Original Dustjacket Artwork Featuring a Lynching
Merton Witten (Artist and designer) Illustrated scene of a lynching, being the original dustjacket art for the novel "The Curse at the Door", by Clara Morris Diggs. 15 ½ x 10 inch image on 18 ½ x 12 inch board.
There are printing directions at bottom of the image in the margins.
The board has several defects., some of which extend into the image itsel, though none are fatal.
There is scant info regarding Ms. Diggs, though there are at least two references regarding this work as a novel involving African Americans. Rare. $1750.
The address for Merton Whitten on the back of the board lists 35 Mt. Vernon St-this is Beacon Hill, and is in the same block (today) as the Colonial Society of Massachusetts (a very considerable old structure). Julia Ward Howe lived next door once upon a time. Whitten is listed as a "Commercial Artist" in the 1923 Boston Directory with a business address of 118-A Bowdoin. Provenance: Library of Congress.
Rare Piloting Directory to NYC Harbor, 1939
Fisher, H.B. Piloting Directory to New York City Harbor. Philadelphia: self-produced and copyrighted by H.B. Fisher, 1939. 40 leaves Fine condition.
Typed, Offset production, printed on one side only. Contains 8 MAPS. The maps are all offset and colored by hand. Binding: cloth binding with hand printed cover label. THIS IS THE COPYRIGHT DEPOSIT COPY sent by the author to partially fulfill the requirements of securing an American copyright. Contents: fine little production, in fine condition.
Provenance: ex-library, U.S. Library of Congress. This book was part of a very large collection of 90,000 pamphlets that we bought of the U.S. Library of Congress. Known simply as the "Pamphlet Collection" (as many of the pamphlets are identified in a distinctive and tiny 3mm rubber stamp), this pamphlet bears the "Surplus 1. Library of Congress" 30x50mm rubber stamp on the back cover, the stamp being half faded away. There is a tiny "LC" perforated stamp on the half-title page. There is also a Library of Congress Copyright Deposit bookplate on the front paste down. $500.00
Copyright Deposit Copy on Land Swindles in the Rio Grande Valley
HELMS, J. Tip. (1883-1948) Suckers, Land Companies and Grafters in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. (No place of publication, and no publisher) With copyright office processing stamps on the back of the title page. 1935. Printed from a typewritten copy (offset?) on 14"x8.5" sheets. 101 sheets, seemingly complete. Ca. 60,000 words. SOLD
There are no copies located in the OCLC/WorldCat, and there are no other works located there by Mr. Helms (of Monroe, N.C.). The title page is a typed original, and the copyright stamps are on the back of that. There is one Google notice on this work quoting the entry for the copyright office, and the numbers on this document and in the official records are the same.
Provenance: this copy came from the Library of Congress Pamphlet Collection, transferred at some point by the copyright office.
Condition: the title page is very tattered; the last sheet is missing a 2x3" section at the top left, destroying some text. The last three leaves all have a little damage at the top center, mostly just obscuring the page number. Overall though this is a very good copy of what may be a unique and unpublished work.
City Planning for Fort Worth, Texas, 1927
[Harland Bartholomew and Associates, City Plan and Land Engineers, St. Louis, Missouri] A System of Major Streets for Fort Worth, Texas.
11x8.5 inches, looking like third-generation carbon on very light semi-transparent paper (but not onion skin), 93+79 leaves, about 30,000 words. One copy located OCLC/Worldcat (Fort Worth Library). Provenance: Library of Congress "Pamphlet Collection". Nice condition. $300
Very comprehensive plan for restructuring Fort Worth, with lots of detail. There are back-out sheets for where the many maps should be, though this copy was not issued with them. (These placeholders are also not paginated and do not count in page totals.) I'm not sure what the purpose of this copy was, but it is still an interesting document, though it would've been great to have the maps.
[DIX, Dorothea Lynde] Memorial of D.L. Dix, Praying a grant of land for teh relief and support of the indigent curable and incurable insane in the United States, June 27, 1848, 30th Congress, 1st Session, Miscellaneous Document No. 150, 32pp. Two very old horizontal folds, some dustwear, and largely uncut. Good copy, from the Library of Congress (though with no stamp) via the Smithsonian Institution. Sold.
