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"Steele Box" - Covers

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Posted 04/09/2021   08:01 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Mark - It is such great material. The diverse subject matter and content interest level is extraordinary. Thank you again for sharing.

Have you looked into contacting any universities that may be within a comfortable radius from you regarding conservation/stabilization of the material? A university is much more likely to take on such an endeavor at little or no cost to you.
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Posted 04/09/2021   12:54 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mforder to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Rogdcam,

You'e welcome. I never thought of going to a University. There are enough around that I could contact. One place I did contact was Mt Vernon for the George Washington printing plate I have that was for a $200 request for payment. The original paper it was made from was considered a collectible at it's time The copper plate was basically some sort of copy of the original piece of paper from 1798, at least I thought it was up until now.

What I just found out from the researchers at Mt Vernon is that the doc represented on the copper plate was a forgery from one of the most prolific forgers of Washingtons signatures, His name was "Robert Spring". Robert Spring was a book seller located in Philadelphia in the mid 1800's. Robert saw that there was an interest back then for autographs and he decided to recreate documents and forged signatures and then sell them. He was found out and was arrested and somehow got away and made it up to Canada where he continued to do the same. He was eventually caught in 1858, convicted and put in prison. This plate represents one of his forgeries. It turns out that he was so well know for doing it that anything related to him is highly desirable to folks who collect items from George Washington.

I did look on the internet and I did find forged Washington docs for sale from Robert Spring and people pay a good price for them, they are sought after. In the case of the copper printing block I have it's different because it is from that timeframe but it is unusual as well. As we know paper will deteriorate aover time if not properly stored. I know that from looking at items at the bottom of the "Steele Box" before I saved it.

I am still in contact with Mt Vernon and I am trying to find out if this block is something that they would want. I am waiting to hear back I also want to give them a big KUDOs. They went all out and found information about the block, found the connection for the name "Gilmer" which is the esquire that Washington supposedly wanted the $200 doles (dollars) to be handed to and a number of pages that talked about the forgeries, They even found an old book/digital pages that had a print made from the coper plate I have. It's fascinating and amazing. I have to say I am blown away with what the Mt Vernon researchers skills and capabilities are and what they found.

Next I will be looking into the "Woodward trial at Newton, Sussex Co., New Jersey" I believe there are papers in the box from this person. Not sure what subject they were on, it may just be a bullhead or a few checks.

I would have posted a pic of the block and some links so folks could see what I am talkings about but according to the rules I really should not be doing that.

If anyone is interested here are a few searches in google you can do to find out more about Robert Spring...


You can search for....

  • "robert spring" forgery washington

  • George Washington to John Greenwood, 7 December 1798 "founders archives"

  • "the great washington forger" washington collection raab


There are many articles and sites you can go to to read more about Robert Spring.

---Mark

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Edited by mforder - 04/09/2021 2:58 pm
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Posted 04/09/2021   2:49 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mforder to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The letter head appears to be for a "Hallow E'en Party" , Who you look at the letter head on the first page you will see W.J.Raymond Manager. As you read the dletter you will clearly see it's no party.

Dora Gordon Steele was the sister of Charles Steele who had all of these papers. I see checks being paid to W. J. Raymond as well. Dora Gorden Steel can be found on the internet and you will see that she was an aspiring Opera singer who did sing in a number of places. If you look at the woman's pic in this post you can see what she looked like. That picture came from a pamphlet that had reviews from a number of different papers and critics. It seemed like people liked her BUT I cannot find anywhere on any sites that mention she became a professional. I am not saying she didn't.

What is interesting is that the cove and the letterhead have two things that I have noticed. One is that they are specific to Dora Gordon Steele and the other is the fact that they spell "Hallow E'en".







Please know that the stamp was not affixed to the cover but I believe it is the correct stamp.


---Mark
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Posted 04/09/2021   3:01 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add txstamp to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Halloween, as I recall is "All Hallows Eve".

