THE H. M. M. B. A. IN CALIFORNIA. Pasadena: G. Wharton James, 1896. 25.5x17 cm, pp. [1-9] 10-338 + 16 pages of ads at rear, flyleaves at front and rear, profusely illustrated throughout, mostly from photographs, original pictorial bevel-edged maroon cloth, front and spine panels stamped in gold, rear panel stamped in blind, all edges gilt, decorated endpapers. First edition. "A souvenir volume produced by James for the participants in the Hotel Men's Mutual Benefit Association's 1896 tour of California. A valuable period piece of California ... As a professional writer, James accepted contracts to write material for promotional or business purposes ... Perhaps the finest example of the commercial example is a handsome book entitled THE H. M. M. B. A. IN CALIFORNIA. It was issued privately by James in 1896 as a souvenir of the Hotel Men's Mutual Benefit Association's California excursion, which James conducted ... There are 338 pages of text describing the excursion in California (including humorous incidents): the hotels, the banquets, the menus, the speeches, the scenery, and the participants. Interspersed in the text are literary hundreds of superb photographic vignettes and plates that illustrate all of the above. It is 1896 vintage California, frozen in time. It would be difficult to find a single book that gives a better tourist's-eye view of the unspoiled California of the 1890s" (Larson, pp. 91; 39-40). Following the annual meeting in Los Angeles, association members visited major tourist destinations and resort hotels in Southern and Northern California, including Santa Monica, Santa Barbara, Pasadena, Redlands, Riverside, San Diego and Coronado (the association's seventeenth annual banquet was held at the Hotel del Coronado), Mount Lowe and the Mount Lowe Railway, San Francisco, the Leland Stanford University, San Jose and the Santa Clara Valley, Hotel Del Monte and Santa Cruz. Ever the promoter of the tourist attractions of the Golden State, James included glowing descriptions of scenic destinations the association's excursionists did not visit, including Santa Catalina Island, pages -118, and Yosemite Valley, pages 225-226. Larson, Controversial James #18. Rocq 16952. Signature of early owner Edith E. Farnsworth on the front flyleaf. Cloth rubbed at edges, inner hinges repaired, a very good copy. (#167191).
No statement of printing.