This Online Group Collects Images Of Historical Mementos People Randomly Found And Here’re 30 Of The Most Interesting Ones

Among all the amazing things out there in the world, the smell of wet concrete after a thunderstorm and the whiff of old paper rank at the very top for me. Couple the latter with my love of old books, documents, and all sorts of arcane papyri and you’ve got yourself a literature lover. I’ll read everything. Heck, I’ll read anything, even your cereal box. So I was pleasantly surprised after I stumbled upon the ‘Found Paper’ community over on Reddit.

A community of just over 147k members, r/FoundPaper likes to keep it simple and does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a community dedicated to documenting various pieces of paper found out in the wild. We’ve collected some of the best paper mementos as shared on the community for you to enjoy, dear Pandas, so remember to upvote your fave pics as you scroll down. Be sure to check out r/FoundPaper when you have the time and give them a follow if you like their stuff.

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#1 Death Warrant For My 10th Great Grandmother Susannah North Martin, Tried And Convicted At The Salem Witch Trials

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#2 Friend Of Mine Just Moved Into A New House. Took Off All The Heating Vents To Paint Them, And This Was Behind One Of Them

Image credits: perfect_square

#3 Sad Find Today

Image credits: 1DeltaBlu

The r/FoundPaper subreddit celebrated its 7th birthday a few days ago, on April 30 (congratulations!), proving that communities thrive and survive based on the quality of the content they post. And the fact that the subreddit has had so many birthdays is proof enough that it’s got quality entertainment locked down tight.

One of the ‘Found Paper’ community’s greatest strengths is how streamlined and niche its interests are. Its second strength is that it actually encourages its members to get out of the house and start their own small adventures in order to have something to post.

#4 Good Advice For Everyone!

Image credits: pioneercynthia

#5 Found On A Collected Airplane Food Tray By Flight Attendant

Image credits: TheSoulOfTheRose

#6 “Ain’t I A Peach? Ha, Ha” In A 1895 Bible

Image credits: byParallax

“Photographs of found pieces of PAPER(!) with writing on them. Look for paper, make every day a scavenger hunt. Appreciate the forgotten artifacts of everyday life. Share any paper that you found (on the ground, stuck in some bushes, or between cans of soup at the store for example) and you do not know who wrote it,” the subreddit’s moderators explain what their community is all about.

#7 Found This Passive Aggressive Customer Service Letter From 1964 In My Garage

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#8 Found Under Windshield

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#9 Prom – April 24, 1970. Found While Walking The Dog This Morning

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“Love letters, doodles, interesting to-do or grocery lists, notes from the past—share your discovery with us!” the mods encourage book, paper, scavenger hunt, and adventure lovers to share their awesome finds with everyone else.

#10 Found On My Daily Walk —“Wow”

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#11 Paper Found Among My Late Grandmother’s Belongings Talking About The Armistice Ending Ww I

Image credits: kaganey

#12 In The Library

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The moderators also highlight the fact that in order to post any photos, the paper has to be found and it has to be paper. No forgotten plastic from your garage. No granite engravings from your neighbors Tom and Jane’s farm (because you know exactly whom they belong to and, well, paper beats rock).

#13 My Mother-In-Law Found A Message In A Bottle Washed Up On The Beach This Weekend. East Coast

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#14 Found In My Fortune Cookie….made Me Smile

Image credits: Layleez

#15 Found In A Couch Being Re-Upholstered

Image credits: tbornottb3

What’s more, the mods want everyone to be “courteous and friendly” toward one another, avoid being “overly annoying or bothersome,” embrace tolerance and sensitivity, as well as remove any and all sensitive personal info from the photos before posting them. Sounds simple enough and it’s the basis for the rules most larger subreddits follow. Disruptive, chaotic, and intolerant communities don’t tend to last for long on Reddit (unless they’re doing it on purpose for the sake of humor).

#16 Was Told To Post Here: My Cousin Is Using This Bag Which Originally Belonged To Our Great Grandmother For Her Dance Tomorrow Night And Found A Note Which Has Been Hidden For 81 Years

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#17 Found Posted On A Couple Of The Walls Around My City. Email At The Bottom Blacked Out

Image credits: MyWingedLiner

#18 “I Remember That Old Pole”

Image credits: DazedAndConfused0112

The Library of Congress explains that how quickly paper deteriorates depends on its quality and in what environment it’s stored. Some ancient tomes and documents can actually be in far better condition than a scrap of paper that’s just a few years old.

“Paper is made of cellulose—a repeating chain of glucose molecules—derived from plant cell walls. One measure of paper quality is how long the cellulose chains, and subsequently the paper fibers, are: long-fibered paper is stronger and more flexible and durable than short-fibered paper,” the LoC points out that not all paper is created equally. If you’re going for longevity, long-fibered paper is your best bet.

#19 This Book From 1892 I Found Inside A Hole In The Wall In A Rental Flat

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#20 Found (Under) Wallpaper

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#21 Found In The Hallway Of My School

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Acids from the environment (like from air pollution or poor-quality enclosures) or from within the paper cut these glucose chains into shorter and shorter lengths in the presence of moisture. “This acid hydrolysis reaction produces more acids, feeding further, continued degradation.”

#22 Bought An Abandoned House And Found This In The Attic

Image credits: apatheticweasel

#23 Garage Sale Find (1929) – About 100 Love Letters Over Two Years From A Guy In Seattle To A Girl In Aberdeen, Wa

Image credits: Braunnoser

#24 This Dollar Bill I Found In My Change

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One of the reasons why newspapers don’t last for long is because they’re printed on mechanically pulped paper, meaning the paper has got the shortest fiber length. Meanwhile, the lignin from the wood isn’t removed (as in the case of chemical pulping) and promotes acid hydrolysis, shortening the glucose chains even more.

#25 This Came Out Of A Book I Was Flipping Through

Image credits: Urban_Archeologist

#26 Purchased Old Poetry Book At Flea Market And Found This Old Receipt For A College Poetry Class. This Receipt Has Been In This Book For 102 Years!

Image credits: Dogspokerpolitics

#27 Historicfound This On The Street In Downtown Sd About 4 Years Ago When I Needed It Most. It’s Been In My Wallet Ever Since

Image credits: littleppdp

What’s more, it’s not just acid hydrolysis that threatens a piece of paper’s structural integrity. It can also be damaged by light (what’s known as being susceptible to photolytic degradation) and oxygen (oxidative degradation).

The poorer quality of the paper, the more light degradation affects it. Meanwhile, oxygen degrades paper in a very limited way, unless there are nitrogen oxide pollutants in the air.

#28 Found In My Apartment Building Lobby Today In North Dakota

Image credits: Cowsmop

#29 Found On The Floor Of A Target. Meet Carla Rose

Image credits: Thorinandco

#30 “No. Not Yet.” ~ Found In 1908 High School Geometry Textbook

Image credits: drewfuss99

Generally, what you want to aim for is having high-quality paper that’s stored in good conditions. Cooler temperatures and 30 to 40 percent relative humidity can help paper last for a very long time, according to the Library of Congress. That’s something to keep in mind if you want to take good care of the interesting finds and documents you may have picked up on your scavenger hunts.


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