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SOLD - Vintage book Wood's Library of Standard Medical Authors, First Edition 1881, "Artificial Anaesthesia & Anaesthetics" science antique

SOLD - Vintage book Wood's Library of Standard Medical Authors, First Edition 1881, "Artificial Anaesthesia & Anaesthetics" science antique

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Overview

  • Vintage item from the 1800s
  • Favorited by: 5 people
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From New Haven, CT
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Description

NOTE: This book has been sold but I keep it up so someone interested can find it (like you!) so that I can know to look for it specifically for them. Of course it won't be the same book but I am good at and love the hunt for books, and can likely find you another copy of that same edition or another beautiful edition of the same book. :) Don't ever hesitate to contact me on sold listings, that's why they are here!

---

There is no other book like this one.

Working in the Health Sciences Library at a university I've seen amazing old medical texts and met people (both in person and online) who collect them. I mean, first edition Gray's Anatomy type stuff, just absolutely amazing. Maybe that's why I was drawn to this book when I saw it in a pretty endearingly dumpy bookshop with the "bad condition" books at the back. I'm not someone who knows much about medicine or science, which is why it's funny I have the job I have, but my brain just doesn't work that way, and as a juvenile diabetic I've always been fearful of hospitals and medical anything, really.

Still, this book intrigued me, and I'm glad I bought it. Its condition could be called "bad" by someone outside of the rare book field, but in the rare book field it is in good standard old-book condition. There are no rips or markings inside, and the outside just shows the scuffs, wear and age spots that old books gather over time. This book is from 1881, after all.

The information I've been able to gather on the "Wood's Library of Standard Medical Authors" series is limited but fascinating. There is a summary of the series or "a checklist" available at archive.org (https://archive.org/stream/8607634.nlm.nih.gov/8607634_djvu.txt) that details the history of the library and its subscription service. It is an interesting history lesson for sure, but not right to include fully here. You should definitely check it out, however, by clicking the link above to learn more.

The book and its library was involved in subscription publishing, where book buyers were dealing directly with traveling book publishers, and their customers could only get the books from the buyers by paying a yearly or monthly subscription. Strange idea for a seventy-four volume (that's right, seventy-four volumes printed from 1879 to 1886) medical text series, but that was how this book was printed and sold, which may account for why its copies today are so few and far between--the subscribers were few and far between.

The company William Wood & Co. of New York City began publishing medical texts in 1874, but the series began as I said in 1879. The decision to specialize its distribution using the subscription method was apparently a rare one outside of the mass-market fiction world, but Wood made the decision and was the exception. One reason, it can be surmised, is that the books were given great care to be constructed and designed appealingly. I quote from the "checklist" I've linked to above, the series had "the provision of visually appealing casing, paper, and typography. The Library was published, one advertisement said, 'in a form so attractive that they will enlist the interest of every lover of books.' The casings are distinctive, whether seen with their vivid colors and bold stamping arranged on the shelf series by series or interfiled with the generally drab 19th century medical books."

I was glad to read this, to know that other people found the books striking as I found this one. Also, the idea that they would appeal to any lover of books, as it says, is a cute way of putting it in my opinion. Cute, and true. There's something special about the text and it is so rare in medical texts to find that, especially today, when they fall more under the headline "textbook" and include far less artistry. "Drab" is the perfect word, as they put it.

Another point that makes medical texts collectible is not only their outdated (but historically interesting for that) information and style of writing, but their illustrations. This book includes many graphs rather than illustrations of body parts or vein diagrams, but they draw you in nonetheless. The blocks of black ink with the skinny white lines illustrating the pulse of a patient, for instance, you can see in one of the pictures above, and I dare you to tell me it isn't cool! The decoration on the cover, though, will always be my favorite part of this text--I can't help it, I'm one of the 'lover of books' they describe with or without any knowledge of or interest in medicine, particularly.

One last and extremely important note about this series of books and this particular book is that they are unavailable online. Completely un-digitized. I've searched and searched, but the true and surprising glory of the series is that it exists solely, at the moment, in private and academic library collections. That's why my getting a hand on this copy is fortuitous and exciting--I wish I knew more about the book's provenance, how it got to me, though I do know it was owned by an R. T. Morton, a famous American surgeon from (dated with his signature) 1895.

Regardless, the only way you'd be able to get your hands on this book or any others in the series would be to find it, like I did, completely out of nowhere, or to request access to them from the archives of places like the National Library of Medicine.

