Last month we received a donation of 3 stereocards from a man in Rochester, New York. He had bought each of the cards for .50 cents. The 3 cards were of the 1876 Centennial Celebrations here in Downtown Grand Rapids. I have added one of the cards to this post for you to look at.
We decided to look at this card through a digital magnifier to try and establish where the parade had taken place. While scanning the card we noticed an advertisement for a book authored by the Grand Rapids Furniture maker William A. Berkey. Berkey was president of Phoenix Furniture Company and would go on to form the furniture company Berkey and Gay. The title of the book was the Money Question. The image is grainy, but you can just make out the sign, which is located on the right hand side of the card.
We never heard of the book and looked it up in our collections and we did not own it here in Local History. We were able to determine that the book was Berkey’s political manifesto in support of what was called the Greenback Movement.
We conducted a search for it on different bookseller websites and were able to find one for sale. Through the help of a local donor we now own a copy of this work and it will reside here in the Special Collections of the Library!