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[Bookseller's Ticket for James Bain]
[Bookseller's Ticket for James Bain]
Title[Bookseller's Ticket for James Bain]
Date Created[between 1856 and 1874]
Sort Date1874
DescriptionIn black ink on white paper, the bookseller's ticket consists of a serpentine black border with decorative elements in the four corners surrounding black text in roman and italic type.
Extent1 bookseller's ticket : relief printing ; 2.7 x 1.5 cm
Subject - GeographicToronto (Ont.)
Personal NamesBain, James
TypeStill Image
NotesJames Bain was a bookseller and stationer firm located on King Street in Toronto owned by the father of celebrated Toronto public librarian, James Bain, Jr. Originally from Edinburgh, Scotland, James Bain (1817-1908) was appointed head of Hugh Scobie's book and stationery shop in Toronto in 1846 on the recommendation of William Darling, a Montreal merchant originally from Edinburgh. The Bain family moved to Toronto in May of 1846, and Bain opened his own bookstore a decade later in 1856. Bain's oldest son, James Jr., dropped out of school at the age of 14 to help run the shop, thus ending his formal education. In addition, to employing the future chief librarian of Toronto's public library, social reformer and journalist John Joseph Kelso (1864-1935) is said to have worked at the shop as a young man also. In 1874, James Bain went into partnership with his son, John (1849-1879) to form the firm of James Bain and Son. After the death of John in 1879, James Bain appears to have established a partnership with his younger son, Donald (1853 -1931), according to the firm's listing in the Toronto City Directory for 1884. The directory lists the firm as 'booksellers, stationers and publishers, ' Among other works, James Bain and Son published 'Old Spookses' Pass, Malcolm's Katie, and Other Poems' (1884), a collection of poems by Isabella Valancy Crawford. Although it is unknown when the partnership dissolved, possibly due to James Bain's advanced age, the Toronto City Directory of 1898 provides no listing for the firm of James Bain and Son, but instead the firm of Donald Bain and Co., providing fine stationery, engraving, and printing on Jordan Street, is listed. Although little is known about his later years, James Bain appears to have died in 1908, the same year that his son James Jr. succumbed to liver cancer.
1) Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online. (2000). Bain, James. Retrieved February 20, 2013, from
2) McMaster University Libraries. (2005). Ontario publishing partnerships collection: O Index. Retrieved February 20, 2013, from
3) Might Directory Co. (1898). The Toronto city directory for 1898. Toronto: Might Directory Co.
4) R.L. Polk & Co. (1884). The Toronto city directory for 1884: Embracing an alphabetical list of all business firms and private citizens : a classified business directory ; and a miscellaneous directory of public institutions, corporations, &c. Toronto: R.L. Polk & Co.
5) University of Toronto Libraries. (n.d.). Representative Poetry Online: Crawford, Isabella Valancy (1850 - 1887). Retrieved February 20, 2013, from
6) Whyte, D., & Ontario Genealogical Society. (1986). A dictionary of Scottish emigrants to Canada before confederation. Toronto: Ontario Genealogical Society.
7) (2012). James Bain (librarian). Retrieved February 20, 2013, from
8) (2012). J. J. Kelso. Retrieved February 20, 2013, from
Access IdentifierBST MUR CAN I B356
Digital IdentifierBST_MUR_CAN_I_B356
Is Part OfRBSC Bookplates
SourceOriginal Format: University of British Columbia. Library. Rare Books and Special Collections. Thomas Murray Bookplates Collection. Leslie Binder. BST MUR CAN I B356
Date Available2013
Publisher - DigitalVancouver : University of British Columbia Library
RightsImages provided for research and reference use only. Permission to publish, copy, or otherwise use these images must be obtained from Rare Books and Special Collections:
TranscriptJAMES BAIN. Bookseller & Stationer, King St., Toronto.
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