The Great Gatsby: Printings from the First Edition

The Great Gatsby: Printings from the First Edition

Monday, Jan 16, 2023 12:00 AM

Early 1925 plates made by the New York Electrotyping Company (composed by the Scribner Press). 

April 10th 1925 the Scribner Press prints and bounds 20,870 copies of the first printing. There are six errors within the text that are corrected for all later printings. These errors are: 

Page 60 (line 16) chatter is changed to echolalia 

Page 119 (line 22) northern is changed to southern

Page 165 (line 16) it's is changed to its

Page 165 (line 29) away is changed to away.

Page 205 (lines 9-10) sick in tired is changed to sickantired

Page 211 (lines 7-8) Union Street station is changed to Union Station



First state dust jackets had a lowercase j that was salvaged by running the jackets by hand back through the press to overprint the uppercase J over the lowercase. Second state copies corrected this typographic error. Cover art is by Francis Cugat (Celestial Eyes). 


August 1925 the Scribner Press prints and bounds 3,000 copies of the second printing. The copyright page does not differ from the first printing. Second printing copies are only identifiable by the six textual errors above that are corrected.  The dust jacket (third state) contains Cugat's "Celestial Eyes" artwork but the rear panel and inside flaps are changed. Some third state jackets occasionally are found on first printing books. 


Late 1925 Scribers leases their plates to Chatto & Windus in Great Britain. 


February 1926 Chatto & Windus prints and bounds an unknown amount of copies. This is the first English publication of the novel, but is not a new edition. This is the third printing from the first edition since the original plates were used. Chatto & Windus bound an additional 350 copies in 1927 using cheaper binding. It is unknown if these are a new printing or left over remainder copies from 1926. The dust jacket contains Cugat's "Celestial Eyes" artwork. The rear panel advertises "New Fiction Published by Chatto & Windus" and the inside flaps are blank except for "7S. NET" located on the lower front flap. 


September 13, 1934 The Modern Library prints and bounds approximately 5,000 copies using the original Scribner plates making this the fourth printing from the first edition. Books are gold-stamped and bound in either blue, green, brown, or red cloth. This is the first (and only) "Gatsby" book with an introduction by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Most of these books did not sell and were returned to the publisher. Unsold copies have a remaindered stamp from the publisher located on the rear inner cover of a red star and dust jackets were stamped on the front panel "DISCONTINUED TITLE" in red ink. 


August 1942 Scribners prints and bounds an extremely limited number of copies (250) from the original plates making this the fifth printing from the first edition. 



December 1945 New Directions uses the original plates to print and bound the sixth printing from the first edition. A new introduction by Lionel Trilling is included.


In 1949 the original plates are used by Grosset & Dunlap to print and bound the seventh printing of the first edition.