Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 63



Edward William Bok (1863–1930). The Americanization of Edward Bok. 1921.

Page 63

eleven-by-nine sheet, four pages, badly printed, with nothing in it save the cast, a few advertisements, and an announcement of some coming attraction. The boy mechanically folded the programme, turned it long side up and wondered whether a programme of this smaller size, easier to handle, with an attractive cover and some reading-matter, would not be profitable.

When he reached home he made up an eight-page “dummy,” pasted an attractive picture on the cover, indicated the material to go inside, and the next morning showed it to the manager of the theatre. The programme as issued was an item of considerable expense to the management; Edward offered to supply his new programme without cost, provided he was given the exclusive right, and the manager at once accepted the offer. Edward then sought a friend, Frederic L. Colver, who had a larger experience in publishing and advertising, with whom he formed a partnership. Deciding that immediately upon the issuance of their first programme the idea was likely to be taken up by the other theatres, Edward proceeded to secure the exclusive rights to them all. The two young publishers solicited their advertisements on the way to and from business mornings and evenings, and shortly the first smaller-sized theatre programme, now in use in all theatres, appeared. The venture was successful from the start, returning a comfortable profit each week. Such advertisements as they could not secure for cash they accepted in trade; and this latter arrangement assisted materially in maintaining the households of the two publishers.

Edward’s partner now introduced him into a debating


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