FABS Newsletter Last Quarter 2015 First Quarter 2016

Long Island Book Collectors

The highlight of our annual luncheon, held at the fabled Milleridge Inn in Jericho, Long Island, was collector Joe Rainone‘s condensed history of the American Comic and Comic Book. Together we traveled back in time to the origins of beloved super characters and cartoon personalities. Mr. Rainone traced their origin all the way back to the paintings of the Lascaux caves in France fifteen thousand years ago , the earliest Egyptian narrative paintings from 3,000 B.C., and the 1066 Bayeux Tapestry ‘s sequential imagery of the story of the Norman Conquest.

A woodcut on paper of The Burning of Mr. John Rogers accompanying a poem written by the minister of the gospel in London for his nine children in 1554 was cited by Mr. Rainone as exemplary of an early cartoon-like drawing. It was written a few days before he was burnt to death, becoming the first martyr of Queen Mary’s reign. Segueing from William Hogarth’s engraved designs in the 1700s to Ben Franklin’s prominent American paper, The Pennsylvania Gazette (1728-1800) to the Peter Porcupine Gazette, to the appearance of Washington Irving’s Salmagundi Papers (1807-1808) followed by his Comic History of New York (1809) starring the fictitious Diedrich Knickerbocker, and bestowing on the city the name “Gotham”.

Eager to show us the trajectory of America’s love affair with the comic form, Mr. Rainone cited The Idiot (1818), hand set in an early periodical, Elton & Elms Comic Almanacs (1831), and the first original comic book published in New York City in 1842 and The Adventures of Mr. Obadiah Oldbuck as progenitors of such cherished favorites as The Harvard Lampoon (1879), The Yellow Kid (1860-1900 published in Truth magazine), The Katzenjammer Kids (1897 debut in the American Humorist, the Sunday supplement of William Randolph Hearst’s New York Journal), and Gasoline Alley comic monthly (1869).
As Mr. Rainone says, “the periodical has always been the cheapest form of popular American fiction available to American buyers.” It follows then that our national appreciation for such comic heroes as Tarzan, Popeye, Dick Tracey, Little Abner, Terry and the Pirates, Spiderman, and DC comics’ The Flash and Green Lantern , have led us from pulp magazines and 10 cent comics to the graphic novels of today.

Cookbooks provided the impetus for our January get-together. The mere presence of the recipe laden books and drink mixing manuals seemed to send each of us back into a specific personal past. One by one we revealed the stories behind the books. A small shirt-pocket size Professional Mixing Guide (1947-1950) published by the Angostura Wuppermann Corporation gave way to memories of home entertaining. Uncle John’s Original Bread Book by John Rahn Braue (1961) was heavily stained with a college student’s enthusiasm and Margaret Wood’s A Painter’s Kitchen: Recipes from the kitchen of Georgia O’Keefe continues to allow its owner to share in the day-to-day life of Ghost Ranch.

A 1954 edition of The Settlement House Cookbook that had its origins in Milwaukee’s Settlement House, conceived of in 1901 to help vast migrations of Eastern Europeans familiarize themselves with the customs of America. The book served to introduce new foods that could perhaps take the place of ingredients used in Europe that were unavailable in U.S. markets. It provided instruction to women on sewing, cooking, nutrition, and economizing in their new home. For its owner, this particular book is a keepsake of her mother’s. Among the favorites passed around our table were The Flavor of Jerusalem (1975) by Joan Nathan and Judy Stacy Goldman with a forward by Teddy Kollek , The Automat Cookbook Published by The Museum of the City of New York that brought forth reminiscences of eating at Horn & Hardart from all; Cooking with Flowers Wherein an Age-Old Art is Renewed, whose owner is a proponent of Yucca flower omelettes, soups, and batters, The Wolf in Chef’s Clothing—a pictorial guide to the kitchen for bachelors ; Candy Bits by Zazou Pitts, The Cartoonist’s Cookbook: Cartoonists & Their Favorite Recipes, Rolls Royce Owner’s Cookbook (a picture of the owners car illustrates each recipe); NASCAR Cooks featuring Tabasco sauce in every dish and finally a copy of the 1901 New Edition of Mrs. Beaton’s Book of Household Management (1st edition 1861).
A beautifully printed and bound copy of La Familia Ceraulo: A Portrait of 10 Families (1880s-1890s) compiled by Laura Rainone Christian lent dignity to our informal gathering. This elegant genealogy containing family lore, family history, and family recipes was designed, written and published by the young graphic designer and beloved sister of Joe Rainone. It has become her legacy.

In March Mike Marell presented his collection of books by Robert Louis Stevenson; sharing sixty different illustrated copies of A Child’s Garden of Verses, the first book read to him by his mother. It has remained in print since 1885. Familiar to many readers for Kidnapped, Treasure Island and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Stevenson, born in 1850 in Edinburgh, was also a poet, essayist, and travel writer. A sickly child, who made up stories that he dictated to his nurse and mother, even before he had learned to read, Stevenson’s verse and prose was well-loved by both children and adults. Toward the end of the 20th century his work fell out of favor and only recently has it reappeared in literary anthologies. Joe Rainone showed a copy of Jekyll l and Hyde in wraps, probably the first American pirated edition of which no other copies are known to exist.

