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Stone & Kimball records

Identifier: Wing-Modern-MS-Stn

Scope and Content of the Collection

The bulk of the collection includes material related to Herbert Stuart Stone’s career as a publisher, editor, writer, and artist as well as information about his brother, Melville Edwin Stone who was associated with Herbert as his business manager, but also known as a playwright, and essayist. Included too, are letters from their father, Melville Elijah Stone. Through Herbert Stuart Stone, Jr., the Newberry was able to acquire the papers of Stone and Kimball, as well as the papers Herbert S. Stone, & Co. Mr. Stone also provided information to Mr. Sidney Kramer, for his 1940 book “A History of Stone & Kimball and Herbert S. Stone & Co.” Mr. Stone was known as an avid collector of 19th century art posters, which included the work of Toulouse-Lautrec and Alphonse Mucha, among others. Much of his poster collection in included in the file.

The collection includes correspondence between family members, as well as correspondence between the publisher and his clients—writers that Herbert Stone, for the most part, introduced to the American public. Because of Mr. Stone’s many interests in the publishing world—including his own publishing companies, his work on the Chap Book, and later his time as editor of The House Beautiful—the collection is as varied as it is interesting.

Some items in the inventory are followed by the indication (S & K #). The numbers refer to the original checklist numbers provided by Herbert Stuart Stone Jr. There is a copy of the checklist available at the Newberry, Call Number: Wing fZP 883 .S877.


  • Creation: 1883-1971



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The Stone & Kimball records are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Stone & Kimball records are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections.

History of Stone & Kimball and Herbert S. Stone & Co.

Chicago book publishing company.

Herbert Stuart Stone and Hannibal Ingalls Kimball were two Harvard students, who while still in their junior year of college published a guidebook to Chicago’s World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893. Kimball provided Stone with the typewriter (and acted as business manager), while Herbert Stone (along with his brother, Melville E. Stone, Jr. and artist, John T. McCutcheon) did the writing and the illustrations for the book. The guidebook made a healthy profit of $600.00 for the two young publishers who followed up their success with a bibliography entitled “First Editions of American Authors”, edited by Herbert Stone, and with an introduction by Eugene Field.

While struggling with the daily grind of class work and their new-found venture into publishing, Stone and Kimball began publishing the now legendary magazine, The Chap Book. Justified initially as a vehicle for advertising works to be published by Stone and Kimball, the magazine soon became known for its high-quality writing and for its art work—The Chap Book is credited with introducing the American public to the art work of Toulouse-Lautrec and Aubrey Beardsley, among others. With the assistance of Canadian poet, Bliss Carman (and later, Harrison Garfield Rhodes), Stone also introduced readers to then little-known writers such as Anatole France, Paul Verlaine, Henry James, and Joel Chandler Harrison, to name a few. In August of 1894, a few months after the launch of The Chap Book, the firm moved operations from Cambridge to Chicago, where the publishing firm of Stone and Kimball was established; twenty-one year old Herbert Stuart Stone already had a strong Chicago connection through his father, Melville Elijah Stone, founder and editor of The Chicago Daily News and later, general manager of the Associated Press. In 1900, Herbert Stone married Mary Grigsby McCormick which linked him by marriage to the influential family that owned the Chicago Tribune. The Stone and Kimball publishing firm set its sights on producing beautiful books of the highest caliber, while focusing on the best writers of the day. George Santayana made his literary debut through Stone and Kimball, as did a host of others. Not being content with publishing American writers only, they determined to secure the rights to publish the most popular writer in the world at the time—Robert Louis Stevenson. Thus “Ebb Tide” was introduced to the American reading public. The firm continued until 1897, when Kimball dissolved the partnership in order to return to New York, at which point, the company became known as Herbert S. Stone & Co., with his brother Melville E. Stone, Jr. staying on as business manager. Always innovative, works by Richard LeGalliene and Gabriele D’Annunzio were among some of the newer authors to appear on book shelves, as well as Harold Frederic, with his “Theron Ware” and George Barr McCutcheon’s very popular “Graustark” and “Brewster’s Millions”, all of which made their way to Hollywood as silent films. George Bernard Shaw praised the firm for being “intelligent and enterprising”; in fact, Shaw’s “The Perfect Wagnerite” appeared in America 14 years before it was published in England. In addition, Herbert Stone attempted to publish and edit a daily literary publication called The Daily Tattler, which unfortunately, folded after only 18 months. Meanwhile, in New York, Hannibal Ingalls Kimball returned for a time to the publishing business again, with the Cheltenham Press. In addition, Kimball is credited with developing the Cheltenham typeface with co-developer, Bertram Goodhue. By 1906, the brothers Stone, decided that the book publishing business was no longer enjoyable (which had become more of a problem of distribution), and sold their booklist to Fox, Duffield & Co., in New York. Herbert, however, continued with his editorship of House Beautiful (1898-1913) and Melville (known as Ned) continued with playwriting and eventually became editor of the New York magazine, The Metropolitan. Both brothers died tragically; Herbert died in 1915 when the Lusitania was torpedoed, and Ned died of tuberculosis in 1918.

