60 Pieces of Curiosity: Vintage Scraps of Paper Found in Old Books

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As a vintage bookseller, Ms. Jeannie often comes into contact with various bits and pieces of paper tucked inside old books. Sometimes they are just blank scraps acting as an impromptu bookmark or place holder and other times they are incredible finds worthy of their own story like the White House letter Ms. Jeannie found tucked away in a vintage art book last year.

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Today’s picture post is all about the pieces of paper ephemera that Ms. Jeannie has found in vintage books over the past few years.   Each tells their own story about past readers, past events and past importance. They range from the commonplace (names, numbers and business cards) to the intimate (photographs, holiday cards, a letter to family that mentions Hitler and the war in Europe); from the topical (advertisements, recipes, lists) to the nostalgic (a letter detailing what to pack for camp) and from the unusual (a receipt from a cat breeder) to the campy (travel postcards).  All these pieces of paper came from books published before 1970 but they cover a wide time span of the last century. The oldest is a scrap of paper dating to the late 1800’s and the most current is a handwritten recipe from 1980. Because they offer glimpses into past lives, Ms. Jeannie has blocked out any personal info that might still be traceable today so you’ll notice a few have some blocked out parts, but other than that they are unaltered. Let’s look..

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Photographs are especially interesting. Was this woman below someone’s sweetheart? A sister, a friend, a reminder not to be forgotten?

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In the swoop of a cursive letter or the fold of an envelope or the mark of a typewriter key each piece denotes a moment in someone’s life that ties us to humanity. From the 1950’s photographer who was late on his bills to the woman “enduring life as it comes” to the first time camper getting ready to spend a summer week away, these moments of tangible history are compelling in a timeless way. Just like vintage books! Endlessly fascinating, a book is not only a story between two boards but also a holder of life between two worlds.

This is just Part One of the paper collection. Look for Part Two coming soon later this season…

until then… happy reading!

 

Combining Past With Presents: A Holiday Gift Guide (Week 2)

photo via pinterest
Mail is fun – especially at Christmas! photo via pinterest

Last week we looked at incorporating heirloom lace and crochet into pottery. This week, in Ms. Jeannie’s unique Holiday Gift guide that aims to combine the old with the new, she is highlighting handwriting and all the magical ways you can incorporate the penmanship of  ancestors into a contemporary gift.

Idea No. 2 – Handwritten Gifts

The gift of a word can hold profound meaning. And when you see those words written in their owner’s own unique way it adds an entirely new level of depth and emotion to a gift. A custom necklace that replicates the exact handwriting of an ancestor makes for incredibly sentimental presentation and keeps loved ones close at heart…

A custom Handwriting necklace made by BrittanyLeighJewelry
Custom Handwriting Necklace made by BrittanyLeighJewelry – $205.00

Everybody who enjoys cooking knows that family recipes are the source of stories and memories just as much as they are the source of good food. If you are looking for a special host or hostess gift for your best gourmet, this one combines a treasured handwritten family recipe with a very useful kitchen apron. This is a gift they can be used every day of the year!

Custom Recipes in Custom Handwriting on an Apron made by LindsayBurkeDesigns
Custom Recipes in Custom Handwriting on an Apron made by LindsayBurckDesigns – $31.00

Enlarge a piece of beautifully scripted mail, a journal entry or an antique love letter for a unique piece of wall art…

Photo via pinterest
Photo via pinterest

Or enlarge an old family land deed or immigration document like these below. Old plats, sales receipts, contracts and assorted paper ephemera from the 1700’s and 1800’s are gorgeous in all their weathered glory with scripted fonts, aged paper and range of neutral colors. No two look alike!

photo via pinterest
photo via pinterest

Old documents pertaining to family history can be found online at ancestry.com or on file at  local libraries and historical foundations. These make especially great gifts for anyone who has recently moved into a new house, started a new business venture or just needs a little visual reminder that great things are possible.

Photo via pinterest...
Photo via pinterest

When looking through old cards or letters, if a poetic sentence jumps out at you or if one of your family members was always known to say a certain phrase, or lend certain words of encouragement, pay tribute to their mindeset by keeping their thoughts alive, in their own handwriting, on a decorative pillow that can be incorporated into a variety of different decor situations…

Handwritten signature pillow made by LifeCraftsWhatever
Handwritten signature pillow made by LifeCraftsWhatever – $47.00

With these handwritten gift ideas, you’ll only be the bearer of good news this holiday season! And just  like gift idea No. 1 your recipient will be able to enjoy these items the whole year through.  It’s the 12 week holiday countdown – stay tuned next week for gift idea No. 3 🙂