Friday, January 17, 2014

The aquatic life: vintage book jackets featuring a submarine and a yacht

Ready for some nautical adventures? I found these two books, with dust jackets attached, during last week's trip to Bethlehem.

Especially in the case of the Submarine Boys novel, it's not too common to find decent dust jackets on books this old.

The Submarine Boys' Trial Trip

This is the 1909 edition published by the The Saalfield Publishing Company, and it features the adventures of Jack Benson, Hal Hastings and Eph Somers.

I actually wrote about a different copy of this book in January 2012. That edition was published by the Henry Altemus Company of Philadelphia. Apparently, all of the books in this juvenile adventure series by Victor G. Durham were published simultaneously by Saalfield and Altemus.

One Altemus advertisement describes the series thusly:1
"These splendid books for boys and girls deal with life aboard submarine torpedo boats, and with the adventures of the young crew, who, by degrees, become most expert in this wonderful and awe-inspiring field of modern naval practice. The books are written by an expert and possess, in addition to the author's surpassing knack of story-telling, a great educational value for all young readers."

Cruising is Fun: The Handy Handbook for Yachtsmen

This book was written by Brandt Aymar and published by Greenberg.

In 1941.

As you might imagine, within a few months of this book's publication, recreational yachting was no longer quite as enjoyable of a pastime, what with those unterseeboots lurking in the high seas.2

Chapter 1, by the way, is jauntily titled "So You've Got a Boat!"

2. In fact, World War II is still haunting the seas, according the the May 2013 Mother Jones article "How Hitler's U-Boats Are Still Attacking Us" by Julia Whitty.

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