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View Full Version : What is the year of publication of the OLDEST book you OWN?



Buttercup
2011-Feb-11, 10:37 PM
Around 2005 I purchased an English translation of Voltaire's The Henriade. This book was published (printed and bound) in 1798. :D I paid a pretty penny for it, and it's in very good condition. It's wonderful actually holding and touching something from that era, particularly a book! It sat on the shelf of some English manor for decades apparently; has a unique musty scent.

You?

CJSF
2011-Feb-12, 01:24 AM
The Scripture-Doctrine of Christ's Sonship Being Sermons on the Divine Filiation of Jesus, the Only Begotton Son of the Father. To which are subjoined, Three short Discourses on Psalm II. 12. by Benjamin Wallin, M.A. From 1771. It has several handwritten dedications/notes on the inside front cover. One looks like it might be from the time the book was published and is nearly illegible. Another is from 1881. It's in rough shape, with the front cover almost detached. I don't know if I should try to have it restored or not.

CJSF

mike alexander
2011-Feb-12, 02:11 AM
A copy of the writings of Francis Bacon, printed in 1805.

Solfe
2011-Feb-12, 02:43 AM
I don't have anything too old, but grandfather gave me several sets of books that I am rather proud of:

A set 1938 New Junior Classics, I read them to my kids. A leather bound copy of Gustov Dore - Dante's Inferno. My dad is holding it until my kids are little less destructive. It looks like the one in Jacob's Ladder, but has no copyright or publication date in it. And a strange set of the works of William Shakespeare, each book is leather bound and about 2.5 inches high in a battered pressboard box. These books have no dates, but were published by Knickerbocker Leather and Novelty Company sometime in the 1900s.

Solfe
2011-Feb-12, 02:51 AM
14459

Here is a photo of the that odd set of William Shakespeare books. I should have put a ruler or something down to show the tiny size.

Swift
2011-Feb-12, 03:16 AM
I have a copy of Swift's Gulliver's Travels (yes, he is the source of my nom-de-net); it is the second edition, which doesn't have a copyright date, but was published around 1735. At some more recent point it was rebound, but is otherwise in good shape.

After that, the next most recent are a bunch of mid and late 19th century books, mostly on science, but some other subjects too. I have a particular fondness for old chemistry texts.

ngc3314
2011-Feb-12, 03:51 AM
The two volumes of John Herschel's Outline of Astronomy, 1849. These came from a secondhand book sale, and were noteworthy in that some of the signatures had not been cut on the side opposite the binding - a printing error that showed no one had actually read these copies copy before.

HenrikOlsen
2011-Feb-12, 12:22 PM
Likely not a printing error but rather the standard way books were sold then, the idea being that the new owner would do the cutting himself, and/or possibly have the book rebound before reading, in which case the uncut pages would make rebinding easier and less likely to result in errors.

Buttercup
2011-Feb-12, 12:31 PM
Interesting all. :)

I currently have the opportunity to buy a book of political memoirs published in 1789. It's not too expensive either (considering), but will give it more thought; have a household expense which needs addressing first.

Romanus
2011-Feb-13, 05:23 PM
A book of Cicero translations from 1741, published in the UK and imported later; assuming it hasn't been rebound (and I doubt it has), it's in outstanding condition. What makes it especially awesome are the signatures on the inside cover from 1756, written in the same kind of lapidary flourishes as you'd find on the Declaration of Independence. :) The best part is that it was free; one of my mother's former bosses bequeathed it to her (along with many other books).


The two volumes of John Herschel's Outline of Astronomy, 1849.

Lucky! :)

CJSF
2011-Feb-13, 06:14 PM
Buttercup, I assume you mean when the editions we have were printed and not, say, a 2010 reprint of a 1850s essay collection or something like that?

CJSF

Githyanki
2011-Feb-14, 12:28 AM
Well, I have a Cambrian fossil that's 500,000,000 years-old. Does that count as a book?

Buttercup
2011-Feb-14, 01:59 AM
Buttercup, I assume you mean when the editions we have were printed and not, say, a 2010 reprint of a 1850s essay collection or something like that?

CJSF

Yes. The year the book you possess was printed and bound.

stutefish
2011-Feb-14, 02:10 AM
Nothing very old ready to hand, but I do have here on my desk Aircraft Hydraulics, written by Harold W. Adams and published by McGraw-Hill in 1943. In addition to being a practical introduction to the subject, inscriptions inside the front cover, along with other documents tucked between its pages, indicate that the previous owner worked for Douglas aircraft in southern California during the war, and had been certified by the War Manpower Board in 1944 as trained in aircraft hydraulic systems.

So not really a very old book, but one of the most fascinating books in my library right now.

Jens
2011-Feb-14, 06:39 AM
Not a book, but I'm pretty sure the oldest printed thing I own is a postage stamp from 1840. But it would be really cool to have books from the 18th century.

Solfe
2011-Feb-17, 03:20 AM
Off topic, but my daughter received a buffalo nickel as change at lunch last week. She figured out it was old and show it to us. The faces on each side are really worn down so there is no date. I think they were from the 1890's or so.

Buttercup
2011-Feb-17, 03:43 AM
Off topic, but my daughter received a buffalo nickel as change at lunch last week. She figured out it was old and show it to us. The faces on each side are really worn down so there is no date. I think they were from the 1890's or so.

Really! :surprised Wow. :) It's been quite a while since I've seen one of those. And "Wheat Pennies" used to be somewhat common too.

Solfe
2011-Feb-17, 03:52 AM
She was so happy. She thought it was a quarter because it had an animal on it - eagle or buffalo what is the difference? :) She is in kindergarten.

Jens
2011-Feb-18, 02:11 AM
She was so happy. She thought it was a quarter because it had an animal on it - eagle or buffalo what is the difference? :) She is in kindergarten.

By the way, did the buffalo on the nickel have wings?

Solfe
2011-Feb-18, 04:07 AM
Buffaloes, real honest to god, used for buffalo wing have a dozen wings on each side. :)

(No, I am not that witty... that was from Dr. Who.)

Swift
2011-Feb-19, 04:30 PM
Buffaloes, real honest to god, used for buffalo wing have a dozen wings on each side. :)

(No, I am not that witty... that was from Dr. Who.)
Proof (http://www.freakingnews.com/pictures/29000/Buffalo-Wings--29401.jpg)

The truth (http://www.cartoonstock.com/lowres/dre0179l.jpg)

If Pigs had wings (http://www.offthemarkcartoons.com/cartoons/1997-10-08.gif)

Ara Pacis
2011-Feb-22, 07:53 PM
I think it's 1910, Applied Physiology.