Monday, September 28, 2009

Butler Brothers Published Dust Jacketed Book

As noted yesterday, sometimes companies which are not primarily book publishers still print books/series of interest.

Butler Brothers was a giant merchandising house. The house was founded in 1877 by Edward and George with Charles joining his two brothers shortly after. Butler brothers made their mark by supplying retail merchants with items for the "five cent counter". Their other innovation was that instead of having traveling salesmen promoting their goods they sent out product catalogues. At one time it was thought to be the largest supply house in the world. Butler Brothers formally incorporated in 1887. Main offices/warehouses were in New York, Chicago and St. Louis.



















In the 1880's Butler Bros. advertised "a complete library" which they would sell for $14.00. Sold only to merchants (presumably for resale) this set of 30 books came with a "polished maple book rack".

The books consisted of reprints of classic fiction by authors such as Jules Verne, Charles Dickens, Thomas Hughes and others. (See ad).

Butler Brothers published few books so the book pictured here Life of Daniel Webster with the dust jacket is an unusual find. I have seen another book from this series dated 1887. Because the title page of neither book says "corporation" , this series was probably published in 1887 or earlier.



Here is a picture of one of the founding brothers, Edward Butler.

The original warehouse in Chicago is shown here.

23 comments:

  1. My Aunt has this dust cover also, just the dust cover I believe. The inside pages are the pages of the Bible. The glue markings on the dust cover appear to match the markings on the Bible pages, could these Brothers have sold copies of the Bible? The size of the pages match well with the cover, but there is no doubt of the covers matching.

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  2. I have a copy of Charles Dickens' "Old Curiosity Shop" with this cover. The last page has an ad for the complete library. As a child I always wondered what Edition meant on the covere, but loved the bees.

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    1. I have all tje Dicken's Works books no jakets... does any one know a value of the set or the yeat printed as it is not listed?

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  3. So glad to have found some information on the book I have "The Female British Poets" with this cover. I have been wondering what edition meant. The book has wonderful poems and I love the old book smell.

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  4. Does any one know the value of Butler Bros. published dust jacketed books?

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  5. Does anyone know the value of an 1885 leather bound, extremely large Holy Bible published by the Butler Brothers?

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  6. I found a book printed by the Butler Bros. with a blue dust cover. The title on the book is, "Christmas Stories" by Charles Dickens. It is in very good shape and on the inside blank page there is a note: From Momma-Christmas 1888. Margaret A. Coleman.

    What might be the value of this book?

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  7. I have the blue david copperfield. but im saving it for when i have kids or grandkids. ^_^ saaaaweet!

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  8. I have the blue david copperfield. but im saving it for when i have kids or grandkids. ^_^ saaaaweet!

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  9. I have a copy of the Complete Poetical Works of E.B.B. but it is not dated. Any idea when this might have been published?

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    1. My great granduncle was Edward Burgess Butler of Butler Brothers and I've never known of this book . . is this a collection of his poems or of his favorite poets?

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  11. I have the Poe ' Poems' that's in this collection

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  15. I have the red bee cover of Whittier's poems,
    some pages are missing in the front I think because I cannot find a publishing date, etc.
    I was trying to find the value of it.
    All there is an inscription in the front and I am not sure if it is in all the books or not.
    But it says:
    To Henry B. Stanton, This volume is inscribed as a token of the author's personal friendship, and of his respect for the unreserved devotion of exalted talents to the cause of humanity and freedom.

    The pages are very old,

    If you have more questions, send me an email
    tamlynnnv@yahoo.com

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  17. I have one of the books in this series. Titled "Half Hours With The Poets" It doesn't appear in the ad for the collection, however the cover is almost identical to the reddish colored book cover. On the first page, it has "Butler Brothers Incorporated" printed near the bottom, and on the second page, it says it was copyrighted in 1886 by R. Worthington. The book appears to be in fair condition, all the pages are there, and in good shape, but the front cover has come partially unglued. I have no idea what it might be worth.

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