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Fan Exhibit Offers Look at Unique Form of Advertising

If you’re a fan of Austin history, or if you like the history of advertising kitsch, you might want to check out an Austin History Center exhibit currently on display at the Austin Central Library.

Keeping Austin Cool features a collection of breeze-producing hand fans used at different Austin events and venues. As the exhibit signage tells us, in the early 20th century, before the widespread use of air conditioning in the South, fans became valued hand-held air circulators as well as effective advertisements for restaurants, hotels, stores, politicians, and funeral homes; a real win-win! Even church hand fans, though they might have a religious scene on one side, would likely carry the name of the sponsoring local business on the other.

The hand fans are a sampling of the fun and unique items in the AHC collections that help document the history of our city.

You can find the Keeping Austin Cool exhibit on the 4th floor of the Austin Central Library through the end of October.

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