19th Century


The revolutions and counter-revolutions in style that characterize nineteenth century books reflect a civilization in the throes of far-reaching changes. The craft methods of production were being rapidly replaced by mass-production machinery. The books begin to have a more familiar look; we recognize them as belonging to our world. Bodoni's books first set the style: his title pages eliminated every excess element. The types were carefully chosen and placed to balance, and to give the proper importance to each word. The Second Empire, after mid-century, was dominated by the stream of books illustrated by Gustave Dore., the "last of the romantics." Along with France, England led the world in book production, partly due to the invention of the cylindrical press and a new type of papermaking machine. By 1853, wood pulp was being processed to make an inferior but seemingly boundless supply of paper which rapidly supplanted rag paper. The result can be seen in the relatively rapid discoloration evident in a number of examples on this page. Color printing in books for adults was an innovation of the 1840's and 50's. Chromolithography, color printed from a series of lithographic plates, was most often used, but was sometimes supplemented with color wood blocks. The rapid development of these and other printing technologies, however, led to a reaction against the concept of the book as a manufactured commodity and a revival of the tradition of bookmaking craft dating back to the fifteenth century. Thomas B. Mosher was the foremost champion of this revival and the first American printer to sustain a program of fine bookmaking. It is fitting that this final page brings our exhibit full circle with a first edition copy of Mosher's The Bibelot.

Exhibit Page

15th Century

16th Century

17th Century

18th Century

19th Century


 Montesquieu. The Spirit of Laws . 1802.

 Blaise Pascal. Pensees . 1803.

 Samuel Johnson. Dictionary of the English Language. 1805.

 John Lempriere. A Classical Dictionary. 1809.

 Thomas Heywood. The Life of Merlin . 1813.

 Pierre Laplace. Exposition du Systeme du Monde. 1813.

 William Cobbett. The Pride of Britannia Humbled . 1817.

 Barthold Niebuhr. The Geography of Herodotus. 1830.

 Georges Cuvier. A Discourse. 1831.

 J. B. Lamarck. Genera of Shells. 1833.

 Francois Pomey. Tooke's Pantheon of the Heathen Gods. 1833.

 William Cobbett. Life of Andrew Jackson. 1834.

 Blackstone. Commentaries on the Laws of England. 1837.

  Das Nibelungleid. 1840.

  The Federalist. 1842.

  Venerable Bede. The Complete Works. 1843.

  Le Diable A Paris. 1845.

  Joseph Westwood. Palaeographia Sacra Pictoria. 1845.

  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Reineke Fuchs. 1846.

  William Beaumont. The Physiology of Digestion. 1847.

  James Halliwell. Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words. 1847.

  George Catlin. North American Indians. 1850.

 Thomas Tyrwhitt. Poetical Works of Chaucer. 1851

 Charles Fraser. Reminiscences of Charleston. 1854.

 Matthew Perry. Narrative of the Expedition. 1856.

 Punch XLIII. 1862.

 Francis Palgrave. The Golden Treasury. 1863.

 David Conyngham. Sherman's March through the South. 1865.

 Basil Duke. History of Morgan's Cavalry. 1867.

  John Timbs. Clubs and Club Life in London. 1872.

  The Works of Rabelais. Gustav Dore, il. 1873.

  Paul LaCroix. The 18th Century. 1875.

  John Milton. Paradise Lost. Gustav Dore, il. 1880.

  Omar Kayyam. Rubaiyat. Elihu Vedder, il. 1884.

  Heinrich Schliemann. Tiryns. 1885.

  Roesling. Guide to the Construction of Gothic Details. 1888.

  G. F. Wright. The Ice Age in North America. 1891.

  The World's Columbian Exposition Illustrated. 1892.

  The Bibelot. Thomas B. Mosher, ed. & pr. 1895.

  Col. Henry Inman. The Old Santa Fe Trail. 1898.