Saturday, March 17, 2012

Three postcards from Ireland for Saint Patrick's Day

On Lá Fhéile Pádraig, here are three postcards, circa 1960, of popular locations in southern Ireland. These are from my family's collection (more on that below).

Above: Bantry Bay, showing Garinish Island1, Glengarriff, Co. Cork, Ireland.

Above: Ross Castle, Killarney, Ireland

Above: Vale of Glendalough, Co. Wicklow, Ireland

All three postcards are from the same series. They were lithographed and published by John Hinde2 at Dalkey in Co. Dublin. Each postcard also has a paragraph on the back describing the area that's pictured and touting Ireland as a tourist destination. The Garinish Island postcard even quotes William Makepeace Thackeray: "What sends tourists to the Rhine and Saxon-Switzerland? Within 5 miles of Glengarriff there is a country of the magnificence of which no pen can give and idea ... Were such a bay lying upon English shores, it would be a world's wonder."

The Vale of Glendalough and Garinish Island postcards have never been used. But the Ross Castle postcard was mailed by my great grandmother in mid-July of 1960 ... from Norway! Here's her note:
This is wonderful! Sitting on upper deck. Sun out last night 'til 11 p.m. Lose 1 hr. tonight. Not time to shop much in Ireland or Scotland. Weather nice today. Was around 70° this a.m., colder now. Loved Edinburgh. Rained, toured city in separate bus that eve. Postage 20¢ for cards, too much! Won't send many. Feel better! Go to bed late!
Love, Greta
She complained about the cost of postcard postage, and then didn't mail the postcard from Ireland until she arrived in Nordkapp, Norway. It's postmarked 14-7-60 in Nordkapp and was mailed with two stamps -- one for 65 øre and one for 25 øre. ("Norge" is the Norwegian name for Norway.)

1. This small island has several names. Per Wikipedia:
Ilnacullin, or sometimes Illaunacullin (derives from Oileán an Chulinn in Irish meaning 'island of holly') known locally as Garnish Island (properly Garinish Island or Garinis in Irish), is a very tranquil yet popular tourist attraction in Ireland, located in the small harbour of Glengarriff, County Cork which forms part of Bantry Bay. Ilnacullin is the name used by the National Parks and Monuments Service to differentiate it from Garinish Island in Co. Kerry.
2. To see another Hinde postcard and learn more about him, check out this Papergreat post from last summer.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Five neat old illustrations with no documentation

Within the Otto ephemera warehouse, there are many loose and detached papers that have long been separated from their original sources -- usually a book or magazine.

The papers were torn out or cut out and placed in drawers or boxes for decades, until they resurfaced. Most probably ended up in the trash after all those years. But some found their way into odd lots at flea markets, yard sales and auctions, waiting to be snatched up by someone whose friend or spouse would stand nearby and say, "You're going to buy that?"

Yep, that's what we do here at Papergreat. No piece of paper is a lost cause.

Submitted for you inspection today are five illustrations that come with no context or indication of their original source. Mystery illustrations. We can enjoy them for what they are, comment on them, or perhaps even find someone out there who can help us identify them.


No. 1 -- Boy hawking newspapers: I think my friends in journalism will like this old piece. It's actually a carefully done cut-out of a boy selling copies of The Morning Herald. At some point, he unfortunately lost his right foot.

No. 2 -- Crying woman and suspicious man: These next two illustrations are actually two sides of the same detached page. And they couldn't be more different. In this one, a woman is crying and leaning against her bed while a questionable individual peers in the window at her. Is he sad? Dangerous? Up to some shenanigans? Meanwhile, this is the only one of today's illustrations that offers some clue as to the artist's identity. The mark in the lower-left corner appears to be some sort of initials -- A.R.? F.R.?

No. 3 -- Dobbin's Bath: This colorful illustration, on the opposite side of the previous picture, shows a young girl diligently cleaning a wooden toy horse on wheels, while an unfortunately dressed young boy looks on from the doorway. Dobbin, presumably, is the name of the toy horse.1

No. 4 -- Woman and child: Here's a woman of great wealth holding her young daughter on her lap. The child has a lot of hair. That's all I have.

No. 5 -- Watching the boats: Here is another woman with her young daughter -- from a decidedly different social strata than the previous pair. They are sitting near the shore, watching the boats. Are the boats coming in or heading out? Is this shortly after sunrise or shortly before sunset? Sunset would be my guess, but is there anything that definitively tells us that?

