Rittenhouse Classics

George W. Jacobs and Co. (Philadelphia, US)
Series dates: 1917-1925

Macrae Smith Co. (Philadelphia, US)
Series dates: 1925-1955
Size: 5.25″ x 7.75″

The George W. Jacobs Co. was established in Philadelphia in 1892. In 1925 the publishing operation of the Jacobs Company was purchased by Durant L. Macrae and Allan M. Smith and renamed as Macrae Smith Co. The firm went out of business in 1977. (Firms Out Of Business)

rittenhouse_logo2The series consists of several dozen typical classics, larger format, decent binding, with color illustrations. After Macrae Smith acquired Jacobs, the series continued. Both publisher’s imprints show up on the series after 1925, but Macrae more often than Jacobs. The series seems to have been phased out in the 1950s.

The George W. Jacobs Company announced the first title in their new Rittenhouse Classics series in 1917 – Blackmore’s Lorna Doone.

Advertisement for the first title in the Rittenhouse Classics, Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 120, 1917.

This undated copy of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice has the Macrae imprint and was probably printed in the late 1920s. The jackets are illustrated and in color and unique to each title. The series name is included on the jacket spine and front. A prospectus for the series is included on the front jacket flap.


A list of additional titles in the series is included on the back of the jacket. The rear flap is blank. No price is indicated on the jacket.


Bindings in black cloth with silver lettering. A rather elaborate series logo is debossed on the front cover.


One of the illustrations in the book faces the title page. The elaborate title page does not include a date of printing, nor does its reverse. No dates can be found anywhere on the jacket or in the book.


The copyright page indicates thirteenth printing, but no date.