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Friday, December 02, 2005

Got an exclusive public domain etext online?

Here's an interesting tip to get a GREAT link from an authority site instantly: Go to Wikipedia and search for 1) the author and 2) the subject of your etext. Get a Wikipedia account and add your online book link to both (if they exist) under "External Links" Generally, this link will give you a lift in the SERPS for the keyword and author name the next time Google does it's dance. I did this with a brand new etext recently and seem to have bumped my site right out of the Google sandbox with the Wikipedia incoming link.
Discover Public Domain Books
Posted by Public Domain Explorer at 4:37 AM
Categories: Topic Research

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Crocheting and Tatting

"Crocheting Tatting". That's the exact quote I used in Public Domain Explorer tonight, even though I can't crochet at all, and I don't have a clue what tatting is.

It just came to me to search for it since someone on a book publishing list mentioned tatting as a micro niche, and I thought, I wonder what the heck tatting is, and whether there are public domain books on the subject.

And then I noticed that one of the most popular Wordpress.com blogs is entitled "What Not To Crochet." And thats what the blog posts are about too, so I thought I'd throw crochet into the mix just for fun, since I was pretty sure the two were somewhat related.

I still don't have an answer to question one, but I found no shortage of books for my search terms in the public domain. There's a huge list even before the 1923-1949 section. Here's everything $25 and under on the list:

Title
Author
Year (Pre 1923)
Price

Mary Fitch #15 - Latest Yokes, Collars and Cuffs Sets in Filet Crochet & Tatting
Mary Fitch
1919
$6.95
Anna Valeire #7 - Dainty Yokes Made From Medallions
Anna Valerie
1912
$7.95
ABC #2 - Book of Crocheted Edges and Corners
ABC - Asmus Bradley Company
1912
$7.95
Mary Fitch #4 - Crocheted Yokes and Tatting
Mary Fitch
1915
$7.95
Mary Fitch #8 - Crocheted and Tatted Yokes and Collars
Mary Fitch
1917
$7.95
Anna Valerie #1 - Crochet & Tatting Craft: Edgings, Medallions & Insertions
Anna Valerie
1912
$7.95
ABC #1 - Book of Crocheted Edges and Corners
ABC - Asmus Bradley Company
1912
$7.95
ABC #4 - Book of Crocheted Edges and Corners
ABC - Asmus Bradley Company
1912
$7.95
Anna Valerie #2 - Tatting Craft: A Real Sampler of Over 100 Designs
Anna Valerie
1912
$7.95
ABC #3 - Book of Crocheted Edges and Corners
ABC - Asmus Bradley Company
1912
$7.95
Anna Valeire #6 - Finished Yokes of Beauty
Anna Valerie
1912
$7.95
Anna Valeire #4 - My Trousseau, Crochet for Lingerie and Linens
Anna Valerie
1912
$7.95
Home Needlework Magazine: April 1914

1914
$8.00
Richardson's Complete Crochet Book #2
Richardson's Silk Company
1916
$8.95
STAR YOKE BOOK BOOK NUMBER 1
American Thread
1921
$15.00
Royal Society Tatting and Crochet Lessons #5
Royal Society
1915
$15.95
Corticelli Lessons in Crochet #13
Nonotuck Silk Company
1920
$16.95
Priscilla Yoke Book - Tatting & Crochet
Priscilla Publishing Co.
1916
$16.95
Priscilla Tatting Book #2
Julia E. Sanders
1915
$16.95
Priscilla Tatting Book #1
Jesse M. De Witt
1909
$16.95
Young Ladies' Journal Complete Guide to the Work Table
E. Harrison
1895
$24.95
PLAIN AND FANCY NEEDLEWORK A MAGAZINE DEVOTED TO NEEDLEWORK, DRESSMAKING, MILLINERY, DECORATION AND OTHER HOUSEHOLD INTERESTS SEPTEMBER 1917

1917
$25.00
How to Use Florence Knitting Silk
Nonotuck Silk Co.
1885
$25.00
PLAIN AND FANCY NEEDLEWORK A MAGAZINE DEVOTED TO NEEDLEWORK, DRESSMAKING, MILLINERY, DECORATION AND OTHER HOUSEHOLD INTERESTS JULY 1917

1917
$25.00

I know it's an excruciatingly long list, but since I don't know anything at all about the subject, I'm not up to making a fool of myself by offering commentary on the available titles. After all, you don't want to hear that "Finished Yokes of Beauty" doesn't actually sound appealing. Nor does wearing crocheted lingerie. But what the heck... enjoy!


Discover Public Domain Books
Posted by Public Domain Explorer at 7:26 AM
Edited on: Friday, December 02, 2005 4:02 AM
Categories: Topic Research

Monday, November 07, 2005

The Butcher, The Baker, The Candlestick Maker Part 3, Candles

Pickings are slim, it seems, for books about candle making.

