The Definitive Dwiggins no. 207—Crosby Gaige, Part 1
At his death, The New York Times said that, “Witty and erudite, Mr. Gaige excelled in many fields. He was known as a collector of first editions, gourmet and cook, Latin and Greek scholar, printer and binder of beautiful books, truck farmer, radio speaker, cattle breeder, machineshop and wood-carving enthusiast, perfume distiller and patent model collector.” In addition to this litany of accomplishments and personas Roscoe Crosby Gaige (1882–1949), more commonly known by his middle name Crosby, had been a very successful Broadway theatrical producer before he delved into the world of fine books and first editions. Among the highlights of his career on The Great White Way, according to the newspaper, were Within the Law (1912), Broadway (1926), Coquette (1927), and Othello and Macbeth (1935).  But it was with two other plays, The Butter and Egg Man and The Enemy (both 1925), that Crosby Gaige made his fortune. Writing in 2008, Simon Loxley said that he was worth the contemporary equivalent of $50 million in 1927. 
Gaige was interested in book collecting from a young age. He had joined the Grolier Club, the New York bibliophile society, in 1904, a year after his graduation from Columbia College. In 1908, with his college classmate Alfred Harcourt, he edited Books and Reading, a compilation of excerpts from “famous essayists and noted novelists” about those twin pleasures.  Two decades later he used his Broadway fortune to collect manuscripts and first editions. This hobby, in turn, became the impetus for his publishing venture which was predicated on publishing first editions of recent or contemporary authors. Here is how Gaige, in his autobiography Footlights and Highlights, described his entry into the world of publishing:
Having a very special feeling for the form and shape of a book, it was perhaps only natural that I gave expression to it by doing a little publishing of my own. The mid-Twenties were the heyday of book collecting, and I was one of the pioneers, bringing out a series of books by well-known contemporaries, each limited in number, planned by a top-notch designer, and printed in shops equipped to do especially fine work.
This seemed to me to be a much more interesting and useful form of limited-edition publishing than the practice of eternally issuing reprints of the classics in new dress. I have always thought flowers for the living, and in this case the living author, more graceful and fragrant than garlands for the dead.
Most of the authors involved already had contracts with regular trade publishers, but my friendships with both publishers and authors enabled me to bring out my small editions in advance of regular publication. This procedure was welcomed by the authors because it brought them additional compensation, and it also gave them the advantage of design and typography they might other wise not have enjoyed. 
Gaige was unusual for the time in his focus on original works instead of repackaged classics. His emphasis on publishing first editions .
Gaige officially began his imprint in November 1927, though the first public announcement of his plans did not occur until late March 1928.  Through his friendship with Bennett Cerf (1898–1971), whom he had met through the theatre world, he arranged for Random House to distribute his books. At that time, Random House was not yet a publisher. The company had been founded in January 1927 by Cerf and Donald Klopfer (1902–1986) with the goal of acting as a distributor of “good books with typographical distinction” and the books Gaige planned fitted that bill. The Random House Announcement for 1928-1929, declared, “Crosby Gaige, identified with the play ‘Broadway’ and scores of other successful theatrical ventures, and a recognized collector of manuscripts and first editions, is entering the publishing field with a first list that is astonishing in its variety and richness.”  The eight authors on his first list were, in order, Siegfried Sassoon (1886–1967), Maxim Gorky (1868–1936), A.E. (the pseudonym of George William Russell [1867–1935]), Joseph Conrad (1857-1924), Richard Aldington (1892-1962), Liam O’Flaherty (1896–1984), Humbert Wolfe (1885-1940), and James Joyce (1882–1941). Not all of them were published in the spring as promised, however. 
The Random House Announcement for 1928–1929 listed not only the Crosby Gaige books scheduled for publication, but also the designers and printers that Gaige had enlisted in his quest to make each one an example of fine printing. Those cited included Bruce Rogers (1870–1957), Frederic Warde, Frederic W. Goudy (1865-1947), Elmer Adler (1884–1962), D.B. Updike (1860–1941), and W.A. Dwiggins as designers; and The Merrymount Press, Pynson Printers, and The Printing House of William E. Rudge as printers. With the exception of Dwiggins, the names were predictable.
