Sunday, December 11, 2011

Merry Christmas from D. Lothrop and Company

Last year around Christmas I showed a nice D. Lothrop and Company trade card from about 1886. This card is identical on the reverse to that one. The front shows the same little girl in a different scene. Clearly Lothrop produced a series of cards for the holidays.

Of interest is that last year a very alert reader noted that the little girl wore glasses- very unusual to see on a trade card. On that card the little girl was reading and perhaps needed glasses. On this card the little girl is playing with her dolls and has no glasses.

''Happy Holidays"

Saturday, December 10, 2011

James Miller , New York Publisher Trade Card

James Miller was a New York Publisher active between 1860 and 1883. It succeeded the C.S. Francis publishing house. Its areas of concentration were juvenile books and illustrated gift books. Miller is thought to be the first that made a practice of bringing out books in series as boxed sets. In the later years of James Miller it was thought to be more of a bookseller than a book publisher.

James Miller was considered one of the giants of New York publishing in the mid-nineteenth century . Miller died in 1883 at the age of 61 at which point the James Miller publishing company publisher also passed away.

An obituary in the American Bookseller stated that his "immediate cause of death was due to a shock received from papers served upon him" related to a lawsuit. How simple a time must the 19th century have been!

In my 2003 bibliography I included 28 James Miller juvenile series. I suspect that there will be quite a few more in the upcoming revision.

Here is a nice trade card for this publisher. Between 1878 and 1883 Miller was at the 779 Broadway address.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Another Albert Bigelow Paine Inscription

This book is #5 in the Boys and Girls Booklovers Series. See
Initially it was published as a non series book in 1903 and in 1905 became part of the aforementioned series.

This book has an inscription by the author to the dedicatee of the book. But even better is that the dedicatee is also the title character of the book.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Altemus' Circus Boys Series Dust Jackets

The earliest editions of this five volume Henry Altemus Company published series are hard to find with dust jackets. The books published before 1915 had the brown uncoated dust jackets which tend to be quite brittle. The later jackets of Format 2 and Format 3 have the white coated paper.

Teddy Tucker and Phil Forrest travel with the circus and have the usual incredible adventures that most likely can only be found within the pages of juvenile fiction. The books were written by Frank Gee Patchin (who also wrote the Pony Rider Boys Series) using the pseudonym of Edgar B. P. Darlington.

1 Circus Boys on the Flying Rings 1910
2 Circus Boys Across the Continent 1911
3 Circus Boys in Dixie Land 1911
4 Circus Boys on the Mississippi 1912
5 Circus Boys on the Plains 1920
6 Circus Boys at the Top (not published)

Several different covers/dust jackets were used during this series' publishing history. The Format 1 dust jackets have just been added to the database.
On the First Edition jacket (above) both both boys have entirely orange uniforms whereas the later First Format jacket (below) is different. In the latter jacket the boy standing on the rings has a black uniform. This jacket design was used until about 1915.

Beginning in about 1915 and ending in 1924 the line drawn dust jacket has a clown pictured on its cover. The later jacket in this format has brown lettering.

From 1924 until the end of this series' run in the early 1930's the dust jacket cover was a multicolored pictorial one with a circus panorama.

This series was reprinted by Saalfield and Company in 1934 as set #1353 after Henry Altemus went out of business. All five books were sold separately as well as in boxed sets of (any) three. These reprints were published for a number of years. The dust jacket is identical to that of the last Altemus format.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Albert Bigelow Paine Inscription to Book Dedicatee

Having the first edition of a book is great . Having the first copy of a book with an author's inscription is even better. Here is the ultimate (at least to me). An author's inscription to the dedicatee which states "first copy".

Shown here are the cover of the book, Paine's inscription and the dedication page from the book.

Albert Bigelow Paine wrote several books that were published by Henry Altemus. Paine is most widely known for his four volume Mark Twain biography. But he also wrote a number of other books including Altemus' three volume Arkansaw Bear Series.

The first book, The Arkansaw Bear, was published in 1898. The second book, Elsie and the Arkansaw Bear (pictured here) was published in 1909. In 1929 Arkansaw Bear Complete which included both earlier books was published.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

W. B. Conkey Dust Jacket

Sport's themes on the covers of juvenile series books in the early 1900's are a common finding. Discoveries of baseball, football and track are probably the most common. Tennis, on the other hand, is quite scarce as a cover subject.

In a previous blog post I pictured a number of covers with different sports including the High School Girl Series which has a tennis cover and dust jacket.

Here is another tennis dust jacket.

