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Early 19th Century:The Era of Industrialization

The early 19th century was an era of transformation for bookbinding. With the increase in the demand for books, binders turned to mechanization to meet this challenge. Publishers also began to take control of the whole book-making process, from editing to printing to binding. Thus books began to be sold with the covers already bound on. From the historic perspective, this makes it much easier to date the bindings since the book was most likely bound at the same time it was printed.

Author:  Edgeworth, Richard Lovell, 1744-1817.
Title:  Essay on Irish bulls. By Richard Lovell Edgeworth, and Maria Edgeworth.
Publisher:  London, J. Johnson, 1802. Call Number:PN 6178 .I6 E3 1802

Full leather “tree calf” binding. The “tree” shape, formed with acids to etch the pattern into the leather, was first used in the late 18th century. It can be quite beautiful, but also detrimental to the leather leaving it pitted and weak. Additionally, this book has gold tooling along the edges of the cover, simple gold lines on the spine and a red title label. The spine is smooth, without even false raised bands. The endbands are handsewn and the endpapers are marbled.

Essay on Irish bulls by Richard Lovell Edgeworth. Essay on Irish bulls by Richard Lovell Edgeworth. Image 2.

Author:  Pozzi, Giovanni, 1769-1838.
Title:  La zooiatria / del D.r Giovanni Pozzi.
Publisher:  Milano : presso Pirotta e Maspero Stampatori-Librai, 1807-1810.
Call Number:  SF 745 .P6 1807 v.1

Books prior to the mid-19th century were usually sold in plain paper wrappers with temporary sewing by the printer or publisher. The purchaser was expected to take the book to his own binder to have it bound to match his personal library. This is an example of a book which was never fully bound.

La Zooiatria by Giovanni Pozzi La Zooiatria by Giovanni Pozzi. Image 2.

Author:  Blaine, Delabere P. (Delabere Pritchett).
Title:   An essay on hydrophobia, or canine madness: also, an essay on distemper in dogs; pointing out its causes, symptoms, treatment, and cure, both by medicine, and inoculation of the cow pox. Corrected and revised, with additions and improvements, by James Carver.
Publisher:  Philadelphia: Published by James Carver. 1818.
Call Number:  SF991 .B64 1818.

Paper bound book with stiff covers. The title page is printed on the front cover with adverts on the back. A simple title is printed on the spine. As a cost-cutting measure, publishers began to issue books in paper covers. These were intended to be more permanent with stiff cover, but the sewing was still temporary so the owner could have it bound in his own style.

An essay on hydrophobia, or canine madness by Delabere P. Blaine.

Author:  Montgomery, James, 1771-1854.
Title:  The world before the flood : a poem, in ten cantos with other occasional pieces / by James Montgomery.
Publisher:  London : Printed for Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown ..., 1823.
Call Number:  PR 5032 .W6 1823

Full leather binding with gold tooling on spine, covers and squares (the margins between the edge of the cover and the textblock). The edges of the textblock are gilded and gauffered. The endpapers are marbled, the endbands are handsewn and there is a ribbon bookmarker attached at the spine.

 a poem, in ten cantos with other occasional pieces by James Montgomery.  a poem, in ten cantos with other occasional pieces by James Montgomery. Image 2.

Author:  Rainard, Joseph, 1778-1854.
Title:  Traité de pathologie et de thérapeutique générales vétérinaires.
Publisher:  Paris, Bouchard-Huzard, 1840.
Call Number:  SF 745 .R3 1841 v.1+2

Quarter bound leather book with marbled paper covers (and leather barely showing at the corners to protect them). There is gold and blind tooling on the spine. The endbands are machine made rather than handsewn, something new to bookbinding in the early 19th century. The marbled endpapers match the marbled edges of the textlbock.

Joseph Rainard Joseph Rainard. Image 2.

Author:  Thoreau, Henry David, 1817-1862.
Title:  Walden : or, Life in the woods
Publisher:  Boston : Ticknor and Fields, 1854
Call Number:  PS 3048 .A1 1854

An early example of a book bound by the publisher. It is a half bound leather book with cloth sides. The cloth would have saved money over using full leather, or even marbled papers. Machine made endbands. The spine has been rebacked, but the original spine has been preserved.

Walden by Henry David Thoreau Walden by Henry David Thoreau. Image 2.