Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - April - 2018 Issue

Wonders from the Curious to the Mundane from Zephyr Used & Rare Books

Adc5f54a-6929-408e-b548-4a430743e0b5

Wonders from the Curious to the Mundane.

Zephyr Used & Rare Books has issued a catalogue of Wonders from the Curious to the Mundane. And that is what you will find! It's hard to otherwise explain what is in this catalogue as it is a mix of different, but fascinating items. For example, for those of us who love old cars, there are brochures and dealer promotional material for some very old models, several of which no longer exist. Do you remember the Cartercar? I don't, but it's here. Old cars is just one of many subjects, which range from African Americana to travels to some obscure old novels. Or, how about the adventures of a Royal Canadian Mounted Policeman "in the largest and loneliest police district in the world," Baffin Island? Does anyone live there, and if so, aren't they too busy keeping warm to commit crimes? This sounds both curious and mundane. Here are a few other selections from this catalogue, with something of a bias of one who loves old cars.

 

We begin with an illustrated color brochure for the Imperator: the world's largest ship, embodying maximum comfort and safety for all, 50,000 tons, Length, 919 feet... 50,000 tons? Why didn't this thing sink? This brochure was published in 1913, when the German luxury liner was new. It even outstripped in size the late Titanic. Indeed, since the ship was top-heavy, they had to pour an extra 2,000 tons of cement into the bottom as ballast. Still she floated. Unfortunately, the timing of this ship was terrible. Soon, World War I broke out, forcing the Hamburg-American line to keep her in port for safety. After the war, the Germans were required to surrender the ship to Britain as war reparations. It went into service for Cunard Lines until retired from passenger service in 1938. She was demolished in 1946. Item 149. Priced at $275.

 

If you've tried "everything" to cure your illness without success, maybe you haven't. How about chromotherapeutics? Not chronotherapeutics, that is a different thing. Chromotherapeutics somehow uses colors and vibrations to cure your illnesses. I'm not sure how, but the answer can be found in Ernest Stevens' Vibrations: their principles, light and colors, their uses, essays, lessons, health hints and flash-lights... This book was printed by the Stevens Light and Color Research Studios of San Francisco in 1920-21. Even then, San Francisco was ahead of its time. The therapy was pretty if not effective. Item 15. $295.

 

Next we have the brochure for the Cartercar. The Car With the Gearless Transmission. The gearless transmission allowed for "a thousand speeds," rather than a few set gear ratios. The company was formed in 1905 by Byron J. Carter, who split from Jackson Automobile in a disagreement over transmissions. At first, sales grew handsomely. Unfortunately, in 1908, Byron Carter was injured when the crank shaft used back then to start cars kicked back, striking him in the jaw. He developed gangrene and died. The following year, General Motors, in a buying spree, purchased Cartercar. They were intrigued by its transmission, but sales never developed as hoped. It was discontinued in 1915. Item 33, published in 1914. $295.

 

The Rickenbacker had no more success than the Cartercar despite its famous name. It was founded by America's leading World War I flying ace, Eddie Rickenbacker, a name still well known. His car is not. It began production in 1922, and in 1923, it was the first car to feature four-wheel brakes. Today, all cars have them, but at the time, braking of two wheels was deemed sufficient. The cars were noted to be advanced for their time, but the price was too high for the market. The company folded in 1927. Item 45 is a brochure for the Rickenbacker Six, A Car Worthy Of Its Name. It was published in 1922. $175.

 

So where could you park your Rickenbacker when you went to Chicago? Westinghouse had the answer. Evidently, even by 1932, cities had their problems providing enough parking spaces. Westinghouse's solution was the Westinghouse Vertical Parking Machine. This was a much finer invention than today's parking garages where you drive up ramps to higher floors filled with parking spaces. With the parking machine, you drove into your slot, exited your car, and paid the fare. The vertical parking machine would elevate your car out of the way. However, it didn't function so much like an elevator as like a ferris wheel, except instead of being round, it had up and down sides with a short turning ratio at top and bottom. The result was that it could hold 48 cars in the same amount of space as just six parking places. Westinghouse even offered a version that was coin operated. Other than the one in Chicago, and at Westinghouse's facilities in Pittsburgh, there is no sign that any others were built. The one in Chicago operated successfully, but the idea never caught on, soon to be replaced by conventional parking garages. Item 25 is Westinghouse vertical parking machine. A practical solution of the parking problem and an aid to traffic congestion... Published in 1932, it will tell you all about this amazing device. $275.

