The Art of the Autograph

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Among the old and tattered things in this house is an autograph book that my mother found at an antique store. She was attracted to things like this because of the superb handwriting and lovely sentiments inside the worn pages. I had a fun afternoon looking through this one that was laying on a shelf unnoticed for some years. I bet she bought it for the wonderful velvet cover and the sweet and humorous poems inside. Also, the name of one of the ‘signatees’ has the same name as my Great Aunt that lived with us. This book starts with signatures from “Grand Central Station”? in 1886 and ends with one from 1929. I have no idea what Grand Central Station is referring to as they all had Hancock County addresses and to my knowledge there was no such station here.

Have fun reading (trying to) the pages that I photographed.


Down life’s swift and rapid tide safely may our vessels glide May they anchor side by side in Heaven Truly Yours, Gertrude Bragdon Gouldsboro July 25 ’92




Fruit is soft as soon as ripened Love and kisses soon grow cold Young men’s vows are soon forgotten So look out Miss Lizzie that “you don’t get sold” Your Friend, Florence A. Leland Bar Harbor, Maine July 12, 1886






Remember me when this you see and only half awake Remember me on your “wedding day” and send me a “slice of cake.” your friend, Mattie Sinclair Milbridge Maine Sept. 30, 1891


“I did not upset the boat”





This lady added her photo.




Oh! had we some bright little isle of our own In a blue summer ocean, far and alone There with souls ever ardent and pure as clime We should love as they loved in the first golden time. Yours Truly M.C. Bunker Franklin, Maine Jan. 31st, 1892



Just look at these drawings!



Mostly the boys signed with with just their names. I do wonder what all those quotation marks mean, seems as though there were some personal jokes! I also wonder how they would feel all these years later knowing that their words are on the web. I feel some guilt…But not too much.

I need to research more, I have always wondered if these poems were memorized for just such occasion as a friend pulling out her autograph book or how many were made up on the spot. These are such fun looks into the past.

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