Can You Do This?

Postcard, postmarked Brooklyn NY, September 24, 1907.

Printed on front:

Training the baby elephant: Central Park, New York

Hand written on front:

Letter expected by return mail.

Can you do this? I mean put your trunk on your head



Miss Lucy Ebe
98 Lark St
Albany NY

Found in "Kid Wolf of Texas" by Ward M. Streeter. Published by Chelsea House, 1930.

-Click to enlarge photos-

Pattern Of Evil

Looks like this is a sewing pattern for a jacket cut out of a magazine or book.

Found in "Star Wars" by George Lucas. Published by Ballantine, first paperback printing, 1976.

-Click to enlarge photos-

Guess The Book: Updated

Something a little different today.

I'll post a picture of the item I found, you guys guess what book it was found in.
Here's the pic:

April 16 1940
Received from J.C. Conway
20.00 Dollars
Mrs. Nils Sturbug (just a guess on that)

Edit: Here's the book:

"Sapphira and the Slave Girl" by Willa Cather. Published by Knopf, 1940.
Somehow I don't think the receipt was for the book.

-Click to enlarge photos-

A Note of Thanks

Greeting card:

Just a little
"Note of thanks"
That someone
Specially wrote
To let you know
That gift from you
Sure struck
A happy note!

Found in "A Tale of Two Cities" by Charles Dickens. Published by Grossett and Dunlap.

-Click to enlarge photos-


Color photo.

Written on reverse:

Great Uncle Vincent

Portland, JA


Found in "Skinny" by Ibi Kaslik. Published by Walker, 2004.

-Click to enlarge photos-

Star Spangled

Not sure what to make of all this. Found these two sheets of paper, the first page has a list of names, some crossed out in red pencil, some checked off. At the top is a bold red "Bad."

The rest of the text is a typed copy of "The Star Spangled Banner," with some handwritten lines added at the end.

Found in an awful copy of "Building and Ruling The Republic" by James Boyd. Published by Bradley / Garretson, 1884.

-Click to enlarge photos-

Sinister Fudge


Mrs. Eisenhower's Fudge

4 1/2 c. sugar
Salt (pinch)
2 TB butter
1 can evaporated milk (tall)

Bring to boil - boil 6 minutes

Put in bowl

12 oz. semi-sweet choc. bits
4 sq. bitter choc.
1 pt. marshmallow cream (2 jars)
2 c. nut meats

Pour boiling syrup over choc. and cream, beat till melted.
Pour in pan.
Found in "Bend Sinister" by Vladimir Nabokov. Published by Time-Life in 1964.

I figured that someone had just copied a recipe published by Mamie Eisenhower, so I did a little research. Sure enough, this is her "Million Dollar Fudge."

-Click to enlarge photos-


Black and white photo.
Looks like a cemetery in the background.
No date or writing on reverse.

Found in "Sapho" by Alphonse Daudet. Published by Appleby, 1939.

-Click to enlarge photos-

Sometimes The Jokes Write Themselves

Torn invoice:

Oneonta, NY - Jan 15 1934
M.A. Ross

in account with

Harry J. Butts
Freight and Baggage Transfer
Guaranteed Service on Freight Shipment
High-Grade Coal a Specialty

Found in The Making of Illinois by Irwin Mather. Published by A. Flanagan Co., 1911.

-Click to enlarge photos-

Shield Of Honor


Diamond Lodge, No. 26

Shield Of Honor

Carbondale, PA

Found in "The Poems of Robert Burns" published by Collier, circa 1880.

 -Click to enlarge photos-

Wrong Turn in Tanganyika


Map on Tanganyika. Looks hand-drawn, or at least a copy of a hand-drawn map.

Found in "Landscape Gardening in Japan" by Josiah Conder. Published by Dover, 1964.

-Click to enlarge photos-

How About That

Something was bothering me about yesterday's post.

When I got into the shop this morning I took another look.
The man in the upper right looked very familiar. Too familiar.