Ever since his days at The Riverside Press (1896–1911), Rogers had been viewed as the pre-eminent book designer in the United States. At the time that Gaige began his imprint, he had been affiliated with The Printing House of William E. Rudge for eight years as a consultant with studio space on the firm’s premises. His work for Rudge included seven AIGA 50 Books of the Year awards. Rogers’ protégé at the beginning of his tenure with Rudge was Warde who went on to make a name for himself as a book designer at the Princeton University Press from 1922 to 1925. After a few years in Europe, Warde returned to the United States in October 1927 to be a book designer at Rudge. Goudy is chiefly remembered today as a type designer, but in the 1920s he was still known for his work at The Village Press. Adler, one of the co-founders of Pynson Printers in 1922, was increasingly seen as one of the country’s top book designers by 1928 with fifteen AIGA 50 Books awards to his credit. Updike’s reputation, like that of Rogers, had been established decades ago. The Merrymount Press, which he had founded in 1893, was widely considered to be the leading printer in the United States. 
Compared to these men, Dwiggins’ resume as a book designer was very thin. He was on the cusp of the turning point in his career. He was still viewed as an advertising designer. Over the course of twenty years, he had designed only a handful of books, none of them award winners. His most notable book design up until this point was the limited and regular editions of My Mortal Enemy by Willa Cather for Alfred A. Knopf in 1926. Gaige’s decision to include Dwiggins in his roster of designers is likely due to input from Adler, who had worked with him on My Mortal Enemy and Nobodaddy by Archibald MacLeish (1926); or from William Edwin Rudge who by January 1928 was working with him on 22 Printers’ Marks and Seals and America Conquers Death.  There is also the possibility that Rogers, Updike, and/or Goudy would have put in a good word for Dwiggins since all three men had known him for many years.
There is another possible explanation for how Gaige came to consider Dwiggins as a designer for his book list. Somehow, in late 1927 Dwiggins came to design Veni Creator! by Humbert Wolfe, a slim book of 12 pages printed by The Harbor Press in New York City. The book was published as a Christmas gift with its 235 copies being divided between “the friends of Humbert Wolfe,” “the friends of Crosby and Hilda Gaige,” and “the friends of James R. Wells”.  Who hired Dwiggins to create Veni Creator!?: Roland A. Wood (1897–1967) or John S, Fass (1890–1973) of The Harbor Press, Crosby Gaige, James R. Wells, or Humbert Wolfe? There is no surviving correspondence to help answer this question, but I suspect the answer is Fass.
Fass and Wood had established The Harbor Press just two years earlier after meeting while both were working for Rudge. They had quickly gained a reputation as a commercial pant that also did work in the private press manner. Frederic G. Melcher, editor of The Publishers’ Weekly, listed them as being in the top five printers in New York City.  Fass was the typographer and Wood was the printer. He was the one who is mot likely to have been aware of Dwiggins’ work, including his new experimentation with stamped or stenciled designs, such as the one that graced the jacket and title page of Streets in the Moon by Archibald MacLeish (Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1926).
Dwiggins’ fantastical ornamental frame seems to be a precursor to the ornament he produced for the opening page of Veni Creator! The second stanza of Wolfe’s poem may have reminded Fass of Streets in the Moon: “Be near us when we build our city, indulge / the builders’ plan with starshine, turn the brick
/ with the courses of dawn, and let the sun divulge / the secret of gold arithmetic—.”
The manuscript for Veni Creator! may have been one of the fruits of Gaige’s winter 1926 trip to London to scout out unpublished texts for his publishing venture.  At that time, Wolfe, described by sculptor Anthony Padgett as a “poet, wit, civil servant,” was one of the best-known British literary figures and was thus someone Gaige must have met.  Gaige went on to include his The Craft of Verse: The Oxford Essay in his initial offerings in spring 1928.
The publication of Veni Creator! coincided with the establishment of Crosby Gaige, Publisher, though it preceded the affiliation with Random House. The exact relationship between Gaige and Wells is unclear because there is precious little information on the latter.  But the fact that copies of Veni Creator! were distributed by both of them suggests that they were already close friends if not business partners by the end of 1927. On the stationery designed by Dwiggins for Crosby Gaige, Publisher, both Gaige and Wells are described only as directors. Will Ransom says that Wells was responsible for the production of Gaige’s books, but says nothing more about their relationship.  By December 1928, only a year after he had started, Gaige decided to abandon publishing. He turned his list over to Wells who rechristened the company The Fountain Press. Since at least August 1927 Wells had been running his own limited edition publishing company called The Bowling Green Press. According to Ransom, it was sold to William Edwin Rudge on May 1, 1929. Rudge had not only been the principal printer for Gaige’s books, but the firm also did all but one of the books issued by The Bowling Green Press. (However, it printed none of the books issued by The Fountain Press.) 
