Saturday, October 29, 2011

Weekend postcards: Famous streets around the world

Check out some vintage street scenes on these postcards, and if you're snowbound in the Northeast on this Halloween weekend and looking for more to read, here's a guide to some of Papergreat's previous posts.

Piccadilly Circus, London
Back-of-card info: It's from the English Pictorial Series, reproduced from a Real Colour Photograph and published by Valentine & Dons Ltd., Dundee. The caption states: "Piccadilly Circus is one of London's busiest centres, and is at the junction of several important streets. The Statue of Eros is seen at the centre of the picture."

Powell at Market Street, San Francisco
Back-of-card info: It's a Mirro-Krome card by H.S. Crocker Co., Inc., of San Francisco that was published by Smith News Co., 1338 Mission Street in San Francisco. The caption states: "POWELL AT MARKET STREET, SHOWING TURNTABLE. At the foot of Powell and Market Street is the famous corner where the cable car is turned around bodily by the crew before starting the journey up the hill again. Color photo by Igor Stchogoleff."

Marine Drive, Mumbai
Back-of-card info: There's very little information on the back of this one. It was printed back when Mumbai was called Bombay. (The official name change occurred in 1995.) The card was produced by the Hindustan Paper Box Mfg. Co., Bombay.

According to Wikipedia, Marine Drive is a three-kilometer boulevard in the southern part of the city. It is a 'C'-shaped six-lane concrete road along the coast, which is a natural bay. The official name for the road is: Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Road. Most of the buildings along the road were built by wealthy Parsis and have an Art Deco look that was popular in the 1920s and 1930s.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Halloween Countdown #15:
Hi There, High School!

For the final installment of the Halloween Countdown series, which has featured the most horrifying ephemera I can find, here is the cover of "Hi There, High School!" by Gay Head.1

The Scholastic Book Services paperback was originally published in 1953 and this is the twelfth printing from December 1962. The title page inside describes the book as containing "Tips on how to be counted in with -- and how to make yourself count -- in school life."

Some of the book's chapter titles include:
  • Yea-a-a Central!
  • The Traffic System
  • Heads ... You Win!
  • Cheers for the Team
  • Party Politics
  • Popularity Plus
Meanwhile, Gay Head's2 introduction includes the following passage:
The doors swing open on a new school term. You're back, and you -- but there come Bev and Bud! You catch their conversation.

"Hiya, Bev!" Bud calls. "Say, where did you get that swell sun tan?"

"Down on the farm," Bev replies. "You're looking A-1 yourself, Bud. Working at the filling station must have been good for you."

"Heck, I thrived on it!" Bud grins. "Have you seen Pat this morning?"

"Yes, she and Tom are in the office, arranging a senior class meeting. Lucky, aren't we, to have those two as our class leaders?"

"You can say that again! Tom's as fine as they come, and Pat -- well, it's no wonder she's so popular..."

You eye them enviously as they walk down the corridor. That's the way you want to be -- friendly and self-confident, like Bev and Bud; admired, like Tom; popular, like Pat.
Oh yes, it's safe to say this book is a reflection of a time that's as foreign to us now as Mars or The Shire.

1. Nope. Not going there.
2. Still not going there.

1897 York Opera House program, Part 2

Here is a rundown of more great stuff from a June 19, 1897, York Opera House program called "The Play." (Read Part 1.)

York Opera House staff and rules
The entire staff of the York Opera House is credited in the program, and that listing is displayed at right. (Click on the image to read the entire text.)

The manager, B.C. Pentz, was quite active around York County during his lifetime. I have found evidence that he was a photographer; chairman of the building committee for Union Steam Fire Co. No. 3; an officer with the Spring Garden Band; and, through a legacy, one of the key financial contributors to the construction of a new York Hospital main building in 1929.

Part of Pentz's role is described as follows: "Manager Pentz will esteem it a special confidential favor for a report of any inattention or want of courtesy on the part of the attaches, and will not feel offended for any suggestions that will make the house and its management and entertainments more attractive. Patrons may rely upon the utmost efforts of the manager to please and satisfy them."

