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January 9, 2016

For Book Lovers, Bookmobiles Are Oddly Romantic! Here Are 23 Fascinating Vintage Photos of American Bookmobiles From the Past

Bookmobiles have a proud history of service dating back to the late 1850s, when a horse-drawn collection of books began making the rounds in Cumbria, England. Here in the United States, the first bookmobile is widely attributed to Mary Lemist Titcomb, a librarian in Washington County, Maryland, who in 1905 posited “Would not a Library Wagon, the outward and visible signs of the service for which the Library stood, do much more in cementing friendship?”

For book lovers, bookmobiles are oddly romantic. They seem like dream-machines, very real automobiles rolling through our lives in an almost impossible fashion. Let's read anytime, anywhere as good as possible!

The library's first bookmobile, 1927

A very old library bookmobile of America, ca. 1900s

The Chicago Public Library Bookmobile

Bookmobile of the Los Angeles public library, 1960

Bookmobile, Eltingville, Staten Island, ca. 1920

Boston Public Library Bookmobile, 1963

Bronx Bookmobile, 1938

Brooklyn bookmobile

Children led astray by the Bronx Traveling Library, Westchester Square branch, New York, ca. 1930s

Framingham Public Library Bookmobile, Mass., 1956

Jefferson County bookmobile, the first bookmobile in Texas

Library bookmobiles in front of Union Terminal, 1940

Los Angeles public library bookmobile, 1955

Missouri State library bookmobile, ca. 1940s

One of the library bookmobiles in Cincinnati, 1948

Taking the kids to the bookmobile in Columbia Park, 1940

The first bookmobile in the United States, Washington County, Maryland, 1905

The LA Public Library’s bookmobile for the sick, 1928

The library's bookmobile in Cincinnati, Ohio, ca. 1920s

The Library's bookmobile in Sharonville, 1938

The library's bookmobile in Springdale, 1942

The Library's bookmobile on Compton Road, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1933

The New York Public Library, ca. 1950s

This automobile to deliver books to rural readers, Washington County, Md., 1912



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