Saturday, May 7, 2011

Saturday's postcard: Canterbury Cathedral by Elmer Keene

Click on postcard for larger image.

This undated, unused postcard features a painting of Canterbury Cathedral1 in South East England.

The postcard is part of the "Chic" Series by Charles Worcester & Co. of Bristol, England.

According to to the Metropolitan Postcard Club of New York City website, Charles Worcester & Co. was established in 1904 and was "a publisher of postcards issued under the Chic Series name. This included views presented as line drawings, in sepia monotone, and most dramatically as hand colored real photo cards of pale moonlit scenes by the artist Elmer Keene."

This Canterbury Cathedral postcard was one of Keene's works.2 (You can see his name scrawled in tiny letters in the lower-left corner.)

Keene lived from 1853 to 1929. Here is an excerpt from his in-depth biography on Leicester Chronicler:
Keene painted a variety of landscapes including many marine subjects although he lived in the English county furthest from the sea. He was able to earn a living by painting for his many local patrons, so rarely exhibited, but in 1895 he did exhibit one painting at the Royal Academy, a view of Burneston Bay3 in Yorkshire. He painted moonlit views of a wide variety of landscape subjects including the English lakes, including Buttermere, Coniston and Windermere, and distinctive buildings such as Holyrood Palace, Melrose Abbey and Warwick Castle, as well as more distant locations in other countries.
There's much more great information about Keene and numerous examples of his work in the Leicester Chronicler article.4

1. Here's an interesting article -- complete with a ghostly legend -- about the cathedral's "Dark Entry", which features another image of the exterior, from nearly the same vantage point as the above postcard.
2. Here's a link that shows some of Keene's other postcard works.
3. I believe it's actually "Burniston" Bay.
4. If you're looking for even more on Keene, he's discussed on this genealogy message-board thread.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Story Gnome: The Keeper of Magic Books

"Mother Goose Secrets", a 1925 book by Barbara Webb Bourjaily, employs the cute notion that the "Story Gnome" has told all of the children's tales to the author, who in turn is relaying those stories to the readers.1

The above illustration is from the page that comes before the table of contents. In addition to what's shown above, it also contains the following passage:
When Fairyland became invisible and part of all the vanished past
The Queen called to her, Story Gnome--
"Now are we gone into the Magic Books at last,
With Evileye and Willowitch and all the fairy train
Nor will the Earth with Earthland eyes behold our forms again.
But within these Magic Books we live throughout all Time
To frolic forth whenever called by any Proper Rhyme.
And you will guard these secrets close until that happy day
A loving wish will summon us to children, tired with play."
The tales in the book include extended versions of Little Boy Blue, The Cat and the Fiddle, Humpty Dumpty, Little Miss Muffet, and many others. Most stories are prefaced by the author's interaction with or commentary on the Story Gnome. For example, here's the first paragraph of "Baa, Baa, Blacksheep":
There was once a fairy family that had a wonderful sheep. Where other sheep were white he was black. "Not a hard black like ebony," said Story Gnome, who was telling me this story one evening quite late, "but a soft black, like night, or like the clouds that come before a heavy rain."
The illustration of the Story Gnome appears at the conclusion of every story.

On the last page of the book, there is a note that reads:
Here is [Barbara W. Bourjaily's] own secret: "Of course all you children remember that the Story Gnome said on page one that no matter how many secrets he told, there would always be more secrets left for him to tell. We all know how nice it is to have a secret and so I am going to get that Story Gnome to tell me another book of Mother Goose Secrets in a little while."
Alas, it does not appear that she ever published a second book of Mother Goose tales. She did, however, co-author "The Mother's Cook Book: How to Prepare Food for Children" with Dorothy May Gorman in 1926. And, according to this article from The New York Times, she wrote "feature articles and romance novels".2

One of her sons, Vance Bourjaily (who is noted on the "Mother Goose Secrets" dedication page3), became a noted writer, novelist, playwright, journalist, and essayist. His novels included "The End of My Life" and "Brill among the Ruins".

1. Time magazine wrote this about "Mother Goose Secrets" in its December 14, 1925, issue: "MOTHER GOOSE SECRETS—Barbara W. Bourjaily — Small, Maynard ($1.50). Satisfying explanations for those whose curiosity is baffled by such secrets as, Why did Little Boy Blue go to sleep?"
2. Some of those 1930s romances were "Misty Mountain" and "Love's Choice: A Romance of Misty Mountain".
3. The "Mother Goose Secrets" dedication states: TO "THE THREE" JUNIOR VANCE PAUL

Great ephemera posts on Only in York County

Folks, if you're looking for some fun and fabulous writing about York County ephemera today, THE place to go is my wife's blog, Only in York County. She has knocked it out of the park this week (as always) with a pair of posts that touch on local ephemera, history and travel.

