Sunday, January 13, 2008

O! say can you see....

One of the greatest examples of magazine americana is found in the Analectic Magazine (from the Greek analekta, selected things) of November 1814, which first published (anonymously) in a widely circulated periodical, Francis Scott Key's "Defence of Fort McHenry", set to the music of a British drinking song "Anacreon in Heaven". Prior to this, the poem had appeared only in a few local newspapers. Within a few years, "The Star Spangled Banner" as it later came to be called, gained recognition as the national song. official designated so by congress in 1931.

Analectic Magazine is the most important magazine of the second decade of the nineteenth century, initially edited by Washington Irving and containing great source material such as articles and engravings of American naval history, and the first publication a lithograph in America, by Bass Otis, in 1818.

Illustrated above is an unbound copy "in wrappers" of the original issue from the Lomazow collection. It was customary prior to 1920, for libraries to bind magazines into volumes , at which time which the original covers, or "wrappers", were usually discarded, making individual issues in wrappers a rarity today. Wrappers often contain unique advertising and publishing information, making them a scarce and valuable historical tool. For instance, the back wrapper of a later issue of Analectic contains an announcement of the impending first publication of the report of the expedition of Lewis and Clark!!

A bound volume of Analectic containing "Defence of Fort McHenry" presently is valued at about $500. An original unbound issue in wrappers would sell for ten times that amount.

Now YOU CAN SEE why collecting magazines is so much fun.

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