Wisconsin Library Heritage Center

The Wisconsin Library Heritage Center is a program of the Wisconsin Library Association Foundation promoting understanding and appreciation of the history of libraries and librarianship in Wisconsin.

Maxon Bookmark

Posted by Larry Nix
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on Tuesday, February 03, 2009 in Library artifacts
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Henry E. Legler, former Secretary of the Wisconsin Free Library Commission, wrote the following about the Maxon bookmark in his 1918 book Library Ideals:

"What is known far and wide as the Maxon book- mark originated in Wisconsin, and was the conception of the Rev. Mr. Maxon, then resident in Dunn County. It has been reprinted on little slips in hundreds of forms, has circulated in every state and territory in the country, and doubtless a full million copies of it have been slipped between the leaves of children's books. It may fittingly be reproduced here:

'Once on a time A Library Book was overheard talking to a little boy who had just borrowed it. The words seemed worth re-cording and here they are:

'Please don't handle me with dirty hands. I should feel ashamed to be seen when the next little boy borrowed me.

Or leave me out in the rain. Books can catch cold as well as children.

Or make marks on me with your pen or pencil. It would spoil my looks.

Or lean on me with your elbows when you are reading me. It hurts.

Or open me and lay me face down on the table. You would not like to be treated so.

Or put in between my leaves a pencil or anything thicker than a single sheet of thin paper. It would strain my back.

Whenever you are through reading me, if you are afraid of losing your place, don't turn down the corner of one of my leaves, but have a neat little Book Mark to put in where you stopped, and then close me and lay me down on my side so that I can have a good comfortable rest.'"

Note the illustration of a "Maxon bookmark" is from a library supply catalog of the period with a slight variation in wording.

Comments

Laine Farley Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I wrote a column about the Maxson bookmark and its history - http://www.bibliobuffet.com/content/view/174/284/
I have always hoped to find one still doing its job inside a book.

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