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Harrahs research books


J.T.Smienk
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I have a friend who owns a set of books that were created by the staff at the Harrahs Automobile museum.  These books were used for research and cover most North American cars and trucks from about 1900 to 1935.  These are quite detailed with pictures and notes giving everything from engine options, type of transmissions and rear ends, accessories, vehicle specifications right down to the proper jack.  There are 7 volumes I would guess about 2000 pages in total.  They are all in black and white paper size 11x14.   I think these are the only ones known, has anyone else heard of these?  My friend said he would lend them to me so that I can make a copy for my self.  I expect it might be pricy what would be the interest be if I were have a few copies printed?

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I recall an old article from the 1960's I believe that mentioned compiled books like this. The article was focused on Harrah's operation with emphasis on the behind the scenes aspects , particularly the research library his people had assembled. It would  have been from one of the 3 main club magazines, Horseless Carriage Gazette , The Bulb Horn or The AACA magazine. I don't recall which one , it will be buried in my stack of back issues.

i even recall someone at a Washington State swap meet ,  at least 15 years ago who had a couple of the books for sale . He wanted more than I was willing to pay so I don't know where those particular ones ended up. Probably somewhere in the Washington State area.

 

Greg

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)
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When Harrahs was broken up I know of 4 people who retired in an area south of me.  These books came from the estate of a former Harrahs employee, what you said makes sense but I think the magazines you noted were only some of the sources, there were many

 original factory materials included.  It may take a couple of months for the border to open again but when it does I will post some pages so people can see what they put together.  

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instead of doing a printing, how about doing a digital copy onto a locked thumbdrive? Someone could buy a thumb drive from you but could not print or reproduce any information.

 

Either way, depending on price, I may be interested.

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4 hours ago, 3makes said:

Can a specific make and year(s) of vehicle be taken from the book?

 

I am a player on anything specific to my 1932 Pierce Arrow model 54.

 

Ha, J.T. be careful what you ask for LOL

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1 hour ago, a griffin said:

instead of doing a printing, how about doing a digital copy onto a locked thumbdrive? Someone could buy a thumb drive from you but could not print or reproduce any information.

 

Either way, depending on price, I may be interested.

 

I think this is an excellent idea.

 

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2 hours ago, a griffin said:

instead of doing a printing, how about doing a digital copy onto a locked thumbdrive? Someone could buy a thumb drive from you but could not print or reproduce any information.

 

Either way, depending on price, I may be interested.

I would NOT be interested in a locked thumbdrive. A printableble one yes, but otherwise a big NO for me.  Electronic media is only as good as the system that supports it. How many 8-track tapes or 5.25" floppy disks do you have that are now unusable? 

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No print is a no go for me also.

 

George, I can still play 8-tracks and several of my computers still have 5.25" floppy drives.....  And two Edison Cylinder players.🤣

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4 minutes ago, Frank DuVal said:

No print is a no go for me also.

 

George, I can still play 8-tracks and several of my computers still have 5.25" floppy drives.....  And two Edison Cylinder players.🤣

You and I are the extreme exception to the rule, but I also didn't mention the specific software to open and play it, depending on the code it was written with.  

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7 minutes ago, George Cole said:

You and I are the extreme exception to the rule, but I also didn't mention the specific software to open and play it, depending on the code it was written with.  

 

Stuff like this is usually saved as a pdf. Everyone can open it.

If there's just one thing I learned from my dad, it's not good to not keep up with technology. He never did, and joked about it, but it really wasn't funny.

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4 minutes ago, West Peterson said:

 

Stuff like this is usually saved as a pdf. Everyone can open it.

 

Until 20 years from now when someone will say, "PDF?  No one uses that anymore.  That format was replaced years ago with XXX."  No thanks, give me hard copy or at least something I can print my hard copy from.

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26 minutes ago, George Cole said:

Until 20 years from now when someone will say, "PDF?  No one uses that anymore.  That format was replaced years ago with XXX."  No thanks, give me hard copy or at least something I can print my hard copy from.

Naw. It's like a photo. You can even open it in Photoshop, or insert into any layout application.

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I'm in too...especially if much of the material pertains to brass cars but I won't be picky...

A PDF would also work for me but I'd just print it out and put it in a binder. There are good high-speed scanning devices now. Probably not something you'd want to buy but perhaps there is a service available. If that was the case, the unit cost would probably be less and anyone with a decent printer can print from a PDF.

 

OH... and PDF's are used all the tine. When I finish a book layout, I make a PDF and that is what the printer uses.

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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4 hours ago, a griffin said:

instead of doing a printing, how about doing a digital copy onto a locked thumbdrive? Someone could buy a thumb drive from you but could not print or reproduce any information.

 

Either way, depending on price, I may be interested.

 

3 hours ago, West Peterson said:

 

I think this is an excellent idea.

 

 

Some of you are missing the point.  a griffin and West Peterson want a LOCKED thumb drive that we cannot print from.  Regardless of whether it's PDF or some other format, I have no confidence that sometime down the road, whatever LOCKED format that is used may not be compatible with whatever new fangled format, technology, or hardware that will be the new norm.  Thanks but no thanks.  If it's not something I can print, I don't want it.

