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Guide to Taxidermy

Book title: Guide to Taxidermy
Author: Charles K. Reed
Editor: Charles K. Reed
Publication year: 1903
Copyright: Charles K. Reed, August 31, 1903
Printer: A. M. Eddy de Albion, New York
Format: 4 ¼ x 6 inches (10 ½ X 15 ½ cm.)
Type of cover: Fabric cover
Number of pages: 88 pages
Retail price in 1903: $0.35 (us)
Mailing cost: Included in the retail price

This is the first book published and edited by Charles K. Reed in 1903. It seems to be a way to feature the products sold at his taxidermy store (75 Thomas Street, Worcester), instead of being truly dedicated to taxidermy.

The cover was probably drawn by Chester A. Reed. The small owls found on the black stripe at the center of the book follow his style. Owls seem to be Charles K. Reed’s favorite bird.

Only 37 pages of the book were dedicated to the concepts of taxidermy. On page 41, there is a list of North American Birds including the price for eggs, skins and mounted specimens. From page 71 to page 85, there is a list of prices for taxidermy material and products for egg collectors.


While Charles wrote that book, his son Chester was publishing the magazine “American Ornithology” monthly, working on the publication of “Color Key to North America Birds” with Mr. Frank M. Chapman and writing his next book, “North American Birds Eggs.” His contribution to Charles’ book was minimal. We can see a few sketches in the book, including one clearly signed by Chester.


The last page of the book showed an ad for Frank M. Chapman’s and Chester A. Reed’s book, “Color Key to North American Birds.” It was the first time that Charles used a book that he edited to promote one of Chester’s books.

Description seen in an ad in Chester A. Reed’s magazine, “American Ornithology,” in March 1905.:

Guide to Taxidermy. Full of valuable Information. COMPLETE INSTRUCTIONS HOW TO PREPARE AND MOUNT. Birds, Animals and Fish. Also content a complete list of all North American Birds, with prices of their eggs, skins and mounted specimens; also an exhaustive line of Ornithologist’s, Oologist and Taxidermists' supplies, valuable information for the amateur, recipes.

You can consult the slideshow of the presentation.