The Definitive Dwiggins no. 331—Ginn & Co. 1905–1919
One of the first clients that W.A. Dwiggins had after he left The Village Press and struck out on his own was the Boston educational publisher Ginn and Company. One job he did for them may be his first freelance commission after his move East from Ohio since it predates his surviving account books. It is the cover (back and front) of Spelling Lessons by Aaron Gove (Boston: Ginn and Company, 1905).  His familiar WAD signature appears in the lower left corner of the front cover.
Between 1905 and 1909 Dwiggins designed either covers or title pages for four more books and two book series for Ginn and Company. These early jobs for the publisher came through Charles Chester Lane (1883–1967), a neighbor of Dwiggins’ in Hingham, Massachusetts. Lane graduated from Harvard University in June 1903 “and immediately afterwards went to work in the Athenaeum Press, Cambridge, Ginn & Company, proprietors.” “After learning to set type and to operate the simplex machines,” he wrote, “I was transferred to the editorial office in Boston as assistant to the Art Editor. During the summer of 1904 I traveled in England and France, returning to my work with Ginn and Company in the fall.”  His return to Hingham coincided with Will and Mabel Dwiggins’ move to the town to join The Village Press of Fred and Bertha Goudy. That was when—and where—Lane first met Dwiggins. Years later, he recalled spending, “…stimulating evenings sitting around a keg of cider and ranging wide in discussions that included art and printing and ship models.”  The jobs that Lane sent Dwiggins’ way came even before he was appointed Art Editor and Advertising manager in November 1905. 
After Lane left Ginn to become the Publication Agent for Harvard University in May 1908, Dwiggins’ work for the Boston publisher slacked off. Other than a job acquired via D.B. Updike and The Merrymount Press, he did no book-related jobs for them until 1915, with the exception of an advertising circular for a revised edition of A First Course in Physics by Robert Andrews Millikan and Henry Gordon Gale (Boston: Ginn and Company, 1913). 
However, between 1915 and 1918 Dwiggins contributed title pages and illustrations to four Ginn textbooks—but, oddly enough, no covers. Two of the books, Plutarch’s Lives and Collar and Daniell’s First Year Latin, involved numerous illustrations and are thus discussed separately in The Definitive Dwiggins no. 115. The other two were The Essentials of Agriculture by Henry Jackson Waters (Boston: Ginn and Company, 1915) and New Geography: Book One—Part One by Alexis Everett Frye (Boston and New York: Ginn and Company, 1917). 
The last Ginn book that Dwiggins worked on before the 1920s was Marks of Merit, Together with an Article on Hornbooks and Their Use in America by George A. Plimpton (Boston and New York: Ginn & Company, ).  In the 1920s he illustrated two books for Ginn and reworked existing illustrations for another. All three are discussed in separate posts: Open Doors to Science Otis Caldwell and W.H.D. Meier (Boston: Ginn and Company, 1926), Stories of Our Earth by Nellie B. Allen and Edward K. Robinson (Boston: Ginn and Company, 1927), and How the Old World Found the New by Eunice Fuller Barnard and Lida Lee Tall (Boston: Ginn and Company, 1929). According to his account books, Dwiggins did other assignments for Ginn in the early 1920s, but I have not been able to identify them. The jobs may have been promotional in nature since I have not located any books that match his descriptions. 
All of the post-1913 Ginn assignments probably came from Edward K. Robinson (1883–1971), an editor at Ginn and Company whose role was more akin to an art editor or art director today. Contemporary accounts indicate he was responsible for commissioning illustrations for books and hiring artists to design covers, title pages, and other elements. Robinson met Dwiggins through the Society of Printers. 
Below is a survey of the book work for Ginn that Dwiggins did between 1905 and 1919, with the exception of Plutarch’s Lives and Collar and Daniell’s First Year Latin, both of which are discussed in detail elsewhere.
Spelling Lessons for Intermediate Grades by Aaron Gove (Boston: Ginn and Company, 1905)
Aaron Gove (1839–1919) was a former superintendent of schools in Denver, Colorado when he wrote Spelling Lessons. Dwiggins designed the front and back covers. The front cover is distinguished by a border of overlapping classical Roman capitals on three sides. It is signed WAD in the lower left corner. The back has a simple but elegant G&Co monogram.
