Friday, October 7, 2011

This week's ephemera preservation success story

I check out Craigslist on occasion to see if anyone in southcentral Pennsylvania is unloading anything interesting in the realm of books and ephemera. For the most part, they're not. Folks want $10 for a few worn Dean Koontz paperbacks or $5 apiece for used James Patterson hardcovers. And every fourth post is for somebody selling their collection of "vintage" Playboy magazines from the 1980s. There's a lot of dreck and common items that are wildly overpriced.

But every once in a while there's a cool listing.

Earlier this week, I came across a listing for "Civil Air Patrol Manuals" for a very modest price.

The following items were included in the lot:
  • Airplanes and Engines - Complete Examination - November 1941
  • Air Corps Technical School - Shop Mathematics - August 1940
  • Air Corps Technical School - Electrical Fundamentals - September 1940
  • Civil Air Regulations - Complete Examination - July 1942
  • Air Corps Technical School - Direct Current - December 1939
  • Civil Pilot Training Manual - Second Edition - September 1941
  • Meteorology - Complete Examination - March 1941
The listing also stated: "These books were used by a pilot that flew for the Civil Air Patrol."

Oh yes, I was intrigued.

So Joan and I took a 15-minute drive to pick up the manuals during our lunch break yesterday afternoon. A nice older gentleman named Bob said they had belonged to another local family that he was acquainted with. When the patriarch of that family died recently, his daughter was looking to sort through his belongings and take care of the estate as soon as possible. She was about to pitch these manuals in the trash when Bob said he'd take them and try to find someone who might be interested in them.

Way to go, Bob!

These manuals are well-worn and they might not have any serious value to collectors. But they have legitimate historical value as artifacts from 70 years ago. They're bound to be full of fascinating insights.

I haven't had much time to leaf through them yet. So that'll have to be another post on another day. But here are a couple neat illustrations from inside the meteorology manual:

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