For many years, baseball and Chicago were not synonymous. In 1939, it had already been 22 years since the Windy City had seen a World Series champion, and it would be another 66 years before it would see its next. However, with the White Sox finally ending that drought a few months ago, item 92 suddenly sounds more appealing. It is Baseball in Old Chicago, and this will take you back to Chicago baseball in the 19th century. $150.
Now to an even bigger city: New York. Item 326 is Underneath New York. It is "an anatomy of a modern city," a description of the infrastructure, heating, sewerage, water and electricity, lying beneath the city's surface. This book was not published until 1947 though written earlier. It was feared that saboteurs might use the information to disrupt the city's functions during the War. $35.
One of the most popular of the WPA books, and today again most timely, was the 1938 title New England Hurricane. A Factual Pictorial Record. This was an extraordinarily powerful storm, not quite on the level of Katrina, but more like Rita. It hit as a Category 3, winds at 121 mph with gusts as high as 186. The storm surge reached up to 17 feet in Rhode Island. However, what made this perhaps even more devastating in its day than the current storms is that this one hit virtually without warning. The sophisticated warning systems now in place did not exist at the time. No satellites, no radar, no ocean buoys were available. Forecasters believed the storm would stay out at sea. So New Englanders, expecting only a cloudy and windy day, were unprepared. Instead, the rapidly moving hurricane crossed New York's Long Island and then crashed in at Milford, Connecticut, right at high tide. The high forward motion of the hurricane, 60 mph, added to the power of the hurricane force winds. By the time the storm was over, 700 people lay dead, and today's equivalent of $15 billion in damage had been incurred. At peak, Providence, Rhode Island, was under as much as twenty feet of water. Western New England and New York sustained major flooding from heavy rains. This book includes descriptions and pictures of the terrible disaster. Its popularity makes it a fairly common title, but item 556 is a copy of its scarce first printing. $75.
Items 404-451 are from the elementary science series. The topics are widely varied and sometimes surprising. Among the titles offered are Lumber, Oil and Gas, Gold, Aluminum, Plastics, Frogs, Pigeons, Salmon, Oysters, Grapes, Aircraft, Warships, Money, Radio, and Television. Television in 1942? That must have been revolutionary. There is Life in an Ant Hill, and the Romance of Rubber. Then there are "The Story of..." books, including the stories of copper, iron and steel, clay, glass, bees, and paper. You can learn about Rayon, Nylon and Glass Fibers, or the soon to fade technology in Trains Going By. The pricing of these titles runs from $20 to $100.
You may reach Schoyer's Books at 800-356-2199 or firstname.lastname@example.org.