As I wrote a post here on my blog in 2014, this partially damaged pile of Guest Hotel Registers was found in an old wood chest in a closet that is located under one of the back staircases leading from the 3rd floor down to the second. They had been there since at least the 1970's but only found in the 2000's when The Perrins bought the building. Most of the pages are in pretty good shape. The pages were not in their binder that they would normally be found in like the example below.
Below: This is an example of how the Hotel Register pages would be in a binder with the date shown on front. This example is not of The Josephine Hotel.
Clearly this is a very good example. But for whatever reason, the previous owners pulled all the pages from the book, leaving us to guess from what years these precious pages of the past would be.
Here's the stack I actually brought home to study:
Well, I knew I had my work cut out for me. But heck, I thought it would be fun. Joyce had always planned to sit down and go through them thoroughly and see what all was in there. But by always being busy and on the go, she just didn't have the time. So, since I am always blogging about the building why not see for myself.
My first objective was to try and determine a date since they weren't in the binder with the date on the outside. At first I thought I would have a hard time with that, but it turned out that the first clue was in the upper right hand corner where the form has a 19--,
the dash is to be filled in. About half of these sheets are like this. Then there were occasional dates written in on the pages where the guests signed in. It was ultimately determined that many of the 19 dash pages were from the mid to late 40's. Another clue was the constant blobs of ink dripped, splattered, and spilled on. That's because in those days they used a pen and ink well. See below what I mean by that.
Below: In many hotels up to the mid 1950's you would find these at the clerks desk. This is the most common pen and ink well.
Sometimes higher end hotels would have something like this example:
Later on while going through the pages I saw where the 19 - dash changed to a 195-- This told me that it was the 1950's.
In conclusion of this post, a reminder, that this was just the beginning of my blog posts about these incredible hotel guest registers. The upcoming posts are going to be worth watching for and worth the read. So stay tuned.