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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Books for Boys and Girls in Goshen, Indiana

The News Book Store in Goshen, Indiana had this Rand McNally children's book guide printed for them with the front cover of the stapled booklet customized to feature their business name. There is no date, but the time period appears to be circa 1920s-30s. A quick check for first or early Rand McNally printings of a sampling of these books confirms that time period.

The complete title of the guide is Books for Boys and Girls with Guide for Selection. The first page in the guide serves as the title page and contents page and indicates Rand McNally as the publisher of all the books listed. Click here to see another piece of Rand McNally ephemera I featured on this blog, which includes a very brief history of the company.


A brief description of this guide is also found on the first page, stating:
Rand McNally books for boys and girls have been especially selected and edited by competent and experienced editors and educators for the entertainment, inspiration, and education of children during their most impressionable years.
The pitch goes on to add a few words about the art work that illustrates their books:
And the illustrations, made by artists of recognizable ability, are not only a delight in themselves, but they also stimulate a taste for good art.
Following are samples of the books available and examples of the accompanying art.






Wondering if The News Book Store in Goshen left any trace of its existence that could be found via an Internet search, I did just that and found the following: A Standard History of Elkhart County, Indiana (1916) indicates The News Book Store was owned by the local newspaper, which also established a bookbinding office and a job printing office. Several addresses are indicated for the book store and its parent company, none of which match the address on the Rand McNally guide, but after a 1914 fire, the newspaper plant and job printing offices were rebuilt and the book store sold.

Perhaps contradicting this timeline somewhat is a Publisher's Weekly report from 1911 that indicates parent company stockholder Mr. Grant Himes bought all interest in the book store before the fire and ran it independent of the other operations. After the fire three years later, Himes had to have been the one to sell the book store. It must have continued under the same name until at least the time of the Rand McNally guide. At some point after the fire, presumably, The News Book Store wound up at 130 South Main Street.

If you do a Google maps search of that address and select the satellite view, you'll see that the business does not exist at that address and perhaps does not exist at all anywhere by any name. What's interesting, though, is the business down the street--another bookseller you may have heard about recently: Better World Books, a company with an innovative approach to the bookselling business. They're located just off South Main Street in Goshen. And if you look back at that Google map, you'll see that a few blocks down South Main Street is the Goshen News, which very well could be the descendant of the old News Printing Company, which once owned The News Book Store that sold the Rand McNally books in the Books for Boys and Girls guide.

The End.

2 comments:

  1. I just recently looked at a ledger for the years 1895,96 & 97, and 1905,06 & 07. The ledger was for a business in Virginia City, MT. Included were a number of billheads for A. C. McClurg & Company, Chicago. I am going to be purchasing some of this paper based on line items. Are you interested in any of them?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for the offer, Dave, but I have a few McClurgs already and prefer to find something different rather than add to what I already have. Appreciate you thinking of me, though!

    ReplyDelete

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