25 January 2013

Rescuing a vintage book

I don't know how I went to school 90 miles from Chicago and yet never knew anything about the 1893 Columbian Exposition.  I first learned about it a few years ago watching the PBS specials Make No Little Plans and Chicago: City of the Century

But then something mysterious happened.  I was sorting through our attic storage area and discovered this:

Our home has been in my husband's family for more than 60 years.  And family lore is that one of his great-great-great aunts was an adventurous, independent soul, quite ahead of her time, really.  It's entirely likely that she attended the World's Fair and bought this book as a souvenir.  This is the "official photography" of the Fair (attendees had to buy a very expensive permit to take "Kodaks" of their own).  Hundreds of images. 

And now it is mine to treasure... and to rescue.  The years have not been kind.

Pretty - but disconnected.


Yikes.  It needs a book doctor. 

I'm hoping Carlson & Turner Antiquarian Books may be able to help me.

Why now?  Erik Larson's Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America has gripped my mind.  WOW.  I am reading way too late into the night.  Not only is the World's Fair very interesting to me, but there's a terrifying serial killer, systematically luring and killing naive young women.  He's a smooth operator.... the most frightening kind of killer.

But more on that later.  First Shepp's needs TLC.  Stat.


  1. This is awesome! What an amazing find.

    My friend Bethany hand-binds books and journals. She might be able to offer some guidance if you want to take on any of the fixing yourself.

  2. I will take you up on that! I think this is a bigger project than I can handle myself, but Bethany might be able to give me some advice on the kind of price-point I should expect. OR... if she's local, maybe I can make an appointment with her "clinic" instead! Is she taking new patients? LOL