Food, restaurants and lots of frogs
There are a number of food and restaurant advertisements within the program, including:
  • James M. Geltz, 447 South George Street, which had a wide-ranging menu that included live crabs (25 cents per dozen), clam soup (20 cents per quart), turtle soup (40 cents per quart), spiced oysters (40 cents per quart), frogs (25 cents apiece), Sweitzer Sandwiches (5 cents and 10 cents), tongue (10 cents per plate), and tripe (5 cents and 10 cents per plate). The restaurant also advertised "soft drinks of all kinds."
  • Harlacker & Lerew, manufacturers of and dealers in confections, wholesale and retail.
  • H.L. Neuman, a steam ice cream manufacturer at 15 South Newberry Street, offered "ice cream put up in Fancy Molds and Pyramids for wedding parties."
  • Stover's Restaurant and Ice Cream Parlors, 133 West Market Street, which offered the "best of everything in season."
  • The Green Turtle Restaurant, Gruver & Zartman, proprietors, 116 South George Street, which offered oysters, clams, chicken soup, turtle soup and ice cream.
  • John N. Brickner, 14 East Maple Street, had a bill of fare that included ice cream, fried clams, clam soup, soft crabs, deviled crabs, steamed crabs, frogs and chicken.
Other advertisers
  • The advertisement for Weaver Organ & Piano Co., Broad and Walnut streets, features a nice illustration of the factory. For more on the storied history of Weaver Organ & Piano, check out my wife's recent Only in York County blog entry, and these York Town Square blog entries by Jim McClure:
  • Hoffhein's Furniture Co., 119 West Philadelphia Street, states in its advertisement: "To Create a Parlor ... which will delight the eye, be a dream of repose, a medley of artistic effect and an inexhaustible source of pleasing impressions, it is only necessary to visit our ... Furniture Emporium."
  • The City Bank of York, Pa., states that is has a capital of $100,000 and a surplus and undivided profits of $50,000. The bank's president was Chas. H. Stallman.
  • Sprenkle's, 202 South George Street, called upon customers to examine its Stodder's Punctureless Tire for bicycles. The business also handled "all kinds of bicycle sundries and Repair Wheels of all makes."
  • P.S. Bates, 109 South George Street, dealt in watches, clocks and jewelry "of every description."
  • Warden's Cut Rate Store, 227 West Market Street, sold medicines.
  • Frank Rosenbaum, 327 West Market Street, sold shoes.
  • E.K. Horner, York City Bottling Works, on West Maple Street, supplied families with the "finest grades Porter, Ale and Export Beers."
  • Throne & Deardorff, 222 West Market Street, sold lawn mowers, lawn rakes, lawn grass seeds, rubber hose, step ladders, paint and brushes.
  • New York National Merchant Tailoring Co., 304 West Market Street, offered an all-wool, made-to-order suit for $10 and promised "first-class Trimming, Workmanship and Fit."
  • H. Lanius' Sons, Hartley Street and P.R.R., stated the following in its illustrated advertisement: "A Scuttle Full of our coal will do as much towards heating your home as two scuttles of any other coal. That is because our coal is all coal -- it is not slate -- it is not dirt -- it is pure, clean coal of the very best quality." (More about H. Lanius' Sons can be found in "Prominent and Progressive Pennsylvanians of the Nineteenth Century," by Leland M. Williamson, which was published in 1898.
  • Henry Sterner, Painter & Paper Hanger, 213½ West Market Street, offered the finest wall paper and stated: "None but the most competent hangers employed by us."
  • Alfred T.G. Hodnett, with locations at 117 South George Street and the corner of Duke and South streets, stated that rheumatism was "positively cured by using Hodnett's Guaranteed Rheumatism Cure. Guaranteed to cure or money refunded. It is without an equal." Hodnett ran into some trouble a few years later, as documented in this excerpt from 1912's "Nostrums and Quackery: Articles on the nostrum evil and quackery reprinted from the Journal of the American Medical Association, Volume 1."

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Halloween Countdown #14:
Live Mystery Egg

Tonight we return to the world of comic books for another horrifying installment of Halloween Countdown.