Veni Creator! is one of Dwiggins’ lesser known book designs, due to both to its slightness and the relatively few number of copies. But it is of interest for its three stencil designs (title page, opening page, and colophon). The ornaments on the title page and the opening page are early examples of Dwiggins’ mature stencil designs, cut out of celluloid. The sprigs on the opening page reflect the sides of the border used for the letterhead while some of the architectural elements look to be repeated from Streets in the Moon. The relatively small colophon stencil (see above) is more organic than the other two. It is a forerunner of the WAD stamp that was affixed to Alfred A. Knopf books from 1945 on.
The harlequin cover is an atypical Dwiggins design. Its distorted, undulating components are at odds with his usually precise ornamentation, whether organic or geometric. The pattern looks as if its elements were carved, but none of them can be matched to Dwiggins’ early experiments with wooden stamps.  The design remains unique within his oeuvre.
There is little else to say about Veni Creator!, other than to point out that the title has been hand lettered to match the Scotch Roman type used for the text. This was most likely done do to the lack of type at that size. Dwiggins eschewed employing more flamboyant lettering such as that used for Ballades from the Hidden Way or Elizabeth and Essex, two books he subsequently designed for Gaige.
Crosby Gaige mark
As part of the letterhead he designed for Crosby Gaige, Publisher, Dwiggins devised a mark for the firm. It consisted of a ram flanked by the initials C and G, standing within an oval frame. It is unclear why Gaige chose the ram as his mark. There is no mention of sheep in the description of Watch Hill Farm, his home in Westchester County, in his autobiography Footlights and Highlights.
Surprisingly, there are four different versions of the ram and four variants of them, making for at least eight different Crosby Gaige marks. The static standing ram flanked by the serifed initials C and G within an oval frame was probably the first iteration of the ram since it appears on the letterhead and on the title page of Letters of Joseph Conrad to Richard Curle, the first book on Gaige’s initial Random House list to sport the mark. But it was not the first Crosby Gaige book to be published with a ram mark since it did not come out until August 20, 1928. That honor goes to Fifty Romance Lyric Poems collected and translated by Richard Aldington—where the mark has been reversed out of red on the title page—published on July 16. (The reversal must have been the idea of Bruce Rogers who designed the book.) Gaige must have particularly liked this variant of the mark since he used it in 1937 for a moving notice and again in 1949 for the title page of his autobiography. 
The second Crosby Gaige mark is probably the one with a woolly ram, hind legs apart, underneath a script CG monogram. It appears in this simple form on the title page of The Craft of Verse: Oxford Poetry Essay by Humbert Wolfe which was published July 20, 1928. Two variants of this mark exist. One can be found on the colophon page of Elizabeth and Essex by Lytton Strachey (designed by Dwiggins) and the other on the title page of Anna Livia Plurabelle by James Joyce. In both of these variants the woolly ram is standing on a ground enclosed within a circle. The Joyce version has a different script CG monogram than the Wolfe/Strachey one—the letters are separated and the G has a swashier descender—and the ground is correspondingly altered. Both the Joyce and Strachey books were published on October 20, 1928. 
Ballades from the Hidden Way by James Branch Cabell was the first of the four books that Dwiggins designed for Crosby Gaige to be published. It was issued August 6. For the colophon Dwiggins drew a third version of the ram mark. It is almost identical in form to the woolly ram (its back has a deeper depression), but it is in outline with the exception of a shaded right hind leg. The ground it is standing on is a single line; the CG initials are serifed; and the surrounding circle is similar to a Scotch rule with thick and thin lines.
The fourth Crosby Gaige ram is drawn in outline like the first, but its posture is more like that of the second and third rams. However, it is not a simple tracing of either of the latter two as there are subtle differences in the slope of its face and the declension of its back. This ram appears more alert. Dwiggins used it for the title page of Sonnets 1889–1927 by Edwin Arlington Robinson and, with the addition of a sans serif CG above, for the colophon of Good Morning America by Carl Sandburg. Frederic Warde placed the plain ram on a ground built of typographic ornaments for the title page of Orlando: A Biography by Virginia Woolf. 
