1975 - The First Modern Mass Cultural Phenomenon

Official website of the

International Jaws Collecting Society

"ALMOST THREE MILLION COPIES SOLD IN PAN ALONE" - and we want them all!


No. of copies

Latest Addition: 23rd July 2003

117  

Competition

Background to the society

The society now owns over 100 copies of Jaws! Our ambition to celebrate the millennium in style with our Jaws centenary has been achieved! But we're not stopping there...

Estimated outlay on collection: 35.59

Original worth of collection: 80.55

Estimated current worth of collection: very little.


Facts about Jaws Collecting:

  • On its original release in 1975, the book cost 60 pence. This swiftly rose to 70 pence.
  • There were 19 printings in 1975.
  • Following the 22nd edition in 1976 the book was reissued, with a new cover and the logo in red. The price increased to 1.25, and later to 1.50. The new edition was also appproximately 40mm shorter. And the picture wasn't as good.
  • All subsequent editions continue to claim that they are the "22nd edition 1976", even though they obviously aren't.
  • Other books of which there are many in circulation include Star Wars, Dallas and The Moon's a Balloon by David Niven (the latter suggested by both my associate A.J. Dale and Select magazine)
  • Other books which look like Jaws from a distance: Cobra; Coma; Banco
  • In the book, the shark is always referred to as 'the fish'.

Facts about the society's collection, by founder member Paul Morris:

  • I still need a copy of the first edition paperback.
  • 24 of my copies of Jaws were once exhibited in Sheffield Art Gallery! Only because I entered a competition, mind. The theme was 'box art' - a little-known art form (practised by Yoko Ono, among others) which simply consists of a piece of art in or around or in some other way utilising a box. The gallery provided boxes for aspiring artists to fill, and I filled mine with Jaws. (See photo below.)
  • My display was originally going to be called '1975 - The First Modern Mass Cultural Phenomenon'. However, the Sunday Times pointed out that 'the visual impact of a work is usually in inverse proportion to the length of the title' - so I called it 'The Fish' instead.
  • I have never read Jaws.

Recent Additions to the Collection:
No. Date Place Cost Edition
117 5th July 2003 Second-hand bookshop, Ashford 50p 2nd
116 February 2003 Unknown 50p 14th
115 27th May 2002 Swanage Railway Station 30p 14th
114 2nd November 2001 [Donated by Simon Scott] 2.50 14th
113 1st November 2001 York [Donated by Ellie Townsend] 50p 22nd
112 28th July 2001 Second Hand bookshop, Dover 1.99 22nd
111 14th July 2001 Charity Shop, Eastbourne 10p 22nd (red)
110 14th July 2001 Charity Shop, Eastbourne 40p 6th
109 25th June 2001 Charlton School Fete, Dover 10p 14th
108 7th May 2001 Car Boot Sale, Dover 40p 19th
107 7th May 2001 Car Boot Sale, Dover 20p 19th
106 13th February 2001 Save the Children shop, Tonbridge 30p 2nd
105 13th October 2000 Sue Ryder charity shop, Swaffham 59p 17th
104 24th September 2000 [Donated by Mr Michael Morris] N/A 18th
103 28th August 2000 Car Boot Sale, Sandwich 30p 18th
102 12th August 2000 Second-hand bookshop, Herne Bay 50p 18th
101 25th June 2000 The Hospice Shop, Canterbury 20p 14th
100 23rd February 2000 Save the Children shop, Tonbridge 30p 17th
99 6th October 1999 Street Market, Canterbury 1 18th
98 6th October 1999 Imperial Cancer Research Fund shop, Canterbury 50p 3rd
97 4th September 1999 Unknown, London [Donated by Cara Parkinson] Unknown 8th
96 3rd May 1999 Car Boot Sale, Dover 20p 15th
95 10th February 1999 Relief Fund for Romania shop, Dover 35p 2nd
94 10th February 1999 Relief Fund for Romania shop, Dover 35p 14th
93 20th January 1999 Imperial Cancer Research Fund shop, Dover 40p 18th
92 16th January 1999 OXFAM, Maidstone 89p 22nd

Here you see the overall distribution of all 101 copies which the society currently holds. Editions still required are:
  • 1st; 5th; 7th
The surge coinciding with the 14th printing suggests that this is when the film was released. If anyone can confirm on what date in 1975 Jaws was released in the UK, please e-mail the society at the address above.

 


Competition Time!

In October 1999 a competition was announced, the aim of which was to provide the society with the all-important 100th copy of Jaws. Founder and chief archivist Paul Morris offered as a prize an authentic and highly collectable 1980's "Gary Davies Key-Ring," one of only several hundred which are still sitting in a filing cabinet at the BBC.

Sadly, no entries were received before Paul himself acquired copy no. 100. To avoid this fabulous prize going to waste, the competition has now been extended. The prize will now be awarded to the first person who supplies Mr Morris with a 1st, 5th or 7th edition black-logo Jaws paperback, either in person or by post. Get scouring those charity shops!

PM

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