Dorothea L(ynde) Dix was an ultratrian, a very-much-practiced humaritarian who for years fought for the stabilized and just treatment of people with disabilities, mainly and for extended periods of time and travel for those suffering from mental diseases and development. The pamphlet that I've reproduced below is a generalized statement for her appeal before the U.S. Congress based on her 30,000 miles of travels throughout the country, visiting nine states and inspecting the ways in which "the indigent curable and incurable insane" were treated. She gathered data on how these people were kept--state by state--and also the reasons for their being admitted to whatever facility they found themselves in. This is pioneering work on behalf of a class of people who really needed the help, and her report in general is not pretty story, a version of the Willowbrook story without the cameras, 120 years earlier.
I've linked the text from the copy from the National Medical Library (located here, though the front page above is from right here) which has a very elegant access to the 32-page document. The Dix above is a decent copy that was once in the library of the Smithsonian Institution before being sent to the Library of Congress, where it slept in a very dusty and unused assembly of odd and odder pamphlets (called The Pamphlet Collection) before coming to me.
I'm including an unlikely image from my copy--the bit of string and the knot that held the pages of this document together. Rather than the stitching normally found in these pamphlets issued by U.S. goverment printers Tippin & Streeper (identified in tiny 3-point print at the bottom of the front page) this one has only a single side-saddled stitch, with a tenuous double knot, holding the sheets of paper together. It was almost as though the thing was constructed for impermanence--it wasn't, of course; it was just bound quickly and with little thought. Somehow it kept itself together.
Two Rare Pamphlets on the Assassination of Hitler
Der 20 Juli 1944.
(Aus Berichte, die dem Vorstand der Sozialdemokratischen Partei Deutshclands, Sitz London...) No evidence of publisher or date of publication, but OCLC identifies the pub date as 1944. 11pp, 8x6 inches/21cm. [Issued by the London Representative of the German Social Democratic Party]
Provenance: Office of Strategic Services Library (stamped on front cover), and then sent to the Library of Congress in 1947.
Only one copy located in the WorldCat/OCLC: Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek
20 July, 1944. The Story of an Attempted Revolt in Germany As above, 11pp, 8x6 inches, 21 cm.
[Issued by the London Representative of the German Social Democratic Party]
Provenance: Office of Strategic Services Library (stamped on front cover), and then sent to the Library of Congress in 1947.
Only one copy located in the WorldCat/OCLC: London Metropolitan Library.
Although only 11pp, they are tightly spaced, typewritten offset productions, about 450 words per page, or about a 5,000 word piece. The section heads include: “History of a Revolutionary Attempt in Hitlerite Germany”; “Preparations for the Coup”; “Connections with Oppositional Officers”; “The Attempt on Hitler”; “Terroristic Nazi Meassures”; “The Attitudes of the Social Democrats”; “The State of Mind of the Population in General”; “The Feelings in the Factories”; “The Prospects of the Communists”.
Rare. The pair: $600
WOHLSTETTER, Albert. The Delicate Balance of Terror, published by The Rand Corporation, Santa Monica, P-2473, 22 August 1958, 11x8 inch mimeographic/offset publication, staple bound, three-ring punched for binding. This is the scarce Rand publication that appeared a year or so before Wholstetter's most influential paper was published in Foreign Affairs. Full text, here. $150
The Electrical Nerves of Society and the Beginning of the Grid, 1878
Norman Lockyear. Two papers:
"Social Electric Nerves", pp 305-306. In Nature, February 14, 1878.
