My Little Corner of the Net

Friday, January 14, 2011

My Bookhouse

The BookHouse

I discovered the wooden bookhouse at a garage sale a while back and decided it would be a great miniature room box.  At first I had no idea what it was, I assumbed it was some sort of multi-level dollhouse.  After closer inspection, I discovered a bronze name plate on the bottom which reads "Cabinet by Churchill, Chicago"  I began doing some research and found that the company manufactured radio boxes back in the early part of the century.  Some more internet research helped me to discover what the "My BookHouse" decal was on each side of the structure.

A close up of the decal above the painted window, note also the small window cut into the gable.
A close-up of the bronze plaque on the bottom.

This side of the house has a lot more paint ware.  I have left it in it's original state.  More research led me to the purpuse of the house.  It was designed to promote and hold a series of books called My Bookhouse.  My Bookhouse was originally published in 6 thick volumes bound in black cloth with pictorial paste-ons and gilt lettering, which I later found at a local estate sale.  In 1927 the six volumes were sold as a set in a wooden house  with a red roof, two red chimneys, gray walls, and a window at each end. Included were three volumes of the taller My Travelship series, consisting of Little Pictures of Japan (by Katharine Sturges, 1925, dark blue), Tales Told in Holland (by Maud and Miska Petersham, 1926, red) and Nursery Friends from France (by Maud and Miska Petersham, 1927, light blue).

I collected the three large books to complete the collection.

Needless to say, I didn't end up with a miniature room box afterall, but a great conversation piece and I learned something in the process!


  1. What a great find! So unique! Love this!

  2. I was surprised to see your photo of the book "Tales Told in Holland". My family has the same book!

  3. When I was a kid I read all of my Mom's copies of My Bookhouse, and it is so lovely to see the Snow White and Rose Red that I remember after all these years! Thanks for sharing!

  4. You did an admirable job of researching this set, especially starting from just the bookshelf/bookhouse.
    However, I am going to suggest that the 6-volume set of MY BOOKHOUSE which you found for it, is not as appropriate, perhaps, as the 1927 green set of books for this limited offer. The fuller story behind this can be, I am sure, discovered in Dorothy Loring Taylor's biography of Olive Beaupre Miller, the creator of The Bookhouse for Children. BUT, more to the point of your focussed interest, and something which will challenge you, and which was unknown to Dorothy Taylor, is, that a tin miniature of this bookshelf/bookhouse was created about 1933. It had only 6 different, miniature books in it, and is about 5 inches high, including the height of the chimneys. I believe it was done as a promotion item for the Century of Progress World's Fair at Chicago in 1933-34.