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John Fleming Gould Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Gould, John Fleming
Title: John Fleming Gould Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1925-1965
Quantity: 12 linear ft.
Abstract: Tear sheets, posters, etc. from the American artist
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

John Fleming Gould (1906-1996) was an American painter, illustrator, and art instructor.

Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, Gould studied at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. His illustrations appeared in national publications such as the Saturday Evening Post as well as pulp publications such as Adventure Trails, Dime Detective Magazine, and War Birds, while his fine art pieces -- watercolors and oil paintings -- often portray historical subjects and the Hudson River Valley area.

For more than twenty years, Gould was an art consultant for General Electric Company's Locomotive Division, producing hundreds of illustrations for their corporate publications and advertising. He also taught at Pratt Institute for 22 years. In 1957, he and his wife Mary established the Bethlehem Art Gallery in Cornwall, New York.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The John Fleming Gould Papers consists of orginal artwork, illustrations created for General Electric (GE) and for a wide range of pulp magazines, and a few scrapbooks and other items of memorabilia.

Art, original contains pencil sketches by Gould. Most have themes reminiscent of his pulp illustrations, but the largest is a group scene of men and women in fine clothes, evidently at a party. The latter, with its turquoise accents on flowers and one woman's dress, is also the only piece with some color.

General Electric posters contains nearly 200 "Progress Posters" created for the company between 1957 and 1965, for use in schools and colleges. For many years, GE's corporate slogan was "Progress is our Most Important Product." At the end of this series are few other GE posters, two from a series highlighting challenges GE was tackling.

Pulp illustrations form the largest part of the collection, with more than 3000 tear sheets of Gould's illustrations for pulp magazines from the 1920s through the 1940s. In addition to adventure magazines like Adventure Trails, Danger Trail, and Sky Riders, titles represented include crime/detective (All Detective Magazine, Clues, Detective Action), "flying pulps" (Air Adventures, Flying Stories, Wings), mobster stories (Gang World, Underworld Romances), science fiction (Astounding Stories), westerns (Cowboy Stories, Dime Western Magazine), and World War II (Battle Aces, War Birds, War Stories).

Scrapbooks and other memorabilia contains an article from the Miami Herald about Robert Hogan, writer of the Battle Aces series, a few biographical items matted together, and four scrapbooks of Gould's GE and pulp illustration work.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Material is arranged alphabetically by type or title. Pulp tear sheets are arranged alphabetically by magazine title and, within that, alphabetically by story title.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Related Material

Special Collections Research Center has numerous collections and cataloged items relating to early pulp magazines, including the Street & Smith Records. Please search our collections for relevant manuscript material, and refer to the Classic Catalog to locate issues of pulp magazines and other published items.

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Subject Headings


Gould, John Fleming.

Corporate Bodies

General Electric Company.


Adventure stories, American -- Periodicals.
Art, American -- 20th century.
Artists -- United States.
Commercial art.
Detective and mystery stories, American -- Periodicals.
Illustrators -- United States.
Painters -- United States.
Painting, American.
Popular culture -- United States.
Popular literature -- United States.
Pulp literature, American -- Illustrations.
Science fiction, American -- Periodicals.
Spy stories -- Periodicals.
Western stories -- Periodicals.
World War, 1939-1945 -- Periodicals.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Tear sheets.



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

John Fleming Gould Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Robert Gould, 2019.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: MRC
Date: 19 Feb 2019
Revision history: 9 May 2019 - processed (MRC)

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Art, original
Oversize 1 Cowboy, back view, gun drawn - pencil sketch
Oversize 1 Cowboy, leaning on post - pencil sketch
Oversize 2 Cowboy, front view, two-fisted - pencil sketch
Oversize 2 Cowboy, sitting in chair - pencil sketch
Oversize 14 Group of men and women in dress clothes - pencil and watercolor
Oversize 3 Man in pain - pencil sketch
Oversize 3 Man grabbing victim - pencil sketch
Oversize 4 Man with flashlight - pencil sketch
Oversize 5 Man standing 1936 - pencil sketch
Oversize 5 Woman seated 1936 - pencil sketch
General Electric posters
Box 1 Progress Posters, list with dates and titles (provided by donor)
Oversize 6 Progress Posters 1957-1958
Oversize 7 Progress Posters 1959-1960
Oversize 8 Progress Posters 1961-1962
Oversize 9 Progress Posters 1963-1964
Oversize 10 Progress Posters 1965
Oversize 10 Progress Posters, duplicates 1 Jan 1961; 15 Jan 1961; 15 Feb 1961; 15 Feb 1963; 1 Dec 1964 (5 items)
Oversize 10 Miscellaneous
"Charles Steinmetz, the electrical genius who tamed lightning," GE #648
Challenge: How to tame power on the loose in a vacuum
Challenge: How to help Navajos carve a new future
Pulp illustrations
Box 1 Book frontispieces
Box 1 Proofs, unidentified
Tear sheets
Box 1 Ace high magazine
Box 1 Aces
Box 1 Adventure trails
Box 1 Air adventures
Box 1 Air stories
Box 1 All detective magazine
Box 1 Astounding stories
Box 1 Battle aces (4 folders)
Box 1 Blue book magazine (2 folders)
Box 1 Brief stories
Box 1 Clues
Box 1 Complete detective novel magazine
Box 1 Cowboy stories
Box 1 Danger trail
Box 2 Detective action (2 folders)
Box 2 Dime detective magazine (3 folders)
Box 2 Dime mystery book magazine
Box 2 Dime western magazine
Box 2 Dime sports magazine
Box 2 Flying stories
Box 2 Gang world (3 folders)
Box 2 Illustrated adventure trails
Box 2 Sky riders
Box 2 Ten detective aces
Box 3 Three star magazine
Box 3 Three star stories
Box 3 Underworld love stories
Box 3 Underworld romances
Box 3 War aces
Box 3 War birds (3 folders)
Box 3 War stories (2 folders)
Box 3 Western rangers (2 folders)
Box 3 Western romances
Box 3 Western trails
Box 3 Wide world adventures (2 folders)
Box 3 Wild west stories and complete novel magazine
Box 3 Wings
Box 3 Unidentified (2 folders)
Scrapbooks and other memorabilia
Oversize 5 Article, "G-8: Spy King of the Pulps," Miami Herald 8 Jul 1962 - about author Robert J. Hogan, with mention of Gould
Oversize 5 Biographical sketch and photographs, matted
Oversize 11 GE posters
Oversize 12 Mirror sketches for pulps 1927-1931
Oversize 12 Pulp tear sheets
Oversize 13 Sample illustrations 1931-1936

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