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6 minutes ago, George Cole said:

 

 

a griffin and West Peterson want a LOCKED thumb drive that we cannot print from.  Regardless of whether it's PDF or some other format, I have no confidence that sometime down the road, whatever LOCKED format that is used may not be compatible with whatever new fangled format, technology, or hardware that will be the new norm.  Thanks but no thanks.  If it's not something I can print, I don't want it

 

For the record, I later stated that I think it should be printable. What I think is a good idea, is it being scanned digitally so that it CAN be printed... and printed at anytime anyone wants, and as few pages as anyone would need/want.

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I had heard someone, many years ago, refer to something like this from the Harrah library but never saw a copy. If printed nicely or high quality scanned so that good prints could be made I would be interested. Quality printing has never been cheap, not talking about xerox copies here. Many years ago I managed to acquire a full copy of Bill Harrah’s auto biography which he did for the UN history collection at the Reno campus. I had it bound in two volumes by a local bindery and was surprised at the cost that they told me the actual printed pages would probably have cost ( I got it courtesy of a Harrah family connection) if I’d had to pay for it. I’ve got a fair sized collection of Harrah related materials and it’s a fascinating read, not just for the automobile collection references but the insights into his business and personal life as well.

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I suspect the OP, if he's still here, underestimates what a big job copying a 2000 page document is. Printing is out of the question (I am in the publishing business) – the costs would be astronomical. Easily the most efficient way to do this would be to find a high speed scanning service provider (they often work for big law offices who need multiple copies of multiple page documents)to make a pdf. I am presuming this wasn't intended as a major money-making project but I'd calculate the costs, add something for my labor and estimate how much it would be if per person if 10, 15, 20 copies sere subscribed. You can take it for granted that once its out there, people will make copies for their friends so the chance to recoup costs will be a one-time thing. If someone intends to retire on the proceeds - this is a losing project. Printing that mass of material would result in a 2 to 4 volume book that would have to retail for several hundred dollars and to do that you'd have to print 1,000 or more. It would take months to do...But, you'd have to scan it and make a pdf first.

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That is very unlikely since I very much doubt it was copyrighted to begin with and much of it would be out of copyright now even if it was. In any case, the copyright law includes a provision for copying research material for personal use that this may well fall under...

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1 hour ago, JV Puleo said:

That is very unlikely since I very much doubt it was copyrighted to begin with and much of it would be out of copyright now even if it was. In any case, the copyright law includes a provision for copying research material for personal use that this may well fall under...

 

Not true. I admit I am not a lawyer of any type much less one specializing in intellectual property. But just because a work hasn’t yet been published does not mean it is public domain. The Cornell University Library Copyright Information Center has a pretty clear breakdown of when things go into public domain.

 

As I read it, unpublished works created after 1950 are NOT public domain. If those volumes contain copyrighted items (copies of old magazine technical articles, etc.) then there may well be a rats nest of releases and permissions required to actually publish the volumes. And, as I understand it, making copies for distribution to others is considered publishing.

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As I stated earlier, I may be interested either way. I know the hassle of having an old Service manual scanned and reprinted and can attest to the cost of the final product would probably have several people back out of their commitment. My comment on providing a locked thumbdrive was so that the op would protect his investment in undertaking such a large project AND help keep the price down for those that were interested in the volumes.

If given the opportunity would you spend 400 - 500 for a paper copy or would you spend 30 - 40 for a thumbdrive? And lets be honest, most of us are not spring chickens anymore and we probably wont outlive technology that would deny us the ability to view an electronic version. You old guys know who you are, ya'll are referencing 8 tracks and floppy disks! And as a little more info, records are making a comeback as the current "musicians" are releasing their new songs on vinyl.

 

Edited by a griffin (see edit history)
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4 hours ago, ply33 said:

 

Not true. I admit I am not a lawyer of any type much less one specializing in intellectual property. But just because a work hasn’t yet been published does not mean it is public domain. The Cornell University Library Copyright Information Center has a pretty clear breakdown of when things go into public domain.

 

The real question is "was it ever copyrighted" (which seem highly doubtful) or, if it was, was it renewed? if it wasn't it still isn't. That said, the new copyright law (known in the trade as the Mickey Mouse Law) is so riddled with ambiguity and contradiction that even publishers have a difficult time understanding it. In any case, we've probably scared the OP off with all this talk of legal complications...the law is so poorly written (it was witten  to protect Disney & the Movie industry - hence the nickname which is intended to be a double entendre) that when it was first enacted someone tried to copyright Shakespear's plays (unsuccessfully) but it wasn't clear at first that he couldn't!

 

I once had someone at a copy center refuse to copy a book. When I explained it was and that I owned the copyright that didn't make any difference to them!

 

Edit: There have also been some recent court decisions that invalidated parts of the law...unless you could identify an author and that author filed for a copyright, it would be virtually impossible to introduce one retroactively...

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, JV Puleo said:

 In any case, we've probably scared the OP off with all this talk of legal complications...

 

Funny,  I was thinking "no good deed goes unpunished" before we even got to talking about the copyrights.

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