Monday, November 30, 2009

Advertising Cover- Webster's Dictionary-1880's

Here is a great advertising cover for Webster's Unabridged Dictionary. The front and back of the envelope utilize almost all of the space not necessary for an address. In addition a flyer was found within the envelope with a price list for various editions.

It is an interesting project to date this item.
Key points in the ad that I worked from were
1. The number of words in the dictionary-118,000
2. Number of state superintendents recommending it-36
3. It is unabridged not international

In 1880 the number of words in the ads was noted to be 118,000. But other 1880-1881 ads note that only 35 state superintendents recommended this dictionary. In a June, 1882 ad in Literary World the number of superintendents is 36.

In 1890 the Unabridged Dictionary was revised and enlarged to become the International Dictionary.

Thus, I believe the date of this item is between 1892 and 1889.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Elmer Gregor and his juvenile series

The author Elmer Gregor (1870-1954) wrote a number of children's booksabout Indians and the frontier. Included in his output were four juvenile series that are listed in Mattson's bibliography. He was a world class ornithologist. He was one of the founders of the the Buckskin Men of America which was a predecessor of the Boy Scouts.

His series books were published by Appleton and Harpers. Even though they were quite popular and reprinted a number of times, they are still on the somewhat scarce side.

The four series are:

1. Camp Life Series- Harper and Bros. 1912-1913
2. Eastern Indian Series- Appleton 1918-1930
3. Jim Mason Series- Appleton 1923-1928
4. Western Indian Series- Appleton 1917-1927

Here is a nice inscription found in White Otter which is a book from the Western Indian Series. In the next blog entry I will review that series.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Dick Arnold Series by Earl Reed Silvers

Today's series is the Dick Arnold Series This three book series was written by Earl Reed Silvers and published by Appleton. These books highlight the life and athletic adventures of our here-Dick Arnold-at the fictional Raritan College. The stories of his athletic prowess are quite entertaining. I especially was interested in some of the times run by the athletes. In Dick Arnold of the Varsity, Dick runs a mile in 4:21. Now, of course, most decent high school boys can beat that but in 1921 that time was really good.

These books are quite uncommon. Appleton did not have high volume print runs. I remember a researcher found that the 1922 Andy Blake juvenile book had less than 1000 copies leave the factory. Although possibly overreaching, I am of the mind that most all of the Appleton juvenile series books of the early 1920's had similar low print runs. That makes these series very hard to find with or without jackets. That also accounts for dealers' high prices.

Earl Reed Silvers was an educator as well as a relatively prolific author. He was born in New Jersey, educated at Rutgers University and went on to become the Dean of Men at his alma mater. He died from a heart attack at the age of 57 in 1948. He wrote more than 25 juvenile books for boys as well as over a 1000 short stories.

His book for boys frequently revolved around college life and athletics. This is understandable as Silvers was a great athlete at Rutgers starring in track, baseball basketball and football.

He wrote five juvenile series (including this one) listed in Mattson's guide. He also wrote the Carol Series which is about a girl in camp and high school. All of these series were published by Appleton and thus are relatively scarce.

This series was reprinted by Appleton-Century

The Dick Arnold Series
1. Dick Arnold of Raritan College 1920
2. Dick Arnold Plays the Game 1920
3. Dick Arnold of the Varsity 1921

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Unknown Series

Here is the cover applique for a juvenile series.

Today's hints:
Author was the dean of men at a well known university.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Dick Series by A.W. Dimock

The Dick Series by A.W. Stokes is a four book series written by A.W. Dimock. In many respects it can be considered a companion series to the Jack Series also published by F.A. Stokes. Both series involved adventures of boys in the wild.

This four book series chronicles the adventures of Dick and his buddy Ned in different outdoor scenarios. The title of the book tells of the adventure. The books have photographs done by Dimock.

Anthony Weston Dimock (1842-1918) was an interesting fellow. Well educated at Phillips Academy and George Washington University, he made a fortune in the gold market while working on Wall Street. He subsequently spent time in the West with ranchers and Indians and later was a real estate developer in Elizabeth. New Jersey. He wrote a number of books including Florida Enchantments and this series.