Poetically, 'v' is often omitted so E'en seems easily derived.

This is all very neat stuff to see, thanks for posting.
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Posted 04/09/2021   9:46 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Hal to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
mforder - MANY, MANY THANKS for posting this great group of covers with contents!

Hal
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Edited by Hal - 04/09/2021 9:47 pm
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Posted 04/09/2021   9:58 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mforder to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Hal, Taxstamp and others,

I can't thank you all for the great feedback. I am totally happy that things like this are appreciated. I am grateful that I can share it. I will do my best to add more as time allows. Hopefully no one has an issue with that. So far everyone single person here has been welcoming and interested. Makes me happy to see such a good group of people.


Thanks again,
---Mark
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Posted 04/28/2021   9:24 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mforder to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Folks,

Sorry I haven't been posting more. My hard drive filled up and my iMac crashed and I needed to get a new hard rive installed. I also need a external one for all of these images.

This is the latests addition from the "Steele Box". Unfortunately I cannot find the matching stamp to the cover. I will keep looking for it.






As I was looking I also found that folks are taking my images and selling them on Esty. I believe that they were taken from my old website where they were supposed to have been protected. I just reached out to the seller on Esty asking here to take them down. Let's see what happens.
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Edited by mforder - 04/28/2021 9:52 pm
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Posted 04/28/2021   10:24 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add hy-brasil to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Very nice! Once again, the envelope took the brunt of the passage of time, but these contents held up perfectly. Like The Picture of Dorian Gray.

You could store it all quite cheaply on a USB/thumb drive, no?
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Posted 04/29/2021   07:03 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mforder to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi hy-brasil,

That's a good idea. I will look into them. I know that when I went back to some older SD cards for the camera I have that I could not access things but maybe the USB/Thumb drives are more stable now.

As for the cover you're right, the cover itself shows that it's had gone though a bit but the papers found inside were not so bad. I only wish that I had an envelope that I could jump into for a while... :)


---Mark
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Posted 04/29/2021   08:58 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mforder to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
This looks like a bad day in general. I cannot tell if there was ever a stamp affixed to this or not. The envelope is addressed but what could have happened to the back? There is all sorts of stamping on this and I am not sure if they are postal or were done at the bank? Any guesses? Maybe someone used this as a blotter?





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Posted 04/29/2021   09:27 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add m and m to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
what a fascinating slice of period history. thank you for posting the items and please continue to do so.
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Posted 04/29/2021   09:28 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add m and m to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
oh and by the way
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Posted 04/29/2021   10:52 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mforder to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
TY M and M thank you! Glad you are enjoying it!
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Posted 04/29/2021   12:27 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mforder to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Here is one of a number of electric companies that were placing bids on installing electric in the town of Newton, NJ at the time.. Some of the other companies that I have papers on, only have the letterhead and no covers...

- The New England Engineering Company
- The Fort Wayne Electric Company
- Skilton and Son Ball Electric Light Company
- W. S. Chelsey & Company - Agents and Dealers in New and Second Hand Apparatus
- Pepper & Register Electrical and Mechanical Engineers
- Eastern Engineering and Construction Company - Contractor for Complete Installation of - Electric Railways, Light Power and Manufacturing Plants
...and others.

The letterhead for The Fort Wayne Electric, Skilton and Son, and The New England Engineering Company are pretty neat but since I do not have the envelopes / covers to post them.


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Edited by mforder - 04/29/2021 12:40 pm
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Posted 04/29/2021   1:19 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mforder to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Westingouse, Church & Kerr is another company that placed bids on installing electric in Newton....

What I am wondering about this cover is the back. I recently noticed a hand stamp that looked as if it were a one piece unit that was used for not only stamp the date, city and so on, it also appears to have a separated hand stamp piece that was off to the side but I could be mistaken. My question is what is that extra oval hand stamp with the lines and looks like a bulls eye for?


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