Ive’s Book Brace: A 19th century American bookend

Hailed as “a valuable invention for booksellers, librarians, clergymen and reading-men” the Ive’s book brace hit the market in 1850.

It was designed to hold books on partially filled shelves for “As must be well known to all, Books, if allowed to stand loosely upon a shelf, will not retain their original shape for any great length of time.”

It sure beats the heavy bookends made of marble, bronze and wood that had been around for centuries. It was also 27 years before William Stebbins Barnard would patent the simple sheetmetal bookend

Charles B. Norton, in addition to being listed on the broadside as the library agent for the Book Brace, was a literary agent, and publisher in New York (1850–60) who issued a number of important bibliographical works, including the first edition of Poole’s Index to Periodical Literature.


Library of Congress catalog entry