Saturday, October 22, 2011

Weekend postcards: Some wonderful corners of Europe

I've rambled on enough this week, so I'll let these wonderful old European postcards speak for themselves (mostly).

Heidelberg Castle, Germany
German name: Heidelberger Schloss

Sos del Rey Católico, Spain
Full text on back: SOS DEL REY CATOLICO, Calle de Fernando el Católico y subida a la calle del Martillo

St. Michael's Church in Vienna, Austria
Translation: Wien is the German word for Vienna and Michaelerkirche is German for St. Michael's Church

Friday, October 21, 2011

Halloween Countdown #10:
Clowns. Why'd it have to be clowns?

So, I was leafing through an old copy of "Sunset Ideas for Recreation Rooms," figuring it would be easy for a home-design and decorating book from 40 years ago to contain something garish enough for Halloween Countdown.

But I kept coming up empty. Furthermore, I found myself really liking some of the room designs in the book. There are some wonderful ideas for family rooms, dens, home offices, studios and workshops -- many of which strongly incorporate the idea that a home should be filled with books. "There's nothing hideous about any of this!" I lamented.

But then, as I leafed toward the back of the book, I came across a photo for a family-craft room. And the horror leaped out at me.

A clown painting?!?

Who would put a horrifying painting of a clown on the wall of their fun and happy family-craft room? And, trust me, this is truly a horrible-looking clown, perhaps a relative of Pennywise.1 Take a closer look:

I mean, why not just go the whole nine yards and put a painting of The Master on your wall?

Halloween Countdown will return on Monday night for a final week of horrific posts!

1. Let me guess. You clicked on the Pennywise link and now you're upset. What, precisely, did you expect that link to take you to? By the way, we all float down here in the footnotes.

Wampole's Creo-Terpin ink blotter from Ensley, Alabama

It's the return of Wampole's! The early February post on Henry K. Wampole & Company has been one of the most popular and commented-upon posts in Papergreat's short history.

This is an ink blotter for Wampole's Creo-Terpin (for Coughs due to Colds) that was personalized for Gilmer Drug Co., Inc., in Ensley, Alabama.

Wampole's issued numerous ink blotters with different themes throughout the first half of the 20th century. There are blotters highlighting military ribbons, types of birds, birthstones, U.S. presidents, modes of transportation, famous inventors and more.1 They make wonderful and collectible pieces of history.2

The ink blotter featured today highlights famous flights in history and shows their routes on a world map. Aviators who are noted include Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart, Clarence Chamberlin, Hermann Köhl3, and Italo Balbo, among others.

Now, in the spirit of the original post here are:

Five more things I learned about Henry K. Wampole & Company

1. I have no idea how I missed this in the initial blog entry, but the Wampole brand is STILL AROUND. (In February, I wrote: "The company was acquired by the Denver Chemical Mfg. Co. in September 1957" and then assumed that was the end of it.)

The modern company, based in Canada, has a 2007 news release on the home page of its website touting its liquid vitamins:
"Wampole, the Canadian leader in natural health since 1893, is launching all new, tasty liquid formulas of nutritional supplements. The liquid supplements, distinguished by greatly improved efficiency due to their ease of absorption, allow the body to rapidly ingest the liquid's vitamins and minerals.

"Back on shelves in June, the famous Tonic Wampole, an original liquid formula combining iron and essential vitamins, helps replenish energy and maintain overall good health. Wampole's four new liquid vitamin formulas in different flavours promise to please all those who take their health to heart: the Multivitamin in pomegranate flavour, the Calcium-Magnesium-Vitamin D formula in cranberry flavour, the Calcium formula in a refreshing citrus fruit flavour and the Glucosamine-Chondroitine & MSM in an exotic mango flavour. Supplements for every need and for every taste!"
And here's what it states on the "About Wampole" page of the website:
"It’s hard to believe that 100 years of success started with Cod Liver Oil. In 1893, Henry Koch Wampole and his partners moved to Toronto and began manufacturing the popular liver extract. Over a century later, Wampole Brands Inc. is an enduring Canadian success story. Recognized as a Canadian leader in high-quality nutritional and herbal products, the Wampole name is associated with quality and value from coast-to-coast."
Can any of Papergreat's Canadian readers chip in with more information about what's available in stores these days and how relatively popular those products are?

