Civil War

6/16 – Family Troubles

Business partnerships don’t last forever. Erastus Beadle, his brother Irwin Beadle and their young partner Robert Adams had a good business going. The firm of Beadle & Adams was very profitable, and their dime novels were breaking sales records. For whatever reason, by the summer of 1862, Irwin Beadle wanted out. His financial interest in the business was purchased by the other partners. It may not have been an amicable parting. We will never know.

When the firm first moved to Manhattan, the address was 137 William Street and the name of the firm was Irwin P. Beadle and Company. As business grew, the firm moved two doors down to 141 William Street.

In 1863, they moved again to 118 William Street. but as they were moving, Irwin Beadle entered into a partnership with George Munro, and began producing, wait for it, 10-cent books. The books did have a picture of a  10-cent stamp on them instead of a picture of a dime, but still! Not only were Irwin Beadle and George Munro producing 10-cent books, but the operating name and address of the new partnership was Irwin P. Beadle & Co., 137 William Street.

This was too much for Erastus Beadle and Robert Adams. A similar name, a familiar address, and similarly named books? They took Irwin to court, seeking an injunction preventing him from calling his books Ten-Cent books and other similarities. The judge ruled in favor of the defendants (Irwin and George), but they were not use the word “Dime” in their titles.

Inside front cover, The Hunters, a ten-cent book published in November of 1863.

In the fall of 1863, the Irwin P. Beadle company issued their first novel, The Hunters. The inside of the front cover contains the wording of the settlement of the court case. The Hunters is part of my collection, and it shown below. The Sullivan Press reproduction of this book is available for sale.

Original edition on the left, reproduction on the right

By 1864, Irwin was out of the partnership with George Munro. Munro continued to publish dime books and novels, under the name of Munro’s Ten Cent Novels. Irwin never returned to business with his brother again. He dabbled in bookbinding, retiring from the publishing business in 1868. He was 42 years old.