Saturday, July 2, 2011

Saturday's postcard: Glengarriff Harbour in Ireland

I'm a little short of time today, so here's a lovely view for y'all to enjoy and just a couple quick pieces of information...

The front of the postcard states:
Glengariff Harbour, Bantry Bay, Co. Cork, Ireland
Colour Photo by John Hinde, F.R.P.S.
There's a detailed biography of prolific postcard photographer Hinde on Wikipedia. Here's an excerpt:
" 1956, he left the circus and founded John Hinde Ltd. in Dublin to produce and distribute his colour pictures of Ireland. Hinde's most famous work is that of the Butlin's Holiday Camps1, in which he portrayed a welcoming and jubilant environment. In 1972, he sold his company in order to pursue his love of painting."
The back of the postcard is unused and undated. It includes the following text, set in tiny type:
GLENGARRIFF. Ireland is still almost completely unspoilt, and the south west corner -- Counties Cork and Kerry -- is claimed by many to be the loveliest part of the country. Here, where the Gulf Stream first embraces the Irish shore, the climate is remarkably mild throughout the entire year2, and sub-tropical vegetation flourishes -- palms, bamboos and azaleas, rhododendron and rare ferns. Glengarriff is set on the shores of Bantry Bay, and is famous as a beauty spot while remaining a tiny, unpretentious scattered village.
1. There are also at least two websites devoted to memories of stays at Butlin's Holiday Camps: BygoneButlins and Butlins Memories.
2. As I typed this, the weather was 59 degrees and cloudy in Glengarriff.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Another groovy batch of reader comments

It's time for some more comments and updates from readers regarding previous Papergreat posts. Thanks to all of you for the responses and additional information that you send my way!

Delving into Henry K. Wampole & Company: I've gotten two more comments on this post. It's clear that somebody should write a book on this intriguing pharmaceutical company from a bygone era.
  • Anonymous writes: "I'm in London, Ontario, and recently bought a sewing machine and sewing box from a thrift store. Inside I found a Wampole's C-2 Cetyloid-Compound box and went looking for more info (the box says for pain relief). I haven't been able to find anything like it online, but came across your blog looking for Wampole's. ... (I also found two tintype photos inside the Wampole's box that, from what I can find and the clothes they are wearing, date back to 1850s era!)"
  • Another Anonymous writes: "I am looking for information about Wampole's methods of procuring herbs for their products. A woman who lived in my area (about 20 miles north of Victoria, British Columbia) from the 1920s to the 1960s and perhaps longer, collected herbs locally for Wampoles, are told."
Coupons from the E.H. Koester Bakery Co.: I've also received a pair of neat comments from readers, both of whom say their grandfather used to do work for this Baltimore-area company.
  • Darcee writes: "I was just looking for information on the Koester bread company and ran across your sight. My grandfather, Bernard W. Rial of Baltimore, was a painter, and the Koester twins was one of the things he painted. NOT the original I'm sure, but he painted sides of milk trucks and bread trucks, that kind of thing.
  • Rich Kleylein writes: "Chris, my grandfather, Peter Kleylein, worked for Koester and I have a photo of him driving a horse-drawn Koester wagon. It's on the bottom of this blog post from March 20, 2009."
Reader submission: "I pray you never get scaly leg": JT Anthony of A Pretty Book was pleased with Papergreat's response to his challenge and wrote: "Upon closer inspection, I think you're right, the lady has really unusual hands if the one holding the chicken neck is hers. Very interesting though. Photoshopping, or it's old school equivalent, is the last thing I expected from a deep dive into this pamphlet! Thanks for taking on the challenge and excelling at it. ... P.S. Beverly Hills was lovely, by the way."

World War II clippings from Grit, Part 2: A reader has let us know that Marine Sgt. Al Schmid, who is pictured in one of the clippings in this post, had his story told by Hollywood. The 1945 movie "Pride of the Marines" is about Schmid's life, and he is portrayed by John Garfield.

A friend is someone who writes in your book: Mel, who authors the fantastic Ephemeraology blog, added this comment: "I have a copy of 'A Friend is Someone who Likes You', which my Grammie gave to my mom shortly after I was born in 1968. Mine has an inscription too, but of course I can't find my copy right now. These inscriptions are wonderful! So playful and flirty and romantic."

Postcards to send home from summer camp: My mom had this great addendum: "Back in the 1950s-60s when I was a camper, then a counselor, we were required to send a letter or post card home every week. (I'm sure all sleep-away camps did this because parents would call and inquire as to whether their child was still alive...etc). This was called a 'supper letter' and you had to have at least one to drop in a mail bag held by a counselor at the entrance to the dining hall, or you were sent back to your cabin to produce one before you could have dinner. (I don't remember anyone having been sent back to her cabin, so I guess we were all good girls, or 'hungry girls'....)"

