Saturday, March 10, 2012

Saturday's postcards: Black-and-white scenes from the past

Here are three wonderful old postcards featuring human-scale streets1 in western Eurasia.2

Oud Scheveningen

Text on back: "Uitgave: J. v. d. Hoek, Den Haag - Nadruk verboden No. 354"

This alley in Oud Scheveningen probably no longer exists.

Scheveningen is one of the eight districts in The Hague (Den Haag), Netherlands. It is now a tourism-based seaside resort known for its beaches (including a nudist beach), windsurfing, kiteboarding, fireworks, movie theaters, bars and gambling halls. Tourists can also check out the miniature city of Madurodam.

Garmisch, Frühlingstraße mit Waxensteine

Text on back: "3010 Verlag C. Schweizer, München 19, Frundsbergstr. 21"

Garmisch is now the mountain resort town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, thanks to Adolf Hitler. Garmisch (in the west) and the much-older Partenkirchen (in the east) were separate towns for many centuries. But, in 1935, in anticipation of the 1936 Winter Olympics, Hitler forced the two towns to combine. The Bavarian town, located in extreme southern Germany, has a population of about 26,000.

With the Waxenstein and Zugspitze mountains in the background, this is a popular perspective for photos and postcards. Here are links to a few others I came across:
And here's one that I really love -- a postcard image of snow-covered Garmisch, which was featured on the German eBay site:

Bodrum, Turkey

Text on back: "A View of BODRUM ancient Halicarnassus TURKEY"

Finally, here's an undated (1930s or 1940s?) view of the port city of Bodrum, Turkey. In ancient times, this was the Greek city of Halicarnassus, and the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World (only one of which still exists3).

I love the detail of the small Mobiloil station in this photo of Bodrum. A sign, of course, that the Automobile Culture was starting to elbow its way into this ancient place.

The people and the details are what make these old photo postcards fascinating. They're time capsules of places -- except perhaps for Garmisch-Partenkirchen -- that can no longer be seen as they once were.

1. More Papergreat postcards of human-scale streets and alleys:
2. How many continents are there really? And what should we teach our children? The six-continent model featuring Eurasia is certainly compelling.
3. The Great Pyramid of Giza is the only one of the Seven Ancient Wonders that remains intact.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Enjoy a liver and pepper dish with Fluffy Rice Norman

Still haven't decided what to have for dinner tonight? Here are some recipes to inspire you.

(Hey, where did everyone go?)

The recipes come from a 1951 issue of HomeMaker's Digest, which was published by The Homemaker's Institute in Evansville, Indiana, and featured a compilation of articles and highlights from home and women's magazines.

This issue, featuring a man wearing a pretty apron on the cover, includes the following articles:
  • How Big Is a Closet?
  • Here's How to Wash in an Automatic
  • Hearty Salads Please the Male
  • How to Preserve a Paint Job
  • Short Cuts with Quick-Frozen Foods
  • Save Sewing Time with Cellophane Tape
What caught my eye was an article titled "The Oven Makes the Meal," which features this lovely photograph of something you're apparently supposed to eat:

The article begins:
"Here's a good substantial oven dinner which takes about one hour's cooking time. Full of vitamins, easy to prepare, simple to serve. For convenience, plus gustatory gratification, you can't beat oven meals. Thanks to modern insulation, you're not conscious the heat's on ... the oven gets hot, but you keep cool. We have sneaked in two rather touchy subjects -- liver and carrots. They're such human benefactors, it seems a shame to neglect them."
The full suggested menu includes Fluffy Rice Norman1, Liver-Sausage in Green Peppers, Vegetables en Papillote, Cucumber Tomato Salad with Avocado Pineapple Dressing and Hot Fruit Compote.

Here are the recipes for the main dish and side, if you want to give them a try and party like it's 1951.

