Navigation: Inventions, Games, and Contraptions

Inventions, Games, & Contraptions

Ghost-Autographs [ink-blot signatures, ca. 1907]
Ghost-Autographs
[ink-blot signatures, ca. 1907]

Clemens first mentioned this odd amusement in a letter of 3 September 1905 to his daughter Clara: "The last fad is 'ghost-autographs.' You write your name down the crease, then fold & press the paper while the ink is still wet & will blot. It generally makes something resembling a skeleton."

The sampling shown here includes one such skeleton made from the name George Washington and two made from Clemens's own name (and pseudonym). In one he discerned a portrait of himself in his "Oxford gown" (Oxford University awarded him an honorary doctorate in 1907); in the second he was "Shouting the battle cry of freedom."


Ghost-Autographs [ink-blot signatures, ca. 1907]

Ghost-Autographs [ink-blot signatures, ca. 1907]

Ghost-Autographs [ink-blot signatures, ca. 1907]
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