The Inland Printer
|September 27, 2014 at 5:03 AM #16125|
This topic reviews the history of The Inland Printer|The American Printer [1883–today], distinguishes it from another publication also called The American Printer [1900–1958], and offers tips for circumventing the dead-ends and detours of seeking digital copies.
The Inland Printer grew from The Chicago Printer, a short-lived periodical issued by Henry R. Boss of Chicago. After debuting in April 1883, it failed financially after only a few editions. Editorial materials and records were then purchased by Henry O. Shepard [1844–1903] of Shepard & Johnson, the Chicago printing firm that produced it.
Building on its “remains,” Shepard released the first monthly issue of The Inland Printer in October 1883. It rapidly became the premier international professional journal for the letterpress and lithography industries.
Besides the printing plant, Shepard established the Henry O. Shepard Co. to publish practical manuals and operate a prestigious technical school. After his death (January 1, 1903), ownership and management passed to trusted employees he had trained during his lifetime until 1941, when the Great Depression forced it into sale.
See also Shepard Script, a mysterious typeface named in his honor.
Ownership and Titles
Online bibliographic references typically (retroactively) cite Maclean-Hunter as publisher of The Inland Printer and its later acquisitions.
*Formerly entitled The American Bookmaker and The Printer and Bookmaker. Published by J. Clyde Oswald and descendants (New York) since 1885.
*Much of the information presented in this topic is based on O’Brien’s research.¹
Throughout its ownership and title history, consecutive volume numbering of the original Inland Printer has been maintained. Volume numbers duplicating those of Lockwood publications are an occupational hazard for researchers.
No digitized collection is complete, and volumes available from various sources differ. Volumes ≤1923 may still be in copyright status, which allow only limited search of the text.
My personal Inland Printer library is now nearly complete within the scope of THP investigation (ending with World War I).
“Corrected” 20th-century titles of the original The Inland Printer, The American Printer and its earlier titles have created a monumental quagmire for historians seeking information originally published by certain periodicals during certain years.
Hope ahead? It’s starting to look as if the voice of someone, somewhere has been heard. Perhaps thanks to recent contributions by The University of California, Google (and other search engines?) may be beginning to recognize The Inland Printer as a valid search string independent of related “baggage.”
Chapel member David MacMillan advises that the Hathi Trust presents more volumes and higher-resolution scans than Google Books. They are also better indexed:
The “downside” is that the trust’s consortium of academic institution partners allows visitors without a partner-affiliated account to download only individual pages, one-by-one.
When a certain limit is exceeded, one must wait (24 hours?) until permitted to resume downloading. What a tedious process for multiple pages!
This controversial policy apparently involves (unresolved? unresolvable?) issues between Google Books and libraries that participate in both programs.
To skip the time- and resource-intensive step of first displaying PDFs in your browser:
Google Books now has (most? all?) of the same volumes as Hathi Trust. The University of Minnesota collection is the default “hit” in a general search—along with ‘way much too much irrelevant stuff.
Tips for a Short List (six tops including commercial reprints of free downloads):
“Fiddle-dee-dee… I’ll think about that tomorrow” (Scarlett O’Hara, Gone With the Wind).
¹O’Brien, K. (2011): Press Release, American Printer to Cease Publication.
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