Saturday, May 5, 2012

Saturday's postcards: Streets of Visby and a New Hampshire playground

First up today are a pair of postcards from Visby, Sweden, which was previously featured in last year's Fiskargränd postcard blog entry.

The above postcard shows Norra Murgatan1 in Visby. (Norra means "North" in Swedish.)

In the center of the photo, you can see part of the city wall of Visby ("Visby ringmur" in Swedish.) Construction on the ringmur, a medieval defensive wall, first began in the 13th century. Today, about 800 years later, 27 of its 29 towers remain.

Here are some links for additional photos of the ringmur:

And if you're interested in a European vacation and want to explore Visby and ringmur, Södra Murgatans bed and breakfast might be the place for you. Their English-language website states:
"If you want to live in the central of Visby with the ring wall as your neighbor and the shopping street Adelsgatan just around the corner you have found the right place to stay. An intimate B&B with great charm, cozy rooms, comfortable beds and good service. You can also stay in a little cottage placed in our yard with a patio at the stone wall vault."

The Svensk Tillverkning postcard pictured above has the following text printed on the back:

Biskopsgatan med Domkyrkan, Visby.

Riksantikvarieämbetet is the Swedish National Heritage Board, a government agency responsible for UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Sweden and other national heritage locations.

Meanwhile, Biskopsgatan med Domkyrkan translates to "Bishop Street at the Cathedral" in English. The cathedral seen in the background is Visby Cathedral, also known as St. Mary's Cathedral. It dates to the 1100s. See more photos of it on this Panoramio page and this PlanetWare page.

Finally, here's a pre-1952 linen postcard2 that was printed by The Bisbee Press in Lancaster, New Hampshire.

The description of this picture, on the back of the postcard, is:


North Conway is a census-designated place with a population of just over 2,000 in eastern New Hampshire.

If you're interested in additional postcard images of North Conway, which appears to be quite the photogenic vacation destination, has more than you can shake a stick at.

1. As opposed to "Norra to Murgatroyd".1
2. Stated on the back of the postcard is "PLACE ONE CENT STAMP HERE." The price of a postcard stamp rose from one cent to two cents on January 1, 1952.

Secondary footnote
1. Yes, I'm weird.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Old beer coaster from Brauerei Liebhard in Aying, Germany

This old "Brauerei Liebhard" beer coaster is, to the best of my knowledge1, a souvenir from Ayinger Brewery in Aying, Germany. Johann Liebhard was the 19th century founder of the company, which was known as Brauerei Liebhard in the beginning. Here's an excerpt from the history portion of the Ayinger Brewery website:

"In 1876 the father of the Ayinger Brewery, Johann Liebhard, took over the agricultural and forestry estate 'Zum Pfleger' with tavern and butcher’s shop, which had been family property since circa 1810. His wife Maria, a postmaster’s daughter from Markt Schwaben, was, as were all women of the brewing generations, the central pillar of support in the running of the business."
The company's website has much more historical information and some great photos, if you want to learn more.

The brewery is still going strong. It opened a new, modern facility in 1999 and proudly states: "The New Ayinger Brewery is an exemplary model of how modernity and tradition can fuse in direction-setting commitment. With our integrated concept of regional orientation we have found an effective answer to the growing lack of transparency of the German brewery environment and its beer products."

Also, there's a beer garden/restaurant in Aying named after Johann Liebhard. Read more about Liebhard's Bräustüberl zu Aying on the Munich Beer Gardens website.

Meanwhile, here's the back of the coaster...

The back of the coaster features a map of the area, with Aying in the center. Aying is a municipality within the district of Munich.

Sites featured on the map include:

And at the top of the map is München, the German word for Munich. München is indicated on the map by an illustration of its coats of arms. Here's the map's version and the official version, side by side:

1. Papergreat has a healthy following in Germany, so I hope some of my readers in that country can correct/clarify any mistakes I've made in this and other entries about the country. (Countries with the most Papergreat pageviews are: 1. United States, 2. United Kingdom, 3. Canada, 4. Germany, 5. Russia, 6. France, 7. India, 8. Australia, 9. Ukraine, 10. Brazil.)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

"New" photo of Ruth Manning-Sanders and other tidbits

It's a banner week for Ruth Manning-Sanders research and scholarship!

I recently acquired an inexpensive copy of one of her lesser-known adult novels -- 1957's "Melissa"1 -- expecting not much more than to be able to add it to my collection of her works.

But I had a surprise coming. The book came with its original dust jacket intact. And, in flipping the book over, I discovered the photo of the author that appears here.

What a great photo! So much better than the only other photo of her that I've been able to find. (And there's nothing else of her on the Internet.) This book was published in 1957 and, if this is an up-to-date photo, then she would be about 70 years old in this picture.

