Teddy Sunbeam

“Little Fables for Little Housekeepers” is the subtitle of this 1905 children’s book by Charlotte Grace Sperry (1873-1943). The idea, it seems, was that if you read your son or daughter a bedtime story about housecleaning, he or she would cheerfully help you mop the kitchen floor the next morning. Whatever works, but I’m thinking the kids are going to catch on pretty quickly.

Charlotte was the daughter of Calvin Graham Sperry (1831-1906) and Julia Melinda Smith (1840-1895). Julia’s younger brother was Francis Marion “Borax” Smith, who used the famous “20 mule team” wagons to haul the borax to his own Tonopah and Tidewater Railroad; he named the railroad stop at mile 79 “Sperry” after his niece Charlotte. The Sperry family is buried in the grand Smith mausoleum on “Millionaires’ Row” at Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland, California.

The uncredited artwork is by Albertine Randall Wheelan (1863-1954), who also drew the frontispieces for two of the Western Classics series.

TeddySunbeam cover
Cover of “Teddy Sunbeam”
TeddySunbeam title
Title page of “Teddy Sunbeam”
TeddySunbeam interior
The story of “Miss Lend-a-Hand”
TeddySunbeam endpaper
Endpapers of “Teddy Sunbeam”. Happy little dustpans!