Impressions Magazine

Personal Impressions, March 1899
Personal Impressions, vol. 1 no. 1, March 1899

Elder’s in-house magazine, sporting variations on the name Impressions, was published from 1899 to 1905. It contained a mixture of book reviews, short literary pieces, artwork, photographs and advertisements. On two occasions, Elder serialized an entire book in the magazine: Dora Amsden’s Impressions of Ukiyo-Ye (checklist 136), and Charles Keeler’s Simple Home (checklist 292).

An index to the 39 known issues of Impressions magazine can be found here, or choose “Index to Impressions Magazine” in the pull-down menu.

In 1903, Frederick Winthrop Faxon included Impressions in his list of “modern chap-books and their imitators,” writing:

The small, artistically printed periodicals variously called Chap-books, Ephemerals, Bibelots, Brownie Magazines, Fadazines, Magazettes, Freak Magazines, owe their origin probably to the success of the Chap-Book, a little semi-monthly magazine which was born in Cambridge on May 15, 1894, and which was at once in such great demand that all the early numbers were soon out of print, and were in demand by collectors at fro 20 to 50 times the original issue price of five cents a copy. All sorts of “little magazines” were soon on the news-stands, competing for a part of the Chap-Book’s favor. They were, with few exceptions, easily distinguishable by their appearance as well as by their names, which were apparently carefully chosen to indicate the ephemeral character of the publication.1“Ephemeral Bibelots – A Bibliography of the Modern Chap-Books and their Imitators,” by Frederick Winthrop Faxon, Bulletin of Bibliography Pamphlets No. 11, p3, The Boston Book Company, Boston 1903

Had not Elder ended Impressions’s run in December 1905 by choice, he surely would have been forced to by the disastrous San Francisco earthquake and fire of 18 April 1906. But as Faxon says above, many of these chap-book format publications were designed to be ephemeral from the start.

I1. Personal Impressions. The initial 1899 publication was a small single folded sheet, printed only on pages 1 and 3. Five monthly issues are known, but it’s likely that there were several more later in 1899. The only copies of these of which I’m aware are at the Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley.

Volume 1:
No. 1, March 1899
No. 2, April 1899
No. 3, May 1899
No. 4, June 1899
No. 5, August 1899
later 1899 issues not seen, but are believed to have been published

Personal Impressions, August 1900
Personal Impressions, vol. 1 no. 6, August 1900

I2. Personal Impressions. In March 1900, Personal Impressions was upgraded to magazine format, and the numbering was restarted with Volume 1, Number 1. Each issue was about 24 pages long, with the pagination incremented throughout the volume. The cover design is by Morgan Shepard, whose monogram appears at lower right. Printed by Stanley-Taylor Company.

Volume 1:
No.1, March 1900
No. 2, April 1900
No. 3, May 1900
No. 4, June 1900, “Fiction Number”
No. 5, July 1900
No. 6, August 1900

Impressions, September 1900
Impressions, vol. 1 no. 7, September 1900

I3. Impressions. In September 1900, the magazine’s name was shortened to Impressions, with a new cover design by Morgan Shepard. However, the numbering continues with Volume 1, Number 7.

Volume 1:
No. 7, September 1900
No. 8, October 1900
No. 9, November 1900, “California Number”
No. 10, December 1900, “Holiday Number”
No. 11, February 1901
No. 12, March 1901

Volume 2:
No. 1, April 1901, “Nature in Literature”
No. 2, May 1901, “Fairy Number”
No. 3, June 1901, “Fiction Number”
No. 4, October 1901
No. 5, November 1901
No. 6, December 1901

Impressions Quarterly, March 1902
Impressions Quarterly, vol. 3 no. 1, March 1902

I4. Impressions Quarterly. In 1902, the magazine was renamed Impressions Quarterly, with another new cover design by Morgan Shepard. Publication was reduced to four per year, in March, June, September, and December. With Volume 3, number 1, Elder began calling himself “Paul Elder” instead of “D. P. Elder.” Morgan Shepard left the partnership in May 1903, and with Volume 4, number 2, cover text changed from “Paul Elder & Morgan Shepard” to “Paul Elder and Company” (with the same artwork, but different typefaces). Volumes 5 and 6 featured yet another new cover design, this time by Spencer Wright, whose monogram appears at lower right.

Volume 3:
No. 1, March 1902
No. 2, June 1902
No. 3, September 1902
No. 4, December 1902

Volume 4:
No. 1, March 1903
No. 2, June 1903
No. 3, September 1903
No. 4, December 1903

Impressions Quarterly, March 1904
Impressions Quarterly, vol. 5 no. 1, March 1904

Volume 5:
No. 1, March 1904
No. 2, June 1904
No. 3, September 1904
No. 4, December 1904

Volume 6:
No. 1, March 1905
No. 2, June 1905
No. 3, September 1905
No. 4, December 1905

I5. Impressions Annual. See Catalogue C12.

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    “Ephemeral Bibelots – A Bibliography of the Modern Chap-Books and their Imitators,” by Frederick Winthrop Faxon, Bulletin of Bibliography Pamphlets No. 11, p3, The Boston Book Company, Boston 1903