Alternative Name(s): Glass Slide; Advertising Slide
Used: circa 1900

Glass slide featuring black cursive script on clear background. The script implores the reader to buy a Pitman's 'Fono' Self-filling Fountain Pens from Cole's Book Arcade. It is one of a series of glass slides related to the teaching of Pitman Shorthand in Melbourne, porbably at Zercho's Business Colleges, Collins Street, about 1900.

The glass slides were acquired in three wooden boxes. Subjects include: the strokes of Pitman's Shorthand; examples of historic fonts; test slides; poems about the typewriter, assorted office technology, historic photographs, buildings and advertising. This slide is of cursive writing, addressed to Cole's Book Arcade, requesting them to supply two fountain pens.

Physical Description

Clear glass slide featuring black cursive script on clear background. Hand-written appearance. Black border.


This negative shows Cole's Book Arcade, which opened in the Bourke Street Mall in 1883, after earlier operating from other sites. It was a shop like no other, crammed with new and second-hand books and other wares, but with the atmosphere of a circus. Cole enticed customers of all ages with a menagerie and fernery, a band, a clockwork symphonion and other mechanical delights. Readers could sit in comfortable chairs, encouraged by a sign: 'Read for as Long as You Like - Nobody Asked to Buy'. The Arcade's proprietor, Edward William Cole, was optimist and idealist, believing passionately in the power of education and envisaged a world without borders, expounding his views in pamphlets and books. Cole died in 1918, still dreaming of a better future. Cole's Book Arcade, one of the wonders of 'marvellous Melbourne', closed in 1929.

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