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Chester A. Reed, «Artist Illustrator»

On the 1910 census, Chester A. Reed is indicated to be a book and magazine artist illustrator. Why?

Chester A. Reed probably lived a double life during his short writing career.

The letterhead below shows that Chester offered his services as an artist illustrator.

When Chester A. Reed decided to join his father in the family taxidermy enterprise in 1896, he quickly put his artistic talents to work on the enterprise’s advertising campaigns. His father had been producing his own ads for many years.

This ad, even though it is not signed, corresponds perfectly to Chester’s technical abilities. This drawing is probably one of Chester A. Reed’s first color publications. On the 1900 census in Worcester, Chester was identified as a taxidermist.

«The Museum, November, 1899»

However, starting in June 1901, in the magazine “American Ornithology for the Home and School,” Chester offered his illustrator services to enterprises for advertising projects.

It is possible that Chester offered his graphic services for ads published in the magazine “American Ornithology for the Home and School,” a complementary service offered by the magazine.

He seems to have offered the service for many years, probably until his death. On the 1907 census, he was indicated as an artist, with a business office at 75 Thomas Street, in Worcester. A few years later, on the 1910 census, he was indicated as a book and magazine artist illustrator, even though he was the curator at the Worcester museum. He was probably responsible for the publication of different advertising bills produced for his father’s boutique and his book sales.

Interesting fact: He worked under the name of Albert Reed, instead of Chester A. Reed, which he used for his publications. He probably did so to distinguish himself from the successful writer.

Here are a few examples of products that he offered for “photo galleries.” We could probably see the results of his work in the magazine “American Ornithology for the Home and School.” He worked closely on the formatting of the articles and ads in the magazine.

You can consult the slideshow of the presentation.