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Beadle's Dime Speakers



American Speaker. The original "Speaker" was unnumbered († Fig. 131). The title page reads: "A companion to the Dime Dialogues. The Dime Speaker: Being Gems of Oratory for the School, the Exhibition-Room, the Home Circle, and the Study: Comprising Specimens of Wit, Humor, Pathos, and Discourse, from Fresh and Eminent Sources, by Louis Legrand, M.D. New York: Irwin P. Beadle, 137 William Street."

On the verso of the title is the copyright notice by Irwin P. Beadle and the date, 1859. The wrappers are buff, 5 7/8 by 3 ¾ inches in size. The front cover is a facsimile of the title page except that the word "Beadle's" occurs before "Dime Speaker," and that the name of H. Dexter, Publisher's Agent, takes the place of Irwin P. Beadle. A cut of the reverse of a dime is found on both title page and wrapper.

The book contains 72 pages (the title page being counted as page 1) plus seven pages of advertisements of Beadle's Song Books, and one page advertising Stoddard Pianos. The insides of the wrappers are blank, but there is a Beadle advertisement on the back. The book was deposited for copyright August 13, 1859, and it must have been issued at about the same time, for it is mentioned among books already out in The Home for September, which appeared about the 20th of August. It was also advertised in the New York Tribune for September 28, 1859.

Later, the Speaker was reissued with an identical title page, but with a reset front cover. The type is different, but the wording is the same except that the name of Louis Legrand is omitted, and there are large figures "1" in both upper right and left corners. The words "Number One" also occur after the word "Speaker." The first 71 pages are identical with the same pages of the unnumbered edition, but additional material was added at the bottom of page 72 and on succeeding pages to bring the number to 79, with one blank page at the end. There are no separate leaves of advertisements, but Beadle's publications are advertised on the inside and the back of the covers. The book was again copyrighted, this time by Irwin P. Beadle & Co., some time between April 3 and May 1, 1860, the latter being the date at which I. P. Beadle & Co. removed to 141 William Street. The size remained the same although some copies were trimmed closer. The wrappers remained buff.

Still later the Speaker was reissued in the larger format of the Dime Novels (6 3/8 by 4 1/8) but the wrappers remained buff. It was copyrighted December 8, 1863. The contents are identical, page for page, with the previous issue, but the pages were renumbered, so that the first page of recitations is now 11 instead of 5, and 13 pages of recitations were added as well as two pages of advertisements, making the total apparently 100 pages. However, the actual number of pages is less, for there are only the title leaf, which should not be counted, the leaf with Introductory Remarks, and the leaf with Contents, before the text begins. The verso of the leaf of Contents is numbered "viii," and the verso of the first leaf of text, which immediately follows, is numbered 12. Four pages, therefore, are only imaginary to make good the so-called 100 pages advertised for these booklets.

The reissued Speaker has an entirely different title page and wrapper. It was published by Beadle & Co., 118 William Street. The cover now had the title "Beadle's Dime American Speaker," and also carried the words "Speaker Series, Number 1," and a cut of a young man "orating."

Still later reprints have orange wrappers, and imprints of all subsequent changes of firm name and address. As mentioned above, the cut of the dime was dropped from the cover after 1894, and does not appear in the late Beadle & Adams and in none of the M. J. Ivers & Co. reprints.


National Speaker.

No first edition of this has been seen by me. It was deposited for copyright October 25, 1860, but was not issued until November 3. (1) Presumably it also was originally of small size, and had buff wrappers, for it was published by Beadle & Co., at 141 William Street, and the other handbooks, songbooks, etc., of the firm issued from 141 William Street, were small. Later editions in the larger size but still in buff wrappers, have (disregarding the misnumbering of the preliminary pages) 97 pages of recitations, one blank page and two of advertisements. The booklet is marked "Revised and Enlarged Edition," and has an illustration on the cover. It was copyrighted December 8, 1863, and issued from 118 William Street. Still later, the reprints came out in the usual orange covers.


Patriotic Speaker.

No copy of small size of this Speaker has been seen by me. It may or may not have been issued in that form. However, it did appear in buff wrappers, and was deposited for copyright October 8, 1862. It was issued October 15, (2) by Beadle & Co., Publishers. My own copy has the address 141 William Street on the title page and 118 William on the wrapper. Since this songster was issued at about the time the firm moved, it is possible that it had been printed at the former address and the wrappers put on at the latter. Perhaps copies may turn up with 141 William Street on both title and wrapper. The preface is signed O. J. V. (O. J. Victor), and is dated October, 1862. There are 99 pages plus one blank page. Later editions carry a copyright date of 1863.


Comic Speaker.

All of the Speakers from No. 4 on, were issued originally in wrappers in various shades of orange and yellow, and apparently none in buff. No. 4 was copyrighted in 1863, and was issued November 28. (3) Beadle & Co., 118 William Street, is the publishers' imprint.


Dime Elocutionist.

