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Brian Cassidy, Bookseller

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The San Francisco] [The National] BALL

Sexpapers] 4to. Original newsprint wraps. 139 issues (of approx. 177 published), beginning with issue 8 and continuing with various small gaps through issue 175. All issues folded in half. Mild wear, toning as expected. Very good or better overall. A complete inventory is available on request. Comprehensive run of one of the most important of the 1960s/70s sexpapers: publisher Ron Garst's BALL (variously preceded by "San Francisco" and/or "The National" throughout its run). Second only to the infamous SCREW in terms of circulation, BALL grew out of Garst's and editor experiences at the similar BERKELEY BARB (issue one contained the subtitle: "Published monthly by the horny former staff of the Berkeley Barb"). And indeed, BALL straddles the line between BARB's regionalism and SCREW's decidedly male POV. Progressive in both content and audience, BALL aimed for both male and female readers ("I'm trying to upgrade pornography" - Garst) while also maintaining a rather postive and open-minded attitude towards gay readers — in addition to carrying the usual assortment of underground comix, classified articles, photo shoots, articles, and the like. Despite its relativelt long run and national distribution, however, issues are now rather scarce. OCLC locates only a small handful of institutional holdings, with no runs nearly as extensive as this. The largest and most representative collection of this important document of the sexual counterculture we've encountered.
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WARNING

Julius Schmid, Inc.] Broadsheet, 8.5'' x 11'' approx. Printed recto only. Paper uniformly age-toned; light edgewear and faint chipping to edges; one larger chip to upper edge. Very good minus. "Friendly warning" against the illegal sale of prophylactic rubber goods (condoms), issued by condom manufacturer Julius Schmid, presumably to discourage his competitors: "Your community is one of a great number in which a local ordinance specifically provides that the legal sale or distribution of such articles must be confined to licensed physicians and drug stores only.[R]efusal to obey the law will most certainly result in prosecution." The German-born Schmid emigrated to the United States in his late teens, began selling skin condoms out of his New York apartment, and fell victim to the Comstock Law and the NYC vice squad in 1890. Following his jail term, he incorporated as Julius Schmid, Inc, and developed the first popular vulcanized rubber condom to be successfully sold in the U.S. As the manufacturer of Sheik and Ramses brands, Schmid sold prophylactics in great numbers to the European Allies in World War I (the U.S. and Great Britain being the only combatant nations not supplying contraceptives to their troops.) In 1918, following a ruling that doctors might prescribe condoms, their sale became legal -- though heavily restricted, as reflected by the text of this warning -- and officially approved for disease prevention only, not to prevent conception. A rare piece of ephemera from the history of sexuality and contraception.