This one comes from the August 1971 issue of The Incredible Hulk.1 And it's also being cataloged under Mysteries, because I have no idea what it is. Nor does anyone else on the Internet, it seems.2 You see, the advertisement is for a "Live Mystery Egg" ... and there's something that looks like a sardine ... and the sardine-like thing, quite disturbingly, is saying, "Hi there! I'm Puff!"

So we have an unknown animal that comes from an egg and either (a) talks or (b) makes you believe that it can talk.

This is troubling.

Here is the complete text of the advertisement, so that it can be preserved needlessly for future generations:

Harmless! Educational!

Will eat RIGHT OUT OF YOUR HAND! CLEAN -- EASILY TRAINED. Makes a wonderful PLAYMATE -- gentle -- long lived -- easy care. Amuse your friends and family with this delightful new friend. LIVE AIRMAIL DELIVERY GUARANTEED! FREE catalogue with each order -- SUPPLY LIMITED! ONLY $2.98 ea. POST PAID! MATCHED PAIR -- ONLY $5.00. FREE food supply plus simple instructions with each order.
176-06 69th AVE., FLUSHING, N.Y. 11365
(Sorry, no cods.)

Do you agree that this is disturbing on many levels? It probably wasn't the same level of fiasco as the squirrel monkeys that were sold through comic books during this same era. But it still seems pretty horrible for whatever animal was, apparently, stuffed into a colorful plastic egg and mailed across the country.

Any guesses on what it was? I would say a chameleon or salamander. But who knows.

1. This issue has the amusing title "They Shoot Hulks, Don't They?"
2. The Amazing Spider-Ads is the only other blogger or website I could find that tried to probe the mystery.

1897 York Opera House program, Part 1

Over the summer, I received an extremely cool gift from Jim Lewin, who, with his PLSB1 Pam, runs the marvelous York Emporium and also manages the York Book and Paper Fair, which is being held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Saturday in York, Pennsylvania, and which I highly recommended for its deep and diverse collection of exhibitors.

We are blessed with a lot of great book events throughout the year in York County2, but this is one of those you should not miss.

Jim's generous gift was two pages from a York Opera House program, called "The Play," and dated June 19, 18973. It's listed as Season XVI (16) and No. 1894, and it was published and printed by C.G. Welsh of York. The four pages are so jam-packed with wonderful stuff, most of which is advertising, that I'm going to split this post over two days to get all of it in.

First, the program. The York Opera House was offering up the following entertainment on this summer Saturday 114 years ago:
  • "Powell, greatest of all magicians, in his Interesting Experiments." This could be Frederick Eugene Powell. In his book "The Last Greatest Magician in the World," which is primarily about Howard Thurston, author Jim Steinmeyer describes Powell as "a late-nineteenth-century magician ... [who] was one of the last -- and least effective -- of the old guard."
  • "The Wonderful Kinetoscope, in a series of New Views." The Kinetoscope was, according to Wikipedia, "an early motion picture exhibition device. Though not a movie projector — it was designed for films to be viewed individually through the window of a cabinet housing its component — the Kinetoscope introduced the basic approach that would become the standard for all cinematic projection before the advent of video: it creates the illusion of movement by conveying a strip of perforated film bearing sequential images over a light source with a high-speed shutter." By 1897, it's likely that these Kinetoscopes would have been projected on a screen for the entire audience at the York Opera House, and not viewed individually -- a format that obviously had no economic future beyond peep shows.
  • "Edison's Greatest Talking Machine, The Microphone." (To be clear, however, history tells us that it was Emile Berliner who invented the microphone, in 1877.)
Meanwhile, the program is filled with advertising and announcements that give us some fun insight on what life was like in York at the close of the 19th century.
  • Schenberger & Moul, 16 South Beaver Street, offered an aluminum bicycle bell for $1.50.5
  • The Exhibit, 118 West Market Street, was offering gas stoves for prices "from $1 up." Is it really possible that a bicycle bell could cost 50% more than the cheapest gas stove?
  • Swartz Cycle Store wanted everyone to know that it just received "The Largest Supply of Base Ball Goods Which ever came to town."
  • Lebach's was offering a wide variety of sailor hats.
  • J.F. Sterner, 8 North Beaver Street, was offering to fix your bicycle for a "right and reasonable" price.
  • "Seasonable goods" at Walker's, 24 North George Street, included a small lot The York Bicycles, '96 pattern, for $40.6 Walker's was also closing out its line of the North Star Refrigerator.
  • Dr. H.D. Barnes, 125 South George Street, was a specialist in catarrh, ear, nose, throat and lung diseases.
  • A.L. Ziegler's, 327 South George Street, sold soda water with ice cream for 5 cents a glass.
  • Sieker's Cigars, 241 West Market Street, was selling the leading brands, including Gem and Cuban Special.
  • E.H. Kottcamp, 225 South Penn Street, was selling ice cream -- wholesale, retail and for delivery to any part of the city.
  • Michaels, 16 South George Street, was offering a free pair of trousers to every customer who paid cash for a new suit.
  • J.R. Clinedinst, corner of George and Princess streets, made this pitch: "Talk it over with us if you are going to paint. Perhaps in five minutes we can show you how to save ten dollars and at the same time get a better job of painting. Our business is to sell Paints, Varnishes, Brushes, and all Painters' Supplies. Our experience is at your service."
  • The was going to be a Special Train to Columbia on Sunday, June 20, for the dedication of St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church. Round-trip cost was 70 cents for adults and 35 cents for children.
Finally, here's an interesting advertisement for bicycle races at the York Fair Grounds.

