Saturday, May 12, 2012

Saturday's postcards: The Greek island of Mykonos


Today's two old postcards highlight the Greek island of Mykonos. In the above postcard, a woman in a striking red dress hangs laundry out to dry while the waves of the Aegean Sea crash into the shore.1

In the background are some of the famous windmills of Mykonos. Many of the island's 16 windmills were built in the 16th century, primarily to be used as wheat mills. It has been decades since any of the windmills have operated, but they remain a strong tourist attraction. One reviewer on Greeka.com wrote the following in 2010:
"The spectacular windmills, the hallmark of Mykonos, was the best spot to relax and enjoy the view. They are located in a walking distance from Chora2, on top of a hill. The dynamism of the windmills made me look at it from the viewpoint of an artist. The quintessential features of these traditional structures made me forget the traffic jam, honking cars and the hectic lifestyle of the modern city. Even if you are at a distance, you can view the majestic windmill and its revolving beauty that exudes elegance. The best spot to unwind, although ironically enough the wind blows a bit strong there!!"
Here's the other postcard from Mykonos, which features a windmill as its focal point...


Some other tidbits about Mykonos:
  • It is believed that the island's first inhabitants were the Carians (perhaps dating back as far as 3000 BC).
  • The island is composed primarily of granite.
  • The Mykonos vase, discovered on the island in 1961, is the oldest-known object that depicts the Trojan Horse during the Trojan War.
  • As previously mentioned, tourism is now its major industry. But, despite the ongoing debt crisis in Greece, it's not any less expensive to travel to that country for tourism these days, according to my online research. And you might find yourself inconvenienced by strikes, which are now frequent.3

Footnotes
1. Mykonos is part of the Cyclades group of islands in the Aegean Sea. And the Cyclades, interestingly, has its own cat -- the Aegean cat. Here's an excerpt from Wikipedia about this breed:
"It is considered to be the only native Greek breed of cat. ... Although the Aegean Cat has only very recently begun to be bred systematically, it has been domesticated for many centuries and thus has become adapted very well to humans. It is a social pet that tolerates living in an apartment rather well. It is intelligent, active, lively and also communicative, not hesitating to draw a person's attention."
2. The largest town in Mykonos is also called Mykonos. Because of this, locals call the town Chora (The Town), following a common practice in the Greek islands.
3. For more information and opinions on traveling to Greece, see:

Friday, May 11, 2012

A gratuitous post on "The Avengers" designed to draw web traffic

Welcome to Shameless Friday. Yes, even ephemeraologists have no shame.1

With "The Avengers" being the No. 1 movie in the country, I dug up an old comic book that features Captain America. The panels here are from the March 1968 issue of Marvel Super-Heroes, which features stories about Captain Marvel, Black Knight, the Human Torch, Vision, Captain America and Sub-Mariner, plus a full-page advertisement for The Mothers of Invention.2

The Captain America tale, drawn by John Romita Sr. and reprinted from a 1953 issue, is a tale of Cold War intrigue. The preface states:
"The champion of spy fighters comes face to face with the most dreaded killer in all the red spy network ... THE EXECUTIONER ... as Captain America fights to protect his country's TOP SECRET!"
Now I'm going to spoil the ending of the tale, which involves an "atomic cannon" test at the "Atomic Proving Ground at Frenchman's Flats, deep in the Nevada desert."

Here are the last two panels...



And I think sums up the United States in the 1950s about as well as anything, doesn't it?

Footnotes
1. We love, for example, rooting through your junkiest junk to find treasures.
2. Previous Papergreat posts involving comic books include:

Thursday, May 10, 2012

"Family Worship," published in 1894 by P. Anstadt & Sons

Here's a book that was produced right here in York, Pennsylvania. The gold lettering on the black cover simply states "Family Worship." But inside is one of those much-longer book titles that were common in the 19th century.1

The full title is "A Help to Family Worship, or Short Forms of Morning and Evening Prayers for Four Weeks. With Prayers for Special Occasions, Grace at Table, Children's Morning and Evening Prayers, and Morning and Evening Hymns."

(Deep breath.)

The book was compiled by the Reverend Peter Anstadt and published by his company -- P. Anstadt & Sons -- in 1894 in York.2

P. Anstadt & Sons is still around, 118 years later. It's now known as Anstadt Communications and is still based in York County. Here's a excerpted passage about the company's long history, from its "About Us" page:
In 1878, the Reverend Peter Anstadt founded The Anstadt Company and began to print and publish a Teachers’ Guide for Sunday School. (To add historical perspective, this was two years after the introduction of the telephone and the year before Thomas Edison invented a practical incandescent light.)

