Item #8676 True & Co.’s Catalogue of New and Useful Books! [with] The Largest Dollar a Year Magazine in the World…Golden Moments.
True & Co.’s Catalogue of New and Useful Books! [with] The Largest Dollar a Year Magazine in the World…Golden Moments.
True & Co.’s Catalogue of New and Useful Books! [with] The Largest Dollar a Year Magazine in the World…Golden Moments.
True & Co.’s Catalogue of New and Useful Books! [with] The Largest Dollar a Year Magazine in the World…Golden Moments.
True & Co.’s Catalogue of New and Useful Books! [with] The Largest Dollar a Year Magazine in the World…Golden Moments.
True & Co.’s Catalogue of New and Useful Books! [with] The Largest Dollar a Year Magazine in the World…Golden Moments.
True & Co.’s Catalogue of New and Useful Books! [with] The Largest Dollar a Year Magazine in the World…Golden Moments.
True & Co.’s Catalogue of New and Useful Books! [with] The Largest Dollar a Year Magazine in the World…Golden Moments.
True & Co.’s Catalogue of New and Useful Books! [with] The Largest Dollar a Year Magazine in the World…Golden Moments.

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True & Co.’s Catalogue of New and Useful Books! [with] The Largest Dollar a Year Magazine in the World…Golden Moments.

Augusta, Maine, ca. 1881. Two catalogs, 15.5” x 11.75”, 4 pp. total; one agent order form (blank); one envelope from True & Co., addressed and postmarked.

Two detailed catalogs of books, periodicals, and prints issued by Augusta, Maine publishers True & Co., covering a mind-bogglingly wide array of popular topics, and providing two business plans for potential agents of the company’s feature magazine.

At the time “a very important printing and publishing center” (American Dictionary), Augusta, Maine was home to prolific publishers True & Co., who—according to a statement printed here by Mayor Charles E. Nash—conducted “an immense publishing business,” employing “hundreds of printers and clerks” in buildings they constructed and owned. The catalog of books covers such categories as “Etiquette” (including “How to Shine in Society. A great assistance to the bashful and diffident” and “THE COURTESIES OF WEDDED LIFE”); “Fortune Tellers” (including “Aristotle’s Book of Fate and Dictionary of Dreams” and “Napoleon’s Oraculum and Book of Fate”—who could doubt such authorities?); several oratorical and performance categories, including dialect and blackface burlesques as well as “HOLMES’ Very Little Dialogues for Very Little Folks. All children should learn to declaim”; volumes on penmanship, foreign languages, business, shorthand, and “reckoning”; tales of adventure and romance, including “Arctic Crusoe” and “The Buccaneer’s Daughter”; household books for women, guides on poultry raising, sailing, and taxidermy, and even Charles Beecher’s recently published “SPIRITUAL MANIFESTATIONS.”

The second of these catalogs is dedicated to the illustrated magazine Golden Moments, which is “Twice the size of any other dollar a year magazine in the world,” subscriptions to which included fifteen of “The Most Elegant, Expensive, and Popular Premium Chromos ever offered.” Following brief descriptions of each chromo are two different plans for “How the Business is Conducted” by agents, and information on payment terms; territorial policy (“It is very, very seldom that an agent comes across another, but when this does happen, both should remember that there is plenty of room for all…”); and the advantages of becoming an agent, not least of which is simply that “The People Want What We Offer; it Don’t Have to be Forced.” Special attention is also given to the subject of “Ladies As Agents”: “In this business ladies may make quite as much money as men…Intelligent women who receive this will appreciate the opportunity.”

Also included is a “Blank to be Used in Ordering an Outfit,” and a postmarked envelope addressed to S. Ella Bickford in Newburgh, Maine (probably Sarah Ella Bickford, born 1845).

True & Co. would be acquired in the late 1880s by publishing magnate E. C. Allen.

REFERENCES: American Dictionary of Printing and Bookmaking (New York, 1894), p. 29.

Item #8676

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