When I was getting these five unsourced illustrations to post on the blog today, I had no plans or intention of finding a theme between any of them. But, now that I'm writing about, it's certainly interesting to compare and contrast these last two mother-and-child illustrations:

1. Here's an interesting etymological footnote regarding the name Dobbin, courtesy of Wikipedia's entry for hobby horse (toy):
The word hobby is glossed by the OED as "a small or middle-sized horse; an ambling or pacing horse; a pony." The word is attested in English from the 14th century, as Middle English hobyn. Old French had hobin or haubby, whence Modern French aubin and Italian ubino. But the Old French term is apparently adopted from English rather than vice versa. OED connects it to "the by-name Hobin, Hobby", a variant of Robin" (compare the abbreviation Hob for Robert). This appears to have been a name customarily given to a cart-horse, as attested by White Kennett in his Parochial Antiquities (1695), who stated that "Our ploughmen to some one of their cart-horses generally give the name of Hobin, the very word which Phil. Comines uses, Hist. VI. vii." Another familiar form of the same Christian name, Dobbin has also become a generic name for a cart-horse.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Reader comments: Movie-star cards, Manning-Sanders and Michaud's

Here's another supercalifragilisticexpialidocious collection of comments and queries from Papergreat's wonderful readers:

A bookmark from a late, great bookstore in Berkeley: Photographer Mark Wilburn writes: "Wonderful find. I also just found an old bookmark from the store that must be even older since the spelling of 'Shambala' is the older version without the "h". It has a beautiful graphic on the front and an interesting picture at the top on the back of four guys with their heads touching. Below is the quotation, 'All Hail to the One Mind!'"

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Coupons for a 1980 book fair in Baltimore: Justin Mann of Justin's Brew Review writes: "'Waiting for Godot' is one of my favorites! Sorry to hear you don't get a free book though."

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Coupons from the E.H. Koester Bakery Co.: Anonymous writes: "Is anyone familiar with the 'Movie Star Album' by Koester's Honey Bread? My mom passed away a we found a paper album by the name 'Movie Star Album' with the emblem Koester's Honey Bread. Inside there are some card-type pictures I guess my mom collected from eating Koester's bread. We grew up in Baltimore. On the back of some of the pictures is the following 'one of these movie actor photos will be wrapped in each wrapped loaf of Koester's Tosty Bread. There are 100 of these portraits to a set. Be sure and get the complete set.'"

Anonymous, I'm not sure if your family's collection is valuable, but it's definitely old and rare. According to this page on The Movie Card Website, the 100-card, black-and-white set was issued by Koester's in the 1910s. The cards are 2 inches wide by 3¾ inches tall. Featured actors included Mary Boland, Gladys Hulette, Dustin Farnum and W.S. Hart.

This photo page, featuring the front and back of one of the cards, confirms all of Anonymous' details. Does anyone else have anything to share about this obscure set?

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Great moments in Papergreat history: Spam advertises on the blog: mshatch, who authors The Secret of the Golden Flower, Unicorn Bell and mainewords, writes: "I'm not sure if I ever ate Spam, but I know I ate Underwood's Deviled Ham. Can't remember if I liked it though."

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Handy information from the 1942 Civil Air Regulations: Word maven Justin Mann writes: "I think the use of the word 'certificated' is certifiable. Just sayin'. Seriously though, it is interesting (in my opinion) to find, research, and study uncommon words and uses of words. Consider 'commented' vs. 'commentated'. Sometimes these words are created through the linguistic phenomenon known as backformation. In other words, we create a new word -- often unwittingly -- because it seems that it should have already been in existence anyway due to an existing 'real' word. Consider that the word 'couth' did not exist before the word 'uncouth'. Seems counterintuitive -- how could the root word not have come first? You see? Interesting! For a long list of other similar words, check out this list: Enjoy!"

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Plucked from a yard sale, Part 6: Safe journeys, Quizmo and a lion: Teresa writes: "The #12 item was prepared by a distant relative of mine. Her father is my great-grandfather's eldest brother! Thank you for sharing!"

The item that Teresa is referring to is a 26-page pamphlet published in 1954 by the American Automobile Association for elementary school and junior high teachers. It was prepared by Luverne Crabtree Walker, the elementary school supervisor for District of Columbia Schools. The pamphlet encourages traffic safety to be a topic in every school subject.

