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Los Angeles, CA

The Art of Reading and Everything At Hand to Make It More Enjoyable --

     Highly-desirable vintage and modern books,accessories and art


a selection of the very best vintage books & authors

Filtering by Tag: 1880s

Alcott By the Book(s)



There are Louisa May Alcott books, and then there are  Louisa May Alcott books. This week, we had the opportunity to offer for sale two vastly different sets of three of her novels, published more than 80 years apart. Our Alcotts are three lesser-known novels by the Queen, or at least the Princess, of popular children's fiction from the late 1800s through today.

Louisa May Alcott, S/3

 Our first Alcott set, published circa 1888, included  Rose in Bloom, Under the Lilacs and Jack and Jill. The second set, published circa late 1950s-'70s, includes "An Old Fashion Girl, Eight Cousins and, again, Jack and Jill.
If books could fly, the antique set, see just above, flew out the window, almost as soon as the window opened for sale.
The more contemporary set, "vintage" (pre-1989) as we call it,  is on sale now. Children's books from the 1950s, in good condition, and by well-known authors, generally find their new owners as fast as you can say "Louisa May Alcott." Maybe not as fast as the 1880s version, but  vintage children's books, in good condition,  have "legs," as well they should in the eBook generation.
Although neither of our Alcott trios includes the more famous Little Women or Little Men, Alcott's books are every bit as popular today as they were back in the 1950s, and before then, back in the late 1800s.
There aren't many female children's authors who weather the decades like Alcott. I think of her as a literary Mary Cassatt. Nurturing.
Sophisticated Reader's Note:  The second set of Alcott books, sold like the first set, within 2 1/2 hours of being listed for sale.

The Way We Lived, American workers in the early 20th Century



Speed the Plow - farm workersThis book, by author Martin W. Sandler, offers a short course on the history of American jobs, 1880-1920. Sandler's own amazing collection of antique glass negative photos illustrate his survey of American workers - from the farm to logging, mining and eventually to factory labor. Along the way, the book offers riveting views of children (some two million worked in mines, on the streets, and in factories) as photographed by Louis Hine.

when children worked

Interesting to note that in the 1880s, the average employee worked 10-hour days, 6 days a week. Eventually, some farm hands left the fields to find work in urban areas in the factories churning out cars and goods. But farming remained the biggest source of jobs. After farming, more people worked as servants (nannies, maids, drivers) than in any other occupation. As the Industrial Revolution took hold, a larger urban work force needed more goods and services. These goods were supplied by a growing retail sector. Stores moved from inside private homes to shops on busy city streets.

Shopping, early on

My copy is a first edition, but it will not to be sold, since it is a library book. I plan to keep it in my own library. Thank God for libraries.