New York: John Martin's House, Inc., 1913. Very Good. Item #9858
New York: John Martin's House, Inc., 1913. First and Sole Edition. Octavo saddle-stapled periodical issue (25x19cm); unpaginated [96pp], the center spread and final 36 pages of which are all advertisements disguised as entertainments.
Card-weight covers; body of heavy, high-quality calendered paper stock, selected (presumably) for long life in children's hands. Cover and body now browned with age but without brittling or acid deterioration; black, teal-blue, and red inks still bright and fully saturated. Two leaves missing tiny bottom corner chips; textblock otherwise unmarred and unmarked.
The textual material—largely original with some Aesopian and Mother Goose-ian retellings—is illustrated on every page in a pastiche of Rackham-ish, Parrish-esque, and Tenniel-istic styles. Our sample photograph shows a playlet by William C. DeMille, a playwright and screenwriter, the brother of Cecil B. DeMille.
An impressive array of advertisements—all disguised as nuggets of entertainment for children—fills the central spread and the last 36 pages of the volume. Our current cartoon product mascots and YouTube-unwrapping-influencers of the 21st century are merely new avatars of these elaborately disguised coercions for kids and their attentive mothers. John Martin's enticements include contributions from Colgate, Nestlé, Vaseline, Shredded Wheat, Heinz, Eagle Brand Condensed Milk, Kellogg's Corn Flakes; Swift's Premium Oleomargarine, Munsingwear, Steinway, the Hippodrome, F.A.O. Schwarz, a proto-Play-Doh, and now less recognizable brands proposing linens, varnishes, biscuits, shoes, soap, toothbrushes, chocolate, bookcases, and glue.
Get 'em while they're young, say the ad execs.