Wednesday, October 10, 2012
The Tabard Inn Library Revolving Bookcases
One of the really nice things about writing a blog about library history and its artifacts is the contacts I get from people who share an interest in the things I write about. I was recently contacted by Chuck from Florida who shared an image of his restored Tabard Inn Library revolving bookcase (shown here). These bookcases are wonderful pieces of furniture as well as an integral part of the story of Seymour Eaton's two libraries - the Booklovers Library and the Tabard Inn Library. Both were commercial lending libraries, and I have written previously about them on this blog and on my Library History Buff website. In an initial advertisement for the Tabard Inn Library, Eaton indicated that 10,000 of these bookcases would be manufactured at a rate of 25 and then 50 a day. The bookcases were placed in drug stores, hotels, and even public libraries. After paying an initial life membership fee of $3.00, members could exchange books on any revolving bookcase for an additional 5 cents. The bookcases have now become treasured antiques and have been sold for as much as nine thousand dollars. The Menasha Public Library in Menasha, WI is fortunate enough to have one of these bookcases, and I recently came across an online article about another restored Tabard Inn Library bookcase at the Oceanside Civic Center Library in California. I would love to have one of these bookcases but they are a little above my price range. However, I do have a fairly extensive collection of memorabilia related to both the Booklovers Library and the Tabard Inn Library including some of the books that were in their collections. Thanks Chuck for sharing the image of your Tabard Inn Library bookcase and for giving me an excuse for writing about these bookcases again.