Chicagoland publishers printed this book: J. M. Foutz, Thompson and
Charles C. Thompson and Co., Stanton and Van Vliet Co., and Clarkson
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
been seen. These books have either 438 pages, 546 pages or 615 pages.
The volumes include several short vignettes by George W. Peck. See
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
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
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.
Here is a post-1903 volume. 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.