The existence of so many variants of the ram mark is hard to entirely explain. It would have been entirely in keeping with Dwiggins’ habits to make a new ram for each of the books he designed for Crosby Gaige. And it is not surprising that other book designers such as Bruce Rogers, Frederic Warde, and Elmer Adler wanted to tinker with Dwiggins’ designs by deleting the CG monogram, adding a ground, or creating a reverse. (Such playing around with publisher’s marks was not unusual at the time, witness the interpretations of the devices for Alfred A. Knopf, Random House and The Limited Editions Club.) But how did the Wolfe and Joyce versions of the woolly ram come about? Perhaps, at the outset of his agreement with Random House, Dwiggins presented Gaige with several iterations of the woolly ram as an imprint and Gaige, rather than shelving the ones passed over, made them available to his other designers. But why would Gaige have needed a new device in the first place if he already had the one on his letterhead? Unfortunately, there is no surviving correspondence between Dwiggins and Gaige in this subject, only a single letter from Gaige in which he approves of the letterhead and asks Dwiggins for advice on a bookplate design. 
[See The Definitive Dwiggins no. 208 for more on W.A. Dwiggins’ work for Crosby Gaige.]
1. From Crosby Gaige’s obituary in The New York Times 9 March 1949. For more details of Gaige’s various ventures, see his autobiography Footlights and Highlights by Crosby Gaige (New York: E.P. Dutton and Company, Inc., 1948); “Frederic Warde, Crosby Gaige, and the Watch Hill Press” by Simon Loxley in Printing History New Series 4 (July 2008), pp. 39–48; and A History of Book Publishing in the United States vol. III: The Golden Age Between the Two Wars 1920–1940 by John Tebbel (New York and London: R.R. Bowker Co., 1978), pp. 167–168. These sources are not entirely trustworthy. In his autobiography (p. 21) Gaige claimed he was born in 1881, but his World War II draft card says 1882—and that “Crosby” is his first name and he has no middle name. Loxley incorrectly gives Gaige’s full name as Roscoe Conkling Gaige. Tebbel ghosted Gaige’s memoirs according to Colin Smythe. See “Crosby Gaige and W.B. Yeat’s The Winding Stair (1929)” by Colin Smythe in Yeats Annual, Issue 13 (1998), p. 318-319.
2. “Frederic Warde, Crosby Gaige, and the Watch Hill Press” by Simon Loxley in Printing History New Series 4 (July 2008), p. 39. See American Song: The Complete Musical Theatre Companion vol. 1 by Ken Bloom (New York and Oxford: Facts on File Publications, 1985), p. 185 for Gaige as the producer of The Enemy (1925).
3. Footlights and Highlights by Crosby Gaige (New York: E.P. Dutton and Company, Inc., 1948), p. 54. Gaige graduated from Columbia College in 1903 despite Simon Loxley’s contentions to the contrary. See the detailed account of the 1903 Columbia College graduation ceremonies in The New-York Tribune (8 June 1903), p. 3. Books and Reading by Roscoe Crosby Gaige and Alfred Harcourt (New York: Baker & Taylor Co., 1908). Alfred Harcourt (1881–1954) was a founder of Harcourt, Brace & Howe in 1919 which became Harcourt, Brace & Co. in 1921. Gaige was on its board of directors in the 1920s.
4. Footlights and Highlights by Crosby Gaige (New York: E.P. Dutton and Company, Inc., 1948), p. 201. Gaige’s emphasis on first editions caused a scandal when he labeled The Three Wayfarers: A Short Play by Thomas Hardy (New York: The Fountain Press, 1930) a first edition; in fact it had previously been published in 1893. See Beauty and the Book: Fine Editions and Cultural Distinction in America by Megan L. Benton (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2000), p. 138. (Also, I am puzzled how Reminiscences of Leonid Andreyev by Maxim Gorky could have been considered a first edition when the same text in the same translation had been published by William Heinemann Ltd. in England in 1922.) But overall Gaige’s strategy of finely printed first editions was a success. It may have inspired the 1930 Rimington & Hooper edition of Beau Brummell by Virginia Woolf which Dwiggins designed and illustrated.
