Finding an Old Book

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
14,097
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Pines; Bamber area
Bob, Could you email me that image and give me permission to use it as I see fit? Great talk about our common vernacular changing. Same as Piney names for plants like Catspaws and Buttons.
Just thinking, this is from a Trenton Times article from 1956. I could email a photo of it. Just don't mention me at all, but you should cite the source.
 
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harlequinhawk

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Aug 31, 2009
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No, I have no authority to do that Joe.
Bob, yeah I understand that. I was just asking to borrow your photo capture of the article and I'd always cite the original. No worries I can dig up the article on newspapers.com. It's a neat piece of writing on Bisbee I have a copy of his Place Names that came with a supplemental of 'Before Levittown'.
 
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Ben Ruset

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Oct 12, 2004
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Just in case anybody wonders what happened, here's the threat from the lawyers representing the people who eventually came to own the copyright for that article.

Ultimately I had to hire an attorney to tell them to kick rocks, and I don't really want to have to do that again.

Bob, on further reflection, if the article you posted was your own photo then it's probably safe - at least no automated system would find it like what happened in this lawsuit. But if people find an already published image of a newspaper article that's a no-go.

Transcribing old newspaper articles ought to be fine.
 

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gipsie

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Sep 14, 2008
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So, I've been building a small collection of Pinelands and other Jersey-related books. In the process I've been fortunate enough to find and buy several rare/out-of-print works, but there's one book I'm looking for right now which I can find no copies of for sale anywhere.

The book is Sign Posts: Place Names In History of Burlington County, N.J. by Henry H. Bisbee (Alexia Press, 1971). It's been discussed and referenced a few times on these forums. Although quite dated at this point, it's an awesome compendium of research on the origin of many place names across the county. It also includes a lot of maps and drawings.

View attachment 17140

I've been able to access it and read it, as fortunately the Burlington County Library System has some copies, and I've checked it out. I also found one other copy in a private collection earlier this year, but it's not for sale. Etymology fascinates me and I would love to have permanent access to this book as a reference; I don't know of any other work that covers the same material in this depth other than the author's 1955 Place Names in Burlington County, which is essentially a draft of this book.

I thought I might ask if anyone on these forums owns a copy they would want to sell (maybe a long shot, as if you own this, chances are you probably want to keep it!), or if anyone knows where else I might purchase it. Thanks!
I am a little late to this and I apologize but I thought I might chime in. There is a used book store in AC that specializes in rare local books. He may have, or have a way of getting, what you are looking for. Sometimes he is a little expensive, but a good book is worth what you are willing to pay. You can look up his inventory on the website, I think, but you can also go to AbeBooks and he lists his books there as well.

 
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stiltzkin

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Feb 8, 2022
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I am a little late to this and I apologize but I thought I might chime in. There is a used book store in AC that specializes in rare local books. He may have, or have a way of getting, what you are looking for. Sometimes he is a little expensive, but a good book is worth what you are willing to pay. You can look up his inventory on the website, I think, but you can also go to AbeBooks and he lists his books there as well.


Oh, wow, this is amazing! Thank you so much for this post. It looks like this business exists for exactly what I'm trying to do. I will get in touch with them for sure.

Can't thank you enough!
 
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stiltzkin

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Just as an update - I think I've now spoken to almost all relevant bookstores and book dealers in the entire state (and a few in Philly) but nobody has a copy of this book or a lead on where to find it. Many said they had seen it a few years ago but not since then.

I'm not giving up! Will keep looking.
 

Ben Ruset

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I don't know if it's the same book, but I have a copy of "Place Names in Burlington County New Jersey" by Henry Bisbee. It's a first edition, published in 1955. It doesn't say "Sign Posts" anywhere on it, so I wonder if the title changed for a reprint. Not looking to sell it, but if there's any information you need out of it I'm glad to pass it along.

I've had it for twenty years at least. I must have found it on Abe Books, back in their pre Amazon ownership days.

Here's a copy for $45.
 

stiltzkin

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I don't know if it's the same book, but I have a copy of "Place Names in Burlington County New Jersey" by Henry Bisbee.

I do appreciate the offer, thank you. Unfortunately it is not the same book. It's the author's earlier attempt at the same material. I mention it in the first post in this thread, and Bob also posted a picture of the title page.

Sign Posts, from 1971, is much more complete and I believe also corrects some errors, which is why I'd prefer it. I suppose the printing was much more limited on the later work, and/or the available copies have all gradually made their way into private collections over the years.