Come back tomorrow for Part 2 of my look at these York Opera House program pages.

1. PLSB = Poor, Long-Suffering Bride, as Jim often and compassionately refers to her.
2. The Book Buzz blog offers a great place for you to keep track of the York area's upcoming book sales.
3. June 19, 1897, was the day that Moe Howard was born. And, no, I'm not trying to be a wise guy by pointing that out.
4. According to this history of York County from 1865-1881 on the York Daily Record/Sunday News' website, the York Opera House opened in 1881:
"John Sleeper Clarke, brother-in-law of Edwin Booth, stars in the opening act of the York Opera House. Booth stars in "Toodles" and "The Widow Hunt." "The large and fashionable audience present was delighted with the performance," a newspaper reported. Before its opening, friends and opponents spar over the appropriateness of entertainment the opera house would bring to the community. Opponents also fight the decision to hold a York High School commencement in the new theater. As the years passed, opposition cooled."
5. This would be the equivalent of spending $38.78 on a bicycle bell today, according to The Inflation Calculator!
6. A $40 bicycle in 1897 is the equivalent of more than $1,000 today. These were serious purchases!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Halloween Countdown #13:
Pointing the finger at myself

For 2½ weeks now, I've been making fun of others' ephemera misfortunes and horrors here on Halloween Countdown.

But it's only fair that I be willing to shine some spotlight on myself, too.

Here are some photos of yours truly that are now fair game for jokes, criticism and catty remarks. Fire away!

I wish I still had this outfit...

My wife sometimes wonders what's up with me and my sock-wearing decisions. As you can see, it's been a lifelong issue.

Finally, I really had no right to make fun of Underwear Kid in last night's Halloween Countdown post. Here's me and my Fruit of the Looms. (Feel bad for my great-grandfather, whose portrait is peering over my shoulder.)

Sweet dreams everyone!

The 29th anniversary of the first episode of St. Elsewhere

Twenty-nine years ago today -- on October 26, 1982 -- the first episode of my favorite television show of all time aired on NBC.1 St. Elsewhere ran for six seasons (137 episodes); featured the work of some of this generation's greatest writers, directors, producers and actors; represented a seismic change in approach for television medical dramas (and one that many shows today still owe a debt to); and had one of the most controversial and discussed endings in TV history.

