114 to 124 Year Old “The Duplex Album”

While looking through a sea of used books at the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Chapter 84 I was taken by a boxed set from the National Audubon Society. When I opened the box sitting on top of the 1956 era Nature program books was an old booklet titled "The Duplex Album"

According to Worldcat.org and Ohio State University Library (which seems to be one of very, very few who have a copy) this was published between 1890 and 1900. The photographs were taken by John Joseph Ward.

John Joseph Ward was a native of Coventry, born on March 28th. 1875 and he died on the 8th. of January 1947 at the age of 71. According to the 1881 census, J. J. Ward's father was a printer and had shop premises in Swanswell Street.

As a young man J. J. Ward was apprenticed to Illiffe & Son as a lithographic printer, and the successful outcome of this apprenticeship not only made him a freeman of the city and served as the foundation of his livelihood during the next few years, but it also developed his skill in illustration which was to help towards his reputation when he became a professional exponent of natural history. In 1902, at the age of 27, he gave up his trade in the printing industry, and took the plunge to earn his living as a photographer, lecturer and writer on natural history.

Considering that this booklet was published between 1890 and 1900 to find it in such amazing condition is a plus. To think this booklet and its Ten postcard photographs is between 124 and 114 years old is worth the $2.00 paid for the Nature Program box set, which had nothing to do with this booklet of Ward photographs.

 


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