One of Paul Elder’s most collectible titles, Palace of Fine Arts and Lagoon (1915) has often been described as Bernard Maybeck’s only book. It is a slim volume though, coming in at just 24 pages. In it Maybeck describes his approach to designing the Palace of Fine Arts, perhaps his most recognizable building and the only surviving structure from the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition. The text is a revised version of a speech that Maybeck gave to the Commonwealth Club of California. The introduction by Frank Morton Todd, official historian of the Exposition, is as florid and grandiose as Maybeck’s speech is thoughtful and subdued.
In addition to the orange wraps shown below, this title was also issued in a deluxe version with gilt-embossed dark-green leather over boards.
In 1902, May E. Southworth wrote a cookbook for Elder & Shepard called One Hundred & One Sandwiches. It was sold very well, and Elder asked Southworth to write more. In the 1904 Catalog From a Western Publisher (catalog C20), he writes:
The many who have experienced the gustatory joys of 101 Sandwiches will give a hearty reception to four additional volumes, affording them that multiple of the famous 101 Epicurean Thrills
The four new cookbooks were Salads, Chafing-Dish Recipes, Beverages, and Candies. The five cookbooks, including Sandwiches, were reprinted with a Tomoye Press title page and whimsical cover art by Spencer Wright. They were issued in two bindings: paper wraps, and the “Kitichen edition” of canvas over boards. Elder named the series “101 Epicurean Thrills,” and by 1908 there were twelve titles in the series:
One Hundred & One Beverages
One Hundred & One Candies
One Hundred & One Chafing-Dish Recipes
One Hundred & One Desserts
One Hundred & One Entrées
One Hundred & One Layer Cakes
One Hundred & One Mexican Dishes
One Hundred & One Oyster Recipes
One Hundred & One Salads
One Hundred & One Sandwiches
One Hundred & One Sauces
One Hundred & One Ways of Serving Oysters
In 1914, Southworth followed up the series with a cookbook entitled Midnight Feasts: 202 Salads and Chafing-Dish Recipes.
It would taken the pen of a Carlyle to describe our mysterious flight over Paris at midnight. The impression was so startling that for an hour we never spoke above a whisper.
George Eli Hall’s 1902 story A Balloon Ascension at Midnight is one of my favorite publications from the Elder & Shepard years. Gordon Ross’s color illustrations, including several of Notre-Dame cathedral, immediately sweep the reader back to the Belle Epoque. The book was published in two bindings: paper on boards (below), and green suede with gold trim on boards.
Hall (1863-1911) was born in Nice, France, and was an agent and importer. About 1895 he became the Consul-General of Turkey and Persia in San Francisco. The job evidently included some danger and intrigue: the 8 November 1898 edition of the San Francisco Call, in a note entitled “Lurking Death for Turkey’s Consul,” said that Hall “had been receiving anonymous packages for the past week containing high and deadly explosives. At first the matter did not seem of much consequence to him, but as these munitions of war continued to constitute a portion of his daily mail, he became apprehensive and reported the matter to Chief of Police Lees.”
The Menehunes, Their Adventures With the Fisherman and How They Built the Canoe, by Emily Foster Day, 1905. This small volume was bound in Hawaiian kapafabric, with delightful illustrations by Spencer Wright. The following year, Day wrote another book of Hawaiiana for Paul Elder, The Princess of Manoa. Emily was married to Francis Root Day (1859-1906), a prominent doctor. In 1887 they moved from Chicago to Honolulu, where they lived until their deaths.
Menehunes are popular characters in Hawaiian mythology; they are said to be a race of small people that live in the deep forest, far from the prying eyes of humans. The Menehunes arrived in Hawaii before the Polynesians, and were excellent craftspeople who built heiau(temples), roads, and fishing ponds.
Beginning in 1901, Paul Elder compiled and published a series of booklets of aphorisms, each with a separate theme. Friendship was published first, followed by Happiness, Nature and Success in 1903, and finally byLove in 1905. They were quite successful—over 70,000 copies were sold by 1904—so in 1906 Elder reissued the five booklets as a single volume entitled Mosaic Essays. The cover and title page artwork is by Santa Barbara artist Robert Wilson Hyde.
There are three known bindings: paper wraps, paper on boards, and leather wraps. The paper wraps edition seen below was issued with a matching presentation box; such a box was probably available with the other editions as well.