Patrick Collects

Today's post comes from Patrick, who runs a great blog at

Patrick writes:

I've found a letter in a book I bought recently from Better World Books (USA). The book is "Agatha Christie's Autobiography" and the letter I found inside is typed. It was sent from the Retired Chicago Police Association, dated January 1978, to "retirees and widows".

Thanks, Patrick!

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Another wonderful guest post today, this well-researched item comes from Leo of Postcardiness:

Leo tells us:

On 03/26/2010, a book arrived in the mail that I had won on eBay:

General Electric Catalog GEA-600A, published in 1930 by the General Electric Company, Schenectady, New York.

It is quite unusual to find any items laid in to a book won on eBay, since nearly always the eBay seller has removed all loose materials. However, this book, which is a massive, 1146 page, catalog of industrial electrical items offered by the General Electric Company as of 1930, had one 8 ½” X 11” sheet of paper tucked between the last page and the inside back cover. Viola! A forgotten bookmark!

The front of the letterhead stationery is unused.

This is the letterhead printed text:

FORM G 9 10-9-25


Commonwealth Edison Company


The “10-9-25” indicates that stationery with this design (Form G 9) was approved on October 9, 1925, which establishes an earliest-possible date for any authored text found on that form. Since the date of publication of the G. E. Catalog is 1930, one can estimate the date of any written or typed text on the stationery to be somewhere in the 1925 to 1935 range.

Although the stationary is unused on the front, the back (verso) of the sheet has the following typewritten text, which I have edited slightly in order to facilitate readability (text that I have added is enclosed in brackets):



Telephone----------------------Kedzie 0636 & Nevada 1386

Load Dispatcher---------------3 Rings.

Power Supervisor--------------2 Rings – Horn.

C. S. L. Load Dispatcher-----Dearborn 8800 Local 252


Sections #27 & 28.

Operators will receive orders from any C. A. & E. employee or Elevated Railway employee to close or open the sections mentioned above.

The Power Supervisor must be notified of any orders to close these sections and his approval obtained before sections are closed.

Operators will get the name and position of the person giving such order and enter same in Daily Logbook.

“L” Sections #25, 26 and C. A. & E. #27 and #28 are tied together at Laramie Tower during peak loads.

Do not run Rotary #3 and #4 in parallel alone as they do not work good together; have another machine [turned] on with Rotaries #3 and #4, if possible.


As specified in rules and regulations-

Report all operating trouble to Operating Division, and all maintenance trouble to Maintenance Division. If it is both kinds of trouble, report to both Divisions.

After office hours, the Edison Telephone operator will know where members of the operating and maintenance can be reached.


Chicago surface lines

Report all section openings to the C. S. L. Dispatcher.

Report all machine openings to the C. S. L. Dispatcher and to the C. R. T., and to the superintendent of [the] railway substation AND Mr. Essington: Telephone Dearborn 8800.

Do not call Mr. Essington outside of office hours, except where service cannot be promptly restored.

Elevated Railway

Report all cases of Section trouble to Power Supervisor and all cases (except when a section opens and is promptly closed) to the load dispatcher, and [to the] superintendent of Railway Substations.

Note: C. A. & E. stands for Chicago, Aurora and Elgin (Railroad Corporation)

Note: C. S. L. stands for Chicago Surface Lines.

Note: C. R. T. stands for Chicago Rapid Transit (Company)

The inside front cover of the catalog is inscribed with the name (W. J. Pearce) and address of the owner, and also this information: Kolmar Substation: 616 S. Kolmar Avenue, Chicago, Commonwelth [sic] Edison. The misspelling of “Commonwealth” in the catalog inscription leads me to surmise that Mr. Pearce (assuming that “W. J.” is a male) is the person who typed the Kolmar Substation Write-Up, since it is laced with many typos and misspellings. A Mapquest search yielded some interesting information. The Eisenhower Expressway (which currently has the Chicago Transit Authority line running along its median) is located about a block south of 616 S. Kolmar Avenue, and a very large building still exists at that address, which is now the location of the Aries Charter Transportation Company.

