Monday, May 10, 2010

Wendy O.Williams' Bookplate and The Answer Man

Do you know anything about this artist, Furth? I suspect he was German or Austrian and emigrated to the states. Click on images to enlarge. Here is some biographical information about Mr. Kaempffert:

Richard Minsky has written an excellent book about embossed American book covers. For bookplate collectors it is a very useful reference because many of the artists mentioned designed both bookplates and covers. Some of the ciphers illustrated in the book enabled me to identify some mystery bookplates. Here is a link with more information:

I am both repulsed and fascinated by the late Wendy O.Williams of the Plasmatics so I decided to bid on a book of poetry which allegedly came from her library.The tipping point was that the EBay dealer offering the book was in Connecticut and I knew she lived in that state before committing suicide.

I wrote to the dealer asking how he knew with certainty that this was not a bookplate from someone else with the singer's name . By the time he replied the auction had ended and I was the high bidder He apologized and offered a refund because he really did not know with certainty who this really belonged to. My gut feeling is that the Wendy O.Williams of fleeting fame did not own this book but I kept it anyway.

From 1947 to about 1951 I used to listen to a radio show called The Answer Man. For those of you who never heard of him I just copied this information from Wikipedia:

"The Answer Man was a United States 15-minute radio program that aired from 1937 to 1956 on the Mutual Broadcasting System and also in syndication. It was broadcast late Sunday evening on some stations. During the 1940s, the program was sponsored by Trommer's White Label Beer. The Answer Man was Albert Carlyle Mitchell, who was born May 31, 1893 in Elsberry, Missouri. The series was created by Mitchell and Bruce Chapman.
Questions submitted by listeners were answered on the air by Mitchell, and those who sent questions not used in the program were given answers by mail. The program's offices were located across the street from the New York Public Library, which helps to explain how Chapman and his 40-person staff were able to deal with a constant flow of a million questions a year. They also kept their own specialized library of several thousands of volumes, and they created a card index of 20,000 authorities who could be consulted when all research avenues failed. The show was carefully scripted, yet it created the illusion that Mitchell was answering spontaneously. Many listeners believed that he was a genius with total recall of all information.
On New York's WOR, the program was heard twice a day from 1937 to 1952. Questions and answers covered every conceivable topic, from stain removal to legal advice. "

I mention the Answer Man because the frequency of my blog postings relating to a somewhat obscure topic puts me on top of most Google bookplate searches and that in turns leads to several bookplate questions each week from people all over the known universe. This week it is my turn to ask questions. Here are two bookplates along with enlarged scans of the artist's ciphers . Does anyone out there have some information about these artists ?
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I leave for Michigan in the morning and next Sunday I will be at the Ann Arbor book show so the blog will not be updated until May 25th.

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