In the days before the  computerized world-wide-web became a reality, American society had already developed an extensive system of libraries. These buildings had extensive rows and rows of books and patrons were encouraged to leisurely browse among the volumes. In case one couldn't find the information needed, then an extensive network of libraries  from all over the world was available to seek out the requested information.

library spoons

1. Warder Library, Springfield, Ohio --enamel flowered handle
2. Carnegie Library, Marion, Ohio --Shakespeare handle
3. Billings, Montana -- Elk handle
4. Watertown, South Dakota


The free public library system which we enjoy is partially a product of the Carnegie Foundation. Andrew Carnegie made a huge fortune in steel manufacturing and then strove to give much of it away. His foundation arranged for over 1600 free standing library buildings to be built. His money was not given gratis, however. Every community receiving funds to build a library was required to make arrangements for the purchase of books and to hire librarians on an on-going basis. All of the libraries were to provide free access. 

The opening of a public library in a community was the cause for great celebration. 

Sometimes A few spoons would  be hand engraved with a picture of the new library.

In most cases, a dozen or less spoons would be made for a relatively small library.

In major cities, large libraries became tourist attractions and more spoons were created.

library spoons

left:
1. Minneapolis, Minnesota
2.  Milwaukee, Wisconsin
3. Kendall Young library,  Webster City, Louisiana
4.  Dallas, Texas

right:
1. Dixon, Illinois
2. Carnegie library, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
3. Freeport, Illinois
4. Portland, Oregon
5. New Library of Congress, Washington DC

library spoons

left:
1. Smiley Library, Redlands, California (I have visited this library which is now a historical building)
2. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
3. Toledo,Ohio
4. Redbluff, California

Right:
1. Carnegie Ellsworth, Iowa Falls, Iowa
2. Pomona, California
3. Carnegie Library, Shelbyville, Indiana (acid engraved)
4. New Library, Washington DC (Library of Congress)

library spoons

left:
1. Great Bend, Kansas
2. Pekin, Illinois
3. Carnegie library, Attica, Indiana
4. University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois

right:
1. Toledo, Ohio
2. York, Nebraska
3. Marquette, Michigan
4. Toulon, Illinois

library spoons

left: 
1. Carnegie Library, Marion, Iowa
2. Toledo,Ohio -Webfoot handle
3. Public Library, Eagle Grove, Iowa
4. Easton, Pennsylvania
right:
1. Whitewater, Wisconsin
2.  Public Library, Nebraska City, Nebraska
3. Madison City, Iowa
4. Marseilles,Illinois

library spoons

left:
1.  Oregon, Illinois
2.  Davenport, Iowa
3. Carnegie Library, Chanute, Kansas
4. Smiley Library, Redlands, Calif.

right:
1.  Butte, Montana
2. Blackstone Public Library, Branford, Connecticut
3. Oskaloosa, Iowa
4. Corona, California

In case you would like to learn more about spoons or libraries than the WWW can provide, you are encouraged to use the "old fashioned" approach and use the facilities of your local library.


The New Library of Congress, Washington D.C. (embossed)

Engraved library from Redlands, Ca. with an enameled orange blossom stem

Some detail views may be seen by clicking here

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