Vanishing Press: Publications, 1940-1983
RLIN ID No.
Publications of the Vanishing Press, 1940-1983; bulk 1965-1982.
4 boxes ; 1.5 linear ft.
Eugene S. Richardson, proprietor of the Vanishing Press, joined the Department of Geology at the Field Museum in Chicago in 1946 as curator of fossil invertebrates. He was responsible for the design of the museum’s Hall of Invertebrate Paleontology. Richardson’s other interest was letterpress printing, and he maintained his Vanishing Press at his country home near Gurnee, Illinois. He established the press in 1939, but after issuing a few publications his effort was interrupted by the war. He resumed printing in earnest in 1962. Richardson set almost all the type himself. Most of his publications had a humorous cast and were written by him under the pseudonym E. Scumus Rory. In addition, Richardson used the press to publish material on the history of his family, to print Christmas cards, and to prepare material for the “bundles” issued to members by the Amalgamated Printers Association of which he was a prime mover. He retired in 1982 and died the following year.
Scope and Contents
Publications of the Vanishing Press, including individual titles, Christmas cards, ephemera, and items created for the Amalgamated Printers Association. Also, Vanishing Press publications created by Eugene S. Richardson to record his family history. Also, 11engraved zinc or copper coated wooden printing blocks and a small amount of material reflecting his work at the Field Museum of Natural History.
Finding Aid Note
Inventory available in repository; folder level control.
Richardson, Eugene S., 1916-1983.
Printed ephemera. Illinois. 20th century.
Printing. Societies, etc. United States.
Private press books. Illinois.
Private presses. Illinois.
Photoengravings. Illinois. 20th century.
Christmas cards. Illinois. 20th century.
Ephemera. Illinois. 20th century.
Occupation (as reflected in the collection)
Printers. Illinois. 20th century.
Amalgamated Printers Association.
Grolier Club, 47 East 60th Street, New York, N.Y. 10022-1098.
[Note: Vanishing Press publications issued before 1970 are numbered and listed in Pataphysical Primer (1962). Publications from 1970 to 1974 are numbered beginning with no. 6 and listed in “The Vanishing Press: Its History to 1974,” which forms part of Breakfast with Brian (1974). Publications after 1974 (no. 26) were not numbered by Eugene S. Richardson (ESR); these numbers are supplied by the cataloger. Unless otherwise noted, ESR (as “E. Scumas Rory”) wrote all texts. The notation PPB and year indicates that the publication is listed in Private Press Books for the year indicated, with a full collation given. Breaks in the numerical sequence indicates that the item is not in the Grolier Club collection.]
5. Gertrude the Giraffe, 1940 (1 copy)
6. Through a Glass Brightly (Vanishing Press Unauthorized Editions, No. 1). 15 copies printed. PPB 1970
7. Northern Ornamental Deciduous Evergreens with Leaves Opposite, Alternate / by Angus Pincillie
Dibble, III (Vanishing Press Unauthorized Editions, No. 2). 45 copies printed. PPB 1970 (2 copies; trials?)
8. The Pataphysical Primer / by Dargoman C. Basqui and Pragenenton R. Nortz (1962). 250 copies printed
9. A Plethora of Pantoums... (1963). 72 copies printed. PPB 1970 (1 copy)
10. Van der Mutter Ein’n Gruss / by Jessica R. Richardson (1965). 30 copies printed. PPB 1970 (1 copy; 1
set of signatures)
11. Glb and the Bubble Reputation (1966). ca. 50 copies printed. PPB 1970 (1 copy)
17. Dancing Worm of Turkana (1969) (Vanishing Press Natural History References, No. 1). 300 copies
printed. PPB 1970 (2 copies)
18. No Monsters for Mary / by Anonymous (1970). 242 copies printed. PPB 1971 (2 copies; l trial copy)
19. Plazer ed Enueg / by Beverly Danuser Richardson (1972). 290 copies printed. PPB 1972 (2 copies)
20. Thunks (1972). 249 copies printed. PPB 1972 (3 copies)
23. Scurvy / by Elizabeth Richardson (2nd ed., 1973). 140 copies printed (2 copies)
25. Breakfast with Brian (1974). 200 copies printed. PPB 1974 (2 copies)
26. New Documents Concerning DaVinci’s “Last Supper” (1974). 60 copies printed. PPB 1974 (2 copies)
27. Afterimages / by Peter N. Richardson (1977) (2 copies)
28. Through History with the G.O.B.B.O.O.N. PPB 1977 (2 copies)
29. Scratch’s Clean Press (1977) (3 copies)
30. Quopes (1978) (1 copy)
31. The Shoot-up at Crane Town / by W. S. Strode (1979) (1 copy; also copy in APA Bundle)
32. On the Voyages of Nicolaus de Graaff, 1839-1687. PPB 1979 (5 copies)
33. 15 April 1865 (1979). PPB 1979 (3 copies)
34. The Working Wasps (1981) (1 copy)
35. The Martini / by A. P. Herbert (1981) (1 copy)
36. At Home with Philip the Good Duke of Burgundy (1982) (2 copies)
Other Vanishing Press Publications
Mazon Creek Crustaceans / by Frederick Schram (1967 and 1969 printings)
“Historical Milestones in the Career of Room 261” / by J. R. Schoufli [ESR]. Fieldiana: Minutiae, Vol. 1,
University of Illinois at Chicago Circle Library. Exhibition of Books by Professor Bernard Greenberg on
Natural History. Keepsake. (undated; ca. 1970s)
University of Illinois at Chicago Circle Library. Printing Books: A Different Hobby. An Exhibit / The
Library/March 2-April 11, 1975 (4 copies and one announcement card)
Richardson family genealogy (ca. 50 items)
The Smell- of Lead / by Theo J. van der Wal; translated by Eugene S. Richardson (privately printed, 1982).
250 copies printed
Away with Tea and Martinis: a Pantoum Sequence. Keepsake printed for the meeting of the Typocrafters,
Pittsburgh, October 1970.
Saurion Dinoverse. Covers only (24 copies)
Vanishing Press Christmas cards printed in 1970s [The card for each year features a colored drawing of a
bird found on the property near Gurnee, Illinois.] (25 items, including duplicates and trials)
Vanishing Press Ephemera (ca. 85 items; some duplicates; some reissues of Vanishing Press ephemera)
Amalgamated Printers Association:
Constitution and Bylaws. Revised 1979 (1 copy)
Introducing the Amalgamated Printers Association. Revised 1979 (1 copy)
Items printed by Vanishing Press for APA “Bundles”, 1970-1982 (ca. 50 items; some duplicates;
many are one or two pages)
Printed at the Vanishing Press with different imprint
Gullible Hiker’s Nature Atlas / by S. Mortis Rigueur [Steven M. Richardson]. Brookline, Mass.: Perennial
Press, 1972 (1 of 259 copies)
Professional and Miscellaneous Material
Reproductions of photographs of invertebrates (2 folders)
Offprints of articles by ESR on fossil invertebrates (6 items)
Newspaper clippings about ESR
Photographs of ESR; color transparencies of birds
Berliner, Harold. Typefoundry. Nevada City, Calif.: s.n., 1982
Zinc and copper-coated wood blocks used for illustrations of Vanishing Press titles (11 blocks)