Saturday, March 19, 2011

Previously on "Papergreat"

If you're new to Papergreat and haven't been reading since the blog's start, you might have missed some interesting posts.

Here's a quick guide to some content that has already been covered over by the ever-shifting sands of Internet time...

Here's a post about map traps called "The Mysterious Secret of Easter Lake" that I wrote for another site in 2007.

Saturday's postcard: Why haven't I been to Shartlesville?

The back of today's postcard states:
Greetings from the Dutch Country!
ROADSIDE AMERICA -- The Great and Beautiful Indoor Miniature Village. Visit our Penna. Dutch Gift Haus for a big variety of usability gifts -- Lunch Room. SHARTLESTVILLE, EXIT, PA., Route 22 or 78.
The Modern Village of Fairfield at dawn with the Organ playing and the Choir singing in the Cathedral. One of 100 displays.

The unused card, made by Dexter Press, is stamped SEP 30 1978, though I would guess it was produced years before that. One of my favorite small details is the movie marquee indicating that "Boys Town" is playing.

Amazingly, with all the road trips my wife and I have taken, we have never stopped in Shartlesville1 or at Roadside America.

We've been to Emporium, Warren, the ghost town of Centralia (three times), English Center, Big Cove Tannery, Burning Well, Cold Cabin Beach, Picture Rocks, Breezewood, Tunkhannock and Needmore.

But we've never been to Shartlesville.

I feel a little like Daniel Plainview, towering over a map of Pennsylvania, frowning and demanding, "Why haven't I been here? Why haven't I been HERE?"

Roadside America is the kind of attraction I love. We've been to the Choo Choo Barn in Strasburg twice. When I win Powerball and no longer have to work, model trains will be one of my side hobbies. Maybe I'll even create something to rival Gorre and Daphetid.

But, until that day, I'll have to settle for checking out other people's models, such as Laurence Gieringer's creation at Roadside America.

From what I've read, the miniature village and railway, created in 1935, covers 8,000 square feet2. It contains 400 miniature buildings and 4,000 miniature people. The Roadside America website states: "The exhibit fascinates not only because of its authentic, beautifully crafted miniatures, but because of the excitement of continual movement. Swift trains glide through tunnels and over bridges … a tiny fountain bubbles in the miniature Zoo … a mountain trolley hustles through the woodland … an old-time grist mill slowly grinds grain for flour."

I have a second piece of ephemera related to Roadside America, which is a clear sign that I need to get my butt there this year. Pictured below is an advertisement from the American Automobile Association's 1967-68 Mideastern Tour Book.

1. Shartlesville is a small unincorporated community in Upper Bern Township, Berks County. It is just south of Interstate 78. So I've driven PAST it dozens of times, on the way to and from the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton area.
2. The Choo Choo Barn, by comparison, is 1,700 square feet.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Ruth Manning-Sanders helped kids in classrooms

I first discovered the books of Ruth Manning-Sanders at the W. B. Konkle Memorial Library1 in Montoursville in the early 1980s. I would check out "A Book of Wizards", "A Book of Giants", "A Book of Dragons" and the other available Manning-Sanders fairy-tale compilations over and over. The stories from around the world, accompanied by Robin Jacques' wonderful illustrations, captured my imagination. (And still do.)

I now have more than 50 books by Manning-Sanders in my collection, and I'm always keeping an eye out for oddities and other interesting items.

I recently acquired the thin volume pictured at the top of today's entry through an online auction.2 Simply titled "Ghosts and Goblins", it's a 32-page paperback published in 1972 by Science Research Associates and Western Publishing Company. It contains three complete stories from Manning-Sanders' 1968 hardcover "A Book of Ghosts and Goblins" (the cover of which is pictured at right). The tales are "A Box on the Ear", "Golden Hair" and "The Cook and the House Goblin".3 For this edition, the illustrations are by Mel Klapholz, and they are excellent.

Science Research Associates (SRA) was founded in 1938 and continues to publish educational materials and schoolroom reading comprehension products. Among its best-known and most widely used products is the SRA Reading Laboratory Kit. ("Ghosts and Goblins" is indicated as volume #62 in the SRA Pilot Library Ic.)

For almost a quarter-century, from 1964 to 1988, SRA was a subsidiary of IBM. About a decade ago, it was purchased by McGraw-Hill and is now called SRA/McGraw-Hill.

So, Manning-Sanders' fairy tales once helped students learn reading, vocabulary and reading comprehension in the classroom. Pretty cool.

1. I was pleased to discover that Konkle Memorial Library still has two books by Manning-Sanders in its Children's Room -- "A Book of Spooks and Spectres" and "A Book of Ogres and Trolls". It's not common to find libraries that have many of her books in circulation. I hope they can be preserved for future generations or, better yet, reissued by another publishing house.
2. Not surprisingly, I was the only bidder.
3. The full book includes 21 tales, including "The Goblins at the Bath House" and "The Leg of Gold", a variation on the familiar campfire tale in which a ghost reclaims its lost property. (Other times, it's a golden arm or hand.) Manning-Sanders' version ends with a punch line that's especially great for oral storytellers.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Oldest food trademark still used in the United States

Another piece of ephemera I picked up on our recent trip to Hoke-E-Geez was the May 6, 1905, edition of The Outlook. Despite it's scribbled-upon and torn-off front cover, the issue is brimming with cool stuff.