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Bushkill Falls: "A Delightful One-Day Auto Trip": Wendyvee of Wendyvee's writes: "Great post! I, too, love to check out routes on old maps to see what changes and hidden gems they have. Castle Finn Mansion is gorgeous. I can't imagine how cool it would be to own it!"

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Sue Tatterson's trip to Scranton Lace Company: Kevin Beitz writes: "I am very happy to say I own two steam engines that were part of Scranton Lace factory."

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Enjoy a liver and pepper dish with Fluffy Rice Norman: Anonymous snarkily writes: "There was a reason Fluffy Rice Norman was omitted from cyberspace, and now you've contaminated the universe."

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Happy 143rd birthday, Algernon Blackwood: My dad checks in with some family history: "May I remind you that the name 'Algernon' is in your heritage. John Algernon Otto was your great grandfather, father of John Alexander Otto and grandfather of yours truly. He lived to be 92 years old. I can't remember the exact year he passed away but it was in the late 60's. He was a stone mason. He built the stone face church I attended as a kid; Calvary Methodist Church, Easton, PA. He was not the least bit scary as Algernon Blackwood."

And Mom adds: "Dang. Your Dad beat me to it! I was going to suggest that you were somehow drawn to this author through some psychic connection to the name!" (I think the idea of a psychic connection between myself and Blackwood would please the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.)

* * *

Regarding Ruth Manning-Sanders in general, Ulrike Monecke sent me the following email query: "my name is Ulrike, I'm a woman from Germany, Berlin. Sorry for my little English [note: which I cleaned up very slightly for publication]. I write you, because I was searching in the net about information about Ruth Manning-Sanders. There is not much. I'm very happy to find you.
I'm a puppet player and I want to make a new play, and I find Manning-Sanders and her humor beautiful. I found a fairy tale from her in 'A Book of Enchantments and Curses.' The name of the story is 'Unfortunate,' which comes from Sicily. In the book, nothing is written about the original story. I found the original story, but the story from Ruth Manning-Sanders is much nicer. I want to know how and where she found the story, and something about her thoughts and how she works. I like her words."

These are wonderful questions, Ulrike! I don't have any insight regarding how Manning-Sanders discovered this particular story. I know she gathered folk and fairy tales from all over the world, from many different sources, in order to find the ones that she wanted to retell. And, yes, her language is fantastic and humorous. She writes in a style that is perfect for oral storytelling.

"Unfortunate" (also known as "Misfortune"), like many fairy tales, is a common story that can likely be found in many cultures. Italo Calvino also retold a version of it. So it's possible that the original story Manning-Sanders used as the basis for her tale is different than the one you came across, Ulrike.

It's not surprising that Manning-Sanders' version is "much nicer" than the other one you found. First, most "original" fairy tales were quite dark and violent in nature. They were not intended to be fun and comforting stories for children. But, in the 20th century, Manning-Sanders was absolutely writing for a young audience, and would have "sanitized" the story somewhat to make it acceptable for children.

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Three unrelated advertisements (Michaud's, Duz and Q*bert): Lini writes: "You have more on the Michaud Brother's Grocery? One of the brother's was my great grandfather. I would be really interested in any more you have on them."

Lini, other than the one I posted on the blog last April, I only have one other Michaud's newspaper advertisement in my possession. It's from that same period -- October 1935 -- of the St. Paul (Minn.) Dispatch. Here it is:

Check out those fish and meat prices! But the eels, by comparison, are a bit expensive at 49 cents per can. That would be the equivalent of $7.70 in 2010 prices, according to The Inflation Calculator. For eels!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Happy 143rd birthday, Algernon Blackwood

(Preface: I'm certain that Algernon Blackwood would like for you to read this post -- and, more importantly, his stories -- alone, at night, with the lights out and preferably when there's a thunderstorm bearing down outside.)

Today is Algernon Blackwood's 143rd birthday. He's been dead for 60 years, but he's still giving readers the creeps. If you enjoy ghost and horror stories and don't know of Blackwood, let him be the one author you discover in 2012.

You won't be disappointed.

Blackwood, who was born and died in Kent County, England, spent time as a hotel manager, newspaper reporter, milk farmer, bartender and violin teacher, among other occupations. He was a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. He loved the outdoors and he was interested in the paranormal, as he was a member of The Ghost Club and the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, a group devoted to magic and the occult.

And he wrote ghost stories. Truly great ghost stories.

