Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Somebody's Trash is Another's Treasure

Jerry, the current man in charge at the Depot while Larry is out traveling the world, and I got through several boxes of documents today.  It may sound boring, but it actually isn't.  It's fascinating the way people wrote back in the 1920s-1960s.  I found a whole stack of letters, telegrams, memos, and tracers (for when a letter was lost in the mail) discussing past handling of the caboose, to put it simply.  There was a lot of misspellings due to the use of the typewriter and a combination of professional sentences mixed in with less-formal phrases.  I also came across a lot of manuals regarding train elements like heating, lights, air brakes, etc. as well as some that were like textbooks that would be loaned out to the firemen that were training to become locomotive engineers.  It was always a nice surprise when I'd open a book and find someone's name written in it from decades ago.  Because I have taken a class on book arts, I found myself studying the binding of some of these books.  Of course for the smaller ones, they were primarily pamphlet bound, but even those held up better than cheap pamphlets we have today, probably due to the weight of the paper.  I even found myself examining the knots make in the twine that bound brown-paper wrapped bundles of waybills and payroll statements.  But my favorite find today was an old metal box.  It held 40 "date" rubber stamps.  We only have 11 of them now, and they are hard and a bit brittle.  The possible date for this box is a little interesting because we only have one year stamp left, 1926, while the date on the lid of the tin box says "Sat. Mar. 12, 1901" which I'm thinking could be a copyright date?  Not sure.  I set this little treasure aside to research more of later.  I'll also bring my camera tomorrow and snap a quick picture to share. **  Note to Self ** Must bring dust mask tomorrow, too!

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