Saturday, April 6, 2013

George Stinson & Company, Publisher

Here is a nice advertising cover for a publisher previously unknown to me.

George Stinson and Co. was among the first of the art publishing firms in the United States. It was active between 1873 and 1894. This Portland, Maine publisher printed huge numbers of chromolithographs and prints. One article states that it sold more than "four million pictures of all descriptions" in 1878 alone. Numerous contemporaneous advertisements can be found in which Stinson was looking for salesman to sell these prints.

In addition to the prints Stinson published a number of periodicals. Examples are Farm and Housekeeper, The Thrifty Farmer and Fireside magazine, The People's Illustrated Journal, Illustrated Household Magazine and others. These were started mainly in the late 1870's.

Although not a significant part of its business, Stinson did publish a few books including  of The Life, Speeches and Public Service of James A. Garfield by Russell Conwell. and The History of Christianity by John S. C. Abbott (Jacob Abbott's brother)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Boxed Juvenile Set- Home Twilight Stories 1871

Boxed sets of juvenile series from the 19th century are becoming unbelievably hard to find. This is despite the fact that virtually every juvenile series published between 1860 and 1890 originally came within a box. I suppose the boxes were just too easily ruined, stepped on, eaten by the dog, etc.

Here is a four book boxed set -Home Twilight Stories- published by the Boston publisher- Gould and Lincoln. The books were all published in 1871 and thus the date of the box. The four volumes originally were copyrighted in 1867.

 These 16 mo. books were priced at 90 cents each and $3.60 for the box. (A lot of money in 1871).
No author is listed.
1. Much Ado About Nothing
2. Briery Wood
3. Hero Without Courage
4. Young Fortune Seekers

After Gould and Lincoln published the set,  James Miller, a New York publisher  also  published the four books. That was in the late 1870's

 Gould and Lincoln was one of the oldest, very well established Boston publishers during the mid-1800's.  The predecessors of  this firm included Samuel Hall (in the 1770's) and Ensign Lincoln in 1800's. The publishing house of Gould, Kendall and Lincoln was founded in 1835 by Charles Kendall, Joshua Lincoln and Charles Gould. In 1850 Kendall withdrew from the firm and the newly named Gould and Lincoln was formed. This firm had a strong run for 25 years publishing juveniles, general literature, textbooks and biography.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Rollo's Tour in Europe- Boxed Set

The Rollo's Tour in Europe was one of the most popular series for juveniles in the mid and late 19th century. The ten book series was published by 27 different publishers between 1853 and 1907.
The first editions were published by W. J. Reynolds (Volumes 1-6) and Brown , Taggard and Chase ( Volumes 7-10).

The Series:
On the Atlantic 1853
In Paris 1854
In Switzerland 1854
In London 1855 (copyright is 1854 but first edition title page has 1855)
On the Rhine 1855
In Scotland 1856 (Copyright is 1855 but first edition title page is 1856)
In Geneva 1857
In Holland 1857
In Naples 1858
In Rome 1858

Here is a stunning example of a boxed set from 1860. This set, published by Brown, Taggard and Chase, includes all 10 volumes. It includes books published in 1858, 1859 and 1860.
Most of the Rollo publishers in the 19th century did put together boxed sets but they are incredibly rare.

For much more on the Rollo Series see my website:

If you are interested in the Abbott series. you can see some of my other Abbott pictorial bibliographies by clicking on "Other Abbott Series" in the upper right of the Rollo home page.

Friday, March 9, 2012

James R. Osgood and Company Trade Card

James R. Osgood was a Boston publishing firm initially active between 1871 and 1878. Osgood was an employee of the Ticknor and Fields publishing house. Later he became a named partner with Fields, Osgood and Company. When Fields retired in 1871 the new firm was called James R. Osgood and Company.

In 1878 to forestall financial ruin Osgood joined with the Hurd and Houghton firm to form Houghton, Osgood and Company. A fire destroyed the inventory of this newly formed company in 1879. Osgood started up again in 1880 This new company went out of business in 1885.

The firm published a number of periodicals- Atlantic Monthly, Our Young Folks, Every Saturday- as well as numerous first editions including books by Bret Harte, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Oliver Wendell Holmes. Many of these latter authors were originally published by Ticknor and Fields.

Here is a nice trade card from James R. Osgood and Company. The card advertised on the back The Glad Year Around written by Miss A. G. Plympton. It was first published in 1881. Thus this card is most likely from that year.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Hurst and Company Canterbury Series Book with Box

Here is a nice example of a Hurst and Company book and its attendant box. This book, Whittier's Poems, is from the 25 volume Canterbury Edition of the Poets published by Hurst and Company in 1906. These boxed books are becoming harder and harder to find.

