Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Booklet that Started a Catalog-

A few years ago at the Los Angeles Book Fair I came across this very cool 1862 catalog/promotional book. When I got it back to the office I began to catalog it, but then the idea popped into my head- why not look for some other material and issue an entire ice-related catalog? That eventually morphed into "Fire & Ice", our new catalog out this week. Here is the book that began the project-

"Ash’s Patent ‘Piston’ Freezing Machine and Wine Cooler, For Freezing and Cooling Liquids..." London; George Simpson, Ice Merchant: [1862]. 2nd edition.

The title page continues- “The first perfect application of the natural law of congelation adapted to domestic use; producing results never before accomplished. Also a cheap and effective method of preserving ice, and a recipe for preparing the celebrated freezing powders, (the best substitute for ice yet discovered), together with a variety of other choice recipes for mixing desert ices, ice puddings, &c., including valuable information, interesting to housekeepers, confectioners, &c., and essentially important to residents of all hot climates”.

The Ash Machine, manufactured by Simpson, used an up and down motion which produced ice or cooled liquid in a fraction of the time that cranked machines did. The first 34 pages of this booklet describe and illustrate the machine and the various uses to which it may be put; the booklet then goes on to describe a method for storing ice in the ground, an ice chest sold by Simpson, Simpson’s Patent Freezing Vase, a Patent Butter Cooler, the Seltzogene seltzer bottle, and several other Simpson inventions. This is followed by several pages of testimonials and then a list of nobility, clergy, gentlemen and ship’s officers who use the Ash machine. An interesting and elaborate early promotional book.

Hardcover. 4.5”x7”, 54 pages, line illustrations; elaborately impressed brown cloth with gilt titles; some soil, a little cover wear; text browned, lightly soiled, and with foxing to the title page. [09352] $400.00

See the entire Fire & Ice catalog here.

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