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Mel, Scott, and any others,

In the interest of full disclosure prior to selling a block of my old issues, can you help me determining what I think may be a "reprint" in a batch of individual issues of 1896. I discovered that my Vol. VII, No. 2 issue (February 1896) is slightly wider than all of the others in 1896, or my issues in 1897, 1898, or 1899.

I researched Ed Buxbaum's 1971 Collectors Guide , specifically pages 84-86 and have determined that Type 5 reprints, which I presume were reprinted in 1964, are easily identified by their larger size. Please see photo attached showing my Vol. VII, No. 2 at 6-7/16" wide vs. all the others in the years 1896-1899 at 6" wide.

Ed also goes on to state that the word "Reprint" in very small size was printed, "... near the bottom of the cover." ; "... just below the place of publication which is Washington ...". My first request from you would be to guide me to which cover, front or back, that the word "reprint" should be found. My magazine does not have "reprint" on either the front or back covers.

On page 84, Ed also writes about "erasures" removing the word "reprint" being easily done. My front cover shows no discoloration in the spot in question, however my rear cover does. Please see other photos attached.

I think I have a reprint. I don't know if it is from 1964 or as Buxbaum states earlier in his guide, could it be from other reprinters who without knowledge of the NGS generated this copy I have. I value you opinions on determining what I have, specifically which year (?1964?) it may have been printed.

Please excuse my rather long winded posting. In the end, my real question to you would be does this finding significantly degrade my asking price? It is more important to me that my potential buyer knows exactly what he would be getting and that my reputation as an honest seller be upheld.

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From what I can discern based on your photos is that your copy there for February 1896 is not a 1964 reprint. Also that, the light blemishes (or fading) blotches on the lower back cover are not "erasure marks". Further, the front cover looks like it had another book or magazine stacked on top it for a length of time, at some point (i.e., the rectangular whitish outline).

Was this Feb. 1896 copy in any way bound into a book or binder at all? I'm wondering about the margin(s) width on the text blocking for the interior pages. Otherwise, the spacing on the F+B covers --text to open perimeter space-- looks proportionately correct.

Could this be a reprint from the 1990's or early 1900's? Perhaps a limited author's printing or for another organization . . . that might explain the smaller overall size, to differentiate it from the regular printing. Then again the Society was quite inconsistent in those days; e.g., one might have thought IF this was a special 2nd printing for some reason, that it might have had some extra verbiage to the effect of "....printed especially for XYX person-or-entity....".

Just some thought speculation. But that is not a 1964, 1975, 2007, or any other /modern/ printing.

Perhaps someone else here has more to offer on this. Intriguing query about the smaller dimensions . . .

-- Scott 


here's a scan of a 1964 Reprint copy:

>>> Typo alert :

I meant to type "1890's" and not "1990's" in my 3rd paragraph in my 1st reply to Jim, above.


My Vol. VII, No. 2 (February 1896) issue is actually wider (larger not smaller) than the rest of my issues from the late 1890s by almost a half an inch. It most definitely has been stacked for decades with my other issues from the 1896 year. That's why I got curious yesterday as it was the only issue "sticking out" of the pack when I was compiling that year for a potential buyer. I have had this individual issue in my collection for over forty years and can trace it's purchase from the late Don Smith on November 3, 1978. I have no way of knowing whether it was bound earlier than that.

The margin width of the inside text pages is skewed towards the spine, leaving a 1-3/4" (very large) margin on the outer edge of each page. My other 1896 issues' margin(s) are large, but only about 1-1/2'. The top and bottom margins for this and all of my 1896 issues are about the same. 

The folded Orinoco River map supplement is in fine shape, both glued and sewn (no staples) to the spine. The covers are detached, smooth to the touch and crack quite easily.

Thanks for responding, now I know at least not to offer it up as a 1964 reprint.



My humble apologies: I think I need to back-track now (based on your response). For some reason I misunderstood or got inadvertently focused on the copy to the right-hand of your inserted above images. I thought you were telling us that the one on the right was smaller than your other 11 (original) 1896 copies. 

* ie, that the one on the left was the same standard original size - my misunderstanding steered me into another mode of assessing.

Forgive me. Also, now the appearance of the left-hand copy seems more appropriate to me than my initial thought-train. I wish I could see that one in my hand to scrutinize the spot where "Reprint" /should be/. That has to be the 1964 Reprint, I just don't see how it can be anything otherwise. Indeed, the precise measurement differential you just clarified meshes with the Reprints sizing. 

So, someone did a clever job removing "Reprint", yet how can there not seem to be a blemish or light spot then. Another way to tell if one is a reprint Vs. original is the feel + texture of the pages themselves. The Reprints' pages were heavy and clay-coated, like the pages of NGM in the 1910's into the 60's. If your copy feels like that, and also has a slight sheen, then it's got to be a reprint. If it's a more textured feel (more akin to woven resume paper), then you have an original -- except that size is still a problem!

I did my best to mega-zoom in on your photos, but I simply cannot see any abrasion in the "Reprint" location. 

As for Mr. Buxbaum's commentary RE: 'erasures' being done, I do remember that warning from reading his book. 

I think at this point we still have a pending final verification on the status of your copy. I'm leaning towards it being a /manipulated/ 1964 reprint.



* I was on my way to bed when your reply came up, and I knew I needed to make correction immediately and not wait until tomorrow afternoon !

I suggest you have an original "size" anomaly - which did happen from time to time.

I would also defer to Don Smith's expertise as he sold it to you as an original.

Your proof of having purchased from him as such is critical in the final analysis.


I am a new collector of the Nat Geo magazine and have wondered the same thing. My question, Can the magazines be tested under the black light theory. Pre-war paper did not have white pigment added to it yet. I believe any reprint should illuminate from the added white pigment on any post war reprints. This is only my opinion. Maybe someone could shed some light here. I feel like this would be done sire way of detecting a reprint whereas "reprint" had been altered or erased. Thanks for sharing.



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