Mystery photos inside "Helen of the Old House": Gejus van Diggele added this short comment: "The cow looks Dutch but the barn is typically American." At first, I thought Gejus was just being silly, talking about "Dutch cows." But then I did some research on Holstein cattle and found that the breed was originally bred and developed in the Netherlands. Dutch cows! Who knew?

I also had a very intriguing comment added to another old post. But I'll save that one for later, because I'm still doing some follow-up research on the tips that were provided. (Of course, you can always search through the vast Papergreat archives and read all of the comments on all of the posts -- then you'll surely find the tantalizing nugget I'm referring to.)

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Finding a new job in 1973 with Spider-Man's help

As I was leafing through the July 1973 issue of Marvel Team-Up featuring Spider-Man1, I was struck by the nature of the advertisements. There are a dozen ads pitching career training to the comic's readers.

There are far fewer advertisements for silly things like the Monster Fan Club (which I wrote about previously), sea monkeys2, joy buzzers and toy soldiers.

I'm guessing that two factors came into play here. First, were readers of Spider-Man comics slightly older than readers of other types of comics? An older demographic might have been more interested in finding a career than in buying cardboard submarines and X-ray specs.

Second, were the economic times reflected in the world of comic books? July 1973 fell within the United States' 1973–75 recession, which was characterized by both high unemployment and high inflation.3 So it's only natural that comic-book readers might have been interested in making meaningful salaries that would allow them to move out of their parents' basement, eat something other than Hamburger Helper ... and buy more comic books.

So it's interesting to see the kind of career training that was targeted to readers of this 1973 comic.

The panel at the top of today's post is part of the full-page advertisement for Cleveland Institute of Electronics4 (pictured at right).

In "The day Bill told off his boss," the man with the tucked-in plaid shirt and sideburns gets the last laugh against the man who looks like he's straight out of a 1950s classroom film from The Educational Archives.

Here are some of the other job- and career-opportunity advertisements from this issue of Marvel Team-Up:

For just 25 cents for postage and handling, you can learn how to cartoon for money! I like how the company name is simply "SUCCESS, Dept. M." I wonder if this company was similar to Art Instruction Schools, which is famous for its matchbook advertisements.

Here's your chance to become the next Jimmy Page5 or Eric Clapton! The Ed Sale Studio in lovely Avon-by-the-Sea, New Jersey, offers the following deal: "In this Special Introductory offer you get ED SALE'S famous Secret System worth $4.006 which shows you how to play a beautiful song the first day and any song by ear or note in seven days! Contains 52 photos, 87 finger placing charts, etc., plus 110 popular and western songs (words and music)..."

Start training at home for a career in the airline industry! Atlantic Schools (founded 1949) made the following pitch about its career training:
"Airline and travel employees often enjoy air travel passes to exciting cities, meeting interesting personalities, lead active lives, get good pay with advance opportunities, security, many fringe benefits."

Other advertisements in the issue include training for outdoors careers (wildlife management, parks and recreation, etc.), the shoe and clothing business, accounting, architectural and mechanical drafting, and veterinary work.

There's also this comic-style advertisement (pictured at right) for the Locksmithing Institute. It makes direct references to the state of the economy (and perhaps hints at some social unrest) in the first two panels:
Panel 1: "What a mess! Another layoff at our plant and I'm still in debt from the last one. Look at these headlines. I've got to do something soon!"

Panel 2:
"Say, Jane, look at this Locksmithing Institute Ad. they say with all the violence, there's a great need for locksmiths -- and they train you at home. And it only costs a few dollars a month!"

Soon, Joe is doing some hands-on learning from home. And, in the final panel, he even has his own store (which might be a bit of an exaggerated outcome). Joe exclaims, "Job security? I've got it now. No bosses. No layoffs. My own shop. What a difference when a fellow's independent!"

And the best news? If the shop in Joe's comic-book world is targeted by any civil unrest, Spider-Man and friends will be there to help him out!

