Saturday, May 28, 2011

Catching up on reader comments

Here are some comments and updates from readers regarding previous Papergreat posts:
  • Advertisements from 1920 issue of Hoard's Dairyman: Hoard's checks in, just to say, "Of course we're still around! Thank you for sharing." Check out the Hoard's Facebook page.
  • Plenty of projects in Pack-o-Fun: Unfortunately, however, Pack-O-Fun, which published its first issue in 1951, has packed it in. Representatives posted this comment on Facebook: "Sadly, Pack-o-Fun ended it's [sic] run as a stand-alone publication with the February 2011 issue. Pack-o-Fun can now be found in it's [sic] sister publication, Crafts 'n things, a general crafting, how-to publication. Visit for more info! ... Remaining issues on subscriptions of Pack-o-Fun are transferred to Crafts 'n things magazine. For more information, call our Customer Service department at (800) 572-6885. Thanks!"
  • Delving into Henry K. Wampole & Company: This popular post keeps drawing comments. Anonymous writes: "My fiancĂ© and I found a TON of old glass bottles off a trail in the woods of Oxford, GA this afternoon. We dug about twenty bottles of different shapes, sizes and colors out of piles of dirt and leaves. (you'd have thought we struck gold by our excitement! ) one of these bottles was the typical Wampole & co. Bottle. Thanks for providing information! Your blog has been super helpful!"
  • Saturday's postcard: "Unusually High Tide": I was a bit off on my guess regarding the date of the picture used for this postcard. I guessed the late 1960s. But representatives of The Marine Room wrote on their Facebook page: "Thanks for posting! You can also check out the original black and white photo from 1949 under our Events tab for our upcoming High Tide Dinners..." Indeed, here is the Summer High Tides 2011 schedule and the same image from the postcard.
  • An old receipt from F.W. Behler: Blake Stough, who writes Stauchistory's Blog, a fantastic York County history blog, discovered the following: "Interesting find. F.W. Behler was a distant cousin of mine, although I do not have much on him in my family research. F.W.'s uncle, Elias Behler, is my 2nd great-grandfather, and a Civil War veteran. I have my grandparents photograph collection, and am wondering if any of the old unidentified photographs are of F.W.?"
  • Old Dinosaur Illustration of the Day: Ken writes: "Mr. Northrop wrote many a strange book back in the late 1800's.1 Chris - I share your interest in ephemera, both my partner and I do. Lately I've been on a roll finding some of the strangest books I've ever seen, and the illustrations in them, the steel engravings, are the stuff of nightmares. One wonders how some of this was ever published.. ... I'll be watching you. Oh - are you on Facebook?" Answer: No, Papergreat is not on Facebook yet. But I've been weighing the pros and cons and might do something later this year.
  • Saturday's postcard: Hotel Statler in Buffalo For more information on Hotel Statler, I encourage you to check out the comments section on the original April 23 post. It turns out that there were some interesting developments regarding that building around that same time that I was blogging about that old postcard.
1. Here's a link with a partial list of works by Henry Davenport Northrop.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Happy 100th birthday, Vincent Price

NOTE: This post was supposed to go up this morning, but a lightning storm near Château Otto last night knocked out our internet service and sent us back to the digital dark ages. Somehow, I think that would make Vincent Price smile. (Or let out an evil cackle.)

Here in the year 2011, I'm guessing there aren't many kids who receive a copy of the current issue of Famous Monsters of Filmland for their 11th birthday. But as soon as I saw the above magazine at a local comic-book store earlier this year, I knew my son Ashar would love it.

He's a huge Vincent Price fan.

And today's a day to celebrate Price, who was born on May 27, 1911, and would have turned 100 years old today.1 (He died in October 1993, two days after Joe Carter's World Series-winning home run.)

How did Ashar become such a fan of a decidedly 20th century horror icon?

That would be my fault.

When he was 9 years old, we watched "The Last Man on Earth,"2 the 1964 horror film that was based on Richard Matheson's novel "I Am Legend" and served as a primary inspiration for the grand-daddy of all zombie films, George Romero's "Night of the Living Dead."3

Ignoring the question of whether a 9-year-old should be watching horror movies4, Ashar and I went on to watch another Vincent Price classic, "House on Haunted Hill," which features skeletons, an acid pit, hangings and the strangely floating head of Elisha Cook Jr. He loved that, too.

The capper in Ashar's "Trifecta of Vincent Price" was Michael Jackson's "Thriller," which features Price's famous soliloquy and maniacal laugh at the end.5

And so Vincent Price is one of Ashar's favorite actors. He did some research on him (Ashar loves doing research online) and we learned that he was born in St. Louis, had a love of fine art and antiques6 and probably died earlier than he should have because he was a lifelong smoker.

As Ashar gets older, I'm looking forward to watching some of Price's other films -- especially his collaborations with Roger Corman on Edgar Allan Poe adaptations -- with him.