Little is known about Herbert Stuart Stone Jr. He was a 1924 graduate of Harvard University and he served in World War II in the Naval Reserve achieving the rank of Lieutenant Commander. In the 1940s, he was President of the Lincoln Paper Company in Chicago. In addition, he was very active in numerous clubs and societies in the Chicago area including the Caxton Club, the Duodecimos, and the Mark Twain Society and he was an avid collector of art nouveau posters, which he often lent for exhibitions.


28.6 Linear Feet (1 record carton, 18 boxes, 7 oversize boxes, 11 oversize folders, 4 rolls, and 4 oversize framed items)


Papers of late 19th-early 20th century Chicago book publisher Stone & Kimball, consisting of original manuscripts and correspondence (primarily that of Herbert S. Stone) and authors George Ade, Arthur Conan Doyle, Henry James, and Eugene Field, among others. Correspondence is supplanted with photographs, original manuscripts, plays, writings, art posters, drawings, prints, newspaper clippings, contracts, agreements, receipts, and artifacts. The bulk of the collection includes material related to Herbert Stuart Stone’s career as a publisher, editor, writer, and artist as well as information about other Stone family members, particularly his brother, Melville E. Stone, Jr.


Papers are organized in the following series

Series 1: Correspondence, 1883-1971
Boxes 1-4
Series 2: Works, 1892-1937
Boxes 5-11
Series 3: House Beautiful, 1902-1948
Box 12
Series 4: Miscellaneous, 1892-1971
Boxes 13-15
Series 5: Photographs, 1892-1935
Box 16
Series 6: Art Work, 1885-1964
Boxes 17-23, Rolls 1-4, Flat File Drawer 6, Artifacts Cage
Series 7: Oversize, 1885-1969
Boxes 23-25
Series 8: Artifacts, undated, 1894-1906
Boxes 23 and 26

Collection Stack Location

3a 61 8-9; Artifact Cage; 4a flat files


Purchase, Herbert Stuart Stone, Jr., 1971.

Separated Materials

Some of the posters that were acquired came in extremely poor condition and were disposed of.

1. Cheret, Jules. Advertising L'Infamant, Roman Parisianne par Paul Verola (S & K #369) 2. Cheret, Jules. Saxoléine – Pétrole de Sûreté, 1895. Fragments (no number) 3. Choubrac. Orient Express. Fragments (S & K #378) 4. Concert des Ambassadeurs -by Paul Lumaire (?) Paris, 1898. Artist is Leon Adolphe Willette (S & K #40a or 1869) 5. De Feure, Gaston. Fonty a L'Alcazar D'Hiver. (S & K #500) 6. Guillaume, Albert. Lona Barrison aux Folies Bergeres. (S & K #889) 7. Jossot. Pains D'Epices de Dijon, 1894. (S & K #1071) 8. Meunier, George. Jardin de Paris. (S & K #1256) 9. Péan, René. Le Figaro, 1900. Fragments (no number)

Processed by

Margarete Gross, 2017.


Inventory of the Stone & Kimball records, 1883-1971
Margarete Gross
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States