Beadle and Adams' first attempt at issuing novels as thin quartos instead of as small 16mo booklets came in January, 1873, with the issue of No. 1, New and Old Friends, an Illustrated Edition of Popular Novels by Popular Authors. These broadleaves (Fig. 51) were 11 1/4 by 8 inches in size, with 32 double-column pages, and with two to four illustrations in each number. The pages were held together by stitches through the fold. The stories, with the exception of No. 5, which appears to have been published here for the first time, were reprints of earlier Beadle Dime Novels. There were no wrappers, the story beginning underneath a black woodcut illustration on the front page. The price was ten cents per copy.
The format was apparently not popular at that time, and no other quarto appeared until 1877.
In No. 15 appeared the announcement that the coming issue, No. 16, ready December 20, 1873, "will be enlarged to the size of Harper's Weekly and will contain two romances in one number." The price still remained ten cents. It thus became a story paper (Fig. 52) of sixteen four-column pages, 16 5/8 by 11 1/4 inches in size. The title of the paper now became New and Old Friends, an Illustrated Paper of Popular Reading by Popular Authors. There was but one black line illustration, which appeared on the first page. Apparently the change to the new form was not acceptable to the Beadle readers, for the new series ended with No. 3, February 2, 1874.