Written in their own hand---
I enjoy the experience first hand of holding in my hands and reading some of the things that people wrote by hand, or collected and stuck in an album, or elegantly inscribed in autograph books, scrawled in diaries, journals, in letters, on postcards, in the years when our fathers and mothers, and all the generations before them, were building this country. You might enjoy it, as well.
This is a very personal collection… young people, their eyes full of the future, penning elegant poetry to each other, but often including a grim stanza about death; a scrapbook of clippings carefully pasted into a book a century ago...a woman’s collection of her babies’ photos…postcards to and from young soldiers in World War I and World War II...a postcard to a young man about to go to jail. Also, Easter, Christmas, New Year’s, Thanksgiving and Valentine’s cards.
You’ll see things from other countries in our collection, too. A letter from an officer in the Royal Navy beseeching his boss, the Admiral, about a matter relating to damage to his ship, in 1821...A scrapbook of postcards from Sweden.
These pages are a part of our extensive collection of ephemera. To find more, search ABE.com using keyword “ephemera”.
Enjoy what you find here, and let me know if you have something you’d like to offer me! —The Personal Navigator
Building a sewer system for Boston, 1878-81
Three personal handwritten diaries (1879-1881) in the life of Eliot C. Clarke, Principal Assistant Engineer for Improved Sewerage, the man who built the Boston Sewer System 1878-1881 Boston, MA: City of Boston. The man responsible for building and maintaining Boston's sewer system in the years after the Civil War kept these handwritten diaries of his work from Sep. 7, 1878 to Dec. 19, 1881. Clarke was a prominent figure in Public Health and Civil Engineering in those days, and his work was interconnected not only with building, maintaining and expanding Boston's storm drain and sewer system, but the many railroads and horse railways criss-crossing the city, as well as streets and the system of collecting slops, house trash and ashes from residences and businesses all over the city, and collecting and disposing of dead animals daily. Clarke gave papers at national Public Health forums, and wrote a mountain of documentation on Boston's sewer system, covering sewer design, interconnections, manholes, pumps, and sewage through pipes that could backflood during high tides, causing noxious gases to back up in cellars across the city. He found a solution in intercepting sewer systems, and described this in a presentation at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1879, and later in a book published in 1885. His diaries record daily encounters with his fellow administrators and engineers, foremen, developers, builders, politicians and the public. His writing is organized, literate and complete. 7.3 x 12 cm. Three small booklets one 9.7 x 15 cm, pages nearly all filled; two 7.5 x 12 Standard 19th c. diaries, gilt edged pages, very good. In 1880 one-third of pages are filled out, in 1881, one-half are filled out. All very good. (8111) $480.00. American Originals/Engineering
Hattie's 1874 Diary (Handwritten) by Weston, Hattie 1874 Hancock, NH: Handwritten diary. Hattie Weston is a young girl living in Hancock Village in New Hampshire, and she is the most hopeful, optimistic, positive girl you will hope to encounter. She writes about her daily life with Mother, Edward, younger brother Ned, her work in the house, her teaching scholars, and attending the "Good Templars", Temperance organization. She goes shopping in Peterboro. She plays the organ, and attends prayer services and Meeting. Last entry is Sunday, Oct. 25, 1874, when she writes that she went to meeting, enjoyed the sermon, but confesses that "my thoughts were wayward." This little diary gives reader a marvelous insight into a young woman's life in the last half of the Nineteenth Century Standard diary with almanac material, postage rates, currency, weights and measures, etc. printed in front. Pencil and ink entries for about 60% of book, remainder blank. Mentions friends Lettie Goodhue, Ida Johnson. ~400 pp. 6.5 x 10 cm. Leather diary, standard 19th century type, spine and leather closure flap badly suffering from biopredation, text block very good. (8124) $48.00. American Originals/Ephemera
Inskrifningsbok (1902 års applaga) for Bard, Ernst Johan Leonard, Född 13 okt. 1882 [Swedish inscription book] 1905 Jönköping, Sweden: Personal papers. Inscription book in Swedish, containing military service record of Ernst Johan Leonard Bard of Jönköping, Sweden indicate he served in an artillery regiment in 1903-04. Inserted in book are several papers, including letter in Swedish, a sheet of information from Svenska Amerika Linien for passage aboard Motorfatyget "Gripsholm" from Göteborg to Halifax and New York; A letter from (?) the Ford motor dealer in Skillingaryd dated 08-19-1930 about Herr E.J. Bard's car registration; Flyttningsbetyg document (flyttar till Amerika) for E.J.L. Bard den 24 Mars 1906; and a Swedish Traffic Insurance Policy for Herr Bard, dated 1930. 56 pp. 10 x 17 cm. Book, paper on board cover, very good, with cloth pocket containing listed documents. (6804) $20.00. American Originals
Mary Norton's Autograph Book, Maynard, Mass., 1879 Norton, Mary A. 1879 Maynard, MA: ephemera. Mary started this autograph book in 1879. It contains sentimental inscriptions from friends and relatives, mostly from Maynard, MA and Halifax, Nova Scotia. "Remember me till death shall close these eyelids…" from Katie Snee, Maynard. Includes small embroidery of a Bible with a cross, with flowers on it. 17 x 10 cm. Leather autograph book, spine leather torn off, some damp stain on first few pages, fair. (7688) $28.00. American Originals
Joyeaux Trio from Ruth's Post Cards, 1928