On the second page (the inside front cover) is this full-page advertisement for Underwood's Original Deviled Ham.

The ad copy reads:
Underwood's Original Deviled Ham is a delicious, pure New England product very delightful to the palate. It is made of sugar cured ham and fragrant spices for people who want only the best. It is nourishment concentrated, and invaluable for the anticipated or unexpected call. Its flavor makes one's mouth water for the bite. Branded with the devil but fit for the gods. See the little red devil on the can.

The logo of the "little red devil on can"1, which was trademarked in 1870, is the oldest food trademark still in use in the United States. Pictured at right are the 1921 (top) and 2008 versions of the devil logo, taken from William Underwood Company's Wikipedia page. You can see how the logo has evolved over the decades. The satanic sneer and long fingernails have been replaced with a "hello neighbor!" smile and a tiny pitchfork.

But what is deviled ham? I've never had it. The product doesn't appear to have changed too much since its 1868 debut. Here's how the company web site now describes Underwood Deviled Ham Spread: "Made from the highest quality ham, cured in its natural juices, we create the heavily sought after 'deviled' flavor through a proprietary blend of natural spices."

That description is not much different from the one in the 1905 advertisement.

For more information, an October 2004 article by The Straight Dope is a great read, as it discusses the origin of "deviling" in food preparation. It's filled with fun tidbits, including the fact that the word "devil" was first associated with food preparation in 1786, where Washington Irving fits into the story, a good discussion of deviled eggs2, the history of Underwood Deviled Ham, and even what's up with devil's food cake.

Finally, to take this entry off on a tangent you'll wish I hadn't, when I was doing my research on Underwood, I discovered a wonderful and amazing entry on the Now That's Nifty blog titled "Canned Meat, Fish & Bugs From Around the World".

If you're not currently eating (or thinking about eating soon), go check out all the images of canned items, including:
  • Yoders Turkey Chunks With Broth
  • Sweet Sue Canned Whole Chicken ("Home-Style Goodness")
  • King Oscar Fish Balls
  • Rose Beef Tripe with Milk
  • Ye Olde Oak Giant Hot Dogs (sausages in brine)
  • Armour Pork Brains in Milk Gravy
  • Celebrity Sliced Bacon (Product of Hungary)
  • Brown Curry Mole Crickets
  • Tasty Joy Quail Eggs
  • Goblin Meat Pudding3
  • Dale's Wild West Rattlesnake (Dale's also cans buffalo and elk meat)
  • Texas Roadrunner Meat4

My favorites, though, were HP All Day Breakfast and HP The Full Monty.

One of the commenters on the blog explains: "The Full Monty and All Day Breakfast are British. The full monty has beans, sausages, mini burgers, salami, potato and mushrooms. The All Day Breakfast is beans, sausages, bacon, mini scotch eggs and mushrooms."

Now those sound like products the devil could get behind.

1. Let's ignore the creepy guy holding the sandwich.
2. Which I have had, and love.
3. This product has not one, but TWO appreciation pages on Facebook.
4. Alas, not Acme brand.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Crown Coal, J.W. Wolgemuth and Wenger Feeds

This advertising card dates from sometime between 1920 (when Crown Coal & Coke Company was founded) and 1944 (when J.W. Wolgemuth Mill was sold to Mel Wenger, who founded Wenger Feeds on the property).

The text on the card states:
So Clean-
So Carefully-Prepared



Phone-Elizabethtown 175
Rheems, Pa.

For your protection, you will find CROWN COAL Tags in your coal

According to the history portion of the Crown Coal website, the company "has been a dynamic participant in the North American coal and coke markets, since its founding in 1920. Through the ensuing years Crown has maintained a distinct and independent sales role within the steel, utility, industrial and export markets for coal and coke." (The company hasn't been directly involved with the actual mining of coal since the 1970s.)

Interestingly, the reference to "clean" coal in this old advertising card doesn't mean quite the same thing it means today. Prior to World War II, clean coal (also called "smokeless coal") referred to anthracite and high-grade bituminous coal, which were used for cooking and home heating.1 Now, "clean coal" is a controversial term that refers to carbon capture and sequestration technology that may reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases when coal is burned. This notion of "clean coal" is highly debated. The Sierra Club2 has a website titled "Coal Is Not The Answer".

But I digress.

