The Hang Fire Books Blog

The rantings of a bookdealer in Brooklyn, New York.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Bookseller Tickets: Brentano's, Carroll's and Newbegins

I recently started collecting bookseller tickets. These are small tags identifying the store where a volume was purchased. You can usually find them at the back of a vintage book, in the bottom corner near the hinge. Some of them are quite ornate and attractive and they give me something else to look for when the books themselves are lackluster.

I thought it would be interesting to post them together with any information I can gather about the stores.

I found this one for Brentano's, Union Square NY in a book from 1900.

and here's an image of the building from the period.


There's a long (and rather boring) history of the store here, but for those who want the highlights...
New York Times, January 22, 1892, Wednesday

OVER A HALF MILLION LOST; A VERY DESTRUCTIVE FIRE ON UNION SQUARE. THE SPINGLER BUILDING BURNED AND BRENTANO AND OTHER FIRMS SUFFER -- TIFFANY'S BIG STORE ESCAPES -- SEEN BY GREAT CROWDS.

The Spingler Building, 5, 7, and 9 Union Square, a five-story, pedimented structure, nearly 200 feet deep, with an L 70 feet deep in Fifteenth Street, was wrecked to the beams of the second floor yesterday by a "basement fire" which broke out at noon

and caused a loss of more than $600,000. The well-known book and newspaper store of August Brentano shared the fate of other business concerns in the building.

New York Times, May 11, 1899, Wednesday

August Brentano of the old firm of Brentano’s, booksellers and stationers, died yesterday morning in the sanitarium of Dr. Edwin A. Goodridge, at Flushing L.I. He had been an inmate of the sanitarium for six months and was adjudged insane by Justice Truax and a Sheriff’s jury in the Supreme Court on Jan. 20 last.

Mr. Brentano’s illness followed serious business troubles of his firm, which reached a climax on Aug. 24 last, when a temporary receiver was appointed in a suit brought by Simon Brentano against his two brothers and co-partners for a dissolution of the firm. The firm was not insolvent, and the business has been continued. Simon and Arthur Brentano, brothers of the deceased formed a company a few weeks ago.

Here's one for Carroll's Book Store, 26 Willoughby Street, Brooklyn NY from a 1910 volume.

There's another similar looking ticket--posted here--listing the address as Fulton and Pearl but I'm not sure it's the same Carroll.

And the nicest of the lot, Newbegins San Francisco from a 1926 volume

Book-shaped with attractive lettering, embossed printing and a tear-off price stub. Another ticket lists the address as 358 Post Street.

Book collector and blogger Greg Kimball maintains an extensive gallery of bookseller tickets. Take a look. They're definitely a lost art....I think I need to make one.

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