Liver-Sausage in Green Peppers
Preparation time: 1½ hours
8 servings

1½ pounds scalded beef liver
1 pound bulk sausage
4 green peppers
1 large potato
¼ cup minced onions
1 egg

Cut liver in 2-inch pieces, scald in boiling water for 10 minutes. Remove, cool slightly before putting through meat grinder, combine with sausage and minced onion. Cut peppers in half lengthwise, remove seeds, place in boiling water 3 minutes, drain. Fill halves with liver-sausage mixture. Set in open pan, bake in moderate oven (350°) for 1 hour.

POTATO TOPPING: Wrap potato in aluminum foil, bake along with meat. Remove from foil, skin, mash, and beat in egg. Place fluffy mixture in length of brown paper. Roll paper to form cone; fold down broad end of cone, squeeze potato mixture, as from tube, through small opening to decorate meat servings.

Fluffy Rice Norman
Preparation time: 1 hour
4-6 servings

1 package pre-cooked rice
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
½ teaspoon salt
dash of pepper
2 halves pimiento, chopped
6 sliced ripe olives
4-6 chopped scallions
1¾ cup boiling water

Combine ingredients in tightly covered casserole, add boiling water, cover, place in moderate oven (350° F.). Bake 45-60 minutes.

Come back and let us know how it is, if you give it a whirl!

1. In preparing this blog post, I did a Google search for "Fluffy Rice Norman" and got zero matches. So Papergreat has now officially introduced Fluffy Rice Norman to cyberspace.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Stalin's "Marxism and the National Question"

Mike McCombs -- a good friend, former karaoke co-conspirator and the sports editor of The Island Packet in Hilton Head, South Carolina -- recently sent me an email with this interesting book story:
"Ever owned a book by a mass murderer? Here's one by Stalin.1 Here's the cover. Don't know if it's rare or not but it was actually printed in the Soviet Union in 1950, so I'm betting there weren't millions of these floating around. At least not here. I paid $1 for this at a sidewalk sale at a bookstore in Hoboken, N.J., in 1997. I'll forward some more pics. The book is all paper, very fragile and about the size of my hand."
Some more details about Mike's book:
  • It's from the "Library of Marxist-Leninist Classics"
  • It was published by the Foreign Languages Publishing House in Moscow in 1950
  • The title page also includes the statement: "WORKERS OF ALL COUNTRIES UNITE!"
  • This publisher's note is included:

This book by Stalin, "Marxism and the National Question," was originally published in 1913. If you're interested, you can read the full text here, on the J.V. Stalin Archive.2

According to Wikipedia, the book represented one of Stalin's most important contributions to communist theory: "The groundwork for the Soviet policy concerning nationalities, laid [out] in Stalin's 1913 work Marxism and the National Question, [was] praised by Lenin."

The book isn't too hard to find, as it has been published quite a few times over the decades. Copies can be found on for $10 to $30, depending on the edition. It appears, though, that Mike has one of the less-common editions of this work.

1. He is also known, per various sources, as Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughashvili, Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin, Иосиф Виссарионович Сталин (Russian) and იოსებ ბესარიონის ძე ჯუღაშვილი (Georgian).
2. Oh boy, this post is going to get this blog flagged by ALL KINDS of agencies, isn't it? (Hi, Mr. Petraeus!)

Bushkill Falls: "A Delightful One-Day Auto Trip"

This undated advertising poster for Bushkill Falls in northeastern Pennsylvania measures 12 inches wide by 16 inches tall. The above image represents a composite of separate scans of the top and bottom halves of the poster.

Bushkill Falls, located in the Pocono Mountains, was opened to the public in 1904 by Charles E. Peters. It is still owned by the Peters estate, but is leased an operated by Aramark. It consists of eight waterfalls, five of which are named -- Bushkill Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, Bridesmaid Falls, Laurel Glen Falls and Pennell Falls.

The back of the poster features a huge, detailed map -- courtesy of Rand McNally & Company -- of eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, southern New York and northern Maryland -- designed to show how many cities and towns were within a day's drive of Bushkill Falls. You can see that the unincorporated (and historic) community of Egypt, Pennsylvania,1 is located near Bushkill Falls.

