The Curiosity Shop

I am holding a large clump of Abraham Lincoln’s hair in my hand. It looks like a small Brillo pad with flakes of dandruff in it – and it’s encased in an antique glass-covered box.

”That’s Lincoln’s hair, and the white spots could be his brain matter,” says John Reznikoff, president of Westport’s University Archives. ”The surgeon, Dr. Charles Taft, removed it when he cleaned the bullet wound. And when Lincoln died, it became a collectible.”

Reznikoff denies any unnatural interest in the macabre, however, and reminds anyone who is within collecting distance that owning a piece of history brings you closer to it. With what’s left of the Great Emancipator in my hand, I have to agree with him.

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