Description

    The Complete Run of "The Juvenile Museum" -- One of the Earliest Children's Periodicals Published in the United States

    Horton J. Howard, editor. The Juvenile Museum, A Miscellaneous Journal, Devoted to the Improvement and Moral Amusement of the Junior Class of Society. Conducted by Horton J. Howard. Mountpleasant, O[hio]: Ezekiel Harris & Co., E. [Elisha] Bates - Printer, 1822-23.

    First edition collecting the entire run of seventeen issues in one volume: September 16, 1822 -September 27, 1823. Very small quarto (6 x 3.5 inches). 190 pages.

    Contemporary polished calf with gilt-stamped red morocco label. Gilt dulled. Binding somewhat worn, with a nick at head of spine. Hinges starting, but binding is still quite tight and sturdy. Toning and foxing to pages. One leaf missing (p. 183/184); one large chip to fore-edge of p. 157/158, affecting text. Illegible ink notation on title page. A handsome little book in very good condition. Rare.

    Horton Howard was the man behind what may have been the first children's periodical in America, The Printer's Boy, published in 1821-22 when Howard was an apprentice in the printing office of Elisha Bates. Soon after that first effort, Howard (still an apprentice) followed up with The Juvenile Museum, issued first as a semi-monthly and later as a monthly. According to the prospectus, it was to be "a sheet of innocent and interesting matter, for the improvement of the Junior Class of Society, of both sexes." In appreciation of Howard's efforts, a reader of The American Historical Record wrote in 1874, "These publications were of course very trifling affairs; but if they were the beginning of a class of publications which is at present very large and influential, they may be regarded with interest on that account, and Howard should receive due credit as a pioneer in that line."

    The copy sold by the famed Midland Rare Book Company of Ohio in 1958. No other copy of the full run of this periodical seems to have come on the market in at least the past half-century, and there is no record of one having been at auction previous to the 1958 sale.

    The American Historical Record, Vol. 3, No. 33, September 1874. Midland Notes, 70-379.


    More Information:

    The first children's periodical was likely The Printer's Boy and was published monthly, for one year, by Horton J. Howard, who was at the time an apprentice in the printing office of Elisha Bates, at Mount Pleasant, Jefferson County, Ohio. This was in 1821-22. [...] The young editor [Howard] did all the mechanical work himself in his spare hours. A year or two later the same young man (still an apprentice) made a second effort in the same line, and of a more mature character, bringing out and continuing for a year a monthly entitled 'The Juvenile Museum." [...] These publications were of course very trifling affairs; but if they were the beginning of a class of publications which is at present very large and influential, they may be regarded with interest on that account, and Howard should receive due credit as a pioneer in that line" (from a query by "S.E.W." of Cincinnati published in The American Historical Record, Vol. 3, No. 33, September 1874).



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