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Robertson's Book of Firsts: Who Did What for the First Time
     

Robertson's Book of Firsts: Who Did What for the First Time

by Patrick Robertson
 

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Completely unlike any encyclopedia before it, The Book of Firsts is the product of decades of archiving and research from the incredible Patrick Robertson. For many years the proprietor of a stock photo archive and collector of all forms of ephemera, Robertson boasts a library that includes ads, clippings, and archival materials going back well over 100 years.

Overview

Completely unlike any encyclopedia before it, The Book of Firsts is the product of decades of archiving and research from the incredible Patrick Robertson. For many years the proprietor of a stock photo archive and collector of all forms of ephemera, Robertson boasts a library that includes ads, clippings, and archival materials going back well over 100 years.
In this amazing work, Robertson indexes and describes the things he considers socially relevant, such as the first black head of a white government (it's not who you think), the first baby carriage, and the first department store. He writes about all this with an unparalleled knowledge and impossible-to-fake fluency with a staggering number of subjects. What's more, Robertson renders this massive reference with subtle but distinctive humor, and an eye for fascinating detail. Every entry in this book includes a first time in America, and many also have firsts from elsewhere in the world.

With a handsome design and an oversized trim, this will be both a groundbreaking work of reference and a beautiful gift for trivia heads.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Targeting "firsts" that have had an impact on world society and culture, Robertson's (Shell Book of Firsts; Film Facts) work represents more than 50 years of dedicated research. The A-to-Z entries cover a wide range of topics and result in enjoyable browsing. Readers will learn, for example, that the first popcorn "was not, as legend has it, introduced to the pilgrims by friendly native Americans" but probably brought to the United States by early American sailors returning from Chile and that the first subway (1863) was London's four-mile Metropolitan Railway, which is now part of the London Underground. BOTTOM LINE This informative and entertaining one-volume ready-reference tool is presented at a price that makes it well worth consideration. It is more exhaustive than Joseph Kane's Famous First Facts, which limits its focus to the United States. Recommended for high school and public library history buffs, fact fanatics, or casual readers with an interest in noteworthy achievements.—Bobbie Wrinkle, McCracken Cty. P.L., Paducah, KY
School Library Journal
Gr-9 Up—Robertson has conducted decades of research to compile facts on countless firsts with the goal of focusing on innovation. The alphabetically arranged topics, many of which offer stunning information, cover a wide variety of breakthroughs, including the first: country to legalize abortion, apartment house, black college student, chewing gum, heroin, Internet, naval action, public library, telephone, weather forecasts, and female author to have a volume of prose published in this country. Within most topics, the subject is additionally subdivided. For example, "Ice Cream" discusses ice-cream sundaes, cones, Eskimo Pies, and soft-serve ice cream. The lively entries vary from a paragraph to a page or two in length, and many end with cross references. Guide words head each page and subject entries are in bold type. This unusual volume covers many curiosities as well as curriculum-related subjects and will serve admirably as a springboard for discussion and research.—Beth McGuire, Hempfield Area School District, Greensburg, PA

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781608197385
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
11/11/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
576
File size:
3 MB

Meet the Author

Patrick Hickman Robertson began compiling his collection of firsts fifty years ago at the age of fourteen. He continued his extensive research in the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa before settling down to a career at the BBC's cutting library. The first incarnation of this book, The Shell Book of Firsts, appeared in the UK in 1974 and became an immediate bestseller. Robertson has been a Visiting Scholar the University of North Carolina, a former chairman of the Ephemera Society, and owns the largest private collection of vintage magazines in Britain.

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