First edition of the second book on architecture published in America: Owen Biddle's The Young Carpenter's Assistant
The Young Carpenter’s Assistant; Or, A System Of Architecture, Adapted To The Style Of Building In The United States.
Item Number: 105008
Philadelphia: Benjamin Johnson, 1805.
First edition of the second book on architecture published in America, second only to Asher Benjamin’s Country Builder’s Assistant’ published in 1797( Shaw & Shoemaker, 8018). Quarto, bound in contemporary tree calf, illustrated with 44 engraved plates, 2 folding. From the library of early 19th century Pennsylvanian carpenter and cabinetmaker John Wilson with his ownership signature to the front free endpaper. In very good condition. Scarce with only 2 copies having appeared at auction in the past 50 years.
"A native born American, like Asher Benjamin [who wrote the first original American architectural book in 1797], Biddle emphasizes in his title that his book is especially suited for American use, and that there is by this time 'a style of building in the United States' distinguishable from that of England. Benjamin imitated this title the next year in that of the first edition of The American builders' companion." (American Architectural Books, 176).