Recently, I saw this relic at a show and it is fantastic. I thought our readers might enjoy seeing it, and the seller at Gallery BFA is kindly letting us borrow his pictures and description (now listed on ebay). Some antiques tell only a transitory story about the person or persons who once owned them. As an example, take the document discussed in "Denison Ledger: October 6, 1869 John W. Miner Receipt" which shows John W. Miner paid three months of store rent to Anson Brown. Although we know Miner paid rent on October 6, 1869, the document provides little extraneous information about Miner. The same applies to Brown.
Artifacts such as Mudgett's box are priceless in that they provide a consequential look into the lives of those who came before. See the full description below. Best, Pat
Leary's Reckoner and Form Book or the Art book of James McLaughlin and Frederick Ross of Port Jervis
Ah, this book has seen better days or, looking at it from the flipside, it has been used well in the past 146 years. In the days before electronic calculators (or cell phones with calculators), Leary's Reckoner and Form Book was carried around or kept closely on hand as a means to quickly perform accurate calculations. This particular example was printed in 1870 and the pocket-sized book also contains standard forms such as those used by merchants and others in days long gone. Young James McLaughlin of Port Jervis, New York took another view. He decided the book's endpapers would best be served to showcase his artwork. Another youngster, Frederick Ross, followed McLaughlin's lead.
As the article states, "53 years ago, Miss Elizabeth Whitcraft and Elijah B. Clowe were married in Ohio...." The monumental 53rd wedding anniversary was well worth a mention in the local newspaper (right now the identity of the newspaper is unknown). Clearly, the event was important event to the Whitcraft family member who assembled the scrapbook, but who were the couple celebrating their 53rd?
Elijah Bell Clowe was born on March 10, 1825 and his future bride, Sarah Elizabeth Whitcraft, was born in 1833. According to one source, the couple was married in Ohio on August 8, 1850.1 During the American Civil War, Clowe served in the 151st and 189th Ohio Volunteers.2 A newspaper article suggested that Sarah Elizabeth Whitcraft Clowe suffered some form of paralysis, but little detail was given except to state that she was not bedridden from the disorder.3 Either paralysis came upon the poor woman later in life, or it was not too debilitating, for the union produced seven children.
Unfortunately, Sarah Elizabeth Whitcraft Clowe died mere months after celebrating their 53rd wedding anniversary. She died on November 20, 1903. Elijah Clowe died not too terribly long after his wife of 53 years, passing on January 3, 1905.
The dates as they appear on their monument in the Holton Cemetery do not quite gel with the ages provided in the article, but those are fairly minor details. What is important is their ability to claim a marriage that lasted 53 years.4 Not many couples can lay claim to that particular landmark. On this day, 166 years ago....Best, Pat
Image courtesy of Stony Ridge Auction
I would like to thank Stony Ridge Auction for letting us share this charming piece. The verse reads, "With kisses sweets and words complete, I shield her from all harm. Made for Marthew (or Matthew) Ogden the 20th of January 1820." For full auction description see below.
During a recent visit to the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, I found the above book once owned by Elisabeth Gebler. Always gracious, the folks at the Society allowed me to photograph the book and gave me permissions to share on Passed Time. I showed the final page in the book to my teenager and the written admonishment actually elicited one of those rarely seen teen smiles. Who was this Elisabeth Gebler who warned would-be thieves to think twice before lifting her book?
Well folks, I tried. I wanted to chase down the identity of the woman shown here, draped in a flag, but was unsuccessful. Is this Grandma Goodrich (variant spellings), Goodrow (variant spellings), Goodrum (probably are variant spellings, but I could not think of any)? Members of the Goodrich and Goodrow families are dispersed throughout Texas, but.... If Grandma Goodr[?], was 93 in 1918, she was born circa 1825. Within the families mentioned, I found no one who fit Grandma's dates.
Although some might deem the term "treasure" too strong, it always depends upon perspective, doesn't it? The tale surrounding hidden gem goes something like this. Each year I attend the "Antiques in the Valley" antique show in Oley, Pennsylvania. Soon after my arrival this weekend, the folks manning one of the booths called me over to show me something. There stood this charming blue blanket chest. It was a handsome piece indeed, but, I rarely look at furniture. I looked at "Babs" slightly confused, knowing I was missing something.
"In the chest, it is in the chest. See if you can find it."
Okay, I was game. Who doesn't love a good scavenger hunt? I looked through the chest and there "it" was. A small, out-of-sight, alcove had been built into the chest under the till, so as to hide valuables. Tucked away in the alcove was the 1919 handwritten will of Mary Slate Mensch.
Although the show had just opened, the chest already had a couple interested in purchasing it, so I began to quickly photograph the Mensch document and chest. As the show was busy and the booth was getting crowded, taking the pictures was a bit difficult. The photos leave a little to be desired, but I am grateful I was given the chance to record the items.