1. The full matchup was Spider-Man and the Inhumans (Black Bolt, Gorgon, Karnak, and Triton) vs. Zarrko the Tomorrow Man and Kang the Conqueror.
2. Speaking of sea monkeys, Evan Hughes had an interesting article on sea monkeys and their "creator" -- Harold von Braunhut -- titled "The Shocking True Tale Of The Mad Genius Who Invented Sea-Monkeys" earlier this week on The Awl. It's a good read.
3. The pairing of high unemployment and high inflation is termed stagflation.
4. The Cleveland Institute of Electronics was established in 1934 and is still around today. I find it amusing that you can purchase CIE athletic wear, even though the school has no sports teams.
5. I haven't really been wowed yet by many of the articles on Bill Simmons' new Grantland. But I was entertained by Chuck Klosterman's piece on Led Zeppelin, titled: "In the Evening: A second-by-second analysis of Led Zeppelin's last stand."
6. Something worth $4 in 1973 would cost $19.41 today, according to the Inflation Calculator. Still, stating that the "famous Secret System" is worth all of four dollars seems to be crying out something about the quality of the product.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Peachy little corned beef loaves and healthful cheese dishes

Let's delve back into the world of food and recipes with two items today.

The first is an undated yellow fold-out pamphlet titled "How to Make Corned Beef Burgers .. And 21 Other Wonderful Ideas with Canned Corned Beef." The smiling bun on the front is brandishing a spatula and looks pleased with his creation, perhaps unaware that he will soon rest atop the burger and be consumed.

The pamphlet was published by International Packers Limited, which sounds more like a bunch of dockside workers than a company I'd want to buy family food products from. According to this trademark page, International Packers Limited distributed "canned corned beef, frozen veal, frozen beef, fresh lamb, frozen lamb, and frozen mutton, all for human consumption."

The recipes in the pamphlet include corned beef cocktail balls, corned beef canapes, corned beef stuffed onions and this recipe, which caught my eye:
Peachy Little Corned Beef Loaves
1 can (12 oz.) corned beef, unchilled
1 slice white bread
1 egg, slightly beaten
4 large canned peach halves

Flake corned beef with a fork. Separate bread into soft crumbs; add to corned beef with egg; mix well. Grease individual custard cups and place a peach half in the bottom of each, cut side up. Fill cups with corned beef mixture and place in a shallow pan of water. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Makes 4 servings.

Today's other piece of ephemera is an undated newspaper recipe clipping.1 It probably dates from World War II, because it presents a couple of meatless dinner recipes at a time when rationing was in effect. The article, written by Virginia Cheney, states:
"Cheese is one food you don't have to worry about. There is plenty on hand now and indications are there will be more cheese and sharper cheese by Christmas time.

"Cheese contains a good quality protein, important on the days when you must omit meat and eggs. It also offers calcium for bones and teeth, and riboflavin."
Here are the two meatless recipes from the clipping:
Olive Cheese-Rice Supper
6 hard cooked eggs
2 cups hot medium white sauce
2 cups cooked rice
¾ cup American cheese
¾ cup chopped ripe olives
Salt and pepper

Cut eggs into halves lengthwise. Combine white sauce, rice, half cup cheese and ripe olives and stir to blend. Pour half of this mixture into buttered baking dish, cover with eggs and sprinkle with salt and pepper; add remainder of sauce and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake in a moderate oven, 375 degrees, about 30 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serves six.

Lima Bean Loaf
3 cups cooked lima beans
1 tablespoons chopped onion
3 tablespoons melted butter
2 cups grated American cheese
1 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons milk
Salt and pepper
1 can high seasoned tomato soup

Mash the beans and add the onion, butter, cheese, bread crumbs, milk and seasonings to taste. Mix well. Press into a well greased loaf pan and bake about 30 minutes in a moderate oven, 350 degrees. Turn loaf out on a platter and surround it with tomato soup which has been heated. Serves 6.
1. The reverse side of the clipping does have this handy tip: "Discolored Aluminum. Renew discolored aluminum pots by simply putting apple peelings in the pot, covering them with water and allowing them to simmer until discoloration has disappeared."

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

John Doll's 1929 baseball predictions

John Doll wasn't always thinking about Latin.

His well-used copy of the 1918 textbook "A Latin Reader" by John C. Rolfe and Walter Dennison contains many scrawled notes that indicate he was focused on his studies. There are homework reminders, vocabulary lists and class schedules -- Doll was taking Latin, English and French concurrently.1

But one day, deep in the heart of winter, Doll's thoughts turned to baseball.

The following text is written in cursive on the inside back cover.
Written Jan. 23rd by John Doll at 2:24 P.M. at Y.C.I.2 Row 3, seat no 2, straight in from boys entrance and the third row from Prof. Wentworth room.

Both leagues will be close this coming season nothing will be decided until Aug. 1st.
Doll then lists out his American League and National League predictions.