As the company grew, Peter’s three sons learned the printing business and, in 1903, Charles P. (representing the second generation) took over as president. Under his leadership Anstadt Printing began offering rubber stamps, stationery, and school and office supplies as well. In 1922, his son Charles B. Anstadt joined the firm.

Charles brought progressive ideas and was quick to incorporate new inventions. He purchased the company’s first offset press in 1946; with this addition the company was able to produce a wide variety of advertising and marketing pieces. ...

Today, Anstadt Communications includes a team of highly talented professionals who are passionate about generating demand.
Getting back to the book itself, the long title pretty well describes what it's all about. But here is Rev. Anstadt himself describing it in a bit more detail in the book's preface:
"These short Forms of Prayer are intended to be a help in conducting Family Worship. They are not designed to interfere with the free utterance of prayer by the heads of families in their own words. But it is well known that many pious christians are not well qualified to lead in public worship. ... In providing these forms, therefore, we venture to express the hope, that none will use them formally, slavishly, or exclusively."
Here are some of the other York County connections within this 1894 book:
  • The "Remarkable Prayers" section features a prayer that Samuel Simon Schmucker3 wrote in diary in 1816, while he was principal of York County Academy.4
  • The pages at the end of the book contain advertisements for other products published by P. Anstadt & Sons, including:
    • "Practical Sermons and Addresses" by Dr. Lochman, the pastor of Christ Lutheran Church for nearly a half century (1,900 copies printed)
    • "Grace All-Sufficient," a 10-page sermon by Rev. E. Greenwald, D.D., of Lancaster, Pennsylvania
    • "The Seven Calumnies," described as "A controversy between Rev. P. Anstadt, D.D., and Father Thos. McGovern, (Roman Catholic Bishop), on Transubstantiation, Purgatory, Salvation by Works, Infallibility of the Pope, Political Intrigues, Papal Bulls and Bible Burning." (Price 10 cents)
    • "Justifying Faith," an essay read at the York County Sunday School Conference held in Jefferson, Pennsylvania, in 1884.
    • P. Anstadt & Sons also sold supplies, including Sunday School tickets (12 cents for a sheet of 154 tickets) and unfermented wine (Concord grape juice) for sacramental and medicinal purposes.

Footnotes
1. The February 2011 post titled "Old Dinosaur Illustration of the Day" featured the longest book title I've ever had on Papergreat.
2. The book's copyright page adds that it was "Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1894, by P. ANSTADT & SONS, In the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington."
3. For more on Schmucker, check out "Thanksgiving Day thoughts: Sermon in 1846 from son of York County resonates today" on Jim McClure's York Town Square blog.
4. York County Academy, established in 1787, is now York College.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Sarah wants to know whose black cat from 1968 this is


My daughter Sarah oftens serves as my research assistant when I'm tracking down the history of books or pieces of paper that are featured here. She took special interest in a March post about Devil, a German Shepherd from the past, even writing her own blog post about it.

Now, Sarah has asked me -- and everyone out there reading this -- to help her identify the cat in this old photo. It's going to be a mighty challenge. This isn't a family photo -- we acquired it along with a bunch of other fantastic odds and ends when my wife won this groovy Ephemeraology giveaway earlier this year.

All we know about Sarah's Mystery Cat is:
  • it's black
  • it spent time outdoors
  • it appears in a photo that was developed in December 1968

Nothing is written on the back of the Kodak snapshot, which looks like it was once in a photo album.

That's it. That's all we have to go on. We're looking for a miracle. Does anyone know this cat?

"Sun, Moon and Stars" and a look at Mr. Roy G. Biv

"Sun, Moon and Stars" by Jeanette Smith1 is a staplebound book that was part of the Little Wonder Books series.2 This copy is a 1947 reprint of the 36-page volume, which was originally published in 1935.

The book, aimed at grade-school students, packs plenty of information into its relatively few pages.

Young readers, following the explorations of Polly, Ann and Billy3, learn about Orion's Belt, Polaris, the Milky Way, the phases of the moon, observatories, Bo├Âtes and much more.4

Here's an excerpt:
"Tell us about the stars now. Does it take them a year to go around the sun?" asked Polly.

"No, Polly," said Ann. "We live on the earth. The earth turns around. The earth goes around the sun. We are on the merry-go-round. We see the stars as we go around the sun."
The book also introduces the seven colors of the rainbow -- red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.

Roy G. Biv!

In fact, the book gives us a picture of Roy G. Biv...


Hmmm. I'm not sure how I feel about having an actual image to associate with Roy. He doesn't seem too happy about it, either. And what's up with his hair?

Then again, perhaps this illustration is better than some of the other ones that people have come up with for Mr. Biv, such as this one and this one.

