title_image.gif (3K)
Exhibition home · Lilly Library home

littleBook2_thm.jpg (4K)

Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyam of Naishapur, rendered into English verse by Edward Fitzgerald. With an introduction by Nathan Haskell Dole. Cleveland, Ohio: H. Meigs, 1900.

popup_thm.jpg (9K)

The Mansion House. [New York]: American Tobacco Co., c1939.

american_idylls_thm.jpg (7K)

Idylls of the King & Other Poems, by Alfred Lord Tennyson. Glasgow: David Bryce & Son; New York: Frederick A. Stokes Co., 1905.


Early Twentieth Century United States

In the year 1900 Charles Hardy Meigs of Cleveland, Ohio produced what was at that time the smallest book in the world. His elegantly produced Rubaiyat was printed from plates made by Dwight Smith, employed by the same engraving firm as George Adomeit, who later bought the company. Mr. Adomeit's interest in miniature books was extensively continued by his daughter, Ruth E. Adomeit.

The early part of the twentieth century in American miniature book production is one of transitions. Before the First World War printing and publishing practices provided some continuity with the previous century, with the emergence of the modern publishing and advertising industries being important factors, along with the continuous improvement of printing technologies and practices. By the turn of the century, the production of printing plates by means of photographic reduction and photo-engraving took on an increasingly important role, though some miniatures were still printed from hand-set type or plates derived from hand-set type. Children's books and advertising and other ephemera continued to be a significant part of miniature book production. Many miniature editions of literary works from this period were actually of European origin, such as the books of David Bryce of Glasgow being issued under the imprint of Frederick Stokes of New York, and others. This period also saw the publication of the type of well designed and printed miniatures which led to the movement toward small press books and artists' books, the dominant feature of American miniature book production in the latter part of the century.

american_child_thm.jpg (9K)

Hide-Away-House. New York: Hodder & Stoughton, [ca. 1910?].
The Little Old Woman of X. New York: Hodder & Stoughton, [ca. 1912?]

  greyline.gif (1K)