Elder’s bookshop and the Tomoye Press were completely destroyed in the 1906 earthquake and fire. Undaunted, he and printer John Henry Nash moved to New York City and by August they were publishing books again. He also opened a small shop at 43-45 E 19th St. in Manhattan, between Broadway and Park Avenue. There are no known photographs of the shop itself.
Elder had hoped to capitalize on the proximity to New York’s huge printing industry, but his books, designed to appeal to Californian audiences, never sold well in New York. Production delays caused several of Elder’s gift books to miss the Christmas buying season, tying up needed cash in book inventories. His debts increased quickly, and in February 1909 Elder closed the shop and returned to San Francisco. Elder’s finances never completely recovered, eventually forcing him to retire from publishing in 1917.