Herewith the poem Stevenson wrote for his epitaph:

Under the wide and starry sky,
Dig the grave and let me lie.
Glad did I live and gladly die
And I laid me down with a will.
This be the verse you grave for me
Here he lies where he longed to be
Home is the sailor, home from sea
And the hunter home from the hill.

April’s meeting was devoted to the Bible. Our guest, Daniel Buttafuoco, founder to the Historical Bible Society, book collector, biblical scholar, and trial lawyer spoke on the historical significance of the Bible and the documents that it comprises. Several copies of early illustrated manuscript bibles on vellum, predating the invention of the printing press were displayed along with a printed and illustrated leaf from the Gutenberg Bible (c. 1455). Among the bibles later produced and made available for purchase were William Tyndale’s illustrated Bible (1553) printer: Robert Jugge, an illegal and banned copy of the New Testament printed in English, a King James 1611 Bible—First edition (1611) printer: Robert Barker, the first printed Bible with chapter and verse—Geneva Bible (1560)—First edition, and Textus Receptus Greek New Testament (1550), printer: Robert Estienne, aka “Stephanus. Mr. Buttafuoco is an ardent champion of the Bible as a document that continues to speak to people around the world today, as it did in times past—forever worthy of continuous study and adherence.

In May, collector Bill Tetreault presented a lecture on William Wilberforce, Hannah More, and their Clapham Circle, a group of friends who in their dedication to Christ worked as abolitionists to end slavery in Britain in 1771. In 1798, an American edition of Wilberforce’s A Practical View of Real Christianity served as a blueprint for those in the colonies seeking an enlightened interpretation of Christianity. In 1787, Wilberforce wrote in his diary “G-d Almighty has set before me two great objects, the suppression of the slave trade and the reformation of manners.”His writings along with those of Hannah More inspired abolitionists in America. The first private black college in the United States (founded 1856), Wilberforce University, and the town in which it still thrives in Ohio bear his name. Mr. Tetreault’s books include many early American editions of inspirational works including Wilberforce’s 1836 Memoir, a volume of letters to his children, and an 1856 edition of Private Devotion: A Series of Prayer Chiefly from the Writings of Hannah More. Mr. Tetreault has curated exhibits on William Wilberforce in Danbury, CT, Durham, NC, New York City, and Falls Church, VA.





The Illustrated London News was the world’s first illustrated weekly newspaper. It was founded by Herbert Ingram (1811-1860), who is considered the father of pictorial journalism. The idea of publishing a weekly newspaper that would contain pictures in every issue came about when he noticed how existing papers always sold more copies when they featured an illustration. The first issue appeared on Saturday, May 14 1842. It sold 26,000 copies. By 1855, mainly due to the Crimean War, its circulation had climbed to 200,000 copies. That same year, the paper started featuring color illustrations. Its success inspired numerous similar papers in America and Europe. Most copied its format, size, and number of pages. The Illustrated London News was published weekly until 1971 when it appeared less frequently until publication ceased in 2003.
The Illustrated Times Weekly Newspaper was one of the most serious rivals of the Illustrated London News. It started publication in June 1855. Later, it was bought by the Illustrated London News and removed from publication in December 1869.

The Civil War and the Newspapers

By 1863, the Illustrated London News was selling more than 300,000 copies every week. By comparison, newspa- pers such as the Daily News sold 6,000 copies per week at this time, and even the largest selling newspaper, The Times sold only sold 70,000 copies. It reported on the progress of the war in almost every issue. Both the Illustrated London News and the Illustrated Times Weekly provided extensive coverage the American Civil War.

Rural New Yorker was a weekly periodical founded in 1841 that was published by the Rural Publishing Co., New York. The magazine survived through the middle of the twentieth century. It episodically showed war illustrations, mostly portraits.

Illustrated TimesIllustrated News

Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper was a news magazine founded in 1852 that continued to be published well into the twentieth century. Born in England, Frank Leslie became head-engraver for the Illustrated London News at age twenty-two. He came to New York in 1848. Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper (1855-1922) was the first successful American venture to bring pictures and news together in a weekly. Leslie’s breakthrough was in dividing the engraving into many sections for individual engravers and then fitting the woodblocks together. He could accom- plish in a day what a single engraver had taken weeks to produce enabling him to publish pictures of events only a week or two old. By the start of the Civil War, the paper’s circulation had reached 164,000. A German edition of the paper was also printed. During the Civil War, an oversized bimonthly paper (23 inches by 16 inches) devoted entirely to the conflict was published.

Harper’s Weekly: A Journal of Civilization began publication in 1857. By 1861 circulation had exceeded 200,000. Such a large circulation gave the paper enormous influence. Its position had a Northern point-of-view, but its pictorial coverage of the war was balanced in its depiction of battles, personages and events. It has been said that it was t the integrity of its illustrations that allowed President Lincoln to come to understand the ineffectiveness of his early generals.

