The Conservation Center recently had the pleasure of working with Bill Hartel to treat “Regulations for the Army of the United States,” a 1913 U.S. Army military handbook.
Bill is an avid collector of rare books and acquires those that, in his opinion, “changed the world.” Highlights of his collection include a 1776 British first edition of Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense,” complete with handwritten defamatory comments about King George, and “Round the Moon” by Jules Verne, circa 1895, signed by the commander of the first actual voyage around the moon, Frank Borman. Bill is also an author and published the Chicago Tribune Best Seller “A Day at the Park” about Wrigley Field. Given the depth of his collection, a well-worn copy of an army handbook with a missing leather spine, fragile textblock, and water damage may seem like an anomaly. However, the book’s value lies in the role it played during a difficult time in Bill’s life.