Monday, January 9, 2012

Dust jacket of "Your Dream Diary and Dream Book"

The tattered and torn dust jacket of 1938's "Your Dream Diary and Dream Book" presents some interesting points for discussion.

The cover of the jacket is nicely designed. The bottom half features a black-and-white photo of a pretty young lady, taken by Ewing Galloway.1 Above her, the white title letters are set against a background that's nearly midnight blue.

The blurb on the front cover states:
"It's the latest rage to keep a record of your dreams and their interpretations. This book provides the space for keeping your dream diary day by day and Gabrielle Rosiere, the well-known authority, tells you their meaning and significance."
The first three-quarters of the book consist of Rosiere's dream dictionary, while the final quarter of the book contains mostly blank pages (still blank in my copy) intended for the reader's dream journals. The pages state "Keep this beside your bed and use it first thing in the morning."2

Here are some of Rosiere's dream-dictionary insights from 1938:
  • Corn: Increase in fortune or family
  • Lettuce: Healthy and many good things
  • Eggs: Happiness and wealth
  • Broken eggs: Lawsuits
  • Rotten eggs: Disgrace
  • Boa constrictor: Great danger from powerful foe
  • Clams: Sorrow through stupid lack of kindness
  • Outdoor moth: Dangerous flirtation
  • Indoor moth: Losses through employees
  • Mothra: [Rosiere provides no entry]
  • Pirate: A very fortunate adventure
  • Pope: A warning against evil conduct
  • Mustache: Vanity causes humiliation
  • Girdle (new): Honors and love
  • Girdle (old): Hard work and trouble
  • Ice cream soda: Happy times with lovers or friends
  • Torpedo: A startling occurrence causing great excitement, perhaps horror
  • Sponge: Unreasonable demands from family and friends
  • Debts: Temporary embarrassment
  • Hearse: Illness
  • Hearse (empty): Slight illness

Meanwhile, the back of the book's dust jacket is used to tout more books by publisher Grosset & Dunlap.

The marketing pitch is fairly amusing. There's a sad-looking man in a suit and the quotation "If I Could Only Express Myself." The pitch continues:
"Millions of men and women, ambitious for success in life, eager to get ahead, anxious to make a good impression upon their friends, associates, employers are held back because they cannot command the right word at the right time, because they cannot express in their correspondence, their conversation, their writing what they really want to say."
Thus, some of Grosset & Dunlap's books can help this man from being so sad. Some of the books promoted on the back cover include:
  • Roget's Thesaurus
  • Crabb's English Synonymes3
  • Similes and their Use
  • A Desk Book of 25,000 Words Frequently Mispronounced
  • Shakespeare's Complete Works
  • Words We Misspell
  • One Thousand Sayings of History
  • How to Speak English Effectively
  • How to Use English
  • A Working Grammar of the English Language

And those are only some of the Grosset & Dunlap titles!

I don't know. Perhaps the thought of having to purchase all of those books and keep them at his desk is what's really making the guy depressed.

1. The photo probably wasn't taken by Ewing Galloway, but by his agency. According to the Syracuse University Library, Galloway (1881-1953) was a journalist and photo editor who ran the Ewing Galloway Agency in New York City. More from Syracuse's biography:
"In 1920 he opened his own photographic agency on 28th St. in New York. Although he had relatively few photographs at first, he soon expanded his stock and 1925 purchased a collection of 8000 images of Africa and Asia. ... By handling only general topics as opposed to time-sensitive news photographs, Galloway established a profitable market niche while pioneering the photographic interpretation of industry, transportation, and commerce. ... The 'Ewing Galloway' byline that appears under many photographs reproduced in books, magazines, schoolbooks, and encyclopedias, refers to the agency and not to Galloway himself, who learned to operate a camera only later in life. The caption was an advertising device: it could be left off, but the photograph would cost more without it. The lack of records from the company makes it impossible to identify the actual photographers."
Posters of some of the more famous Ewing Galloway photos that have stood the test of time -- including trains, train tracks, bridges and lighthouses -- can be found at
2. My foray into writing down what I remembered from my dreams lasted all of one day when, a couple of years ago, I jotted down the following in my notepad one morning: "Things I received in a dream: exercise bike; 2 folding chairs; plate; mental hospital diary; calendar book w/ days marked w/ paperclip + reminder cards; tennis racquets; Life in a Northern Town; broom that made train noise to keep cats out of the way; items to get you to NYC." Good luck with that, Gabrielle.
3. The quick pitch for "Crabb's English Synonymes" states: "What the slide rule is to the engineer this volume is to the person who reads and writes."

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