(Note: what's especially confusing, however, is that you can buy the index for the series in paperback online from Amazon. I know, weird, right? There were 74 books in the series so keeping it all straight would be a nightmare I'm sure, but to not have the actual books out there, or online, and to instead have the index available both in digitized version online and physically available -- from Amazon no less -- makes little sense to me. Still, it is what it is!)

And so, "what it is" is rare, rare, rare. You'd be owning something special owning this, to have it on your shelf, be you a medical student, a doctor, nurse, or collector of medical texts for any other reason.

And here's the straight information you may be looking for:

-Full Title: Wood's Library of Standard Medical Authors, Artificial Anaesthesia and Anaesthetics
-Author: Henry M. Lyman, A.M., M.D., Professor of Physiology and of Diseases of the Nervous Systems, in Rush Medical College, Chicago, Ill., and Professor of Theory and Practice of Medicine, in The Women's Medical College, Chicago, Ill.
-Format: Hardcover, First Edition, engraved cover and spine, black and white illustrations, diagrams and charts throughout, stamped twice with old-fashioned font "C. M. Ferro. M.D." in inside cover and first page indicating previous ownership by famed surgeon written up in American Medical Review in 1895, with light pencil-scripted name "R. T. Morton" on front page as well
-Condition: That old-book vintage condition where the pages are aging, though not brittle or wavy, on the outside and somewhat on the inside they are spotted and there is blanching on the cover (just lightening of the dark brown it used to be, but you can see that in the pictures, and comes only naturally from age); the binding is sound and no rips or marks whatsoever on the inside except the signage mentioned above. It's that great kind of antique book that seems as if it is falling into oblivion, and you've arrived just in time to rescue it, age-spotted pages and worn cover and all.
-Publisher: William Wood & Company, New York, 27 Great Jones Street
-Copyright: William Wood & Company 1881
-Date published: September 1881
-Provenance: I picked this up in an antique bookstore near my house in Connecticut just this month, January 2017, in a section for what they titled "Fragile" books, but what was really books that were completely falling apart and needed extreme mending, or books like this one--sound condition but likely not selling well, as it is hard to find the right customers hidden away in the hills of Connecticut for awesome books like this on medicinal topics. I was enchanted by the ornate carvings all over the cover and though I know little about anaesthesia, which is now spelled anesthesia, or the medicine which creates the inability to feel and perceive sensations, I knew any book from 1881, especially a first edition, dealing with this subject and written by such a renown doctor as part of such a famed series of medical books would be perfect to sell on my site, which would widen the audience for it so that it wouldn't rot away on the shelves, forgotten unjustly, in this tiny bookstore. I hope you are the one that found it and are excited to buy it for yourself, because it truly is a masterpiece of the medical sciences and the perfect literary and antique gift for any bibliophile doctor, nurse, or other medically-inclined person. :)
-Pricing: I priced this book based on the very few other texts I could find available for sale online from this series (as most are likely on display in museums or libraries, especially health sciences libraries like the one I currently work at, interestingly enough, where there is a copy of the original "Gray's Anatomy," for instance, as I state in my description if you've read it!), and for the fact it has survived in such sound condition, along with its being a first edition (extremely rare), truly original and one-of-a-kind, with previous ownership by a well-known surgeon of the nineteenth century!
NOTE: This book has been sold but I keep it up so someone interested can find it (like you!) so that I can know to look for it specifically for them. Of course it won't be the same book but I am good at and love the hunt for books, and can likely find you another copy of that same edition or another beautiful edition of the same book. :) Don't ever hesitate to contact me on sold listings, that's why they are here!

---

There is no other book like this one.

Working in the Health Sciences Library at a university I've seen amazing old medical texts and met people (both in person and online) who collect them. I mean, first edition Gray's Anatomy type stuff, just absolutely amazing. Maybe that's why I was drawn to this book when I saw it in a pretty endearingly dumpy bookshop with the "bad condition" books at the back. I'm not someone who knows much about medicine or science, which is why it's funny I have the job I have, but my brain just doesn't work that way, and as a juvenile diabetic I've always been fearful of hospitals and medical anything, really.

Still, this book intrigued me, and I'm glad I bought it. Its condition could be called "bad" by someone outside of the rare book field, but in the rare book field it is in good standard old-book condition. There are no rips or markings inside, and the outside just shows the scuffs, wear and age spots that old books gather over time. This book is from 1881, after all.