2. On Chris Overstreet's groovy blog, Wild Postcards, he has discussed another one of Wampole's ink blotters and provided some wonderful background information in a July 2009 post. I enjoy how he breaks down the meaning of the product name Creo-Terpin. Here's an excerpt:
"The 'Creo' in Creo-Terpin seems to come from wood creosote, a bush that we know today has even more medicinal value than Wampole thought; it’s good for upset stomach, arthritis, anemia, and is even an anti-microbial. ... The 'Terpin', on the other hand, probably refers to terpin hydrate, which was usually sold in a solution with codeine to relieve bronchitis."
Overstreet's blog entry continues with other great information, and then his readers chip in with memories of their own about Creo-Terpin. This one from "Mary" seems to sum up what some people thought of Wampole's product: "Creo Turpin [sic] was awful to the tastebuds, but excellent for colds and coughs. One dose had the ability to kill a cold bug dead in its tracks. Wish this product was still available."

3. In volume 35 of The Trained Nurse and Hospital Review4, published in 1905, the following was written in "New Remedies and Appliances":
"Wampole's Creo-Terpin Compound is healing and antiseptic. Now that the season of colds is approaching, with the accompanying discomforts of coughs, pains in the chest and coryza, the nurses who do not already know of this unusually excellent remedy would be benefited by sending for a sample and literature. See H.K. Wampole's advertisement in this number."
4. Meanwhile, Wampole's also made a product called Vaginal Cones with Picric Acid. All you need to know about this product can be found in a fascinating essay written by Harry Finley on the website for the Museum of Menstruation and Women's Health. Here's a small excerpt and then you should go there and read the rest:
"It's hard to imagine why Wampole put picric acid into these suppositories meant for the vagina - but as a reader pointed out, the main use for these suppositories might have been to kill sperm, which sufficiently strong acid can do."
5. Finally, here's a piece of Wampole's ephemera that I've had my eye on since I first stumbled upon it online. It's an advertising card featuring the Virgin Mary (La Virgen Y El Niño) from the pharmacy of a Dr. Cintas in Campana, Argentina. Across the bottom of the card is the text: "Obsequio de Henry K. Wampole y Cia. Inc. Filadelfia. E.U. de A."

The card is available for purchase from numerous online sites, and I have copied the image that appears below from one of them:

1. Plenty of these can be found on eBay, which is how I acquired today's piece of ephemera.
2. And if you look closely, you can see that the blotters also functioned as rulers!
3. Köhl's name is misspelled as "Koehl" on the blotter.
4. This was a monthly magazine of practical nursing, devoted to the improvement and development of the graduate nurse.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Halloween Countdown #9:
Who on earth would wear this?

Tonight's frightful piece of Halloween Countdown ephemera is an illustration of the Mini Square dress from "Let's Crochet (Star Book No. 209)."

The 36-page magazine was published, probably some time in the late 1960s, by American Thread.

Did anyone (other than this Twiggy-esque model) ever wear this knitted outfit? In public?

How many people even made it, using the recommended skeins of Dawn-brand Olive, Peacock and Antique Gold knitting worsted?

And, after you get past the obvious problems of the dress being unattractive and looking like it would be rather uncomfortable to wear, here's my biggest issue:

How would it be even remotely possible to sit down while wearing this?

Reader comments: Much praise and an ominous warning

This week's roundup of reader comments serves as a great ego boost. Thanks for all the praise!

Snapshots from Kiwanis Lake in York: Jennifer (from the blog Life in the AZ Desert) writes: "These photos are gorgeous; thank you for sharing!"

Jennifer also commented on Saturday's postcard: Autumn in Nebraska and The Mite Society: "I love that you took the time to find the info, then post your footnote to the date from this postcard!! You have some of the most interesting paper ephemera -- thanks for sharing it with all of us!"

Old Dinosaur Illustration of the Day: "Basselope," who figures prominently in this entry, writes: "Chris, you're right - the Internet is an interesting place. While searching for information related to the sales copy of this book, which I have had as a child, I saw a Google preview of someone seemingly discussing just this scenario. 'No Way!' I thought. Turns out I was the dummy who got the author's middle name wrong. ... and I had no idea until I read your post. I'm very glad you found my words worth re-posting, warts and all. It's really a very good book and surprisingly accurate for the time. You may be happy to know that you can download the full book at"

Halloween Countdown #7: Pimples? Blackheads? Freckles? Buffy Andrews, who blogs at Buffy's Write Zone and Buffy's World and works alongside me at the York Daily Record/Sunday News, writes: "You never cease to amaze me with your finds and wit. And you brought back memories of The Carpenters and Three Dog Night. My older sisters listened to those groups."