5. Footlights and Highlights by Crosby Gaige (New York: E.P. Dutton and Company, Inc., 1948), p. 201. The exact origins of Gaige’s publishing activities are a bit murky. Printer’s Devil: The Life and Work of Frederic Warde by Simon Loxley (Boston: David R. Godine, Publisher, 2013), p. 109 says that Gaige announced his imprint 30 March 1928. That year is supported by A History of Book Publishing in the United States vol. III: The Golden Age Between the Two Wars 1920–1940 by John Tebbel (New York and London: R.R. Bowker Co., 1978), p. 167. The November 1927 date comes from “The Crosby Gaige Imprint and Its Value” by Robert Gunn in Publishers’ Weekly (October 6, 1928), p. 1472. It is supported by visual evidence of 1927 dates on the title pages of the first two Crosby Gaige books: The Fairy Goose and Other Stories by Liam O’Flaherty and The Heart’s Journey by Siegfried Sassoon. Both books bear additional London imprints: Faber & Gwyer for the O’Flaherty and William Heinemann Ltd. for the Sassoon. This suggests that the 1928 date for Gaige’s beginnings is actually the date for his association with Random House. Beauty and the Book: Fine Editions and Cultural Distinction in America by Megan L. Benton (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2000), p. 133 cites 1926 as the beginning of the press based on Gaige’s comment in his autobiography that he began negotiations with authors that winter.
6. A History of Book Publishing in the United States vol. III: The Golden Age Between the Two Wars 1920–1940 by John Tebbel (New York and London: R.R. Bowker Co., 1978), p. 167. A copy of The Random House Announcement for 1928–1929 is at Columbia University, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Bennett Cerf Manuscript Collection, Box 166.
7. Random House Announcement for Spring Nineteen Twenty-Eight as reproduced in James Joyce’s “Work in Progress”: Pre-Publication Editions of Finnegans Wake Fragments by Dirk Van Hulle (London and New York: Routledge, 2016), p. 127. The first four Crosby Gaige books were: Fairy Goose and Other Stories by Liam O’Flaherty, The Heart’s Journey by Siegfried Sassoon, Midsummer Eve by A.E. (George Russell), and Reminiscences of Leonid Andreyev by Maxim Gorky. The first two were published in 1927, prior to Gaige’s arrangement with Random House (see note 5 above). The actual publication dates (all 1928) for the others were: Letters of Joseph Conrad to Richard Curle (August 20), Fifty Romance Lyric Poems by Richard Aldington (July 16), Red Barbara and other Stories by Liam O’Flaherty (July 16), and The Craft of Verse: The Oxford Poetry Essay by Humbert Wolfe (July 20). Anna Livia Plurabelle by Joyce, a fragment from Finnegans Wake in progress, was announced for May 1928 but did not appear until October 20. These dates are taken from United States Copyright Office records. For the complete list of Crosby Gaige, Publisher books see Private Presses and Their Books by Will Ransom (New York: R.R. Bowker, 1929), pp. 287–289. (Note: Ransom’s sequence does not match this one.)
8. To gain a measure of the contemporary fame of Updike, Rogers, and Goudy see Private Presses and Their Books by Will Ransom (New York: R.R. Bowker, 1929) which has a chapter on each. For more on Rogers see Bruce Rogers: A Life in Letters 1870–1957 by Joseph Blumenthal (Austin: W. Thomas Taylor, 1989), especially pp. 85–87 for his time with Rudge; and The Work of Bruce Rogers (New York: American Institute of Graphic Arts, 1939). For more on Warde see Printer’s Devil: The Life and Work of Frederic Warde by Simon Loxley (Boston: David R. Godine, 2013) and “Frederic Warde, Crosby Gaige, and the Watch Hill Press” by Simon Loxley in Printing History New Series 4 (July 2008), pp. 39–48. For more on Updike and The Merrymount Press see The Merrymount Press: An Exhibition on the Occasion of the 100th Anniversary of the Founding of the Press by Martin Hutner (New York: The Grolier Club and Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Houghton Library, 1993), Daniel Berkeley Updike and The Merrymount Press of Boston 1860–1894–1941 by George Parker Winship (Rochester, New York: The Printing House of Leo Hart, 1947), and Updike: American Printer and His Merrymount Press (New York: American Institute of Graphic Arts, 1947). Despite being mentioned in Gaige’s 30 March 1928 announcement and in “The Crosby Gaige Imprint and Its Value” by Robert Gunn in Publishers’ Weekly (October 6, 1928), Goudy never designed a book for Gaige. See the list of Crosby Gaige, Publisher books in Private Presses and Their Books by Will Ransom (New York: R.R. Bowker, 1929), pp. 287–289.
