Thursday, January 19, 2017

My great-grandmother's 1904 book on Washington & its protective cover

Here's a cool relic that has survived for 112 years and one month. It's my great-grandmother Greta's copy of The Life of George Washington. In Words of One Syllable., written by Josephine Pollard. The coolest part, as you can see from the above image, is that the book still has most of its protective brown-paper cover.

When I was a schoolboy, it was important to have the hippest-possible protective covers for school textbooks — Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, C.H.O.M.P.S. and such. Back in my great-grandmother's day, however, protective covers were just plain wrappers, perhaps with some artsy designs around the edges. This one certainly did — and is still doing — its job, protecting the colorful cover of the George Washington book.

In inside corners of the cover include printed instructions on attaching it to the book. Some of those instructions:
  • Second: Put this part on the back upper corner of the book. Seal to No. 1.
  • Third: Put this part on the front lower corner of the book.
  • Be sure that each part is snug to the book before sealing.
  • Fourth: Put this part on front upper corner of book. Seal all joinings with care.

This is a Size A cover and it was patented on February 14, 1888, as you can see from this fancy graphic on the inside front flap...

Getting back to the front cover, someone, probably Greta, wrote this in cursive:

Greta M. Chandler
The life of Washington.
Dec., 25, 1904.

And then, on the first page, there is this inscription indicating that it was a Christmas present from Garrett A. Taylor...

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