We have multiple personalized “autograph” books in the collection, originally owned by Canal Pilots. These books are full of the stamps of ships that passed through the Panama Canal, as well as the ship captains’ signatures. These autograph books belonged to Robert R. Will and Jack R. Ward.
Do you know anything about this type of book? Is this common practice in canals, or unique to the Panama Canal? Was the collecting of autographs in lieu of or in addition to receiving the traditional coffee cups from ship captains?