Friday, April 22, 2011

Elgy Hadley's book cover

These days, you don't see many textbooks from the 1920s that are still wrapped in their school-issued book cover.

This brown cover is protecting the McGraw-Hill 1922 textbook "Industrial Physics: Mechanics" by L. Raymond Smith.1

According to the cover, it was used by Elgy Hadley2, who attended William Penn High School within the Harrisburg (Pennsylvania) School District. William Penn opened in 1926 and was closed and merged with John Harris to become Harrisburg High School in 1971, according to this timeline on

So, while "Industrial Physics: Mechanics" was published in 1922, this book cover couldn't have been put on any earlier than 1926.

Some other interesting tidbits from the book cover:
  • Across the top is written what appears to be the following: "I pity old Simp if he steals this book". That reminds me of this previous Papergreat post.3
  • The address listed is 627 Boyd St. A parking lot is now located at that site in Harrisburg. Did Elgy live there once?
  • The cover is all business, as it contains the warnings "NOT TO BE TAKEN FROM THE SCHOOL ROOM WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF THE TEACHER" and "Marking upon or otherwise defacing this book is forbidden, and any injury done it must be paid for by the pupil to whom it is loaned".

The book cover was produced by The Holden Patent Book Cover Company in Springfield, Massachusetts. Holden had already been around for quite a while. Here's one of the company's advertisements from 1896:4

1. The book, like many textbooks of that time, was printed by The Maple Press in York, Pennsylvania.
2. Elgy Hadley kind of sounds like the name of a character in a Stephen King novel, doesn't it?
3. Also, and this is kind of random, but I discovered that there was a 1920 short comedy film called "The Simp" and that one of its stars was Otto Fries. So there.
4. This image is from the Google eBook version of The Publishers Weekly, Volume 50.

1 comment:

  1. Just think how much change and progress we've made in physics over the years. Wonder how this textbook compares to current one in terms of material.