In the 1996 book "Dictionary of Teleliteracy," critic David Bianculli sums up the show in a way I agree wholeheartedly with:
"For what it did, when it did it, and even how it ended, St. Elsewhere gets my vote as the best dramatic series in the history of television. It was more ambitious, playful, intense, and unpredictable than anything else around..."2
I used to have a dozen or so original St. Elsewhere scripts, having collected them in the late 1990s thanks to the then-newfound wonders of eBay. Around the same time, TV Land3 was re-airing the entire series, in order, and I was recording them all onto VHS tapes. I have since winnowed the collection of scripts, keeping only photocopies of St. Elsewhere's first and last episodes. I've also winnowed down the 30+ VHS tapes onto which I had recorded the entire series. I wish, though, someone would make more than just Season 1 of St. Elsewhere available on DVD and/or Hulu.

Pictured at the top of today's post is an excerpt from the first page of the script for St. Elsewhere's pilot episode. In the show's first scene, we are introduced to Dr. Jack Morrison (portrayed by David Morse), an exhausted first-year resident physician at St. Eligius in Boston.

The first episode also introduces many of the series' mainstay characters -- doctors Donald Westphall (Ed Flanders), Daniel Auschlander (Norman Lloyd4), Mark Craig (William Daniels), Wayne Fiscus (Howie Mandel), Victor Ehrlich (Ed Begley Jr.) and Phillip Chandler (Denzel Washington), among others.

Now, flashing forward, here's the final scene from the script for St. Elsewhere's last episode, which originally aired on May 25, 1988.

Robert J. Thompson describes the final scene, and its setup, in the wonderful 1996 book "Television's Second Golden Age":
"The last scene in the hospital shows Westphall and his [autistic] son Tommy in the just-deceased Auschlander's office. Westphall is listening to opera music, as he and Auschlander had often done in the past. His son Tommy is staring out the window at the late spring snow. ... The episode's final scene follows, but it takes place in a very different setting. Tommy is no longer gazing at snow through a window, but at a glass snowball toy. ... Tommy sits on the floor of a grim urban apartment. Sitting on a stuffed chair reading the newspaper is Auschlander; no longer dead and certainly not a doctor. Westphall walks in wearing a hard hat and we learn that he is a construction worker, that 'Auschlander' is his blue-collar father, and that Tommy is his son."
Westphall bends down to Tommy and laments to his father, "I don't understand this autism thing, Pop. Here's my son. I talk to him. I don't even know if he can hear me, because he sits there, all day long, in his own world, staring at that toy. ... What's he thinking about?"5

And that's where the script excerpt shown above kicks in:
TOMMY shakes object in hand, then stares at it. REVEAL GLASS SNOWBALL with snow eddying inside.

Come on, son, let's wash our hands.

TOMMY shakes snowball again. WESTPHALL takes snowball from TOMMY, places it on mantelpiece.6 WESTPHALL, TOMMY, and AUSCHLANDER exit.

On C.U. of SNOWBALL, model of St. Eligius inside, snow swirling about,


Much has been written over the years about the meaning and ramifications of the final scene. One interesting intellectual spin-off is The Tommy Westphall Universe Hypothesis, which "makes the claim that not only does St. Elsewhere take place within Tommy's mind, but so do numerous other television series which are directly and indirectly connected to St. Elsewhere through fictional crossovers and spin-offs, resulting in a large fictional universe taking place entirely within Tommy's mind."

That fictional universe, in all of its flowchart insanity, is described in detail at "Tommy Westphall's Mind -- A Multiverse Explored." And the hypothesis was refuted in 2004 with "Six Objections to the Westphall Hypothesis."

But admiration for and discussion of St. Elsewhere has persisted over the years for reasons beyond just the finale and for how it helped to boost the early careers of actors like Washington, Morse, Mark Harmon, Alfre Woodard, Helen Hunt and Bruce Greenwood.

From February 1997 through June 1999, Longwood Communications, headed by James L. Longwood Jr., published seven issues of On Call, the official newsletter of the St. Elsewhere Appreciation Club.