I think I will find it eventually. It may just take a long time.

P.S. The Old Bookshop of Bordentown is awesome.
 
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stiltzkin

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More on the one I have. Someone pasted these articles in the back, probably Robert Blanchard himself, since Bisbee thanked him, and Blanchard wrote the newspaper praise.

View attachment 17142

For Christmas, a family member gifted me a copy of Place Names (the 1955 book) signed by Bisbee just a few days before your copy. It looks like he was giving out Christmas gifts as well in '55.

20230110_221608.jpg


It's not Sign Posts, but I am very happy to have this. The search continues...
 

Teegate

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Sep 17, 2002
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Make sure you take note of George Vail mentioned in the photo you posted. He lived in Audubon and was a prolific artist who painted Henry Beck, Joseph Truncer and Arthur Pierce which hung in the library in Batsto. The last time I saw the paintings they were hanging in the auditorium.

Jessica, Ben and myself were invited by Janet Worrel of the Batsto Citizen Committee to the re-dedication ceremony at the Truncer Library after renovations to it in 2005. We met superintendent Florence McNelly, former superintendents, James Truncer and his mom as well as Althea Vail the daughter of George Vail. Henry Becks daughter was there but I did not get a chance to talk with her.

This photo shows George Vail's paintings on the wall as well as Budd Wilson at the podium, Athea Vail the daughter of George Vail in red on the right and the owner of this website Ben Russet just to her left. It also shows James Truncer, the son of Joseph Truncer seated just below Althea. I spent most of my time talking with him about his father.

Wilson, Hogan, Ruset, Vail.JPG



Vail.jpg


He had an interesting life.

 
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stiltzkin

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I just read through some old threads from about that time on here, that's very nice. It's a shame that some of the older front-page articles are no longer accessible and a lot of old images are gone. I would have loved to have met Henry Beck's daughter. That George Vail obituary is pretty incredible.

I've been interested in checking out the library, if for nothing else than curiosity about what is in the collection. I inquired about it about a year ago and was told that if I wanted access I should send an email to the Superintendent, but I haven't yet done that. Maybe I should?
 
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Pan

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Jul 4, 2011
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Arizona
"Old Book"

This thread brought to mind one of the unique places of now long gone America. Macdonalds book store was located in a very old factory building in an out of the way spot in the small town of Hudson NY. I was just talking about it. It had an enormous basement filled up with old dusty books, plus all sorts of antiques like old player piano rolls, and who knows what was buried in the inaccessible - because of all the piled up junk - dark far reaches. All the books in the basement were eight cents. I was first there in the early 70s. I bought an American home medical care book from 1798. I remember that one of the doctor's favorite cures for many ailments was capsaicin. Mr Macdonald said that we could stay there all night if we wanted to, just leave 8 cents in the cigar box for every book we took and close the basement door when we left.

I took this photo in 2006 before they demolished it. The Macdonalds signs were all gone by then except for the 8 cents sign.
 

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stiltzkin

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Yes, you're right, "old" is quite relative. It's old to me, but in terms of books, 1971 is practically new. Currently the oldest book in my collection is from 1911 (Witmer Stone's The Plants of Southern New Jersey - the original, not a reprint). And even that is, relatively speaking, not all that old.

By the way, I love your historic photos and I hope you continue to post them.
 
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stiltzkin

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Feb 8, 2022
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Well, after a bit over a year of searching, the quest has come to an end! I was finally able to locate a copy of this book. An eBay saved search alert came through for me.
A7502910.jpg


It was not cheap, and the dust jacket is very tattered, but it's nothing that cannot be fixed up. That it even has the dust jacket at all is great. The book itself is in solid condition. It has some minor pencil and pen markings inside, but this does not really matter to me. It is a privilege to be able to own one of these, given how rare they seem to have become. I admire the work that went into compiling this information over many years, and this will have a special place on my shelf.

Thanks to everybody who provided suggestions of bookstores to check - even though I did not end up finding this at a local bookstore, I had some great conversations with the people who run these stores, and bought many other books from them.
 

stiltzkin

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A second source recently ended up coming through for me on another copy of this book, which is in better condition, and which is signed by Dr. Bisbee. I could not pass it up. This is the one I'd like to keep in the collection.

A7504158-s.jpg


I certainly don't need to own two copies. If anyone happens to be interested in buying the first one, just let me know. I thought I should offer here.
 
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