Miniature Book News #108: 2001 March Page: 3
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Number 108 8 St. Andrews Dr., St. Louis, Mo. 63124 March, 2001
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benefits, was inherent in Knowlton's
The first edition of 1832 of Fruits
was published in miniature size.
Even more interesting is that up to
now, only one copy of this first
edition is recorded to exist, and that
copy was in the collection of Ruth
Adomeit and is now at the Lilly
Library in Indiana.
A second copy has only recently
surfaced, and we have had a chance
to inspect it and also to compare its
text to a later edition published under
The first edition itself measures 72
by 65 mm and is bound in tan cloth
over boards, and contains 72 pages.
It begins with a four page preface,
then moves into a short
"Philosophical Proem" that delves
very briefly into consciousness, the
nervous system, 'the five species of
sensation, seeing, hearing, smelling,
tasting, and feeling," passions (such
as appetite, instinct or desire), good,
happiness, temperate gratification,
ignorance, and the statement that
"man by nature is endowed with the
talent of devising means to remedy
or prevent the evils that are liable to
arise from gratifying our appetites..."
Fruits looks at the political and
social point of view. It then goes into
a detailed medical account of the
physiology of "generation" as
Knowlton calls it, and lastly gives a
detailed exploration of promoting and
In the first edition the last chapter IV
is entitled "Of the Checks." While it
is not our intention to dwell on the
details of what may seem to some as
an indelicate subject, such
information may be of interest to
In this first edition, four checks are
specifically mentioned: entire
withdrawal previous to emission,
introduction into the vagina a fine
sponge moistened with chloride of
soda, use by the male of a covering
made of very delicate skin, and
syringing immediately after
connection with a solution of
sulphate of zinc, of alum, pearl-ash,
or any salt that acts chemically on
In the later editions of Fruits the male
use of a covering has been omitted
even though this was described as a
sure preventative in the first edition,
probably because of the objections
Knowlton cited of cleanliness and
expense. Also the later editions
eliminated the use of chloride of soda,
but retained the other chemical
Another curious difference is that in
the first edition, the type font size in
the fourth chapter (consisting of six
pages) "Of the Checks" has been
substantially reduced to very tiny.
One wonders whether this was
deliberate to escape the scrutiny of
All in all, an important book, in
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Edison, Julian I. Miniature Book News #108: 2001 March, periodical, 2001; St. Louis, Missouri. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9390/m1/3/: accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Rare Book and Texana Collections.