Finally, I'm thrilled that I can connect today's tribute to Vincent Price to my favorite author, Ruth Manning-Sanders. Price, with his wonderful voice, did dramatic readings of horror stories, ghosts stories and more for numerous record albums.7

Here, in two parts from YouTube, is Price reading the Manning-Sanders tale "The Goblins at the Bath House" from 1969's "A Book of Ghosts and Goblins." Enjoy!

1. Coincidentally, May 27 is also the birthday of another horror icon, Sir Christopher Frank Carandini Lee. He's still very much with us at age 89. Vincent Price and Christopher Lee shared the silver screen in a few movies, including "The Oblong Box," "Scream and Scream Again," and 1983's "House of the Long Shadows," which also starred Peter Cushing and John Carradine!
2. Or, "L'ultimo uomo della Terra" in Italian. (It was filmed in Rome.)
3. Although "I Am Legend"/"The Last Man on Earth" inspired "Night of the Living Dead," the book and movie feature vampires, not zombies. But they're vampires that exhibit some traits that are decidedly similar to those of modern-day Romero zombies. I could write an entire thesis paper on this. But I'm sure I've already lost you.
4. Meh. When I was 8 or 9, I was watching "Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things," "Gargoyles," "The House of Seven Corpses," and "Salem's Lot." And I didn't turn out warped. Much.
5. "Thriller" was actually Ashar's favorite song for quite a while. He would listen to it on his iPod for seemingly hours on end.
6. His autobiography, "I Like What I Know," focuses a great deal on his love of art.
7. Here is a terrific rundown of all his voice recordings from

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Mystery photos inside "Helen of the Old House"

These photos were tucked away inside a battered copy of "Helen of the Old House," a Harold Bell Wright1 novel published in 1921.

I think the same woman appears in all three photos. There is only one other small hint provided within the book. The name "Ethel" is written lightly in pencil on the first page.

Is it Ethel in these photos?

1. It is claimed that Wright's "The Shepherd of the Hills" (1907) was the first American novel to sell one million copies. John Wayne starred in the film version in 1941.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

From the Notepad #2: Kaul Lumber Company

For today's "From the Notepad," the vintage piece of notepad paper is from Kaul Lumber Co. in Birmingham, Alabama. The Kaul nameplate is bookended by the dates 1887 and 1936, which must have been its years of incorporation at that point.

Also printed on the sheet: "Wholesalers to the trade in lumber products of all kinds and species!" and "J.B. Hutter, Phone 1434 -- 11 Harrison Street, Lynchburg, Virginia."

So, Hutter was Kaul's sales representative in Lynchburg and this is a sheet from his personalized notepad. Hutter must not have been with Kaul Lumber for long after this sheet was printed, however, because a 1937 issue of American Lumberman states: "JB Hutter of Lynchburg, Va., has become sales representative of Mixer & Co., Buffalo, in Virginia. Mr. Hutter has been with the Kaul Lumber Co., Birmingham, Ala., for several years."

Kaul Lumber Co. has an interesting history that includes a strong Pennsylvania connection and a very minor York connection. Here goes:
  • John Kaul Sr. was born in Ebersberg, Bavaria, on June 18, 1814.1 He left Bavaria in 1844 and eventually joined other colonists from his native country in St. Marys, Pennsylvania. He built a log house there and married Kunegunda Brindle in September 1844.2
  • One the many children of John and Kunegunda was Andrew Kaul, who was born July 15, 1845, in St. Marys. After finishing his schooling, Andrew became involved in the lumber trade:
    During the following year [1863] he worked for Joseph Lanzel and Peter Kleixner, who were getting out square timber on the Sinnemahoning. In 1864 he and Mr. Lanzel took a contract to supply square timber to Col. Noyes and Simon Cameron, which contract they completed successfully, by delivering their rafts at Marietta, Penn. This partnership was continued, following up the first by a second contract, to cut and peel pine logs for Mr. Bryan of Philadelphia. This necessitated the employment of a number of men, and proved very successful. In 1865 their operations were transferred to West Creek, where they were the pioneers of the woods. Their contract was with Herdick, Lentz & White of Williamsport.3
    Andrew Kaul married Walburga Lanzel in 1865 and their first child was John Lanzel Kaul, who was born in October 1866 and went on to serve as president of Kaul Lumber Co. Andrew, meanwhile, returned to St. Marys in 1868 and purchased some pine lands east of there, including some acreage from Sebastian Weis of York, Pa.
  • And so John Lanzel Kaul (pictured at right), the grandson of John Kaul Sr. of Bavaria, followed his father, Andrew Kaul, into the lumber trade. In Alabama, he eventually took the idea of a completely contained industry to its fullest conclusion by establishing Kaulton, a company town.4

    The Birmingham Public Library's department of archives and manuscripts has the following description of how Kaul built his lumber empire in Alabama:
    John Kaul learned the lumber business by working in his father’s companies in his native Pennsylvania, and in 1889 he toured the South searching for investments. He bought part interest, and later full interest, in the Sample Lumber Company at Hollins, Alabama. In 1902, he changed the company’s name to the Kaul Lumber Company and incorporated the Kaul Land and Lumber Company, which would buy and hold land. The mill at Hollins was shut down in 1911. In 1912, near the city of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, the company built its new mill and company town. The town of Kaulton, with its wide lots, churches, clubs, and well designed houses, was a model of what owner John Kaul called the “new welfare emphasis in the southern lumber industry.”
    None of it lasted very long, though. John Lanzel Kaul died in 1931.5 The company was taken over by a group of trustees, including John's son, Hugh Kaul.6 Also that year, Kaulton's mill closed down. (Kaul Lumber Co., however, continued to operate until the mid-1960s.)

