Indianapolis: The Bowen-Merrill Company Publishers, 1901. Item #03847
An 'Electrical' Fairy Tale
BAUM, L. Frank. The Master Key. An electrical fairy tale. Founded upon the mysteries of electricity and the optimism of its devotees. It was written for boys, but others may read it. Illustrations by F.Y. Cory. Indianapolis: The Bowen-Merrill Company Publishers, .
First edition, third state, with the copyright notice having the publisher’s name measuring 1 25/32 inches in length. Small octavo. [xvi], 245, [1, blank] pp. Twelve color plates, numerous black and white text illustrations.
Original olive green cloth stamped in gilt on front cover and spine. Color pictorial label on front cover. Back cover with title stamped in blind. Armorial bookplate of Clayton Smith on front paste-down and ink inscription dated 1905 on free end-paper. A bright and near fine copy.
This “electrical fairy tale” expresses Baum’s lifelong fascination with scientific discovery. The protagonist is actually the author’s second son, Robert Stanton Baum, to whom the book is dedicated and who recalled this boyhood interest in electrical gadgetry in an autobiography published in The Baum Bugle, Christmas 1970 and Spring 1971.
The Baum Bugle, Autumn 1968, p. 19. Schiller 77.