I was fortunate enough to find out about this newsletter soon after its inception and have copies of all of them. They are a true labor of love and a treasure trove of information about St. Elsewhere and what happened to its creators and stars. The strength of the newsletters is within the interviews that Longwood conducted with so many of the show's key figures. Some examples:
  • Norman Lloyd discusses the filming of the pilot episode and the original casting of actor Josef Sommer as Dr. Westphall: "The pilot was stopped in mid air. Bruce [Paltrow] was unhappy with the way it was going and he was unhappy with some of the casting. For one thing, Auschlander had originally come from Vienna and had a Viennese accent. We had to drop that. He was also unhappy with the photography which was too pretty -- too romantic ... The cameraman was very good, but it didn't have the roughness Bruce wanted. ... Joseph [sic] was a very good actor, but the quality was not what Bruce wanted, so he got Ed Flanders who, in my view, there was no finer actor in America."
  • William Daniels discusses the production of "Time Heals," a fabulous two-part episode that aired in the show's fourth season and delves into the history of the hospital and characters in a series of flashbacks: "It took six or seven days to shoot the episode and I would say at least three or four days was spent in the flash backs. They dyed our hair, and they pulled our skin back and clamped it in the back, the way I understand Lucy Ball used to do. It was the most painful thing in the world, I mean you couldn't move your head without it hurting."

1. Also on my list of favorite shows: Sports Night, Cheers, NYPD Blue, Star Trek, Monty Python's Flying Circus, Newhart, Friends, Mystery Science Theater 3000 and The Office (British version). If miniseries are included, Band of Brothers makes the cut. Honestly, I have watched little television the past 8-10 years, so I have no basis on which to judge The Sopranos, The Wire, Mad Men, Lost or Breaking Bad. (I did, however, enjoy the first two seasons of Six Feet Under.) Currently -- and this should come as no surprise to readers who have come to know me -- the one TV show my wife and I now watch together is The Walking Dead.
2. What I don't know, of course, is whether Bianculli would rank any television show from the past 15 years ahead of St. Elsewhere. It's probably safe to say, though, that it hasn't been surpassed by $#*! My Dad Says.
3. Back then, TV Land had a much cooler lineup, airing the likes of St. Elsewhere, Hill Street Blues, The White Shadow1, Cannon and Mannix. Now, the mix of reruns on TV Land is much more geared toward the 1990s and a different generation of viewers. (Isn't it strange to be nostalgic for a different era of programming from a cable channel that panders to viewers' appetites for nostalgia?)
4. I've mentioned this before on Papergreat, but Norman Lloyd is still around! Lloyd turns 97 early next month. He and his wife Peggy celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary on June 29, 2011.
5. There used to be a video clip of St. Elsewhere's final scene available on YouTube. But it has been removed because of a copyright claim by 20th Century Fox, which now owns the series. Maybe if Fox would make the entire series available, we wouldn't have to go searching for our St. Elsewhere fix on YouTube or via other avenues!
6. Instead of a mantelpiece, as scripted, the snow globe is placed, much more appropriately, on top of a television set in the final scene.

Secondary footnote
1. The White Shadow, by the way, has a direct connection to St. Elsewhere. It was produced by the late Bruce Paltrow, who went on to produce St. Elsewhere. And Warren "Cool" Coolidge, a character on The White Shadow who was portrayed by Byron Stewart, resurfaced as a hospital orderly on St. Elsewhere, tying the two series together.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Halloween Countdown #12:
Horrors from the gift guide

The 1967 Top Value Stamps catalog post has been a popular one here on Papergreat.

Now, to satisfy your catalog cravings again, I have come across another stamps catalog from the same era -- the August 1968 Colonial Stamps Gift Guide.

And this gift guide has some images inside that are definitely worthy of the Halloween Countdown, including the chilling picture at right of a mannequin with an unnecessarily long neck.

Continuing the hair theme, the picture below shows the Beauty Pillow Case (which costs a mere one book), which is described as: "Keeps hair in place while you sleep in comfort. Made from fine quality, chemically treated satin acetate fabric."

What the product listing does not indicate is whether the only way to keep your hair in place while using the Beauty Pillow Case is by sleeping with your head like this...

Finally, it's hard not to feel horrible for -- and be horrified by -- the young man on the left in this last photo. He was probably so excited that he was going to be a famous catalog model ... until he found out that he had to strip down to his skivvies and pose next to another boy who had the luxury of being fully dressed. Also, what the hell is up with the book?

