GenealogyMagazine.com - Biographies
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, publishing companies sent representatives across America to compile local histories and interview area residents. To finance the printing, representatives sold prepublication copies. These volumes are sometimes called mug books. Those wanting to see their biography in print had to purchase the book in advance. Aside from the flattery adorning these biographies, mug books are often valuable sources for the genealogist.