Product Code: FNC36
We hope this tribute to a fascinating sliver of Americana will spark you creatively
After stumbling upon Dime Novels online, and then purchasing a few examples from collectors, we became obsessed with their form as physical objects: the typesetting, the printing, the compact size, the paper stock, and the sewn bindings. For our 36th Quarterly Edition, we've reproduced them as best we could, right down to the iconic dusty-orange covers and overheated advertising copy. We did take a few liberties: Field Notes wouldn't be Field Notes without rounded corners, high-quality paper, and the totally-anachronistic-to-1860 Futura typeface.
The format and construction of our "Dime Novel" Edition is all-new for us. They're 4 1/4" x 6 1/2", right between our "Memo Book" and "Note Book" sizes. The 100# French Paper Co. Construction "Safety Orange" cover is far more durable than what was used on the original Dime Novels, and the "Natural White" Strathmore Premium 70# you'll find inside is the highest-quality body paper we've used in any Field Notes edition ever. The 72 body pages are Smyth-sewn in three, 24-page signatures with Coats Dual-Duty thread, then securely glued into the cover.
Aside from a black-and-white engraving of an Adams "Power Press" from the mid-1800's on the first page, and page numbers (the Beadles tended to skip a few page numbers in the front to make sure they ended up with a "100-page" book), we've left the pages blank so you can write or sketch your own tales of mystery, romance, and adventure on the luxurious wove-finish Strathmore paper.
After reading a few Dime Novels, we found that, by today's standards, the stories are generally melodramatic, moralistic, and frequently politically incorrect. On top of that, they're just plain dull. But that didn't dampen our enthusiasm for the books as designed objects.
When we discovered that Northern Illinois University keeps a very large collection of Dime Novels and similar publications from the period, we jumped at the chance to see the books firsthand. A brief trip west on I-88 took us to Northern Illinois University's Founders Memorial Library in DeKalb, Illinois to chat with librarian Matthew Short about the Beadles and their Dime Novels.
The Field Notes "Dime Novel" Edition is available now in 2-Packs. We hope this tribute to a fascinating sliver of Americana will spark you creatively, and also provoke you to dig deeper into the world of Story Papers, Nickel Weeklies, and Dime Novels.