Halloween Countdown #1: Nightmare toilets: Sean McLachlan (from the blog Civil War Horror) writes: "My eyes!!!!!"

Halloween Countdown #3: Things you shouldn't put in Jell-O: Justin Mann, who writes the Justin's Brew Review blog, writes: "I've really been enjoying the scary ephemera. This one is especially terrifying. And I agree with you about the shrimp!"

Finally, I also received this ominous (and anonymous) note on that blog entry:

"Don't eat the red jello. It will make you crazy."

Any ideas what that means?

I've Googled the heck out of "Red Jell-O" and I'm at an utter loss.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Halloween Countdown #8:
Rather unappetizing shrimp dish

I love shrimp. I could eat shrimp every day. And it's hard for me to imagine any way of cooking and serving shrimp that would be unappetizing.

Until now.

I came upon this photo and recipe for Shrimp and Cauliflower in the 1971 Betty Crocker Recipe Card Library.


Who would smother all those wonderful shrimp in a white sauce and then serve them with cauliflower and -- blech! -- peas? This whole thing is seriously depressing and easily qualifies as a Halloween ephemera horror in my book.

Here's the ruinous recipe, if you want to show your friends and warn future generations:

Shrimp and Cauliflower
1 package (10 ounces) frozen cauliflower
1 package (10 ounces) frozen green peas
¼ cup milk
1 can (about 10 ounces) condensed cream of shrimp
¼ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon pepper
2 cups cleaned cooked shrimp

Cook cauliflower and peas in ½ to 1 inch boiling salted water just until tender, 3 to 5 minutes; drain. In saucepan, heat milk, soup, salt and pepper over low heat, stirring constantly. Stir in cauliflower, peas and shrimp; heat through. If you wish, garnish with toasted almonds. 3 or 4 servings.

Cruises offered in a 1925 issue of National Geographic

The September 1925 issue of The National Geographic Magazine1 features articles on Pueblo Bonito, Carlsbad Cavern, explorer Joseph Rock and the MacMillan Arctic Expedition.

It also contains at least 10 different advertisements for cruises, from companies such as Thos. Cook & Son, Raymond & Whitcomb Co., Dollar Steamship Line2, American Oriental Mail Line, Canadian Pacific, Red Star Line, Cunard and Anchor Lines, F.C. Clark and Frank Tourist Co.

Here's a sampling of the advertisements (click on them for larger versions):

Raymond & Whitcomb Co.

Raymond & Whitcomb Co.3 offered a world cruise on the brand-new RMS Carinthia, which apparently had beds that were six inches wider than any other ship and running hot water in every room.

Stops on the 149-day westward cruise included Cuba, Panama, Japan, China, New Zealand, Australia, Egypt and Italy.

Prices started at $2,000, which would be the equivalent of about $24,600 today.4

Thos. Cook & Son

Thos. Cook & Son offered an eastward world cruise on the RMS Franconia5 and a Mediterranean cruise on the RMS Homeric6.

The 131-day world cruise, which departed from New York, boasted that "each country is visited at a time of the year when climatic as well as other conditions offer their greatest attraction."

F.C. Clark

While the first two advertisements show above were full pages toward the front of The National Geographic Magazine, this ad for F.C. Clark was just one-eighth of page and was on the next-to-last page of the magazine.

The cruise prices are a little cheaper, too. A westward, 128-day world cruise has prices starting at $1,250 (the equivalent of "only" $15,400 today).

If you didn't have that much money, you could consider a 50-day South American cruise or a 53-day cruise to Norway and the western Mediterranean. Both of those started at $550, the equivalent of $6,800 today.

Frank Tourist Co.

Frank Tourist Co., in this quarter-page advertisement, offered "Frank's 4th Annual Cruise de Luxe to the Mediterranean" on the Cunard S.S. Scythia. Stops included Egypt, Gibraltar, Algiers, Tunis and Constantinople.

No price is given for the "Cruise de Luxe."

Interestingly, one of the cruise options allowed guests to return to the United States on the Cunard Lines' RMS Mauretania. It's interesting because it allows today's post to conclude with a direct tie to Monday's post on White Star Line.

That post included an image of what is likely White Star's RMS Olympic.

