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.


  1. What a great piece! They did get their money's worth out the envelope. Liked the price list, too, with the Turkey and Russia bindings, which are unfamiliar to me.

  2. As I opened the Concise Webster's Dictionary (Webster, 1895), the leather cover and dry pages began to provide an immediate insight and perspective into the technology of the time.

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