Thursday, September 17, 2009

All Aboard Series by Edward Rand-Part 1

This is the D. Lothrop 1882 edition

One of my favorite 19th century series is the All Aboard Series by Edward A. Rand.
Uncle Nat takes his two nephews Ralph and Rick on adventures to the far East and all across the United States. A two book travelogue series, what interests me about the books in addition to the stories is the publishing history. Starting with D. Lothrop and Company and ending with M.A. Donohue, this series was printed by a number of known and very unknown publishers. That is the very unusual feature of this series. I have found that nine publishers printed this series. But this might not be all of them.

I have arbitrarily divided the publishers into three groups. The first being Lothrop, the original publisher and Fairbanks, Palmer , the later copyright holder. The second group is the various subscription publishing houses. The last being the Donohue Publishing House family.

1. All Aboard for Sunrise Lands 1881
2. All Aboard for Lakes and Mountains 1883

Here are the two similar covers from Lothrop

The first company to do these books was D. Lothrop and Company in 1881 and in 1883. In 1882 after Lothrop published "Sunrise Lands" in cloth and illuminated board covers, the copyright for the first book was taken over by Fairbanks, Palmer and Company. My Lothrop books say second edition and the Fairbank's books say "fifteenth thousand" indicating a good Lothrop sales number. In 1885 Fairbanks, Palmer got the "Lakes and Mountains" copyright.

Lothrop we have discussed but who or what was Fairbanks, Palmer.

L.T. Palmer established his publishing business in Chicago in 1873 after gaining experience as a salesman for E. B. Treat and Company, a New York publishing house. This company's books were mainly sold as subscription books. In 1878 he formed a partnership with John Fairbanks. Fairbanks had previously been employed by the American Tract Society as its Western manager. The new company was Fairbanks and Palmer.

The earlier house of L(oomis) T. Palmer published such works as The True Path, Annals of the Great Strikes of the United States as well as a number of other long since forgotten books. Fairbanks, Palmer and Company was also a subscription house. Early on it published blank business forms. Thereafter it published these Rand books. Another juvenile series it did was a four volume set , The Tiny Library, by Miss Elizabeth Stuart Phelps. Books on orators, histories , and farming as well as a number of biographies were also in its list.

This is the 1883 Fairbanks, Palmer edition

In 1888 the company was insolvent. Apparently Fairbanks just left New York City without anyone in charge of the company. The financial woes were not new to this company. In 1884 the publishing house was temporarily closed because of the actions of creditors. Apparently a new company was formed at that time with the creditors taking stock which clearly was valueless by 1888.

Today I am showing pictures of the Lothrop and Fairbanks, Palmer books. There are a couple things of note. First is that the cloth covers are the same. Thus, it is clear that there was a relationship between the two publishers. An interesting note about the Lothrop board cover is the obvious similarity between it and the cover used for the Bodley Family book. (Another travelogue series). Even the end paper illustration was clearly done by the same artist. I guess Lothrop figured it could save a few dollars.

Lothrop published the the first book in 1881 and 1882. It published the Lakes and Mountains in 1883.
Fairbanks, Palmer published the first book in 1882-1885 and the second book in 1885.

The other publishers of this series will be discussed later

1885 Fairbanks Palmer edition