The names and locations of the roads and highways on this map can also help us date this piece of ephemera, which I believe was originally distributed in the early 1920s. One prominently featured road is State Highway 5, an east-west route also known as the Lakes-to-Sea Highway, portions of which were the predecessor of U.S. Route 322. I'm sure the rest of the map, similarly, is a treasure trove for road and highway historians.

Also of interest is the eastern half of York County:

That's former U.S. Route 111, which was eventually replaced by Interstate 83, running north-south through York County. Some interesting locations noted within York County include Turnpike, Hametown, Holtz, Keys, Sunnyburn and Castle Fin.2

1. Here is some fun information about Egypt, Pa., courtesy of Wikipedia:
  • "Egypt is one of the oldest communities in eastern Pennsylvania, having been settled as early as 1733."
  • "Early Pennsylvania German settlers of nearby present-day Lynn and Albany townships had named the area where they settled Alle mängel ('all wants') due to the poor quality of the soil on which they were trying to farm and raise crops. By contrast, the soil here was found to be quite fertile, and early settlers named this region 'Egypta,' since ancient Egypt, with its fertile Nile delta, was the 'granary of the world.'"
  • "Development of the community was spurred by the organization of the American Improved Cements Company (later American Cement Company), which took over and modernized the older Egypt Mills cement plant. ... The New York City Subway was built using cement manufactured in Egypt's mills."
  • Former Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Curt Simmons hails from Egypt.
2. According to Jim McClure's York Town Square blog, Castle Fin name is a tribute to Robert Coleman, an iron manufacturer who once owned the iron forge in southeastern York county and was born in Castlefin, Ireland. Here's a peek at the Coleman family's Castle Finn Mansion, which dates to 1819.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

1950 ticket stub for Colts-Steelers preseason NFL game

(Warning: The following post contains a lot of math. And it was not vetted.)

Here's a very cool ticket stub for the NFL preseason game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Colts that was played at 2 p.m. on Sunday, August 13, 1950, at Memorial Stadium.

The face value of the ticket is $5, which translates to a hefty $44.78 in 2010 dollars (for a preseason game!), according to The Inflation Calculator.

But what's more interesting to me is how the total of $5 was arrived at. The price of the ticket itself is $4.14, but then 83 cents in federal tax and 3 cents in state tax are added on. If I'm doing my math correctly, that means that a 20% federal tax and a 0.725% state tax were levied on the preseason football ticket.

The reverse side of the ticket stub is also interesting...

Sixty-two years ago, you could get a season ticket for all six Baltimore Colts games -- against the Redskins, Browns, Eagles, Packers, Giants and Lions -- for just $21.60. That's just $3.60 per game! (I'm not sure, however, if the 20% federal tax has already been included in these prices.)

In 2012, you cannot go to a Baltimore Ravens game for $3.60.1

Season tickets for the Baltimore Ravens' 10 games (eight regular-season games and two preseason games) range from $550 to $3,500 per seat. That would be a mere $55 to $350 per game, but...


In order to purchase Baltimore Ravens season tickets, you must make a one-time purchase of a Personal Seat License (PSL).2 The cost of the PSL ranges from $750 to $8,000.

So, in total, if it's your first time purchasing Baltimore Ravens season tickets, you would be paying between $1,300 and $9,250 -- or $130 to $925 per game.

Think of all the wonderful ephemera you could buy with that kind of dough!

1. And $3.60 won't even get you one gallon of gasoline this morning.
2. The Baltimore Ravens website states: "The purpose of the sale of PSLs is directly related to costs that the team incurred in its move to Baltimore. These costs included corporate and personnel relocation, team relocation expenses, NFL league fees associated with the move and upgrades to the existing practice facility. PSL revenues covered about half of these costs, with the Ravens contributing the balance. Currently, PSL funds are used to maintain M&T Bank Stadium as a first-rate facility that our fans will enjoy for many years to come."

Monday, March 5, 2012

Five hundred "lost" fairy tales discovered in Germany

That sound you hear is me drooling with delight and anticipation.

