[ANGLING-MANUSCRIPT] TEEL, GEORGE ALBERT. Fishing & Camping Book, 1880 to 1896.
[manuscript title penned on a bookplate affixed to an endpaper]. Two journals bound together within a contemporary half-leather and cloth binding, gilt-stamped on the spine "Vacation Days." One journal 12mo, (76) pp., approximately 1000 words, illustrated with 10 pencil sketches of campsites, rivers, etc.; the other 8vo, , 96 pp. [numbered rectos only, i.e., 206 pages], approximately 10,000 words, illustrated with 246 photographs (most 3 1/2 x 3 1/4 inches), 116 of those cyanotypes (mostly duplicates of black-and-white photographs), 17 pen-and-ink outdoor sketches, with some coloring, three campsite sketches in pencil, eight pencil or pen-and-ink vignettes of outdoor equipment, two rudimentary maps in pencil, and an accomplished watercolor drawing "Our Spring at Menotomy Camp 1895"; several ephemeral items related to the excursions are tipped-in, printed endpaper maps (Moosehead Lake region). Some fraying to page edges, some photographs faded, but an outstanding example of a personal fishing, hunting, and camping memoir, evocative of the period. According to the original seller, Vol. I was all that was produced. Author's bookplate on several pastedowns.
The smaller journal covers the years 1884-1892 in a cursory fashion, listing the lake or stream fished, each fish caught (bass, trout; and salmon: some 300 over the period), its weight; the fly used for the catch, and the time of the catch, with occasional short notes concerning the fishing activities. A more detailed illustrated report is given for an 1884 trip to Tobique River in New Brunswick, Canada, where Teel caught his first salmon. The extensively illustrated second volume, covering annual trips 1891-1896, includes richer narrative, with detailed list of equipment and expenses and long diary-like entries for daily activities; the trips most often were made in the company of Teel's immediate family, his wife Emily and daughters Edith and Alice, but a number included other friends. The centerpiece of the journals is a closely written, richly illustrated 88-page account of an 1895 camping, fishing, and hunting excursion to the Menotomy Club on the Penobscot River, north of Moosehead Lake, made by Teel and five other Arlington, Massachusetts, sportsmen: an incredibly detailed narrative of a two-week trip, with the minutest of details concerning the group's travels, portages to camps, meals, canoeing along lakes and streams, arrangement of camp furniture and cooking equipment; preparation of meals, clothing, etc., with trout fishing and deer hunting in the mix, all illustrated with photographs, including numerous cyanotypes, the author's sketches, and a little ephemera.
Tell was clearly committed to having his family share in his delight with the outdoors: his 1891 trip to Maine was made with his 12-year old daughter, "Edith not being well, I took her with me on a camping trip to Moosehead Lake, to get out in the open with her & to have her sleep on the balsam bed & breathe the fresh fresh air. It did her much good & I feel that it saved her life." The final trip covered, to Billington Sea, near Plymouth, Mass., was in the company of his wife and both daughters and is presented as a heavily annotated photoessay, illustrated with 42 images (mostly cyanotypes) of the four Teels fishing, swimming, boating, and relaxing on the small lake. Teel (1854-1936) was bom and raised in Arlington, Massachusetts, and lived most of his life there while working as a printer in Boston, specializing in photography, primarily half-tones and photogravures. He studied art as a young man and produced many landscapes of New England locations, mostly watercolors and drawings, but also produced etchings and wood engravings.
C Estate of Arnold 'Jake' Johnson
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