The information I've been able to gather on the "Wood's Library of Standard Medical Authors" series is limited but fascinating. There is a summary of the series or "a checklist" available at archive.org (https://archive.org/stream/8607634.nlm.nih.gov/8607634_djvu.txt) that details the history of the library and its subscription service. It is an interesting history lesson for sure, but not right to include fully here. You should definitely check it out, however, by clicking the link above to learn more.

The book and its library was involved in subscription publishing, where book buyers were dealing directly with traveling book publishers, and their customers could only get the books from the buyers by paying a yearly or monthly subscription. Strange idea for a seventy-four volume (that's right, seventy-four volumes printed from 1879 to 1886) medical text series, but that was how this book was printed and sold, which may account for why its copies today are so few and far between--the subscribers were few and far between.

The company William Wood & Co. of New York City began publishing medical texts in 1874, but the series began as I said in 1879. The decision to specialize its distribution using the subscription method was apparently a rare one outside of the mass-market fiction world, but Wood made the decision and was the exception. One reason, it can be surmised, is that the books were given great care to be constructed and designed appealingly. I quote from the "checklist" I've linked to above, the series had "the provision of visually appealing casing, paper, and typography. The Library was published, one advertisement said, 'in a form so attractive that they will enlist the interest of every lover of books.' The casings are distinctive, whether seen with their vivid colors and bold stamping arranged on the shelf series by series or interfiled with the generally drab 19th century medical books."

I was glad to read this, to know that other people found the books striking as I found this one. Also, the idea that they would appeal to any lover of books, as it says, is a cute way of putting it in my opinion. Cute, and true. There's something special about the text and it is so rare in medical texts to find that, especially today, when they fall more under the headline "textbook" and include far less artistry. "Drab" is the perfect word, as they put it.

Another point that makes medical texts collectible is not only their outdated (but historically interesting for that) information and style of writing, but their illustrations. This book includes many graphs rather than illustrations of body parts or vein diagrams, but they draw you in nonetheless. The blocks of black ink with the skinny white lines illustrating the pulse of a patient, for instance, you can see in one of the pictures above, and I dare you to tell me it isn't cool! The decoration on the cover, though, will always be my favorite part of this text--I can't help it, I'm one of the 'lover of books' they describe with or without any knowledge of or interest in medicine, particularly.

One last and extremely important note about this series of books and this particular book is that they are unavailable online. Completely un-digitized. I've searched and searched, but the true and surprising glory of the series is that it exists solely, at the moment, in private and academic library collections. That's why my getting a hand on this copy is fortuitous and exciting--I wish I knew more about the book's provenance, how it got to me, though I do know it was owned by an R. T. Morton, a famous American surgeon from (dated with his signature) 1895.

Regardless, the only way you'd be able to get your hands on this book or any others in the series would be to find it, like I did, completely out of nowhere, or to request access to them from the archives of places like the National Library of Medicine.

(Note: what's especially confusing, however, is that you can buy the index for the series in paperback online from Amazon. I know, weird, right? There were 74 books in the series so keeping it all straight would be a nightmare I'm sure, but to not have the actual books out there, or online, and to instead have the index available both in digitized version online and physically available -- from Amazon no less -- makes little sense to me. Still, it is what it is!)

And so, "what it is" is rare, rare, rare. You'd be owning something special owning this, to have it on your shelf, be you a medical student, a doctor, nurse, or collector of medical texts for any other reason.

And here's the straight information you may be looking for:

-Full Title: Wood's Library of Standard Medical Authors, Artificial Anaesthesia and Anaesthetics
-Author: Henry M. Lyman, A.M., M.D., Professor of Physiology and of Diseases of the Nervous Systems, in Rush Medical College, Chicago, Ill., and Professor of Theory and Practice of Medicine, in The Women's Medical College, Chicago, Ill.
-Format: Hardcover, First Edition, engraved cover and spine, black and white illustrations, diagrams and charts throughout, stamped twice with old-fashioned font "C. M. Ferro. M.D." in inside cover and first page indicating previous ownership by famed surgeon written up in American Medical Review in 1895, with light pencil-scripted name "R. T. Morton" on front page as well
-Condition: That old-book vintage condition where the pages are aging, though not brittle or wavy, on the outside and somewhat on the inside they are spotted and there is blanching on the cover (just lightening of the dark brown it used to be, but you can see that in the pictures, and comes only naturally from age); the binding is sound and no rips or marks whatsoever on the inside except the signage mentioned above. It's that great kind of antique book that seems as if it is falling into oblivion, and you've arrived just in time to rescue it, age-spotted pages and worn cover and all.
-Publisher: William Wood & Company, New York, 27 Great Jones Street
-Copyright: William Wood & Company 1881
-Date published: September 1881
-Provenance: I picked this up in an antique bookstore near my house in Connecticut just this month, January 2017, in a section for what they titled "Fragile" books, but what was really books that were completely falling apart and needed extreme mending, or books like this one--sound condition but likely not selling well, as it is hard to find the right customers hidden away in the hills of Connecticut for awesome books like this on medicinal topics. I was enchanted by the ornate carvings all over the cover and though I know little about anaesthesia, which is now spelled anesthesia, or the medicine which creates the inability to feel and perceive sensations, I knew any book from 1881, especially a first edition, dealing with this subject and written by such a renown doctor as part of such a famed series of medical books would be perfect to sell on my site, which would widen the audience for it so that it wouldn't rot away on the shelves, forgotten unjustly, in this tiny bookstore. I hope you are the one that found it and are excited to buy it for yourself, because it truly is a masterpiece of the medical sciences and the perfect literary and antique gift for any bibliophile doctor, nurse, or other medically-inclined person. :)
-Pricing: I priced this book based on the very few other texts I could find available for sale online from this series (as most are likely on display in museums or libraries, especially health sciences libraries like the one I currently work at, interestingly enough, where there is a copy of the original "Gray's Anatomy," for instance, as I state in my description if you've read it!), and for the fact it has survived in such sound condition, along with its being a first edition (extremely rare), truly original and one-of-a-kind, with previous ownership by a well-known surgeon of the nineteenth century!

Reviews

5 out of 5 stars
(62)

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But please contact me if you have any problems with your order.

FAQs

Absolutely! I'm willing to do anything to get this book to you, but I will not write on it. If it is not in the condition you want, I know preservation techniques and will certainly oblige as best I can. You just need to let me know.
I will wrap the book any way you want. It is special and so are you, you deserve it! I will also write cards, include photographs, anything you'd like that would make this transaction more, well, you.
I won't tell you how to care for your book, but as to how they are cared for now, they are housed in two places -- some are wrapped in plastic in my main room in the part of the house that used to be a quaint B&B, lined on lovely old wooden bookshelves; others are stacked in piles or leaning on cool, creative and different bookends all round the room, and all are given care, attention, and kept away from my dog :)

Others sit in my library, in built-in authentic 1800s wooden and glass-door library shelves that line the walls in a secluded room in a historic home on the shore. With vintage, warm lamplights over the tiny marble fireplace, the library's windows catch plenty of sunlight--the books are in good homes and will arrive undamaged.
If the book comes later than expected this does not mean it was sent late. Every book is sent within 1-3 business days, unless one of the days is a Sunday, then it could be an extra day. This applies to International orders as well, but they might take longer to get to you than in-country orders. If there is a problem, please bring it up with UPS or see Etsy's policies.
I am more than willing to hunt down a specific book for you. This can take time, however, and would be a matter of personal back-and-forth on the site so you would have to keep in contact. There is no guarantee. I'm good at finding things however, and if I cannot find it to sell to you myself I will direct you to where I can find it online, if I can.

Important to note, however, that I may have it in my holdings already so it ALWAYS helps to check in with me. Listings come up continually, and it may just be waiting here to get processed and put up.
Contact me directly via the site and I will do my absolute best to help correct it. There should be no problems.
Always willing to make new friends and take on new jobs or opportunities -- this business does not stop me from working a full or part time job, and I am currently looking, so please contact me! Dempseylynch@gmail.com. I am definitely interested in talking with you and love meeting new people (especially book lovers of course).
Sure! Although the books are priced the way they are and are worth that amount based on a lot of factors (condition compared to others available online, if there are any available online or if it is the only one, age and whether it is signed or special in some way, etc.) I am always willing to hear you out as to why you think the books price is off, and work with you as best I can. I cannot guarantee the price will change, that is bad for my business, but I will listen to you. Don't be afraid to reach out. The worst that can happen is I will say no.

I put the reasons behind my pricing method for each item at the end of the listing so check that out if you're curious too :)

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