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Christopher Morley's Christmas Salute
Perhaps it is not surprising, but lovers of printing have a long history of honoring the holidays in print. In December 1935, for example, rare book dealer Philip C. Duschnes published a limited edition of a small letterpress booklet called A Christmas Salute. This little printed keepsake incorporates glittery cardstock and bright red and green ink.
The text itself, by American writer Christopher Morley, is a simple series of greetings to those who bring him and others joy — from librarians to greengrocers, from apple-growers to subway guards, and from waitresses to those who stop along the pavement to smell the Christmas trees. Here's the first page:
Morley's Salute first appeared in the New York Evening Post (Dec. 23, 1922), and this little piece has led me to hunt down a few of his other works to read over the holidays. His many books include Kitty Foyle and Parnassus on Wheels. Morley also worked as a founding selector for the Book-of-the-Month Club as well as a co-editor for Bartlett's Familiar Quotations.
A Christmas Salute is one of a number of Christmas keepsake publications held in the Rare Book Division. Often created by those who operated and those who loved private presses, these seasonal books and booklets — drawing on texts both classical and contemporary and often including elegant illustrations as well — became little limited-edition printed gifts to share at this time of year. The Library's copy of A Christmas Salute is one of three hundred copies printed by the Walpole Press in Mt. Vernon, New York.