The Whisper courtesy Dick Blacher

Booklets and ephemera courtesy of Dick Blacher. Pictures and commentary by Paul Jackson.

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The Whisper: A Magazine of Brief Practical Suggestions for Bookbinders

by Louis Herman Kinder

1901/1902

Original prospectuses for The Whisper indicate that Kinder intended to publish five volumes over a 5 year period. Each volume was to be comprised of 12 monthly issues. Due to slow sales, only 12 monthly editions (one volume) of The Whisper were printed. The twelve issues produced were from June 1901 until May 1902. The price per volume was to be $5.00 paid in advance and it appears many bookbinders were hesitant to pay this amount in advance for information that they may or may not use.

The magazine/periodical was published by Kinder himself, with payments directed to his wife, Julia Metzer Kinder. Like other Roycrofters, he had his own cottage industry on the side. Interestingly the booklets were printed by Advertiser Print in East Aurora and nit the Roycroft for whom Kinder worked. All 12 booklets were printed in an edition of 400. According to Richard Wolfe and Paul McKenna's Kinder book, the first 12 issues dealt with glues, glare, edge gilding, bole preparation, etc. On page 181 of volume #1, Kinder noted that this volume would be the only volume produced. He further stated that the rest of his formulas would be issued as a book entitled Kinder's Formulas for Book-Binders.

The 11 copies of The Whisper shown above all came with the original mailing envelopes, receipts signed by Louis Kinder's wife Julia, and a letter from Louis Kinder thanking Archie Kemp for his purchase. Mr. Archie Kemp of Toronto, Ontario, Canada was a book binder for the Ryerson Press. The Methodist Church established The Methodist Book and Publishing Company in 1829. It was the first publishing house in Canada. Edgerton Ryerson 1803-1882 was a minister and an educator and helped found the company. Additionally under his stewardship the Methodist was developed from a religious publishing company into a much more diversified publisher. The name Ryerson Press was not adopted until 1919, 37 years after the death of the founder. In 1970 it was acquired from the church by McGraw Hill publishing and in 1971 it was renamed McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited.

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