Vanities in Verse by John Gray, 1897
one of 57 copies printed on handmade paper
This was the first book printed by the Marion Press. This was printed in Frank Hopkins' attic in the evenings after work and on weekends and holidays.
In his autobiography, Hopkins' had this to say about Vanities in Verse:
After a few weeks I felt ready for my first publication. It was a collection of delicate verse by Francis A. Hilliard. Paul Lemperly undertook to sell it for enough to pay for materials, if I would do the printing. Thus our old firm lived again. I took the sheets, fifty-seven copies, finished after about three months, to the De Vinne bindery, where Mr. Campbell put on one of his famous vellum covers, for which we paid handsomely, and the premiere belonged to the ages.
I gave a copy to Mr. De Vinne. He examined it minutely, spoke of it kindly, and intimated that when I tired of my position in the office he would give me a job as a pressman. Praise from Sir Hubert was praise indeed. I began to think perhaps I had taken up the wrong end of the business.
At some point, Frank Hopkins traveled to England; while there he visited C H St. John Hornby of the Ashendene Press. Follow this link to the text of a letter from Hornby to Thomas B. Mosher (courtesy of the Mosher Press Website).