Saturday, June 4, 2011

Saturday's postcard: Kozy Kabin Service Station & Kafe

Here's an interesting old postcard that is from 1951 or earlier, because it calls for a 1¢ stamp on the back.

The text across the bottom of the front of the postcard reads:
...You Are A Stranger Here But Once...
The text on the back of the postcard reads:
Kozy Kabin Service Station and Kafe. We specialize in Chicken and Western Steaks. One of Georgia's Best. Modern Kabins, Gas Heated Hot and Cold Running Water with Tile Showers, Simmons Beds with Beautyrest Mattresses. Member of AAA. Officially Inspected by Public Travel Bureau. On U.S. Route 1 in City Limits, South of Folkston, 45 Miles North of Jacksonville.
The postcard's maker is listed as: Genuine Curteich-Chicago "C.T. Art-Colortone".

The service station pictured sells Sinclair gasoline and also touts the pecans it has for sale.

Folkston is a small town but countless travelers would have passed by this service station on Route 1 during the station's heyday. In addition, Folkston remains the site of heavy rail traffic. Here's Wikipedia's description of the Folkston Funnel:
With virtually all rail traffic headed to Florida passing through Folkston, the rail lines through the city have acquired the nickname "The Folkston Funnel". As many as 60 trains a day pass through Folkston heading into and out of Florida, which some years draws ten times as many railfans as people who live in the city. To provide for a safe (and advantageous) viewing situation, the town has followed the example of another high-density rail town, Rochelle, Illinois, and has built a platform for visitors, along with picnic tables, chairs, BBQ pits, restrooms, and grills. And at night, lights shine from the platform onto the double rail so if someone wanted to, he or she could watch after sunset. Trains that come from the north move south toward Savannah, go through the Folkston Funnel, and arrive in Jacksonville. Trains that come from Florida do the same, just the opposite direction. At the covered viewing platform, there is an active scanner running and visitors can listen to train engineers as they run the trains through. As of 2006, there is also free WiFi for laptop users.
Can anyone in the Folkston area tell us what happened to this service station and what's at that location now?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Great links: The world's most inspiring bookstores

In case you missed it1, had a slideshow earlier this week titled "The world's most inspiring bookstores." My favorites were the bookstores in Detroit, Paris (pictured above), Buenos Aires, UrueƱa and Cairo2.

Which bookstores in the slideshow seem most appealing to you? And what are the best bookstores (in any corner of the world) that you've visited over the years?

1. And 12,000 people already "liked" this slideshow on Facebook before I wrote about it. So there's a good chance you've already seen this.
2. I found this additional fun tidbit about the Azbakia Book Market in Cairo in an article by Salma Tantawi: "There are no price tags; so the pricing mainly depends on the salesman’s mood and what he thinks you can pay. Therefore, never take their word as absolutely final; or you could end up buying a torn Nicholas Sparks novel for 50LE. Bargaining is key here; try your best to reduce the price, and if that doesn’t work; pretend that you’re leaving: the owner wouldn’t let you go away that easy, and he will eventually relent." Kind of makes me want to go to Cairo this weekend!

Teaching America to sew in the 20th century

Here's the cover from "Simplicity Sewing Book: Easy Guide for Beginners and Experts." It was published in either 1954 or 1955.

Simplicity Pattern Company, a brand of Simplicity Creative Group, was founded in 1927. According to the website's history page:
Simplicity designs, produces and markets sewing patterns for individuals who love to sew. ... Simplicity has long been known as a company committed to sewing education and support. In the early 1940’s, Simplicity embarked on a major sewing education program, by which travelling representatives, fashion shows, educational books and literature were presented and disseminated across the country. Such programs cemented Simplicity as the key source for learning to sew, and set the foundation for how sewing is taught today.
Author Eudora Welty is said to have used Simplicity Patterns for her short stories, pinning her paragraphs to the paper and rearranging passages for the strongest storytelling effect.

