1904 Memoir "A Western Trip" by Carl Schmidt

Value (2011) | $2,500 Retail$4,000 Retail

My husband works for the National Park Service, and we were in Yellowstone at the time of the World Conference. And that was in 1972. And they had a group of retired people come through to visit the park for a couple of days. And during that period of time, we just met this one gentleman very casually and got talking to him and gave him a couple of different rides through the park. And so he got our address and sent us a thank-you note, and he sent us this book.

The title of this book is "A Western Trip." It was authored by a Detroit industrialist named Carl Schmidt. Carl Schmidt published this memoir of his time there at Yellowstone. This book was published in 1904 in Detroit, where he was from. He published it in a very limited number. There's probably fewer than 100 copies of this book published. And it's done in full leather, called Russia. And it has beautiful moire silk end papers. And he inscribed practically all of the books. This says, "Just to remind you of Valhalla, Carl Schmidt, November 1932." So maybe it was inscribed to somebody who joined him on that trip, and he is sending this as a reminder of that trip 30 years before that. What's most interesting about this book, though, is that it has some mounted photographs by a very famous Western photographer. You probably recognize some of the scenes.

Oh, yes.

And these are called photochromes. And it's a color photographic process that's done with lithography. And William Henry Jackson was the photographer. There's 12 mounted photographs in this book. He took the first photographs of Yellowstone in about 1870 as part of the Hayden expedition. And he took 10,000 negatives after that of Yellowstone and Western parts of the United States. And in about 1898, he sold all of his negatives to a Detroit company that was interested in producing these photochromes. These are photographs that he probably took quite a bit earlier than 1904, and he probably was not on this expedition with Schmidt. Now, this book does have a little bit of damage to it. Can you see this kind of what's called damp stain tide mark down there?

Yeah, yeah, I can see, over here and down here, yeah.

It sustained a little bit of water damage there. There's nothing you can really do about that at this point. But it does detract from the value a little bit. And the binding has a little bit of what's called rubbing to it, along the edges here. I would just leave it as is, in a cool, dark place. Now, this book comes up very rarely on the marketplace. A retail value would be somewhere between $2,500 and $4,000 for this book.

Oh, my heavens.

Appraisal Details

Caliban Books
Pittsburgh, PA
Appraised value (2011)
$2,500 Retail$4,000 Retail
Atlanta, GA (August 06, 2011)

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