Home Information Contents Search Links

The Youth's Casket

BEADLE'S FIRST ATTEMPT at publishing occurred while he was still running his stereotype plant in Buffalo. It was a very modest effort; a little magazine, first with white wrappers printed in reddish orange, then with tan wrappers printed in black † (1), 8 ½ by 5 3/4 inches in size (Fig. 148 - Fig. 149), with 16 pages to the number and selling for 50 cents a year. It was called The Youth's Casket; an Illustrated Magazine for Children. The first number, dated January, 1852, appeared late in December, 1851. A book notice in The Buffalo Morning Express, December 31, 1851, reads: "This new publication is made up of original matter. The illustrations, and they are excellent, are by Buffalo artists. The work is stereotyped by the publishers, and makes a very appropriate and valuable publication for young readers. We hope the enterprise will succeed." That was a pretty good notice for the Express, or, for that matter, for any Buffalo paper in those days when more advertisements than news were handed out to the public. Harley Thome was given as the editor; Beadle & Brother, 11 West Seneca Street, the stereotypers; and Phinney & Co., the printers.(2) The publishers' imprint is Beadle and Vanduzee, Buffalo. B. C. Vanduzee, at that time, was one of the leading wood-engravers in Buffalo, and it is likely that he put his ability as an artist into the combination against Beadle's stereotyping, so that the venture was not very risky, the only cost being that of paper and printing. Many of the cuts are signed by Vanduzee as artist and engraver. Who Harley Thome was is unknown to me. His name never appeared in the Buffalo directories, and it is probable that James O. Brayman, at that time Assistant Editor of the Buffalo Commercial Advertiser, was using it as a pen name to conceal his connection with another publication.

The connection of Vanduzee with the magazine lasted little more than a year, for with the April, 1853, number, the name of the publishers became Beadle & Brother. For some reason or other, this connection also did not last long, and late in 1853 E. F. Beadle alone was given as publisher. In the second volume, the name of Harley Thorne was dropped and James O. Brayman substituted as editor. His name appears also in volume III, in 1854, but thereafter, until the magazine ended with volume VI, in 1857, it was edited by Mrs. H. E. G. Arey.

The title was modified somewhat with volume IV, when it became The Youth's Casket: an Illustrated Magazine for the Young. E. F. Beadle, now at 199 Main Street, was still the publisher, but J. & C. E. Felton, to whom Beadle had sold his stereotype plant, made the plates, and Thomas and Lathrops were the printers.

The publishers of the last half of volume V, 1856, were Beadle & Adams; Robert Adams, who had been working for Beadle as a stenographer at 11 West Seneca Street, having joined the venture. The new firm name first appeared on the July, 1856, number. The firm consisted, therefore, at that time simply of Erastus F. Beadle and Robert Adams, brother Irwin having started a news depot and book store when the brothers sold their stereotyping plant. How much interest Erastus retained in the firm is not certain, for during this year he went to Omaha to try his hand at real estate, and he himself(3) intimated, the next year, that his connection with the magazine was in name only. Publication of the Youth's Casket ceased with volume VI, at the end of 1857.

Six little square sextodecimos of reprints of tales from the Youth's Casket were published in New York by Mason, Baker & Pratt, but with these Beadle apparently had no connection.

Fig. 148 The Youth's Casket
Fig. 148. The Youth's Casket

December, 1885, and preceeding.

Fig. 149 The Youth's Casket
Fig. 149. The Youth's Casket.

New Design beginning in January, 1856.

The volumes may be described separately as follows:



The change in colors came with No. 6 or 7, Vol. IV.


See also the "History of the Firm," years 1851 to 1857, in Part II of this book. Pearson (Dime Novels, 1929, 50) made the statement that Beadle added a printing office to his stereotyping plant in Buffalo. As a matter of fact, he did not do his own printing even during his early days in New York.

3 Erastus F. Beadle. To Nebraska in '57. A Diary of Erastus F. Beadle. N.Y. Public Library, Bulletin, February and March, 1923, under Beadle's date, May 1, 1857. See also the "History of the Firm," in Part II of the present volume.
† Correction made as per Volume 3.
Go to:
Previous Series Introduction
Numerical ListNumerical List
List of all Periodicals