Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Our Little Ones - Russell Publishing Company

From time to time I thought I would highlight a 19th century juvenile magazine. Today's magazine is Our Little Ones and Nursery

Our Little Ones and Nursery was a combination of two magazines for youth ("the youngest class of readers). The Nursery which was founded in 1867 and published by John L. Shorey and Our Little Ones published by the Russell Publishing Company beginning in November, 1880. This new magazine began in 1882 with the combined name and was published until it went defunct in 1899.

Included in today's entry is a trade card for the magazine and a couple of pictures of the magazine itself. The trade card was printed sometime in 1880-1881 before the merger of the two magazines. The Russell Publishing Company is still at the Tremont address as noted on the card.

It was also distributed by Griffith and Farrar in London in the early 188o's and later by Thomas Nelson and Sons.

It was edited by William T. Adams (Oliver Optic). This small magazine consisted of simple stories and poems for youngsters. Music scores were included and the magazine was profusely illustrated. Although I do not recognize all the authors in the magazine included here, Frederick Ober and Josephine Pollard, writers who penned numerous juvenile books in the late 1800's are represented.

Interestingly, although the text is definitely for children, the pages of ads definitely were for adults. There are advertisements for "Brain and Nerve Food" (always something good to have around), gloves, pens, flowers, and everyone's special favorite Corset skirt supporter. And what child wouldn't want an invalid rolling chair.

Russell published other juvenile pieces including Oliver Optic's Annuals in the late 1880's, Little Mother and Their Little Friends and The Nursery-Illustrated Stories and Poems for Little People.


  1. it's historically interesting to see how the assumed premise would have been adults buying the magazine for the children and likely reading it together with them...which would explain the ads aimed at the adults handling the magazine, as opposed to the children "reading" it....it's also interesting to see so clearly how it's still the infancy of marketing products directly to children in 19th century America, as so few ads are for juvenile products...manufacturing and ads were aimed at grown-ups who would have purchased the magazine...and this advertising was very often strongly oriented to the females, which also tells us something...

  2. Have you ever heard of a children's book/magazine called "Babyland"? I have one (dtd June 1889). Inside it says "our Little Ones" Vol X!!! No 8 June 1893. Just trying to get information about this old piece. Thanks! Barbara

  3. george fivgas/pootso46@yahoo.comFebruary 28, 2015 at 4:37 PM

    I'm in possession of a book titled Pleasant Hours published in 1886 by Russell Publishing. I believe the author is De Wolfe Fiske of Boston

  4. I have a book titled "Little Ones Year Book" can you tell me anything about it? Publisher was George Sully. Copy right by Russell Publishing