Autographs, Manuscripts and More of Famous People from The Raab Collection
Item 44 is a photograph of Britain's Queen Victoria in all her regal splendour. The Queen sports her crown while wearing some sort of flowing outfit and seated on her throne. She looks most uncomfortable, but certainly retains her Victorian propriety. See image accompanying this article. The photograph is signed and dated by the Queen, 1882. $5,800.
Item 50 is an amazing collection of documents for anyone who collects Thomas Edison. Among the great inventor's many projects was developing a superior storage battery. The lead batteries of the day were not particularly effective and Edison sought to create a superior model. From 1906 to around 1910, Edison sent numerous notes to John Lystrop, a chemical engineer working for his Edison Storage Battery Co. Lystrop kept a collection of 19 of these autographed notes plus other related documents in a scrapbook. Raab recently obtained the collection from Lystrup's great-grandson. $25,000.
The centennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth took place on February 12, 1909 (a reminder the bicentennial is coming up soon). A celebration took place in Hodgenville, Kentucky, Lincoln's birthplace, and among the attendees was President Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt spoke, offering a comparison between Lincoln and the revered George Washington. "Each possessed inflexible courage in adversity, and a soul wholly unspoiled by prosperity," said Roosevelt. This tribute from one of the four presidents to make it to Mount Rushmore to two of the others who did is an exceptional association of three of America's greatest leaders. Item 51 is an excerpt from this address, signed by Roosevelt. $6,800.
President William Howard Taft is not one of America's more celebrated leaders. Following the dynamic Roosevelt, he was a plodding personality with a reputation for a more conservative agenda than the dynamic reformer who preceded him. Eventually, Roosevelt would turn on Taft for his views and assure that the latter was a one-term president. However, Taft's reputation for conservatism may not be entirely deserved. Ultimately, Taft would prosecute far more antitrust cases than did Roosevelt. And Taft was less willing to look the other way to monopolistic trusts considered to be "good" trusts rather than evil ones. In fact, in this letter to a judge who had suggested changing the Sherman Antitrust Act to recognize a difference between "good" and "bad" trusts, Taft replies, "I think the act is too valuable...to permit amendments, and I can make no distinction that shall separate good from bad trusts." Item 56 is this letter from President Taft. $4,500.
The Raab Collection may be found on the internet at www.raabcollection.com and reached by phone at 800-977-8333.