Sunday, September 27, 2009

Dickens' Boxed Set Published by Rust Craft Shop

Fred Rust opened his Book and Craft Shop in Kansas City in 1906. Along with his brother Donald (mining engineer by vocation) they produced various greetings cards, blotters, calendars and the like.

The Rusts' moved to Boston from Kansas City in 1913 opening the Rust Craft Company. Mainly in the greeting card business, this greeting card company evolved into one of the largest in the United States. After the move to Boston it produced greeting cards, puzzles, book marks, books, postcards, book plates, etc. I have even seen fruit jar labels by this company.

The Rust Craft Greeting Cards Inc. Company was purchased by Ziff Davis in 1979. The price which included the six television stations Russ Craft owned, was $89 million dollars. Of course the Rust family had long since sold out.

Rust Craft published only a few books but here is an interesting boxed set they did. It consists of 5 Christmas books by Dickens:
A Christmas Carol
The Cricket on the Hearth
The Haunted Man
The Chimes
The Battle of Life

All five of these softcover books have the same picture on the cover. These little books are 5.5 x 3.0 with illustrated end papers. Each book has one tipped in color illustration by Munro S. Orr.

Although I am not certain, this series of books was probably published between 1915-1930.

The box at each end has a paste on label. Both are shown here. One label has a short poem about the books and identifies them. The other label is an advertisement for Daniel Low and Company-jewelers in Salem, Massachusetts. Of interest is that it appears that the Daniel Low Company was responsible for the ever popular souvenir spoon industry. See:

This boxed set is an example of a nice set not done by a company thought of as a book publisher.
Clearly scarce but probably not really valuable


  1. Hi my name is pedro colon and I have a little box of 5 little books. Made by Rust craft. Copyright 1917 by john H. Eggers ny ...can somebody tell me about the books and the value thanks... my email is

  2. I so enjoyed this post as it filled information for me for my post about a postcard folder printed by the Rust Craft Shop. It is one of my regular Old Postcard Wednesday posts and you can view it HERE (where I quoted you and linked to this post). Thank you!

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  16. I have a print from Fred Rust's Shop Books & Things of Godey's Fashions for August 1862. Would that be the same shop you listed about

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