Sunday, January 31, 2010
The Klencke Atlas holds the distinction of being the biggest book on the planet at about five feet tall and six feet wide. It's never been publicly displayed with its pages open, but that's about to change. The 350-year-old atlas will be displayed as part of the British Library exhibition on maps later this year.
Not to be outdone (actually I have been), here's my biggest book--a collection of New York Times newspapers from 1936, hardbound by the New York Public Library.
While it takes six people to hoist the Klencke Atlas, I can lift my Times book all by myself. I'm over six feet tall, so you get an idea from the photo how big my book is. At two feet, eight inches tall by a foot-and-a-half wide, it's not exactly dwarfed in my hands. It wasn't that easy to hold open. I only thought I was holding a Krecke Atlas! So I can't imagine actually trying to wrestle with that monster.
Following are some interesting things I found in my little bitty 1936 New York Times book.
First up is an Eastern Air Lines ad. I didn't know they went back as far as 1936, but I was pleased to find it because it complements an old Eastern ticket I have and wrote about on one of my ephemera blogs, Paper Matters. Some pretty cool video of the old "Connies" in that post.
Next, President Roosevelt pays a visit to Oklahoma during the Dust Bowl days. Deep into the Great Depression, Roosevelt hits the road to visit those who are really suffering through some tough times.
Back east, Carl Hubbell and the New York Giants are playing some good baseball on the way to the National League Pennant. I know all this because I used to hear first-hand stories from one of Hubbell's teammates, Joe Moore, the left fielder. That's a subject for another time, but I got to know Joe and become friends with him for a good ten years before he passed away in 2001 at age 92. He had a bunch of articles like this in a scrapbook. So you can see why I had to include this one.
The Yankees also made it to the World Series in '36 and whipped the Giants. I'm a huge Lou Gehrig fan so was pleased to find him doing a pitch for anything--in this ad it's milk.
Entertainers from yesteryear are in these old radio ads.
Here's the patriarch of the Kennedy clan, before the Kennedy machine started cranking out political leaders. Looks like he's doing okay with the Roosevelt administration in the White House.
Down on the farm, the latest technology in farm equipment promises to boost production. You might be able to find one of these in a museum now.
The New York Times wouldn't be complete without news and reviews of books. Here are a few pages from yesteryear and old books that were once new with stiff bindings on the shelves.
There's so many interesting articles, ads, and photos--I could go on and on with the history found on these pages, but need to stop here.