Showing posts from July, 2013

Wide Awake with D. Lothrop & Co.

Here is a Victorian trade card that promotes both the offerings of a publisher and bookseller that stocks those products for his customers. The colorful lithograph that graces the front of the card promotes D. Lothrop & Co.'s Wide Awake series with a subscription rate discount, as well as the single issue price. Similar information is offered at the bottom of the card for another children's periodical, Baby-Land .  The publisher's popular illustrated books and a free bookcase also get a mention squeezed in at the bottom of the card, with details on the reverse side. Those details on the reverse side follow the stamp of a local bookseller who has those items in stock or can get them for you from the publisher. The bookseller who issued this card to store patrons was D.F. Wallace of Cortland, New York, about 30 miles south of Syracuse. More on him and Cortland history in the 1870s to 1880s here . On Christmas Eve, 2011, I blogged about another D. Lothrop

Detroit Bookmobile at Cadillac Square, 1940

This press photo from 1940 shows a cab-over tractor trailer truck serving as a bookmobile, or Branch Library on Wheels, from the Detroit Library Commission, which governed the   Detroit Public Library .  This rig full of books is parked and posing at Cadillac Square. Most photos I've seen, or have in my collection, depict bookmobiles as more of the van or motorhome-looking variety, so it's nice to have something different like this in my collection. An editor's crop marks appear in the margins and just under the rear wheels of the truck. In the background is a building with the name Sam's and ads for discount merchandise. The reverse side of the photo identifies the location and date, as well as editor's notes, and the photographer's name--McGraw, whom I've determined to be  Howard McGraw . Curious about the location, I searched the Internet for images of Cadillac Square and found the one below from . It has a bird's eye view

The Greenaway House in Boston's Bookshop for Boys and Girls, 1938

The card below features a long-standing attraction at the Bookshop for Boys and Girls in Boston from the late 1920s and beyond. The reverse side is printed with information about the dolls and a rhyming announcement for The Spring Book Festival, May 2-7, 1938 at the bookshop. The Book Shop for Boys and Girls, an unconventional idea for the times, was conceived and started in October, 1916  by Bertha Mahony, of whom I've mentioned on this blog regarding the country's first traveling book truck devised to sell books. Read about it here: America's First Bookshop Caravan From the Bertha Mahony biography, The Spirited Life: Bertha Mahony Miller and Children's Books , by Eulalie Steinmetz Ross (The Horn Book, Inc., 1973), the origin of the doll known as Alice-Heidi was reported in the December 1916 issue of Little Folks Magazine. As the story goes,   Alice-Heidi fell out of Santa Claus' toy sack one Christmas Eve as his sleigh flew over Boston. She had the

P. Garrett & Co., Philadelphia Publisher, Bookseller, and Manufacturer

Here's a nice corner ad cover for a Philadelphia publisher and bookseller, P. Garrett & Co. This is reminiscent of another corner ad cover featured here previously-- S.H. Zahm & Co. , also of Pennsylvania, in Lancaster. The postmarks are only a year apart and I wonder if perhaps the same designer created both for those and other merchants throughout the region. Of Garrett, I can find little information, but his ad cover tells you a bit about his business at the time, which was 1891. He published and sold a series you can still find a good number of today: 100 Choice Selections . Those choice selections of poetry and prose, as the ad states, could be used for public readings, declamations, and social pastime. At 30 cents, the 216-page books sound like a bargain even in those times. Below is a Google Books image showing the title page of one of these publications several years prior. This piece provides Garrett's first name--the P stood for Phineas. Back t

Patriot Printer, Isaiah Thomas

Today, Independence Day in America, I'm remembering the patriot printer, Isaiah Thomas. What follows is from a previous post about Thomas on this blog a few years ago. This portrait, by Ethan Allen Greenwood, was found at the Web site for  The American Antiquarian Society  along with the biography (copied at the end of this post) of the man who has been referred to as the "Father of Ephemera."  He was a patriot in the American Revolution, a publisher, a printer, and a bookseller. Early in the nineteenth century, he recognized the significance of printed ephemera in America's young history and the need to preserve it for the historical record of a growing nation. After his retirement from business, he pursued writing a history of printing in America and founded the American Antiquarian Society, for which he wrote the following justification: We cannot obtain a knowledge of those who are to come after us, nor are we certain what will be the events of future times;