winfred porter truesdell portrait
        drawn by Oberhardt
  
Engraving and Engravers:
Books Printed by Winfred Porter Truesdell
and the Troutsdale Press

by David Patrick

  Winfred Porter Truesdell was a well-known collector and writer on the subject of book plates.  He printed a number of books starting in 1903 to showcase the book plates of well known engravers.  His last book on book plates was published in 1907.

 
    In 1914, Truesdell contemplated his next printing project.  He was working with the famous portrait engraver Jacques Reich (1852-1923) who was to create engravings from photographs of the military men who commanded troops during the Spanish-American War a decade earlier.  Truesdell printed an announcement for the upcoming book and titled it “General Officers of the War with Spain, and in the Philippine Insurrection.”  Unfortunately, there is no indication that the book was ever printed. 

    By the 1920s, Truesdell had focused on the work of engravers and woodcutters who made beautiful lithographs and prints.  Publishing at the time relied on artist-engravers to reproduce portraits, paintings, drawings or natural scenes in astonishing detail using engraved copper plates or etched zinc plates.  The plates were used in a printing machine for mass production of the image.  

 
   
Truesdell moved his Troutsdale Press from N.Y.C. to Champlain, N.Y. by 1924.  In 1924 he published his first book on the work of artist Charles Meryon, called the "Catalogue Raisonne of the Etchings of Charles Meryon."  Other books followed for the work of Henry Wolf (1927) and Gustav Kruell (1929).  He also published a book on the engravings of Col. Elmer E. Ellsworth (1926, 1927) which was an extension of an article in his Print Connoisseur, which he also printed from 1920 to 1932.

   In 1916, Truesdell was interested in portraits of Abraham Lincoln and was in discussions with Frederick Hill Meserve to use copies of his Lincoln photographs for an upcoming book.  In 1911, Meserve had published his authoritative book on all of the known Lincoln photographs known to exist.  Truesdell wanted to print a similar book and Meserve offered him prints from his negatives.  Meserve thought Truesdell's book would be in competition to his book but he was fine with that.   In 1920, Truesdell printed an announcement for the upcoming book but it wouldn't be until 1933 before he printed Volume 2 of the series (which was planned for four volumes).  He was preparing volumes 1, 3 and 4 when he died.

  Over his lifetime, Truesdell collected over 9,300 lithograph prints made of famous American and European politicians, military men, historical scenes and reproductions of famous paintings.  The prints are now housed at the Special Collections, Feinberg Library, SUNY-Plattsburgh.

    B
elow is a sample of some of Truesdell's books on engravings and engravers printed with his Troutsdale Press.  His press had many addresses over the years and included 36 Hazelwood St. in Malden, Mass.; 152 Mass Ave. in Boston; Pleasant Place in Teaneck, N.J.; 154 East 38th St. in N.Y.C. and finally at 46 Oak Street in Champlain, N.Y.



(The above image of Truesdell is owned by the website author.  It is a sketch made by William Oberhardt in 1921 for an article in The Print Connoisseur periodical.  This copy is signed by Oberhardt and Truesdell.  It was given to Malcolm McLellan and then his daughter). 




  "General Officers of the War with Spain"
Announcement
1914

Winfred
                      Porter Truesdell and his Printed Books by the
                      Troutsdale Press
Winfred
                      Porter Truesdell and his Printed Books by the
                      Troutsdale Press
Winfred
                      Porter Truesdell and his Printed Books by the
                      Troutsdale Press
Winfred
                      Porter Truesdell and his Printed Books by the
                      Troutsdale Press
Winfred
                      Porter Truesdell and his Printed Books by the
                      Troutsdale Press
Winfred
                      Porter Truesdell and his Printed Books by the
                      Troutsdale Press
Winfred
                      Porter Truesdell and his Printed Books by the
                      Troutsdale Press
Winfred
                      Porter Truesdell and his Printed Books by the
                      Troutsdale Press



"Catalogue Raisonne of the Etchings of Charles Meryon"
by Loys Delteil
Troutsdale Press, Champlain, N.Y.
1924

Also see the Vol. 2, No. 3 1922 edition of the Print Connoisseur
for the article "Charles Meryon" by Winfred Porter Truesdell

Winfred
                      Porter Truesdell and his Printed Books by the
                      Troutsdale Press
Winfred
                      Porter Truesdell and his Printed Books by the
                      Troutsdale Press
Winfred
                      Porter Truesdell and his Printed Books by the
                      Troutsdale Press
Winfred
                      Porter Truesdell and his Printed Books by the
                      Troutsdale Press
Winfred
                      Porter Truesdell and his Printed Books by the
                      Troutsdale Press
Winfred
                      Porter Truesdell and his Printed Books by the
                      Troutsdale Press
Winfred
                      Porter Truesdell and his Printed Books by the
                      Troutsdale Press
Winfred
                      Porter Truesdell and his Printed Books by the
                      Troutsdale Press







1926    Checklist Of The Prints Of Colonel Elmer E. Ellsworth


  Printed in the July 1926 edition of the Print Connoisseur

Also see the April 1926 edition for "Col. Elmer E. Ellsworth: First Hero of the Civil War"
by Charles Ingraham




"The Engraved Portraits of Elmer E. Ellsworth"
or
"Catalog Raisonne of the Portraits of Col. Elmer E. Ellsworth"
With an Introductory Essay by Charles A. Ingraham
1927

(from a private collection)

Winfred Porter
                Truesdell and his Printed Books by the Troutsdale Press
Winfred Porter
                Truesdell and his Printed Books by the Troutsdale Press
Winfred Porter
                Truesdell and his Printed Books by the Troutsdale Press
Winfred Porter
                Truesdell and his Printed Books by the Troutsdale Press
Winfred Porter
                Truesdell and his Printed Books by the Troutsdale Press
Winfred Porter
                Truesdell and his Printed Books by the Troutsdale Press
Winfred Porter
                Truesdell and his Printed Books by the Troutsdale Press
Winfred Porter
                Truesdell and his Printed Books by the Troutsdale Press
Winfred Porter
                Truesdell and his Printed Books by the Troutsdale Press
Winfred Porter
                Truesdell and his Printed Books by the Troutsdale Press
Winfred Porter
                Truesdell and his Printed Books by the Troutsdale Press
Winfred Porter
                Truesdell and his Printed Books by the Troutsdale Press
Winfred Porter
                Truesdell and his Printed Books by the Troutsdale Press
Winfred Porter
                Truesdell and his Printed Books by the Troutsdale Press
Winfred Porter
                Truesdell and his Printed Books by the Troutsdale Press
Winfred Porter
                Truesdell and his Printed Books by the Troutsdale Press
Winfred Porter
                Truesdell and his Printed Books by the Troutsdale Press
Winfred Porter
                Truesdell and his Printed Books by the Troutsdale Press
Winfred Porter
                Truesdell and his Printed Books by the Troutsdale Press
Winfred Porter
                Truesdell and his Printed Books by the Troutsdale Press



  "The Life and Works of Henry Wolf"
by Ralph Clifton Smith
Troutsdale Press, Champlain, N.Y.
1927

Winfred
                      Porter Truesdell and his Printed Books by the
                      Troutsdale Press
Winfred
                      Porter Truesdell and his Printed Books by the
                      Troutsdale Press
Winfred
                      Porter Truesdell and his Printed Books by the
                      Troutsdale Press
Winfred
                      Porter Truesdell and his Printed Books by the
                      Troutsdale Press
Winfred
                      Porter Truesdell and his Printed Books by the
                      Troutsdale Press
Winfred
                      Porter Truesdell and his Printed Books by the
                      Troutsdale Press
Winfred
                      Porter Truesdell and his Printed Books by the
                      Troutsdale Press
Winfred
                      Porter Truesdell and his Printed Books by the
                      Troutsdale Press



"Gustav Kruell: American Portrait Engraver on Wood"
by Ralph Clifton Smith
Troutsdale Press, Champlain, N.Y.
1929

Also see the January 1926 edition of the Print Connoisseur
for a condensed article by Ralph C. Smith


Winfred
                      Porter Truesdell and his Printed Books by the
                      Troutsdale Press
Winfred
                      Porter Truesdell and his Printed Books by the
                      Troutsdale Press
Winfred
                      Porter Truesdell and his Printed Books by the
                      Troutsdale Press
Winfred
                      Porter Truesdell and his Printed Books by the
                      Troutsdale Press
Winfred
                      Porter Truesdell and his Printed Books by the
                      Troutsdale Press
Winfred
                      Porter Truesdell and his Printed Books by the
                      Troutsdale Press
Winfred
                      Porter Truesdell and his Printed Books by the
                      Troutsdale Press
Winfred
                      Porter Truesdell and his Printed Books by the
                      Troutsdale Press
Winfred
                      Porter Truesdell and his Printed Books by the
                      Troutsdale Press
Winfred
                      Porter Truesdell and his Printed Books by the
                      Troutsdale Press





"The Engraved and Lithographed Portraits of Abraham Lincoln"
written and published by Winfred Porter Truesdell
Troutsdale Press, Champlain, N.Y.
1933


Winfred Porter
              Truesdell and his Printed Books by the Troutsdale Press
Winfred Porter
              Truesdell and his Printed Books by the Troutsdale Press




    ANNOUNCEMENT is herewith made of a sumptuous art and bibliographical work now in course of preparation, THE ENGRAVED AND LITHOGRAPHED PORTRAITS OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN, a descriptive check list of all the known engraved and other portraits based on the life photographs, to be issued in four parts, in the manner and on the terms described below, to be completed in 1932.


THE PORTRAITS
    Lincoln was one of the most photographed and most beloved men of his time, his features and form became very familiar to the Country through the countless thousands of copies of photographs, and the engravings based on them, that were circulated in the political campaigns of the sixties. During the many years that have elapsed since his death these photographs have largely disappeared, but many of them were preserved in the hands of admirers and collectors. All that are known of these were brought together in "The Photographs of Abraham Lincoln," by Frederick Hill Meserve, in 1911, by contact photography. They are reproduced in this work in aquatone, with data as to time and place and circumstances of their making.

THE CHECK LIST
    For many years collectors of prints and other Lincolniana have been greatly handicapped by the lack of a proper list on which to base and identify their portraits. The present work enumerates and describes in detail all the known engravings, etchings, lithographs and wood engravings of Lincoln. The list is not padded with descriptions of any half tones or other mechanically produced portraits, of which there are multitudes; nothing but bona fide engravings and lithographs being included.

    The preparation of this check list has engaged the author's attention for some years, and every print described has been examined by him personally. In addition to his own collection, he has had the courteous privilege of examining all the larger collections of the country, including those of Mr. Harry McNeil Bland, the late Major W. H. Lambert, the late Mr. Chas. W. McLellan, the late Mr. Judd Stewart, the late Mr. W. C. Crane, and others, to which reference will be made in the work itself.

PLAN OF THE WORK
    Almost all the engravings and lithographs of Lincoln have been based on the various life photographs, in but few instances on the life paintings. It is therefore in accord with the character of the subject to divide the list into types as presented by the photographs and paintings, and to give after each the various prints that have been based on it, using the numbering of the Meserve photographs.

    Indexes by engravers and artists, and the different publishers, etc., will be given. Each print is described in detail, including inscriptions, states, size, and if it is a book print, the publication in which it appeared, as well as other particulars that would aid in identification.

THE ILLUSTRATIONS
    These will include a number of engravings specially made for the work, including three in pure mezzotint by Frederick Reynolds, a color wood block in five printings by Harry Cimino, a wood engraving by James Bann, and a lithograph by Albert Rosenthal.

    The life photographs, 112 in number, all that are known will be reproduced in aquatone, and actual photographic copies in their proper positions in the check list.

    There will also be reproductions of some 72 of the rarest of the Lincoln engravings, in aquatone, as well as examples printed from the original old plates.

THE ISSUE IN PARTS
    Subscriptions will be taken for the completed work only; payment may be made for the complete work, or for each part on notification that same is ready for delivery. Part Two, the beginning of the Check List will be issued first. The publisher guarantees the completion of the work within the present year, 1932. All subscribers who wish may receive their copies unbound in sheets, or bound in boards, with paper sides, but unless preference is stated, the parts will be delivered, sewed, with heavy protecting paper covers, in the French "broche" manner.

Part One:
Title, Contents, List of Illustrations, Foreword and Introductions, with six original plates engraved specially for this work and other illustrations.
Part Two:  [this was the only book printed]
Check List, describing over 500 prints and their states, from photo No. 1 to photo No. 75 inclusive.
Part Three:
Continuation of Check List, listing prints after photos No. 77 to 87.
Part Four:
Completion of Check List, with indexes of engravers, artists, publishers, etc.
    Reproductions by the aquatone process of some 72 of the rarest Lincoln prints will be interspersed throughout these parts.


TERMS OF PUBLICATION
Collectors Edition:
        Consisting of 200 copies.
Price per part $15.00.
Connoisseur's Edition:
Consisting of 25 copies on Japan paper, with the mezzotints by Frederick Reynolds, printed in colors at one printing and the other original plates, signed by the engraver's, all the illustrations of the Collector's Edition, and in addition, a number of other rare engravings, printed from the original plates.
Price per part $40.00.

IN CONCLUSION
    A perusal of the foregoing cannot fail to impress one with the importance of the work both from the historical and art standpoint. Well over 1,000 separate entries have been made, besides states, which would add greatly to the total, and it is believed the subject has been fully covered.



W.P. Truesdell, Of Champlain, Publishes First of Four Volumes
On Portraits Of Abraham Lincoln


    One of the striking facts of our time is the growth of Lincoln’s fame since he died.  The word Lincolniana has been added to our dictionary, and a literature under that name has grown up extensive enough to be separately classified, advertised and collected into distinct libraries.  Lincoln read few books and wrote none, yet he has inspired more volumes than any other American, perhaps more than any other character in all history. 

    The first volume of “The Engraved and Lithographed Portraits of Abraham Lincoln,” written and published by W. Porter Truesdell, of Champlain, is now in the hands of print collectors, Lincoln societies and public libraries in many parts of the country.  The work, which is to be in four volumes, is undoubtedly the most ambitious of its kind ever attempted in the North Country.

    “The Engraved and Lithographed Portraits of Abraham Lincoln” is a descriptive check list and history of all the known engraved and other portraits based on life photographs of Lincoln. The first volume from the press, an attractively bound book of 250 pages, contains 92 reproductions of photographs in addition to the beautiful engraved portrait of the Great Emancipator in five colors as a frontispiece.

    The collector’s edition, consisting of 200 copies on laid paper, sells at $15.00 per volume, and the Connoisseur’s edition, of which only 25 copies are to be printed, is on Japan paper, with original plates signed by the engravers, all of the illustrations of the collector’s edition, and in addition, a number of other rare engravings printed from the original plates.  Its price is $40 per volume.

    Lincoln was the most photographed man of his time, his features and form becoming very familiar to the country through the thousands of copies of photographs, engravings and lithographs based on them that were circulated in the political campaigns of the sixties.  During the many years that have elapsed since his death some of these were preserved in the hands of admirers and collectors and all that are known of these have been brought together by Mr. Truesdell and reproduced in his work. Also data as to the time and place and circumstances of their making.  Paintings and sculptures of Lincoln are likewise shown and treated.

    The Champlain editor and publisher of the “Print Connoisseur” has been working for years gathering material for the books and every print described and illustrated has been examined by him personally.  Besides his own very extensive collection he has made an examination of all the larger collections in the country, including those of Harry MacNeill Bland, the late Major W.H. Lambert, Mr. Charles W. McLellan, (now in Brown University), the late Judd Stewart, (now in the Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery), W.C. Crane and others. 

    In addition to the subscriptions to the four volumes received from in many sections of the country, the New York, Chicago, Denver Public libraries and Harvard and Yale Universities are among the institutions which have ordered complete sets.  Mr. Truesdell plans to issue Volume Three in March; Volume Four in June, and Volume One in October.  In addition to the photographs there are some forty-two large size lithographic reproductions of rare Lincoln prints. 

    It is difficult to enumerate all the material included, but it is interesting to note the long, detailed description of government postage stamps and essays, the vintages used on paper money, a complete classification of music sheets, war envelopes.

(The North Countryman, February 15, 1934)



1933    Engraved & Lithographed Portraits of Abraham Lincoln, Volume 2, printed by the Troutsdale Press in Champlain, NY.  (Volume 2 only printed, Volumes 1, 3 and 4 not printed). This book is limited to an edition of two hundred and twenty-five copies ...The numbering of the photographs, and the very succinct descriptions thereto, have been based on 'The photographs of Abraham Lincoln', by Frederick Hill Meserve, issued in 1911, and the two supplements which have since appeared. -V. 2.  Printed by the Troutsdale Press.



The first version of this book was printed in three parts in the 1925 edition of the Print Connoisseur:

                January: "The Engraved and Lithographed Portraits of Abraham Lincoln"
                April: "List of Lincoln Portraits, Part Two"
                July: "Portraits of Abraham Lincoln, Part III"
           
Winfred Porter
              Truesdell and his Printed Books by the Troutsdale Press
Winfred Porter
              Truesdell and his Printed Books by the Troutsdale Press



"Christmas Gifts of Charm"
Prints for Sale
      
Winfred
                      Porter Truesdell and his Printed Books by the
                      Troutsdale Press
Winfred
                      Porter Truesdell and his Printed Books by the
                      Troutsdale Press
Winfred
                      Porter Truesdell and his Printed Books by the
                      Troutsdale Press
Winfred
                      Porter Truesdell and his Printed Books by the
                      Troutsdale Press
           
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