University of Delaware Library

Special Collections Department

Grace Lloyd Walsh Papers

1910 - 1992

(bulk dates 1913 - 1935 and 1957 - 1970)

Manuscript Collection Number: 145
Accessioned: Gift of Grace Lloyd Walsh, 1991-1992
Extent: 1.5 linear ft.
Content: Papers, photographs, clippings, ephemera, realia, pamphlets
Access: The collection is open for research.
Processed: June 1993 by Rhonda R. Newton

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Table of Contents

Biographical Note

Grace Lloyd Collins Walsh (1896?-1992) was a prominent Wilmington businesswoman specializing in the sale of fine gifts. She was also a freelance artist, designing advertisements for area groups as well as holiday and greeting cards for local residents.

Grace T. Lloyd was born in 1896 or 1897, a native of Wilmington. Her artwork brought her early acclaim and was featured in a Wilmington newspaper article in 1910. She graduated from Wilmington High School in 1913, and afterwards attended the Wilmington Training School to train as a teacher, graduating in 1915. She taught briefly and also worked for the DuPont Company in the early 1920s. She was engaged to Paul Hackett Collins of Salem, New Jersey, in October 1919 and married him sometime later.

She opened the Green Lantern Studio at 216 West 9th Street in Wilmington in 1925 but moved to 220 West 9th in 1928. At that time, she changed the shop's name to "Grace Lloyd Collins." The shop specialized in fine gifts, such as silver, crystal and china. Part of its success came from exclusive area distribution rights to a number of fine china lines. In 1938, she was the sole distributor of the Wilmington Tercentenary commemorative plates made by Spode of England. Grace Walsh proved to be an effective businesswoman with a keen appreciation for advertising and promotional strategies. She used social registers for contacts, newsletters to reach customers, and the store was one of the first shops in Wilmington to feature a bridal registry.

In May 1951, Grace Lloyd Collins married her second husband, Robert Walsh. He was active in the management of a new suburban store which opened in 1957 in Fairfax. Both stores operated as "Lloyd-Walsh" and continued the tradition of offering fine merchandise. The downtown Wilmington store closed in 1963 and the remaining store was sold to Ann Morris in 1986 when Mrs. Walsh retired.

During World War II, she served as a chauffeur with the American Women's Voluntary Service Motor Transport Service. Walsh was interested in dogs, owning and showing Airedales throughout much of her life. Other lifelong interests included fishing, yachting, travel, and writing. Grace Lloyd Collins Walsh died in 1992.


Note: Biographical information is derived from materials in the collection.

Scope and Content Note

The Grace Lloyd Walsh Papers consist of approximately 1.5 linear feet of personal and business papers, a scrapbook, photographs, and ephemera received in several gifts during 1991 and 1992. The collection spans the dates 1910-1992, with bulk dates between 1913-1935 and 1957-1970. The collection is divided into two series: Series I focuses on Mrs. Walsh's private life; Series II focuses on her professional life.

Series I is arranged both chronologically and topically. Series I.1 covers Grace Lloyd Walsh's life chronologically. The collection has several examples of her early artwork, ca. 1910. There is a great variety of material from Mrs. Walsh's 1913 graduation from Wilmington High School, including her diploma and a class picture. A scrapbook she assembled highlights the variety of academic and social events surrounding graduation, and includes photographs and autographs from classmates. Materials from her 1915 graduation from Wilmington Training School include her diploma, a program, and her contract with the Wilmington Board of Education. She also completed a teacher training course with the Methodist Episcopal Church and the International Sunday School Association in 1915, represented by her certificate of completion.

During World War II, Grace Lloyd Collins served in the American Women's Voluntary Service as a chauffeur. Her service is recorded with photographs, training certificates, and official identification. The majority of materials documenting personal activities of Mrs. Walsh's later life are photographs. A 1953 photo album includes some of her earlier photographs but primarily illustrates her mid-life and varied interests, especially fishing.

Series I.2 contains memorabilia documenting the wide range of Mrs. Walsh's hobbies and interests. Autographed photos of Jessica Dragonette and Harold Hevia's Orpheum Players show her early interest in theatre. Her lifelong love of dogs is represented by dog show ribbons, photographs, pedigrees, and Wilmington Kennel Club books. There are also several miscellaneous items relating to fishing, yachting, travel, and Delaware.

