Author of Peck's Bad Boy

Author, Politician, Publisher, and Statesman

Library of Wit and Humor

Five Chicagoland publishers printed this book: J. M. Foutz, Thompson and Thomas, Charles C. Thompson and Co., Stanton and Van Vliet Co., and Clarkson and Cooper.

As with Hot Stuff by Famous Funny Men and Comic Hits by Famous Wits, all of the contents of this title were published previously in "Wit and Humor of the Age". Four variants of Library of the Wit and Humor book have been seen. These books have either 438 pages, 546 pages or 615 pages. The volumes include several short vignettes by George W. Peck. See below.

This title has several copyrights. L. W. Yaggy 1883, Star Publishing Company 1898 and in 1901 Robert W. Patton, a company who I know nothing about. L. W. Yaggy was a subscription book publisher and held the copyright for the precursor to this book - Wit and Humor of the Age. It was the largest subscription publisher in Chicago. Star Publishing Company published this title in the 1890's.

Not much is known about Thompson and Thomas. It appears that it was at 267 Wabash from the late 1890's until about 1903 when it moved to 338 Wabash (Chicago). Charles C. Thompson and Co. succeeded Thompson and Thomas in 1909 and went out of business in 1913. Stanton and Van Vliet Co. succeeded Charles C. Thompson and Co. in 1917.

Clarkson and Cooper was active in the first decade of the twentieth century.

J. M. Foutz published the 438 page edition before 1901 since it does not have the 1901 R. W. Paton copyright noted on the title page. It is not known whether this edition was earlier or later than the first Thompson and Thomas copy. I have no direct information about this publishing firm but it is interesting that a Thompson and Foutz firm was active in Chicago in the 1890's. I suspect that this firm was the predecessor to both Thompson and Thomas and J. M. Foultz.

This is the earliest Thompson and Thomas edition. It has 438 pages. Note that the spine of the book and the title page are different from the later Thompson and Thomas books. Also the frontispiece has a picture of Mark Twain not Eli Perkins as in the later books.

This book was published before 1901 and therefore does not have the Robert W. Patton 1901 copyright.

The next Thompson and Thomas edition also has 438 pages.

This Thompson and Thomas book is a 1903 or later book. It has 438 pages.

Charles C. Thompson succeeded Thompson and Thomas in June, 1909 and remained in business until 1917. Based on the title page the Charles C. Thompson Co. copy was published in 1913. It is 546 pages.

Stanton and Van Vliet Co. published this title in 1918. It has 546 pages and is basically identical to the Charles C. Thompson Co. Book.

Clarkson and Cooper was basically a subscription house active in the first decade of the twentieth century. The only copy of this firm's book that I have seen is this leather-bound edition. This binding has been seen in brown or blue. This book has 615 pages.

The Peck contributions are shown below. Note that the Peck writings that are on the bottom right (pp. 591, 603) only appear in the Clarkson and Cooper book.



Last Revision: April 18, 2015