The great stories about Dimock include how he made and lost millions several times. In the 1860's he had invested heavily in Pacific Mail stock . The company went down the toilet so fast that it broke Dimock. Subsequently he remade his fortune in real estate in New Jersey. The financial crash of 1872 wiped him out for the second time. At the age of 41 after making another fortune on Wall Street his investments failed him during "financial disturbances"in 1884.

He was living the good life in 1894 even in significant debt in Kingston, New York when he and his family were served with papers. Dimock was forcibly removed from a rental house with his furniture and family during a rainstorm.

The Dick Series
1. Dick in the Everglades 1909
2. Dick Among the Lumberjacks 1910
3. Dick Among the Seminoles 1911
4. Dick Among the Miners 1911

Monday, November 23, 2009

Unknown Series

Here is an unknown cover for a series that will be reviewed tomorrow.
It amazes me how many fish related covers there are on series books.


1880-1930 series.
Author made a fortune in the gold market in the 19th century.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Advertising Cover for the Lothrop Publishing House.

I have shown a number of advertising covers over the past few weeks. Here is a very special one. The Lothrop Publishing Company was one oif the most prolific publishers of childrens' book in the late 19th century. Their magazines for children and juveniles were also very big sellers. These magazines have been noted before. Here is a great advertising cover.

Of course, what makes it a bit unusual is that all the advertising is on the back of the envelope. Four of Lothrop's magazines are noted here. The Pansy, Wide Awake , Babyland and Our Little Men and Women.

I thought you might enjoy seeing this cover.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Jack Heaton Series by E. Frederick Collins

The Publisher Frederick A. Stokes did not print many juvenile series books. Mattson's guide only lists two series. Here is one of them: The Jack Heaton Series.

The Jack Heaton Series is a three book series published between 1919-1921. Jack Heaton encounters mysteries and adventures in the Yukon, Mexico, Oil fields, and with submarines. The books have numerous glossy ilustrations by different artists-Owen, Morgan Dennis and Charles E. Cartwright. Typical well constructed books by Stokes.

The author A. (Archie) Frederick Collins (1869-1952) was more well known as an inventor and engineer than as a writer. He wrote the Radio Amateur's Handbook which is still in print in an 80 plus edition.He invented a form of a wireless telephone in 1899. With his inventions he founded the Collins Wireless Telephone Company. The history of this inventionj is quite fascinating. Read here for more:

In a blast from the future, Collins partnered with some businessmen to help take his company public. Unfortunately he was indicted and convicted for using the mails to defraud in selling worthless stock. Apparently claims were made by some of his partners that calls could be made in a similar way to cellular phones of today.
Collins spent one year (1913)of his three year prison sentence incarcerated.

After his release he wrote numerous books including the series noted here.

Here are the books:

1. Jack Heaton, Wireless Operator 1919
2. Jack Heaton, Oil Prospector 1920
3. Jack Heaton, Gold Seeker 1921

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Deer Lodge Series by W. Gordon Parker

The great outdoors was a popular theme for juvenile series books in the late 19th and early 20th century. This three book series is a good example. The Deer Lodge Series was published by Lee and Shepard and written by W. Gordon Parker.

The stories follow Grant Burton, Perry Langdon and their buddies on various outdoor adventures. Hunting, fishing, and water sports are just some of the highlights. "The Boys are manly, honest and of good principle". The books have one glossy picture, the frontispiece, and numerous other line drawn illustrations.
The line drawn illustrations as well as the frontispieces were done by Parker himself.

The three books were copyrighted between 1898 and 1900. Although I am showing only covers here today, based on the previous patterns of Lee and Shepard, the books did originally come with dust jackets.

W. Gordon Parker was an author as well as a ranked tennis player as a young man. He shot himself through the heart with a pistol at his home in Charlevoix, Michigan in 1928

The Books:
1. Six Young Hunters; or, The Adventures of the Greyhound Club 1898
2. Grant Burton, the Runaway; or, The Mishaps of a Schoolboy 1899
3. Rival Boy Sportsmen; or, The Mink Lake Regatta 1900

Unknown Series Book

Here is another unknown series book. The series will be reviewed on 11/20/2009.
Here are the hints.
1. Series book published between 1880-1930. (Bad clue)
2. Author spent a year in prison because of stock fraud. (Great Clue)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Franconia Series-Boxed Set- Harper and Brothers

The Franconia Series second editions were published by Harper and Brothers in the early 1880's.
Here is the boxed set for this edition. Unfortunately I do not have the box top. The side of the box doies however have the book label.

