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Thank you for visiting
Variety Arts Press.

If you landed here, it is likely that you are searching for one of our special-interest publications, so thanks for your perseverance!

Established in 1983 as a publisher idependent of "the big five" by the journalist, editor, historian, museum professional, and performing artist Reginald W. Bacon, Variety Arts Press brings into print information-packed books on multifarious history and performing arts topics. Publications include R.W. Bacon's own works on local/regional history; early New England domestic architecture; jazz and ragtime musicology; writing, editing, typography, and design; early 20th-century vaudeville and circus history; and acrobatic juggling technique and training.

The principal, R.W. Bacon, enjoyed his first career as a newspaper and magazine journalist, editor, and designer, learning from hard-boiled editors, hard-driving professors, and renowned pioneers in publication design. After 10 years, he took what he thought would be a brief "time-out" to perform for one season as a jazz/blues/ ragtime musician, and acrobatic juggler. This turned into a 30-plus year career in showbusiness, most of those years touring far-and-wide with his wife, the speedy precision club juggler L.J. Newton. At the close of that demanding-but-fulfilling career, and after completing the Harvard graduate program in Museum Studies, the writing, editing, and design resumed, although this time in the research, history, and museum context. The Variety Arts Enterprises web site summarizes the current range of museum services and programs offered, including the illustrated lecture, performance, and exhibition, "A Vaudeville Retrospective."

Today, Variety Arts Press is the outlet for past and current research and publishing projects in several areas of scholarship.

For more scintillating details than you ever wanted to know, enjoy these few links:

A note on our cyber-world: Please note that except for a presence on LinkedIn (Reginald W. Bacon on LinkedIn), time constraints preclude participation in Facebook, MugShot, SpacedOut, UsedUp, or other similar social media activities. R.W. Bacon is fully engaged with today's technology, but he neither twitters nor chatters, and there is no separate daily blog site. (On this site, at the sidebar on the right, there are articles & essays, and more may be added.) Please be assured, however, that R.W. Bacon can be easily and readily contacted by e-mail or phone. Thank you for understanding.

Welcome ...

Welcome to the Internet home of Variety Arts Press, since 1983 an independent publisher of books on under-the-radar history topics, arcane performing arts specialties, and editorial, graphics, and research guides. This page lists publications currently available. Click on any book title below and you'll go to a page with a more detailed description of the book, a preview of selected pages, and a link to purchase and pay via PayPal.

We are proud to report that Variety Arts Press received the IPNE 2017 Book Award for Informational Nonfiction for The HABs and the HABs NOTs: Documenting the Architecture of Newburyport in the Historic American Buildings Survey by Reginald W. Bacon. The award was presented at the November 2017 IPNE conference (Independent Publishers of New England).

At the intersection of history and genealogy, Early Families of Middletown, Conn. - Vol. I: 1650-1654 was the winner of the 2013 Brainerd T. Peck Award for Family History. The prestigious award --- and cash prize --- were presented by the Connecticut Society of Genealogists in May 2013. Read more about the award and read the CSG book review here.


Award-winning title in 2017! Available now!

The HABs and the HABs NOTs:
Documenting the Architecture
of Newburyport
in the Historic American
Buildings Survey

by Reginald W. Bacon
(Newburyport, Mass.:
Variety Arts Press, 2017)
160 pages; casebound
ISBN: 978-0-9977528-1-6
LOC: 20156920943

$35.00 (US) includes
book-rate shipping in the U.S.

Payment accepted by PayPal
(see full description page), check, or money order.

To order by postal mail, send order details, your shipping address, and payment to Variety Arts Enterprises, P.O. Box 489, Newburyport, MA 01950.


New title in 2017! Available now!