This book is from the 50 volume Varsity Series that was published by W.B. Conkey in the early 1900's. The titles are all reprints. Conkey published numerous publisher's series (of which this is one) as well as many children's board books. Its list also contained most all the usual subjects.

The Varsity Series included books by Henty, Optic, Verne in addition to other well known authors of the time.

Finding Conkey books with dust jackets is somewhat difficult. In fact, most advertisements note-"no jacket, as issued". That statement is generally wrong about all the publishers of the era, including Conkey. Of course, notwithstanding that an example of a Varsity Series jacket is shown here, the Conkey catalogue does note that the series was published with "printed wrappers"

Monday, July 4, 2011

Henry A. Young and Company-Publisher Trade Card

Here is a trade card for Henry A. Young. Its date is estimated between 1877 and 1882.

Henry A. Young and Company was a Boston publishing house which was active from 1868 into the 1880's. Early on Henry A. Young was associated with Andrew F. Graves (1862-1868). Graves and Young mostly published religious books and children's/ juvenile series. After its association with Graves ended, Young published numerous juvenile/children's books in series from 1868 until about 1880 when it changed directions and concentrated on educational books, Sunday School books, scrap books, and books for entertainment.

During these years (1868- early 1880's) it published books on the Henry A. Young and Company imprint except in the 1874-1875 time frame. During that period Young published with Bartlett as Young and Bartlett in a short lived business arrangement

In May 1877 it moved to the 13 Bromfield address from Cornhill Street. By 1883 it was located at Arch Street also in Boston.

In my original 19th century juvenile series bibliography (2003) there are 33 series published by Henry A. Young. In the update there are 68 series. Most of the Young books were original sold in boxed sets. The "Young" series did not stand out in any way. A few of its authors are well known , like Harriette Newell Baker (Aunt Hattie/Madeline Leslie) and Daniel Wise (Lance Lancewood) but most of the series remain totally under the radar of most collectors.

The books typically were blindstamped with gold gilt decorations and lettering on the spine. A couple of examples are below.

The blue book is from the Little Folk's Library. The green book, Will and the Donkey, is from Little Willie's Library.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Sheldon and Company-19th Century Publisher

Sheldon and Company was an important New York publisher in the mid-1800's. My interest in it stems from its publication of juvenile series books. In my bibliography published in 2003 I described 23 series. In the upcoming new edition there will be 49 series noted and discussed.

The company was founded by Smith Sheldon. Initially urged by Baptist friends to publish denominational books, he moved to New York and purchased the interest of the Mr. Law in Lamport, Blakeman and Law and thus founded Sheldon, Lamport and Blakeman in 1854.

Lamport retired in 1856 and thus Sheldon, Blakeman and Company was born. In 1859 Blakeman left the firm to join Albert Mason in a new firm Blakeman and Mason. So Sheldon and Company was founded.

I am enclosing copies of two letterheads from 1859. These are quite informative since they list partners in the firm and show a partial catalogue of Sheldon'd booklist.

Some of the most popular of the Sheldon books were those series written by Jacob Abbott. The ten volume Rollo's Tour in Europe Series was published in a number of formats. In addition Abbot's Florence Stories, Harlie Series, the Rollo Books, Rollo's Story Books, and Abbott's
American Histories were all popular series published by Sheldon

Sheldon published series by other well known authors also. These included the Cottage Series by Peter Parley, Home Stories by T. S. Arthur and Jack Trowbridge's Brighthope Series.

In addition to Abbott's works, Sheldon published a couple of extremely popular travelogue juvenile series. These included the Spectacle Series by Sarah. W. Lander and Walter's Tour in the East by Daniel Eddy. The Percy Family, another travelogue series by Daniel Eddy was co-published with Graves and Young in the early 1860's

The formats of the Sheldon books went through a standard evolution. The early books were blindstamped with various cover patterns and gold gilt titles and decorations on the spines.

By the early 1870's the covers of most of the series books also had gold gilt designs and lettering. Examples are shown here.

The Sheldon series books originally could be bought individually or in boxed sets. Finding single books is not especially hard. Finding them in boxed sets is next to impossible.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Unusual book-The Jingle of a Jap published by Caldwell

As I continue to work on a bibliography of the H. M. Caldwell publishing company, I have come across a very unusual book. In the past I have shown books with various cover attachments but never anything like this.

In 1906 Caldwell published a not quite politically correct book entitled The Jingle of a Jap. This attractive book was written and illustrated by Clara Bell Thurston. It is about the love of a Japanese doll for a Parisian doll. This was an interracial theme not widely accepted in that era. Glossy pages with beautiful illustrations are plentiful throughout the book.

