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January 24

An Autograph booklet, by Felix

My husband Felix has a propensity to be drawn towards the strange, unique items that gives one a brief insight into someone else’s past like a box of old photographs as well as other oddities that are just plain quirky.

Late last summer he and I started reguarly attending our local flea market and he’s taken lots of images of the things he likes.  He usually doesn’t purchase much, he has fun just talking with vendors and snapping photos.  But it was at the last Vintage Bazaar that Felix and I attended wherein he made his second (vintage) purchase of an old Autograph book from the late 1800’s from Dethrose Vintage.

It’s filled with autographs and messages from people, with the earliest date being 1879 which makes this book 133 years old!

Here’s a snipped that Felix wrote about the book:

Even as I’m writing this, it’s hard for me to imagine the weight of 132 years (years!), tucked into such a small and fragile thing – a vessel of paper and ink, barely held together by its binding.

My plan is to try to scan and post a new image, each day. These scans will show up as regular blog posts… but I’ll also be collecting them under a different category: found objects. I’ve also created a dedicated project page, which will contain links to all the individual posts and every single high-res scan of the autograph book.

If you ever want to see every page in one spot, you can see them here.

I’m pretty excited by this project, and I’m really looking forward to sharing each page with you. I haven’t read through the whole thing yet, so I’ll be discovering things as I scan and post them. Almost everything in this book has been written in cursive – which makes reading a few of the pages a little tricky. I’m going to be taking my best guess in most cases, but I would really love to hear feedback from others. It’s going to be entirely possible that you’ll spot something that I might have missed.

So far Felix has made 8 blog entries where he posts the page and deciphers the hard to read elegant handwriting.

First post of the Autograph Booklet Cover

Main Autograph Project Site, with all of the original scans as well as the transcript that Felix made for each page (enableing me to read the writing).  He usually posts one page per week.

Here’s one of more recent pages that I loved:

I thought it was such a wonderful idea of Felix’s to share this book with everyone that I also wanted to share it with you guys.  I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do.

  1. Jane / Jan 24 2012

    This totally reminds me of that story in one of the later Little House books, when autograph albums were a big fad. Little Town on the Prairie, maybe? That scan you posted looks a lot like one of the verses Laura’s friends write.

  2. Suzie / Jan 24 2012

    What a lovely find. Thank you to you and Felix for sharing it with us!

  3. Amanda D. / Jan 24 2012

    Such a cute find. I deal with attempting to decipher this era of handwriting all the time so I know the frustrations! But did they ever have penmanship. Love that the entry is from Brooklyn!

  4. Qui / Jan 24 2012

    wow, the handwriting is gorgeous–that’s mastery of the pen that one rarely sees today! Thank you for sharing, what a cool find.

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