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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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odor at all. But when it got very hot, a little of that castor oil smell would return. And a warehouse full of them you could smell about three blocks away. It was awful. So the first thing we did after throwing out these nine titles and making a list of books we wanted to add ourselves was to throw out that imitation leather binding. We went to a man I had heard was a great typographer named Elmer Adler, who headed the Pynson Printers. He was so good that he was allowed to have his office in the New York Times building. The only tenant the New York Times has ever had. It was on the eighth floor of the New York Times building on West 43rd Street. Elmer Adler was an elegant gentleman whose family headed the Adler Rochester Clothing Company. It was beautiful, beautiful work that he turned out at only about eight times what it should have cost, because he had no more business sense than my father, which is par for the course. Elmer helped us redesign Modern Library. We threw out the imitation leather and substituted a semi-lime balloon cloth. It's not fashionable anymore. But the books then were very attractive. You could really bend them to some extent.

We wanted a new trademark, too, for the Modern Library. Our business was called Modern Library, Inc. Elmer Adler helped us find the man to design the flying girl with the torch. We used it on these books, I had met a very famous artist by this time named Rockwell Kent, and Mr. Kent designed for us the new end-papers for the Modern Library. So the Modern Library had a new dress that was very stylish.

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