Rare Book Monthly
Articles - November - 2003 Issue
America, America (and two more Americas)<br>Four new Americana Catalogues
Here’s an item that will interest practically no one: The History of a Lead Pencil, by Walton Day. Actually, Joseph Dixon and his Dixon Crucible Company of Jersey City was the world’s largest manufacturer of lead pencils back in 1894, but who cares? Item 429. $30.
Bottle Collectors may care about item 89, Edwin Barber’s American Glassware Old and New… It’s a manual for collectors of old bottles, which should be useful today to collectors of very old bottles since it was printed in 1900. $60.
Items 1003-1113 are an odd collection of books from Cornelius W. Larison. An example is item 1007, Reminissensez ov Scul Lif. It’s what we’d call “Reminiscences of School Life.” You see, Larison wrote most of his works in phonics, or as he would write it, “fonics.” Most titles are priced from $60-$150, but you’ll pay a bit more ($400) for a very interesting item about Silvia Dubois, …A Biografy of the Slav who Whipt her Mistres and Gand her Fredom. Dr. Larison interviewed the former slave who was supposed to be 116-years-old back in 1883. This is her story, in phonetics, of course.
There are also many very interesting particularly New Jersey items available. Item 35 is what may be the best Revolutionary War map of New Jersey, depicting Washington’s troop movements from December 26, 1776, to January 3, 1777. From 1777. $8,000. Item 92 is the first edition of Barber and Howe’s most popular New Jersey history, from 1844 ($225), while item 91 is the final edition of this work from 1868 ($200). Item 132 is the first Bible printed in New Jersey. From 1791. $2,500. And items 590-603 are works by Joseph Felcone himself, primarily bibliographic in nature. Along with being a bookseller, Felcone is New Jersey’s principal modern day bibliographer.
Joseph J. Felcone, Inc., can be reached on the web at www.felcone.com or by phone at 609-924-0539.
Our final catalogue to be reviewed is William Reese Co.’s “227 The Louisiana Purchase.” It celebrates the 200th anniversary this year of this enormous land purchase that made America the large and powerful nation it is today. The “Louisiana” of 1803 ran all the way from the Gulf of Mexico to the Canadian border. The $15 million purchase doubled the size of the United States overnight, and made possible the eventual further expansion of the country all the way to the Pacific. Were it not for this purchase, America’s west coast today would not be the Pacific beaches, but the banks of the Mississippi. And, mon Dieu, the French would be staring across from the other side.