Carrol Daily Times Herald from Carroll, Iowa on June 10, 1974 · Page 6
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Carrol Daily Times Herald from Carroll, Iowa · Page 6

Carroll, Iowa
Issue Date:
Monday, June 10, 1974
Page 6
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\\ Collector^of Autographs Sees No Cure for Mania FUNNY BUSINESS By Roger fio/fen ByJoyStilley NEW YORK (AP) — John Taeni admits that he has been "sick" for nearly 60 years — his "sickness" is collecting autographs. At age 73 he works a full day as a stockbroker, then works four or five hours every night on his vast collection. And he has no intention of giving up either job. "As long as I have my eyes open and can write, I will continue," he says of the labor involved in updating and adding to the more than 70,000 items that already overflow the floor-to-ceiling cabinets lining his spacious living room in an upper East Side Manhattan apartment. Included in his extensive array of scrapbooks, meticulously catalogued, are signatures of every U.S. president and most of the first ladies, all of the vice presidents and all but a few Cabinet members since 1789 and most U.S. senators and representatives, as well as Supreme Court justices, from that date on. "I have all the Nazis from Hitler to Hess, all the Hapsburgs, Napoleon, Josephine and Marie Louise, Louise XIV, Marie Antoinette." he says of his collection dating back to 14th-century signatures on parchment. "Former and present heads of states in every part of the world," he enumerates, "religious leaders, Popes, Kings, all the high U.N. bfficials, 1,600 British generals, 5,560 American generals, 2,590 U.S. admirals, all the astronauts. "From the beginning of Israel I have everyone; there is no country not represented," adds the Austrian-born Taeni, who holds a doctorate in economics from the University of Vienna and has a phenomenal knowledge of U.S. and world history. "And I have all the important Watergate people." The card or document bearing the signature is mounted in a scrapbook along with a painting or photograph and pertinent data concerning the historical figure. "Every single night I work — filing cards, adding new events in each person's career, whether prompted, demoted, if he resigns, if he dies. And I write letters, asking for signatures; every time a new independent nation is formed, every time there's a revolution it means more work," he says. "Very often I say 'it's the last time,' and then a new cabinet comes and here are 20 letters to write — all by hand." His guidelines dictate that additions must be persons in the general area of history and politics. Though few scientists, no matter how famous, are included, Einstein has a place "because the atomic bomb influenced the history of the world. I have to stop somewhere or I'd have 300,000 signatures and we'd ha veto move out." It all started in 1916 when Taeni was a 16-year-old student in a Viennese gymnasium, or high school. "I made a bet for a few pennies that I would get von Hindenburg's signature. I write a letter asking for it and he sent it to me on a card. After I got that autograph I got sick — and my sickness is collecting. When I was young I spent all my money going to every auction in Europe and buying what I could," related Taeni, who came to this country in 1938. In general, the people to whom he now writes are responsive because he is widely known, but sometimes he has to write more than once. Khrushchev failed to answer and he was forced to Times Herald, Carroll, la. f Monday, June 10, 1974 O buy the Soviet leader's autograph from an employee of the Russian embassy in Bonn. "I had Eisenhower's signature with the generals and when he became President I tried several times to get another for the President group. Finally my wife wrote to Mamie and asked her to intervene on my behalf and I got it. One man who never replied and whose signature I would most love to get hold of is Stalin. I have dealers in Europe looking for an authentic one." Though Taeni has made a (THE BIS 0ASOUlttE CAN study of graphology he makes no attempt to analyze the handwriting of the signatures, which range from spindly Arabic to brush-stroked Japanese characters. Taeni and his wife, who is also a stockbroker and partner in her husband's firm, have no children, but he considers his collection his "child." "For me it was the most important thing in the last 50 years. I wouldn't sell it for $10 million: I wouldn't sell if for anything," he says emphatically. "It couldn't be replaced for any amount of money." George Purvis, 26, of Colchester, England, has claimed the world beer-drinking record after quaffing an imperial pint in 1.1 seconds. i WITH FILLED GOLD BOND SUPER DISCOUNT BOOKLETS SUPER VALU GALLON 2% SUPER VALU 5-Lb. BEET l-Lb. LAND-O-LAKE l-Lb. BUTTER-NUT MILK I SUGAR I BUTTER I COFFEE CARROLL, IOWA THIS AD IN EFFECT ONE FULL WEEK WITH EACH FILLED GOLD BOND SUPER DISCOUNT BOOKLET WITH EACH PILLED GOLD BOND SUPER DISCOUNT BOOKLET WITH EACH FILLED GOLD BOND SUPER DISCOUNT BOOKLET WITH EACH FILLED GOLD BOND SUPER DISCOUNT BOOKLET MUSSELMAN'S Apple sauce B&H "FRESHER BY FAR" QUALITY PRODUCE STRAWBERRIES Red Ripe California Pints U.S. No. 1 TUNA ' Wffmm/ W* POTATOES ^m FRESH YELLOW COR FLAVORITE COOKIES VAN CAMP'S Perk & Beans, KRAFT 16 Oz. Thousand Island Pourable Dressing GEDNEY Plain or Kosher Dill Pickles Quart KRAFT 10 Oz. Marshmallows MORRELL 12-Oz. Can Snack Luncheon Meat 3 Oz. INSTANT UPTON Tea KRAFT 7% Oz MACARONI DINNERS 22 Oz. DRY FRISKIES CAT FOOD GILLETTE TRACT II BLADES 9 Count 60z. NOXEMA SKIN CREAM Johnson & Johnson BABY 11 oz SHAMPOO ELF ASPIRIN Reg. 39 C Each 100 Ct. I Bottles ELF CHARCOAL lOLb. Bag ^^C^^^^^^Bl^. ^^Lftlkt " /; • ••' ^^ ^^•••^.^^w 1 40 COUNT KOTEX KLEENEX DECORATOR TOWELS KLEENEX Facial Tissue 3 200 Ct. Boxes

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