Saturday, August 6, 2011

Saturday's postcards: Swimming pool at Buck Hill Falls

Here are two undated postcards of the Olympic-size outdoor swimming pool at Buck Hill Falls, a resort spot in northeastern Pennsylvania.

The top one is a hand-colored postcard published by "The Collotype Co., Elizabeth, N.J., and N.Y." It describes Buck Hill Falls as "a popular fun center."

The bottom postcard also describes Buck Hill Falls as a "popular fun center" -- that must have been the key advertising phrase -- and was published by The Inn at Buck Hill Falls.

On the Buck Hills Falls website, the community is described as still "going strong" 110 years after its earliest development:1
"It's just a step from the turmoil of urban business life to the serenity of ancient woods, streamside glens and the charming tranquility of yesteryear's life-style. Nestled in its 4,500 acres of northeastern Pennsylvania, Buck Hill Falls is only a two-hour drive from Philadelphia or New York City. But it is a world away from either city. ... Summer-stock theater, restaurants, and
shopping are all nearby, but most Buck Hillers are happy to spend most of their time enjoying the glorious woods, the plunging streams and falls, and the superior sports facilities of their own community. Today, just as they did over a century ago, the Buck Hill Falls residents pride themselves on fostering family traditions and closeness. Whether they are full-time residents or use their homes for weekend and vacation getaways, the owners still enjoy and value the simple life first envisioned by Buck Hill Falls' founders over a century ago."
In 1908, the first swimming pool was opened at Buck Hill Falls. In 1936, the resort was ahead of its time with the opening of an outdoor, heated Olympic-sized swimming pool. (That's likely the pool pictured in today's two postcards.)

The current outdoor pool is only open from mid-June through Labor Day weekend. Swim lessons, a swim team and a summer swim meet schedule are offered.

One part of the resort that has not stood the test of time, however, is The Inn at Buck Hill Falls, which originally opened in 1901. From its 18-room beginning, it eventually expanded to a complex with more than 400 rooms. According to this Buck Hills Falls history website:
"In 1958 the dining room at Buck Hill began serving liquor and four years later they opened a cocktail lounge. Many believe this was a turning point in the resort. The Inn did continue to prosper for a few more years and another addition to the Inn was built in 1964 with the construction of the west wing. Architecturally, the building was not compatible with the Mission Revival Style of the existing building. Profits were in decline by the mid 1960’s and early 1970’s. In the late 1970’s the Board of Directors of the Buck Hill Falls Company decided it would be in the best interests of the stockholders to sell off the Inn with 134 acres but continue to own and maintain all the amenities [including the golf course, pool, tennis courts, hiking trails, etc.]."
The Inn at Buck Hill Falls officially closed in 1991. The property is available for subdivision and development from Falls Road Funding, the current owner, as detailed on this website.

Unfortunately, the storied inn's current "claim to fame" is that it's haunted, possessed and evil, having been the spot of scores of murders -- certainly a bunch of bunk and malarkey.2 The site is also subjected regularly to trespassers and would-be ghost hunters, hoping to secure their fame with a YouTube sensation.

If you are curious about what The Inn at Buck Hill Falls looks like now -- minus the "ghosts and satanic forces" -- I highly recommend this Spirits of the Abandoned photo gallery by Susan Tatterson. Even in the building's decay, there is sad beauty conveyed in Tatterson's images.

1. That earliest development was spurred by Samuel Griscom. According to this Buck Hills Falls website: "It took less than a year from the time Philadelphia Quaker Samuel Griscom inspected the wild land he had just inherited to the development and sale, in 1901, of the first 43 lots in Buck Hill Falls. Griscom had sold the land to his friend Howard M. Jenkins, editor of a Philadelphia newspaper, and, a group of prosperous Philadelphians, for their families and others." The separate website also has some good history, background information and old photos.
2. This page on Pennsylvania Haunts & History details (and does nothing to dispel) all of the exaggerations that lead to teens with camcorders and reality-show hosts trooping around the site.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Two selections from the 1971 Betty Crocker Recipe Card Library

Here are some interesting dinner recipes, courtesy of the 1971 Betty Crocker Recipe Card Library.

I don't have the complete set of these cards, which came in a nicely organized plastic box.1 I only have a few subcategories, such as "Hurry-Up Main Dishes," "International Favorites,"2 and "Seasonal Favorites."