Here is another of the many Whitcraft obituaries found in the Whitcraft Scrapbook. For a picture of Mary (Mollie) Pruett Whitcraft's headstone, click here. Thomas T[obias] Whitcraft (1866-1953) is a brother of George Eli Whitcraft. Both Mary and Thomas were buried at Circleville Cemetery in Jackson County, Kansas. Best, Pat
*I would credit the newspaper, but have no idea which paper ran the obituary.
An old ledger/scrapbook/stamp collection was originally destined for my nephews who were, at that time, collecting stamps. Upon finding letters and recipts written by or for members of the Denison/Miner family of Groton, Connecticut in it, its owner reconsidered and kept the ledger (kindly letting Passed Time borrow it). It was the right decision as the nephews are no longer even slightly interested in stamps.
This is something I wanted to share...just because. I was having a bit of a rough day yesterday and a friend sent this along to cheer me up. I thought perhaps our readers would also enjoy it.
It was taken from Harper's New Monthly Magazine Volume XVI. December, 1857, to May, 1858.* Enjoy, Pat
*Harper's New Monthly Magazine Volume XVI. December, 1857, to May, 1858. Harper & Brothers, Publishers, New York. 1858. p. 141.
Okay, so I was not going to run the below article just yet, but I found a fascinating document this weekend. It was printed by Francis Bailey (1735?-1815), one of my favorite printers.* The document is an early judicial appointment, not something I often come across. Unfortunately, the 18th century document was framed by a self-proclaimed professional. The certificate was mounted to a piece of cardboard (acid free? Not a chance) and pasted down with cement glue (awful stuff!). To top it off, someone placed scotch tape across areas with paper loss. Somehow, this article seemed fitting. Best, Pat
*To read more about Bailey, see The Black Art: A History of Printing in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania Website by Lee Stoltzfus (I am not the only one who holds Bailey in high regard)
Pet Peeve Number 1: "Archivally Framed"--NOT!
by Russell Earnest
To date, I have unframed more than 4,000 fraktur, broadsides, documents, and paper ephemera. To share with you what I witnessed based on forty years of seeing what is behind the glass, I will begin with a recently framed broadside.
An embossed sticker proudly proclaimed the sheet was “archivally framed” by a shop that advertises its use of archivist-approved materials. Before removing the broadside from its new frame, I knew there would be problems. The most obvious issue was that the sheet was against the “UV Resistant” glass. There were no spacers, nor acid free matting surrounding the sheet.
When I read this letter I was amused to find that the author of the letter, Margaretta Wissler, used that conversational mainstay--the weather. She also alluded to her weight. Fast forward 149 years and we still talk about the weather and women still worry about their weight. My first thought was that nothing changes. Yet, she startled me with a reference to her son, Frankey, who "plays all day long outside." What form of torture is that?
Margaretta Bowen Wissler married Jacob Hiestand Wissler (Whissler) on November 24, 1847, approximately twenty years prior to this letter.* When she wrote this letter, the Wisslers lived in Freeport, Pennsylvania roughly 200 miles west of Gettysburg (depending upon route). The letter was sent to Margaretta's sister in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Her sister, Eliza (Bowen) Kendlehart (1815-1902), was married to David Kendlehart (1813-1891) an established Gettysburg merchant.**
Did anyone catch the Freeman's auction which took place on Monday? (April 4, 2016: Books, Maps and Manuscripts, Auction No. 1540). It was chalk full of documents and books. Historical documents. Not-so historical documents. Manuscript. Printed. So much about people from the past is often revealed through their papers or books they owned. I love it all and I'm not particular. As I read through the Freeman's catalog, my excitement increased. The collection being sold was a book and paper collector's dream and I have to tell you, I was giddy.
The couple of box lots full of papers especially had me curious. Could I see what was in the boxes? Not at all, but who cares? Boxes of papers and documents, that is enough to wet the collector's appetite. Nothing could go wrong. My anticipation was at an all time high.
In my experience, collectors are not usually limited by imagination but resources can prove problematic. I diligently began counting my pennies, ready to jump on some of the lots. The two box lots were of particular interest, purely from a pleasure principle perspective. They lured me in. I had my pennies at the ready and began to mentally catalog my checklist and on-line bidding moves.
As I researched the people who once owned the Easter card posted on Passed Time, serendipity stepped in and this postcard sent to "Hanneh" Swan came up for sale. Swan, who received the postcard in June of 1907, was a resident of St. Georges, Delaware and one of the subjects in the Easter Day blog.
As shown by this postcard, "Uncle Rob" was either sharing his trip to the Armory in Syracuse, N.Y., or making arrangements to meet Swan there on "Fridy 8 PM."