9. Prior to 1928 Dwiggins was involved in nine books that were selected for the AIGA 50 Books of the Year, but he was not the designer or typographer of any of them. In 1927 Adler and Dwiggins were already at work on Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson (New York: Random House, 1929). The only documentary reference to America Conquers Death by Milton Waldman (New York: William Edwin Rudge, 1928) is a 1 May 1928 entry in Dwiggins’ account books. See Boston Public Library, 1974 Dwiggins Collection, Box 81(1), Folder 6. The book was published 15 April 1928. However, there are two oblique references to 22 Printers’ Marks and Seals Designed or Redrawn by W.A. Dwiggins (New York: William Edwin Rudge, 1929) in the correspondence between Dwiggins and Carl Purington Rollins in 1927 and several entries for it in Dwiggins’ account books that precede the 30 March 1928 Crosby Gaige announcement. See Dwiggins to Rollins 1 February 1927 and 8 November  in Yale University, Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library, Arts of the Book Collection, Carl Purington Rollins Papers, Box 2. For the ledger entries see 9–12 and 18 January 1928 in Boston Public Library, 1974 Dwiggins Collection, Box 81(1), Folder 6.
10. Veni Creator! is item no. 27.05 in The Books of WAD by Dwight Agner (Baton Rouge, Louisiana: he Press of the Nightowl, 1974); no. 6 of the works of The Harbor Press in Private Presses and Their Books by Will Ransom (New York: R.R. Bowker, 1929), p. 310. It is also included twice in A Bibliographical Check-List of Christmas Books by Walter Klinefelter (Portland, Maine: The Southworth-Anthoensen Press, 1937), p. 44 [Crosby and Hilda Gaige copies] and p. 109 [James R. Wells copies]. None of the bibliographers mentions the Wolfe copies. I discovered their existence through a copy offered for sale on ebay. The title is probably derived from “Veni Creator Spiritus” (“Come Creator Spirit”), a 9th-century hymn attributed to Rabanus Maurus.
11. “The Corner Office Afield” column by Frederic G. Melcher in The Publishers’ Weekly vol. CXI, no. 16 (7 May 1927). The Harbor Press, despite its commercial work, was included in Private Presses and Their Books by Will Ransom (New York: R.R. Bowker, 1929), pp. 309–311. Also see A History of Book Publishing in the United States vol. III: The Golden Age Between the Two Wars 1920–1940 by John Tebbel (New York and London: R.R. Bowker Co., 1978), p. 371. The press closed down in 1939.
12. Footlights and Highlights by Crosby Gaige (New York: E.P. Dutton and Company, Inc., 1948), p. 201. Veni Creator! was later included in The Uncelestial City by Humbert Wolfe (London: W. Gollancz Ltd., 1930).
13. The Five Heads of Humbert Wolfe: Poet, Wit, and Civil Servant by A.D. Padgett (ADP Publishing, 2014).
14. Searches via ancestry.com, newspapers.com and other online resources turned up very little about Wells. He was born James Raye wells in Broughton, Ohio in 1898 and was living in Battle Creek, Michigan in 1910. It was there that he married his first wife, Ruth Merriam, in 1917. (For his second wife see note 15 below.) According to his wife’s 1920 passport application he was a chemist for a sugar concern in Alto Cedio, Cuba in 1920. Afamily tree says that he died 24 September 1971 in La Nucía, Alicante, Pais Valenciano, Spain. Many questions remain unanswered: when did he move to New York; was he still a chemist when he met Crosby Gaige; when and how did he meet Gaige; why did he establish The Bowling Green Press and why did it operate concurrently with Crosby Gaige, Publishers and The Fountain Press; what happened to him after he left The Fountain Press; when did he die?
15. Private Presses and Their Books by Will Ransom (New York: R.R. Bowker, 1929), p. 173. Wells is never mentioned in Gaige’s autobiography Footlights and Highlights (New York: E.P. Dutton and Company, Inc., 1948), but this may be due to Wells’ role in the dissolution of Gaige’s marriage. Crosby and Hilda Gaige were divorced 11 October 1928 and Wells and Hilda were married 22 October 1928. For the divorce see Footlights and Highlights, p. 237 (“By 1928 my wife Hilda had made other domestic plans for herself; she carried them out and we parted, as they somewhat euphemistically say, the best of friends.”) and The New York Daily News 11 October 1928 and for the marriage see New York, Extracted Marriage Index, 1866-1937. Gossipy accounts with more details can be found in the Daily News 28 August 1928 and The New York Times 23 October 1928. Dwiggins designed a letterhead and a transmittal form for Crosby Gaige, Publisher. Neither job appears in his account books, but copies can be found in Boston Public Library, 2001 W.A. Dwiggins Collection, Box 5, Folder 10.
