The New Era - All about Sweet Home since 1929

Teacher's autograph albums full of notes from 'dear friends'


June 29, 2022

Roberta McKern

These autograph books at the East Linn Museum feature messages, prose and salutations from the late 19th and early 20th century, offering glimpses into bygone rituals, relationships and, of course, individual wit. Edna Robnett of Crawfordsville owned the more ornate collection on the left, while the other belonged to Laura Colbert of Brownsville.

Among the more unexpected finds at the East Linn Museum are two small autograph albums and a photocopy of a third.

Some of us might remember having such collections as young ladies in grade school. Boys may have owned them, too, but most often it seemed to be the girls. Sometimes these albums came with fancy covers, or with different-colored pages: yellow, peach, lavender and light robin's-egg blue.

What to write became the question. It had to be profound to live in memory. Likely, "Roses are red, violets are blue" came to mind, but "Skunk cabbage stinks, and so do you" had to be discarded...

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