I had to ask my mom.

Sure enough, that's my grandfather.
Right next to my grandmother.
And my aunt. And great aunt.
And great-grandfather with my great-grandmother.

The boy getting his first Communion?

My dad.

We don't have a lot of older family photos, so I haven't seen these people from this era.
What a fantastic find... I wonder how the negative ended up in that book... who's book was it? How did it eventually end up in my sorting pile?

-Click to enlarge photos-

First Communion

Negative photograph.

I can't be sure, but this looks like a photo of someone's first Communion.

Found in "For Whom the Bell Tolls" by Ernest Hemingway. Published by Scribners, 1940.

-Click to enlarge photos-

Balzac Winner

Thanks to all who entered - this week's winner was jociegal, who entered right here.

More giveaways to come...

Balzac Giveaway

Thought it would fun to have a quick giveaway today:

These seven matched volumes of Balzac are part of the "Edition Royale" which was limited to 1,000 copies. Published by Avil of Philadelphia, 1901.

Comment to enter, I will pick a winner at random tomorrow (Wednesday) at 1:00 PM EST.

Good luck!

-Click to enlarge photos-

How My Dog Defends Himself

No bookmark today, just this amusing inscription I found at the end of a book:

Indians have not been treated fairly

You don't know how what would have been the result if Syria has told where the ??? was

What do you care none of your business where he was see

How my dog defends himself

An adventure with the Indians

Where to hide a Xmas present


Roast Beef
Quail on toast
Pork + beans
oyster cocktail
See (?)
Boiled clams

Found in "Prose Literature for Secondary School" edited by Margaret Ashmun. Published by Houghton Mifflin, 1910.

-Click to enlarge photos-

Abstinence: Updated with historical info

Note, dated Dec. 3rd, 1899:


We the undersigned solemnly promise God being our helper to abstain from the use of intoxicating liquors as a beverage.

John P. Bugden
Frank E. Bugden
Nellie L. Bugden
M. Clara Bugden

Found in a very rough copy of "The White House Cookbook" by Mrs. F.L. Gillette. Published by L.P. Miller, 1890.

Bonus material - here's the inside cover of the cookbook:


Some readers were cool enough to send in some more information on the Bugdens -

First, Jerry writes:

A search of US Census records indicated that the Bugden family lived on 102nd Street in Manhattan in 1900.  Father John, age 36, was a traveling salesman.  Wife Clara was 34 and daughter Nellie was 9.  Frank E. was probably Edward (or Edwin), age 11.

Lisa adds:

Here's a little summary of my findings with some interesting notes:

John P Bugden, born  Feb 1864
married ~1885 to
Clara M, born  July 1866

Frank Edward Bugden, born Oct 1888
Nellie C Bugden, born Aug 1890

In 1900 John P Bugden was working as a traveling salesman.

From 1910 on John is listed as a grocer.

From 1910 on Frank E Bugden is listed as a dentist in his own office.

Frank married Allie Beecher who lived less than 3 minutes from the Bugden household in New Rochelle.  In 1910 they were living with Allie’s parents, and by 1920 they had moved across town (approximately 10 minutes away).

Nellie married William Hall and they resided with her parents until at least 1930.  She is listed as the enumerator on the census sheet her family is recorded on in 1930 (I’ve never run across this before).  Her husband is listed as a ship master.

The 1880 census shows that John’s mother’s name was Nellie and he had younger brother, Frank.

Unfortunately I couldn't find any hints about whether or not they kept to their pledge.

Thanks guys!

-Click to enlarge photos-

In Bloom

Silk ribbon bookmark with hand-painted flowers.

Found in "The Holy Bible: Volume III" with commentary by Adam Clarke. Published by Carlton and Porter, 1880s.

