The popularity of this stationery product, a European-bred symbol of order and regularity, amongst the gold miners and fortune seekers in early California seems paradoxical—until we read them. The accumulation of mundane, daily entries reveal how critical and powerful these commercially-printed products could be in conveying a sense of place, both old and new. For these California transplants, the choice of a daily planner was consequential, not casual, and instrumental to their efforts to settle into the rhythms of a life in the West.

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