Monthly Archives: July 2014

Peck’s Comics

A number of Peck’s Bad Boy comics were published. For more information see:

Peck’s Bad Boy and His Chums was published by three companies.
Thompson and Thomas (1908-1909)
Chales C. Thompson Co. (1909-1917)
Stanton and Van Vliet Co. (1917-1920’s)

The earlier books had 32 pages and the later books only 15 pages. The comic is on one side of the page while the other side is blank.
This title only appeared in comics that were 16.5 x 11.

Here are pictures of the Charles C. Thompson Co. edition.

Theatre Letters

Leroy French’s company produced authorized plays of Peck’s. Here are two 1902 letters from French’s general manager, Harry Levy, to venues. They appear to have been included with contracts that were to be signed and returned.

Peck’s Bad Boy Letter

There were a number of companies that had the rights to produce the Peck’s Bad Boy play. L. M. Heath had a regional license in the early 1900’s. Here is a letter dated February 16, 1903 sent from the manager of Heath’s company inquiring about the available dates that an opera house has.

L. M. Heath (Geo W. Heath Manager) in 1901 had the license for New England and parts of the midwest. This company was known as the “Eastern Company”. In 1902 the rights to some of Heath’s geographical areas were given to Leroy French.

Peck’s Bad Boy and His Pa- Geo Routledge and Sons, Limited

In about 1934 or 1935 Routledge published Peck’s Bad Boy. On the dust jacket it says “The Book of the Film”. The jacket even pictures Jackie Cooper who had starred in the 1934 Peck’s Bad Boy film. The book however has no relationship to the movie but is rather a reprint of Peck’s Bad Boy and His Pa. There are two differences between this version and the previous ones by the American publishers. Chapter III. The Boy Gives His Pa Away is omitted and there are no illustrations. This format only has 160 pages as compared to the earlier American books with 196 pages. The difference in pages however is not just the absent chapter but also the smaller font in the Routledge book.

(7.5 x 5)

A Bad Boy’s Diary

J. S. Ogilvie & Co. New York published the first edition in parts and subsequently in cloth/wraps in 1880. This cloth/wraps books were published in non series form throughout the 1880’s. Today I am adding a new picture of an early cloth edition. These Ogilvie books can be dated by using the address at the base of the title page.

Here are the street addresses of Ogilvie in the 1880’s:

Ogilvie street addresses:
29 Rose Street 1879-1881
25 Rose Street 1881-1882
31 Rose Street 1883-1886
57 Rose Street 1888-1897

Note that a range of publication dates can be determined. Since this book was first published in 1880, one would expect the first edition imprint address to be 29 Rose street. I have not seen this book.

This book – 25 Rose Street—–1881-1882

For more information about A Bad Boy’s Diary, see:

Peck Letter April, 1904

Here is a letter written by George W. Peck in 1904. On the back of the envelope are two names.
Joseph B. Treat.
Col. Boyle

In 1890 when Peck was nominated for Governor of Wisconsin as a democrat, Treat was nominated for Lieutenant governor as a republican in 1890. Treat lost to Charles Jonas by 35,000 voted. He was later elected to be Chairman of the Wisconsin Republican party. I am unable to ascertain any relationship between Treat and Peck.

It appears that Col. Boyle was Col. William J. Boyle. The letters St P RR most likely represent the St. Paul Rail Road. In the biennial report of the Quartermaster General “To His Excellency, George W. Peck, Governor and Commander in Chief” (in 1893) Col. W. J. Boyle of the C., and M. & St. Paul Railway was given thanks for his efforts in moving troops by train to and from camps. (This refers to exercises of the Wisconsin National Guard.)

In 1905 Boyle was active in the committee that worked on the new Milwaukee auditorium. Since he was living in Milwaukee, it is unlikely he is the “Dear Companion” referred to in the letter.

The letter was written on The Milwaukee Club stationary. The Milwaukee Club was founded in 1882 by Milwaukee’s “leading citizens”. Bankers, politicians, and businessman of note were all members. My recollection (perhaps inaccurate) as a kid growing up in Milwaukee in the 1950’s and 1960’s is that this was not a club that allowed “certain people” as members.

The original building constructed in 1883 still exists at 706 N. Jefferson Street

The Milwaukee Club
Milwaukee April 2, 1904

My Dear Companion,
Your kind letter received
and I thank you for your invitation
to visit you next year in your
sunny home. I would like
much to do it but as I said
in a former letter, it is doubt
ful if I shall be able to go
away much for pleasure. I have
delayed answering because I
was making a deal —- a lecture
bureau that desires to —–me on
the road next winter. I have prac
tically— — — authority to date
— during November, December and
January. I told there if the lecture
business was going to kill me off,
it would probably do so in three
months, but if I lived through it
I might want to rest. So it all
depends. If everything turns out
well, I might be able to go to

Florida in February, but it is
all to uncertain to bank on. I
hope to see you at the commandery
meeting next Wednesday, and we
can talk it over. I need not say
that I will be glad to do any-
thing possible to interest others
… your enterprise

I thank you again.Your very cordially,
George W. Peck

Peck’s Compendium of Fun

In 1883 Belford, Clarke and company published the first edition of Peck’s Compendium of Fun. It is a 540 page compilation of stories from Peck’s Bad Boy #1, #2 and Peck’s Fun.

In 1886 two “Peck’s Fun” books were published. One was called Peck’s Compendium of Fun and contained 272 pages of vignettes that originally appeared in the 1883 Belford, Clarke Peck’s Compendium of Fun. The second book, Peck’s Fun, also published by Belford, Clarke contained 276 pages of vignettes that appeared in the earlier Compendium of Fun book. The contents of both the 1886 books were totally different.

The later Compendium of Fun was published by Belford, Clarke and in 1890 by Donohue, Henneberry and Company.
That book is added to the database today and is shown here.

The 1886 Peck’s Fun was published by a number of publishers into the early 1900’s.
Belford-Clarke and Company, Chicago 1883
Frank F. Lovell and Company, New York 1886
Butler Brothers , New York 1889-1890
Donohue, Henneberry and Company, Chicago 1890
John Lovell Company, New York 1891
Morrill, Higgins and Company, Chicago 1892
W. B. Conkey and Company, Chicago 1893-1905
Homewood Publishing Company, Chicago ca.1902-1905