-Click to enlarge photos-

Switzerland, 1876

Letter, dated 1876. The envelope bears two postmarks, Thun, Switzerland and New York, 1876. The stationary is from Hotel Thunerhof. Thanks to Sara for helping decipher the handwriting:

Thun Switzerland
September 3rd 1876

My dear Ben, Your good long and interesting letter of was recd. yesterday. I never forget the 3rd day of September. My mother was born that day. Aurelia was born that date and we were married on that day. I never forget Anson and the dear ones that have passed away when that day comes around which it does pretty often.

We have been here in this beautiful spot for ten weeks, I think there are few prettier places in the world. It is a valley surrounded by mountains many of which are always covered with clean white snow. Just in front of the hotel is a beautiful river which runs from Lake Thun, about half a mile distant. This lake is some ten miles long and is very beautiful but all this country is too old to suit me and there are no trout worth fishing for. Once in a while they do catch a few, but people fish day after day without a bite. I have no doubt that two thousand years ago you might have taken quite a respectable string long the last of May or first of June, when the apple blossoms were out, but give me Pleasant Ridge for fishing yet. There is a quiet and stillness there that you do not find here, there are too many people here.

I think it was nineteen years ago that Stearns and I went to Pleasant Ridge with you and I have missed going there but few years since and I have enjoyed a great deal there and we have had lots of good times and I am not aware that any one of us have ever been made the worse for going. We have dug a few stumps possibly for slight indulgences but when the stump was out by the roots, we had to be rewarded and often we would feel like digging out another. I think we may have to increase that penalty to two stumps.

I was very much disappointed that I could not come last spring. had I come as I expected then time table would have held good for the Stearns was it in time and we would not have hurried five minutes. The boys in Boston were ready and I have no doubt that we would have had a time.

Luis Darforth gave me an agreeable surprise a few weeks ago by coming into the hotel one night, he told me that he was going to give up his Centennial trip for the sake of going to Pleasant Ridge with us.

We leave here for Paris tomorrow and we now expect to return to Boston next June. It will too late for Spring fishing but possibly we can take a little private ? later in the season.

Taylor is home again and writes me that they are going down fishing next Spring. If they go you will have a good time. I always feel so sorry when I think we can never see poor Collin's genial face there again, no better or larger heart ever been about our camp fire. I am sorry that they have so many boats and such cheap fare into the Ridge. I think it must be bad for the trout but still there will be fish there for a great many years.

Tell Bill to get a few down into the South Cove and have them well cared for until I come home and we will go up and take them out, perhaps if he should drink a bottle St Croix that they would hand around then.

Can Bill find ? in September?

I do not think that I should like any Felkin's Motel, still you could go there for a night.
I was very glad to know that Uncle Ben suffered nothing by the fire. I was afraid that he had.

I am always so glad to hear from Anson. I never do only through you.

Em is much improved since I wrote you last. She now seems more as she used to. The children have been perfectly well this Summer until last week when Willie was taken with inflammation of the bowels, but he is all right now and Saturday morning we hope to be in Paris and in another week the children will all be in school, if well. They will remain there until we start for home, which it seems to me will be but a very short time.

This is one of the loveliest days in the year and I am writing on the piazza while the snow covered mountains seems so very near to us. Still you are glad to get into a shady place.

Remember us all to Uncle Ben and Aunt Lois to Uncle Columbus and Aunt Betty. Em sends much love to you all and so do I. Let me know what kind of a time you and Bill have. The snow that I can see from here would make an awful lot of punch.

I enclose a few Swiss stamps for Ben will send some more from Paris. I also enclose a little Italian money and a Swiss cent.

From your friend
MD Spaulding

Found in "Contemporary Art in Europe" by S.G.W. Benjamin. It was published by Harper & Brothers, New York, 1877.

-Click to enlarge photos-

No Friendly Casulties



Mission was successful. There were no friendly casualties.

All of the escorted planes made it back.

You inflicted no significant losses to the enemy.

Found in "The Art of the Muppets" published by Bantam Books, 1980.

Now if you pardon me, I must get to my debreffing. 

-Click to enlarge photos-