Hello, and welcome to STOWE VINTAGE ! The autographs we offer are from the comprehensive collection of my late father FRANK WARREN TRICKER. Born in 1913, and raised an orphan, Frank Tricker, was mainly self educated and developed wide ranging interests throughout his life.
He started out collecting books and stamps, and soon developed those into small businesses. As most stamp collectors and dealers know, collecting stamps soon leads to owning a lot of stamps that are not worth more than face value. Faced with this dilemma, he started writing to people he read about and asking for their autographs, with an enclosed self addressed STAMPED envelope and since he also collected cigar bands, many times he would request those as well. These can be seen on some autographs.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, he also took advantage of the fact that celebrities would often visit and perform there. He was not able to afford tickets to their performances but he could wait at hotel entrances and stage doors, to politely request their autographs.
Fascinated by show business and a love of physical culture he developed a hand balancing act, finding partners at local gymnasiums. He started to travel the United States extensively, performing at county fairs, night clubs, and appearing at many movie theaters. Back then many movie theaters would feature live performers between movies.
When performing with other acts he would often get their autographs, which is how he got Bill Robinson “Mr. Bojangles” and others.
Being in the book business, when he found an autographed book, he would often remove the autographed page, and resell the book. Back then it was the custom to trim and cut autographs to fit albums which were, for him, expensive.
His many nationwide contacts would often want something he had or vice versa and he was usually open to suggest a trade, and many of the older autographs were obtained in this manner. When worse came to worse, sometimes he would actually pay for an item he wanted. There is a receipt for ten dollars, dated in the early 1930’s from an autograph dealer stipulating that he pay the full ten dollars within one or two months, at $ 2.00 per week. For that princely sum of $10.00 he purchased the signatures of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison on a large document in four languages, ship’s papers for the ship “DOVE” carrying flour.
So, enjoy your stroll through my dads collection!
(Photo - my parents performing)
To learn more please visit STOWEVINTAGE.COM !
Thanks, Barry Tricker