"The Willows," "The Wendigo," and "Ancient Sorceries" are among his most well-known tales. He also wrote, among his dozens of short stories, a series of tales about physician/ghost-hunter John Silence.

Here is the opening passage of one of my favorite Blackwood tales, 1906's "The Empty House":

"Certain houses, like certain persons, manage somehow to proclaim at once their character for evil. In the case of the latter, no particular feature need betray them; they may boast an open countenance and an ingenuous smile; and yet a little of their company leaves the unalterable conviction that there is something radically amiss with their being: that they are evil. Willy nilly, they seem to communicate an atmosphere of secret and wicked thoughts which makes those in their immediate neighbourhood shrink from them as from a thing diseased.

"And, perhaps, with houses the same principle is operative, and it is the aroma of evil deeds committed under a particular roof, long after the actual doers have passed away, that makes the gooseflesh come and the hair rise. Something of the original passion of the evil-doer, and of the horror felt by his victim, enters the heart of the innocent watcher, and he becomes suddenly conscious of tingling nerves, creeping skin, and a chilling of the blood. He is terror-stricken without apparent cause."
It actually reminds me slightly of the classic opening of "The Haunting of Hill House" by Shirley Jackson, which was not published until a half-century later.

My other personal favorites by Blackwood include "The Other Wing" and "The Listener," a creepy epistolary tale.

Above: The three volumes of Blackwood tales I own.

Many of Blackwood's stories are in the public domain and can be downloaded at Project Gutenberg.

Or seek them out at your public library. Or your local used-book store. But definitely seek them out. You won't be sorry. Or perhaps, heh, you will be.

Wise sayings and more from the 1910 Wanamaker Diary

This pair of side-by-side pages from the 1910 Wanamaker Diary includes the journal space for March 14, 1910 (which was a Monday).

Each day's journal space includes a short saying along the lines of what one might find inside a fortune cookie. The slice of wisdom for March 14 is: "The silly man flings incense on a dung hill."

Here are some other daily sayings from throughout the diary:
  • A hungry man scents kraut a square away.
  • A wise man keeps salt on hand for all the advice he gets.
  • Swearing at bulls is safest from a second story.
  • A fence lasts three years, and a dog three fences.
  • A man canna bear all his kin on his back.
  • It is a sin to fell a tree unless another planted be.
  • A man wears out his wedding shoes in running to his wife with news.
  • Till Easter come no tree will bloom.1
  • Milk the cow which is near.
  • To get a good melon or friend you may have to try a hundred.
  • One aching tooth is enough to fret a whole mouth.
  • The honk started with the goose and spread to the motor.
  • Save your chips for kindling, not for wear upon your shoulder.
  • Money makes the mare go -- but not the nightmare.
  • To marry a dame with two daughters is three against one.
  • Some of the finest prayers are said in thunderstorms.
  • "If a cat licks her foot it is sure for to snow."2
  • An old man's shanks are not for dancing capers.
  • Choose your wife with her nightcap on.
  • Our neighbors' eyes are the costliest things in life.
  • A thoughtful chicken has no praise for chicken salad.
  • It's hard to teach an old parrot to quit such language.
  • Those who complain of cold feet should think of the North Pole centipedes.
Meanwhile, here's a closer look at the advertisements on the opposite page. They are for a trio of Philadelphia companies:
  • Garrett-Buchanan Co., a "hustling house" that offers everything in paper and twine.
  • Jules Wellens Sons, Ltd., which offers the new ramie and Roumanian linens
  • The Reyburn Manfg. Co., makers of shipping tags, pin tickets, gummed labels, paper fasteners, and more

1. That is decidedly NOT true in Pennsylvania this year.
2. This is also decidedly NOT true. I have five felines that can attest to that this winter.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Celebrate Papergreat's 400th post with a gallery of chickens

Papergreat has made it to 400 posts! To mark the occasion, please enjoy this flock of chicken ephemera...

The Ful-O-Pep Twins

Above: Here, from the October 1935 issue of Poultry Tribune, are a pair of cartoon chickens hawking Quaker Ful-O-Pep Egg Mash, from The Quaker Oats Company. The ad copy states: "Hens or pullets that start on a promising cycle of heavy laying and then suddenly 'blow up'1 are not profitable. Proper feed and feeding of the layers tends to reduce this mortality. Fed the Ful-O-Pep way hens will produce more and better eggs and live longer."