In addition to Ruth Manning-Sanders' photo, the back of the dust jacket also features a short biography, which includes some terrific details I had not previously seen elsewhere. Here's the full text:
"The wife of the late George Manning-Sanders, the artist and writer, Mrs. Manning-Sanders was born in South Wales, of an old Unitarian family, whose forbears came over from the Netherlands during the Duke of Alva's persecutions.2 Her childhood was spent in the north of England and she attended Manchester University as a Shakespeare scholar but, before graduating, left to get married. With her husband she toured England, Scotland and Wales in a horse-drawn caravan. They then joined the artists' colony at Newlyn and finally made their home at Sennen Cove, near Land's End.

"Ruth Manning-Sanders began writing verse, and never thought to write anything else until economic pressure acted as a spur. One day she met an elephant in Sennen, and became interested in circus life. She joined a family tenting circus, travelled with them for two summers and lived with them in winter quarters to study the practising of the artistes and the training of the performing horses, elephants and big cats. She worked as an advance agent, rode an elephant on parade, and went into the lion's cage with the trainer.

"This has provided material for her circus novels and for her history of the English circus. Her hobbies and interests are gardening, anything to do with plants, animals and birds, astronomy, poetry and painting, legendary lore and prehistoric research."
So she lived in an artists' colony3, rode elephants and was interested in astronomy and prehistoric research. Those are all tidbits I hadn't read elsewhere.

Here's another fun discovery related to Manning-Sanders:

44 Ways of Looking at an Apple

Sarah Laing, a writer and artist who lives in New Zealand, has a blog titled 44 Ways of Looking at an Apple. She's a fan of Manning-Sanders' works and has designed illustrated versions of some of her folk tales:

1. "Melissa" was published in 1957 by Robert Hale Limited of 63 Old Brompton Road, London S.W. 7. It is listed as "An Argosy Book" on the spine of the dust jacket. The plot seems to be a bit on the melodramatic side. Here's its description from the dust jacket:
"Melissa the beautiful; cruel, kind, indifferent; tender, wayward, unpredictable; where she is good or evil, heartless or not, who shall say? To her matter-of-fact cousin, Belle, who tells the story, she is as bewildering as life itself.

"The time is the present, the scene Stoneleigh, a small village in central England, to which Belle returns to live with Melissa at the manor house. The manor is old and gracious. Here, Belle feels (despite changed times and the resultant shortage of cash), one might live out one's days in tranquility -- if only Melissa would leave people alone. ..."
Manning-Sanders -- as in most of her novels -- can't help but to let her interest in the fairy tales creep into the story. I flipped to a random page of Melissa and spied this passage (the italics are mine):
"I have not yet had occasion to write much about Simon Andrew, because, during those first days at the Manor, I had scarcely caught a glimpse of him. He worked in the garden; but it might have been a hobgoblin that worked there, so invisible he made himself. One would come across a wheelbarrow here, or a spade stuck in the earth there, or a rank leaning up against a tree, but Simon Andrew himself had vanished."
I could probably come up with an entire future post on the folk- and fairy-tale references in Manning-Sanders novels.
2. That would be Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, 3rd Duke of Alba (1507-1582).
3. Somebody should found a bloggers' colony. Seems like that would be a fun thing.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Kessler's sports books touted on Greenwillow Books bookmark

Here's the front and back of an old bookmark for Greenwillow Books, which has been publishing children's books as a subsidiary of HarperCollins since 1974.1

The bookmark, probably from the mid-1980s, is touting the "read-alone" sports books by Leonard Kessler, including:
  • "Super Bowl"
  • "Old Turtle's Baseball Stories"
  • "The Big Mile Race"
  • "Old Turtle's Winter Games"
  • "The Worst Team Ever"

Kessler, who is 90 or 91 and now lives in Sarasota, Fla., has illustrated more than 200 books, many of which he also wrote. Perhaps his most famous book is 1965's "Mr. Pine's Purple House," which has had an enduring impact on a couple different levels.

Here's an excerpt from a June 2007 article in The Atlantic by Virginia Postrel:
"The book, says its author, Leonard Kessler, tells kids, 'It’s OK to be different. You can find your own way, and purple seems to be a fine color to paint a house.' Kessler, whose license plate reads MR PINE, loves purple. He has three pairs of violet-hued shoes—lavender, magenta, and purple—and a lavender studio with one striped wall that he says 'looks like a circus.' The inside of his home’s front door is painted purple, too."
"Mr. Pine's Purple House" went out of print in the early 1970s and nostalgia for it helped to inspire the launch of Jill Morgan's Purple House Press, which specializes in republishing out-of-print children's books and has published several titles by Kessler.

"She changed my life," Kessler said of Morgan's interest in "Mr. Pine's Purple House" in a June 2007 magazine article. "She brought me back to life again.”

Meanwile, readers also have fond memories of Kessler's other titles, including the sports-related ones mentioned on today's bookmark.

