Eberhard Company Ledgers, ca. 1900
Appraised Value: $1,200 - $1,500
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (2:22)
Books & Manuscripts
Books and Manuscripts Dept., Senior Vice President
GUEST: These are ledgers that a company called Eberhard were throwing out. My wife just loved the writing on it. And she loved the books, the way they looked. And, uh, she thought they'd look good around the coffee table in our house.
APPRAISER: All right. When do they date from?
GUEST: I think the oldest is 1895 or 1894. And, uh, they sold hinges to the buggy companies and then, later on, they go into the trucking industry. And they, uh, do the hinges and the doorknobs and whatnot.
APPRAISER: That's what I found interesting about this, because the volume we have now covers the first decade of the 20th century, and you really see the transition from buggies to automobiles. The company must have been very successful. They had clients from local areas like Cleveland, and other clients such as the Jensen King Bird Company, as far away as Spokane.
GUEST: Oh, wow.
APPRAISER: But the entry that caught my eye on this page was the Cole Motor Company in Indianapolis, which really does show this wonderful transition from horse-powered vehicles to internal combustion engines. And you say the company is still working today?
GUEST: Yes, they are.
APPRAISER: Did the company have no interest in retaining these?
GUEST: No, they were just going out in the trash.
APPRAISER: And out of... how many ledgers were being thrown away?
GUEST: Oh, that I couldn't tell. My wife would probably know on that, but she says there was shelves and shelves of them.
APPRAISER: And how did she choose these four (we have two of them here) to rescue?
GUEST: She took and looked at, basically, the oldest ones.
APPRAISER: Okay. This volume in particular, the calfskin is almost like suede and it's gotten very flaky. You can get, from a binder, a leather dressing which will-- you don't want to apply it too often, maybe every five or ten years-- will keep it soft and keep it from drying out. But overall, the bindings are good, the internal condition is good. But I think because it does go back to, really, the cradle of the automobile industry, probably for the four that you have together, we'd be looking at a value at auction of maybe $1,200 to $1,500.
GUEST: Wow. (laughs) What they throw away, huh?
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