19th century series most often were published at one time by their publishers in boxed sets. This is a nice example

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Unkown Series Book

Here is a another unknown series book. It dates between 1880-1930. How's this for a hint. The author shot himself . You need another hint. OK. The author did all the illustrations for the series.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Franconia Series by Jacob Abbott

As has been noted before, Jacob Abbott was an incredibly prolific author juveniles in the 19th century. The ten volume Franconia Series was one of his series.

These moralistic stories revolve around Beechnut. He is a youngster from Switzerland who lives in the White Mountains and interacts with the other characters in the series.

The books as noted here were initially published in the 1850's by Harper and Brothers. As opposed to many of the other Abbott books , these stories were only published by Harper and Brothers (in the US), Allman published the English editions.

1. Malleville 1850
2. Mary Bell 1850
3. Ellen Linn 1852
4. Wallace 1850
5. Beechnut 1850
6. Stuvyesant 1853
7. Agnes 1853
8. Mary Erskine 1850
9. Rodolphus 1852
10. Caroline 1853

Later between 1878 and 1881 the books were reprinted by Harpers. At that time there were only 5 Franconia books. Each new book had two of the early books combined into one volume. They were as follows.

Ellen Linn/Stuyvesant
Mary Erskine/Mary Bell

Two late editions were published by Harper and Brothers. The green book with the peripheral cover decoration was published in the early 1900's. The books with the reading boy was also published in the early 1900's but the books of this format had only one Franconia book within it as opposed to the two story books.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Boys' Story of the Railroad Series by Burton E. Stevenson

The Boys' Story of the Railroad Series is a four book series that was first published between 1905 and 1912. The books were reprinted into the 1930's. The stories involve teenagers working in and around the railroad. Each book contains six or seven glossy illustrations done by either John Goss, L.J. Bridgman or A.P. Button.

The author Burton E. Stevenson (1872-1962) wrote more than forty books in addition to these juveniles. As a youngster he published a monthly newspaper called The Boy's Own continuously for five years. Besides writing Stevenson was quite accomplished. He was the director of Library War Service with the American Expeditionary Forces in France. He also founded the American Library in Paris. He died at the age of 89 in Chillicothe, Ohio.

Stevenson's Railrroad series was published by L. C. Page and Compnay.
L.C. Page & Company published a number of juvenile series in the twentieth century. Mattson's guide lists 11 series and there are a number of others, mostly nonfiction, that were published also. Page succeeded Joseph Knight in 1897. In 1914 Page supplemented its list when it bout the plates of the Dana Estes Company. The Page books are generally oversized and well made. Probably the best known of its publications were the Little Colonel Series written by Annie Fellows Johnston.

The Books:
1.The Young Section Hand 1905
2. The Train Dispatcher 1907
3. The Young Train Master 1909
4. The Young Apprentice 1912

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Barrows Brothers Series by Jack Bechdolt

John Ernest Bechdolt (1884–1954) was mainly known as a short story writer and as a newspaperman. He wrote more than 6000 short stories. In addition to the Barrows Brothers Series noted here, he wrote with the collaboration of his wife the Dulcie Series. His output included a number of science fiction stories including a Lost race story included in the Barrows Brothers Series He worked for the Seattle Post Intelligencer. A number of his short stories were produce as movies.

The Barrow Brothers Series is a five book series published in 1931 by Cosmopolitan Book Corporation. The books center around Bob and Paul Barrow and their adventures in various locales such as the Arctic and Mexico. These books were well written and are among the more entertaining stories written as juvenile series in their era. Relatively hard to find in dust jacket.

The books.

1. Hidden Waters
2. Frozen Treasure
3. The Race of the Rails
4. Jungle Diamonds
5. Lost Vikings

Sunday, November 8, 2009

More Boxed Books-H.M. Caldwell

Most boxed individual books are rather ordinary where the labeled box contains a box that neatly fills up the box. Of course, some boxes themselves have elaborate designs and illustrations. Today I thought I would show an individual boxed book which is on the bizarre side.

