Name that Signature

Many of the SHC’s collections contain letters, notes, cards, and other writings by individuals of a certain historical celebrity. We have many items signed by presidents, sports stars, famous actors, authors, and more.

A number of these luminaries actually have pretty poor penmanship. So, just for fun, we thought we’d share a few squiggly ones here to see if you, the reader, can guess the name behind the signatures. If you’d like to guess, please do so in the comment box below. Later we’ll share the identities of these mystery folks.

Here’s a clue: all of the following are signatures of famous writers of the 20th century.

1

2

3

4

This entry was posted in Just for Kicks, Staff Finds, Writers and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Name that Signature

  1. Jatin Prajapati says:

    no comment

  2. Jatin Prajapati says:

    reply fast

  3. BillyBoy says:

    I think #2 might be william faulkner & #3 ernest hemmingway

  4. Thanks for the guesses. #2 is deceptive…it’s a last name.

    I think this round of signatures might have been a bit too challenging out of the gate. Just goes to show how difficult this kind of historical detective work can be when bits and pieces are taken out of context.

    I’m happy to give another clue – their initials are as follows:

    1. C.A.
    2. W.C.W.
    3. E.P.
    4. H.L.M.

  5. Kevin Cherry says:

    1) Conrad Aiken
    2) William Carlos Williams
    3) And if you hadn’t said, “writer,” I woudl have said this was Elvis Presley
    4) ???

  6. Good guesses!

    Conrad Aiken is correct for #1.
    William Carlos Williams is correct for #2.

  7. Caitlin Shanley says:

    Could #3 be Ezra Pound?

  8. Caitlin Shanley says:

    I’ll take a stab at #4, too – H.L. Mencken?

  9. Exactly. Nice work, Caitlin!

    Ezra Pound is our third mystery scribbler and H.L. Mencken is the fourth.

    Thanks to all who made guesses. These letters come from a great collection of literary materials, the records of “Contempo”, a journal of literature and social commentary published by Milton Abernethy and Anthony Buttitta in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, from 1931 to 1934.

    The “Contempo” collection in the SHC contains letters from the above correspondents and many more famous authors of the early 20th century: T.S. Eliot, William Faulkner, Hart Crane, Gertrude Stein, e.e. cummings, Langston Hughes, and others.

    Please check out the finding aid for more detailed information:
    http://www.lib.unc.edu/mss/inv/c/Contempo.html

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>