Grosset and Dunlap frequently reprinted books that were originally published by other companies. The Beverly Gray series is one example. When Grosset and Dunlap took over the Beverly Gray series, the dust jackets were altered so that Grosset and Dunlap's name appeared on the bottom spine instead of A. L. Burt. You will notice that a yellow rectangular area was used to cover the original publisher's name.
Grosset and Dunlap had little need to make alterations to any of the dust jackets for the books that it originally published. However, some examples of altered Grosset and Dunlap dust jacket spines exist.
The white spine Nancy Drew and Judy Bolton dust jackets were created for books that were approximately 1 1/4 inches thick. The next two pictures show some examples of very early or first printing Nancy Drew and Judy Bolton books with dust jackets.
As the years passed, the jackets stayed the same, but the books became less thick. Eventually, the thickness of the books was reduced to slightly less than one inch. The reduction in thickness caused the spines of the jackets to be wider than the spines of the books, so the edges of the spines folded over to the front and/or back covers of the books. The next two pictures show the same Nancy Drew and Judy Bolton titles but for books that were printed much later.
The titles no longer fit nicely on the spines of the books like they did for the early printings. I used to believe that Grosset and Dunlap never redesigned any of its white spine dust jackets until around five years ago when I ran across a copy of the Judy Bolton book, The Mysterious Half Cat, which has a redesigned spine with much smaller print. In fact, the print is so small and uniform and the white spine so very white that the jacket gives off the appearance of a modern reproduction. Shown below from left to right are examples of an early thick printing, a later less thick printing, and the redesigned spine version.
The jacket is an original Grosset and Dunlap jacket, not a reproduction. I have seen two of them, and one other person recently reported finding one. My jacket lists to #31 The Discovery at the Dragon's Mouth. By the time Dragon's Mouth was published, the Judy Bolton printings were irregular, so I am not sure whether any other tweed printings exist with the revised spine.
As far as I know, no other Judy Bolton white spine jackets were redesigned. A few years after I found the Judy Bolton redesigned jacket, I found a tweed Nancy Drew book, The Mystery of the Tolling Bell, with a partially redesigned spine. Seen below from left to right are the first printing jacket, a tweed jacket with the original spine design, and the partially redesigned jacket.
The top and bottom portions of the spine were changed. The title, author, publisher, and volume number were all reduced in size. Look very carefully at the picture and you will see that the bottom part of the spine has a black rectangular-shaped area that covers what was originally on that part of the spine. The background change for the top spine is much harder to spot. Look underneath "KEENE" where a small area of color lift is in the center of the spine. Going through the spine slightly under the spot of color lift is the bottom of the black rectangular-shaped area that covers the top part of the spine.
Six printings of Tolling Bell have the redesigned spine dust jacket. This makes the redesigned jacket somewhat scarce, but the print runs from around 1960 were rather large, so quite a few of them exist.
If anyone has ever spotted any other redesigned spines, please leave a comment either here or on my Facebook page.