First Science Book: Physics and Chemistry by Lothrop D. Higgins (Boston: Ginn and Company, 1905)
Lothrop D. Higgins (1876–1935) was an Instructor in Science in the State Normal School at Danbury, Connecticut. Dwiggins designed the front and back covers of First Science Book in July 1905.  The front is spare with just the title, the author’s last name, and an odd ornament between the two. The back has a plain G&Co. monogram that differs from the one on the back of Spelling Lessons.
American History in Literature by Martha A.L. Lane and Mabel Hill (Boston: Ginn and Company, 1905)
Martha Lane (1862–1948) was a writer—and the mother of C.C. Lane. It is likely that she helped her son get his start at Ginn and Company. Mabel Hill (1864–1957) was a history teacher at both Tenacre Country Day School and Dana Hall School, two private schools in Wellesley, Massachusetts. Prior to collaborating with Martha Lane on American History in Literature she had co-edited several other books on American history and civics. Dwiggins designed the front cover of the book, marked by an American eagle under “E Pluribus Unum” and within a beribboned frame. It is signed WD.  The back cover is blank.
The Hill Readers by Daniel Harvey Hill, Frank Lincoln Stevens and Charles William Burkett. (Boston: Ginn and Company, 1906)
Daniel Harvey Hill (1859–1924), son of the Confederate General of the same name, was a historian and President of the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Art. (He was not related to Mabel Hill, co-author of American History in Literature.) Frank Lincoln Stevens (1871–1934), also at the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, was a mycologist. Charles William Burkett (1873–1962) was Director of the Agricultural Experiment Station at Kansas State Agricultural College. They seem an odd trio to have collaborated on a series of literary readers for fourth graders. But their texts, taken from authors “that have won applause as writers for children” and authors “who are members of the world’s elect circle of writers,” are typical of the times. The authors include Chaucer, Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Keats, Shelley, Schiller, Hawthorne, William Wadsworth Longfellow, Lord Tennyson, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Elbert Hubbard (“A Message to Garcia”). 
Dwiggins designed the front and back covers for all five volumes, and the illustrated endpapers which appeared only in Books One and Two. The front cover for all five volumes has the title and book number within a scroll (with the publisher within a smaller scroll below) surrounded by white vine decoration. Beginning with Book Three, there is a change in color from blue cloth to dark red cloth, a more elaborate back cover design, and plain endpapers. The authors’ names do not appear on the front or on the spine. The back cover of Books One and Two has a vertical G&Co. monogram inside a white vine frame; but the back cover of Books Three to Five has a vertical G&Co. monogram inside a scroll within a white vine border. The illustrated endpapers are slightly different from front to back. The verso of the front endpapers has a rural scene interrupted by a plaque bearing the poem “Flowers and Weeds” by George Cooper while the recto has a young girl reading a book under a tree. The recto is the same for the back endpapers, but the verso depicts a castle in the distance. Both are signed with a stacked WAD monogram. 
The New Hudson Shakespeare. Introduction and notes by Henry Norman Hudson; edited and revised by Ebenezer Charlton Black with Andrew Jackson George (Boston: Ginn and Company, 1906–1911).
The first titles in The New Hudson Shakespeare series appeared in 1906, but it took until 1911 to complete all of the volumes. Dwiggins designed the title page for the new edition and lettered the first few titles (As You Like It and The Merchant of Venice).  In 1908 and 1909 he lettered three additional titles: Hamlet, The Tempest, and Julius Caesar.  His title page design consists of an interleaved border with WS (William Shakespeare) monograms in the four corners and all of the title information handlettered, interspersed with Aldus leaves as dividers. Subsequent titles were lettered by someone else. The New Hudson Shakespeare series, with Dwiggins’ title page design, was still in print as late as 1935.
Carla Wenckebach, Pioneer by Margarethe Müller (Boston and London: Ginn & Company, Publishers, 1908)
This commission came to Dwiggins via Daniel Berkeley Updike rather than Ginn. On July 9, 1908 Updike wrote to him with an offer of two book cover design jobs, one for The Maid’s Forgiveness by John Jay Chapman and the other for Carla Wenckebach, Pioneer by Margarethe Müller. Dwiggins had just returned from his first and only trip to Europe four days ago. He did both jobs but felt that he had “made a perfect fizzle” of them. 
Why Dwiggins was dissatisfied with both jobs is unclear. Updike, a difficult man to please, accepted them without any complaint. The cover of Carla Wenckebach, Pioneer is ascestic, more Updike than Dwiggins. The title and author’s name are handlettered with three small v-marks arranged in a triangle between them. The only other design element is a blind embossed frame of four nested rules.
