 2 weeks post-webinar for ASA to notify participants via email regarding a certificate of completion.

Webinar Agenda

I. Introduction
A. What is a Pennsylvania German
B. What is a broadside?
    i. European vs. North America
    ii.Travel with colonists
    iii. English vs. German
    iv. Paper types

II. Pennsylvania German Printers

III. Subject Matter
A. Common vs. Uncommon
B. Most common types
    i. Vendu
    ii. Susanna Cox
    iii. Ein Brief and Himmels Brief
    iv. Political 
C. Printers’ Plagiarism

IV. Decoration
A. Artists
B. Engravers
C. Typeface/Font

V. Surviving numbers

VI. Prints and Reprints
A. Trimmed to fit a frame
     i. Trimmed to hide a later imprint
B. Celebratory reprints

VII. Conclusion

Learning Outcomes

After the webinar, participants should be able to:

  • Define the term broadside
  • Identify preferred subject matter used by the Pennsylvania German printers
  • Differentiate Pennsylvania German broadsides from both their English and European counterparts
  • Recognize the reproductions, trimmed pieces, and later reprints
  • Introduce and explain these differences to their clientele

Russell Earnest

Earnest Archives and Library

A native of El Cajon, California, Russell D. Earnest credits his interest in Fraktur to his late wife, Corinne Earnest. While researching the Pennsylvania German Earnest family genealogy in the 1960’s, she found Fraktur to be of more importance than just folksy watercolors because of their genealogical value. After retirement from the Department of Interior, Russ joined Corinne in her business of writing and publishing books regarding Fraktur and Pennsylvania German Genealogy. In 1999, they were presented with an Award of Merit by the Pennsylvania German Society for their contributions regarding Fraktur research. Their best-known work is the monumental Papers For Birth Dayes: Guide to the Fraktur Artists and Scriveners which uses examples to discuss over 550 Fraktur artists and indexes over 1,300 potential candidates. Papers For Birth Dayes is now in its third edition as Russ continues Corinne’s work. 

Patricia Earnest Suter

Earnest Archives and Library

Patricia Earnest Suter, Russ and Corinne’s daughter, received her BA from the University of New Mexico. Currently, she operates Russell D. Earnest Associates/Earnest Archives and Library, a collection of Pennsylvania German documents. She is also known for writing The Hanging of Susanna Cox: The True Story of Pennsylvania’s Most Notorious Infanticide & the Legend That’s Kept It Alive; Peter Montelius: Printer and Teacher, Teacher and Printer; and the award winning Face of A Monster: America’s Frankenstein. She served as editor on Papers For Birth Dayes III and works with Russ in continuing Corinne’s legacy.


07/20/2023 at 2:00 PM (EDT)  |  Recorded On: 07/20/2023
07/20/2023 at 2:00 PM (EDT)  |  Recorded On: 07/20/2023
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PP159 Course Certificate
1.20 CE credits  |  Certificate available
1.20 CE credits  |  Certificate available Open certificate for the option to print.