The RMS Mauretania and the rival RMS Olympic ended up going out of service at roughly the same time, and this Wikipedia picture, from 1935, shows the two vessels side by side in Southampton, awaiting the scrapyard (Mauretania is on the right):

1. The magazine shortened its name to National Geographic sometime during the tenure of editor Melville Bell Grosvenor, who ran the magazine from 1957 to 1969.
2. That sounds dicey. But it turns out the guy's name was Dollar. Robert Dollar, to be precise. So it wasn't an attempt to create a no-frills cruise line, after all.
3. Raymond & Whitcomb Co. appears to have still been in business as recently as 2008.
4. The price-comparison figures, as always, are from The Inflation Calculator.
5. This was the second Cunard Line vessel named Franconia. The first one was torpedoed and sunk by the Germans in October 1916.
6. Fun trivia: The RMS Homeric was originally a German liner named Columbus and it had a sister ship originally named Hindenburg!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Halloween Countdown #7:
Pimples? Blackheads? Freckles?

It must not have been much fun, at the time, to be reading through the July 1970 issue of The Amazing Spider-Man1, turn the page and -- BLAM! POW! -- be reminded that you're a teenager with Skin Problems™.

This advertisement urges acne-plagued kids to turn to Fayd Skin Cream (which seems to have long since Fayd-ed from the skin-care products scene).

If you used Fayd Skin Cream, the advertisement implies, you could be instantly transformed into That Guy or That Girl who goes to cool parties and dances to top-40 hits2 by Three Dog Night and The Carpenters. But if you don't use it, you'll be the Sad Guy whose speckled, floating head is way behind Miss Fayd Skin Cream User.

1. The issue was titled "Beware ... the Black Window!" and the cover price was 15 cents.
2. Fun aside: In the month this comic book was published (July 1970), Kemal Amin "Casey" Kasem broadcast his very first American Top 40 show.

More Grit World War II clippings

On the heels of two popular May posts -- World War II clippings from Grit, Part 1 and World War II clippings from Grit, Part 2 -- here are some more advertisements and news items from Summer 1944 issues of the Grit newspaper. (Click on any of the below images for a larger version.)

Above: An advertisement for K-R-O rat poison, which touts red squill as an ingredient and emphasizes the patriotic nature of its product.

Above: An interesting article about the construction of 20,000-ton super troopships in New Jersey. Does anyone know if any of these ships -- described in the article as "floating cities" -- ever made it into service?

Above: One of many advertisements seeking Grit delivery boys. It states: "Over 30,000 boys are selling, and many earn $1 to $5 every week." Delivery boys -- it states nothing about delivery girls -- had to be at least 12 and could earn free prizes such as knives, billfolds and fountain pens.

Above: King George VI chats with two "human torpedoes." The caption describes how that would work: "Dressed in lightweight diving costumes, the men take their submarine gadget to its goal, detach the torpedo, fix it to the target, and ride away after setting a timing device to explode the mechanism." Harebrained as that sounds, human torpedoes were used extensively by both sides during World War II. And they must not have been top secret, given that they had their picture taken for the newspaper.

Finally, here's a short excerpt from the July 30, 1944, issue of Grit regarding a soldier killed in the war:
The first Gettysburg man to give his life in the invasion of France, Cpl. Horace Mann Bushman, 27, was killed in action near Cherbourg, according to a letter received by his wife, the former Miss Merion Durboraw, from Capt. John Hinkle, commander of the field artillery battery to which the Gettysburg soldier was attached. The letter disclosed that Bushman was killed instantly by enemy artillery fire, but did not state the date of his death. Cpl. Bushman, a son of Rufus H. Bushman, of Gettysburg, was employed in the shop of the Gettysburg Times as a pressman for four years before he entered military service Oct. 19, 1942. He was a member of the Gettysburg Fire Company, of the Gettysburg Presbyterian Church, and of the Gettysburg Lodge of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. According to Capt. Hinkle's letter, Bushman was buried in a military cemetery in France.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Halloween Countdown #6:
A boy with playground troubles

Halloween Countdown, featuring the most terrifying ephemera I can dig up, returns for another week of images that are not for those with weak hearts or weak stomachs.

Today's image comes from 1927's "Manual of Yarnkraft, Volume 49." While most of the other models in the 96-page book are sporting fairly trendy and acceptable attire1, this young man stuck with the combination of a very tight V-Neck Slipover and a very loose and wide pair of pants that almost make it look like he's wearing a skirt.

(And the tie tucked under sweater is, in my opinion, a fashion statement that has never really worked in any decade.)

