Saturday, October 07, 2006

Garrett Hardin, John Vassos & The Cranbury Bookworm

Click On Image To Enlarge


This has been a good week for bookplate hunting. I received the Garrett Hardin bookplate from Borogove Books They may still have a few more copies left. My scanner needs to be fixed or scrapped as the colors are off .I did not know anything about Mr.Hardin but a Google search was very productive.

Here is an abridged quote from Wikipedia:
"Hardin received a B.S. in zoology from the University of Chicago in1936 and a PhD in microbiology from Stanford University in 1941.Moving to the University of California , Santa Barbara in 1946, he served there as as Professor of Human Ecology from 1963 until his (nominal) retirement in 1978. A major focus of his career, and one to which he returned repeatedly, was the issue of human overpopulation. ......"

He and his wife committed suicide in 2003.

When you click on the orange link above (MMJ Page 11 of 16) and examine Figure 47
you will find an interesting enlargement of the creature's tail . It depicts the evolution of simple to more complex life forms.

On Friday , I stopped at a national treasure: The Cranbury Bookworm ( 54 N. Main St., Cranbury, N. J.) .
Picture this, a three story house with thousands of reasonably priced used and rare books , no computers, and no cutesy over priced coffee shop . In other words , a bookstore from another time. They are rapidly becoming extinct.

It takes a while to find items I want , but for bookplates I am very patient and the "find" was exceptional. John Vassos( 1898-1985) was an art- deco book illustrator and industrial designer who worked for RCA Laboratories . In the 1930's he designed a bookplate for them and this is only the second copy I have ever seen.
To see more of his designs go to the following link :

If you are in the central New Jersey area here is another of my favorite bookstores:
The Book Garden 868 Rt 537, Cream Ridge, New Jersey 08514 . The store is in the middle of no where but if you go you are in for a treat.

Last thing for this week- The Athenaeum Of Philadelphia (215 925 2688) currently has an outstanding exhibit of contemporary Ex Libris from around the world.


pk said...

Just wanted to say thanks for such a fantastic site. It puts a smile on my face each time I visit.

Sven Olsen said...

I just finished an essay about bookplates for a University course here in my hometown of Wellington, New Zealand. Wondered if I could send you a copy?

Lew Jaffe said...

I would be delighted to receive your essay.Please send it to
If it nedds to be sent via snail mail my address is 1919 Chestnut St #1117
Philadelphia, Pa.19103 U.S.A.