Several typed manuscripts of Mrs. Walsh's autobiographical short story, "Mrs. Trowbridge Marshall," as well as several short published pieces, document her interest in writing. The short story, which follows the thoughts of a shop-owner throughout one day as she surveys her shop and interacts with her society customers, also gives insight into the philosophy of the Lloyd- Walsh store. Correspondence with author Hortense Calisher about the Mrs. Trowbridge story and numerous Calisher clippings are included.

Grace Lloyd Walsh's gift shop business, established in 1925, is documented in Series II. Advertisements and publicity for the business, first as the Green Lantern Studio, then as Grace Lloyd-Collins, and finally as Lloyd-Walsh reflect her focus on specialty and fine gifts. The advertisements, especially those in a scrapbook of ads for 1966-1970, are useful to students of both advertising and cultural history. Ten small china plates, promotional samples given to select customers each Christmas, demonstrate Mrs. Walsh's emphasis on customer relations. Her business interest in Wilmington society is documented through printed materials such as the Wilmington Blue Book for 1939-1940, and membership guides for the Wilmington Country Club. Sales literature for sterling silver reflects trends in social etiquette.

Mrs. Walsh's intersecting artistic and business interests are represented in selected advertisements and illustrations which she designed. She received a diploma in advertising in 1933 from the Charles Morris Price School of Advertising and Journalism of the Poor Richard Club in Philadelphia. Her clients ranged from the Service Citizens of Delaware to the Wilmington Drama League and Robin Hood Theatre in Arden. She also designed Christmas and New Year cards, including some for Philip and Lydia Laird of New Castle.

The Grace Lloyd Walsh Papers document not only her life and business, but offer glimpses of Wilmington society from the 1910s through the 1970s. Advertising history, silver sales, and bridal gifts are other topics represented.

Series List

I.   Personal Life

     1. Chronological

     2. Areas of Interest

II.  Professional Activities

     1. Business

          A. Advertising

          B. Speeches and Printed Material

     2. Advertising and Illustration

Contents List

Box -- Folder -- Contents

          Series I.  Personal Life
          Consists of photographs, ephemera, and some papers
          relating to Grace Lloyd Walsh's life outside her

          Series I.1  Chronological

1    F1   Early Artwork

          Education and Early Life
     F2   Papers, photographs, ephemera, 1913-1922
     F3   Graduation Scrapbook, 1913

     F4   World War II

          Later Life
     F5   Photograph album, 1953
     F6   Photographs, some papers

          Series I.2  Areas of Interest
          Contains papers, photographs, and ephemera
          arranged by subject area.

     F7   Theatre

     F8   Photographs, ribbons, pedigrees, newspaper clippings
     F9   Wilmington Kennel Club Books, 1935-1937

     F10  Fishing and Yachting

     F11  Travel

     F12  Writing and Hortense Calisher Correspondence

     F13  Delaware

          Series II.  Professional Activities

          Series II.1  Business
               Contains materials related to Grace Lloyd Walsh's
          gift store throughout its history.

          Series II.1.A  Advertising
          Contains advertisements and promotional material.

     F14  Green Lantern Studio and Grace Lloyd-Collins, 1925-1957

     F15  Lloyd-Walsh, 1957-1986

     F16  Advertising Scrapbooks

     F17  Realia

          Series II.1.B. Speeches and Printed Material
          Contains material related to talks, Wilmington society, 
          and sales literature.

     F18  Speaking Engagements

          Wilmington Society and Events
     F19  Invitation and Engagement Announcements
     F20  Wilmington Tercentenary, 1938
     F21  Wilmington Blue Book, 1939-1940

     F22  Wilmington Country Club Membership, 1950,
          1954,1960, 1963

2    F23  Literature on Silver

     F24  Miscellaneous Lloyd-Walsh ephemera

          Series II.2  Advertising and Illustration
          Consists of advertisements and holiday cards
          designed by Grace Lloyd-Collins.

     F25  Class Assignment

     F26  Service Citizens of Delaware Attendance Awards, 1921

     F27  Delaware Education Pamphlets

     F28  Business Advertisements

     F29  Wilmington Drama League

     F30  Robin Hood Theatre, Arden, 1932-1935

     F31  Christmas and New Year's Cards, 1934-1936

     F32  Greeting Cards

3    Realia removed from F17

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