The cover of this book is made of cretonne. This is a "strong , white fabric with a hempen warp and linen weft". ( Clearly the covers of this edition were taken from a large decorative piece of linen such that each book takes a slightly different piece of the linen swatch. Thus, each cover is distinct. This is similar to that which is seen on the Altemus Boys and Girls' Classics Series. See: .

The first edition though is quite unique. A bisque doll is attached by twine in the upper right corner of the cover.

This very rare first edition came in an oversized box which is large enough to put the book and doll into without difficulty. The picture on the box is identical to the title page.

I have seen three books with dolls and interestingly enough each of the three dolls had different clothing. I am showing the other books/dolls . One is for sale at this site:

The other is shown here at a site about japanese Dolls:

The second edition was published in 1907. This book has board covers with an inlaid cover picture which duplicates the title page.

A very fascinating book.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Estes and Lauriat Trade Card- The Zigzag Series

In the past I have shown several trade cards advertising Estes and Lauriat published books. Here is another card from this Boston Publisher. This small card ( 4.75 x 2.5) advertises one Zigzag book the back.
Previously Butterworth's Zigzag Series has been discussed. It was perhaps the most popular series that Estes and Lauriat published. The Journeys in Europe book was published in 1880. Zigzag JOurneys in Classic Lands was published in 1881. This card therefore is most likely from 1881.

The two formats of "Europe" which are noted in the advertisement on the trade card are shown below.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

D.C. Heath and Co. with an Advertising Postcard

An advertising postcard from 1897 for D. C. Heath and Company is shown here today. Rarely do the publishers of educational books get any significant mention in book blogs or on rare book sites. I thought this postcard might be a nice way to introduce this publishing house.

Daniel Collamore Heath founded his publishing house in 1885. He was born in Salem, Maine in 1843 and later graduated from Amherst College in 1868. He taught school for awhile and was superintendent of schools in Farmington Maine for a year. Heath attended the Bangor Theological Seminary after college also but illness prevented his graduation and subsequent entry into the ministry.

Boston office of D.C. Heath and Company beginning in 1914

Another educational publishing firm, the Ginn Brothers, offered him a job as a salesman for the books of Ginn's company and because of Heath's great success he was offered a permanent job with Ginn, opening Ginn's New York Office Heath was made a partner in 1876 when one of the Ginn brothers retired. The firm was renamed Ginn and Heath at that time. Nine years later in 1885 Heath went out on his own founding the D.C. Heath and Company publishing house.

Heath and his company felt they had a new idea for education. They concentrated on science. In 1886 there were only 24 books and pamphlets on their list but half were science related. These science texts were designed to have the student understand concepts and not just memorize facts.

Heath died in 1908 but the company carried on with the publication of textbooks and educational titles.

Although it began in Boston, by 1925 D.C. Heath also had offices in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, London and San Francisco.

In 1995 D. C. Heath and Company was acquired by Houghton Miflin for 455 million dollars.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Horatio Alger Trade Card-The Backwood's Boy

Abraham Lincoln, The Backwoods Boy; or, How a Rail-Splitter Became President was written by Horatio Alger and published first by John R. Anderson & Henry S. Allen in 1883.
Here is a trade card for that book. I believe this card refers to the first edition. The later reprints by David McKay and Street and Smith which are titled " The Backwood's Boy" do not mention the "Rail-Splitter" in the subtitle.

This card notes the price of the book as $1.00. The original price on the first edition is $1.25. Perhaps the bookseller discounted the price.

I have seen not any other trade cards for Alger books. I believe that they must be quite scarce

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A. L. Bancroft S.F. Publisher Advertising Cover

Generally, when I think of the locations of 19th century book publishers I think of Boston, Philadelphia and New York. Even Chicago and Cincinnati make my short list. Publishers west of the Mississippi just do not appear on my radar.

In about 1870 Albert Little Bancroft succeeded his brother's publishing firm. The latter, H. H. Bancroft , founded by Hubert Howe Bancroft, was an active publishing house from 1856-1870. In 1870, Hubert wanted to concentrate on his writing (especially historical works relating to the California and the West Coast) and thus gave up his firm to his brother , the firm becoming A. L. Bancroft & Co.

The latter firm concentrated on law books, reference books, and blank books. The Bancroft publishing building burnt down in April, 1886.

Here is an advertising cover for A. L. Bancroft & Co. It is for a blank book.