University of Texas at Austin

The Greenwich Village Bookshop Door: A Portal to Bohemia, 1920-1925

Identified individuals are represented by a biographical sketch, a list of connections to other signatures, and, in most cases, an artifact from the Ransom Centers collections. Help us identify more signatures by submitting your suggested identification.


Franklin Abbott

Achmed Abdullah

Mary Aldis

George William Amis

Sherwood Anderson

Egmont Arens

Mary Austin

Eugene S. Bagger


Winslow M. Bell

William Rose Benét

Florence Blackstone

Paul J. Blackstone

David William Bone

Albert Boni

Charles Boni

Ernest Augustus Boyd

Will Bradley

Berton Braley

Max M. Breslow

Heywood Broun

Albert Brush

Arthur Caesar

Henry Seidel Canby

Jonathan Cape

Gene Carr

Oscar Edward Cesare

Christine Challenger

Betty Ross Clarke

Helen Louise Cohen

Alta May Coleman

Seward Collins

Frank Conroy

George Cram Cook

John Cournos

Bosworth Crocker

J. Vincent Crowne

Homer Croy

Mary Carolyn Davies

Helena Smith Dayton

Fred Erving Dayton

Floyd Dell

S. A. DeWitt

Roy Dickinson

Charles Divine

Alice Willits Donaldson

John Dos Passos

Theodore Dreiser

Joseph Drum

Robert L. Eaton

Laurie York Erskine

Wilfred Ewart

Henry Guy Fangel

John Chipman Farrar

Hugh Ferriss

Arthur Davison Ficke

John Bernard Flannagan

Dwight Franklin

James Earle Fraser

Joseph Lewis French

Robert Frothingham

Barney Gallant

Porter Garnett

Susan Glaspell

Montague Glass

Joseph Gollomb

Herbert S. Gorman

Stephen Graham

Dorothy L. A. Grant

Harry Wagstaff Gribble

William Gropper

Louise Closser Hale

Harry Hansen

Sadakichi Hartmann

Josephine Herbst

John Herrmann

W. E. Hill

Elisabeth Sanxay Holding

Robert Cortes Holliday

Terence Holliday

Guy Holt

Holland Hudson

Peter Lord Templeton Hunt

Frank Townsend Hutchens

Lewis Jackson

Norman Jacobsen

Rutger Bleecker Jewett

Orrick Johns

Merle De Vore Johnson

Jeanne Judson

Harry Kemp

Bernice Lesbia Kenyon

John G. Kidd

William A. (William Albion) Kittredge

Eastwood Lane

Lawrence Langner

Christian Leden

Courtenay Lemon

Sinclair Lewis

Ludwig Lewisohn

Max Liebermann

Nicholas Vachel Lindsay

Preston Lockwood

Hendrick Willem Van Loon

Lingard Loud

Pierre Loving

Orson Lowell

C. R. Macauley

Kenneth Macgowan

Lawton Mackall

Hector MacQuarrie

John Albert Macy

Jane Mander

Don Marquis

H. A. Mathes

William McFee

Alexander McKay

Hawley McLanahan

Charles M. McLean

Ada Jaffray McVickar

Scudder Middleton

George Middleton

John Mistletoe

Roy Mitchell

Christopher Morley

Robert Nathan

Dudley Nichols

Robert Nichols

Charles Norman

Joseph Jefferson O'Neil

Florence O'Neill

Ivan Opffer

Martha Ostenso

Lou Paley

Edmund Lester Pearson

Basil H. Pillard

Ethel McClellan Plummer

Alexander Popini

William MacLeod Raine

Ben Ray Redman

Charles J. Reed

Lola Ridge

Felix Riesenberg

W. Adolphe Roberts

Edwin Arlington Robinson

Edwin (Ted) Meade Robinson

Bruce Rogers

L. Stuart Rose

Herb Roth

Edward Royce

Tony Sarg

Jacob Salwyn Schapiro

Walter Schnackenberg

Thomas Seltzer

Fern Forrester Shay

Margaret Badollet Caldwell Shotwell

Emil Siebern

Upton Sinclair

John Sloan

Thorne Smith

David Tosh Smith

Robert A. Smith

Charles Somerville

Vincent Starrett

Vilhjalmur Stefansson

Donald Ogden Stewart

Gordon Stiles

Emily Strunsky

Genevieve Taggard

Gardner Teall

Sara Teasdale

Lloyd M. Thomas

Basil Thompson

Paul Thompson

Helen Thurlow

Adolph Treidler

Peter Underhill

Harvey P. Vaughn

Walter Vodges

C. A. Voight

Mary Heaton Vorse

Webb Waldron

J. Leeming Walker

Foster Ware

John V. A. Weaver

Luther E. Widen

Edward Arthur Wilson

Lily Winner

Robert L. Wolf

Cuthbert Wright


Theodore F. Zucker


Location on door: front, panel 2

Fiction Writers



Magazine Editors



World War I Soldiers


Born in Annapolis, Maryland, James Thorne Smith (1892-1934) had a brief but prolific career as a best-selling comic novelist. He began his working years as an advertising copy-writer, but soon turned to fiction writing. He joined the U.S. Navy in 1917 and worked as an editor and writer for The Broadside, a newspaper for enlisted men. His stories about an inept serviceman, Biltmore Oswald, became wildly popular among the magazine's readers. After the war, he moved to Greenwich Village, where he became friends with writers such as Sinclair Lewis and had a brief affair with Dorothy Parker. He continued to work in advertising while trying to succeed as a poet. After marrying in 1919, he and his wife frequently visited the experimental community of Free Acres in nearby New Jersey. In 1926, he achieved sudden literary stardom when his comic supernatural novel Topper was published to great success. The scandalous story of a strait-laced businessman visited by two free-spirited ghosts was packed with sex and drinking. Smith published prolifically for the next several years, mostly in the same vein as Topper. Having been plagued by repeated bouts of pneumonia, he died of a sudden heart attack at the age of 40. Various of his books were made into films and television series and continued to enjoy large readerships for many years. Despite the fact that Smith is little known today, his books have a lingering influence in popular culture; for instance, his novel Turnabout (1931), was the basis for the final episode of the original Star Trek series.





  • View larger image
  • X

    Creator: Smith, Thorne, 1892-1934

    Title: Dust jacket from Topper, A Ribald Adventure

    Imprint: New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1926.

    Item Date: 1926

    Material Type: Monographs

    ADA Caption: Dust jacket from Topper, A Ribald Adventure

    Curatorial Department: Book Collection

    Collection Name: Rare Books Collection

    Stack Location: PZ 3 S6616 Tn5

    Copyright Notices: Some of the documents shown here are subject to U. S. copyright law. It is the user's sole responsibility to contact the copyright holder and secure any necessary copyright permission to publish documents, texts, and images from any holders of rights in these materials. As the owner of the physical object (not the underlying copyright), the Ransom Center requires that you also contact us if you wish to reproduce an image shown here in a print publication or electronically.

    Every effort has been made to trace copyright ownership and to obtain permission for reproduction. If you believe you are the copyright owner of an item on this site, and we have not requested your permission, please contact us.


  • View metadata

The dust jacket for Topper: A Ribald Adventure (New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1926)

This wildly popular book transformed Thorne Smith from a starving Bohemian to a best-selling novelist, and its success lasted well beyond his short life. A 1937 film adaptation featured Cary Grant and Constance Bennett as the ghosts, and a television series, launched in 1953, ran for 79 episodes.