More cheap books on Nassau St.

In my previous post, I wrote about a bookseller at 124 Nassau St. in New York City--Nathan Tibbals & Sons--whose trade card advertised cheap books. He made a point of repeating that line a few times to emphasize the low prices.

I have evidence now that Tibbals had some competition a few doors down at 130 Nassau St.

Thomas O'Kane, a bookseller and publisher, was selling cheap books also, according to his bookseller label, which I just found yesterday and made part of my collection.

How's that for a coincidence? Write about one bookseller on Nassau St. in New York and a few days later learn about his neighbor in the same business, also selling cheap books.

O'Kane's label and Tibbals' trade card look to be from the late 1800s so I make the assumption that they were in business about the same time. If so, book buyers must have loved that cheap little stretch of Nassau St!

(Hint about my next post... this one provides a good segue into a collection from Europe that may be the largest of its kind.)


  1. Hi, I discovered your writing while looking up a book I was given the other day...The complete works of Shakespeare. It is from Thomas O'Kane and is signed by a now deceased lawyer (I do genealogy)November 1878.The book cover is in poor condition but the book itself is fair to good. It ended up in Otsego County by 1878,and I suspect perhaps mail order. Did they do that then?
    Thanks, Connor

  2. My quick answer is yes--as long as mail service has been around, mail order businesses for books and whatever else have been around. But I decided to research it anyway and I found some interesting history HERE. Seems that Benjamin Franklin may have been the first to do a mail order business in the United States around 1744. That's according to the National Mail Order Association (


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