Thursday, June 11, 2009

Finding a Fortune

Rare is the person who hasn't dreamt of finding a fortune in the attic, a dusty over-looked relic destined to allay economic concerns.

Many youngsters, particularly boys, are intrigued by treasure tales. Most abandon interest with adulthood, though the dream persists in the American obsession with the pursuit of sudden fortune through lotteries and other games of chance.

I'm librarian of my county historical society and I admit we'd like to find a bonanza in our collections. Recently, members of a neighboring historical society did find one: a dusty copy of what they hoped might be an original 18th century Poor Richard's Almanac.

While many doubted its authenticity, the Berwick PA society submitted the almanac to Sotheby's in New York. On Tuesday, June 9, an anonymous bidder paid $556,500 for the 1733 relic--the second highest ever paid for a book printed in America.

How's that for luck?

Need I say we at our historical society are envious. But, with tight funding plaguing all such institutions, we also applaud their good fortune.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you.

    I definitely was more luck than anything else. The books sat on a shelf mainly untouched for sixty years. The proceeds will be placed in an endowment fund and used to restore the Jackson Mansion - a 1860s three story stone Victorian that currently houses Berwick City Hall.

    Tom McLaughlin
    Board of Directors
    Berwick Historical Society