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Books, Miniature, Abraham Lincoln Speeches, Promotional Presentation, American, 1929

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) (author)
Promotion for Miniature Book of Abraham Lincoln’s Famous Addresses
Kingsport Press, Kingsport, Tennessee: c. 1929
Gold-stamped red morocco leather cover and pages mounted on printed card in wood frame
13 x 15 inches framed

Framed promotion for a printed novelty — billed as “America’s Smallest Book” — a tiny book of Abraham Lincoln’s speeches, bound in red morocco with gilt edged pages and a gilt title on the cover and spine. Actual pages are attached to a blue card with printed captions showing seven stages of production of the finished book: the uncut sheet, the 10 printed sections folded, the sections sewed together, then trimmed, ready for affixing the cover and the cover itself. The finished book is shown “opened to show margins” and closed, beside a postage stamp for scale, demonstrating that the book is “Smaller than a Postage Stamp.” According to the Library of Congress, which has a copy of the book in its collection, the book includes the Gettysburg address, the Second Inaugural address, “A House Divided,” and “Equality in a Republic.”

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Another example of this framed display is in the Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection, Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne, Indiana. According to their website, the miniature editions of Lincoln’s addresses originated with the Training Division of the Kingsport Press. Overall, the presentation is at once a promotion of the book, and example of miniature books, and an exemplar on how a book is made and bound.

Kingsport Press was established in 1922 in Kingsport, Tennessee. It was part of a planned industrial community financed by New York bankers Blair and Company. In 1925, Elbridge Woodman Palmer became president, and served for 29 years. Palmer understood the importance of marketing, diversified into publication of textbooks and encyclopedias, and expanded the press into a thriving business. He was succeeded as president in 1953 by Walter F. Smith, who developed new methods of cloth manufacture and gold stamping, and continued expanding the company throughout the 1950s. Kingsport Press merged with Arcata National Corporation in 1969. Over the years, Kingsport Press was resold numerous times and ultimately closed down.

Condition:  Generally very good, with some light pale marginal dampstain, unobtrusive. Original frame a bit worn, with some slight separations at miters.


“Addresses of Abraham Lincoln.” Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection. (28 January 2021).

Egan, Martha Avaleen “Historical Note from the Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture.” Kingsport Public Library. (28 January 2021).

Additional information


20th Century