The PPIE Bookstore

A small advertising pamphlet about the PPIE booth
Elder’s booth at the PPIE

The Panama-Pacific International Exposition was a big deal for Paul Elder & Company. He published eleven books on or about the fair, and he also had a handsome bookstore booth inside the Palace of Liberal Arts. Please follow the above link for photographs and other details!

How many PPIE books did Elder publish?

Paul Elder & Co. published twelve titles directly or indirectly related to the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition. Each title below is preceded by its checklist number.

11. The Architecture & Landscape Gardening of the Exposition
16. The Art of the Exposition
46. California and The Opening of Gateway Between the Atlantic and the Pacific (not published until 1916)
47. California, a Poem
54. Catalogue De Luxe of the Department of Fine Arts, Panama-Pacific International Exposition (two volumes)
106. The Fourth-Dimensional Reaches of the Exposition
109. The Galleries of the Exposition
126. Holland, An Historical Essay
162. Little Bronze Playfellows
197. Nature and Science on the Pacific Coast
227. The Palace of Fine Arts and Lagoon
278. The Sculpture and Mural Decorations of the Exposition

Additionally, Elder published two books for the Panama-California Exposition in San Diego, which opened just a few weeks after the PPIE and stayed open a year longer:

12. The Architecture and Gardens of the San Diego Exposition
271. The San Diego Garden Fair


Nature and Science on the Pacific Coast

Cover of "Nature and Science on the Pacific Coast"
Cover of “Nature and Science on the Pacific Coast”

This week’s spotlight, Nature and Science on the Pacific Coast, makes a fine bookend to last week’s A Yosemite Flora. They are the only two pure science books that Paul Elder published, but what wonderful science books they are.

One of Elder’s eleven books on or about the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition, Nature and Science is a comprehensive natural history of the West Coast, primarily California, with additional articles in the field of literature, fine arts, law, and travel. The list of contributors includes botanist Harvey Monroe Hall (author of A Yosemite Flora), architect John Galen Howard, engineer Joseph LeConte, and astronomer A. O. Leuschner.

Nature Science title
Frontispiece and title page of “Nature and Science on the Pacific Coast”

The editor-in-chief was Joseph Grinnell (1877-1939), director of the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at the University of California, and a famous name to any zoology student at the University, including yours truly. Grinnell was the inventor of the “Grinnell System,” a method of meticulous note-taking that is still taught to every UC Berkeley zoology student to this day. Notes must be taken in the field from direct observation, to be followed by a detailed journal entry transcribed from the field notes. Any specimens must include the precise date, location, weather, and if possible, photographs. The method even specifies the quality of notebook (durable), paper (high) and ink (very black, and waterproof). Grinnell’s goal was that the notes could be readable 200 years into the future.

Nature Science JGrinnell1904
Joseph Grinnell in 1904.
Nature Science map2
Fold out map of San Francisco, with the PPIE fairgrounds prominently marked at top middle.

Included in the book are many fold out street maps of the major coastal cities: Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego, and one large coated map of the California “life zones”.

Nature Science p31
Pages 30-31 of “Nature and Science on the Pacific Coast”
Nature Science map1
Large fold out map of California “life zones,” which today we would call “biomes” or “ecosystems”