Welcome to my blog, featuring various pieces from my collection of Oz books, artwork and memorabilia!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Nieces at Work

One of the stranger changes - at least to me - made by Reilly & Britton to a book cover, happened to Aunt Jane's Nieces at Work, written by L. Frank Baum under his pseudonym of Edith Van Dyne. This was published in 1909, but for some reason the blue fabric with stars, as well as the shield with stars and stripes, was dropped from the cover in later printings - at least, the copy from 1912 that I'm showing on the right. This required the re-drawing of the lower portion of the cover image. Perhaps the publishers felt the original cover looked a little too political for a book for young girls? The story involves the nieces helping out in a friend's political campaign, so that reason wouldn't make much sense.

At any rate, I think the stories in these books are still very enjoyable!


Anonymous said...

I believe I have an answer for you on this one - money. The latter printing does away with the blue plate in the printing process - in fact I think they've reformulated the cover plate to be red/green only instead of the traditional CMYK separation.

So they cut printing/ink costs in half. Probably many R&B books goy this treatment as they surely printed these little labels in bulk on a big sheet.

Bill Campbell said...

I was wondering if that might be the case - looking at both books, I couldn't decide if the blue had been dropped from the second cover or not. There was definitely green, so I figured they had used yellow and blue - but you're right, if they simply used green ink they could drop the use of blue altogether. Makes sense to me!

Bill Campbell said...

After reading the comment above on the cover printing of these books, I took a look at the rest of the Aunt Jane books and realized that the labels all appear to make use of 2-color printing, red & green...which raises the new question of why did they use a cover design requiring blue ink in the first place!