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The Earliest Bookmobiles

The Earliest Bookmobiles

The first bookmobiles, which appeared in the 19th century in England and in the early 20th century in the United States, were horse-drawn book wagons. These provided service to individual homes, as well as to village centers.

Hagerstown, Maryland had the first bookmobile service in the United States, a horse-drawn wagon that began delivering books in 1905.

The development of the more versatile automobile eventually made possible the commercial manufacture of specially designed, automated bookmobiles in the period after World War II. Their use spread to France, Germany, Scandinavia, the Soviet Union, Oceania, and other areas.

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  • The Bookmobile
    Takin' it to the Streets: the history of the book wagon.

Last updated by ann on Aug. 11, 2009

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While the Library has verified the information presented in these files in what it considers to be reliable and authoritative sources, it cannot take responsibility for nor guarantee the accuracy of the information presented.

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