The only book I could find that might fit the bill is The Candle Book; How to Make Decorate, Decorate With and Sell Candles by Laklan, Carli

In Google Print, I found An Outline of the Sciences of Heat and Electricity, which looks like it might have some relevant material.

At Project Gutenberg, an interesting series of lectures by Michael Faraday called The Chemical History of a Candle should also provide some good material.

Not too much to go on, so I thought I'd check the Library of Congress to see if there are many books that might eventually come available on candlemaking. And, as it turns out, there are not. It seems that there were very, very few books in English written about the subject prior to 1970.

A more likely place to find information on the subject, then, would be in books about homemaking and home economics from those earlier years.


Discover Public Domain Books
Posted by Public Domain Explorer at 1:42 PM
Categories: Topic Research

Thursday, October 27, 2005

The Butcher, The Baker, The Candlestick Maker, Part 2: The Baker

Cookbooks and Recipes are a unique case in copyright law, since lists of ingredients can't be copyrighted. So, any recipe is fair game as long as you completely re-write the directions.

However, a quick recipe for content might contain Seventy-Five Receipts for Pastry, Cakes and Sweetmeats, by Miss Leslie , Ice Creams, Water Ices, Frozen Puddings Together with Refreshments for all Social Affairs and Chocolate and Cocoa Recipes and Home Made Candy Recipes from Project Gutenberg.

Also on Gutenberg are a few volumes from "The Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences", namely Essentials of Cookery; Cereals; Bread; Hot Breads and Salads and Sandwiches; Cold and Frozen Desserts; Cakes, Cookies and Puddings; Pastries and Pies

You'll find many, many cookbooks in the public domain in bookstores as well, It appears that few cookbooks had their copyrights renewed.

For a few sure things, check out the Royal Baker and Pastry Cook (1911), Cakes for Bakers (1922) and The Modern Baker, Confectioner and Caterer (1908).

Old cookbooks can get pricey, as cookbook collectors drive up the prices. On the up side, that also means that once you've made your scans, if you're careful not to do any damage to the book, you can probably make a profit by selling the original on Ebay.

If you have any gaps you want to fill in your recipe collection, a FANTASTIC source is old newspaper archives. The largest searchable collection online is at NewspaperArchive.com. There is a fee for access, but it's very reasonable for such a huge and wonderful resource that can serve so many purposes.


Discover Public Domain Books
Posted by Public Domain Explorer at 3:45 AM
Edited on: Thursday, October 27, 2005 3:48 AM
Categories: Topic Research

Monday, October 24, 2005

The Butcher, The Baker, The Candlestick Maker, Part 1: Meat Cutting

Yup, I'm going out for a three part book search post. Why? I don't know. It just came to me while I was reading a book of rhymes to my son.

So, here are some books for the butcher in you.

There's not much this week in the pre-1923 section, but there are some GREAT finds with later dates published by various departments of the U.S. Government, so here are my picks:

  1. Technical Manual - Cutting Of Beef (1943) from the U.S. War Department. 70 pages, includes photos, and is $3.00
  2. Technical Manual - Cutting And Preparing Lamb (1943) again from the US War Department. This one's a little shorter -- 32 pages -- I suppose because lambs are smaller.
  3. The Meat Handbook of the United States Navy (1945): From the foreword, "The Meat Handbook of the United States Navy,published for the training and use of commissary personnel, comprehensively covers the subject of meat utilization at naval activities. The detailed instructions for cutting meat, supported by photographic illustrations, will give practical 'on-the-job' help to personnel in the commissary branch who are charged with stowing, issuing, cutting, and cooking meat for messes ashore and afloat"
  4. Beef On the Farm: Slaughtering, Cutting, Curing (1950) U. S. Department of Agriculture - a small booklet for under $20 bucks. The description of this one states: "Laid in is a 5-page mimeographed report by T. O. Meyer, Department of Animal Husbandry State College of Washington entitled, Selection, Packaging and Freezing of Meat."

Elsewhere, you can grab some freebie diagrams showing cuts of beef, veal, mutton, venison and pork from The White House Cookbook from Project Gutenberg. You might also find The Book of Household Management has some useful information. In fact, depending on where you want to take your topic, the entire Home Economics section of Project Gutenberg should be one of your top bookmarks to see what's new each week or month.

Searching for information on meat cutting at US Government sources might also produce some results. The first item I found on the Google search was this article on Food Processing Occupations.


Discover Public Domain Books
Posted by Public Domain Explorer at 5:27 PM
Edited on: Monday, October 24, 2005 5:49 PM
Categories: Topic Research

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Hand Made Rugs

Crafty subjects seem to work well for niche sites, and good collections of patterns can also sell well on Ebay, if packaged right.