For the American League, he has:
  • 1. Washington
  • 2. Philadelphia
  • 3. New York
  • 4. Cleveland
  • 5. Detroit
  • 6. Chicago
  • 7. Boston
  • 8. St. Louis
  • Plus this note: "Standing will be very, very close not more than six games apart from 1st + bot division"
For the National League, he has:
  • 1. Chicago
  • 2. Pittsburgh
  • 3. St. Louis
  • 4. Boston
  • 5. New York
  • 6. Brooklyn
  • 7. Cincinnati
  • 8. Philadelphia
  • Plus this note: "Not more than 4 games between 1st + last"
So, how did John Doll do with his predictions for the 1929 baseball season?

In a nutshell, his predicted orders of finish weren't too bad, but his prediction of close pennant races was a bit of a dud.

He correctly picked the Chicago Cubs -- who were led by Rogers Hornsby, Hack Wilson, and Riggs Stephenson3 -- as the National League champions. And he correctly called Pittsburgh as the runner-up. But the Pirates finished a distant 10½ games behind the Cubs. He had the Boston Braves pegged for fourth, but they finished dead last, 43 games behind the Cubs. And Doll underestimated the Phillies, picking them for last place in a season in which they finished fifth.

In the American League, Doll whiffed on the Washington Senators.4 He picked them for first, but they finished fifth, 34 games behind the AL and World Champion Philadelphia Athletics (who Doll had picked second). And, again, there wasn't much of a pennant race, as the Athletics -- led by Al Simmons, Jimmie Foxx and Lefty Grove5 -- finished 18 games ahead of the second-place Yankees and 48 games ahead of the last-place Boston Red Sox.6

Connie Mack's Athletics handled Joe McCarthy's Cubs in the 1929 World Series, four games to one. Here's some home-video footage from that series (following a Flag Day ceremony):

In all, Doll's predictions were pretty good.

And putting them inside his Latin textbook helped preserve them for our review and entertainment 82 years later.

1. Also, the word "Goose" appears twice in quotation marks. Was that John Doll's nickname?
2. Y.C.I. is York Collegiate Institute, which became part of the future York College later that year. According to York College's history page, York County Academy received its charter in 1787. Subsequently:
"In 1929, the Academy merged with the York Collegiate Institute, a non-denominational sister institution which had been founded in 1873 by Samuel Small, a prominent businessman and philanthropist."
3. The 1929 Cubs also had players named Woody, Kiki, Chick, Footsie, Trader and Sheriff.
4. Doll was one year off on the rise of the Washington Senators. In 1930, they won 94 games. It was the first of four consecutive 90+ victory seasons, which culminated with the Senators winning the American League pennant in 1933.
5. The 1929 Athletics also had players named Bing, Mule, Homer, Ossie, Cloy and, my favorite, DeWitt Wiley "Bevo" LeBourveau.
6. 1929 was a dreadful year for Boston baseball fans. The Braves and Red Sox both finished in last place, with a combined record of 114-194.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Peter Falk, plus a few other questions answered

We spent some time on Sunday afternoon at York County's best annual used-book sale, the Book Nook Bonanza. On the final day of the sale, you can get "a yardstick's worth of books" for $5, so that makes it a great day for the whole family to go treasure hunting.

In an odd coincidence, one of the first books I laid eyes on was this 1973 Scholastic Books Service paperback featuring Peter Falk, who died last Thursday at age 83, on the cover. The chapter about Falk leads with the oft-repeated tale of his glass eye and a game of youth baseball:
He had had many years to get used to his glass eye. Because of a tumor, his own eye was taken out when he was three. As a kid, he was sensitive about it. "It was a problem until I was 12 or so," he said. "I was self-conscious about it. Then I started playing ball and going to the gym -- and suddenly it just became a joke."

Falk once stole third in a baseball game and the umpire called him out. "I took out my eye, handed it to the umpire, and said, 'Take it. You need it more than I do.'"
And who were the other TV stars of 1973? There are some hits and misses. The other actors profiled in the book include:
  • Sebastian Cabot1, who was the narrator of a new anthology show called "Ghost Story." The show did so poorly that Cabot was dumped after 14 episodes and the series was retitled "Circle of Fear."
  • Sandy Duncan of the "The Sandy Duncan Show," which lasted only one season even though it featured both Tom Bosley and M. Emmet Walsh.
  • Heshimu of "Room 222," who was pretty much never heard from again.
  • And some on-the-mark profiles of Lucille Ball, Valerie Harper, Carroll O'Connor and the always-dependable Lassie.
Also coincidentally, this was the second piece of Falk-related ephemera that I came across in the past couple of weeks. We finally made our trip to Shartlesville earlier this month. Near Roadside America, we stopped at a wonderful shop called Antique Treasures, which was filled with great oddball items and about 20 formerly stray cats who had been adopted by the shopkeepers and now had their run of the store. (Most of the cats were asleep, including one that we discovered sleeping inside a large bowl on the top of one free-standing shelf.)

