Rare Work on Depression Los Angeles, 1936--No Copies in WorldCat
Reimer, Edward H. and Edward Elliott. The Struggle for Life in Los Angeles County. Published by Edward Reimer (825 West 8th St), L.A. Presumably Reimer printed the document, as well, it just has that homemade feel to it, and it seems to be an early mimeographic reproduction production, and, probably, of very limited distribution. Printed on 11x8.5" sheets in purple ink, 107pp, running about 60,000 words. This is also the Copyright Deposit copy (serial A 208715, July 6, 1936), which then became part of the "Pamphlet Collection" of the Library of Congress before we purchased that collection.
The condition of the document is generally good, though 10% of the text has become very faded and legible only as enhanced scans. That said, this seems to be the only available copy of any interesting report on the conditions and remedies of social and economic conditions in Los Angeles in the mid-1930's. $1750
A Remarkable Recorded Dream
A Remarkable Dream. Manuscript. 4pp. 9x7 inches. Ca. 1800-1825. Old toning. Nice condition. $350
The Dreamworks of Human Beings over the last 10,000 years have generally not directly survived, unless they were painted on a cave wall, or saved in the spoken tradition, or recorded in a painting, or written down as literature or poetry or religious tracts (as "visions", say). The work of human brains while asleep is almost entirely lost, especially so before the year 1900, when disposable writing instruments and more easily found paper supply came into being, making it possible to record personal ephemera like dreams and wishes and posie notions. A vast amount of subconscious thinking and overall brain activity is just simply disappeared.
An off-the-cuff guessitmate is that humans have had the capacity to have dreamt 10x10^25 dreams over the last 10,000 years, and before the year 1900 I'd say that .00000000000000001% of them have ever been recorded, have ever found a stable platform to be carried into the future. (It would be easier to pass a monumental camel through the eye of a nanoneedle than it would be to try and reconstruct these dreams, paraphrasing Luke 10:25 as long as we'ev got 1^25 in our sights.) Even though the human brain spent probably 20% of its time over human history dreaming, there is almost nothing to show for it.
Here's a surviving dream, a manuscript--or rather a copy of a manuscript--called "A Remarkable Dream--Dreamed by B.C. in England 10 Month 30 1762". It is four pages of pretty densely packed recollection of a long dream, 4,000 words strong, recalling fire and brimstone visions of the Bad Land, some sights of Heaven, remarkable animals, strange happenings, and general Ecclesiastical undertones. One unusual thing--there is mention of color, which seems not to be common in dreams in general.
I've found several examples of this dream/story, copied by different hands over the decades--it seems to have been a somewhat popular account, transcribed by (young?) folks as a part of a lesson, perhaps with a Quaker-related bearing (?).
This manuscript copy (available for purchase from our blog bookstore) was made in the very early 19th century, 1800-1820 or thereabouts, and my guess is that it is American.
I've scanned all four pages for the eager reader. It is a little bit of a tough go, but your eyes get used to the writing style after a while.
Everything You Wanted and Need to Know about Operating Movable Bridges in NYC
[LUBIN, Isador] Bridges and Bridge Operating in New York City. 1939. 11x8", 114pp, single-spaced typed and mimeographed document of about 70,000 words. This also seems to be a copyright deposit copy. Very good condition. Ex-libris, Library of Congress (with their small "LC" perforated stamp on front cover, staple-bound. No copies located in the OCLC/WorldCat $500
Lubin discusses the operations and maintenance of movable bridges--and I mean all manner of things, from oiling to fuse boxes and lighting scenarios of control boxes and communicating with landside control; unioforms, courtesies, questions given in promotion examination to bridge operators (with answers), duties of bridge operators and tenders in operating drawbridges, distress signals and on and on.
