Friday, April 2, 2010

With all the Red Tape on the Box


























































A few years ago I attended a reception at the Menasha Public Library in conjunction with the Wisconsin Library Association's annual conference and discovered that the library owned one of the unusual revolving bookcases of the former Tabard Inn Library. I have written a previous post about the Tabard Inn Library which was a was a for-profit membership library founded in 1902 by Seymour Eaton. It was administered by the Booklovers Library, another Eaton enterprise. Over the years I have accumulated a collection of ephemera and artifacts related to the both the Tabard Inn Library and the Booklovers Library and this month I have an exhibit of those items at the Menasha Public Library. The exhibit is supplemented by a selection of items from my Wisconsin Library Memorabilia exhibit. "With all the Red Tape on the Box" was a slogan that Eaton used to highlight the simplicity of borrowing books from the Tabard Inn Library. Seymour Eaton was an extremely interesting individual and I wrote a recent post about Eaton's connection to the Roosevelt Bears.

3 comments:

Jenny said...

Mr. Nix,
Very interesting information, thank you for taking the time to do all of the research. Just a few questions:
1. How many revolving libraries did Mr. Eaton make from 1902-1905?
2. How many revolving libraries are still around today in 2010?
Sincerely,
Jenny B.

Larry T. Nix said...

Eaton claims to have contracted for 10,000 of the revolving bookcases, but there is no independent verification of this. I don't know how many survive, but so few that they now sell for several thousand dollars.

Jenny said...

Mr. Nix,
Thank you so much for your response to my questions, that is very helpful to know.
Sincerely,
Jenny B.