16. Crosby Gaige to James Joyce 11 December 1928: “This is to inform you that I have disposed of my publishing business to Mr. James R. Wells and associates of 522 Fifth Avenue, New York City. In the future I expect that my only connection with publishing will be by way of my hand press. Frederic Warde and I plan to produce some modern books by old time methods.” Quoted in James Joyce’s “Work in Progress”: Pre-Publication Editions of Finnegans Wake Fragments by Dirk Van Hulle (London and New York: Routledge, 2016), p. 127 note. Originally the successor to Crosby Gaige, Publisher was going to be called The Peregrine Press. See Charles Higham to T.S. Eliot 3 January 1929 quoted in Letters of T.S. Eliot vol. 4 1928-1929 edited by Valerie Eliot and John Haffenden (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2013), p. 377, note 3. For what little information there is on The Bowling Green Press and The Fountain Press before 1930 see Private Presses and Their Books by Will Ransom (New York: R.R. Bowker, 1929), pp. 173 and 283–84. (Neither firm is included in his late Selective Check Lists of Press Books (New York: Philip C. Duschnes, 1946–1950).) The first two books issued by The Bowling Green Press were The World’s Lincoln by John Drinkwater (designed by Frederic W. Goudy) and The Making of an Immortal by George Moore (co-published by Faber & Gwyer in London) in August 1927. Depending upon sources, the Moore book was either designed by Bruce Rogers or by James Hendrickson. Both books were produced by The Printing House of William Edwin Rudge. Wells’ partner in The Fountain Press was Elbridge L. Adams (1866–1934), an attorney with literary interests—he was the author of Joseph Conrad: The Man (New York: William E. Rudge, 1925). Wells resigned from The Fountain Press in December 1930 according to The New York Times Book Review (7 December 1930), p. 14.
17. Hermann Püterschein on Dwiggins’ experiments with stamped ornaments: “They are cut on bits of maple-wood ‘on the plank’ and are manipulated as rubber stamps are manipulated—inked from an extemporized pad (say a pen-wiper) saturated with the ever-reliable Higgins Waterproof and stamped as accurately as may be into the contemplated positions.” Quoted in Transactions of The Society of Calligraphers Bulletin No. 2 (February 3, 1925). Also see Ornament & Illustration: A Demonstration of William Addison Dwiggins’ Method of Book Decoration and Other Uses of the Stencil… by Dorothy Abbe (Hingham, Massachusetts: Püterschein-Hingham, 1979).
18. See note 7 for publication dates of the first eight Crosby Gaige, Publisher books. Thomas Hardy: An Essay by H.M. Tomlinson has this first ram design on its copyright page. A copy of the August 1937 moving notice is at Rochester Institute of Technology, The Cary Graphic Arts Collection, Paul Standard Archives, Crosby Gaige Folder. There is also a compliments card with the reversed-out mark that dates from the move or after. For the title page of Letters from George Moore to Ed. DuJardin 1886–1922 (1929) designer James Hendrickson added a rule around the reversed-out ram.
19. The Strachey ram also appears, stamped in gold, on the binding of Orlando by Virginia Woolf.
20. Several of the Crosby Gaige, Publisher books have no mark at all. These include the two books by Liam O’Flaherty (both of which co-published by Faber & Gwyer in London), The Heart’s Journey by Siegfried Sassoon, The Sisters by Joseph Conrad, Bonnet and Shawl by Philip Guedalla, At First Sight by Walter de la Mare, Old Mrs. Chundle by Thomas Hardy, The Winding Stair by W.B. Yeats, and Europa and Other Poems and Sonnets by Rolfe Humphries (1928, but not on Ransom’s list). The absence of the ram can be explained in two ways: that it wasn’t desirable for books with a British co-publisher or that it was considered obtrusive by some of the book designers other than Dwiggins.
21. Crosby Gaige to W.A. Dwiggins 8 February 1928 in Boston Public Library, 1974 W.A. Dwiggins Collection, Box 70, Folder 49.