Publishers Bindings through
The 1890s are considered to be the
era of the binding
designer. Flat, multicolor stamped poster-style covers
were common. The work often was signed by the designer,
usually a professional artist. These designers
were often associated with big publishers such
or Little Brown, and they designed numerous bindings
for many well
known writers. Some of the best known binding
designers were women, such as Margaret
Armstrong and Sarah
Stephen Crane was among the most
prolific authors of the period. He published his
best-known work, The
Red Badge of Courage, in 1895. Crane
was among many authors who wrote Civil War fiction
in this decade. Science fiction emerged
thanks to H.G. Wells’s
famous books War
of the Worlds and The
Time Machine. Rudyard Kipling’s
Book, Robert Louis Stevenson's The
Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,
and Arthur Conan Doyle's The
Adventures of Sherlock Holmes reached
American audiences during the 1890s as well.
A rivalry between Joseph
of the New York World and William
of the New York Journal touched
off a nationwide penchant for sensational reporting,
journalism" after the "Yellow
Kid" comic strip
that appeared in both New York papers. Francis
Church wrote the famous editorial, "Yes,
Virginia, there is a Santa Claus," and
bested Jules Vernes's fictional 80-day journey
around the world by looping the globe in 72 days.
circulation magazines provided a venue
for the first national advertising campaigns, continuing
the homogenization of American culture.
Camp Fires of the Confederacy
(Courier-Journal Job Printing Company,
Americans enjoyed more leisure time during this
decade, appropriately called the “Gay ‘90s.” Scott
ragtime music. The first public showing of
pictures occurred, thanks
of Thomas Edison. The Ferris
wheel's introduction at the
World's Fair ushered in the golden age of amusement
parks, the most popular of which was Coney
Island. Sports also
were popular, including the
newly invented basketball.
Many Americans got caught up in a bicycle
craze. Even women became
swimsuits–adapted to their active lifestyle.
Women were afforded this leisure time in part
by new developments that made the job of the
housewife easier, such as ready-to-eat breakfast cereal, condensed
soup, and the electric stove. These items were part of a boom of innovations in the 1880s and '90s that caused
the commissioner of the U.S.
Patent Office to proclaim
in 1899 that everything that could be invented
Another government office, the Census
made a staggering proclamation when
it declared the frontier fully settled. The U.S.
soon began acquiring territory abroad. Adventurers
flocked to Alaska during the Klondike
War (1898) led to the acquisition
of Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippine Islands.
of Hawaii also was annexed in this
books from 1890-1899
Gallery Home | 1815-29 | 1830-39 | 1840-49 | 1850-59
1860-69 | 1870-79 | 1880-89 | 1890-99 | 1900-09 | 1910-19 |1920-30
American Cultural History,
Kingwood College, http://kclibrary.nhmccd.edu/19thcentury1890.htm.
American Studies: Literature
On-line Textbook, http://www.auroraweb.com/america/timeline_files/1890.htm.
Diehl, Edith. Bookbinding:
Its Background and Technique. New York: Dover, 1980.
ed. Bookbinding in America. Portland, ME: Southworth-Anthoensen,
Museum of Westward Expansion,
National Park Service, http://www.nps.gov/jeff/1890_1900.html.
Weisberger, Bernard A.,
and the editors of Life. Reaching for Empire,
vol. 8 in The Life History of
the United States. New York: Time Inc., 1963.