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Beadle's Dime Speakers

LIKE ALL of the other handbooks published by Irwin P. Beadle or Irwin P. Beadle & Co., the original issues of the first two or three Dime Speakers are of small format — 5 7/8 by 3 3/4 inches (although in some cases they were trimmed somewhat more) — and the wrappers are of a buff color with no illustration on the front (Fig. 131). Beginning with number 4, they were increased to the size of the standard Dime Novels, and the number of pages was increased to approximately 100. Owing, however, to a short count of the preliminary pages, there are actually only about 96 all told. Beginning, also, with number 4, the wrappers were changed from buff to various shades of yellow or orange. I have No. 17 in a pale yellow, almost buff, and No. 23 in a yellow-orange, and the early numbers in the typical dime-novel orange, but there are all intermediate shades. Each wrapper, also, issued after the firm removed to 118 William Street, has an illustration of a speaker in some sort of a pose on the front (Fig. 132).

The wrappers of the early editions of every number from 1 to 25 show the cut of the reverse of a dime in the title. Reprints, however, made after September 12, 1894, when the printing of an illustration of a coin became illegal, have the cut of the dime omitted (Fig. 133), and it is possible, therefore, to find all the numbers from one on, reprinted by Beadle & Adams, 98 William Street, without this cut. Ivers also reprinted all the numbers without the dime. The signatures are held together by stabbed binding in Nos. 1 to 17, and perhaps later, and thereafter by staples. The advertising pages, when present, vary in different reprints, being usually brought "consider'ble more of less than less of more," up to date, as General Nix would have said.

As an edition of a number became exhausted, it was reprinted, and the title page or cover or both received the new firm name or firm address. One may, therefore, as with the Dialogues, find copies of the early numbers bearing the imprints of all of the changes of the firm. Some of the late reprints have a defaced copyright notice on the verso of the title page, apparently 186 —, although the books may actually have been printed in the 1870's, while others of the same number have the correct date. After the copyright had expired, it was quite customary to deface the date, apparently to make the reader think it more recent. This held true for the novels as well as the handbooks, and for the novels of other cheap-book publishers, as well.

A complete list of the Contents of all the Speakers, from No. 1 to 25, will be found in the catalogues in the backs of Dime Libraries Nos. 531 and 543.

Fig. 131. Beadle's Dime Speakers
Fig. 131. Type I-S.

Speakers Nos. 1 to 3, the originally unnumbered

Fig. 132. Beadle's Dime Speakers
Fig. 132. Type II-S.

Speakers Nos. 4 to 25; wrappers in various shades
of yellow and orange

Fig. 133. Beadle's Dime Speakers
Fig. 133. Type III-S

Reprints afer September 12, 1894, in orange wrappers with dime removed

The Various Issues of the Speakers
Cut of dime removed.
I. P. Beadle
137 William St.
I. P. Beadle & Co.
137 William St.
I. P. Beadle & Co.
141 William St.
Beadle & Co.
141 William St.
Beadle & Co.
118 William St.
Beadle & Co.
98 William St.
Beadle and Adams
98 William St.
Beadle and Adams
98 William St.
Beadle and Adams
92 William St.
M. J. Ivers & Co.
  October, 1859 May 1, 1860 October, 1860 October, 1862 May 1, 1868 July 1, 1872 September 12, 1894 May 1, 1896 March, 1898
0 1     X     X   † X
      2 X   X     X
      3 X   X     † X
        4   X     X
        5   X † X   † X
        6     X   † X
        7   X     † X
          8 X     † X
          9 X     † X
          10 X     † X
          11 X     † X
          12 X   X † X
          13 X     † X
            14 X   † X
            15     † X
            16 X   † X
            17   X X
            18 X   † X
            19     † X
            20 X X † X
            21 X   † X
            22 X   † X
            23   X † X
            24     X
            25 X X † X

Numbers indicate original issues.

O is unnumbered.

X indicates reprinted copies seen with publishers' imprints later than originals. Probably all the numbers were reissued without the cut of the dime from 98 William Street, and probably also by M. J., Ivers & Co.

† Correction made as per Volume 3.
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