New England and Bermuda: 1936-1937. Album. Each of these 8” x 9.5” half-leather albums contain about 250 pages, loaded with a total of what must be over 1,500 photographs, newspaper clippings, half-tone magazine photos, invitations, risqué cartoons, half-tone topless photos, telegrams, letters, business cards, tickets, magazine articles, postcards, thank you cards, and other assorted ephemera. All of the contents are glued down and in nice shape. The gilt lettering along one spine reads, “Follies of 1936 / January to July / Bermuda Party / Mayflower Society / Winifred Peniston,” the other “Follies of 1937 / June – November / Eastern Yacht Club / Manchester VT.” Sound bindings. Covers have some light wear and well-worn spines. Very good. Item #009038
Pratt came from a very wealthy, well-established New England family. Immediately after graduating from high school, he became an executive in the Train Smith Company of Boston at age 19 and seven years later established his own paper company. Although he used the title Colonel until his death at age 93 in 1973, Pratt only served several months on active duty in Washington during World War Two. He was however a member of, or associated with, the Massachusetts National Guard and Reserve where he achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He was an author (mostly local histories) and a noted collector of books and historical documents. One newspaper clipping in these scrapbook titles him a “Clubman [perhaps] THE champion joiner” of all time, noting that he held “25 life memberships, 23 annual memberships and more than a score of former memberships” including the Sons of Mayflower, Sons of the American Revolution, Eastern Yacht Club, Union Club, Army and Navy Club, the Boston Volunteer Police, Old South Society, State of Maine Club, Boston Art Club, and dozens more. This is an exceptional collection documenting society happenings (parties, engagements, marriages, deaths (including Andrew Mellon, events, etc.) including many items related to the Eastern Yacht Club of Marblehead Maine where Pratt apparently held a major cocktail party in conjunction with Race Week and the club’s fiftieth anniversary. His Bermuda Christmas party was equally lavish. Pratt was also apparently enthralled with risqué cartoons and illustrations of topless women as there are many of both. There are also a number of pages interspersed throughout that highlight current events, e.g., the Hindenburg disaster, rise of Hitler and Mussolini, and the Dionne Quintuplets. Life in the middle of the Great Depression wasn’t all that bad for some folks.