Since the book was published by Ginn and Company, the printing was done at its plant The Athenaeum Press. The Merrymount Press did the design and composition and provided The Athenaeum Press with paper, stereotype plates, and brass dies (for the binding).
Carla Wenckebach (1853–1902) was born in pre-unification Germany. Because of the lack of professional opportunity for women there she emigrated to the United States where, through some fortuitous personal contacts, she was hired by Wellesley College as an instructor. She spent her entire career at Wellesley and has since been viewed as a feminist pioneer.  This biography was most likely commissioned by someone in Updike’s social circles which is why the book was handled by him.
Rara Arithmetica: A Catalogue of the Arithmetics Written before the Year MDCI with a Description of those in the Library of George Arthur Plimpton of New York by David Eugene Smith (Boston and New York: Ginn and Company, Publishers, 1908), 2 vols.
George A. Plimpton (1855–1936) was the head of Ginn and Company from 1914 until his death. Before then he was a salesman for the company. Among his several pastimes was collecting material on the history of mathematics. His passion was encouraged by his friend David Eugene Smith (1860-1944), a noted mathematics educator at Columbia University’s Teachers College. This deluxe, limited edition book was a rarity for Ginn and Company, done only because of Plimpton’s connections and wealth. 
Dwiggins designed the cover and spine lettering which are stamped in gold on vellum.  The criblé and lace border has been repurposed from the title page of Arithmetica by Ioannis Martini (Paris: Simon de Colines, 1526). Presumably Dwiggins did the necessary work to make the border printable.
The Essentials of Agriculture by Henry Jackson Waters (Boston: Ginn and Company, 1915)
Dwiggins designed a border illustration for the frontispiece of The Essentials of Agriculture along with a border and vignette for its title page.  The frontispiece illustration is comprised of twelve agricultural scenes keyed to the twelve months of the year (e.g. grazing sheep for March and winemaking for August). The title page border is composed of a pea vine. The vignette combines a plow, rake, scythe, and sickle. The headpieces for the chapter openings in the book were illustrated by Adrian Iorio, instead of Dwiggins.
Real Stories from Our History: Romance and Adventure in Authentic records of the Development of the United States by John T. Faris (Boston: Ginn and Company, 1916)
Dwiggins’ account books list “Ginn 2 borders for headings / Romantic Records from American History” on November 23 and 24, 1915. He was paid for the work on December 7.  There is no book with the title Romantic Records from American History in WorldCat, Hathitrust, or Google Books. The closest title of a book published by Ginn and Company in either 1915 or 1916 is Real Stories from Our History: Romance and Adventure in Authentic records of the Development of the United States by John T. Faris. Since Dwiggins often used shorthand names for his jobs, it seems plausible that this is the book he drew the two headpiece borders for. But, Real Stories from Our History has only a single headpiece border (in two sizes)—and a dull one at that. Did Dwiggins design it or was his work rejected? 
New Geography: Book One—Part One by Alexis Everett Frye (Boston and New York: Ginn and Company, 1917)
For Book One of New Geography by Alexis Everett Frye, Dwiggins drew three maps, two schematic and one topographical, and two diagrams.  The maps appear on p. 56 in the section on “How Maps Are Made” and the diagrams of latitude and longitude appear on p. 73. Dwiggins redrew the maps that were in First Book in Geography by Alexis Everett Frye (Boston: Ginn and Company, 1910), pp. 44–45, especially the one depicting a school district. In the older book the three maps were on separate pages, but they were consolidated on one page for New Geography.  Dwiggins’ latitude and longitude diagrams may have been redrawings as well. 
Marks of Merit, Together with an Article on Hornbooks and Their Use in America by George A. Plimpton (Boston and New York: Ginn & Company, ).
George A. Plimpton collected many things besides material on the history of mathematics. among his other interest were items about the history of writing, including numerous writing books and examples of penmanship—and hornbooks. He gave a talk about hornbooks to the American Antiquarian Society in October 1916. it was reprinted three years later as part of Marks of Merit. The cover of the staple-bound booklet was designed by Dwiggins. 
One can see Dwiggins’ maturation as an artist over the course of the fifteen years that he did work for Ginn and Company. The robust Arts & Crafts-inspired lettering of the book covers from 1905 and 1906 gives way, under the influence of Updike, by 1908 to capitals that have a Renaissance lightness to them. A comparison of the covers of The Hill Readers and Marks of Merit shows this evolution not only in lettering, but also in decoration.
