Publishers Bindings through
(Laird and Lee, 1903)
Professional book designers such
Hazenplug continued to produce distinctive
signed designs as the new
century dawned. Elaborate pictorial designs were
common, and the
use of color
half-tone paper onlays grew. Matching paper dust
jackets began to appear, spelling the beginning
of the end for cloth bindings.
The first decades of the 20th century collectively
are called the “Progressive
Americans tackled issues such as big business,
urban problems, the environment, racism, women’s
rights, and labor relations. Progressivism spilled
into literature and journalism of the time. McClure’s
magazine published the famous exposes "Shame
of the Cities" (which later became a book)
of Standard Oil," while Collier's printed
Fraud." These and similar articles published
in other magazines of the time gave birth to investigative
reporting. Books such
as Upton Sinclair’s The
sought to incite reform. President Theodore Roosevelt
dubbed these writers “Muckrakers,” after
the man who could see nothing but filth in John
Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress.
books, including L. Frank Baum’s Wizard
were popular as well. Jack London published a number
of books during this decade, including Call
of the Wild, White Fang, Iron
Heel, and Sea-Wolf.
(Dodd, Mead & Co., 1902)
Americans still enjoyed a great deal of leisure
time. After the release of Ford’s Model T,
Sunday drives in the new family car became a popular
pastime. Hand-cranked Victrolas allowed people
to hear recorded music in their homes. Ballroom
Broadway musicals, and nickelodeons also occupied
people’s time. Teddy bears became a fad following
the publication of a cartoon depicting President
Roosevelt with a bear.
The affordable American automobile was part of
a transportation revolution, which also included
the Wright brothers’ first successful flight.
Women’s fashions were affected by these developments,
as skirts grew shorter to allow women to step into
cars and trolleys. The Gibson Girls, which appeared
in magazines such as McCall’s and Ladies’ Home
Journal, also influenced what women wore.
all books from 1900-1909 in PBO database
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Allen, Sue. Decorated Cloth
in America: Publisher’s Bindings, 1840-1910. Los
Angeles: UCLA, Center for 17th- and 18th-Century Studies,
William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, 1994.
American Cultural History,
Kingwood College, http://kclibrary.nhmccd.edu/decade00.html.
American Studies: Literature
On-line Textbook, http://www.auroraweb.com/america/timeline_files/1900.htm.
Diehl, Edith. Bookbinding:
Its Background and Technique. New York: Dover, 1980.
ed. Bookbinding in America. Portland, ME: Southworth-Anthoensen,
May, Ernst R.,
and the editors of Life. Progressive Era,
1901-1917, vol. 9 in The Life History of the United
States. New York: Time Inc., 1963.