Ruth's Post Card Travelogue, 1928 by Bradford, Ruth Boston, MA: Ruth Bradford, 18 Cedarlane Way. Ruth is on the "grand tour" of Europe, and sends home this detailed, colorful report of her adventures, carefully described on the backs of 22 post cards. She watches the fireworks for Bastille Day at Biarritz and warns her friend Lucia to stay clear of Nice. She tells about the violent hailstorm as her group drives through the Pyrenees. Luncheon in Quimper, visit to the potteries. 22 cards 9 x 14 cm. Twenty-two photographic post cards with a detailed travel journal written on backs. Very good. (6337) $65.00. American Originals/Travel
Travel Diary of Mrs. Harry Worcester, 1954 handwritten by Worcester, Mrs. Harry 1954. West Swanzey, NH: ephemera 28 pp. 10 x 16 cm. Leather "Travels Abroad" Diary: Mrs. Harry Worcester records trip she and husband took from Keene, NH to NYC, thence from Idlewild Airport via KLM Lockheed Constellation first to Gander, Nfld, then to London, then to Brighton by train; Banquet at Strand Hotel; met Mayor Dudley; back to London, tour, then by train to York, touring, visit The Shambles, on to Edinburgh; touring Scotland, then to Glasgow and steamer to Belfast, N. Ireland; train to Dublin; Dun Laoghaire then steamer to Holyhead, and train for Caernarvon, Wales; Criccieth to Bristol, then London; flight to Chaumont, France; Harry visited places where he trained during World War I; Neuf Chateau, Verdun; Paris, Chalons-sur-Marne; sleeper train to Basel, CH, then Lucerne, Zurich, then another sleeper for Calais; rough crossing to Folkestone, then to London; flight home on KLM Connie to Shannon, Gander and Idlewild. Green leather Travel Diary (only 28 pages of entries) with unused pencil in loop, very good. (7644) $30.00. American Originals/Travel/Ephemera
Upstate New York Journal by Bill and Cora 1949 Near Easton, NY: ephemera. Daily entries for year 1949, first by Bill, noting carpentry work, planting peas, onions, strawberries, buying a truck, around Glens Falls, Cambridge, Easton, NY, then rest of the year by wife, Cora, noting all the canning, cooking, preserving. Attending weddings, funerals. Noting when neighbors died. Summer trips to Lake George, Bennington, VT. Killing chickens. Baking mince pies for Thanksgiving. "We all went over to James to Xmas dinner at night. Turkey and all the trimmings." Simple life of rural Americans right after end of World War II. ~190 pp. 13 x 20 cm. Leatherette book with ring binding, two days per page, completely filled out. Very good. (6730) $36.00. American Originals
USS General H.W. Butner: This is The Ship I Sailed On--Personal Memento of young Soldier 1959 Seattle, WA: Photo Publishing Co. Little booklet contains photos of happy soldiers and military families boarding Troopship USS General H.W. Butner (T-AP 113) which carried thousands from U.S. to Bremerhaven, Germany during early years of Cold War. On cover the young soldier wrote in ink: "Sailed from Savannah, Georgia on April 30, 1959. Arrived in Bremerhaven, Germany on May 10, 1959." He makes a few comments on photos in book, indicating that actual conditions are not quite as nice as depicted. On back cover is map of Atlantic Ocean, USA and Europe. 32 pp. 19 x 13 cm. Paper booklet with personal ink inscriptions as described. Very good. (8129) $20.00. American Originals/Nautical
30 Norwood St., Rockport, by Walter Kendall, Architect
Walter Kendall Architect--Architecture sketches and drawings collection and Detailed Photo History of Property at Rockport, MA 1957-58 1958 Rockport, MA: Kendall & Young, Architects. Loose-leaf notebook filled with drawings, sketches and notes, "Architecture collected by W.J. Kendall". Includes photos by famous architects, Church of St. Vincent Ferrer by Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue, Architect; Choir Screen, Reredos of St. Thomas Church, New York, by B.G. Goodhue, Architect; many more. Sixteen page album of color photographs of project moving two homes together near ocean in Rockport, Massachusetts by Kendall and Young, 1957-58. 24 x 28 cm. Cloth covered loose-leaf notebook, lightly soiled, good; Photo album of 16 heavy card pages with photos pasted on. Good. (8034) $90.00. American Originals/Ephemera
Cartoons from WWII Sailor's Photo Album; WWII Sailor
World War II Sailor's Photo Album, ca. 1945 ~23 pp. 25 x 29 cm. World War II sailor collected photos of girls, Navy blimps, his ship USS Zircon (PY-16), more girls, other sailors. Includes three small handmade sailor cartoons, two large photos of girls, charcoal sketch of young man, group photo of 1945 class at Naval Academy Preparatory School, Camp Peary, VA. Leatherette photo album with photos inserted in plastic sheets, good. (5686) $50.00. American Originals/World War II/Navy/Ephemera
Certificate of Appointment, 1815
Certificate of Appointment of Lieutenant Francis Burbank to Vermont Militia, 1815 by Martin Chittenden, Esq., Seventh Governor of Vermont. 1815 Montpelier, VT: State of Vermont. Seventh Governor of Vermont, Martin Chittenden (1763-1840) also Captain-General and Commander in Chief of State signed this appointment of War of 1812 veteran to Lieutenant of 5th Company, 3rd Regiment, First Brigade and Second Division of State Militia on July 22, 1815. On reverse is signed statement by Burbank in which he "solemnly swears to support the constitution of the United States"; attested to by C. Roberts, Brigadier General. According to records, Burbank was drafted to serve in 1812. Also on reverse is discharge of Burbank in 1819, also signed by Brigadier General Roberts. Martin Chittenden was governor 1813-1815, which included a crucial portion of the War of 1812. Document is sealed with State Seal, with motto "Freedom & Unity". 1 sheet 32 x 19.5 cm. Paper certificate with seal of State of Vermont, good. (8062) $200.00. Ephemera/History