In "Pennsylvania has everything! A look at what was great about York County from a 1937 book" Joan takes an in-depth look at the York County material from a 74-year-old Pennsylvania tourism guide. She touches on bridges, a towering white oak tree in Delta, monuments, dams, lakes and historic buildings.

And in "Do you remember Pappy's?" she examines a mid-1970s menu for a now-vanished York County restaurant. Her readers join the discussion, too, adding their memories of Pappy's, where you could get a Charbroiled Burger basket for $1.15, a Jumbo Kosher Hot Dog basket for 95 cents, and Pappy's Special -- "A Robust Portion of Tender Juicy Choice Ground Beef, Served on Bun, with French Fries, Salad, Slice of Kosher Pickle" -- for $1.95.

But don't take my word for it. Go check out Joan's blog!

And then check back here later today for the Story Gnome.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A little bit of this and that

1. No, you're not going crazy. There was a post here yesterday about a train wreck. But the train wreck post was, ahem, a bit of a train wreck. So it has been removed. The Internet is full of incorrect information. No need to gunk it up any further with more inaccuracies. The train photo might return some day, after some additional research. I should have filed it under Mysteries to begin with!

2. In the meantime, if you want a Great Read, I suggest you check out Jim Lewin's poignant post on Book Flaps yesterday about a World War II veteran here in York County.

3. Here's a piece of ephemera for today:

It's a 1966 or 1967 coupon for 5¢ off Ivory Liquid1. My favorite part is that the coupon is part of Procter & Gamble's "Safari Sweepstakes". According to the back of the coupon, you could check the winning numbers at your local grocery store. The sweepstakes is described as:
"Pack excitement into your life! Win a luxury trip for two to Africa and Europe -- all expenses paid -- with $10,000 mad money besides! Swimming in Capetown ...photographing exotic animals in Kenya national game parks...sight-seeing in in Paris...olé-oléing in Madrid! The best of everything for 2 whole weeks -- if you're the Grand Prize winner!"
I wonder if there's any way to find out who won this 44 years ago? The contest was "Void in Wisconsin", so that's one state we can rule out.

4. Finally, here's today's "love at first sight" image:

This is the kind of find that makes it all worth it, when rummaging through box after box of books. To you, it might look like a falling-apart book that should have been thrown about 60 years ago. To me, it's a treasure chest.

The book is titled "A Thousand Ways to Please a Husband"2, and it was written by Louise Bennett Weaver and Helen Cowles Le Cron and published in 1917. Copies of this book in good condition3 sell for about $25. But I probably wouldn't sell this even if it was in decent condition. It has too much charm and personality. It's absolutely stuffed with newspaper clippings, scrawled recipes, pamphlets and other goodies. This book was loved and kept in someone's kitchen for a long time. There's a history there that deserves to be told, and this blog will be the place for it some day.

1. According to The History of Dish Soap: "In 1957, Ivory liquid dish soap was introduced, using the motto 'Tough on grease, easy on hands.' Decades later, a concentrated form of the product was introduced. 'Ultra' Ivory dishwashing soap hit store shelves in 1995, and consumers only need to use one-third the amount of 'Ultra' Ivory as compared to the old formula."
2. Hold your jokes, people with dirty minds.
3. Which is to say, copies that actually have an intact spine.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Advertisements from 1920 issue of Hoard's Dairyman

Pictured below are some advertisements from the January 9, 1920, issue1 of Hoard's Dairyman, a magazine about the dairy industry that was started in 1885 and is still around today.2

Products and companies mentioned in the advertisements include:
  • F.W. Brode & Co. of Memphis, Tennessee
  • C.A. Libbey Company of Oshkosh, Wisconsin
  • C.H. Dana Co. of West Lebanon, New Hampshire
  • Professor Jesse Beery of Pleasant Hill, Ohio, and his book "How to Break and Train Horses"3
  • Land agent W.J. Andrews of Chicago

1. Page 1165, if you were wondering.
2. Here's a link to the history page on the Hoard's Dairyman website. And here's the magazine's entry on Wikipedia, which includes some interesting notes about Hoard's pioneering work on the national "cow census" and its annual Cow Judging Contest.
3. I was somewhat surprised to find that Beery, who died in 1945, has a website. Many of his books and pamphlets are available on Here, for example, is a link to one from 1930.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Happy New Year and have some walnut kisses

Here are the front and back sides of an old "New Year Greetings" card.1 The front looks like it's signed by someone with the last name "Kilgore." I really love the delicate artistry of the owls and the clock tower.