Some excerpts from
The "Cotton-Lined" Nest

This is an eight-page leaflet that was published in October 19571 by the College of Agriculture's Extension Service at Rutgers. The full title is "The 'Cotton-Lined' Nest, How It Can Smother Youth's Independence."

The author is Phyllis Page Bradshaw, an Associate Extension Specialist in Human Relations. A quick Google search reveals that some of her other titles included "Juvenile Delinquency", "Fear!", "Developing Responsibility", "Understanding Discipline", and "The Green-Eyed Monster" -- a short treatise on jealousy.

Some excerpts from this leaflet:
  • "Parents find great pleasure in the achievements of their child during his preschool years. They delight in his ability to stand and walk and are extremely proud of his first words. However, parents do not always realize that these are the first steps toward independence and toward leaving the 'cotton-lined' nest."
  • "The danger of the 'cotton-lined' nest is that when parents keep the child dependent, he is trapped there. His physical, social, and emotional growth suffers, and by the time the preschool years are over, the child has not reached the stage of development comparable to his years."
  • "Some parents believe that childhood is the time for all play and no responsibility. Other parents may hold back their child through a misguided sense of protected him from the hurts of life. In both instances, the parents are keeping the child in his 'cotton-lined' nest."
  • "The years of adolescence are long. Through outside circumstances the young person is kept dependent. Labor laws and compulsory school attendance keep adding years that prolong dependence. The stress on a college education with additional years of training for specialization continue to prolong the time when the young person can be economically independent and earn his own living."
Questions: Who was the audience for this college leaflet? Was it made available for young parents as a public service? Did it serve as a quick guide for college sociology or psychology students? Or was Phyllis Page Bradshaw just churning out dry but informative leaflets as part of cushy government job?

Indeed, the bottom of the front of the pamphlet states: "Distributed in Cooperation with U.S. Department of Agriculture in Furtherance of the Acts of Congress of May 8 and June 30, 1914. Cooperative Extension Work in Agriculture and Home Economics, L.G. Cook, Associate Director"

Hmmm. I sure wouldn't mind a government job writing pamphlets. Or perhaps I could be Associate Blogging Director of the National Ephemera Archives.

1. In this month, the Milwaukee Braves defeated the New York Yankees, 4 games to 3, in the World Series. Hank Aaron, age 23, batted .393 with three home runs and seven RBIs for the Braves.
2. And, in 1914, the Boston Braves swept the Philadelphia Athletics in the first four-game sweep in World Series history. Gettysburg native and Hall of Famer Eddie Plank was a member of that Athletics team, which had a rotation that was even better than the Phillies' 2011 rotation of Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Roy Oswalt and Vance Worley but -- like this year's Phillies -- wound up with nothing to show for it. And that concludes today's unnecessary and, frankly, gratuitous baseball footnotes.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Halloween Countdown #11:
An abnormally large hand?

As Halloween Countdown, a nightly look at the spookier side of ephemera, returns for its final week, I find this old snapshot to be kind of funny and creepy at the same time. It comes with absolutely no identifying information or date.

Why is the man running toward the camera with his hand over his face?

And what is the deal with his hand? The more I look at the photo, the more I think he has a glove or something else on his hand, making it look abnormally large. What do you think?

Here are two magnifications of the guy's face and hand, each set at a different level of brightness so that you can try to distinguish some details.

Strange, isn't it? What's the story here?

That hand reminds me a little bit of Pale Man from the excellent 2006 film "Pan's Labyrinth."

And, yes, I'm aware that there's a big plate of red Jell-O sitting next to Pale Man in the above picture. And, no, I don't want to talk about it.

Slightly risqué old birthday card

Here's an old birthday card that appears to have been given by "Rita" in 1951. The front, pictured above, states: "Now you'll get lotsa 'FAN-MAIL' but here's a wish from ME"

The card opens up to the message "That's guaranteed to COVER the WORKS from 'A' to 'Z'!"

The blond-haired woman has closed up her folding fan and is now holding a sign that reads "Happy Birthday!"

It's certainly nothing scandalous, but it does seem to be a little risqué for the early 1950s, right? I doubt that this would have been placed on the shelf alongside the other greeting cards for sale at the time, but who knows?