Here's some more on Simplicity's vintage sewing patterns, if you're interested.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Two stereographic cards from along the Rhine

Click on images to view larger-sized versions.

I picked up these two stereographic cards last year at the same antiques store where I purchased the old copy of The Herbalist Almanac. They weren't in splendid condition, but I couldn't resist because (1) they were inexpensive and (2) I am fascinated by the history of buildings and cities along the Rhine.1

The caption on the top card states: "Bingen and the Vineyards along the Rhine, Germany."

The caption on the bottom card states: "The Mouse Tower and the Ruin Ehrenfels, Along the Rhine, Germany."

How that building came to be known as the Mouse Tower is a bit of a folk legend. In a nutshell: Hatto II, the archbishop of Mainz in the late 10th century, was a cruel and murderous man who stockpiled grain and would not feed his people when a famine struck. On the pretense of finally giving them something to eat, he tricked all of the peasants into entering a barn and then locked them inside and burned them to death, cackling "Hear the mice squeak!" as they died.2 Soon afterward, Hatto II was attacked by an army of mice. He took his boat across the river to his tower, hoping the mice would not follow him across the Rhine. But they did. The mice stormed his tower and ate him alive. Thus was born the Mouse Tower.

For more-detailed examination of the Mouse Tower folk tale, including a long poem version of the story, see Curious Myths of the Middle Ages/Bishop Hatto on Wikisource.3 The below illustration is from that web page:

1. One of my favorite antique books, purchased years ago at The York Emporium on one of my very first trips there, is the 1882 volume "The Heart of Europe: From the Rhine to the Danube". It's filled with detailed illustrations of sites that simply no longer exist as they were 125+ years ago.
2. As you might have guessed, this is not exactly a folk tale for children.
3. Wikisource is an online library of free content publications. As of June 1, 2011, it had more than 200,000 English-language texts in its library.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Illustrations from "Visualized American Government"

"Visualized American Government: Principles and Problems" by Philip Dorf and Arnold J. Zurcher (editor) was published in 1936 by the Oxford Book Company. What caught my eye in this civics text were the numerous illustrations. The drawings hold interest on their own merits, but they also provide a clear take on key concepts and issues in the Constitution and the running of the United States government. As Dorf writes in the preface (penned in September 1936):
At no other time in our history has government and its problems evoked more widespread and more sustained interest; for never before in our history have the activities of government affected so many of our people in so many different and so many vital ways.1 Too frequently the study of government has been associated with a weary memorization of definitions and a dreary enumeration of the functions of government agencies. ... "Visualized American Government" is designed for students (and adult citizens) who desire a comprehensive and up-to-date survey of the spirit, mechanics and problems of American government. ... A considerable number of original cartoon-illustrations2 especially prepared for this book provide a graphic interpretation of important concepts and problems.
Here are some of those eye-catching cartoon-illustrations:

"We must never forget that it is a Constitution we are expounding ... a Constitution intended to endure for ages to come and consequently to be adapted to the various crises of human affairs." -- John Marshall

"While emergency does not create power, emergency may furnish the occasion for the exercise of power." -- Chief Justice Hughes

"The Social Security Act ... is intended to remove the fear of poverty during unemployment and fear of destitution in old age which for generations have constantly hung over the heads of millions of American wage-earners." -- John G. Winant, Chairman Social Security Board

1. And, just think, this was decades before Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, the Tea Party, the global warming debate, The Daily Show, Ben Bernanke, Goldman Sachs, Snyder v. Phelps, the Wisconsin protests, and the war on terror.
2. Curiously, the name of the illustrator does not appear anywhere in the book (to the best of my knowledge).

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Poignant birthday gift from the Class of 1943-44

I opened up a copy of the Lloyd C. Douglas novel "White Banners"1 and discovered that a colorful fold-out birthday card had been pasted to the first page decades ago.