As some of you may know, I am slowly working toward putting together a history and bibliography of the H.M. Caldwell publishing house. I hope to complete it before I keel over. It will take the same format as my website.

Anyway here is a Caldwell book. The box has a labeled flap but otherwise is quite plain. It measures 9.5 x 5.

The box inside however is quite unusual. It is Over the Nuts and Wine written by James Clarence Harvey. It was published in 1906. Look at its shape. It is a 3D representation of a bottle of wine within an ice bucket. The original glassine dust jacket was found within the box. This 134 page book has a different "toast" on each page.

Quite an interesting boxed book.

Friday, November 6, 2009

More Boxed Books- Grosset and Dunlap

Boxed books come in all shapes and sizes. From sets of multiple books to singly boxed books, there are a myriad of styles, shapes and varieties.

Today's box is somewhat unusual. This two book box is from the publisher Grosset and Dunlap. The jacketed books within the box are Puss-In-Boots and the Man in the Moon and Puss-In-Boots and Robinson Crusoe. Originally published by Harpers in the 1920's , they now are part of the Puss-In-Boots, Jr. Series written by David Cory author of The Little Jack Rabbit Stories, Little Journeys to Happyland and many others.

The box is labeled with nice illustrative pictures on the cover and sides. What makes this box somewhat unusual are the two wooden Puss-In-Boots figurines inserted into the box. These are well made models. I suspect 1930's publication date but I am unsure. This box would have appealed to kids and I suspect was instrumental in improving sales.

This is another example of what probably is a very large number of unusual boxed books variants.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Young Alaskans by Emerson Hough

The Young Alaskans is a relatively uncommon five book series published by Harper and Brothers. These books were initially published between 1908 and 1922 and subsequently were reprinted numerous times. Harper and Brothers was not a major publisher of juvenile series books with only twelve series by this house noted in Mattson's guide. The stories chronicle the outdoor adventures of three Alaskan boys.

1. The Young Alaskans 1908
2. Y.A. on the Trail 1911
3. Y.A. in the Rockies 1913
4. Y.A. in the Far North 1918
5. Y.A. on the Missouri 1922

If you have one of these books, dating it is really quite easily done because Harper used an alphabetical key. Up to 1911 the date appeared on the title page.

Thereafter each month was designated by a letter.
A=January M-December. J was not included in the month list.

A letter was used for each year:

Thus A-M would be January, 1912
B-N would be February, 1913

Emerson Hough (1857-1923) wrote this series as well as a number of other novels, most of which are westerns. He was a noted conservationist. He spent his early years in the frontier west. Later he graduated from the University of Iowa. Although trained as an attorney, he spent many years exploring and traveling throughout the west. At the age of forty he wrote The Singing Mouse Stories and that launched his writing career. He died secondary to complications from a surgical procedure.

Did you figure out the unknown book covers?? I know the guy who claims to be our
resident fisherman did not come close. He was too embarrassed to make his guess in the
public comments. He will remain anonymous!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Advertising Cover- Corporal Si Klegg and His Pard

Advertising covers were a great way to promote a product in the 19th century. A number of envelopes have been seen with pictures of a publishing house's headquarters. Individual books are less often shown on envelopes. Here is a great example of the latter.

Corporal Si Klegg and His Pard is a book that pictures the various aspects of Army life during the Civil War. The subtitle is " How they lived and talked, and what they did and suffered while fighting for the flag". Reviews of the book noted that this book was one of the few that actually portrayed the daily life of the soldier. Despite the story being fictional, the anecdotes included here were very lifelike. Sales of the serialized novel exceeded all expectations.

It was written by Wilbur F. Hinman (1840-1905) who was a Lieutenant-Colonel in the Ohio Regiment. He was born in Berea, Ohio. He attended Baldwin University prior to enlisting in the Union Army in 1861.

The publisher of the 1887 first edition was The Williams Publishing Company in Cleveland-not exactly a major house.

This is a great illustrated advertising cover featuring that book.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Unknown Series Books

Here is another series unknown.

I have included two books because this one may be quite tough. You can sort of see the lettering at the top of one of the books. The only hint is that this is a juvenile series published between 1880-1940. Good luck.