First Manual of Phi Delta Theta Printed


The first printing of the Manual of Phi Delta Theta occurred in April 1896. Written by W. B. Palmer, it was fifty-four pages. The sections included were: I–Sketch of the Fraternity, II–Prominent Members, III–Statistics of the Fraternity, and IV–Statistics of Colleges. Palmer attributes the idea for such a publication to J. W. Mayer, CCNY 1884. He said, “The information containing the origin, progress, and present standing of Phi Delta Theta which this work presents is such as members of the Fraternity by all means should possess, but which heretofore has been very difficult for them to obtain. The book certainly has the merit of novelty, being the first of its kind ever issued.”

The edition costs 50 cents for a cloth edition or 30 cents for paper. The initial printing of four hundred copies quickly sold out. Several notable Phis commented on The Manual, including C. A. Foster, who said, “In regard to fraternity matters it is as indispensable as a Webster’s Unabridged to a student.”