Written in ink on the inside front cover is:
From Class of 1943-44
Peggy Jean Gross
Josephine Gladfelter
William Leicht
Marian L. Ziegler
Margaret L. Keech
Donaline A. Bowers
Larry N. Bare
William P. Goodyear
Lavernia P. Buckner
Phyllis J. Lingg
Lu An Oliphant
Rodney E. Beck
Joseph C. Stephens
Written on the bottom of the card is "From Six Grade."

There is no other identifying information provided. "White Banners" was originally published in 1936. But this hardcover cover has a note on the title page indicating that it was produced "under wartime conditions, in full compliance with government regulations for the conservation of paper and other essential materials."

That note fits in with this book being given as a birthday gift from the Class of 1943-44. Furthermore, I'm fairly sure that this would be the sixth-grade "Class of 1943-44." In other words, these are students who would have -- give or take a year -- been born in 1932, been 12 years old in 1944, and graduated from high school at age 18 in 1950.

And, most likely, this book was given as a gift to a York County, Pennsylvania, schoolteacher.

Based on some online searching, here is some further information on some of these sixth-graders who gave their teacher a book for his or her birthday:
  • Josephine Gladfelter, according to these geneaology records, might be the daughter of William E. Gladfelter Sr. (1907-1965) of York County and Helen E. Weaver (1909-1988) of York County, who were married in 1925 in York, Pa.
  • I found an obituary from less than three weeks ago for Larry N. Bare, and the details seem to fit the time frame and location. An excerpt from his obituary: "Mr. Larry N. Bare 'The Dook of Blackberry Springs', age 78, of 712 Blackberry Spring Lane, Vilas, died Friday morning, May 13, 2011, at his home. Mr. Bare was born January 24, 1933 in York County, Pennsylvania, a son of the late Ralph H. and Mary Sterner Bare. He was a retired microbiologist for St. Joseph Hospital in Lancaster, Pennsylvania."
  • Sadly, it appears that William P. Goodyear didn't live nearly as full of a life as Bare. Multiple websites2 confirm that Pfc. Goodyear was killed in action on August 13, 1950, during the Korean War.
  • Rodney E. Beck might have also been a war casualty. According to this 2009 post on Jim McClure's "York Town Square" blog, the name of Rodney E. Beck of Manchester was to be listed on York County's Vietnam Veterans Monument.
That still leaves plenty of students' stories to be told. Plus, will we ever be able to figure out what teacher received this book as a birthday gift? If you have any leads, please share them in the comments section below.

1. "White Banners" was adapted as a 1938 film starring Claude Rains and Jackie Cooper.
2. References for Goodyear's death:; a comprehensive list of Pennsylvania Korean War casualties hosted by Red Dragon Canoe Club; and this page on the Korean War Project site.

Monday, May 30, 2011

World War II clippings from Grit, Part 2

Today's Summer 1944 clippings from Grit focus on the news coverage of World War II.

Above: Pvt. Charles Williams Peers Jr. of Louisville wins a contest sponsored by Eddie Cantor.

Above: Injured Marine Sgt. Al Schmid is introduced to his baby son.

Above: "After bombing enemy military targets in Rumania, American fliers who landed their Flying Fortress at an airport in Russia are given hot soup by a native woman who is serving at a soviet field kitchen."

Above: An article documenting the great wartime letter-writing campaign of Desley Marie Knouse of Benton, Pennsylvania.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

World War II clippings from Grit, Part 1

To commemorate Memorial Day weekend, here are some advertisement clippings from Summer 1944 issues of the weekly newspaper Grit.1 Tomorrow's entry will feature some clippings of news articles from the same summer.

Above: An official U.S. Treasury advertisement for war bonds.

Above: Advertisement from P.H. Hanes Knitting Company.

Above: Advertisement for Clarion Radio.

Above: Another advertisement for war bonds, sponsored by Sani-Flush and Mel'O.

1. Grit is still around, with a strong magazine and web presence. I plan to write more about it in the future.