The original New York Illustrated News was published by P.T. Barnum, originator of the famous quip: “There’s a sucker born every minute.” He tried to emulate the success of the Illustrated London News. Even though the New York publication attained a circulation of 70,000, it closed within the year, resurfacing later under the proprietor- ship of John King. During the Civil War, it was bought in January 1864 by W. Jennings Demorest, an American publisher and continued to be issued under the title Demorest’s Illustrated News.

Harpers WeeklyFrank LeslieDemorestFrank Leslie German
Southern Illustrated News was the Confederacy’s rough version of the northern illustrated newspapers. It was published by Ayres & Wade in Richmond beginning in September 1862 to fill the void left by the unavailability of newspapers from the North. At its peak, it had no more than 20,000 subscribers. Printed on poor quality paper, with only eight pages, it is extremely hard to find.
In a different category, but worth the mention is Vanity Fair. It is considered one of the American best weekly humor magazines. Louis H. Stephens was the publisher, and Frank Wood, the first editor. It featured the political cartoons of H. L. Stephens, brother of Louis H., better known today as an illustrator of children’s books. Stephens caricatured famous people, including Lincoln, William Cullen Bryant, Edwin P. Stanton, Benjamin Butler, William Lloyd Garrison, Henry Ward Beecher, and Gideon Welles. Introduced in late December 1859, the weekly maga- zine ceased publication in early July 1863.
The French Le Monde Illustré and its brother L’Illustration, were clones of the Illustrated London News.

Le MondeL'IllustrationVanity FairS. I. News

The Civil War and the Artists

At the beginning of the war, all the illustrated newspapers of the United States were published in New York City. Although they had always circulated in the South, deliveries stopped at the start of the war, when mail to the South was cancelled. The South created the Southern Illustrated News in 1862. Without means to support an artist in the field, it contained only occasional portraits and cartoons. Fortunately for posterity there was one newspaper artist active in the South. In 1861, Frank Vizetelly having just returned from illustrating Garibaldi’s campaign in Sicily and Italy was sent by the Illustrated London News to cover the Civil War in America. Vizetelly was at the battle of Bull Run and sent his paper a sketch of the Union Army running away. The U.S. Secretary of War Edwin Stanton was not amused and did not grant Vizetelly permission to accompany McClellan’s army. The artist went south, andspent the remainder of the war sketching the fortunes and misfortunes of the Confederate army. His drawings, in excess of 130, were published in the Illustrated London News, comprising the main record in pictures of the Confederate war years.

A paucity of means did not affect the three illustrated weekly papers of the North. They were filled with pictures. At any given moment, there were about twelve artists working exclusively for the papers. Some of the most important staff artists were Winslow Homer, Thomas Nast, Alfred R. Waud and William Waud, Arthur Lumley, Theodore R. Davis, William T. Crane, Francis H, Schell, Edwin Forbes, and Henri Lovie.

Arthur Lumley was the first artist to be sent to the Army of the Potomac by Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper. English born William Waud joined his brother Alfred Waud in America and began to cover numerous events in the South, including the inauguration of Jefferson Davis. He also recorded the bombardment of Fort Sumter, making it a scoop for Leslie’s. Theodore Davis was wounded twice and had his horse shot out from under him. He worked for Harper’s but traveled with a neutral British journalist, and told people he was an artist for the Illustrated London News. Also working for Leslie’s, Edwin Forbes was one of the few artists who covered the entire war. Noted for his accuracy, Alfred R. Waud was acclaimed by Harper’s in 1865 as “the most important artist-correspondent of the Civil War.”

Other artists who worked for Harper’s were Jasper Green, Winslow Homer, Henry Mosler, Thomas Nast, Allen C. Redwood, William H. Shelton, David H. Strother and William Waud when he left Frank Leslie.

Thomas Nast’s talent places him on a different level. He is rightfully considered to be the originator of the Ameri- can cartoon. He worked for the New York Illustrated News before going to Harper’s Weekly. Among his notable creations are the modern version of Santa Claus (traditionally depicted as a tall, thin man, Nast drew him in an 1863 issue of Harper’s Weekly as the bearded, plump man known today), the well-known image of Uncle Sam, and the political symbols of both major United States political parties; the Republican elephant and the Democratic donkey.

Frank Leslie Bi-Weekly

Author’s biography: Paul Belard was fourteen years old when he bought his first set of leather bound books “Les œuvres de Rabelais,” illustrated by Gustave Doré. They are still in his collection, now surrounded by Art Deco and Art Nouveau bindings, leather inlaid bindings, history books, travel books, illustrated newspapers about the American Civil War and many more that caught his fancy. Little did he know when he purchased those first two volumes and stroked their red spines that one day he would bind his own. This hobby has allowed him to meet wonderful people and to restore many books that he would otherwise never have had the chance to look at. He treasures them all. Without books, he firmly believes that we would still be living in caverns or huts. He is a retired Mechanical Engineer, and the author of four books published in France and one in the United States. Paul teaches book conservation at LIU Post and continues to restore books.