Wednesday, January 12, 2011

buried treasure

or What Happened When My Friend Flipped Through a 100-Year-Old-Book that I Left Lying Around.

I come from a line of collectors or curiosities.  My grandmother in particular was a great collector of old books and a number of years ago my father brought me a copy of Cushing's Manual of Parliamentary Procedure.  I believe it was not long after I started working at the Legislative Assembly which means I have carried this little volume around to six offices over nearly a decade.  I've packed and unpacked it, carefully placed it on various bookshelves and credenzas but apparently never really looked at it. 

Today my friend Julie came by my office and while waiting for me to put on my hat and coat for lunch, she started flipping through the book. 

"You know there are things in the pages, right?"
"I did not."

And what we discovered tucked in the book was my own little time capsule from 1908-1910.  Except it's better than a time-capsule because it lacked the self-conscious editing that happens when you set out to leave a record.  Instead it is a random glimpse of everyday ephemera collected by my great-great-uncle Wood a century ago.

UPDATE:  My father has informed me that Wood was not my great-great-uncle but my great-great-grandfather.  I stand corrected.  Which I assume is payback for last month's shepherd debacle.

"we sell everything" - a charming bookplate and endpapers

A collection of classic calling cards.
I love the simplicity of Elmer D. Smith's in the top right corner
Notices of life events...
And quaint advertisements...
There were very important men...

...and mysterious ladies

These colourful animals are printed on linen with the flag of their 'home' nation - educational and whimsical!
I may frame this little rhyme about Edison...

Some clippings were informative

And some humourous

And some were just odd...

My favourite may be this, the flip side of the article he was actually saving.  Beauty queens, pile creams and an ad for a housekeeper - now that's a curiousity...

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