So, today I searched for hand-made rugs. Not that I've ever made a rug, or even had the desire to, but I found a pattern for a small rug in an old Harpers Bazar magazine from the late 1800s that prompted my curiosity on the topic.

I found one possibility in the pre-1923 list of my search:

The Craft of Hand-Made Rugs authored by Amy Mali Hicks. The first link is a 1920 edition for $12. There is also a 1914 edition on sale for $17, if the cheaper copy has been sold. If they're both gone, do a new search on the title for any recent additions to the database.

There are also many copies available from the 1930s and 40s, that don't appear to have had their copyrights renewed, but I would stick to the older editions rather than get a new one without an official copyright search.

On the pricey side, I found "History and Manufacture of Floor Coverings" from 1899, which is currently being sold for $90.

As for later books without apparent copyright renewal records, I found one entitled "Handmade Rugs" by Ella Shannon Bowles from 1937, "Hooked Rugs and How to Make Them" by Anna M. Laise Philips from 1925, and "New Ideas for Handmade Rugs" by Elizabeth Varick from 1940.

[Although none of these appear to have a renewal record in the database, I would recommend you first ensure that 1) they were published in the US by 2) an American author and 3) have a qualified attorney or the Copyright Office ensure there is no copyright under a different title or rights holder before re-publishing.]


Discover Public Domain Books
Posted by Public Domain Explorer at 9:31 PM
Edited on: Friday, October 21, 2005 2:49 PM
Categories: Topic Research

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Checkers or Draughts

With the increase in paid game sites on the Web, sites about all sorts of competitive games should be a good bet for both bounties for finding game sites new players, and contextual text ads like Google Adsense for similar sites.

With that in mind, I thought I'd do some research on a board game, and the first that came to mind was checkers.

The first search I did was for Draughts -- the British name for the game. In this list, I'm only going to pay attention to the pre-1923 list, since books with the word 'Draughts' in the title are probably published in the UK, and therefore wouldn't have US copyright renewals on record. They'd be covered under an entirely different set of copyright laws, and we just don't want to go there.

Running the term "Draughts" through PDE, I get the list linked here: http://www.publicdomainexplorer.com/sample/draughts.html

"Checkers" produces this list: http://www.publicdomainexplorer.com/sample/checkers.html

One of the entries that shows up on both lists, Chess and Checkers: The Way to Mastership by Edward Lasker, seems familiar, and a Google search confirms that it's available for download from Project Gutenberg.

Another Google search shows that Checkers by Henry M. Blossom, Jr. is a work of fiction, and not a book about the game.

Scratching those two items, I'd lean toward the following promising picks:

  • Checkers and Chess, La Roux, Maxim 1916 ($5.00)
    I don't know who Maxim La Roux was, but I'm certain the book is about the game since it's paired with Chess as the topic. Unless this was the cheapest and most likely candidate, though, I'd probably not buy it, since it's difficult to determine how much of the book would actually be dedicated to Checkers rather than Chess.
  • Wendemuth's Checker Companion.1922 ($7.00)
    Wendemuth, I learned from a newspaper archive search, was a Checkers champion from Chicago.
  • Inside Checkers for Beginners, Amateurs, Students and Votaries of the Game, Walker, Walton W. 1922 ($9.00) looks promising. The book is described online as "An exhaustive analysis of selected games played between the best masters and amateurs. Being a revelation in scientific play."
  • A Complete Guide to the Game of Draughts, Lees, James 1906 ($9.00)
    Lees is a well-known name among Checkers fanatics, and so a reprint of this classic might sell well.
  • Draughts: A Practical Guide to Scientific Play , Dunne, Frank 1900 ($10.00)
    Frank Dunne appears to be well known in the checkers world as well, primarily for being the first checkers player to succeed at playing blindfolded.
  • Draughts or Checkers for Beginners , Spayth, Henry 1866 ($11.95)
    Didn't find a lot of information about Spayth, but a beginners book is always a great place to start when building a new content website.

There are also a number of records of tournaments and matches which, while they would make lousy fodder for Adsense, might make for a good visual product, if you could use a checkers software program and / or screen capture software to record the sequence of moves from championship games.

For this topic, at least, there are enough good choices for information in the Pre-1923 category to begin a solid information site and or product with. If the site proves profitable, it would then be worth while to pursue some of the no-match post 1923 items, and pay for the Library of Congress or a law firm to do a copyright search to confirm availablility.

All of these books, at the prices listed, could earn a profit for a savvy niche marketer, EASILY, within a month of their conversion into a usable format.


Discover Public Domain Books
Posted by Public Domain Explorer at 10:50 PM
Edited on: Friday, September 16, 2005 12:18 AM
Categories: Topic Research