Thursday, May 10, 2012

"Family Worship," published in 1894 by P. Anstadt & Sons

Here's a book that was produced right here in York, Pennsylvania. The gold lettering on the black cover simply states "Family Worship." But inside is one of those much-longer book titles that were common in the 19th century.1

The full title is "A Help to Family Worship, or Short Forms of Morning and Evening Prayers for Four Weeks. With Prayers for Special Occasions, Grace at Table, Children's Morning and Evening Prayers, and Morning and Evening Hymns."

(Deep breath.)

The book was compiled by the Reverend Peter Anstadt and published by his company -- P. Anstadt & Sons -- in 1894 in York.2

P. Anstadt & Sons is still around, 118 years later. It's now known as Anstadt Communications and is still based in York County. Here's a excerpted passage about the company's long history, from its "About Us" page:
In 1878, the Reverend Peter Anstadt founded The Anstadt Company and began to print and publish a Teachers’ Guide for Sunday School. (To add historical perspective, this was two years after the introduction of the telephone and the year before Thomas Edison invented a practical incandescent light.)

As the company grew, Peter’s three sons learned the printing business and, in 1903, Charles P. (representing the second generation) took over as president. Under his leadership Anstadt Printing began offering rubber stamps, stationery, and school and office supplies as well. In 1922, his son Charles B. Anstadt joined the firm.

Charles brought progressive ideas and was quick to incorporate new inventions. He purchased the company’s first offset press in 1946; with this addition the company was able to produce a wide variety of advertising and marketing pieces. ...

Today, Anstadt Communications includes a team of highly talented professionals who are passionate about generating demand.
Getting back to the book itself, the long title pretty well describes what it's all about. But here is Rev. Anstadt himself describing it in a bit more detail in the book's preface:
"These short Forms of Prayer are intended to be a help in conducting Family Worship. They are not designed to interfere with the free utterance of prayer by the heads of families in their own words. But it is well known that many pious christians are not well qualified to lead in public worship. ... In providing these forms, therefore, we venture to express the hope, that none will use them formally, slavishly, or exclusively."
Here are some of the other York County connections within this 1894 book:
  • The "Remarkable Prayers" section features a prayer that Samuel Simon Schmucker3 wrote in diary in 1816, while he was principal of York County Academy.4
  • The pages at the end of the book contain advertisements for other products published by P. Anstadt & Sons, including:
    • "Practical Sermons and Addresses" by Dr. Lochman, the pastor of Christ Lutheran Church for nearly a half century (1,900 copies printed)
    • "Grace All-Sufficient," a 10-page sermon by Rev. E. Greenwald, D.D., of Lancaster, Pennsylvania
    • "The Seven Calumnies," described as "A controversy between Rev. P. Anstadt, D.D., and Father Thos. McGovern, (Roman Catholic Bishop), on Transubstantiation, Purgatory, Salvation by Works, Infallibility of the Pope, Political Intrigues, Papal Bulls and Bible Burning." (Price 10 cents)
    • "Justifying Faith," an essay read at the York County Sunday School Conference held in Jefferson, Pennsylvania, in 1884.
    • P. Anstadt & Sons also sold supplies, including Sunday School tickets (12 cents for a sheet of 154 tickets) and unfermented wine (Concord grape juice) for sacramental and medicinal purposes.

1. The February 2011 post titled "Old Dinosaur Illustration of the Day" featured the longest book title I've ever had on Papergreat.
2. The book's copyright page adds that it was "Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1894, by P. ANSTADT & SONS, In the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington."
3. For more on Schmucker, check out "Thanksgiving Day thoughts: Sermon in 1846 from son of York County resonates today" on Jim McClure's York Town Square blog.
4. York County Academy, established in 1787, is now York College.

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