Book submission: Sketches in Crude-Oil: Some Accidents and Incidents of the Petroleum Development in all Parts of the Globe

Title: Sketches in Crude-Oil: Some Accidents and Incidents of the Petroleum Development in all Parts of the Globe
Author: McLaurin, John J.
Publication date: Harrisburg, 1898
Library: Henry Buhl Library
Call number: TN870 .M18 1898
Submitted by: Alicia Pollard
(1) This book bears the mark of at least three different kinds of ink: perhaps they memorialize three readers with different pens, or a single reader in a house full of ink spills. The first pen writes with green ink; accidentally on page viii, then intentionally captioning the illustration on pg. 26. This green ink reader obviously had some knowledge of the area to know where the previously uncaptioned picture was taken, and when: Oil City, 1867 (31 years before the book was published – was this note written by a town native?).
(2) The second kind of ink is bright pink, stamped on pages 333 and 335 (seemingly accidentally) with the smudged prints of a right thumb. This reader may have been using a library copy, since this pen made no personal notes or underlining – just stains.
(3) The third kind of ink marking the book looks intentional, but cryptic: a dark blue pen which puts a mark in the margins of page 263. This mark looks like a sideways L or a right angle and is duplicated beside the second paragraph of the page. The markings suggest both these paragraphs (which deal with the same story) were important – but not important enough for a full note.
(4) Sketches in Crude-Oil has survived the century since its publication fairly well, with some splotches as well as water stains permeating the edges and the last pages. It seems to have served mostly right-handed readers: most markings occur on the right-hand pages, and faint right thumbprints occur on pages 163, 179, and 235 (with natural oil, not pink ink this time, though they may be from the same reader).
(5) This copy also bears the marks of some mild “reader accidents” – some sticky substance which tore away some text on pages 264-65, stains like the one on page 331, and markings such as those on 231.
(6) Another reader accident on pg. 423 is a smear of black ink: my imagination at least attributes this one to a typewriter, since the streaks don’t look like those of a stray pen.

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