Written on the back, in cursive, is a recipe for a sweet treat:2
Mrs. Wogan's recipe for Walnut Kisses

1 lb. kernels ground
1 lb. pulverized sugar
whites of 6 eggs

Beat egg whites stiff
add sugar + keep beating until stiff
When real stiff add nuts + flour

Grease pans
Slow oven 300°
That doesn't seem like enough specific information to successfully carry out the recipe, does it?

Here are some links to additional pages about walnut kisses, which seem to have at least some history as a Pennsylvania Dutch/Amish treat:

1. This card was found within the same lot of books from Glen Rock that yielded the bookmark and "Alice and Jerry" reader I wrote about last week. There were a bunch of ephemera goodies within this collection, and it's going to yield some great future posts on Papergreat.
2. Want more sweets? Here are recipes for rio cream and apricot ice cream from a previous post.

Two York Daily Record front pages, 3,520 days apart

Here are the front pages of the newspaper I work for, the York Daily Record/Sunday News, from September 12, 2001, and this morning. I note proudly the great work by my newsroom colleagues on both of these editions. In 2001, they had all day and night to produce a comprehensive report on the day's shattering news. Last night, they had well under two hours to tear up the front page and coordinate strong reporting, editing and design for the new front page.

How many copies of the 2001 York Daily Record are still in existence and are kept safely in drawers, closets, attics, etc.?

And how many copies of either of these newspapers will still exist 50 years from now? Plenty, I'm guessing. It's fairly easy to find copies of significant newspapers from World War II and the moon landing, for example. These are the significant keepsake newspapers of our time, and they will be kept and passed along to future generations.

Here's an article from Poynter on today's national newspaper front pages. It also includes links to other newspaper galleries related to the September 11 attacks.

And here's a link to today's best photo, from the New York Times, of reaction to yesterday's news.

Also: My column on the 10-year anniversary of 9/11 for the York Daily Record/Sunday News.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Card from Wayside Gospel Crusaders in Lancaster

Today's piece of ephemera is a little bit of a mystery. In fact, when I typed "Wayside Gospel Crusaders" into Google to begin my research, it returned just one result.1

That result was the obituary for Landis E. Hershey, who was born November 2, 1916, and died on August 26, 2005. According to his obituary on
Landis E. Hershey, 88, formerly of 1647 Old Philadelphia Pike, Lancaster, died Friday, August 26. He was the husband of Ruth Martin Hershey. ... Born in Leacock Township, Landis was the son of the late Chester H. Hershey and Anna E. Hershey. Landis was a bookkeeper for the former Lancaster Brick Company and was president and a member of the board of directors of the former Ezra W. Martin Meat Company for 37 years. He and Ruth attended Mellingers Mennonite Church where he served in many active roles. He was a board member and treasurer of Mellinger Mennonite Cemetery. Landis was an early proponent of Christian education and served as chairman of the school board at Locust Grove Mennonite School for a number of years. Landis is remembered by many for his life of service to others, especially as volunteer and regional director of Mennonite Disaster Service from its beginning in 1955. He was a member of the Lancaster Chapter of the American Red Cross and was also treasurer of Wayside Gospel Crusaders. He was well respected as a godly man of integrity and sincerity.
I placed in bold the two references above that stood out.

First, Hershey formerly lived at 1647 Old Philadelphia Pike in Lancaster County. That same address is printed about the bottom of the blue "Accept Christ" card.

Second, Hershey was once the treasurer of the Wayside Gospel Crusaders. But that's it. Nothing further.

Eventually, I found some more information that tips us off about this organization by searching Google's online collection of books. The complete text of many books and periodicals is not yet available online, so I could only pull a few snippets and excerpts from my search results. Those snippets include:

  • From "The Mennonite Community, Volumes 1-3", published by the Mennonite Community Association in 1947: "...Replace that beer, liquor or tobacco sign with the WORD OF GOD Posters 8y2 feet by 20 feet [sic], for standard-sized billboards are available now. For additional information CONTACT WAYSIDE GOSPEL CRUSADERS Route 5 Lancaster Pennsylvania...".
  • From "The sociology of Mennonite evangelism", a 1954 book by John Andrew Hostetler: "...The 'Wayside Gospel Crusaders' make and promote billboard roadside evangelism ... to bring men and women face to face with the Gospel, who possibly would not come to our church houses and could not be contacted in any other way."

So the best information at this point is that the Wayside Gospel Crusaders practiced an earlier form of billboard evangelism2. What else the group did, how many billboards were posted, how long the group was active and other questions remain unanswered for now. I am sure, though, there are people in Lancaster County who can tell us much more about this group's history.

1. That's kind of, but not quite, a Googlewhack.
2. Billboard evangelism remains extremely popular today in the United States. A couple of current examples can be found here and here.