Fred Van Eps (1878-1860) was a famous banjo player and banjo maker. He was hired by Thomas Edison's National Phonograph Company in 1897.
Edison Blue Amberol recording of Fred Van Eps "Darkies Dream" and "Darkies Awakening." Patent information on top of cover reads "1910. John Young, Frederick J Wheeler." Etched into the top of the cylinder is "Thomas A. Edison Patd. 183; 1544 DARKIES DREAM & DARKIES AWAKENING VAN EPS." Bottom of cylinder is imprinted "Seeley Tube and Box Co. Newark, N.J. USA."
Historically known as "The Walter Pantovic Slavery Collection" these artifacts span the African American experience from slavery to the Civil Rights era to the rise of African Americans in popular culture. Walter Pantovic was born in Yugoslavia in 1965 and immigrated to the United States at the age of two. He became interested in African-American history in elementary school and in his adult life began collecting artifacts related to the subject. Highlighted items in his assembled collection include shackles, slave tags, and manillas along with 1960s Civil Rights ephemera and 1970s African-American pop culture memorabilia.