The Laramie Tower referenced in the Write-Up was most likely situated in the vicinity of the intersection of S. Laramie Avenue with either W. Flournoy Street or W. Lexington Street, since several railroad lines, including the C. A. & E. line, merge just a few blocks west of Laramie. According to an article in the Cincinnati Enquirer of Sunday, August 4, 2002, titled “Rail tower closes after nearly century”, a railroad tower would house an operator who would manually control traffic of area railroads: “The tower's levers allowed the operator to manually move tracks left or right to send trains in the correct direction. The flip of a switch changed signal lights, commanding trains when to stop and go.”

Per Wikipedia, The Chicago, Aurora and Elgin Railroad was known colloquially as the “Roarin’ Elgin” or the “Great Third Rail”. I say “was” because the C. A. & E. abruptly ceased operating at noon on July 3, 1957. A resource for more information about the C. A. & E., including route maps and timetables, is located here:

I have learned so much about Chicago-area interurban transportation of the 1930s from this forgotten bookmark! – Leo

Leo, your thorough research makes me look like a lazy bum! Seriously, thanks so much. Fascinating material.

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For The Birds

 Advertising pamphlet for Amos-Rice Coal, Syracuse NY, via the D & H Railroad.

Found in "The Children's Choir" by Ruth Krehbiel Jacobs. Published by Augustana Press, 1960.

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This Old Paper

Susan from sent this bookmark along.

By the way, if you enjoy this site, you will adore This Old Paper. Please check it out.

Here's are a couple of forgotten bookmarks found in a copy of Time is an Illusion by Chris Griscom, copyright 1986, signed "great love, Chris". Artwork on the actual bookmark is by Philip Kirkland. The back states:

Controversial Bookstore

Secret Teachings
Wellness - Music
Spiritual Paths
Tarot Cards
Crystals & Magic

Phone or Mail
Orders Welcome

3021 University
San Diego, CA

(619) 296-1560

The forgotten bookmark is a Mr.Settoni's coat ticket from The Highlander International Men's Fashions, University Towne Center.

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I must have been glimpsing the future as I typed up yesterday's post.

30 minutes after I published it, I was at the bookstore trying to mop up the nearly half inch of water that had flooded in with the evening's rainstorm. One of the downspouts was dislodged, allowing all the roof runoff into the building.

Not a book was lost (okay, a few romance paperbacks I had lying around) but the cardboard box containing all of the unpublished forgotten bookmarks was right in the middle of the lake. I'm still going through the damage, but so far it looks like a total loss.

Happily, Moon Shadow is here to save the day. They send along this find:

In today's mail was my book order for "Photoshop CS3: Photographer's Handbook". The attached two bookmarks were in it. The medical center map with all the circles and arrows and a second sheet with notes and figures.


Thanks Moon Shadow.
I will do my best to keep up with the updates.

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A Reminder

If you have come across your own forgotten bookmarks, we'd love to see them. I've featured a few guest posts here before, I look forward to more.


Shipping ticket, from Stark Bro's Nurseries & Orchards to Mrs. Saphrona DoSayer, Solsville NY.

Date printed at bottom circa 1948.

Found in "Fabre's Book of Insects." Published by the Tudor Company, 1935.

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Classics - The Winner Is...

Les McClaine, who entered right here. Congrats to Les, and keep an eye out for more giveaways.


Contest is over - our winner was LesMcClaine.

Good morning - I wanted to start this giveaway nice and early to give everyone a chance to get in on it.

As promised, up for grabs are these 22 volumes of the Harvard Classics:

The green of the bindings reminds of the Green Monster:

Leave a comment to enter, or let me know on Twitter or Facebook.

Winner will be announced on Saturday, March 20th at 3:00 PM EST.

Good luck!

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Way Back When

Prohibition pamphlet from 1931.

Found in "The Party Battles of The Jackson Period" by Claude Bowers. Published by Houghton Mifflin, 1928.

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Baseball's Comin' - EDIT: Contest over, results in post

Today's winner is Hannah -

Congrats, many thanks to all who entered. Look for a big big giveaway on Friday.

Great weather today, sun is shining, buds on the trees... Spring Training is in full swing, and real baseball is just around the corner.

I realize we don't talk much baseball here on FB, and that's a shame. It is a wonderful pastime, both to play and watch, and it lends itself easily to literature. If you know me, you know that I am a huge baseball fan, and love reading baseball books.

