1492 - 1892

400th Anniversary
in Commemoration of the discovery of America 1492
Columbus . .
In God we Trust (JJ Mannion credit)

Reference Number:- Darby Number:- Godden Number:-
sb 8  not recorded not recorded

identical bookmark, but
attached to backing paper
dated to 1904.
Words and image of Columbus arriving in America
identical bookmark, but
attached to backing paper
applicable to 1893.
Words and image of Columbus arriving in America
identical bookmark, but
attached to backing paper
dated to 1892.
Words and image of Columbus arriving in America


{bookmark still attached to stiff backing paper
but makers name not printed}



NEW YORK, OCTOBER 8th to 13th, 1892



1492 - 1892


image of Columbus
and his men landing
in America.


OCT 12TH 1492


image of Star Spangled banner
draped over flag pole


Size of Silk:
16.5cm long by 6.4cm wide
Alternative back-ground colours:

This bookmark has been seen with the weavers name, "J. J. MANNION, CHICAGO, ILLS.", on the reverse top turnover.

Mannion logo on the reverse top turn over of this bookmark
Mannion logo on the reverse top turn-over of this bookmark

It is believed that Mannion was an agent of Stevens, although it is also possible they were weavers in their own right, so there could be doubt regarding the true weaver of this item.

These Columbus bookmarks are normally attributed to Stevens as they were assumed to have been produced at the Columbian Exposition, which opened on 1 May 1893, and at which Stevens is thought to have had a loom operational.

As can be seen from the printing on the stiff backing paper above, this silk was made in the October of the previous year - some 6 months earlier - and there is no evidence that Stevens attended that Columbian Celebration.

It is possible that Mannion imported these silks, which he attached to the Columbian Celebration backing paper. It is also possible that Stevens bought over his loom to the USA at an earlier date, and all these bookmarks were woven in the States.

I have been provided with the following information relating to this bookmark:

In July 1892 President Harrison declared a national holiday on October 21st to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Discovery of America; this was a preliminary to the World Columbian Exhibition in Chicago that opened its gates on May 1st 1893.
New York narrowly missed the opportunity to host the exhibition, and the Mayor of New York, Hugh J. Grant, responded to Harrison's national holiday by declaring a 5 day celebration; that is The Columbian Celebration. This bookmark was made for that celebration.

This explains why the bookmark is attached to a backing paper dated 6 months before the Columbian Exposition, but unfortunately still leaves open as to who actually made the silk bookmark, Stevens or Mannion, and also how they managed to produce it so early.

The bookmark on the left has been added after the narrative above. The actual bookmark is identical to the 1892 one, but as can be seen the stiff backing paper is of the " LOUISIANA PURCHASE EXPOSITION ", held in 1904. It is perhaps a testament that this bookmark design was still popular after 12 years. A detailed internet search of the participants at this Exposition failed to reveal the presence of either Stevens or Mannion.


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This page was created on 31 May 2003
new improved image added 7 November 2016. New image, attached to Columbian Celebration backing paper, added 31 July 2017.
Image of 1904 version added 11 May 2018.
Image attached to Columbian Exposition added 3 February 2019

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