Here are reviewer Frankie Jones' thoughts on "Super Bowl":
"Another fun piece by Leonard Kessler. Unfortunately, Super Bowl had a short print run 1980, and an even shorter print run in 1990 before quickly going out of print for good. That's a shame, because this is one of Kessler's better works. Super Bowl tells the tale of two teams, The Animal Champs (Dog, Cat, Frog, Rabbit, Raccoon) and the Super Birds (Gull, Chicken, Crow, Owl, and the enigmatic Duck). For any kid who loves football, they'll really like this one. It's full of football action, but also shows the value of preparation, determination, and teamwork. Duck, the equivalent of your modern day prima donna player, proves to be the Super Birds undoing with a costly fumble late in the game. Afterward, while the Animal Champs celebrate their hard earned Super Bowl championship, the Super Birds console themselves with the old adage, 'Wait `til next year!' If your child is a football fan and an emerging reader, you can't go wrong with this one."
1. Greenwillow Books has a nice blog, Under the Green Willow, which is currently celebrating the works of the late Diana Wynne Jones.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Ciné-Kodak Model M: "Simplest of Home Movie Cameras"

Here's a full-page advertisement for a Ciné-Kodak movie camera from a circa-1932 magazine (probably National Geographic).

The ad copy describes the excitement of filming the streets of Paris, from the side streets to the cafes to the Bois de Boulogne:
"These are the glamorous scenes your Ciné-Kodak can capture -- the scenes you and your family and friends will enjoy again and again. Ciné-Kodak, as low as $75, makes movies as simply as a Brownie makes snapshots.1 Kodascope projectors now reduced as low as $50. Many dealers offer easy terms."
Of course, this was a lot of money. A $75 camera in 1932 would be the equivalent of $1,185 in 2010 dollars, according to The Inflation Calculator. And the movie camera plus Kodascope projector cost $125, according to the advertisement, which would be the equivalent of a whopping $1,975. And that's before buying film and other accessories.

Kodak's website has an interesting page titled "Super 8mm Film History," which delves into the role the company played in bring movie cameras to the masses. Here's an excerpt:
"The story of practical "home movies" began in 1923. Although 35mm film had been the standard for theatrical releases for decades, the large film was cumbersome, expensive, and dangerous due to its flammable nature. For years, the Eastman Kodak Company had worked to develop a system of movie equipment and film that would be easy enough for the advanced amateur photographer to use, yet reasonably affordable. The result was the Sixteen Millimeter 'Cine Kodak' Camera and the Kodascope Projector". The camera itself weighed about seven pounds, and had to be handcranked at two turns per second during filming. ... By 1932, with America in the throes of the Great Depression, a new format, the 'Cine Kodak Eight', was introduced. Utilizing a special 16mm film which had double the number of perforations on both sides, the film maker would run the film through the camera in one direction, then reload and expose the other side of the film, the way an audio cassette is used today."

This guy is probably not shooting "Man with a Movie Camera". He might, however, be wearing the same hat as the guy in Sunday's post.

1. The Brownie, first introduced in 1900, is a series of simple, inexpensive cameras produced by Eastman Kodak. The box cameras helped to bring low-cost photography to the masses and introduced the idea of the snapshot. (Hello, Instagram.) For more on the Brownie and its history, check out The Brownie Camera Page.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

How newspapers and journalism have changed since 1960

The dust jacket of 1960's "The Real Book About Journalism" features an attractive, exciting illustration about the world of newspapering. Rocket ships. Baseball games. Huge fires. Sinking ships.1

But it's also clear from this illustration how much has changed in the world of newspapering in the past five decades. For example:
  • Nowadays, the serious-looking man would be using Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, blogs, e-mail alerts and text messages to convey his serious news to the public.
  • Nowadays, we don't wear hats like that.
  • Nowadays, we don't have much of a space program to write about.
  • Nowadays, we don't use message spikes, because we're more prone to hurt ourselves.2
  • Nowadays, we have this thing called "female journalists."3
  • Nowadays, we're not allowed to smoke pipes in the newsroom.

1. The ship pictured on the dust jacket is clearly supposed to be Titanic. And it is clearly not an accurate representation of the doomed vessel. For starters, there are only two funnels, and Titanic had four funnels (three of which were operational and one of which was for show). Secondly, as my daughter Sarah points out, Titanic's funnels were not blue and red.

The book does include a short chapter about newspaper coverage of Titanic's sinking. Here's an excerpt:
"Alone among newspapers The New York Times dared to believe that the supposedly unsinkable and mighty Titanic had sunk, and it boldly printed this news before receiving official confirmation. It was Carr Van Anda, the exceptionally astute managing editor of the paper, who made the keen decision that later brought forth praise from rival publications and readers everywhere that has rarely -- if ever -- been equaled. ...

"...[W]ith confidence born of intuition and knowledge, he assumed responsibility without hestitation. He was convinced that the silence that had followed so swiftly and completely after the Titanic's S O S could only mean that the worst of all sea calamities had occurred and that the vessel was no longer afloat."
2. Which can lead to a lot of paperwork.
3. What's also sad is that this book about the male-dominated world of newspapering of a half-century ago was written by a woman. Author M.G. Bonner -- as the name appears on the front cover -- is Mary Graham Bonner, who wrote for magazines and spent nine years as a member of the features department at the Associated Press.

Here's another male-centric illustration from "The Real Book About Journalism":