Thursday, October 29, 2009

1915 NZ Diary No.56

A couple of weeks ago I bid a couple of bucks and got this old diary.

It is leather bound, about 125 x 80mm (5 x 3 inches), one page per day and has a pencil holder sleeve down the length of its spine. It is a New Zealand pocket diary No. 56, from 1915. Considering it is fast approaching being one hundred years old it is in excellent condition.

Not much is written in it, mostly just hours worked by a man who appears to be some sort of rural labourer, travelling around a nearby province clearing forested land for pasture, and doing other farm labours. Although he has a “home” he frequently lives “in camp” for weeks at a time, hunting for his dinner, noting his daily-bags of rabbits, hares, birds and pigs, including on one occasion “shot a pig with no ears!” Another occasion notes a trip to town to purchase suit, hat and teeth.

I bought the diary for its advertisements. They are just plain black and white, very simple and basic. Here’s three I like.

'The Cheapest Shilling Dictionary In The World.' It costs one shilling. So, umm, some ‘shilling dictionaries’ don’t cost a shilling? They cost more?

A very basic ad for one of the world’s leading prestige pen brands.

“...neither too large nor too small, too thick nor too thin, but just right.” The perfect mechanical pencil?


Germ said...


Anonymous said...

I like the "almost mechanically." So really it's an almost-mechanical pencil?

Kiwi-d said...

Hi Leila. Yes, could-be. Perhaps another interpretation is that its like a secret little invader from the Borg, out here on reconnaissance. You pick up this pencil and it starts taking you over, making you perform almost mechanically :-)