Hurst and Company was a New York publisher in the late 19th and early 20th century. Most of its later works were of reprints in series form. Earlier there was a mix of reprints, how to books and the like.

Most all late 19th century(1880's) and later American published books originally came either with dust jackets or in labeled boxes. Yet when looking at ads on the various search sites you would think this is far from the truth. Today a quick glance at ABE Hurst and Company published books lists over 400 with the "no dust jacket as issued" comment in their description.
This is just not true.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Lockwood, Brooks and Company Postcard

Lockwood, Brooks and Company was founded in 1875 by John S. Lockwood, Walter Denison Brooks and Phineas S. Tobey. It went out of business in 1886

It was a successor to several well known publishers. The chain chronologically were " William Crosby and Company, Crosby and Nichols, Crosby Nichols, Lee and Company, Nichols and Noyes, Noyes, Holmes and Company and finally Lockwood, Brooks, and Company. Of interest is that John Lockwood began worked with Crosby and Nichols and Brooks worked with the firm of Nichols and Noyes.

Lockwood, Brooks and Company was a rather small player in the Boston publishing scene.
In my 19th century bibliography Lockwood, Brooks is listed as the publisher of four juvenile series. Noted here is the second book from the two book Child Life Series written by Ellis Gray.

Other series include The Kettle Club Series (four books by Virginia Johnson), Strive and Win Series, and the Children's Art Series (three titles by Elizabeth Champney).

Shown here is a postcard postmarked in 1878 which advertises several books including the one shown here. Also the Champney series book All Around the Pallette is noted.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Henry Altemus Advertising Cover

After years of publishing Bibles and photographic albums Henry Altemus began to print books for reading in 1889. The first of these books were the six titles of the of the Dore's Masterpieces Series. ( All six oversized volumes were published until 1903 in a number of different formats. Because of the beautiful Gustave Dore illustrations, these books are always in great demand and consistently sell for a premium.

This advertising cover from 1890 pictures Format 1- Volume 1 in the series. The other books of this group are listed at the top of the envelope. Die Dore Bibel Gallerie is a German translation of Volume #1 and was included in this series beginning in 1892. (Thus, at that point there were seven titles in the series.)

This is the only Altemus envelope that I have seen that pictures a book. For more Altemus ephemera see

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Estes and Lauriat wins International Exhibition Award

Estes and Lauriat was a prolific Boston publisher in the late 19th century. Elegant bindings, beautifully appointed publisher's series and oversized books for juveniles highlight what was an extensive book list.

Among the most popular of its books were the Zigzag Series by Butterworth and the Three Vassar Girls Series by Champney.

This house had its origins when Dana Estes joined Henry Degen. The Degen, Estes and Company publishing firm was the immediate predecessor to Estes and Lauriat which was founded in 1872. Because of financial difficulties Charles Lauriat left the publishing firm in 1898 and Dana Estes carried on with Dana Estes and Company.

In 1876 the International Exhibition took place in Philadelphia. This advertising cover notes that Estes and Lauriat received highest honors "in every department of bookmaking". The exact award stated: "Commended for accuracy, neatness and beauty of typographical and engraved work, clearness of paper and standard character of publications". Other publishers who received awards in this area were Lippincott, Potter, and Zell.

This cover is quite interesting because of the association between the publishing house and Philadelphia's International Exhibition.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Book corner protectors from DeWolfe and Fiske

Book corner protectors have been previously discussed in a blog post on October 29, 2009. They are distinctly uncommon and at that time I showed two that I had found. Here is another one.

The book it protects is an 1895 reprint of Captain January by Laura E. Richards. Estes and Lauriat is the publisher . In a book writing career that included numerous popular children's books, this is perhaps Richards' most famous title. For a good biography see:

The corner protectors here were issued by DeWolfe and Fiske Company. In addition to being a publishing company of note, it also ran the Archway Bookstore.

It was there that this book was sold. This book however was not sold in 1895 despite the title page date.

In 1907 the Archway bookstore moved from 365 Washington Street to the Franklin Street address. Thus the corner protectors at their earliest are from 1907.

I believe that corner protectors from this era are much more difficult to find than dust jackets from the same years.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Butterick Publishing Company Postcard

Although this is a magazine not a book publisher, I thought this postcard was appealing enough to post it here.

The card which is postmarked in 1902 advertises on its front several of the Butterick publications. A well dressed fashion appropriate woman is pictured on the card.

