Wednesday, January 20, 2010

collections: with momerath

i just love seeing what folks are collecting. i guess i kind of feel it tells us just a little bit about what inspires them, what they love, and what they choose to surround themselves with in their home. today, i'm delighted to present the next in the rikrak studio's collections series: 11 & a 1/2 quick questions with a wonderful artist on what they're collecting, (apart from their art supplies! ) you can also check out my new *the collectors* series, based on these posts, on Etsy's blog, the storque! hope you'll just love: women's passports from the 1950's and earlier with MomeRath.


oh wanderlust!
what a thrill it is to travel to see the world. it's one of my favourite things: the endless possibility & education that unfolds as we explore new places.

how fortunate i feel that where I live, the freedom to travel, on our own, with friends, with family, has luckily become second nature to many women of my generation. we know it wasn't always this way for female travellers, and today's fantastic collection offers us a glimpse of eras when women travelling on their own, or without a male companion, was a rare and curious thing indeed.


Who (are you): I'm MomeRath on Etsy.

What (are you collecting): I collect women's passports from the 1950s and earlier.

When (did you start): 2004.

How (many do you have): Seven.

Where (do you find them) : Ebay, mostly. And friends buy them for me.

Where (do you keep them): On the plate rail of what in a more civilized house would be
the dining room, but in our house it's the playroom.

What (‘s a crazy/interesting story behind one): One of the first things you notice in these passports is how they were often created to be issued to a traveler and "wife" -- Husband and wife could travel on one passport, and the assumption was that a traveler would be male, with perhaps a wife coming along. Women traveling solo screwed up the system -- the issuer would have to go through crossing out all the blanks for "wife." Children, too, could travel on a passport with their parent.

What (piece would you like to add): I wish I had my grandmother's passport. She moved to France in the 1950s. It was a difficult time for her, isolated with her young son, my father, in an unfamiliar place, unable to speak the language.

Why (do you love them): My own passport has always been a prized possession; it
represents freedom, possibility, adventure. I like imagining why these women were
traveling at a time when women weren't "supposed" to go roaming about, and certainly not unescorted. Their passports give tantalizing hints.

Which (one is your favourite) & why: I honestly cannot choose a favorite.

What (else do you collect): I take photos of informational and warning signs that show
that little guy, Stick Figure Man, and all his adventures. He's a secret agent, I'm sure of it. I'm compiling a dossier.


thanks so very much, momerath! what a wonderful part of our liberating history you're collecting.

on your cyber travels, be sure to visit this collectors' shop, too, where adventures await at every turn! it's an eco-friendly a trip into the wonderful world of the stickman and his endlessly crazy capers.

Here's to adventuring, nicies!

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  1. This is amazing! All the history in one little book.

  2. What a fascinating collection! I'll never look at passports the same again.

  3. I love these.
    Thank you for sharing!


thanks so much for your comments, nicies!
it's a joy to read what everyone writes here.
thank you!