None of these jobs that Dwiggins did for Ginn and Company rank among his most best or most significant works. But Spelling Lessons, First Science Book, American History in Literature, and The Hill Readers are important for providing a fuller picture of his first years as a freelance designer in the Boston area. They are a mundane contrast to the more familiar work Dwiggins executed at the same time for Updike and Alfred Bartlett.
1. Spelling Lessons was published in July 1905 or earlier. It is listed among the new books in Publishers’ Weekly vol. 68, no. 1747 (July 22, 1905), p. 115 and in The Bookseller, Newsdealer, and Stationer vol. XXIII, no. 4 (August 15, 1905), p. 98. A copy of the book is on the shelves of the Dwiggins Room at the Boston Public Library where it is incorrectly marked as WAD 2. It was not the second commercial book that Dwiggins worked on, but the eighth.
2. Harvard Class of 1904: Secretary’s Second Report, June 1910 (Cambridge: Crimson Printing Co., 1910), p. 177.
3. “Early Years in Hingham” by Chester C. Lane in Postscripts on Dwiggins: Essays and Recollections edited by Paul A. Bennett (New York: The Typophiles, 1960), vol. 2, p. 157. Lane was born Charles Chester Lane. How his first and middle names became inverted is unclear. He was often known professionally as C.C. Lane. The discussions of shipbuilding were probably instigated by Dwiggins who, despite being born in Ohio, had a longtime fascination with ships.
4. Harvard Class of 1904: Secretary’s Second Report, June 1910 (Cambridge: Crimson Printing Co., 1910), p. 177. Lane left Ginn and Company in May 1908 to become the Publication Agent of Harvard University, a position that eventually led to him being appointed as the first Director of the Harvard University Press. At the Harvard University Press he hired Dwiggins for numerous cover jobs similar to the early Ginn work.
5. See the account book entry for 29 March 1913 in Folder 2 and the carbon invoice for 1 April 1912=13 in Folder 6, Box 81(2), 1974 W.A. Dwiggins Collection, Boston Public Library. There are no known surviving copies of the circular for which Dwiggins contributed a border, an ornament, and three initials. There is no evidence of his handiwork in the book itself. The frames for the portraits of famous scientists and physicists are too dull and stiff to have been done by him.
6. Based on his account book entries, there is one other book that Dwiggins apparently contributed to during these years, but I have not been able to definitively identify it. I think it is Real Stories from Our History: Romance and Adventure in Authentic records of the Development of the United States by John T. Faris (Boston: Ginn and Company, 1916), but am not wholly confident in this assessment.
7. Marks of Merit is not dated. The Bulletin of the Public Library of Boston Foirth series, vol. III (1921), p. 31 lists it as being published in 1919. Dwiggins worked on it in November 1919.
8. In his account books entries for 1923 and 1924 Dwiggins listed work for a “Latin circular,” a geography project, a “background” and “a portrait frame” for Ginn and Company. See 29 January 1923, 20–21 February 1923, 23 February 1923, 9 March 1923, 14–20 March 1923, 28–29 March 1923, 12–13 March 1924, 20-24 March 1924, 8 April 1924, 29–31 November 1924, and 20 December 1924 in Folder 6, Box 81(1), 1974 W.A. Dwiggins Collection, Boston Public Library.
9. Robinson gave a talk on “schoolbooks” at the November 9, 1915 dinner of the Society of Printers. he and Dwiggins both served as officers of the club in 1917. Robinson’s wife Hope was a book illustrator.
10. See the entry in Dwiggins’ account books for 24 July 1905 where it is the second job listed. Folder 2, Box 81(1), 1974 W.A. Dwiggins Collection, Boston Public Library.
11. Dwiggins designed the cover just after he did the one for First Science Book. See the entry for 27 July 1905 in his account books. Folder 2, Book 81(1), 1974 W.A. Dwiggins Collection, Boston Public Library. During this period Dwiggins signed his work in several ways: D, WD, WAD with AD ligatured, and WAD stacked up within a rectangle.
12. The three men had previously collaborated on Agriculture for Beginners (Boston: Ginn and Company, 1903), a topic that seems more suited to their expertise. They did point out in the Preface to The Hill Readers that, “As a large proportion of the school children of America live in the country,” they wrote, “especial care has been taken to include a large and varied number of selections relating to rural life. These, it is hoped, will foster a love for nature and for the country home, open the eyes of children to the marvelous beauties around them, and bring them nearer the life that they are to lead.” The Hill Readers by Daniel Harvey Hill, Frank Lincoln Stevens and Charles William Burkett. (Boston: Ginn and Company, 1906), p. 3.
