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.