Thursday, January 12, 2012

Potluck Day: Two inscriptions and photos from France

Here's a fun collection of odds and ends on a wet and chilly Thursday here in southcentral Pennsylvania.

Stricklen's stamp and signature

My copy of "The 'Canary' Murder Case (A Philo Vance Mystery)" by S.S. Van Dine -- with its wonderful front-cover graphic design pictured above -- contains both the stamp and signature of its long-ago owner, R.L. Stricklen, Jr.

Here's a scan of the stamp. (Full disclosure: I futzed with the brightness and contrast to try to make it a little more readable.)

So, the stamp reads:

Library of Fact and Fiction
1649 W. Beverly St.
Staunton, Va.

And here's his signature:

So, who was Mr. Stricklen? In the early 1930s, there was an R.L. Stricklen, Jr. Advertising Agency. It seems one of the agency's specialties was advertisements targeted to black Southerners. These two classified appeared in 1930 issues of Popular Mechanics:1
  • September 1930: "REACH Southern Negroes through their own newspapers. Write R.L. Stricklen, Jr., Box 661, Staunton, Va."
  • December 1930: "25 WORD Classified ad in five southern Negro newspapers (circulation 14,650) -- Only $1.00. R.L. Stricklen, Jr., Staunton, Va."
In addition, the R.L. Stricklen, Jr. Advertising Agency published "Reaching Dixie's Constantly Growing Purchasing Power," a 27-page book, in 1931.

Editorial comment in a math book?

I found this inscription added to the title page of 1915's "Plane Geometry" by Webster Wells and Walter W. Hart. I'm thinking it speaks for itself.

Hidden gems in photos from France

I've been going through some photos that my late grandmother, Helen Adams Ingham, took during a trip to France in the early 1970s. Most of the shots are of buildings and other famous landmarks. In a few photos, though, sometimes in the corners of the shot, she captured everyday French people going about their lives.

Through the wonders of modern technology, I've been able to crop and magnify those shots. And so I present "Great Snapshots From France My Grandmother Never Knew She Took":

1. Links to those two Popular Mechanics references via Google Books: September 1930 and December 1930.

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