One of the items I picked up at Antique Treasures was a nifty staplebound book (pictured at right) on the making of "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World," one of my favorite comedies.

There are only a few passing references to Falk in the book, as he wasn't one of the star-studded film's primary actors.

But Falk is featured prominently in a neat behind-the-scenes photo, sitting next to Phil Silvers during a break in production (Falk is wearing the blue shirt and his yellow taxi-driver cap):

With Falk's passing, the number of remaining living cast members from "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" is dwindling.

Of the primary stars, the only ones who are still alive are Sid Caesar, Mickey Rooney2 and Jonathan Winters. Secondary characters who are still alive include Barrie Chase (Sylvester's bikini-clad girlfriend), Marvin Kaplan (one of the gas-station attendants attacked by Winters), Jerry Lewis (a quick cameos) and Carl Reiner (the airport tower controller).

1. You might know Cabot better as Mr. French from "Family Affair."
2. I apologize in advance, but I've been waiting for an opportunity to mention an obscure and dreadful 1971 Mickey Rooney film called "The Manipulator," which Joan and I suffered through a couple years ago. This is not the cuddly Rooney you're used to. Here's a terrific review and skewering of the movie by the always entertaining Final Girl. (Warning: One image makes it mildly unsafe for work. A second image will haunt your dreams.)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

"A Dream" (a poem by Ruth Manning-Sanders)

Here is "A Dream," which is one of Ruth Manning-Sanders' early poems. It's from "The Pedlar and Other Poems," which might be her first published book.

"The Pedlar and Other Poems" -- which is available here as a free ebook -- was published in 1919 by Selwyn & Blount of London. There is a short note from the author in which she states: "I wish to thank the Editors of The Saturday Westminster, New Statesman, and Poetry Review for permission to reprint some of these poems."

You can see the author's interest in fairy tales and magic in this early work.

Here is Manning-Sanders' poem:
As we sat in dim firelight,
You and I, when starless night
Pressed against the cottage wall,
And the flames wrought webs of dreaming,
Flickering silence 'twixt us, gleaming
Threads of light and shadows small,
That twisted into fairy ravel
Things by day most plain to see,—
Sitting in this dusky-bright
We heard a gate click in the night.
There came no step along the gravel,
Only soft palms feeling for
The handle of the outer door,
A breeze that crept along the floor,
And standing there 'twixt you and me—
Where the fire danced flickeringly—
Straight and slim as any wand
An elfin man from fairyland.

"Come," said he, "I will show you your house."

But sure the house was all bewitchen,
Such ages long it took to go
Adown the passage that you know
Leads from the parlour to the kitchen;
And in the larder by the way
Was nothing but a wisp of hay
Set lonely on a silver platter-
It seemed strange ceremony lent
To such a scrap of nourishment—
And from the kitchen came a clatter,
Growing louder, scream and chatter;
But when we reached the kitchen door
It made us weep for mirth to see
A huge slug sitting heavily
In the fat servant's place, and there,
Widdershins about her chair,
A host of imps whirled, every one
Shouting of some task undone,
Brandishing amid the din
Kettle, spoon, or rolling-pin.

"Come," said the fairy, "I will show you your house."

So small a house, and yet so thronged!
And nothing wore its stolid face,
And nothing stood where it belonged;
We scarce could find a treading place,
For from the parlour marched a crowd
Of footstools, chairs, and cushions proud;
And where the rows of books should be
A host of wing├ęd creatures tried
In vain to fly, with flap and bound
And piteous flutter, each one tied
Firm by the leg, and on the landing
Where the old clock should be standing,
A crazy hen ran round and round,
Cackling with a note profound.

We found our clothes shrunk very small
In a wardrobe monster tall;
Peeping therein we marvelled why
These vast important cupboardings
Were needed for such tiny things.
We saw the bed whereon we lie
A glowing rose, but sharp and high
The thorns that hedged it; slumbering near
Did our little babes appear
Two cherubs, each within a cage,
Wrought with curious subtlety,
With iron stealth and secrecy,
By people of a bygone age.

"Come," said the fairy, and he broke
The bars, and our sweet babes awoke,
One like a golden moon, and one
Ruddy as the rising sun.
We went down to the littered hall,
We left the crazy hen to call,
We left each struggling spirit book,
We left the kitchen and its riot,
And stepped out into moony quiet.
Only in golden brazier took
Our small hearth fire; so hand in hand,
Cherub babes and you and I,
With the fairy small and spry,
Whilst the flames danced flickeringly,
Wandered down a ferny lee
Into depths of fairyland.