Recipe #1 is for the simply named "Giant Burger." It calls for 1½ pounds of ground beef, cream cheese and various other ingredients. It makes four to six servings.

Recipe #2 is for the somewhat-bizarre "Green Bean Bunwiches." The first ingredient is one pint of frozen Make-Ahead Hamburger Mix, for which you need to refer to another recipe card.3

If you're interested in additional discussion of The Betty Crocker Recipe Card Library, check out Anjali Prasertong's June 2011 post on a website called "the kitchn." The commenters add some great memories about the recipe cards, and one of them mentions a website I definitely need to go check out -- "The Gallery of Regrettable Food."

1. The entire 1971 set, complete in the box, is a bit of a collector's item and would cost you more than $30 on Amazon. I didn't check the eBay prices or do any other comparison shopping, so you can probably find better prices.
2. Some of the "International Favorites" recipe cards include Gold Coast Stew and N├╝rnbergers. I can certainly share those in a future post.
3. Fortunately, I also have the card for "Make-Ahead Hamburger Mix," so none of us have to be stymied in our attempts to make "Green Bean Bunwiches." Here it is:

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Papergreat's star-studded 200th post (plus some chickens)

Strike up the band! Papergreat has made it to its 200th post! I told y'all I had a lot of ephemera tucked away, waiting to be researched and shared.

To celebrate this milestone, I'm blowing out the budget and bringing in the biggest stars of ephemera for today's post. So, without further ado, here are (drum roll) Casper the Friendly Ghost, Jerry Richardson, David McCallum, Elvis Presley, R2-D2 and some chickens.

Casper wants you to brush your teeth

Here's a public service announcement from a circa 1975 Casper the Friendly Ghost comic book. The "Don't Give Plaque a Ghost of a Chance" message is co-sponsored by the American Dental Association and Harvey Comics.

In addition to Casper, Harvey Comics, which ceased publication in 1994, brought us such memorable characters as The Ghostly Trio, Wendy the Good Little Witch, Little Dot, Baby Huey, Richie Rich, Sad Sack and Little Lotta.1

Jerry Richardson: Methodist All-American

I've already written once about the December 1956 issue of Together (The Midmonth Magazine for Methodist Families) that I discovered at Hoke-E-Geez in Bedford, Pennsylvania. And that issue has even more treasures to divulge.

For example, Fred Russell, a sportswriter with the Nashville Banner, selected the first All-American All-Methodist football team. He called it "an explosive, power-pulsing, jet-impelled lineup which any coach in the country would be happy to direct."

Russell selected both a university-level team and a college-level team. Interestingly, the university-level team is filled with players from Southern Cal, Syracuse, Duke and Northwestern, as all of those schools were considered to be "Methodist-related" at the time.2 Thus, Syracuse halfback Jim Brown is a member of Russell's team.

But the All-American who caught my eye was a member of the college-level team: Jerry Richardson of Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Richardson went on to play for the Baltimore Colts in 1959 and 1960. He caught a touchdown pass from Johnny Unitas in the Colts' victory over the New York Giants in the 1959 NFL championship game.3 Richardson went on to become majority owner and founder of the NFL's Carolina Panthers. He made the millions that helped him launch the Panthers as an expansion team with his work from the 1960s through 1990s as one of the titans of the chain-restaurant business.

David McCallum: "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." and his fans

David McCallum, star of "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." is featured on the cover of the June 6-12, 1965, TV book that was inserted in the York, Pennsylvania, Sunday News.

Of course, McCallum is best known these days as Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard on "NCIS" -- one of my daughter's favorite TV shows.4

In the article about "U.N.C.L.E.", McCallum, who was 31 the time, complains about the struggles of being a dreamboat and having a gaggle of teenage fans chasing him at all times:
"And they all want to kiss me. Always, if my wife's along, they ask her first if they may. Funny, they never ask me."
McCallum also insists that his 1960s haircut is a trend-setter, not a trend-follower: "The Beatles have a McCallum haircut, not vice versa. I've had mine for eight years."

