Stories of the Past- Just a Torn Scrap of Paper

Just a torn scrap of paper preserved within the pages of another text of related topic, but not belonging~
Redman, Jacques and Hinman, Russell. “Natural Advanced Geography”. American Book Company. 1898.
Click the arrow on the Instagram post to view 7 more photos after the collage.
Photo Series “Advanced Geography 1898” : 1st image: Collage: Several photos from “Advanced Geography” ; 2nd image: Montauk Lighthouse; 3rd image: Adirondacks; 4th image: Albany; 5th image: the torn page; 6th image: Publisher; 7th image: Title page; 8th image: Webster Coon’s inscription on the inside of the front cover.

Just a Torn Scrap of Paper

Stories of the past are often tucked within the pages of old books. In this case, the details in the sketches on a torn scrap of paper found in student Webster Coon’s “Natural Advanced Geography” fascinates me. I am drawn first to the three circular focus frames placed above another sketch. The first circle is of Albany with a cityscape serving as a backdrop to the river, framed by a conifer. In contrast, the second focus frame depicts the serenity of the Adirondacks with the highest mountains in New York standing tall in the background. It is the central focus frame, but it is overlaid by the two other frames. National Maritime Historic Landmark Montauk Lighthouse constructed in 1796 and still operational as a navigational tool draws the viewer’s eye, yet there are two figures on the cliff and several below who in view of the rough waters and rocks of the Atlantic Ocean seem insignificant. In terms of details, the sketch of numerous water vessels beneath the three circles is the most remarkable of the collection.

This focus on water is fitting and explained in these two sections of text on the torn page: “Position and Rank” and “Outline and Boundaries”.

Position and Rank

“The geographical position of New York, – between the Great Lakes on the west, and the Atlantic Ocean on the south-east, – together with its natural facilities for water-communication, enlarged by canals, has given the state its foremost rank in the Union for population, commerce, and wealth, and its title of the “Empire State”.

Just a torn scrap of paper preserved within the pages of another text of related topic, but not belonging~
Redman, Jacques and Hinman, Russell. “Natural Advanced Geography”. American Book Company. 1898.

Outline and Boundaries

“The outline of this state is very irregular. Only a little over one-third of its boundary consists of straight lines, the other two-thirds being formed by bodies of water, including Lake Erie, the Niagara River, Lake Ontario, part of the St. Lawrence River, and Lake Champlain. The linear boundaries make about 541 miles; the water boundaries, 879 miles.”

Just a torn scrap of paper preserved within the pages of another text of related topic, but not belonging~
Redman, Jacques and Hinman, Russell. “Natural Advanced Geography”. American Book Company. 1898.

Discover

What will I discover next within the pages of an old book? Share your findings in the comments section.

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