Autograph or Autopen?

Published: 07th December 2009
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Many celebrities use different methods for autographing in place of the real signature. Most autograph collecting is done solely for the real autograph of these people that are famous and well thought of. As we all know, celebrities of all kind are busy people, so a lot of the signature signing when not in person is done in a variety of ways. That is why, you can only be sure of an authentic signature or autograph in autograph collecting when you get it in person.



In autograph collecting by mail and other exchanges, you need to know that you may get an autograph but it may be done not by hand or the celebrity's hand but by autopen or some other method. One of the most popular ways famous people have for sending out autographs for autograph collecting is by using a staff member to sign for them. Some famous people have a staff, so call PR staff, for the expressed purpose of signing autographed photo and distributing them or mailing them to individuals who are autograph collecting. In other words, if you receive an autograph via mail, it may not be the real thing. But at least you have something; it depends on the focus of your autograph collecting.



If your autograph collecting is simply a hobby, a copied photo signature may serve your purpose. If your autograph collecting is an investment, then you want the real signature and need to pursue autograph collecting avenues that will provide you with the real signature. When you receive a non-authentic autograph from a celebrity, it should not be perceived as disrespect for fans or how they feel about their fans. Some celebrities may be too old, sick, filming a new movie or on the road touring to have time to give you a real signature. That is why some famous people use the autopen autograph. John Isaac Hawkins, an Englishman developed the first autopens. He received a US patent in 1803. Thomas Jefferson was one of the first to start using the device in 1804 for autograph collecting. The autopen is a machine that can duplicate a signature over and over. A signature is copied onto a template that is inserted into the machine. This mechanism will copy the signature onto an item such as a photo, 3x5 cards, or letter for autograph collecting. For the most part you can tell if an autopen has been used by it's lack of natural flow, the signature is shaky as the autopen vibrates and the flow of ink is consistent, plus an ink blotch that looks like a period is at the end of the signature.



The blotch/period is a result of the marker in the autopen machine coming to an abrupt halt at the end and resting in one spot of the item too long before being lifted off. It goes without saying that each autopen signature will look exactly alike. Another way to tell if you have an autopen signature is to write for another autograph. Compare the signatures by laying them atop each other and hold up to a light source. If they coincide with each other, you have an autopen signature. Harry Truman is believed to be the first President to use the autopen in a business way for mail and signing checks. Today this device is used by politicians and fundraisers to sign letters. If you are autograph collecting, you need to try and verify the origin of the signature.



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