Game Used Universe – In 1932, the L.E. Waterman, Company in Brooklyn New York ran an autograph contest for boys and girls ages 16 and under designed to introduce children to the hobby of autograph collecting. According to the Waterman Company, “Collecting autographs is not only one of the most fascinating pastimes but one of the most worth while as well.” As an incentive to introduce children to the world of autograph collecting, the Waterman Company offered “333 splendid prizes, including a total of $2,500 in cash awards”. In fact, the grand prize was $1,000, a nice incentive for any child, much less back in 1932.
What was also interesting was the following statement by the Waterman Company, “But besides this fine opportunity to win an immediate reward, there is a chance that the autograph collection you make now can become very valuable in the future. Collections or documents containing names of historical importance have been sold for many thousands of dollars; some of them carefully preserved and exhibited in famous museums”. Great advice 1932 and prophetic relating to the item offered here.
As part of the contest, the children were given books to collect and assemble the autographs as well as instructions on how to request autographs from notable people. As part of the rules, the Waterman Company made it clear that “Autographs included in this contest must be genuine…not copies…” This particular book was compiled by a young Ruth Hoppach of Corona, New York back in 1932. The young Hoppach did a commendable job with this book (we don’t know if she won a prize the contest or not) compiling fifteen autograph “lifts” that include various New York entertainers and personalities. All the autographs have been authenticated by James Spence Authentication (JSA) and the LOA will be included with the book.
While there are a number of great autographs contained in the book, one is of particular significance. Back in 1932, the young contestant was able to secure four signatures from a popular team of comedians known as “The Marx Brothers”. These autographs are particularly significant in that they include the four Marx Brothers, Chico, Harpo, Zeppo & Groucho. It is not common to find all four autographs together. From 1929 on the Marx Brothers were mainly active in filming. In their first films they appeared as The Four Marx Brothers, but Zeppo left the movie business after the release of Duck Soup in 1933. Fortunately, all four signatures can be found together in this book.
Also included in this book is an autographed photo of Maximillian “Max” Schmeling. As boxing fans know, Schmeling was a German boxer and heavyweight champion of the world between 1930 and 1932. His two fights with Joe Louis in the late 1930s transcended boxing and became worldwide social events because of their national associations.
Other notable autographs include:
Eddie Dowling (December 11, 1889 – February 18, 1976) – an actor, screenwriter, playwright, producer, songwriter and composer. His most famous role was as “Tom Wingfield” in the original Broadway production of The Glass Menagerie, opposite Laurette Taylor and Julie Haydon. He produced the play’s original Chicago production in 1944, and followed it to Broadway.
Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., or Theodore Roosevelt II (November 13, 1887 – July 12, 1944) – an American political and business leader, a Medal of Honor recipient who fought in both World War I and World War II, and the eldest son of President Theodore Roosevelt.
Harry Richman (10 August 1895 – 3 November 1972) – an American entertainer. He was a singer, actor, dancer, comedian, pianist, songwriter, bandleader, and night club performer, especially popular in the 1920s and 1930s. He worked as a piano accompanist to such stars as Mae West and Nora Bayes. He made his feature movie debut in Hollywood in 1930 with the film Puttin’ on the Ritz, featuring the Irving Berlin song of the same title, which gave Richman a phonograph record hit that year.
Charles Edward “Buddy” Rogers (13 August 1904 – 21 April 1999) – an American actor and jazz musician.
Overall, an absolutely amazing book that would be a great part of any autograph collection.
This item is now available in the Game Used Universe store. If you have any questions about the item, you can reach us at 925.552.8023 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Game Used Universe Team