Here’s a really cool item I snagged on eBay:
This is an early version of the Federal Supply Service notebooks I’ve reviewed here. I don’t know when they changed the information on the back, but from googling the Government Printing Office and the Federal Supply Service, my theory is that the US government used to manufacture these themselves, but at some point, the Printing Office narrowed its responsibilities to printing and binding government documents, and blank memorandum books became something that the government would procure from an outside vendor. The Federal Supply Service falls under the GSA, and is now part of the Federal Acquisition Service. Someone there must be responsible for getting bids from printers to produce these notebooks for military and government workers. It’s nice that they have kept the same “Memorandum” cover design for many decades, even if the materials and construction of the notebooks has changed over the years.
The person who sold this notebook to me offered some background about its original owner:
“The little book was my grandfathers. He was born in Palermo in 1881. He was a wonderful professional artist. He taught art. He was a fashion designer. His work is at the national museum of art. His name was Roger (Ruggero) Pierotti. He also was a comedian early in his life and an actor. He is in a couple of early Charlie Chaplin movies. He led a very colorful life. He devised an outfit of one side being a soldier and the other side being a civilian, which he wore to sell war bonds in both WWl and WWll. The media featured him in the papers. He was immensely Proud of my father, his son, who was a well known political and sports cartoonist – John Pierotti.”
The notebook doesn’t contain any sketches, alas, but it does have what seem to be business records of items bought and sold, and notes about various songs in different musical keys. He also recorded his rent payments– $18 a month!
I love knowing a bit more about the man who wrote these notes, and this notebook is one of my favorite items in the vintage and antique part of my collection.