Railway Bookstalls

in Steam-Powered Knowledge

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780226276519
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226276540 | DOI:
Railway Bookstalls

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This chapter reports in detail the railway bookstall, one of the most visible ways in which cheap print came to the attention of the educated middle classes in the late 1840s and 1850s. By transforming the availability of cheap print, the railway bookstall was an unexpected solution to the problem that had for years beset the publishers of cheap instructive works. The Chambers imagined the use of door-to-door salesmen, but the railway bookstall soon proved an equally viable alternative. Railway bookstalls produced a new link between customers and print, and provided a new retail outlet for cheap print. The Chambers, Charles Knight, and the RTS had all deplored the difficulty of getting their cheap books and magazines to the readers who needed them, but here was a way of doing it at last.

Keywords: railway bookstalls; cheap print; Chambers; Charles Knight; RTS; cheap books; magazines

Chapter.  5134 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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