Robertson's Book of Firsts: Who Did What for the First Time

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Bloomsbury Publishing USA, Nov 11, 2011 - Reference - 576 pages
6 Reviews
Completely unlike any encyclopedia before it, The Book of Firsts is the product of decades of archiving and research from the incredible Patrick Robertson. For many years the proprietor of a stock photo archive and collector of all forms of ephemera, Robertson boasts a library that includes ads, clippings, and archival materials going back well over 100 years.
In this amazing work, Robertson indexes and describes the things he considers socially relevant, such as the first black head of a white government (it's not who you think), the first baby carriage, and the first department store. He writes about all this with an unparalleled knowledge and impossible-to-fake fluency with a staggering number of subjects. What's more, Robertson renders this massive reference with subtle but distinctive humor, and an eye for fascinating detail. Every entry in this book includes a first time in America, and many also have firsts from elsewhere in the world.

With a handsome design and an oversized trim, this will be both a groundbreaking work of reference and a beautiful gift for trivia heads.


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Review: Robertson's Book of Firsts: Who Did What for the First Time

User Review  - Vincy - Goodreads

I love reference books. I have a strange habit of reading them cover-to-cover as if they were novels. I haven't gotten out of the As on this one yet, but I'm working toward it. I've learned so many ... Read full review

Review: Robertson's Book of Firsts: Who Did What for the First Time

User Review  - Susan - Goodreads

As someone who likes to pick up a reference book and dip into pages to learn new details this is an excellent book to add to your pile of books stacked next to your favorite chair. It is very easy to ... Read full review

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About the author (2011)

Patrick Hickman Robertson began compiling his collection of firsts fifty years ago at the age of fourteen. He continued his extensive research in the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa before settling down to a career at the BBC's cutting library. The first incarnation of this book, The Shell Book of Firsts, appeared in the UK in 1974 and became an immediate bestseller. Robertson has been a Visiting Scholar the University of North Carolina, a former chairman of the Ephemera Society, and owns the largest private collection of vintage magazines in Britain.

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