This booklet appeared both in yellow-orange and in deep orange wrappers. As usual, the preliminary pages are short count. There is a title leaf unnumbered, an Introduction leaf numbered viii on the verso, a Contents leaf numbered ix, first page of text unnumbered, but verso numbered II. The final page is numbered 96 and there are four additional pages of advertisements. The actual number of pages, excluding the wrappers but including the advertisements is only 96. The booklet was issued October 13, 1865. (4) Beadle & Co., 118 William Street. In some of the later issues, the number of pages of advertisements was increased to 6.


Humorous Speaker.

Beadle Sc Co., 118 William Street. The booklet was copyrighted in 1866, and issued April 30.(5) The last page is numbered 96, and there are four additional pages of advertisements.


Standard Speaker.

Beadle & Co., 118 William Street. The booklet was filed for copyright April 13, 1867, and was issued April 20.(6) The last page is numbered 96 and there are four additionad unnumbered pages of advertisements.


Stump Speaker.

This speaker was filed for copyright March 26, 1868. Beadle & Co. moved from 118 to 98 William Street on the first of May, 1868, but apparently Speaker No. 8 was actually issued after that date. My own copy, apparently a first edition, has the imprint Beadle & Co., 98 William Street.


Juvenile Speaker.

Beadle & Co., publishers, 98 William Street. Copyright date is 1868, but no day of issue was seen in the newspapers. It was advertised in Dime Novel No. 147, which appeared April 7, 1868.


Spread Eagle Speaker.

Beadle & Co., publishers, 98 William Street. Filed for copyright September 13, 1869.


Debater and Chairman's Guide.

Beadle & Co., publishers, 98 William Street. Filed for copyright January 13, 1870, although the date on verso of title page is 1869.


Exhibition Speaker.

Beadle & Co., publishers, 98 William Street. The copyright date is 1871. It was advertised April 8, 1871.(7)


School Speaker.

Beadle & Co., 98 William Street. Copyright date is 1871. It was advertised November 25, 1871.(8)


Ludicrous Speaker.

Beginning with this number and continuing to the end of the series, the imprint is Beadle & Adams, 98 William Street, the firm having resumed the old name on the first of July, 1872. No. 14 was advertised in Dime Novel No. 273, which appeared on the market January 14, 1873, but it was probably issued in 1872.


Carl Pretzel's Komikal Speaker.

This speaker was announced April 19, 1873, in the Saturday Journal, as already published. It was also advertised in Dime Novel No. 279, which appeared April 8, 1879.


Youth's Speaker.

The title reads: "The Dime Youth's Speaker and Reform Orator: Comprising Topics of the Times, Treated in Beautiful Extracts and Original Discourse. Prose and Verse." It was copyrighted in 1874, but the exact date was not found.


Eloquent Speaker.

This was copyrighted in 1874, and must have appeared late in the year, for it was announced as "New, Just Published," on January 2, 1875.(9) I have copies in orange and in pale greenish yellow or yellowish green wrappers, the latter color being quite unusual for Beadle. This and all the preceding numbers have stabbed binding, but hereafter staples were used.


Hail Columbia Speaker.

Eighteen Speakers are listed in the Saturday Journal of August 26, 1876, and the booklet No. 18 probably appeared about this time. It was copyrighted in 1876.


Serio-Comic Speaker.

Copyrighted in 1877 and issued about May 5, 1877.(10)


Select Speaker.

Copyright date is 1877. The exact date of issue is unknown, but it was listed among Beadle publications December 15, 1877. (11)


Funny Speaker.

Copyrighted in 1878, and listed among publications, January 4, 1879.(12) It probably appeared late in 1878.


Jolly Speaker.

Copyrighted in 1879, and listed among Beadle publications, June 21, 1879. (13)


Dialect Speaker.

Copyrighted in 1879, and advertised March 27, 1880.(14) It probably appeared earlier, perhaps late in 1879.


Readings and Recitations.

Copyrighted 1882. Date of publication is unknown, but presumably it appeared the same year, in spite of the fact that only 23 Speakers were listed among Beadle publications in 1884. (15)


Burlesque Speaker.

Deposited for copyright April 13, 1886. Advertised April 10, 1886. (16)


Beadle's Dime Speakers


1 New York Tribune, "Ready this morning."
2 Harper's Weekly, VI, 1862, 672.
3 New York Tribune, "Ready this day."
4 Ibid, "Ready this morning."
5 Ibid. "Out this day."
6 Ibid. "Ready this morning."
7 Saturday Journal, II, No. 56, "Just published."
8 Ibid. II, No. 89, "Just published."
9 Ibid. V, No. 251.
10 Ibid. VIII, 1877, No. 373
11 Ibid. VIII, No. 405.
12 Ibid. IX, No. 460.
13 Ibid. X, No. 484.
14 Ibid. XI, No. 524.
15 Beadle's Weekly, II, April 5, 1884, No. 73.
16 Banner Weekly, IV, No. 178.
† Correction made as per Volume 3.
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