Category Archives: archaeology

Incorrect book cover art is nothing new

A commenter1 on the Awful Library Books blog once pointed out that a certain print-on-demand publisher of old public domain books had published a classical book, I think it was Wuthering Heights, with a picture of a bicycle on the cover. This was evident nonsense to them since bicycles had nothing to do with the story. I am taking their word for it since I haven’t read that novel.

However, in browzing Project Gutenberg for material to read, I ran across two Horatio Alger books that exhibited the same problem. Yes I read those. Someday I will get a grand spreadsheet together to exhibit just how formulaic they are. Anyway…

Continue reading

Another lost business

Similar to Gioia, I found this in my grand mother’s attique:

delphianlogo

It is a 10 ream paper box. I have no idea what happened to the company, other than it disappeared in the pre-Internet days, so there is no record of it online… at all.

Any information would be welcome. It is a beautifully designed logo, especially the semicircle dots on the lowercase i’s.

Yo (grand)momma’s attique

Going through grand-mother’s attic today turned up two violins, one her husband’s father used to play to square dancers, and the other from a distant relation she had befriended a number of years. Both are in disreputable condition and are probably useless since they’re ~75-100 years old.

Also turned up were old college advertizing calendars from the 1970s or early 1960s, endless Christmas matter, old bags that “ladies” used to hold their yarn when they sewed, but mostly Christmas matter that I think is ugly.

What else… styrophoam crafty things that are getting given away because someone else can and will use them, unlike us. Old hand-made stuffed toys and a game called “Blockhead!” that, amazzingly, has a Wikipedian page on it!.

The danger of yo momma’s Science

Going through the workshop I discovered a t0n of old pesticides. Fortunately I didn’t see any DDT, but I did find things like diazanon (off the market since 1994), chloridane (sometime in the 1980s), nasty sounding other cyano stuff and other matters, including unlabeled (!) bottles and a bottle that didn’t list its ingredients, but assured you it was “a product of Science” (those exact words)! While fearful of the contents, I do admire those days when science was more trusted than it is now. On the other side, blind trust in science lead to some disasters I’d definitely not want to see repeated. Also found were old bottles of really concentrated lye drain cleaner and various solvents that shouldn’t be exposed to persons nowadays.

Additionally, there was some old educational matter, vocabulary worksheets from The Economy Company. The sentences were things like:

  • We all own the White House, we just let the president live there.
  • Mr. Manly is the second most patient teacher, yours is the first.
  • Or you could marry a princess.
  • Hamburger-scented perfume would be a sure success.

The moral of the story is, be sure to check out your and your parents’ stores of chemicals periodically and especially if they have been sitting around unused for a while. Some may be unusable now and others have a way of leaking their containers.

The WHOLE THING

While reading about new exhibits at a museum in someone’s house (their old mansion), and remembering tours I have been on that were also in old houses, I always had a desire to see the ENTIRE thing. I mean, including the parts that normally get changed into offices, storage, etc.

I know this isn’t practical for a building to be preserved exactly like it was in all rooms, but I still wonder what the original “scullery” was like, or how cavernous the coal bin was. I’d like to have the complete affair accessible to all visitors within practicality. Unfortunately old buildings were about as inaccessible as possible. Jefferson was notorious for his two foot wide stairs that can be difficult for fully able persons to use.

Does anyone else, either visitor or conservator, have this desire too?