1. There is actually some fascinating vintage stuff in this book that I'll have to blog separately some day, when I'm not in Scare Mode.

Ship your goods overseas on a White Star Line steamer

Inside the 1919 textbook "Modern Business, Volume 15: Foreign Trade and Shipping"1 by J. Anton de Haas, there's a fascinating fold-out sample shipping invoice.

The blank contract is for shipping goods via a White Star Line steamer, and the photo on the contract shows one of the White Star Line Olympic class vessels. Of course, the most (in)famous of White Star Line's Olympic class liners was the Titanic.2

Here's a summary of the three Olympic class liners from Wikipedia:
The Cunard Line was the chief competitor to White Star. In response to Cunard's Lusitania and Mauretania, White Star ordered the Olympic class liners: Olympic, Titanic, and Britannic. While Cunard was famed for the speed of its ships, the Olympic class were to be the biggest and most luxurious ships in the world. Britannic was originally named Gigantic and 1000 feet; her name and dimensions were changed shortly after the sinking of Titanic. The Olympic was the only ship of this class that was profitable for White Star. Titanic sank on her maiden voyage, while Britannic was requisitioned by the British government before she was fully fitted, and used as a hospital ship during World War I. Britannic sank after hitting a mine on 21 November 1916.
So, most likely, it is the RMS Olympic that is featured in the image on this sample invoice. But that's essentially what the Titanic looked like, too, for a short time.

Here's some of the fine print from the invoice:
  • It is mutually agreed that the steamer shall have liberty to sail with or without pilots; to tow and assist vessels in distress; to deviate for the purpose of saving life or property: that the carrier shall have liberty to convey goods in craft and/or lighters to and from the steamer at the risk of the owners of the goods...
  • [I]n case the steamer shall be prevented from reaching her destination by Quarantine, the carrier may discharge the goods into any depot or lazaretto, and such discharge shall be deemed a final delivery under this contract, and all expenses thereby incurred on the goods shall be a lien thereon.
  • WAR CLAUSE: If and so long as the ship is insured against war risks, with a war risks insurance association under or in connection with a war risks insurance scheme of His Britannic Majesty's Government, the ship, in addition to any liberties expressed or implied in this bill of lading, shall have liberty to comply with any orders or directions as to departure, arrival, routes, ports of call, stoppages, or otherwise, however given by His Britannic Majesty's Government or any department thereof, of any person acting or purporting to act with the authority of His Britannic Majesty, or of His Britannic Majesty's Government, or of any Department thereof, or by an committee or person having, under the terms of the war risks insurance on the ship, the right to give such orders or directions, and nothing done or not done by reason of any such orders or directions shall be deemed a deviation.3
I couldn't fit the entire width of the invoice on my scanner for the image at the top of today's post. So if you're interested in reading ALL of the fine print, click on the image below.

1. Published by the Alexander Hamilton Institute.
2. Did you know they had Vinolia Otto Toilet Soap on the Titanic? Wonder if it's a relative. (Also, check out this Papergreat post about The Boston Daily Globe's coverage of the Titanic disaster.)
3. Holy cow. That's all one sentence.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Photo of a man who looks far too serious about his bridge

Milton Cooper Work appears deep in thought as he evaluates his bridge hand in this dust jacket photo from "Bridge Pointers and Tests," his 1927 treatise on the card game.1

Just below Work's picture, the dust jacket has been stamped in red with the following message:

Superceded by
Milton C. Works'
Just Issued
Contract Bridge
For All

243 pages Price $2.00

The inside flap of the dust jacket describes "Bridge Pointers and Tests" thusly: "A novel addition to Bridge literature. It you have hesitated about pouring over detailed explanations of methods of bidding and play and prefer to have a quick shower of terse, illuminating Bridge ideas, you will get what you want in this new book."

Work (1864-1934) was also considered an expert on whist. And he was a cricket player and manager.

The bridge glossary at the back of Work's book includes one term that caught my eye. A "Yarborough" is a hand that contains no card higher than a nine.

It turns out that Charles Anderson Worsley Anderson-Pelham, 2nd Earl of Yarborough, gave his name to the Yarborough. The probability of getting a Yarborough is about 1 in 1,828. The Earl offered 1,000 pounds to anyone who was dealt a Yarborough, but only on the condition that they pay him 1 pound every time they failed to draw such a hand.

1. Here's another Papergreat post about very serious bridge players.