Most everyone visits his shop to have a look at his queer door
September 4, 2011 5:59 PM   Subscribe

Anyone who was anyone in the literary world of 1920s New York signed the door of Frank Shay's Christopher Street bookshop. The door is now in the collection of the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas, and they'd like your help identifying the remaining unknown signatures.
posted by Horace Rumpole (13 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
Best. Of. The. Web.

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tzikeh likes this.

Etc.
posted by tzikeh at 6:17 PM on September 4, 2011


Wow, okay, I look at my comment, and then look at the panels of the door, and think: I bet there's something deep to be said about these two juxtaposed representations of "I was here." I hope someone more eloquent than I has the brains to do so.
posted by tzikeh at 6:20 PM on September 4, 2011


This is so fabulous. And so ironic that the last pieces will be solved by the internet in such an atrocious web interface.
posted by DarlingBri at 7:05 PM on September 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Figured out this one in about 10 minutes of searching online - Joseph Jefferson O'Neill, reporter for the New York World.
posted by waitingtoderail at 7:06 PM on September 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Reading the Ransom Center notes, I had a flash of insight into how twenty or thirty years from now "a bookshop" may be regarded as a quaint historical curiosity rendered obsolete by progress.
posted by jayder at 7:12 PM on September 4, 2011


Bohemian CAPTCHA
posted by stbalbach at 7:27 PM on September 4, 2011


I had a flash of insight into how twenty or thirty years from now "a bookshop" may be regarded as a quaint historical curiosity rendered obsolete by progress.

Given the number of physical objects in circulation, books will continue to be traded for a very long time. The most likely scenario is fragmentation of media formats, since that is usually what happens, no one media format dominates but the old monopoly format gets fragmented into many options. For example TV/Movies from the 50s to the many ways to watch video today.
posted by stbalbach at 7:38 PM on September 4, 2011


I'm submitting The Whelk for any that look like no one will ever figure it out.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:53 PM on September 4, 2011


I hear that reading cursive is becoming a lost art, but I don't think they tried very hard. This signature is obviously Richard S McCabe. Middle initial could be a J. But I can't find a biography online that would match. There are a couple of prominent Richard McCabes that are dominating search results.
posted by charlie don't surf at 8:02 PM on September 4, 2011


I wonder if this was Ada Jaffray McVickar of Yonkers, who was a saleswoman at a bookstore in 1930. She corresponded with Edgar Lee Masters in 1924.
posted by Knappster at 8:28 PM on September 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I remember my dad taking me on trips to New York and claiming that every other apartment or coffee shop in the Village was frequented by Bob Dylan or some other identity...
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 12:51 AM on September 5, 2011


This signature is obviously Richard S McCabe. Middle initial could be a J. But I can't find a biography online that would match.

Could it possibly be Richard J. McCabe, baseball player from Long Island who had a couple of cups of coffee in the majors?
posted by waitingtoderail at 3:21 AM on September 5, 2011


Has UT checked the NY city directories? I would think that some of these might have been from regular customers who weren't involved in the arts or the social whirl.
posted by brujita at 7:27 AM on September 5, 2011


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