13. Dwiggins’ account books list 1 January 1906 for the design of the cover and endpapers of The Hill Readers. See Folder 2, Box 81(1), 1974 W.A Dwiggins Collection, Boston Public Library. The front endpapers have the poem “Flower and Weeds” by George Cooper. It is missing from the back endpapers, which are otherwise identical. Dwiggins revised his design in 1908. There is a 7 January 1908 entry for additional work for “side & back dies” for the binding of The Hill Readers. I have seen no difference in the back covers between 1906 and 1908 copies of the books. Finding images of the spines has been difficult.
14. Dwiggins’ account books list work on an unnamed title that can be identified as As You Like It 12 October 1906 and 21 October 1906. See Folder 2, Box 81(1) and Folder 25, Box 41, 1974 W.A. Dwiggins, Boston Public Library.
15. See 1 January 1908 for “Tragedy of Hamlet“ and 25 October 1908 for “Comedy of the Tempest”; and 27 May 1909 for “lettering on Shakespeare title” in Folder 2, Box 81(1), 1974 W.A. Dwiggins Collection, Boston Public Library. A list of eighteen titles in the series published in 1908 appears in Publishers’ Weekly vol. 74, no. 1915 (October 10, 1908), pp. 997–998.
16. See Daniel Berkeley Updike to W.A. Dwiggins 9 July 1908 and Dwiggins to Updike 15 July 1908, letters 108:184 and 108:187 in Box 69, The Merrymount Press Collection, Huntington Library. Carla Wenckebach, Pioneer was job no. 5176 and The Maid’s Forgiveness was job no. 5198. see The Merrymount Press job files at the Boston Athenaeum. Carla Wenckebach, Pioneer was recorded by Dwiggins in his account books on 12 and 18 June 1908. See Folder 2, Box 81(1), 1974 W.A. Dwiggins Collection, Boston Public Library. Dwiggins and his wife Mabel arrived in New York on July 4, 1908 and returned to Hingham the following day. See the notice in The Hingham Journal 12 July 1908.
17. See the book itself for Wenckebach’s life; and also In Adamless Eden: The Community of Women Faculty at Wellesley by Patricia Ann Palmieri (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1995), pp. 93–94.
18. The deluxe edition of Rara Arithmetica was printed in two volumes on English handmade paper with a special vellum binding (stamped in gold) in an edition of 151 copies. There was also a trade edition printed on regular paper and bound in one volume in cloth-backed boards.
19. See the entry for 11 January 1908 in Dwiggins’ account books in Folder 2, Box 81(1), 1974 W.A. Dwiggins Collection, Boston Public Library.
20. The entries for The Essentials of Agriculture in Dwiggins’ account books are 25 March 1915, 29 March 1915, and 13-14 April 1915. See Folder 3, Box 81(1), 1974 W.A. Dwiggins Collection, Boston Public Library.
21. See Folder 3, Box 81(1), 1974 W.A. Dwiggins Collection, Boston Public Library.
22. Perhaps the two sizes of the border are what Dwiggins meant by two borders. He was only paid $16 which would jibe with a simple job.
23. See Dwiggins’ account book entries for 26-28 March 1917 and 1 June 1917 in Folder 3, Box 81(1), 1974 W.A. Dwiggins Collection, Boston Public Library. Carbons of his invoices are in Folders 4 and 5.
24. The maps appeared earlier in Primary Geography by Alexis Everett Frye (Boston: Ginn and Company, 1898), pp. 18-19. Strangely, they remained in use in the 1920 edition of Frye’s First Book in Geography but rearranged (see pp. 13–14). Why didn’t Ginn use Dwiggins’ redrawn versions?
25. See Complete Geography by Alexis Everett Frye (Boston: Ginn and Company, 1897), p. 22.
26. See the entries in Dwiggins’ account books for 1 and 5 November 1919 in Folder 5, Box 81(1), 1974 W.A. Dwiggins Collection, Boston Public Library.
N.B. None of the books in this post are included in The Books of WAD: A Bibliography of the Books Designed by W. A. Dwiggins by Dwight Agner (Baton Rouge: Press of the Nightowl, 1974). Likewise, none of them are mentioned in W.A. Dwiggins: A Life in Design by Bruce Kennett (San Francisco: Letterform Archive, 2018).