Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Reader comments: Allie Dillon, microcomputers and more

Today brings another wonderful and insightful collection of reader comments:

Fairy tales: From laxatives to Littlestown to Johnny Depp: Here's a comment from an Anonymous who I wish had left his or her name. The comment refers to the illustrations in "Famous Fairy Tales for Children," a 20-page staplebound booklet published in 1930 by Pepsin Syrup Company:
"Every once in awhile, I search for work by my grandmother, Allie Dillon. This little booklet is one of those examples. I think she was just in her teens when her work was first published in St. Nicholas Magazine. She studied at The Chicago Art Institute and was a student of Frank Dillon. They married in 1911. As was customary at that time, they added his name and possibly a little of his hand to her work to facilitate selling it commercially."
Great note! The illustrations by Allie Dillon within this little booklet are terrific. Two more of them are pictured with today's post.

"Objectionable Words and Terms" from an 1884 cyclopedia: Two comments on this one.
  • Mel Kolstad of Ephemeraology writes: "Good lord, the writers of this cyclopedia would have died of heart attacks if they heard people speaking today!"
  • And Mom writes: "Shall we add your own modifications of the English language when you were a toddler? Instead of Peek-a-boo, you'd cover your eyes and say 'dis-me-appear'! And I won't mention how you destroyed the word helicopter!"
Advertisements from the August 1963 issue of Farm Journal: Jo Ott, a frequent commenter on Only in York County, writes: "Couple of things, Chris: I have a jar of 'Fruit Fresh' in the pantry which is similar to the product in the ad. It contains dextrose, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), citric acid & silicon dioxide (anti-caking agent). It is put out by Ball, the canning jar company, and 1/4 tsp. (1 g) contains contains 230% vitamin C. Also, I have the 1976 edition of the Farm Journal's cookbook titled 'America's Best Vegetable Recipes.' If I remember correctly, years ago the only way one could acquire a copy of this cookbook was to subscribe to their monthly magazine. I was never a subscriber nor do I remember how I got this copy."

Mystery photo of couple on New Year's Eve: Good friend Mike McCombs, who I hope restarts his fine Raising Two Americans blog some day, notes "that looks like a Marines uniform."

Old booklet for Harrisburg's Capital Roller Rink: Sharon writes: "Chris, where did you find this booklet!? I was cleaning out my closet this morning, and dug through a box of my grandfather's business items and came across a paper embosser (seal) of the Capital Roller Rink (dated 1947). He used to co-own the place! Googled it and found your blog! Awesome write-up!"

Christmas 1971 and a vintage greeting card: Justin Mann of Justin's Brew Review writes: "About 'brand-new' (I just had to address it!): What can I say? It's definitely an 'improper' use of a hyphen. (Not sure why? Check out the book 'Eats, Shoots & Leaves' by British author, Lynne Truss. It's an amusingly informative approach to grammar!) But why should we care all that much? As long as there is no chance for miscommunication, I say forget about whether it's 'right' or 'wrong' and just say it! Of course, be prepared to tick off the guardians of the language, as you've noted. They'd probably read that and say 'Ouch! that punctuation has caused our boat to start sinking!'"

It's beginning to look a lot like 1956: York Daily Record/Sunday News co-worker Scott Blanchard writes: "That's really cool. What's the significance of the words 'Daily Memorandum' under the month/year? Something to make it seem more sophisticated than just a calendar?"

Advertisements from a 1982 issue of Creative Computing: Two commenters on this one.
  • Justin Mann writes: "Wow! It's amazing to see how far computer technology has come! While I don't have any specific suggestions for future computer-magazine history posts, I very much look forward to reading the sequels!"
  • Jeff Salzman of the Vintage Volts writes: "That very same VIC-20 advertisement was also used in poster form (minus the quoted price). I remember back in 1981 when my parents took me around to different stores to buy my very first computer. One of the last places we went to look for a computer was the Computerland store out on Prospect Road.

    "I never really knew about Commodore computers at the time. Computerland was mainly an Apple shop, but they did stock the Commodore PET and (at the time) a brand new 'Friendly Computer', the VIC-20.

    "The salesman pointed to the VIC-20 poster and it piqued my curiosity. After being led to the demo machine, I was hooked. I almost picked a Radio Shack TRS-80 CoCo as my first computer until I saw the VIC-20. It had everything I wanted and at a great price.

    "I still own that same VIC-20, and it still works. I hook it up to a TV from time to time to (ahem) play some of the few games I have for it. You know, just to make sure it works, right? (wink, wink)

    "An interesting note about computer magazines at the time is the scope of the content.

    "Magazines like Creative Computing 'generalized' computer information and abstracted the finer details so the public could understand basic computing concepts.

    "To really dig into the details about computers at the time, one would need to choose from the many brand specific computing magazines. Of course, ads in those magazines were more for peripheral and software add-ons and not necessarily for advertising the computers themselves."

1 comment:

  1. "Reader comments: Allie Dillon, microcomputers and more " That is a heading from 1/10/12.
    That refers to my comments about my grandmother's nursery rhyme booklet. It's certainly been awhile, but it was fun to come across your site again. We have now had prints made and some of her wonderful illustrations are available online. I hope she would be pleased.