A 1920S / 1930s Student Autograph Book
This is a 1930s school “autograph book” I found at an estate sale in Portland Oregon. I paid $5.00 for it . These little books were very common from the 1929s to the 1950s. However, I had never seen one before.
The owner of the book, Margaret was 11 or 12 at the time she passed the book around to friends and classmates.
The autograph entries were
handwritten in cursive
written in short rhyme or verse
reinforced gender norms of the time
I was able to find out a bit more about Margaret including her obituary and link to memorial photographs. I will be contacting the family to return the book if they’d like to have it.
Dear Margaret, in the far future you’ll have many a lover / To give them more room / I’ll write on the cover / Mildred C–
A place for student’s name and list of teachers.
Some great 1920s / 1930s names: Madeline O’dell, Ernest Buchman, Mary Burns, Charlotte Rhodes, June Butcher, Audrey Soulman, Clyde Gerkins, Gertrude O’Brien
Ridgefield Wash / Aug 11, 1928 / Dear Margaret-/ True worth is in being, not seeming / In doing each day that goes by some little good, not in dreaming / of great things to do by and by./ Aunt Polly
Vancouver, Wash / February 6, 1929 / Dear Margaret / Remember me little / Remember me big. Remember me a little fat pig / p.s. excuse my writing. / Your best school chum / Pauline Youngman / W. 15th St.
Vancouver, Wash / Nov. 13, 1928 / Dear Margaret / Be good sweet maid, and let who will be clever / Do noble things, not dream them all day long / and so make life, death and that vast forever / One grand, sweet song–Kingsly / I’ve enjoyed working with you very much Margaret / Your Teacher / Ethel Warwick
#1 Remember / December 2, 1932 / January 23, 1933 / Dear Margaret / Love is an onion. You taste it with delight. Afterwards you wonder what even made you bite. / Your classmate, Verna Johnson #2 Vancouver, Wash / Foot of W. 8th Street / Dear Margaret / Margaret now. Margaret forever. Holtgrieve now but not forever / Your sis / Mildred Holtgrieve
Vancouver, Wash / Feb. 6, 1929 / Dear Margaret Holtgrieve / roses are Red / Violets are blue / Sugar is sweet / And so are you / Yours Truly / Margaret McIrvin
Forget me not [on corners] / Vancouver, Wash / Feb 7, 1920 / Dear Margaret / When you get married and have some twins cover over to my house after safety pins. / Your Friend Clara McCarthy
Vancouver Wash. / Feb. 5, 1929 / Dear Margaret, When you get married and live by the lake send me a piece of your wedding cake. / Your sis / Mildred Holtgrieve
#1 Bridal Veil, Ore / Feb. 7, 1933 / Dear Margaret / I know very well that you may be green this year / But you may never fear / You won’t be next year. / Your little friend Wilma Smith #2 Feb.19, 1929 / Dear Margaret / I love you little / I love you big ? I love you like a big fat pig / Your friend M—