In the last post I alluded to a giant box of Lancaster ephemera. My grandfather and his family many generations back lived in Lancaster, PA, by way of Germany if I'm not mistaken. My great great Grandfather, Warren Virginius Smith, and his son, Warren Virginius Smith Jr. saved everything, and in turn, my grandfather, Robert Melvin Smith (I wonder why on earth they stopped there with the W.V. Smiths; what a fantastic name...my grandfather could have been Warren Virginius Jr. II) saved everything they saved. And now it falls to me to save these stacks of Victorian calling cards, valentines, exquisitely penned letters, war ration stamps, tintypes, penmanship books, and old family cabinet cards.
I am now the proud owner of about 40 thick portraits of bygone family members from the mid 1800s to the early 1900s. I love going through them and imagining what they were like. My favorite is the old lady near the middle of this picture...I think she is my great great (possibly another great) grandmother. You can see she wouldn't tolerate any nonsense. The backs are pretty charming as well.
Probably the most wonderful item of the bunch is my great grandfather's old fountain pen. Isn't she a beaut? I have already tried my hand with it, and wrote my mother a letter - my cursive actually ain't too bad, but over the course of the letter my sentences start to sloping dangerously. I may need to look into acquiring some lined paper - or stop being so lazy and line it myself.
I'm using his old books (there are three of them, each one completely filled out - inspiring patience!) to relearn cursive.