World of Illusions: An attraction you can skip

Here's a brochure, probably from the 1980s, for "World of Illusions" in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The cover features a wizard (presumably Merlin), R2-D2 and Elvis Presley. Inside, the brochure touts (these are verbatim):
  • Make one of your friends disappear
  • Watch an amazing recreation of Houdini's Chinese Torture Escape
  • Participate in an 18th Century seance
  • Watch a Star Ship Transporter materialize an Imperial Warrior5
  • See the Wizard Merlin levitate right before your eyes
  • Take your picture with RD2, and other characters inspired by "Star Wars"6
It probably doesn't matter that the brochure is from the 1980s. According to the unanimously scathing reviews I've read of this "tourist attraction," nothing has changed or been updated in decades.

In fact, these excerpts of "World of Illusions" reviews from TripAdvisor are surely more entertaining than the attraction itself:
  • "Just went to this place in July 2011 and it was horrible. The place is so outdated it should be ashamed. I don't have anything else to say but spend your money elsewhere!!!"
  • "Don't waste your $8 on this. It is 10 minutes of my life wasted that I will never get back. Everything in there was totally lame we didn't even crack a smile. There is not much to see and it takes just a few minutes to go through. It sucks!"
  • "This sad excuse for a 'tourist attraction' was BY FAR the worst waste of money I have ever spent...and I have seen some cheesy things. I expect a certain amount of 'lame' with an $8.00 tourist attraction but this was ridiculous! This place would have been sad if it was free!"
  • "world of suck ... It was more like someone printed out a bunch of 'illusions' from the internet and framed them. And if the attraction didn't suck bad enough, the exit drops you out into an alleyway.
  • "The biggest waste of time and money in Gatlinburg and quite possibly the entire Eastern United States!"

And, finally, some chickens...

These are chickens, apparently. They looks more like a 1980s poultry hair band to me.

The illustration is from the cover of the October 1934 issue of Poultry Tribune.7 Did chickens really look like this once? Can chickens like this be found today?
I really need a poultry expert to weigh in here.8

See, you never know what you're going to find on Papergreat.

Who knows what the next 200 posts will bring...

1. Yes, this happened. Little Lotta, aka Lotta Plump, was a chubby girl who gained superhuman strength upon overeating. The "Little Lotta" comics were published from the mid-1950s through mid-1970s. Don Markstein's Toonopedia states: "Lotta's schtick, which pretty much summed up the driving force of most stories about her, was that she ate to excess. Her figure showed it, too — but that was the only normal effect of her dietary habits. Instead of sluggishness and high blood pressure, Lotta's overeating gave her immense strength; and instead of being called ugly names by the other kids, Lotta was lionized for her muscle power. For these reasons, Little Lotta is considered by many to be one of the worst role models in comics." Also, and I hesitate to mention this, but I find it extra disturbing that Lotta Plump was often pictured in short skirts and with her knickers showing. And, yes, I'm aware that sentence I just wrote is going to draw undesirable search-engine traffic to Papergreat.
2. For example, the University of Southern California originally operated in affiliation with the Methodist Church. But, according to Wikipedia: "The university is no longer affiliated with any church, having severed formal ties in 1952." Interestingly, Russell's article was published in 1956, four years after those formal ties were severed.
3. The 1959 NFL championship game was a rematch of the fabled 1958 NFL championship, which is dubbed "The Greatest Game Ever Played."
4. My favorite McCallum movie is -- no surprise here -- "The Great Escape."
5. What does that even mean? That deserves the Picard Response.
6. I guess misspelling it as "RD2" is their boneheaded attempt at skirting trademark infringement.
7. The advertisement on the back cover of this issue was the subject of a Papergreat post on June 20.
8. My lame attempt at research included using "rooster with lots of hair" as a search query in Google Images. The results were almost as laughable as my query. They included Conan O'Brien, Rooster Cogburn and Selena Gomez.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

From the Notepad #3: A trio of pocket pads

The very occasional From the Notepad series returns today with three small notepads that were once given away by farm-supply and hardware businesses. They are slim and small -- about 2⅝ inches wide and 5½ inches deep, which is perfect for a shirt pocket or back pocket. One of the pads contains lined pages. The other two pads have graph paper.

1. Longman and Martinez Pure Paints

This undated notepad has the following advertising pitch on the inside front cover:
gallons of any other paint to cover your house, purchase SIX GALLONS OF THE L. & M. PAINT, MIX IT WITH FOUR GALLONS OF PURE LINSEED OIL, and the work will be done better than with pure white lead.1 ADD COST OF L. & M. PAINT AND OIL, and see how cheaply you have bought ten gallons of finest paint obtainable.

