Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - November - 2004 Issue

All Kinds of Americana <br>From Almagre Books

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A century later, Antonio Scarfoglio embarked on a much more extensive journey. His book is Round the World in a Motor-Car. That would be an accomplishment even today, but it's absolutely remarkable when you look at the book's date, 1909. The book recounts a truly remarkable race in 1908. Six teams began the race in New York, which included the first transcontinental automobile trip of America during winter. It would take the leader 13 days to reach Chicago, 41 days to reach San Francisco, and 131 days to complete the race. The Italians would arrive several weeks later. Part 1 covers their adventures through the United States, Parts 2 and 3 cover the trip through Asia and Europe. Of the six teams that started, Scarfoglio's Italian team finished third, one of only three to finish. To read about this amazing race, click the following link: www.leftrightonline.com/newsarticlesearch_detail.cfm?ID=26. Item 31. $375.

Here's another early automotive piece: The 1907 Gale. It's a catalogue for a little-remembered early automobile manufacturer from Galesburg, Illinois. The catalogue describes their various models and includes pictures of the cars and engines. I have not been able to find much information about this manufacturer, but it appears they were in operation for five or six years, and out of business by 1910. Among their claims was "Gale cars are the easiest to operate. Even the youngsters can run them." Perhaps this is why people stopped buying their cars. Item 33. $400.

This is an item that does not mix with your automobile: A Token of Remembrance Devoted to its Patrons by the Jos. Schlitz Brewing Co. It was, naturally, printed in Milwaukee in 1893. It includes many pictures from the old brewery covering the various stages of the process. Schlitz was once a major American brewer, the largest in the country at mid-20th century, larger than Budweiser or Miller. If you came of age in the 1960s or earlier, you may remember its distinctive flavor, which won the brewer a loyal following. In the 1970s, they began using cheaper ingredients, which pushed up profits for a time, but soon cost them their following. By the 1980s, they were out of business. Today there is still something in a can with the Schlitz logo, but "the beer that made Milwaukee famous" is brewed under contract to Miller Brewing, on behalf of former competitor Pabst, which now owns the brand, in San Antonio, Texas. Yippee. Item 455. $300.

There are many, many more interesting items in this catalogue. It is definitely worth a look. Almagre Books may be reached at 812-334-0465, or by email at wwroth@kiva.net

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