PUBLISHER: The Pathfinder Publishing Company, Washington, DC, 1894-1953

ABOUT: This company entered business in Washington, D.C., on January 6, 1894. The American Bookmaker XIX:1 page 28 (July 28, 1894) [later absorbed by American Printer and Lithographer, this volume became volume 19-20 of the latter title] noted that it had been incorporated by Edwin S. Potter, George D. Mitchell, and R. Bristow Adams with capital stock of $10,000. N.W. Ayer & Sons Newspaper Annual and Directory (Philadelphia, 1916, page 131) reported it had a building at 24th and Douglas Street, N.E., with its news review published on Saturdays, on 14 x 7.25 inch sheets, commanding a circulation of 105,000. The firm dissolved in August 1953. The Pathfinder Publishing Company did not submit catalogs to PTLA.

It's principal product was thus a weekly news magazine (printed on newsprint), The Pathfinder, self-described as a "bright weekly national review," but there is abundant evidence that at least in early years it printed or published Washington city and other directories as well as, perhaps, public documents.

It also, at least once, took a flyer on book publication. A series of Pathfinder advertisements in The Little Chronicle (Chicago Little Chronicle Publishing Co., 1900--), a weekly magazine to supplement school curricula, start November 21, 1901 ("The Wilderness of 'Good Reading'"), followed December 7 and December 14 by an advertisement of the Masterpiece Series of books. The "Wilderness" ad then repeats nearly every week through March 15, 1902. The issues for March 22 and March 29 have a new advertisement, "Our Presidents."

The "Wildness" ad begins, "Condensation is the key-note of the age. No person in these days can afford to let himself browse promiscously amongs the immense mass of "good reading" that is constantly thrust before him. / There is 16 hours' reading in the average daily paper. If you read only one sixteenth of this it takes 45 working days a year. And there are 22,500 periodicals in this country alone!" It goes on to offer a trial subscription of 13 weeks to its "rational journalism" for 15 cents a week.

The "Books for the Holidays / Very Remarkable Prices" is reproduced below in three sections. The second is an appparently selected list of books included in the Masteriece Series offered for $20 (or less), handling and shipping included. Lucile, please note, is on the list: number 63.

"Our Presidents" offered "A Magnificient Photogravure from the Famous Oil Painting," 22x28 inches for $1.33, prepaid.

A tip of the hat to Sean Infeld who provided information that lead to The Little Chronicle advertisements.

The binding design for Lucile, and at least some other titles, carries a monogram signature.

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LUCILE’s ISSUED BY Pathfinder Publishing Company: The binding of Lucile, and at least some of the other titles listed, has a designer's monogram in the lower left corner of the top board: an "A" with a dot or short line below it. The name of the designer is not known, but Richard Minsky suggests that in some uses he has seen it seems intended to indicate an arrowhead: the name may be something like "Archer." This design is also used on a Mershon Company edition of Lucile, which may suggest Pathfinder commissioned Mershon bindings for all of its book list.

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Last revised: 8 February 2017