Antiquarian Map of the U.S. Drawn by a Child, ca. 1880
It is difficult to find children's art from the 19th century--original work, printed work, published work. Very difficult--perhaps even more so for the published work than the manuscript. It is easy to understand why: first, the children would need access to paper and pencil or pen and ink--items that had some cost, that were not inexpensive, not available to the vast majority of children. Their work was ephemeral, produced on slate, or in horn books, or in charcoal on a wall, or in dust. Then, if the children did manage to record their creativity, then it would have to survive a generation of possessionship within their own lifetimes--to survive from the first part of the 19th century, the paperwork would have to survive five generations or more, 150+ years of house cleanings. Tough odds.
That is why it is also a little special when I come across larger manuscript works that have survived against these odds.
This map of the United States isn't so simple as it seems--although there are no major cities located in any states, many rivers are, as well as mountain ranges. The coastlines get a very nice treatment with recessive blue lines, giving the map a certain dimensionality, and the lettering of the states is also distinctive, with the terminals of the letters in the state names ending with dots or lines.
I'd guess that the map was done around Centennial time, 1876 to the mid-1880's, the biggest clues being the inclusive of Wyoming (which sets a date after 1868) and the large Dakota Territory, which would become North and South Dakota in 1889.
As maps by kids go, this one is fairly large at 12"x15"--it is about the largest single sheet artwork that I have in a 150-odd pieces of antiquarian children's art collection...also I wonder about how the kid in 1880-whatever got her/himself such a large piece of paper to work with, as it seems to me to be not a simple task. $750
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
German Report on British Bombing Raid on HydrierekScholven AG--1940
Fliegerangriff in der Nachct vom 17./18.8.40 auf die Hydrierwek Schloven AG.
1940. Fine condition. With 27 original photographs displaying bombing damage
**NOTE: Hdydrierwerk Scholven A.G. was a synthetic petroleum plant and was one of the earliest targets of the British in the Ruhr Valley. It was owned by the Hibernia Mining Company, as a hydrogenation plant in 1935. Gelsenkirchen is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is located in the northern part of the Ruhr area.
Publication Data: no indication of author/printer or which agency/department was responsible, but this looks like (to me) to be the beginning of a standard protocol on reporting damage from British bombing raids. It seems as though the typing under the captions is first generation. This may be a unique copy or perhaps (at worst) one of several. I would say it was of extremely highly limited distribution.
Size: 11.5 x 8.5 inches. 20 leaves with 27 original photographic images of damage caused by the bombing. Each leave is quite thick—much more stiff and heavy than a 110-lb cover stock sheet. The photos are all 3 x 4.5 inches, and are clear and bright.
Condition: 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” it is identified by a distinctive and tiny 3mm perforated stamp, plus a bookplate at the front pastedown.
Binding: bound in thick cloth boards. $500.00
"Gelsenkirchen in the time of the Third Reich In the time when the Nazis held sway in Germany, Gelsenkirchen, owing to its location in the heart of the Ruhr area, was a centre of wartime industry. In no other time has Gelsenkirchen's industry been so highly productive. This brought about, on the one hand, after the massive job cuts in the 1920s, a short-term boost in mining and heavy-industry jobs. On the other hand, the city naturally became the target of many heavy Allied bombing raids during the Second World War, which destroyed three fourths of Gelsenkirchen. Even today, many old above-ground air-raid shelters can be found in the city, and some of the city's official buildings such as Hans-Sachs-Haus downtown and the town hall in Buer have air-raid shelters still kept more or less in their original form. Two synagogues in Gelsenkirchen were destroyed in the anti-Jewish riots of Kristallnacht in November 1938. The one in Buer was burnt down. The one in downtown Gelsenkirchen was likewise destroyed. Exactly 66 years later, the cornerstone was laid there for a new synagogue. The Institute for City History set up a documentation site: "Gelsenkirchen in National Socialist times". Throughout the time when Hitler was in power, from 1933 to 1945, the city's mayor was Carl Engelbert Böhmer, an NSDAP member..."
Rare Pilot's 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.
Size: 10 x 8 inches. 40 leaves. 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. Condition: 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 pastedown. $500.00
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
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.
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. SOLD
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.
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. SOLD
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.
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. SOLD
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. SOLD (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.)