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  #51  
Old 04-25-2017, 03:21 AM
Giles Giles is online now
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My oldest is the 2-volume 1st edition of Tales of the Hall by George Crabbe, published in 1819, and bought by me in 1965. Unfortunately, I have got around to reading it yet.
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  #52  
Old 04-25-2017, 04:16 AM
WordMan WordMan is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CairoCarol View Post
I have a book from 1893, published by the sponsor of that year's World's Fair, that records in loving detail every single exhibit.

It's cool for me because I own a grandfather's clock, a family heirloom handed down for several generations, that won a prize at that fair.

The book was given to me by a cousin fairly recently, as she knew I had the related clock and figured the book and the clock belonged together. (The brothers and sisters involved in the debacle have long since passed away, but my mother "stole" the clock when my grandmother died; all 5 siblings wanted it so while the others were discussing it, my mother and father ran off, got a truck, and absconded with the clock, effectively ending the argument. The siblings held it against her for years!)

Anyway, I knew the story of the clock winning a World's Fair prize and how my mother grabbed it, but what I did NOT know until my cousin passed on the book was which World Fair it was. As it happened, when my cousin sent me the book I had just finished reading "The Devil in the White City" (a fascinating factual account of the fair and a serial killer who operated during it).

So now, thanks to the book, I know that a serial murderer spent a lot of time in close proximity to my clock. For all I know he scoped out a victim while she was admiring it.

.
That's a great story!
  #53  
Old 04-25-2017, 07:20 PM
D.E.S.K.Top668 D.E.S.K.Top668 is offline
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My two oldest books are Roads of Destiny and The Gentle Grafter, both by O.Henry. Part of a six book set, they're from 1916. I picked them up at a Salvation Army for about seventy-five cents each. I love O.Henry and have all his short stories across multiple books, but I couldn't pass these two up.
  #54  
Old 04-25-2017, 07:45 PM
Roderick Femm Roderick Femm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D.E.S.K.Top668 View Post
My two oldest books are Roads of Destiny and The Gentle Grafter, both by O.Henry. Part of a six book set, they're from 1916. I picked them up at a Salvation Army for about seventy-five cents each. I love O.Henry and have all his short stories across multiple books, but I couldn't pass these two up.
I have six leather-bound O Henry books (all collections of stories) from 1913, including those two. I originally found 5 in pretty good condition in a used book store, and I have no idea what I paid for them. Later I was searching for the rest of the series (there are 12 in all) online, and they are pretty hard to find for sale. I did find one and bought it, but it was not in as good condition as the original 5. Every so often I look again for the other volumes, but no glory so far. I also have a pretty pedestrian complete set of Oscar Wilde from Doubleday, 1923. Some of them are pretty good, some are not very good at all.
  #55  
Old 04-25-2017, 08:23 PM
TYphoonSignal8 TYphoonSignal8 is offline
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"LibraryThing"? I have checked this out. It looks very useful!

Quote:
Originally Posted by CairoCarol View Post
I have a book from 1893, published by the sponsor of that year's World's Fair, that records in loving detail every single exhibit.

It's cool for me because I own a grandfather's clock, a family heirloom handed down for several generations, that won a prize at that fair.

The book was given to me by a cousin fairly recently, as she knew I had the related clock and figured the book and the clock belonged together. (The brothers and sisters involved in the debacle have long since passed away, but my mother "stole" the clock when my grandmother died; all 5 siblings wanted it so while the others were discussing it, my mother and father ran off, got a truck, and absconded with the clock, effectively ending the argument. The siblings held it against her for years!)

Anyway, I knew the story of the clock winning a World's Fair prize and how my mother grabbed it, but what I did NOT know until my cousin passed on the book was which World Fair it was. As it happened, when my cousin sent me the book I had just finished reading "The Devil in the White City" (a fascinating factual account of the fair and a serial killer who operated during it).

So now, thanks to the book, I know that a serial murderer spent a lot of time in close proximity to my clock. For all I know he scoped out a victim while she was admiring it.

.
That's an awesome story to go with the book. You should write it down and keep it in the front of the book, so whoever ends up with the book knows the story.
  #56  
Old 04-26-2017, 02:40 PM
WildBlueYonder WildBlueYonder is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddie The Horrible View Post
Managed to unearth an old hardcover of Poe short stories from 1914.
Poems and tales of Edgar Allan Poe by Alphonso G Newcomer
1899
Publisher: Scott, Foresman and Company.

Its getting old but in good shape otherwise. Interesting little book!
  #57  
Old 04-26-2017, 02:59 PM
Misnomer Misnomer is offline
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It's just a baby in terms of this thread, but my oldest book is a 1944 issue of The Bluejackets' Manual from when my maternal grandfather joined the Navy.
  #58  
Old 04-26-2017, 03:44 PM
JR Brown JR Brown is offline
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A combination cookbook / household manual from the 1820's (I don't remember the title or exact date, and I have it boxed up, so I can't easily check them, sorry...). It's in terrible condition, and full of recipes which are alternately delicious-sounding and awful-sounding, plus the household sections has a lot of very questionable and occasionally outright dangerous medical advice.

