Friday, July 24, 2009

Stitt Publishing Company Dust Jacket

Stitt Publishing Company Dust Jacket

Stitt published books in 1905. It was founded by William Stitt, Jr. and two partners Joseph Scammell and William Mershon. This company basically took over Mershon's list. Things did not work out well however and they dissolved in February, 1906. (For much more see " Tom Swift, The Bobbsey Twins and Other Heroes of American Juvenile Literature", John Dizer, Edwin Mellen Press , 1997.)

Although Stitt published books are quite easy to find, the same cannot be said about dust jacketed Stitt books.
Here is a great example of one. Fast in the Ice written by Robert Ballantyne which was part of the Stitt Wideawake Library.

Of course, without the dust jacket you would never know it. As with many of the early series books, key information is on the dust jacket. There is no mention of the Wideawake Series anywhere in the book itself. But on the front of the jacket is the name of the series , on the back of the jacket is the series list , and on the flaps are other titles both in and not in this series. There were 163 books in this Stitt Series.

Here is the rear flap with the rest of the
Wideawake Series book list.

The Wideawake Series was first published as early as 1900 by Mershon. Again the series name and book titles are noted on the Mershon jackets as early as 1900 with an evolving book list. The Stitt Series added a few additional books to the 1904 Mershon series list.

A key question that has been asked is whether Stitt reprinted the Bobbsey Twins book that was initially published by Mershon in 1904. The fact that hundreds of Stitt juvenile books are listed on the jacket with the Bobbsey Twins clearly omitted would be a piece of evidence indicating there is no Stitt Bobbsey Twins. This fact plus the lack of a book in hand certainly makes it more likely than not that this Stitt Bobbsey does not exist.

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