"Social Electric Nerves", pp 346-349. In Nature, February 28, 1878
Both are in their original outer wrappers, and both are removed from a larger bound volume. Scarce attention seems to be paid these two interesting papers! Very fresh copies. $300 (See excerpt at end)
I’m interested to know what anyone might know about the use of metaphors relating large-scale societal techno advances and biological functions? I have no doubt that they go back to modern-ancient times (say to William Gilbert (1544-1603) and his vis electrica)—but I’m stopped today by seeing this paper by J. Norman Lockyer called “Social Electrical Nerves” (in two issues of Nature for 14 and 28 February 1878). In this paper the great astronomer looks at elements of the “grid” as it was and seeing how the new networks of police and fire communications via telegraph interacts with the existing electrical systems. It seems to me an early use of nervous system/electrical grid, in spite of the fact the first “electrical highways” (as Lockyer puts it 120 years before our own “information superhighway”) appeared in England 32 years earlier though apparently without these biological metaphors.
The work pictured above is the electrically-draped world of the future, at least according to the vision of the wonderful Albert Robida, who was actually at work on these visions just at the time of the publication of the Lockyear paper . (Robida produced at least a trio of interesting and lovely and occasionally prescient works: Le Vingtième Siècle (1883); La Guerre au vingtième siècle (1887); and Le Vingtième siècle-- La vie électrique (1890)). Many of Robida’s visions of electrical connectivity seem to me to move beyond the nervous system metaphor and become a kind of societal “skin”—which is not terribly far from the truth, especially when looking at images of congested metropolitan centers ca. 1910, when utility poles fairly well sagged under 20 (!) horizontal crossbars carrying a dozen lines apiece. At the very least, you knew that something or other was happening (fast forward to the massive ductworks of Terry Gilliam’s masterpiece, Brazil. Check this out for a wonderful cameo by De Niro coming to fix the neuronal duct-muck.)
Black Iron Mine Workers, Birmingham, Alabama, 1918.
I found this item today out in the warehouse, mixed in for some reason with Hitler Jugend pamphlets and many issues of the 19th century Archiv fuer Anthropologie, just completely out of place. It is an accordion fold multiple panel oversize postcard, I suppose, an advertisement for a meeting of the Rotary Club of Birmingham, Alabama, and probably for 1917/1918.
Which is a detail of the image (below):
Unfolded the obect is 25 inches long and about 9 inches wide, divided by five panels, seven of which have photographic images, one is for the contact information, and one for the addressing and mailing part. It all folds nicely into a somewhat-larger-than-pocket-size object, printed on pretty thick, very stick stock. Nice condition. $125
There are internal clues for the date, not the least of which is the last year for some census information (1917) and a 19123 Irving Berlin song, "When the Midnight Choo-Choo Leaves for Alabama". The "card" was addressed to "The President/White House/Washington, D..C.". It evidently got to Mr. Wilson's house because there is a very faint rubber stamp on the back that reads "by Transfer/White House" , sent by the Executive Office workers to the Library of Congress, and after 80 years or so purchased by me when I brought home the so-called "Pamphlet Collection" from the L.C. surplus. (Those days are over.)
The other images relate mostly to the iron/steel industry, long a staple of the Birmingham economy. Five of the photos relate to the iron mining, blast furnaces, and loading steel rails; the other two are cityscapes of the city. In all of this, why two of the total of seven photos showed Black miners doing some body-breaking work in the mines is a mystery. The two men holding massive rocks in the picture detail is an exceptional thing--my guess is that the rocks weight 75-100 pounds, easy.. And if this is what these men were doing every day, they must've been exceptionally strong in a steel-bar sort of way, with enormously powerful hands. It just a mystery to me.
Collection of Air Warden/Air Raid Precaution Mimeographs
(1) Lecture Manual for Air Raid Warden Instructions, March 9, 1942. Mimeograph, 11x8 inch sheets; 28 leaves and 27 leaves of appendices.Printed by the WPA in San Francisco.
(2) Course Outline, Aerial Bombardment Protection. 11x8 inch mimeograph sheets, printed by New York University, College of Engineering, 1942.
with (2b) Separately printed and bound sections of the above. Chapter XIX (Air Raid Shelters), pp 59-72.
(3) Air Raid Shelter Requirements, by Horace W. Peaslee (Chair, American Institute of Architects). 1942. 16pp. Mimeograph sheets.
All rare. The three: $350.00
From the Pamphlet Collection, the Library of Congress.