Venus brand Blue Print Paper Box Cover

Venus brand Blue Print Paper Box Cover

This original paperboard box cover with patriotic motif for the Venus brand of blue print paper was manufactured by the Peerless Blue Print Company  of Souderton, Pennsylvania and dates from 1899. (1.)  The enclosed paper, (1 gross-144 sheets) each originally measuring 4.00 x 5.00″, was used for making cyanotype photographs. When purchased new, this box was sealed on both top and bottom with an engraved white paper band stating The Contents of this Package to be used before SEP 1899. (2.)  The factory for the firm was located in Souderton but the business office was apparently located 40 miles south in downtown Philadelphia.  The following editorial copy (most likely a result of the firm’s placing an advertisement for Venus) appeared in the November, 1900 issue of The Camera, a photographic journal published in Philadelphia:

Of the many Blue Print Papers on the market there are few that possess the even gradations of the “Venus,” made by the Peerless Blue Print Co., 246 S. 4th Street, Philadelphia. In order to see what their goods really are a request for a sample, mentioning The Camera, will bring it to you free of charge. (3.)

The original copy for this firm appearing as part of a small advertisement in the same issue:



Once tried always used |  Blue Print Paper | Gives perfect detail

For Sale by All Dealers

Manufactured by
Peerless Blue Print Co.
236 So. Fourth Street

Send for Sample Package and Price List  (4.)


1. SEP 1899 hand stamped in black ink
2. wall calendar dated January, 1899 appears in background of one of the cyanotype photographs purchased that was enclosed in box.
3.  In: The Camera: edited and published by Frank V. Chambers: Philadelphia: Vol. IV, No. 11, November, 1900: p. 468. The 246 reference is in error, the firm being located at 236 S. 4th Street.
4. Ibid: p. 461

Original copy for this entry posted to Facebook on July 4, 2012:

On this July 4th, the most American of all holidays in the United States, we present for your consideration a rare survivor in the form of a box from 1899 adorned with a flag-waving Uncle Sam. We’ve also posted a few of the treasures included within-cyanotypes taken by an unknown American photographer, one featuring no less than American icon herself, Betsy Ross.

Venus brand Blue Print Paper Box Cover

Support Dimensions13.7 x 11.2 x 1.9 cm | recto of box enclosure shown