Vintage from Vinyl: Early Recordings
of the Goodtime Ragtime
Vaudeville Revival (Book & CD set),

Presenting a Panorama
of Musical Americana,
a Collection of Music and Song
from the Ragtime, Jazz, & Vaudeville Years

by Reginald W. Bacon
(Newburyport, Mass.:
Variety Arts Press, 2017)
192 pages; paperback, includes music CD
ISBN: 978-0-9977528-0-9
LOC: 20156920942

$25.00 (US) includes
book-rate shipping in the U.S.

Payment accepted by PayPal
(see full description page), check, or money order.

To order by postal mail, send order details, your shipping address, and payment to Variety Arts Enterprises, P.O. Box 489, Newburyport, MA 01950.


Current titles available:


The Visitor's Guide
to the Weeks Brick House & Gardens

A guide to the 1710 house,
gardens, public hiking trails,
and 300-year history
of the Weeks family farmstead

by Reginald W. Bacon
(Newburyport, Mass.:
Variety Arts Press, 2015)
60 pages; paperback,
ISBN: 978-0-9817945-9-4
LOC: 2015914615

$16.00 (US) includes
book-rate shipping in the U.S.

Payment accepted by PayPal
(see full description page), check, or money order.

To order by postal mail, send order details, your shipping address, and payment to Variety Arts Enterprises, P.O. Box 489, Newburyport, MA 01950.


The Wesley H. Bacon Reader:
Pursuits, Passions, & Peregrinations
of a 20th-Century Autodidact

Memoirs, Short Stories, & Scripts
by Wesley H. Bacon

(compiled & edited,
with biographical sketch
& career profiles
by Reginald W. Bacon)
(Newburyport, Mass.:
Variety Arts Press, 2015)
304 pages; includes
annotations & endnotes.
ISBN: 978-0-9817945-3-2
LOC: 2015909074

$16.00 (US) includes
book-rate shipping in the U.S.

Payment accepted by PayPal
(see full description page), check, or money order.

To order by postal mail, send order details, your shipping address, and payment to Variety Arts Enterprises, P.O. Box 489, Newburyport, MA 01950.


Two companion books on writing,
editing, typography, & design

The Cranky Typographer's
Book of Major Annoyances:
Helpful Graphics Tips
for Do-It-Yourself Designers

By Reginald W. Bacon
(Newburyport, Mass.:
Variety Arts Press, 2014)
240 pages; indexed
ISBN: 978-0-9817945-7-0
LOC: 2013921717

$20.00 (US) includes
book-rate shipping in the U.S.

Payment accepted by PayPal
(see full description page), check, or money order.

Look for the SPECIAL DISCOUNT when you buy BOTH The Cranky Editor and The Cranky Typographer companion books. See the full description page for details and easy online payment via PayPal.

To order by postal mail, send order details, your shipping address, and payment to Variety Arts Enterprises, P.O. Box 489, Newburyport, MA 01950.


The Cranky Editor's
Book of Intolerable Fox Paws
(Oops! Faux Pas!):
Helpful Writing & Style Tips
So You Won't Look Stoopid

By Reginald W. Bacon
(Newburyport, Mass.:
Variety Arts Press, 2014)
148 pages; indexed
ISBN: 978-0-9817945-6-3
LOC: 2013956190

$16.00 (US) includes
book-rate shipping in the U.S.

Payment accepted by PayPal
(see full description page), check, or money order.

Look for the SPECIAL DISCOUNT when you buy BOTH
The Cranky Editor and The Cranky Typographer companion books. See the full description page for details and easy online payment via PayPal.

To order by postal mail, send order details, your shipping address, and payment to Variety Arts Enterprises, P.O. Box 489, Newburyport, MA 01950.


Early Families of Middletown, Conn.
- Vol. I: 1650-1654

By Reginald W. Bacon
(Newburyport, Mass.:
Variety Arts Press, 2012)
195 large-format pages; indexed
ISBN: 978-0-9817945-5-6
LOC: 2012949502

$50.00 (US) includes
book-rate shipping in the U.S.

Payment accepted by PayPal
(see full description page),
check, or money order.

