More of The Unusual from Thomas Cullen
For those who would like a lot of autographs, but from more than one person, item 28 is an amazing collection of astronaut autographs. There are roughly 60 autographs from 30 astronauts on pictorial envelopes, mostly first day covers. Included are most of the early names, Alan Shepard, America's first astronaut, John Glenn, the first American to go into orbit, Frank Borman, Gordon Cooper and more. It also includes the hard-to-find signatures of three astronauts who died training for the program. The best known is Virgil "Gus" Grissom, who died on the launch pad during a simulated countdown when fire raced through his module. The others are Elliot See and Charles Bassett, who died in an airplane crash on a training run. $900.
He was one of the greatest orators America has ever known. Daniel Webster served for decades in the senate with Henry Clay and John Calhoun, the other great speakers of the era from 1820-1850. While none of them ever made it to the presidency, they are better remembered than many of the men who reached the highest office during that time. By 1852, Calhoun was gone and Clay was dying, but Webster reached the age of 70 a hale and hearty man, serving for the second time as Secretary of State. It was then that he gave An Address Delivered Before the New York State Historical Society, February 23, 1852. It is unlikely that anyone there could have imagined that eight months later, Webster would also die when he fell from a horse and landed on his head. Item 108 is a copy of this address, and it contains one of Webster's later inscriptions, with his best regards to one Mrs. Cornelia Thayer. $900.
Next is a book in which no one wanted to find their name. It is the Straw & Prince Undertakers Cash Book. This is an accounting book for the Manchester, New Hampshire, undertaker from 1864-1867, but it also includes the names of hundreds of people who conducted their final transactions with this estimable firm. Item 86. $500,
Here is a catalogue filled with goods for sale, shoes, socks, brooms, brushes, shirts, tables, desks, chairs, beds, baskets, pots and pans. Is this circa 1928 catalogue from Sears or Wards? No. It is the New York State Department of Corrections, Catalogue of Products Manufactured in State Institutions. These must have been good products because the workers quite literally worked like slaves to produce them. And you thought all they could make were license plates! Item 121. $225.
Thomas Cullen may be reached by phone at 716-662-2082 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you find this material as interesting as I do, you should give him a call.