The pitch continues on the inside back cover:
from oil barrel, and not in a sealed can with a paint label thereon.

When you buy a thin liquid paint, three-quarters of it, if best quality, is linseed oil for which you pay from $1.50 to $1.75 a gallon.2


It's semi-paste, and you add from ¾ to 1 gallon of linseed oil to every gallon of the paint.


Always use the Longman & Martinez PURE PAINTS."
The back cover of the notepad includes an image (pictured below) of the Longman and Martinez paint can and is specially stamped to indicate that the line of paint products is for sale by Herman Olney of Waverly, New York.

2. Barreled Sunlight from U.S. Gutta Percha Paint Co.

Here's another undated notepad that makes a pitch for paint. This notepad, from the U.S. Gutta Percha Paint Co.3 in Providence, Rhode Island, has this advertising copy on the inside front cover of the notepad:
"Some room in your place of business or at home needs Barreled Sunlight.

Reflects Light
Resists Dirt
Remains White Longest

BARRELED SUNLIGHT is an oil paint made by the 'Rice Process'4 which combines holding of the whiteness, intense opacity and ease of spreading. Write for descriptive literature and sample board showing the BARRELED SUNLIGHT Lustre."
Unlike Longman and Martinez Pure Paints, the U.S. Gutta Percha Paint Co. wants nothing to do with linseed oil in its Barreled Sunlight. The inside back cover of the notepad states:
"Barreled Sunlight-Gloss is for finishing coat for use over previously painted or primed surfaces. Each can should be thoroughly stirred from bottom and used as received. If paint has thickened somewhat add trifle of Turpentine to make it spread freely. Caution -- Use no Linseed Oil for thinning finishing coat."

3. Reading Bone Fertilizers

This notepad for the Reading Bone Fertilizer Company in Reading, Pennsylvania, contains a calendar for the second half of 1936 and all of 1937 on the inside back cover.

Listed on the inside front cover are the company's various brands of bone fertilizers, along with their N-P-K ratios.

The back cover, meanwhile, contains this pitch for Reading Meat Meal:
"Poultry men who are using our Meat Meal declare that it is the best meal for feeding in a dry mash they have ever seen. We manufacture by a new process. The meal is of good sweet odor, is made of fresh stock and is an abundant egg producer. Ask our agent or write us for sample and price, stating what quantity you desire."
Of the three notepads, this is only one that has been written in. On the bottom of the front cover, you can see that someone wrote lightly -- or wrote and then erased -- the words "Rabbit Book." And these words have been written on the last page of the pad:

1. To be clear, Papergreat does not recommend the use of lead paint.
2. These days, a typical gallon of linseed oil would cost somewhere between $21 to $35.
3. Here's an excerpt on the history of U.S. Gutta Percha Paint Company and its building at 8-12 Dudley Street from an appendix of Providence industrial sites prepared in 1981 by the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission:
"This large, 4-story, brick, pier-and-panel, industrial building with its long, rhythmical facade and widely bracketed cornice, designed by Perry Whipple, is the second site of the United States Gutta Percha Paint Company founded by J. William Rice in 1886 and originally located at Mathewson and West Exchange Streets. Not long after the building was completed a 3-story brick annex for the boiler room was designed by Fontaine and Kennicut. Rice had been active as a paint, chemical, and dye-stuff dealer since 1861. He invented a paint-making process which used Malayan gum-tree resins known as gutta percha. The paint which resulted was an early white latex called 'Barreled Sunlight' that was, according to the company's advertisements, unique in its non-yellowing properties. The U.S. Gutta Percha Paint Company also produced oil-based paints, enamels, and a popular white lead paint called 'Rice's Crown German White Lead.' By 1930 the company had a network of 170 distributors and 7,500 retail dealers as well as a significant export business.

The plant was vacated before 1962 and is now occupied by the CNC Chemical Company which specializes in the manufacture of chemicals for textile- and paper-finishing companies."
4. My guess is that the "Rice Process" is named after company founder J. William Rice and has nothing to do with rice.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Richie Ashburn: Philadelphia's favorite Nebraska farm boy

Here's one of my favorite pieces of sports ephemera: An autographed 1952 photo of the Philadelphia Phillies' Richie Ashburn.

My dad was able to get it autographed at a Phillies spring training game we attended in 1984 at Jack Russell Memorial Stadium in Clearwater, Florida. He was able to walk right up to the open-air booth for the announcers and talk with Ashburn, who said this 1952 picture looked just like his son.