To order by postal mail, send order details, your shipping address, and payment to Variety Arts Enterprises, P.O. Box 489, Newburyport, MA 01950.


Just a Tot in Tannersville:
The Recollections of
a Railroad Avenue Boy
on the Busy Summer Life
of the 1950s

(Two books in one,
incorporating
A Micro-History of the
Tannersville Four-Corners)

By Reginald W. Bacon
(Newburyport, Mass.:
Variety Arts Press, 2011)
106 large-format pages; indexed
ISBN: 978-0-9817945-2-5
LOC: 2008931627

$40.00 (US) includes book-rate shipping in the U.S.

Payment accepted by PayPal (see full description page),
check, or money order.

To order by postal mail, send order details, your shipping address, and payment to Variety Arts Enterprises, P.O. Box 489, Newburyport, MA 01950.


3 1/2 Centuries in Greenland:
The Weeks Brick House Farm
of Greenland, N.H.

By Neill DePaoli, Ph.D.
(Newburyport, Mass.:
Variety Arts Press, 2010)
44 large-format pages
ISBN: 978-0-9817945-4-9

Please note that this publication is available for purchase through the Weeks Brick House & Gardens.

$25.00 (US) includes shipping.

Payment accepted by PayPal (at the Weeks Brick House & Gardens web site), check, or money order.

To order by postal mail, send order details, your shipping address, and payment directly to the Weeks Brick House & Gardens, P.O. Box 93, Greenland, NH 03840.


The Juggler's Manual of
Manipulative Miscellanea:
The Classic Skills with Top Hat,
Cane, Plates, Nesting Cups,
and Assorted Objects

By Reginald W. Bacon a.k.a "Mr. Slim"
(Newburyport, Mass.:
Variety Arts Press, 1984)
104 pages; illustrated
ISBN: 978-0-9817945-1-8
LOC: 85-050557

$15.00 (US) includes
book-rate shipping in the U.S.

Payment accepted by PayPal (see full description page),
check, or money order.

To order by postal mail, send order details, your shipping address, and payment to Variety Arts Enterprises, P.O. Box 489, Newburyport, MA 01950.

This book may also be purchased from the premiere juggling prop and book dealers, including Brian Dube, Inc., 520 Broadway, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10012; 800-763-0909.


The Juggler's Manual of
Cigar Box Manipulation & Balance

By Reginald W. Bacon a.k.a. "Mr. Slim"
(Newburyport, Mass.:
Variety Arts Press, 1983)
100 pages; illustrated
ISBN: 978-0-9817945-0-1
LOC: 83-050036

$15.00 (US) includes
book-rate shipping in the U.S.

Payment accepted by PayPal
(see full description page), check, or money order.

To order by postal mail, send order details, your shipping address, and payment to Variety Arts Enterprises, P.O. Box 489, Newburyport, MA 01950.

This book may also be purchased from the premiere juggling prop and book dealers, including Brian Dube, Inc., 520 Broadway, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10012; 800-763-0909.


Looking for R.W. Bacon, showbusiness version?

To those looking for the veteran acrobatic juggler/unicyclist, jazz tenor banjoist, and comic dancer --- Yes, that's me. I am recently retired from a 35-year career in commercial showbusiness, but still keep much of the repertoire stage-ready, and include performance excerpts in the Vaudeville history presentation for museums, "A Vaudeville Retrospective." My wife and partner, the sensational club-juggler L.J. Newton, retired from the stage in 1999. We are still happy, healthy, and injury-free after a well-traveled career. (See the Variety Arts Enterprises web site for additional information, especially the profiles on selected mentors and friends.) Since I was a journalist/editor/designer before showbusiness, and a researcher/author/ historian during, the transition to the museum field was a natural fit. To distant friends, longtime fans, fellow performers, and former juggling/circus arts students, I would be glad to hear of your recent adventures. To new friends and museum colleagues intrigued about the performing arts career, please feel free to explore the various links at the Variety Arts Enterprises web site. Thank you. --- Reg Bacon