If you're like me, do yourself a favor and buy this book:

I found Emma's writing by way of the fantastic Bronx Banter, and if you enjoy baseball (and life's) little eccentricities, you are going to enjoy her work.

To celebrate Emma's book release, and the return of the Boys of Summer, let's have a giveaway:

9 Baseball Books (see what I did there?):

The Curse of the Bambino
Complete Armchair Book of Baseball
The Bronx Zoo
Bill Mazer's Amazin' Baseball Book
Summer of '49
Summer of '98
Eight Men Out
Ball Four

To enter, just leave a comment.
Winner will be announced today (3/16/10) at 3:00 PM EST.

Good luck!

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Bookmark Day

I've been led to believe that today is Bookmark Day, so here are a few bookmarks that I've recently come across, and some of my favorites from the archives.

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Recipe for cheesecake:

Cheese Cake - Andrea

4 pkgs 8 ounce cream ch
1 C sugar
Med sized can crushed pineapple drained overnite
1 tsp vanilla
dash cinnamon

---in blender thoroughly mixed and thick

Add 4 eggs

Pour into spring pan - graham cracker - use brown sugar

1 hr @ 350 °

Found in "The Deaf Smith Country Cookbook" by Marjorie Winn Ford, Susan Hillyard, and Mary Fault Koock. Published by Macmillan, 1979.

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Deal With It

This book and note came in yesterday:


I have them

deal wit

Deal with it

Found in "Animals You Will Never Forget." Published by Reader's Digest, 1978.

This note inspired me to give you this:

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Not Forgotten

No bookmarks today, this one is for Uncle Tony.



Found in "The Great Shark Hunt: Gonzo Papers, Vol. 1" by Hunter S. Thompson. Published by Popular Library, 1979.

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Friday Mashup

I asked our fans on Facebook what they wanted to see today.

Not surprisingly, I got many different answers.

To appease the people, I bring you the first Friday Mashup: Lots of forgotten bookmarks, no explanations, no companion books.

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Fun In Bed

Letter on Nassau Hospital paper:

104 Mineola Boulevard
Mineola NY
February 28 / 33

Dear Babe,

Thought I was going to get into the city last week and discuss operations with you but looks like I didn't. Am working now but don't think it will last long.

Have you set a date for your party and where is it "gonna" be? Helen said you were thinking of Fifth Ave. Hospital which is a pretty nice place. Class ---
Polyclinic is also a good hospital although I don't remember ever being in there.

Do let me know the date you are planning so that I can also plan to be on hand - not that I'm such a hot nurse but maybe a familiar face and a whiskey tenor (?) will help smooth over the first few days. Don't worry about it - remember surgery is just like dressmaking - a clip here and a stitch there and only a dumb amateur could put a sleeve in a neck (I'm thinking of my early days of summer organdy (??)

Write soon

Love, Florence

Found in "Fun In Bed: The Convalescent's Handbook" edited by Frank Scully. Published by Simon and Schuster, 1933.

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WInner: Nine

Ok, the entries have been listed, sorted and randomized.

The winner of the nine Waverly books is inkstainedhands - who entered right here on the site.

Thanks everyone! Keep an eye out for the next giveaway.

Ink - I'll try and contact you, but if you read this, email me at to claim your books.

Giveaway: Nine

It's been a while since the last giveaway, so why not today?

I'll be giving away these nine matched volumes of Scott's 'Waverly Novels.' These books were put out by Colliers around 1900 or so. Nice frontispiece illustrations, bindings are tight, pages are bright.

Comment below to enter, or let me know on Twitter or Facebook.

I'll announce a winner tomorrow afternoon (March 3rd) at 3:00 PM EST.

Good luck!

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My Worst Wishes

Postcard made of tin (I believe).

Front, printed:

My worst wishes are that, your troubles may all be "little ones."


Maude Blowers

Reverse, printed:

This card must be sent under cover only

Mailable as fourth class matter under ruling of the Post-Master General


The space below is for the address only

-Postage Inland One Cent

-Foreign Two Cents


Mrs. Floyd Williams.

Sanford NY

Broome Co.

Found in "The Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Volume II." Published by Macmillan, 1910.

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