Pur-a-tene from Purina

Above: This advertisement comes from the same issue of Poultry Tribune as the one for Quaker Ful-O-Pep Egg Mash. Here, we have Purina Mills touting its Pur-a-tene. The ad copy states: "Hens literally 'lay their heads off'2 during the spring months. One of the big reasons why they lay is the abundance of green grass and green feed which tones them up and puts them in radiant health."

Jamesway flock feeders

Above: This wartime advertisement from Jamesway Mfg. Co. comes from the July 1941 edition of Agricultural Leaders' Digest. The ad copy states: "'More eggs,' says the government. 'Step up the poultry production ... at once! America must prepare to feed the world.' How can production be boosted? After all, it takes six months to grow a laying pullet. Increased production this winter can only come from flocks already started. It can be secured only through better feeding -- better housing -- better equipment and methods. ... If modern Jamesway flock feeders and water fountains were put into every laying house in the country -- we'd HAVE that increased production the government asks."

Berry's Austra-Whites

Above: This advertisement for "Tomorrow's Chicken Today" comes from the Farmer's Trading Center section in the back pages of the June 1946 edition of Successful Farming magazine. George and Ernest Berry will sell you weeks-old pullets that are "rugged as a mule" for as low $24.90 per 100. (Other advertisers who want you to buy their chicks in section of the magazine include Okee L. Rice of Rice Leghorn Farms in Sedalia, Mo., and Gusta B. Atz and her "Chix" from Atz' Mammoth Hatcheries in Huntingburg, Indiana.)

Poultry Tribune, April 1935

Above: Here is the wonderfully illustrated cover of the April 1935 Northeast Edition of Poultry Tribune. Articles in this issue include the "Egg-A-Torials" by editor O.A. Hanke, "How Much Protein?", "How We Sell Direct!", "Spring Eggs Need Special Care", "More Turkeys!", "Homemaking!", "Buying a Poultry Farm", and "Quality in Northeast Eggs". They sure did like their exclamation points.

Roselawn Leghorns

Above: And, to finish up, here is one more chicken item from an issue of Poultry Tribune. This is the illustration for the L.H. Harvey "article" titled "Roselawn Leghorns are the World's Most Proven Laying Strain" from the February 1933 issue of the magazine. I put article in quotation marks because, while everything else about this page -- including the headline, typography and layout -- looks like the other articles Poultry Tribune, the article concludes with "--Adv." And that makes me think the whole thing is a paid advertisement. Do you think 1933 readers were savvy enough to tell the difference? Especially with such little indication that this was different from other material presented in the magazine.

1. Not literally, I hope. We can't have chickens blowing up.
2. Not literally, I hope. We can't have chickens' heads popping off. What's with all the chicken violence?

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Advertising card for Pride of the Mill writing paper

Here's an illustrated advertising card from Pride of the Mill writing paper ("Guaranteed to be of Superior Quality"), compliments of S.P. Richards & Son, Books and Stationery, in Atlanta, Georgia.

Richards & Son appears to have long since trotted off into the sunset. I found a reference in the 1896 edition of The American Stationer to Richards & Son being "the oldest in this line of business in Atlanta" and it making preparations to move to a new location on South Pryor Street.

The back of the card (pictured below) features the full advertisement for Pride of the Mill. The copy states:

To our Friends and Customers: We beg to call attention to a very handsome line of Box Papers at reasonable prices called the "May Blossom." We have it in a great variety of delicate tints, Ruled or Unruled; some Octavo but mostly Commercial Note size. The tints are as follows: Cream, White, Sunshine, Peach, Opal, Heliotrope, &c.

We can also supply the same papers by the Quire and Envelopes to match in the fine "Pride of the Mill" Papers.
Here are some definitions of terms from the above passage:
  • Papeterie -- An ornamental box for holding stationery. The word is French and dates to the 1840s.
  • Octavo -- Octavo is a technical term, with a long and complicated history, used to describe the size and format of both books and paper. Check out Wikipedia's octavo page and the "Paper sizes" subsection of the Wikipedia's article on book size.
  • Heliotrope -- According to Wikipedia, "heliotrope is a pink-purple tint that is a representation of the color of the heliotrope flower. The first recorded use of heliotrope as a color name in English was in 1882." (I'm a guy, so I didn't know this. Sorry.)
  • &c. -- This is an old abbreviation for et cetera.
  • Quire -- A quire is 1/20th of a ream of paper. A ream contains 500 sheets. So a quire contains 25 sheets.