UKASE. WE COMMAND ALL NATIONS TO KEEP THE PEACE. DR. J. H. McLEAN'S PEACE-MAKERS ... Dr. James Henry McLean, of St. Louis, Mo., Projector, Inventor and Patentee, with Myron Coloney, of New Haven, Conn., Mechanical Inventor and Patentee. New York: Baker & Godwin, Printers, 25 Park Row, 1880. Large octavo, pp. [1-4] 5-200, inserted frontispiece (portrait of McLean), approximately 75 wood-engraved illustrations in the text, many full page, original pebbled plum cloth, front and spine panels stamped in black and gold, rear panel stamped in black, brown coated endpapers. First edition. An elaborate, profusely illustrated antiwar tract in the form of a satirical manufacturer's trade catalogue offering powerful military ordnance -- "peace-makers" -- which will make "war so terrible and devastating as to shock every community and cause them to rise en masse and declare that the slaughter of their fellows must cease!" (author's dedication). The author was a successful peddler of patent medicines in the St. Louis area, and, as Riling points out (see below) the style of the book, with its frequent bold headlines, is that of a patent medicine brochure. The imagined guns, torpedoes, forts etc. are not overtly fantastic, just bigger, faster, more powerful, more portable. With the impeccably drawn illustrations and confident writing style, the effect is not comically exaggerated so much as insidiously realistic, putting this production in the tradition -- so important in the nineteenth century -- of the eccentric hoax. Riling 1070. Frontispiece tissue guard spotted and stained, preliminary leaves foxed, remainder of text clean, a very good copy. (#152973).
No statement of printing.