The Auto Guest Book

by david on 1 September 2014

Cloth on boards edition of "Auto Guest Book"

Cover of “Auto Guest Book”

On an inventive twist from a guest book designed for the guest bedroom, here is a guest book designed for one’s automobile. The Auto Guest Book was published in 1906 on the heels of the success of the early Cynic’s Calendars, with the illustrations and aphorisms by the team of Ethel Grant (1876?-1940) and Richard Glaenzer (1876-1937).

In 1906 automobiles were still toys for the rich, beyond the means of most Americans. Nevertheless, Elder presumably had enough car-owning customers to justify this book.

Paul Elder was not immune to the use of ethnic stereotypes, though fortunately he only published a few such examples. The Auto Guest Book has a “Sheikh of Araby” theme, with maxims by “Punbad the Railer,” and illustrations of turbaned men, veiled women and Oriental carpets.

Cover of the leather edition of "Auto Guest Book"

Cover of the leather edition of “Auto Guest Book”

Title page of "Auto Guest Book"

Title page of “Auto Guest Book”

Illustration.

Frontispiece of “Auto Guest Book”

A page for recording an automobile outing

A page for recording an automobile outing

The driving party encounters a native.

“Where there’s a bill there’s a way”

"So near and yet -- chauffeur"

“So near and yet — chauffeur”

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