Hard to believe that Ashburn and Harry Kalas, the voices of Phillies baseball for my generation, are both gone now.

Today's great baseball link

Michael Weinreb, a former colleague of mine at The Daily Collegian at Penn State, recently authored an outstanding feature story about Statis Pro Baseball for Grantland. Statis Pro was the baseball simulation I played for endless hours in the 1980s, too, before turning my attention to computer games such as MicroLeague Baseball.

I recommend you check out Weinreb's enjoyable piece.

Other "Baseball Tuesdays" posts

Monday, August 1, 2011

Adding another piece of the puzzle with a 1963 hotel receipt

Sometimes, within the vast Papergreat ephemera archives, items that once went together become separated. Only a lot of luck and little detective work can get them back together.

Today's post features a reunion of sorts with some pulp artifacts that, put together, tell the partial story of a couple's trip to New York City in 1963.

In September 1963, Mr. and Mrs. Staib of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, embarked upon a Monday-through-Thursday trip to New York City.1

While there, they stayed at the Hotel Edison in midtown Manhattan. That's the piece of the puzzle I recently rediscovered with today's receipt. It documents a three-night stay at Hotel Edison on September 2-4, 1963, for the Staibs.

The two of them stayed in Room 1902, for which they paid $16.50 per night, plus 83 cents tax per night. (That's a tax of 5 percent. Today, the tax rate is a whopping 14.75 percent, plus $3.50 per night.2)

Just to do a little math (always a dangerous thing):
  • If a single night's stay in Hotel Edison cost $17.33 (room plus tax) in 1963, it should cost $122.06 in 2010, according to The Inflation Calculator.
  • However, room rates at Hotel Edison today range from $149 per night (on some August Sunday nights) to $359 per night (on some September Saturday nights).
  • The Hotel Edison rate for Monday, September 5, 2011 -- about 48 years after the Staibs' trip and the same day of the week as their arrival -- is $179. Add in the 14.75% tax and the $3.50 fee, and you get $208.90 for one night. So, hotel rates in New York City are outpacing inflation by a good bit.

The 1963 receipt also notes: "Local phones are normally charged at time of departure. Total are controlled by N.Y. Telephone Co. registers from each room."

Pictured below are the back of the receipt, plus a detail shot of the map of Hotel Edison's location in the Times Square theater district.

And what did the Staibs do during their three-night stay in New York City? Well, one of their outings has already been documented on Papergreat.

On Tuesday, September 3, 1963, the Staibs went on the Rivoli Theatre on Broadway for the matinee showing of "Cleopatra."

Check out their ticket stubs and envelope in this December 2010 post.

Hotel receipts. Movie-ticket stubs. All of them come together to help paint a picture of what a northcentral Pennsylvania couple did for a significant vacation in late-summer 1963.

Today, you'd likely need a small loan to make a similiar three-night trip to the Big Apple (or any major city).

1. My educated guess would be that they traveled by bus. But I don't know for sure. Maybe they took a ride with Edwards Motor Transit Co.
2. My source for New York City hotel tax information is the Tax Foundation.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Weekend postcards: Rome and Milan in black and white

Today we have a double shot of black-and-white Italian postcards, per the request of one of the followers of Papergreat's Twitter account. Both postcards are from the late 1950s or early 1960s.

The top postcard shows central Rome and an avenue leading straight to the Colosseum, which can be seen in the distance. The printed text on the front of the postcard states:


The second postcard showcases the Piazza della Scala, a square in Milan. It was mailed with the 100-lire stamp pictured at right. The building pictured in the center of the postcard is La Scala, a famous opera house that opened in 1778.

These Italian scenes from a half-century ago make me think of the Italian neorealism, one of my favorite subgenres of film.1

Here are clips from three personal favorites from that genre. (And, yes, I am aware that of these three movies, only "Umberto D." is considered to be 100% Italian neorealism.)

"La Strada" (1954) by Federico Fellini

"Il Posto" (1961) by Ermanno Olmi

"Umberto D." (1952) by Vittorio De Sica

1. Some of my other favorite film genres are obscure documentaries, Akira Kurosawa films, Paul Thomas Anderson films, zombie films and whatever subgenre includes "The Karate Kid" but none of its ridiculous sequels or remakes.