Printer's Holograph Newspaper Subscription Journals with Job Work Records
[Akron, Ohio]: [H. Canfield], [1842-1854]. Two journals, 10 x 8-1/4 inches and 11-3/4 x 7-3/4 inches. 24 leaves used + inside cover and laid in partial leaf; 70 leaves used, including laid-in gathering of blue leaves for continuation of job work list, + ad clipping and worksheet pasted to inside cover. Most leaves in both journals used fully recto and verso, for a total of approximately 180 full pages of material; of these, 66 pages are records of the printer's job work. Sewn, stiff brown wrappers, holograph text in ink and pencil. Small sticker with typed title ("Canfield-4" and "Canfield-5", respectively) to front covers of journals; marker numerical notation to inside cover/first leaf of both; wear and damp-staining to covers and spines; text block of smaller journal separated from binding and laid in; scattered light soiling, staining and ink smears throughout. Good.
A remarkably detailed account of over a decade of mid-19th century newspaper subscriptions and advertisements, as well as descriptions and prices of job work, for H. Canfield, a publisher-printer based in Akron, Ohio. The press was run by Horace Canfield (1803-1853) from at least 1842, when he began publishing the American Democrat, until his sudden death from "lung fever" (most likely pneumonia) on December 29, 1853; his son, Horace G. Canfield (1831 - 1920, who is listed as a printer in the 1850 census, appears to have taken up the mantle afterward, as he is listed as a printer with his own shop on census records through 1910. Canfield also published the free soil newspaper Akron Eagle / Akron Free Democrat / Free Democratic Standard (the paper changed names three times between 1848-1852); according to the elder Canfield's obituary in The Summit County Beacon, he also published Democratic newspapers in Cleveland and Medina before settling in Akron (Jan. 4, 1854, p. 3).
The portions of the journals devoted to the newspaper subscriptions provide a wealth of information about the distribution of not only Canfield's papers, but seemingly of numerous other papers, not local, that the press appears to have taken subscriptions for on behalf of their customers. Included in these sections (all of the smaller journal, and about half of the larger one) are lists of the subscribers and the paper(s) they subscribe to, how much each subscriber has paid, lists of non-Canfield newspapers and their locations (with many names on this list crossed out and corrected, as they changed over time), and the counties and postal areas to which each suscriber belonged.
Also included with the newspaper subscriptions is a 30-page section of advertisements placed in American Democrat from 1842 to 1849. This section is notable in that it reveals an otherwise unknowable aspect of the press's financial income, with each entry giving the name of the advertiser, a brief desciption of the advertisement, the number of issues the advertisement would run, and the amount paid.
Perhaps most unusual, however, is the 66-page list of job work done by the Canfield press between January 31, 1843 and March 14, 1854. While records of newspaper subscriptions from this period have survived, a contemporary record of a publisher's job work is incredibly rare, especially one of this size. Included in each entry is the date, the name of the client, the work requested (including, in many cases, the size and number printed), the cost, and whether the amount has been paid; it is unclear if the date here is the date the request was put in, or the date it was completed. The entries are fascinating, ranging from "100 pamphlets Directions for cutting garments" to "Temperance Flag for Sharon", to "200 Lard Lamp Labels", and one titled only "Handbills 50 'Emancipation'". Handbills, tickets, certificates, and stationery are the most common requests, for a variety of uses. Advertising of services and materials is perhaps the most prevalent ("Wool! Wool!" and "Daguerrotype Likenesses" to give just two examples), but there are also ample entries of job work done for meetings, auctions, by-laws and constitutions of various organizations, marriage licenses, ball tickets, strayed horses, a notice from the town council about "Mad Dogs", and even voting materials, or perhaps political propaganda made up to look like voting materials: an entry from September 30, 1850 for the Democratic Committee requests 4500 tickets, of which 2500 are "Freedom Tickets" and 1000 are "Union Tickets", all paid by one Judge Spalding.
All in all, a riveting documentary record of a small Midwestern press and the job work it provided to the local community.