Saturday, January 22, 2011

Deconstructing Old Ads: The Recreation-Outdoor Library

The Recreation-Outdoor Library
Today's Advertisement comes from the April 1934 pages of Outdoor Life. The Recreation-Outdoor Library has a somewhat storied background. Outer's-Book magazine was combined with Recreation magazine to become Outer's-Recreation. This was then renamed Outdoor Recreation. In the late 1920's this was then combined with Outdoor Life to become Outdoor Life Combined with Outdoor Recreation. The cumbersome name was quickly changed back to Outdoor Life. In the process Outdoor Life acquired the rights to the Outer's Book Company's, “Recreation Library.” They quickly added a few additional volumes and sold the individual books (which averaged about 90 pages each) for 25 cents each or six for 1 dollar. The earlier volumes by Sheridan R. Jones show up quite often at lure meets and generally can be purchased today for around $5.

Sometime ago I came across the only complete set of all eight volumes I've seen. Better yet, they were in mint condition in their original shipping box. Weighing better than one pound, the box was shipped from Denver, Colorado to Montclair, New Jersey for 12 cents postage! The authors of these volumes were all highly respected authors in their individual fields. Charles Askins, Horace Kephart, Cal Johnson, Sheridan R. Jones and Major Townsend Whelen are all legendary names in outdoor writing.

-- Bill Sonnett

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