Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Lothrop and Co. Pioneer Postcard 1885

Here is a pioneer postcard from 1885. D. Lothrop & Co. has been reviewed in this blog previously. Throughout several name iterations it was a major publisher from 1868 to 1904.

To give you some idea of the output of this publisher appreciate that I have so far discovered more than 300 children's/ juvenile book series that it published. In the revision of my 19th century children's/ juvenile series book this dwarfs the output of any other publisher.

The card shown here is a great piece of book publisher ephemera. Pioneer postcards are those that were produced prior to July 1, 1898. The card shown here is dated October 28, 1885 and postmarked the same day.

On the reverse side of the card you can see advertisements at the top for Lothrop's children's magazines. But the fascinating thing about this card is the that the addressee is the B. Westermann Co. and the subject is about the binding of a book.

Westermann was a foreign bookseller and importer. I am assuming that the book mentioned by Lothrop on the card is "Alaska, Its Southern Coast and Sitkan Archipelago" by E. Ruhamah Scidmore, 1885. It would seem that Lothrop was going to sell this title through an arrangement with Westermann. The details of the business arrangement are unknown to me but this postcard does make clear that there was a relationship between the two companies

A very interesting card.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Very interesting indeed! Interesting book publishing history and a nice piece of ephemera history, the name for which I was unaware (pioneer postcards). I think I have a few of these postcards that qualify as "pioneer," which I'll have to dig up and review. Thanks for the education. Best wishes for the holiday season and New Year!

  3. Thanks Chuck,

    And a great holiday season to you and yours.


  4. The description of this item as a pioneer postcard is not accurate. It is a government issued pre-stamped postal card. The United States Post Office began issuing these in 1873. If the postal card had a picture on the non-address side it could have been described as a pioneer postcard. Most pioneer postcards (postal cards with a picture on the non-address side) came into being with the 1893 Columbian World Exposition in Chicago. An example of a pioneer postcard can be fund here http://libraryhistorybuff.blogspot.com/2009/06/womans-building-library-of-1893.html .

  5. Oops. I used the definitions provided by various sites. I stand corrected.

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