The other interesting aspect of this advertising card is how J.W. Wolgemuth Estate in Rheems, Lancaster County, became something much bigger -- Wenger Feeds. Here's an excerpt from the history portion of the company's website:
After experiencing great success selling Purina feeds in his Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania self-service grocery store, founder Mel Wenger was approached by a Purina salesman about purchasing the J.W. Wolgemuth Mill in neighboring Rheems. Mel Wenger purchased the mill in 19443 and, throughout the 50's and 60's, developed a custom feed formula to meet the needs of the growing egg layer business in Lancaster County. The resultant M.M. Wenger feeds were extremely popular and filled a market segment that had previously been ignored. His success prompted Mel Wenger to drop the checkerboard and create an independent line of custom feed products. By the early 1960's, Wenger Feeds had expanded into poultry and swine production, eggs, and pullet growing.

Wenger Feeds now specializes in feed for poultry, swine and specialty birds; eggs; soy oil; and the trademarked product SoyChoice, which is described as "premium expelled soybean meal".

1. Sources are Wikipedia and
2. And, in light of current events, the first thing you see today when you go to the Sierra Club website is "Nukes Are Not The Answer." The club provides a form letter you can send to your senators informing them of your stance on nuclear energy.
3. It appears that Wenger Feeds, picking up from J.W. Wolgemuth, continued to sell coal (probably Crown Coal) in the first years after its founding. The company no longer sells coal, clean or otherwise.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


During this somber time, when we are being barraged with hellish reports and images from Japan and the horrific possibility of a nuclear catastrophe at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, here's a quiet counter to the devastation and despair -- some postcard images of Japan at its best and most beautiful.

If you want to help the victims of the earthquake and tsunami, CNN provides this rundown on relief efforts.

Follow the jump for more images.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Rounding up some reader comments

It's great to get feedback on Papergreat entries. Obviously, what I'm writing most days really only scratches the surface of a particular topic. You could write a full magazine article or even a book about some of this fascinating stuff.

Here are some reader comments on previous Papergreat posts:
  • Delving into Henry K. Wampole & Company: An anonymous commenter writes: "Howdy - it turns out that old Henry had indeed suffered from brain-fag. He had been actively taking his company for a ride. It seems he embezzled a goodly amount estimated at ranging from $200000.00 to as much as $900000.00. According to newspaper articles they never figured out what he did with the money."

    Anonymous is right on the money (no pun intended). I found this partial blurb from the Oct. 11, 1906, edition of The New York Times:

    "WAMPOLE GOT $500,000 FROM BANKS BY FRAUD; Wholesale Deception by Suicide Druggist Revealed by Partners. FIRM SAVED FROM FAILURE Embezzler Was a Hard Worker -- His Associates Do Not Know Where Their Money Went.

    PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 10. -- By a remarkable system of deception Henry K. Wampole, the drug manufacturer whose body was found recently in the East River, at New York, dragged his company to the verge of bankruptcy, realized nearly $750,000 on notes, and by other means robbed his business partners of at least $500,000.
  • Coupons from the E.H. Koester Bakery Co.: Dave Foertsch of Maryland1 asked his father about the former Baltimore bakery and he replied: "Yes, Grandmom Monte sold that bread. I remember the twinpack on the bread rack in front of the meatcase. The wrapper was cellophane which had a colored ribbon of cellophane at the center.... You could pull the tab to split it into two. I remember people buying half a loaf for 10 or 12 cents."

    Awesome info. This also raises the possibility that the coupons I came across aren't quite as old as the 1940s, which was my original guess. Keep the Koester's information coming!
  • Some interior decorating tips from 1969: My mom, a regular reader, checks in on the interior design horrors of the past: "1969 'in' colors: green, brown, orange. And gold. It was the prominent color in the brown/green/orange tableau. Loved them then, hate them now. Current style dictates taste...ugly or not!"

That's all for today. If you need an ephemera fix, you might want to check out a guest post I wrote on my wife's blog, Only in York County, last summer. It's titled: "When vinyl was king: Remembering Record Club of America".

1. I used to participate in a fantasy baseball league, the NWBL, with Dave. His teams were usually great and mine were usually downright terrible. My team's name was "Jeltz Fan Club".

Sunday, March 13, 2011

"He Stole Other Men's Jobs -- And Women"

The Book Cover of the Day is from "The Wire God" by Jack Willard, which was published in 1954.

The cover blurbs include:
  • He Stole Other Men's Jobs -- And Women
  • "Fast-moving, well-salted with sex" Oregon Journal

And, from the back cover: "He sold his women a bill of goods -- his friends down the river -- and himself into the most powerful spot in a fabulous wire service empire."

For more information about "wire service empires", check out Wikipedia's entries on the Associated Press and teleprinter1.

And if you want to see more amusing book covers this afternoon, check out the Weird Book Room on, which includes such great titles as "Snow Caves for Fun & Survival", "A Popular History of British Seaweeds", "The Radiation Recipe Book", and "All About Scabs".

1. My favorite Associated Press wire story of recent years, from October 29, 2008:

BC-BBO--World Series,0375
A long time coming: Phillies win the World Series
Eds: APNewsNow. Phillies 4, Rays 3.
AP Photo WS136, WS138
AP Baseball Writer

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — From losingest team to longest game, the Philadelphia Phillies are World Series champions.