An article by Victoria Sussens-Messerer in The Guardian today details the discovery of 500 fairy tales that were collected by German historian/folklorist Franz Xaver von Schönwerth (1810-1886) in the 19th century and then, for some reason, locked away in an archive in Regensburg, Germany.

Von Schönwerth was collecting his folk and fairy tales in the Bavarian region of Oberpfalz at roughly the same time that the famous Brothers Grimm were also gathering tales.

According to the Sussens-Messerer article:
"Von Schönwerth spent decades asking country folk, labourers and servants about local habits, traditions, customs and history, and putting down on paper what had only been passed on by word of mouth. ... Von Schönwerth was a historian and recorded what he heard faithfully, making no attempt to put a literary gloss on it, which is where he differs from the Grimm brothers."
The Guardian article has numerous other great details about Von Schönwerth and this fabulous discovery. I recommend that you check it out.

You can also read one of the newly rediscovered von Schönwerth tales -- The Turnip Princess -- on the Guardian website.


This excellent March 16 blog post by Harvard professor and folklore expert Maria Tatar on The New Yorker website puts this "discovery" in a much better context. It's also just a great read for fairy-tale enthusiasts.

Second addendum

If you love fairy tales, you'll want to check out Papergreat's previous posts on author Ruth Manning-Sanders and also the posts within the folk tales category.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A label for Frostie Root Beer
(a jailhouse-born beverage)

Here's a pristine label, measuring 6 inches wide by 4½ inches tall, that would have been applied to a one-gallon container of Frostie Root Beer fountain and vending syrup.

Some details from the label:
  • The correct ratio to use was one ounce of syrup added to five ounces of ice-cold carbonated water. (By my math, that means you could get 128 servings from one gallon of syrup.)
  • The ingredients were: sugar, caramel color, artificial and natural flavors, water and no more than 1/10 of 1% of sodium benzoate.
  • The syrup's "use in bottled beverages is absolutely forbidden."
  • The syrup was distributed by Chas. Gray Beverage Co. of Janesville, Wisconsin, which is no longer is business.
Frostie Root Beer is still around, but it has changed hands a number of times since it was created by George Rackensperger in 1939. According to this excellent online history:
"Renting an abandoned jailhouse in Catonsville, Maryland, a suburb of Baltimore, [Rackensperger] used the garage that formerly housed the police wagon for setting up his bottling equipment ... and the various cells were employed to store sugar, crowns, and other supplies. In this small and unassuming enterprise, there was born a product which rapidly forced the elimination of the many flavors being bottled by Mr. Rackensperger. ... Frostie Old Fashion Root Beer had dwarfed all other plant products in sales. Consumer acceptance and volume sales rapidly brought about the need for much larger quarters and larger machinery to handle the continuing growth. Mr. Rackensperger left the jailhouse ... and a new modern plant was built."
For more history of Frostie Root Beer, check out the article by "CokeGirl" on the Soda TraderZ website.

In addition to root beer, flavors offered by Frostie today include diet root beer, vanilla root beer, blue cream soda, cherry limeade, concord grape and orange.

The Frostie brand, as mentioned, has gone through the following ownership changes, according to Wikipedia:
  • In 1979, it was sold to Monarch Beverage Company of Atlanta, Georgia.
  • In 2000, it was sold to Leading Edge Brands of Temple, Texas.
  • In 2009, it was sold to Intrastate Distributors Inc. of Detroit, Michigan.
Despite all the changes, the Frostie folks seem to have maintained a great attitude. The "Fun" section of the official website includes a request for customers to submit photos of themselves with a Frostie beverage (and jokingly states that: "All photos submitted ... become property of Intrastate Distributors Inc., where they may be used for marketing purposes or hung on the wall for dart practice.") There's also a list of Frostie Root Beer recipes, including Frostie Root Beer Cake, Frostie Root Beer BBQ Sauce and Frostie Root Beer Baked Beans.

So, who out there drinks Frostie products? Comment below!