However, as I neared the check-out counter, I spotted an old book and started flipping through the pages to find a brittle, aged piece of notebook paper. The owner noticed my interest and asked me if I like old papers. I issued an enthusiastic "Yes", and she showed me to this box.
|It was a bit more. . .overflowing when I first saw it.
I couldn't resist the call of this ephemera and paid what I thought was a reasonable price. (Was $25 too much, tell me after you see what was in there.)
Back at home a few hours later, I sorted through the box to find this treasure trove.
|These Workmen's Time Books took up much of the space at the top along with the Day Book. There were also several books of what I think are deposit slips.
|Unfortunately, the Day Book is mostly ruined but I can maybe salvage some of the top and outside portions.
|The Time Books are full of names, dates, and hours worked.
|This is one of the earlier ones, dating back to 1920
|There were also several old, ragged books in the box.
|I found only these three photographs in there. The portrait is an autographed picture of George Wallace.
|It seems the man of the house possibly had a concrete construction business of some kind (I think) and there are all kinds of typed business letters and a few blueprints.
|Letters, cards, and other written material (a play, a poem, recipes) were scattered in with the business papers.
|Then there was the rest: old newspapers, pamphlets, cook books, travel souvenirs, certificates, and more.
As I dug through the box, the history of a family unfolded before me. The husband's business correspondence and documentation, the wife's letters from friends and family, recipes and cookbook pamphlets, school papers and valentine cards of their daughter's as well as her engagement announcements, and the father's obituary. I was touched at the story that played before my eyes and amazed that it all fit into the one box.
I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do with all of it yet. I know some of it will find its way into my new mixed-media, art journal obsession and my jewelry (somehow). I'll likely make copies of some of the materials rather than tear them up, as well as share some with others interested in ephemera (let me know if you are), as that was my initial intention with getting the box. But, the history it holds now feels personal somehow. What would you do with a box of papers dating back to the early 1900s?
I'm sharing this post at:
Thrifty Things Friday at Melissa's Antiques
Treasure Hunt Thursday at From My Front Porch to Yours
Thrifter Share at Hey What's For Dinner Mom
Junkin Joe at The Cottage Market
Show and Share at Coastal Charm
Thriftasaurus at Sir Thrift-a-lot
History and Home Party at We Call it Junkin
Let's Talk Vintage at Bella Rosa Antiques
Vintage Inspiration Link Party at My Salvaged Treasures
What's it Wednesday at Ivy and Elephants