Want To Buy A Piece Of History?

The Net has made document-collecting easier

What hooked William Steiner was a Sotheby's auction 12 years ago of Albert Einstein letters. The chairman of Dryclean USA, a Miami dry-cleaning gear and franchise company, wound up buying two letters for $2,800 apiece. He has since built an eclectic collection of some 1,500 documents. "I realized I could own things signed by people I regard as the heroes and villains of history," says Steiner. "I just kept getting in deeper and deeper."

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