Next oldest would be some pattern sheets from French fashion magazines of the 1840's; I collect early 20th century magazines with pattern sheets, and these came as part of a lot. I don't care about the era, so I should probably sell them...
  #59  
Old 04-26-2017, 03:50 PM
Johnny Bravo Johnny Bravo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JR Brown View Post
A combination cookbook / household manual from the 1820's (I don't remember the title or exact date, and I have it boxed up, so I can't easily check them, sorry...). It's in terrible condition, and full of recipes which are alternately delicious-sounding and awful-sounding, plus the household sections has a lot of very questionable and occasionally outright dangerous medical advice.
I have one of these, but it's a young whippersnapper compared to yours - it was published in 1907. It's called The Compendium of EveryDay Wants and it makes for utterly fascinating reading. There are sections devoted to etiquette, civic responsibility, legal matters, veterinary medicine, home chemistry, and all sorts of other goodies.

This isn't the same edition I have, but it looks to be pretty damned close.
  #60  
Old 04-26-2017, 04:16 PM
JR Brown JR Brown is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Bravo View Post
I have one of these, but it's a young whippersnapper compared to yours - it was published in 1907. It's called The Compendium of EveryDay Wants and it makes for utterly fascinating reading. There are sections devoted to etiquette, civic responsibility, legal matters, veterinary medicine, home chemistry, and all sorts of other goodies.

This isn't the same edition I have, but it looks to be pretty damned close.
I actually have several of that kind of book over the ages; I don't have that particular one, but it looks pretty awesome.

That class of books was published up into the 1930's at least, and what makes it fun to have a selection is that, especially for the more cheaply-produced ones, they all crib content directly from previous generations, and you can watch inaccuracies and oversimplifications creep into the extracts over time.* Particularly dangerous in the case of aforesaid medical advice. Some of the recipes for cosmetics/toiletries could also get you into serious trouble.

* I've got a bunch from the 20's/30' that label themselves as "modern" or "up-to-date" and yet contain medical or cosmetic recipes that date from the 1700's.... without mentioning the age of the source, of course.

Last edited by JR Brown; 04-26-2017 at 04:16 PM.
  #61  
Old 04-26-2017, 09:37 PM
Melbourne Melbourne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trinopus View Post
1898 leather-bound collection of Kipling. Terrible shape, alas: the leather is peeling away from the old newspapers (!) that made up the pastboard for the covers.

(Amusing that the spines have swastikas as decorations. Long before those brown-shirted boobs highjacked the image!)
I've got those, from my Fathers side, and from my Mothers side "Elsie's holidays at Roselands", 1863.

From my personal selection, the oldest I see is "Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley", 1908 ('3 vols $60' secondhand )
  #62  
Old 05-08-2017, 10:12 PM
Ulfreida Ulfreida is offline
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I have an 1898 edition of Wild Animals I Have Known by Ernest Thompson Seton, complete with his own exquisite engravings. On the flyleaf is a loving inscription from my great grandmother to my great uncle; it was a birthday gift. It was in my grandmother's house and I read it many times as a child. She gave it to me before she died. The binding was disintegrating so I had it archivally rebound with the cover illustration conserved.

Unfortunately as an adult I can't bear to read the stories as they are too sad.
  #63  
Old 05-08-2017, 11:52 PM
Ignotus Ignotus is offline
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This book, printed in 1664, although my copy has a leather/cardboard cover which is probably of much later (early 1800s?) date. Yes, I've read it (only the title is Latin; the text is in Icelandic with a parallell Swedish translation).

My second oldest is a Swedish translation of Euler's Letters to a German Princess in two volumes, printed in 1786/1787. That one is actually still fun to read, if you're interested in science history.
  #64  
Old 05-09-2017, 11:40 PM
Bookkeeper Bookkeeper is offline
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I have a copy of The Young Sea Officer's Sheet Anchor from 1808, but my copy is a recent replica reprint. The oldest physical book I own is The Princess and Curdie by George MacDonald from 1883.
  #65  
Old 05-10-2017, 03:46 AM
Major Matt Mason Major Matt Mason is offline
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I have a signed copy of the Necronomicon. Lemme check the copyright-AIEEEEEEEEEEEE!
  #66  
Old 05-10-2017, 03:50 AM
Major Matt Mason Major Matt Mason is offline
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(fights off shambling horrors)

Connecticut Railway Commissioner's Report, 1884. Mit map of choo-choos in the Nutmeg State.

-MMM-
  #67  
Old 05-10-2017, 03:57 AM
The Tooth The Tooth is offline
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The Outline of History - H.G. Wells, 1937

I'm pretty pleased to have Elements of the Differential and Integral Calculus - Granville, Smith, and Longley, 1941 as well.
  #68  
Old 05-10-2017, 07:20 AM
Crane Crane is offline
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The oldest book I have that I have read is:

"The Casting Away of Mrs. Lecks and Mrs. Alesbine" by Stockton, 1896

I'd heard it on Ronald Coleman's radio program "Favorite Story" in 1947 and recently found the book.

The oldest document I have is a 1660 newspaper with a letter to the editor about health care that could be contemporary.

Crane
  #69  
Old 05-10-2017, 09:11 AM
salinqmind salinqmind is offline
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I once had an ornately decorative gilt edged book, with the beautiful intricate end papers, a hand-written diary from the Civil War period. There were very few entries and faded and hard to read - mostly names, accounts owed, dates. More of an antique curiosity, we sold it during my mother's estate sale since no one in the family wanted it......Myself, the oldest book I have left from childhood is an old copy of 'Little Pictures of Japan' by Olive Beaupre Miller, from the 20's or 30's. Full of the most charming drawings and haikus, it was one of my favorite things to look at, as a child.
  #70  
Old 05-10-2017, 09:43 AM
notfrommensa notfrommensa is offline
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I got book that was published in 1905. I think it was a wedding gift to my grandparents who married in about 1914.

The Household Physician.

Its a time capsule of what was status quo medicine and treatments from the early 20th century.
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