A view of the Rochester Public Library Rolling Library (bookmobile) parked in front of the library’s Rundel Memorial Building on South Avenue.
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Ladies at the bookmobile in Washington County, Maryland, 1930s.
The bookmobile was introduced to the US in 1905 by Washington County librarian Mary Titcomb as a means to get books into homes throughout the county. The bookmobile was operated by two ladies: one to drive and one to stand on the running board to keep it from tipping over. They traveled thousands of miles and delivered thousands of books throughout the 1930s. However, the advent of gas rationing made the book wagon impossible to continue, and the bookmobile made its last trip in 1940.
Huge thanks to Vanessa Capshaw for donating her beautiful comic zine to the zine mobile!!
This first “bookmobile” in the USA served until 1910, when it was hit by a train (no one was injured, though the fate of the books it was carrying is unknown).