School History of the United States by John William Jones published in 1906. John William Jones was a Confederate Chaplain in the Civil War, and served under Robert E. Lee.  He wrote this particular history book to give a Southern view of the events leading up to the Civil War, as he though that most of the current history books were Northern biased.  An interesting book to read through, and it even has a couple of nice maps in it.

The book itself was used at Randolph-Macon Academy in Virginia, as evidenced by an RMA stamp on the inside cover.  This book was also once owned by Walter Stephenson Newman, who was the 10th president of Virginia Tech (1947-1962).  As a current aerospace graduate student at Virginia Tech this is neat because the wind tunnel at Tech was acquired when Newman was president and the graduate aerospace engineering program itself was established under him.  I am reasonably certain this book was his because the time period of the book’s age matches up and I bought this book at the Goodwill in Blacksburg.

A General Electric vacuum tube that I acquired from my Grandpa’s things.  It came in its box, as pictured, and, as far as I can tell, still works.  An interesting item that is still in use today in the professional audio community, but has largely been replaced by the transistor.

The only interesting coins I have in my small coin collection.  Most of my coins were acquired from loose change or from my parents, but these came from a colleague of my dad who acquired them at coin shows.  

The top one is a Matron Head Large cent dating back to 1827.  The middle coin is a Standing Liberty quarter dating between 1917 and 1924.  There was an issue with the Standing Liberty quarter, which started circulation in 1917, where the date would wear off and this was corrected in 1925.  Since this quarter has no date I’m assuming it’s pre-1925.  The bottom coin is a mis-struck penny.  An interesting deformation, I’m not quite sure how it got out of the mint since it’s not even coin shaped.

An arrowhead I found on the bank of the Potomac River in 2012.  It is a corner-notched quartz type arrowhead, and probably dates back to antiquity.  If anyone can shed any more light on this arrowhead I’d be glad to know.

A fossil I found on my first camping trip as a Boy Scout in 2001 at Camp Rock Enon in Gore, Virginia.  There appear to be multiple shell imprints, and a circle with a star in it.  I never figured out what the circle with a star in it is; it might be a cross section of an animal.

Eastern Hercules Beetle I found 10 years ago.  These are among the largest and heaviest beetles that live in the United States (wikipedia).