Spectacles for Young Eyes by Sarah Lander

This eight book series was written by Sarah Lander. Each book has 40-50 illustrations by various artists and were not done specifically for these books.

These stories followed the adventures of James and Edward Hamilton and their parents.

Six publishers printed these books:

Walker, Wise and Company, Boston first editions
1. Boston 1862 (First edition has 1862 on the title page and 1861 on copyright page)
(The first edition was titled Spectacles for Little Eyes in 1862. The title was changed in later editions to Spectacles for Young Eyes Boston)
2. St. Petersburg 1862 (First edition has MDCCCLXII on title page and 1862 on the copyright page)
3. Pekin 1863 (First edition has 1863 on title page and on the copyright page)
4. Moscow 1864 (First edition has 1864 on the title page and 1863 on the copyright page)
5. Zurich 1864 (First edition has 1864 on the title page and the copyright page)

Walker, Fuller and Company, Boston first editions
6. Berlin 1865 (First edition with this date on title page and copyright page)
7. Rome 1866 (Copyright 1865)

Horace B. Fuller, Boston
Reprints #1-7 1867

Sheldon and Company, New York first edition
8. New York 1869 (First edition with 1869 on title page and 1868 on the copyright page)
(Reprinted volumes #1-7)

John R. Anderson, New York
Reprints #1-8 Early 1880's

Dewolfe, Fiske and Company, Boston
Reprints #1-8 1885

The 1862 St. Petersburg Walker, Wise and Company book indicated a number of future volumes would be published. They turned out to be phantom titles.
The phantom titles were:
Rio Janeiro

Note that this Walker, Wise 1863 advertisement does not include New York which was published by Sheldon in 1869 (and was copyrighted in 1868). It does list the phantom titles that were to be published but were obviously still in the planning stages.

By 1865 Walker, Fuller ads listed the first six books. Rome, an 1866 book, had not yet been published. The six phantom titles were alluded to: "The remaining six will follow in due time".

In 1869 Sheldon and Company advertisements noted the complete eight volume series without phantom titles. Previous 1868 Sheldon ads listed all twelve book titles. These Sheldon books were complete reproductions of the earlier Walker, Wise books - including the earlier ads.

1869 Sheldon ad

Here are further details of the different firms' publications:

Walker, Wise and Company. Format 1 1862
1. Spectacles for Little Eyes 1862 (Later Spectacles for Young Eyes Boston)
2. Spectacles for Young Eyes St. Petersburg 1862 (Co published with Carleton, a New York publisher)

Book No. 1 initially was entitled Spectacles for Little Eyes. By the time the St. Petersburg book was published later in 1862 the title had been changed to Spectacles for Young Eyes. (I have not seen an 1862 edition of Boston with the newer title). Although this book (Boston) is the first in the series, at first it was written as a standalone book. Note that its title page does not even mention Boston as the subject of the book. This edition cost 60 cents.

The first edition in 1862 of Spectacles for Little Eyes has 198 pages followed by 16 pages of Walker, Wise juvenile book ads. The 1863 edition of Boston has 202 pages with 14 pages of ads. The first edition book is slightly larger in dimensions than the second and has 29 lines per page as opposed to 28 lines in the second edition. The final chapter "At Home" was rewritten in the later book. The rest of the book appears to be the same.

This ad which is at the back of the 1862 Spectacles for Little Eyes does not mention anything about any follow up books. Note the ad below to the right is from the later 1862 St. Petersburg book which does note "A new Series now Publishing".

1862 Boston ad

later 1862 St. Petersburg ad

In 1862 and early 1863 the cover of the first editions of the first two books (Boston and St. Petersburg) have a pair of glasses (spectacles) on the cover. Starting later in 1863 all the Walker, Wise and Company and its successor Walker, Fuller and Co. had the gold gilt cover illustration of a famous landmark of the city in the title. Blue, green and lavender colors all have been seen.

The 1862 St. Petersburg book also had the fancy illustrated title page (in addition to the regular textual title page). See below.

(First edition of the Boston book)


First edition of the St. Petersburg book (1862 in Roman numerals on the title page)

Here is an early 1863 book. By late in 1863, the covers had the familiar sold gilt book appropriate landmark on the cover.

Walker, Wise and Company-Format 2 1863-1865

Books #1-5 were published in this new format. The book appropriate gold gilt landmark picture is noted on the front cover. The illustrated title page is shown here. It appears on all post late 1862 editions. 6.75 x 4.5.

November 1863 advertisement. The books cost 85 cents at this time. Sold as a four volume boxed set for $3.40.


This book is probably a second edition. See "Second Thousand" on the title page.

Here is an 1864 printing of “Zurich”. It is presumed that the first edition does not note the number of copies on the title page like this book does. Clearly these books sold many copies since this is a later 1864 edition-“Third Thousand”.

Here is an 1864 edition of Pekin. Note that there is no gilt on the front cover design. This is probably just a variant since the later books usually have the gold gilt on the cover.

Walker, Fuller and Company, Boston 1865-1867

Books #1-7 were published by this company. The format is mostly the same as the Walker, Wise and Company (which this company succeeded in 1865) Format 2 books. The back covers of these editions have embossed spectacles. The Walker, Wise back covers have embossed patterns that match the front cover. Several cover colors have been noted.

These books were priced at $1.00 each.

As noted above, this firm did two first editions: Rome and Berlin.

Here is the Berlin first edition.


Horace B. Fuller 1867
This Boston publisher, succeeded Walker, Fuller and Company in 1867. In August, 1867 a Fuller advertisement listed the seven title Spectacles for Young Eyes Series. The ad noted that the books were available in a boxed set for $7.00.

I have not seen any of this publisher's "Spectacles".

Sheldon and Company printed the first seven titles in 1868. Several color covers (red, brown, blue and maroon) have been seen.

In 1869 the first edition of volume eight New York (copyright 1868) was published. It cost $1.25.

Two 1869 formats have been seen. The only difference between the books (except for the covers) is found in the back advertisements. The green book below has earlier ads and thus presumably is the earlier Sheldon book.

The ads in the green 1869 book below note that Gustave (in the Oakland Series) is "in press". The other book shows Gustave as already published.

Earlier ad 1869 book

Later ad 1869 book


Earlier 1869 book


Later 1869 book (But may be the first edition of New York)


This Sheldon format was published between 1871-1875. (based on the Sheldon address on the title page)

John R. Anderson, New York

This publishing house purchased a number of Sheldon and Company's plates. John R. Anderson published this series in the early 1880's until 1884. These books sold for $1.00 each. Two formats have been seen. The earlier one has similar gold gilt lettering as the last Sheldon edition and has been seen with several color covers.


DeWolfe, Fiske and Company, Boston

In 1885, Publishers' Weekly noted that Dewolfe Fiske and Company made an arrangement to publish the Anderson School-Book Company's entire line of books. This included the eight volume Spectacles Series. The DeWolfe Fiske books have a title page with its imprint in addition the have an Anderson title page. Otherwise the two publishers' books are identical. In fact the cover of the DeWolfe books have the JRA initials of the Anderson publishing house on the front cover.

It is unclear when DeWolfe, Fiske stopped publishing the Spectacles' books.