 

Item 157 answers the age-old question, how do you eat canned salmon? The answer is not "reluctantly." Rather, the answer can be found in the Salmon Cook Book: how to eat canned salmon. This book provides various recipes, sauces to enhance (or mask) the flavor, along with illustrations of salmon fishing, Alaska natives, polar bears, boat building, and more. It was published by the Alaska Packers Association in time for the Panama Pacific International Exposition of 1915 in San Francisco. And, if the stuff made you ill, it was just a short trip from there to the Stevens Light and Color Research Studios for some chromotherapy. $200.

 

Zephyr Used & Rare Books may be reached at 360-695-7767 or zephyr@worldaccessnet.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> E.H. SHEPARD, Original drawing for A.A. Milne’s The House at Pooh Corner.<br>$40,000-60,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> BERNARD RATZER, Plan of the City of New York in North America, surveyed in the years 1766 & 1767. $80,000-100,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> THOMAS JEFFERSON, Autograph letter signed comparing Logan, Tecumseh, and Little Turtle to the Spartans. Monticello: 15 February 1821. $14,000-18,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN C. FREMONT, Narrative of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, in the Year 1842.. Abridged edition, the only one containing the folding map From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $3,000-5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ZANE GREY, Album containing 94 large format photographs of Grey and party at Catalina Island, Arizona, and fishing in the Pacific. From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $5,000-$8,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> WILLIAM COMBE, A History of Madeira ... illustrative of the Costumes, Manners, and Occupations of the Inhabitants. produced by Ackermann in 1821; From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ERIC TAVERNER, Salmon Fishing... One of 275 copies signed by Taverner, published in 1931,From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN WHITEHEAD, Exploration of Mount Kina Balu, North Borneo. Whitehead reached the high point of Kinabalu in 1888. Part of a major group of travel books from the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN LONG, Voyages and Travels of an Indian Interpreter and Trader, describing the Manners and Customs of the North American Indians... The first edition of 1791. $3,000-$5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> SAMUEL BECKETT, Stirrings Still. This, Beckett’s last work of fiction with original lithographs by Le Brocquy, limited to 200 copies signed by the author and the artist. From the Estate of Howard Kaminsky.. $1,500-$2,500
  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann, wallpaper sample book, circa 1919. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Archive from a late office of the Breuer & Smith architectural team, New York, 1960-70s. $3,500 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> William Morris, <i>The Story of the Glittering Plain or the Land of Living Men,</i> illustrated by Walter Crane, Kelmscott Press, Hammersmith, 1894. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustave Doré, <i>La Sainte Bible selon la Vulgate,</i> Tours, 1866. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustav Klimt & Max Eisler, <i>Eine Nachlese,</i> complete set, Vienna, 1931. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>Eric Allatini & Gerda Wegener, <i>Sur Talons Rouges,</i> with original watercolor by Wegener, Paris, 1929. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>C.P. Cavafy, <i>Fourteen Poems,</i> illustrated & signed by David Hockney, London, 1966. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jean Midolle, <i>Spécimen des Écritures Modernes...</i>, Strasbourg, 1834-35. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>E.A. Seguy, <i>Floréal: Dessins & Coloris Nouveaux,</i> Paris, 1925. $3,000 to $4,000.
  • <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> BEETHOVEN, LUDWIG VAN. Autograph Manuscript sketch-leaf part of the score of the Scottish Songs, "Sunset" Op. 108 no 2. [Vienna, February 1818]. Inscribed by Alexander Wheelock Thayer. SOLD for $131,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. SOLD for $516,500
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> EINSTEIN, ALBERT. Autograph Letter Signed ("Papa") to his son Hans Albert, discussing his involvement with the atomic bomb, September 2, 1945. SOLD for $106,250
    <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> HAMILTON, ALEXANDER. Autograph Letter Signed, to Baron von Steuben, with extensive notes of Von Steuben's aide Benjamin Walker, June 12, 1780. SOLD for $16,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. SOLD for $275,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. SOLD for $118,750

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions