HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW
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Longfellow - His Influence and Lasting Appeal

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was one of the most famous men of the 19th century. Everyone read his poems, and his face was instantly recognizable. Many companies used his image to enhance the appeal of their products. Today, Longfellow's face and words still appear on a variety of consumer goods.

Longfellow was a man of the 19th century, but his poems were often set in the past. His first published poem, written when he was thirteen, "The Battle of Lovell's Pond," describes an 18th century battle in Maine. Later work, including "The Courtship of Miles Standish," "The Song of Hiawatha," and "Evangeline," brought rich historical events to a wide audience, creating a popular mythology for the country. (In some cases Longfellow's version of history remains the best known, if not the most accurate, account of events, as with "Paul Revere's Ride.")


Choice Thoughts from Longfellow board game, 1890

Choice Thoughts from Longfellow board game, 1890

"Choice Thoughts from Longfellow" was published by Milton Bradley in 1890. The game consists of small pink pieces of paper with quotes from Longfellow's poems.

Longfellow Winter Ale, 1995

Longfellow Winter Ale, 1995

The Shipyard Brewing Company in Portland introduced the Longfellow Winter Ale in 1995. The label features Longfellow's picture, and quotes part of a Longfellow poem, "Often I think of the beautiful town/That is seated by the sea..."

Evangeline calendar, 1904

Longfellow Winter Ale, 1995

This 1904 calendar depicts a scene from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's "Evangeline." Evangeline and her love Gabriel are shown as a young couple, with the quote, "May no shadow of sorrow/Fall on this house and hearth."

Hiawatha movie handbill, ca. 1952

Hiawatha movie handbill, ca. 1952

A handbill advertising the movie Hiawatha starring Vincent Edwards and Yvette Dugay. Also playing was Torpedo Alley. Both movies were playing at the State Theater on Congress Street, Portland. The poem "Hiawatha" was written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1807-1882, a native of Portland.

Longfellow Souvenir Palette, 1882

Longfellow Souvenir Palette, 1882

This souvenir palette, created the year of Longfellow's death, was an advertisement for B.W. Currier & Co., a Boston clothing dealer. On the reverse is the poem "A Psalm of Life."

Dolly Dingle Paper Dolls

Dolly Dingle Paper Dolls

These reproduction paper dolls, drawn by Grace G. Drayton, portray scenes from Longfellow's story "The Courtship of Miles Standish." The two males dolls are John Alden and Miles Standish, and the female doll is Priscilla Mullins. Dolly Dingle paper dolls first appeared in Pictorial Review in 1913 and made appearances in the magazine through the 1920s. Dolly Dingle paper dolls have many different themes. The artist, Grace Drayton, also created the original Campbell's Soup Kids.