The reverse refers to the receipt of funds for a subscription.

The Butterick Publishing Company was founded by Ebeneezer Butterick. Butterick was a tailor known for clothing patterns. In 1867 he introduced his first magazine- Ladies Quarterly of Broadway Fashions. Over the next number of years Butterick began a number of fashion journals including The Delineator, Metropolitan Fashions, and Modern Revue. In 2001 the McCall Pattern Company acquired Butterick. For a more detailed account see

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Merry Christmas from D. Lothrop and Company

Last year around Christmas I showed a nice D. Lothrop and Company trade card from about 1886. This card is identical on the reverse to that one. The front shows the same little girl in a different scene. Clearly Lothrop produced a series of cards for the holidays.

Of interest is that last year a very alert reader noted that the little girl wore glasses- very unusual to see on a trade card. On that card the little girl was reading and perhaps needed glasses. On this card the little girl is playing with her dolls and has no glasses.

''Happy Holidays"

Saturday, December 10, 2011

James Miller , New York Publisher Trade Card

James Miller was a New York Publisher active between 1860 and 1883. It succeeded the C.S. Francis publishing house. Its areas of concentration were juvenile books and illustrated gift books. Miller is thought to be the first that made a practice of bringing out books in series as boxed sets. In the later years of James Miller it was thought to be more of a bookseller than a book publisher.

James Miller was considered one of the giants of New York publishing in the mid-nineteenth century . Miller died in 1883 at the age of 61 at which point the James Miller publishing company publisher also passed away.

An obituary in the American Bookseller stated that his "immediate cause of death was due to a shock received from papers served upon him" related to a lawsuit. How simple a time must the 19th century have been!

In my 2003 bibliography I included 28 James Miller juvenile series. I suspect that there will be quite a few more in the upcoming revision.

Here is a nice trade card for this publisher. Between 1878 and 1883 Miller was at the 779 Broadway address.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Another Albert Bigelow Paine Inscription

This book is #5 in the Boys and Girls Booklovers Series. See
Initially it was published as a non series book in 1903 and in 1905 became part of the aforementioned series.

This book has an inscription by the author to the dedicatee of the book. But even better is that the dedicatee is also the title character of the book.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Altemus' Circus Boys Series Dust Jackets

The earliest editions of this five volume Henry Altemus Company published series are hard to find with dust jackets. The books published before 1915 had the brown uncoated dust jackets which tend to be quite brittle. The later jackets of Format 2 and Format 3 have the white coated paper.

Teddy Tucker and Phil Forrest travel with the circus and have the usual incredible adventures that most likely can only be found within the pages of juvenile fiction. The books were written by Frank Gee Patchin (who also wrote the Pony Rider Boys Series) using the pseudonym of Edgar B. P. Darlington.

1 Circus Boys on the Flying Rings 1910
2 Circus Boys Across the Continent 1911
3 Circus Boys in Dixie Land 1911
4 Circus Boys on the Mississippi 1912
5 Circus Boys on the Plains 1920
6 Circus Boys at the Top (not published)

Several different covers/dust jackets were used during this series' publishing history. The Format 1 dust jackets have just been added to the database.
On the First Edition jacket (above) both both boys have entirely orange uniforms whereas the later First Format jacket (below) is different. In the latter jacket the boy standing on the rings has a black uniform. This jacket design was used until about 1915.

Beginning in about 1915 and ending in 1924 the line drawn dust jacket has a clown pictured on its cover. The later jacket in this format has brown lettering.

From 1924 until the end of this series' run in the early 1930's the dust jacket cover was a multicolored pictorial one with a circus panorama.

This series was reprinted by Saalfield and Company in 1934 as set #1353 after Henry Altemus went out of business. All five books were sold separately as well as in boxed sets of (any) three. These reprints were published for a number of years. The dust jacket is identical to that of the last Altemus format.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Albert Bigelow Paine Inscription to Book Dedicatee

Having the first edition of a book is great . Having the first copy of a book with an author's inscription is even better. Here is the ultimate (at least to me). An author's inscription to the dedicatee which states "first copy".

Shown here are the cover of the book, Paine's inscription and the dedication page from the book.

Albert Bigelow Paine wrote several books that were published by Henry Altemus. Paine is most widely known for his four volume Mark Twain biography. But he also wrote a number of other books including Altemus' three volume Arkansaw Bear Series.