Footnotes
1. Jeanette Smith was from the Southern Oregon State Normal School, which is now Southern Oregon University.
2. Other titles in the Little Wonder Books series from Charles E. Merrill Co. included "Policemen," "The Circus," "The Bakery," "Story of Coal," "Truck Farms," "Our Land of Machines," "Knighthood," "People Who Work for Us," and "Foods from Latin America."
3. Somewhat tangental: Speaking of child characters in vintage books, we ran across the 2010 book "Dick and Jane and Vampires" while we were out shopping today. Obviously inspired by "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" and "Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters," the short book works because it keeps entirely with the spirit of the "Dick and Jane" readers and style of illustrations. A one-note joke, for sure, but it's a hoot.
4. We would like to do some more stargazing as a family, but could use a better spot to check out the skies. We might make a trip this summer to Cherry Springs State Park in Potter County, Pennsylvania, which is considered to have one of the darkest night skies on the East Coast, and is lauded by the International Dark-Sky Association.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A 50-year-old advertisement for
The York Bank and Trust Company


I love this 1962 advertisement for The York Bank & Trust Company, which appears on the back cover of "303 Valuable Household Tips," a 16-page staplebound booklet distributed by Pennsylvania bank that has since been absorbed into M&T Bank.

It was "a really friendly bank" (aren't those diamond logos great?) in the early 1960s, with multiple drive-in offices and locations in York, Dover, Fawn Grove, Mount Wolf, Shiloh, Shrewsbury and Wrightsville.

And, of course, if you did your business with this bank, you'd clearly have more time to relax, just like the care-free lady in the wire lounge chair. (She looks extremely well-manicured for someone with nothing to do, doesn't she? Couldn't she at least be reading a copy of "Lilies of the Field" or "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"?)

As for the rest of the household-tips booklet, my wife has, coincidentally, already done an outstanding job of describing it in this October 2011 Only In York County blog post.

1983 student photos from Journ 260


I'll pick up just about anything that piques my interest when I'm out scouting for old paper. Especially stuff that probably should have been tossed into the trash years ago, but somehow made it into an antiques/junk store, like the one in York New Salem, York County.1

These two photos come from that store. They're student photos from a 1983 college journalism class, Journ 260. (Not sure what college.) The photos have been mounted on black, heavy-stock cardboard.

Since 1983 isn't that long ago, I won't include the student's name here on Papergreat, but his initials are SSY.

The above photo is dated April 26, 1983. That caption states: "Cindy Williams, Rutgers, sizes up Pat McCormack at third base during the Rutgers-Ohio State game."

The instructor's comments, written in ink, are: "Solid frame -- a bit more contrast would really help. Also #47's face could be just a bit lighter. Otherwise a good job."

Here's the second photo:


This one is dated May 10, 1983, and SSY's caption states: "Bill Summers finds a secluded spot on campus to complete an assignment."

And the instructor's comments are: "Nice print of a rather routine image. The pix would be better if the guy was closer to the bottom of the frame."

Here you go, SSY. I've recropped it for you...


Footnote
1. York New Salem's antiques/junk store is a particular favorite of Blake Stough, who authors the the dandy Preserving York blog, which has recently featured posts about Indian Rock Dam and an ice-cream scoop from a funeral home.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Ephemera from my grandfather's 300 game in Easton, Pa., in 1947


My grandfather, John Alexander Otto, bowled a 300 game on November 22, 1947, in Easton, Pennsylvania.1

Afterward, my "Pappy" (pictured here in 1983) received from the American Bowling Congress2 a gold ring, which was accompanied by the small certificate shown above.

The certificate indicates that Pappy bowled his perfect game at Easton Recreation on 17th and Northampton streets. The certificate goes on to state: "This Award, which you may wear with pride, is proof that your tenpin bowling accomplishment has received official recognition by the American Bowling Congress."

My dad, who sent me this old slip of paper, writes:
"American Bowling Congress certificate that accompanied Dad's '300' game ring, which I still wear today. Dad bowled the perfect game in Nov. 1947, 3 months after I was born. In later years (teens) I set pins for Dad at the same bowling alley in Wilson Borough."
Bowling a 300 game was quite a feat in the 1940s. Nowadays, perfect games are much more common. This 2007 article by Jeff Crowley in the Evansville Courier & Press discusses how modern technology has made bowling a 300 game much easier.

Footnotes
1. Famous people from Easton include former heavyweight champion Larry Holmes, talk-show host Sally Jessy Raphael, and Judge Joseph F. Crater, who should call his office if he's reading this.
2. In 2005, the American Bowling Congress, USA Bowling, the Women's International Bowling Congress and Young American Bowling Alliance merged to become the United States Bowling Congress.