Book Caravan Publicity

All the major newsreel companies ran features on Horn Book Magazine founder Bertha Mahony Miller's bookmobile—dubbed the Book Caravan. Below are transcriptions of those newspaper articles. 



Book Caravan Is Local Girl’s Idea


Miss Bertha Mahony, the Gloucester girl who is the originator and director of the Bookshop for Boys and Girls in Boston, has launched another interesting and unique venture in connection with the shop, a Book Caravan.

For a long time Miss Mahoney had considered the possibility of a movable shop for summer trade. Then came Christopher Morely, the English author and critic, with his book “Parnassus on Wheels,” and gave the necessary fillip to the half-matured scheme. This summer sees the Book Caravan, a very American descendant of Morely’s “Parnassus,” started on its rounds.

Its initial trip will quite properly be to Gloucester on Monday, July the fifth, and anyone who will take the trouble to walk or drive over toward Gate Lodge can see the first real book caravan in America. On its exterior, it will prove to be something like a large grey limousine, but the panels are gaily lettered in blue and gold and blue awnings extend from the top to protect the little tables on which some of its wares are displayed. A glint of golden silk at the windows, however, shows that the books are within as well as without, and there sure enough you will find a miniature bookshop. Seat yourself on the cushioned seat that runs by the windows, or draw right up to the shelves on one of the rush bottomed stools, and select your book. You can get one for yourself, or have one mailed to a friend — a souvenir of the first, actual “Parnassus on Wheels” in existence. For next summer, there will of course, be others.

You will find there, all the best and latest fiction, literature, drama and poetry, for grown-ups and for children.

The Caravan has an ambitious summer before it. On Tuesday, it will move up to the North Shore, stopping at Magnolia, Beverly Farms, Beach Bluff and Nahant. Then it trundles itself down to the Cape and up to Maine and back home, through the White Mountains. Maybe a beach and turnpike and Village Greene, will see this strange new landcraft and its gay wares before its journey ends on September 21, at Lake Placid.

It is entirely a woman’s affair. But its driver, Miss Genevieve Washburn, expects to encounter no difficulties insurmountable to her sex, for she drove an ambulance for the Fund for French Wounded during the war. Miss Frank, who will advise concerning the books, is the chief of the extension work on the New York Public Library, and behind them is the same clever mind that saw the possibilities in a children’s bookshop, and in 1916 set to work to make herself an authority on children’s literature of all tongues. Imitators of her shop have since offered their sincere flattery, but Miss Mahony is probably the only person who is shipping children’s books and organizing children’s libraries from the Atlantic to the Pacific as well as in Scotland, England, France, Italy and recently in India.



‘Book Caravan,’ Mind Apostle, Visits Albany


“The Book Caravan” arrived in Albany early last evening and parked for the night at the Plaza. It is a small traveling library, outfitted with educational books. Mounted on a Stewart truck, the itinerant book store is making a tour of the United States to instill a liking for reading of the higher order in the minds of Young America. “The Caravan” is expected to pursue its work in Albany for several days. Open air meetings will take place tonight in downtown streets, at which the value of good reading will be pointed out.

“The Book Caravan” is sent out from Boston by the Women’s Educational and Industrial Union of that city. It halts at principal cities and towns along its way.



Bookshop on Wheels Visits New England Summer Resort

Novel Idea of Boston Women to Furnish Good Reading for Kids; Carries Good Supply of Story Books; At The Weirs Yesterday and Visits Laconia Today


FRANKLIN, Aug 30. — The Bookshop on wheels which the Bookshop for Boys and Girls department of the Woman’s Educational and Industrial Union of Boston had been sending to the summer resorts of New England for about two months, was in this city yesterday and today. Tomorrow it is The Weirs, Wednesday at Laconia and Thursday at Concord. The caravan will then go to Boston to end its summer touring.

The Bookshop on Wheels is a novel idea of Boston women to place good reading matter conveniently into the hands of people spending the summer in New England resorts. The shop which is transported on a large motor truck is stocked with an excellent assortment of books including an especially good supply of children’s story books. From one thousand to fifteen hundred volumes have been carried on the shelves of the car and the aim has been to meet the popular demands of the vacationists in story books.

The states of Connecticut, and Rhode Island were first visited and considerable time was spent along the Massachusetts coast. Maine was visited before the White Mountains were reached. Sunday morning the car was driven from Profile to this city which is the home of Miss Ruth Drake, well known as a librarian, who is with the caravan and drives the truck, she being an expert autoist. The shop was on Central St. this morning and at Aiken’s point Webster Lake during a greater part of the day. Tomorrow forenoon it is expected to be on Central St. again before leaving for The Weirs.

Mrs. Pauline S. Langley, representing the Woman’s Educational and Industrial Union, is in charge and reports a very successful season. The shop is equipped with cots and facilities for getting lunches and Mrs. Langley and Miss Drake have greatly enjoyed their tour. Miss Drake expects to return to Chazes, N.Y., where she has charge of a large library.

From The Union, Manchester NH August 31, 1921



Bookshop on Wheels

Traveling Library Parked Today in Front of Postoffice


“The traveling book-shop on wheels,” as designated by the young woman in charge, made its first appearance in Concord this noon, and parked in front of the postoffice. The car, a Stewart truck, is in charge of Miss Ruth Drake and Mrs. Pauline Langley and is run through the different cities and towns under the supervision of the Women’s Educational and Industrial Union of Boston, this being the second season of touring.

The little shop is not run for the purpose of making money but as an inducement to the public to do more reading. Many books are carried in the car, and the young women state that if the book wanted is not to be found in the car, the Union will take orders and procure it for the applicant.

It is not, as has been said, a circulating library, but a book shop where all the latest books may be found. The interior of the car has been fitted out to represent faithfully the corner of a well ordered library, with individual windows and a comfortable window seat in the corner.

From Monitor, Concord NH September 1, 1921



Bookshop on Wheels Arrives in Concord


The bookshop on Wheels which is making a tour of New Hampshire arrived in the town this afternoon and attracted a great deal of attention. The automobile was in front of the post office.

From Patriot, Concord NH September 1, 1921


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