    Few paper records remain of Kaulton, the mill and its employees, according to the Birmingham Public Library. There are, however, a Kaulton Road, Kaulton Park7 and Kaulton Field near the southern edge of Tuscaloosa, not far from Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

    Some interesting images of Kaulton and the mill can be seen on the The Encyclopedia of Alabama website (specifically, images 1, 2, 3, 10, 12 and 13 in the gallery).

1. Source: "History of the counties of McKean, Elk, and Forest, Pennsylvania, with biographical selections," published in 1890 by J.H. Beers & Co. This text states that John Kaul Sr. was born in "Elbersberg." But, as there is not a town with that name in Bavaria, to the best of my knowledge, I am assuming that Ebersberg is correct.
2. Brindle had also traveled from Ebersberg to St. Marys in 1844, with a party of three families. According to the aforementioned 1890 volume: "It was understood, however, that on her arrival here, she should become the wife of John Kaul, Sr., in accordance with the betrothal in their native land, and, as related above, she was married to him in the fall of the year they arrived."
3. The source, again, is "History of the counties of McKean, Elk, and Forest, Pennsylvania, with biographical selections."
4. Also of note on Wikipedia: List of company towns, list of company towns in Alabama and the entry on welfare capitalism/industrial paternalism.
5. For more on the early life of John Lanzel Kaul, I recommend "American lumbermen:
the personal history and public and business achievements of one hundred eminent lumbermen of the United States," which was published in 1906 and is available as a Google eBook. The chapter on Kaul discusses his education at Rock Hill College in Baltimore, his early business experience, his start with Sample Lumber Company, his involvement with First National Bank of Birmingham, his marriage to Virginia Roy Head (the daughter of a judge), and his membership in the Concatenated Order of Hoo-Hoo (a fraternal organization of lumbermen featuring silly names, some of which are derived from Lewis Carroll works).
6. Hugh Kaul went on to become a founder, director and president of the Alabama Forestry Association, according to He also served four terms in the Alabama legislature and had a major hand in the Southern Longleaf Pine (aka Pinus palustris) being named Alabama's state tree.
7. Here are some pictures from an April 2009 community clean-up of Kaulton Park.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Mom, this cake tastes funny!

Here's an amusing clipping from a 1984 central Pennsylvania newspaper:
"In last week's food section the amount of mayonnaise in Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake was incorrectly listed as 4 cups. The amount should be ½ cup."
I wonder if anyone actually attempted to make the recipe with four cups of mayo.

Monday, May 23, 2011

More advertisements from 1905 issue of The Outlook

Back in March, I featured an advertisement for Underwood's Original Deviled Ham from the May 6, 1905, issue of The Outlook.

The Outlook was a weekly magazine published in New York City from 1870 to 1935. Theodore Roosevelt was, for a time, one of its associate editors.

Here are some more interesting advertisements from that issue of The Outlook. Check out the ads for Gillette safety razors, Oldsmobile, the Marmon automobile and Hartshorn shade rollers. (Click on any of the images to see a larger version.)

The Outlook also had a large classified advertisements section, called The Outlook Want Department. The rate was five cents per word. There were advertisements for teachers, governesses, companions, domestic help, stenographers, librarians, room and board and miscellaneous1. Here is a sampling:

1. An example from the miscellaneous advertisements: "LOAN wanted with which to complete my education. Lee Arne, Omemee, North Dakota." It was certainly a nice try on Mr. Arne's part. Wonder if it worked.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Mystery solved: Dietz's Lawn and Garden Store

There will be a new "From the Notepad" post coming next week. But before that one is published, we can wrap up the mystery of the last sheet of paper that was highlighted here.

The notepad sheet pictured at right is from Dietz's Lawn and Garden Store, located one mile north of Stony Brook at R.D. 7 in York, Pennsylvania. At the bottom of the sheet is this "Pappy says" tidbit: "Garden Tractors, Hand and Power Mowers bought from us are backed by service to give customers satisfaction. Consult us about your lawn and garden problems."

I basically cried uncle back in early April and admitted that I couldn't find anything about the history of Dietz's. I turned things over to my fabulous wife Joan and her "Ask Joan" feature on "Only in York County."

And boy, did "Ask Joan" deliver!

For the lowdown on Dietz's from Joan and her many readers, check out her May 13 blog entry: "A special Ask Joan follow-up on Dietz's Lawn and Garden Center." And be sure to read all the comments, too. It's great stuff. The grandson of "Pappy" even shares his memories.

There's nothing like crowdsourcing the answers to tough ephemera questions!