First edition (1911-1914)

The Official Handbook for Boys, first edition (1911-1914; 315,000 copies printed). Author credit: BSA Editorial Board & various experts. Illustrator: Gordon Grant.

In an unprecedented promotional scheme in 1911, Chief Scout Executive James E. West sent 4,500 proof copies of the Handbook to educators for comment. The first edition of the book was published only two months later - not enough time for any revisions based on the educators' feedback. But West's idea had effectively promoted the newly-established American program for boys.