The first book, The Arkansaw Bear, was published in 1898. The second book, Elsie and the Arkansaw Bear (pictured here) was published in 1909. In 1929 Arkansaw Bear Complete which included both earlier books was published.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

W. B. Conkey Dust Jacket

Sport's themes on the covers of juvenile series books in the early 1900's are a common finding. Discoveries of baseball, football and track are probably the most common. Tennis, on the other hand, is quite scarce as a cover subject.

In a previous blog post I pictured a number of covers with different sports including the High School Girl Series which has a tennis cover and dust jacket.

Here is another tennis dust jacket.

This book is from the 50 volume Varsity Series that was published by W.B. Conkey in the early 1900's. The titles are all reprints. Conkey published numerous publisher's series (of which this is one) as well as many children's board books. Its list also contained most all the usual subjects.

The Varsity Series included books by Henty, Optic, Verne in addition to other well known authors of the time.

Finding Conkey books with dust jackets is somewhat difficult. In fact, most advertisements note-"no jacket, as issued". That statement is generally wrong about all the publishers of the era, including Conkey. Of course, notwithstanding that an example of a Varsity Series jacket is shown here, the Conkey catalogue does note that the series was published with "printed wrappers"

Monday, July 4, 2011

Henry A. Young and Company-Publisher Trade Card

Here is a trade card for Henry A. Young. Its date is estimated between 1877 and 1882.

Henry A. Young and Company was a Boston publishing house which was active from 1868 into the 1880's. Early on Henry A. Young was associated with Andrew F. Graves (1862-1868). Graves and Young mostly published religious books and children's/ juvenile series. After its association with Graves ended, Young published numerous juvenile/children's books in series from 1868 until about 1880 when it changed directions and concentrated on educational books, Sunday School books, scrap books, and books for entertainment.

During these years (1868- early 1880's) it published books on the Henry A. Young and Company imprint except in the 1874-1875 time frame. During that period Young published with Bartlett as Young and Bartlett in a short lived business arrangement

In May 1877 it moved to the 13 Bromfield address from Cornhill Street. By 1883 it was located at Arch Street also in Boston.

In my original 19th century juvenile series bibliography (2003) there are 33 series published by Henry A. Young. In the update there are 68 series. Most of the Young books were original sold in boxed sets. The "Young" series did not stand out in any way. A few of its authors are well known , like Harriette Newell Baker (Aunt Hattie/Madeline Leslie) and Daniel Wise (Lance Lancewood) but most of the series remain totally under the radar of most collectors.

The books typically were blindstamped with gold gilt decorations and lettering on the spine. A couple of examples are below.

The blue book is from the Little Folk's Library. The green book, Will and the Donkey, is from Little Willie's Library.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Sheldon and Company-19th Century Publisher

Sheldon and Company was an important New York publisher in the mid-1800's. My interest in it stems from its publication of juvenile series books. In my bibliography published in 2003 I described 23 series. In the upcoming new edition there will be 49 series noted and discussed.

The company was founded by Smith Sheldon. Initially urged by Baptist friends to publish denominational books, he moved to New York and purchased the interest of the Mr. Law in Lamport, Blakeman and Law and thus founded Sheldon, Lamport and Blakeman in 1854.

Lamport retired in 1856 and thus Sheldon, Blakeman and Company was born. In 1859 Blakeman left the firm to join Albert Mason in a new firm Blakeman and Mason. So Sheldon and Company was founded.

I am enclosing copies of two letterheads from 1859. These are quite informative since they list partners in the firm and show a partial catalogue of Sheldon'd booklist.

Some of the most popular of the Sheldon books were those series written by Jacob Abbott. The ten volume Rollo's Tour in Europe Series was published in a number of formats. In addition Abbot's Florence Stories, Harlie Series, the Rollo Books, Rollo's Story Books, and Abbott's
American Histories were all popular series published by Sheldon

Sheldon published series by other well known authors also. These included the Cottage Series by Peter Parley, Home Stories by T. S. Arthur and Jack Trowbridge's Brighthope Series.

In addition to Abbott's works, Sheldon published a couple of extremely popular travelogue juvenile series. These included the Spectacle Series by Sarah. W. Lander and Walter's Tour in the East by Daniel Eddy. The Percy Family, another travelogue series by Daniel Eddy was co-published with Graves and Young in the early 1860's

The formats of the Sheldon books went through a standard evolution. The early books were blindstamped with various cover patterns and gold gilt titles and decorations on the spines.

By the early 1870's the covers of most of the series books also had gold gilt designs and lettering. Examples are shown here.

The Sheldon series books originally could be bought individually or in boxed sets. Finding single books is not especially hard. Finding them in boxed sets is next to impossible.