Sunday, March 20, 2011

Emma Meyer’s Autograph Book

Autograph books have long been a favorite of graduating students, providing them with a memento that contained verses and signatures written by their friends and classmates. Emma Meyer received this autograph book from her brother Frank about 1883. Emma was living at 323 Tiffin Avenue in Sandusky, Ohio at the time. The booklet was entitled the “Golden Floral Album.” Colorful pictures have been glued to some of the pages of the autograph book.

Below is the verse signed by Eva Bitter:

It reads:
“To Emma”
May you path be strewn with roses.
Fair and flowery to the end;
And when your body in death reposes.
May your Maker be your friend.

                                    Is the wish of your
                                    Friend Eva Bitter

Aug. 24, 1883
The signatures that Emma collected were from people in several  locations, including Catawba Island, Norwalk, Columbus, and Louisville, Kentucky, suggesting that Emma carried the autograph book with her while she traveled. John Miller, from Bellevue, who would later become Emma’s husband, signed her autograph book.

Autograph books can help you learn more about your ancestor and the times in which they lived. Long before cell phones and Facebook, the humorous verses and Victorian illustrations contained in Emma’s autograph book provide us with a brief glimpse of the customs of young adults in days gone by.

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