Saturday, November 17, 2012

3 colorful vintage Thanksgiving postcards featuring turkeys

Have you decided how you're going to prepare your Thanksgiving turkey yet?

Above: This one was sent to Mrs. Chas. Kennard of Glenelg, Howard County, Maryland. Edna Walker's note was simply: "From a little friend." (Is it just me, or does the turkey already look headless?)

Above: There's no writing on this postcard. It was printed in Germany.

Above: This one was sent to Miss Bessie Brown (probably not the singer) and was postmarked on November 21, 1907, in Baltimore, Maryland. The note is written by Katherine K. (last name could be Kieh or Kelh) and it states: "Hoping you are feeling much better."

Friday, November 16, 2012

Ruth Manning-Sanders rarity from 1930: "The Crochet Woman"

I'm not sure which I'd love to have more: This gorgeous dust jacket from Ruth Manning-Sanders' 1930 novel "The Crochet Woman" or the novel itself.

The book, published in 1930, is one of Manning-Sanders' first novels (she started her career primarily as a poet).

"The Crochet Woman" is described in several places online as a "novel of the English countryside and the works of a modern day witch, who accomplished with gossip and innuendo what earlier witches did with spells and curses."

To me, it sounds like a less-vicious version of Stephen King's "Needful Things".

One person who has read the book is a Manning-Sanders fan named Ann of the BellaCrochet blog. In a May 2011 blog post, she talks about how she stumbled upon the book and then gives a short review:
"When the book arrived about a week later, I sat down and began to read. The story drew me in immediately, even though I quickly learned that the crochet woman (we never learn her name, she is always referred to as 'the crochet woman') is not a good person. In fact, she is quite evil, a witch, who uses her crochet work to cast spells on the poor folk who live in the countryside around her.

Here is a quote from the inside flap of the cover:

'Tart as a cooking apple, full flavored as wild honey, is this tale of the English countryside, the story of a modern witch who works with gossip and innuendo in place of curses and spells. Knotting hatred of youth into her endless pattern, she bestirs herself to bring havoc into the lives of her young neighbors, and almost succeeds.'

I read the book in a single day, and I must say I enjoyed it very much. The ending was just what I had hoped it would be (no spoilers here, even though the book has been out of print for more than 80 years.) If you ever happen to run across a copy, be sure to pick it up. I am am sure you will enjoy it, too!"
I think that just adds to my desire to read this book some day. It does, indeed, sound like the unnamed crochet woman might have been an ancestor of Leland Gaunt. Cool.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Stock photo of pilgrims and a dead turkey from a 1940 magazine

Last month, I blogged about an unfortunate advertisement for white lead paint in the November 1940 issue of Agricultural Leaders' Digest.

Today, with a too-early Thanksgiving fast approaching, I thought I'd share the cover of that issue.

It's a Lambert Photo, and it features two people dressed up in Pilgrim garb. The man has what looks like a blunderbuss over one shoulder and a large, dead turkey slung over the other shoulder.

Clearly, they have a wonderful Thanksgiving feast ahead of them, as long as the woman doesn't burn the Stove Top stuffing and has access to a can opener so that she can prepare the cranberry sauce.

And they'll need a dessert, too. Perhaps the woman in this photo — from another page in the same magazine — will come over with her large pumpkin and they can make some pie.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

York, Pa., news items and classifieds from an August 1944 issue of Grit

History time! Here are some York County, Pennsylvania, news items that appeared in the August 20, 1944, issue of Grit.

  • "Arrest of the 'king pin' in York County's counterfeit gasoline rationing coupon racket was promised by district OPA [Office of Price Administration] officials when they addressed approximately 150 local retail liquid fuel dealers during a meeting at the Y.M.C.A. That apprehension of the 'big shot' was imminent was declared by Marvin H. Cullison, special district investigator, who added that a 'lot of action' will result in York County, where one-half of the bogus coupons in the ten-county Harrisburg district have been found in circulation..."
  • "More than 500 employes [sic] in York's biggest munitions plants received summons from deputy collectors of the Internal Revenue Bureau on the first day of a drive to enforce the law requiring motorists to display the $5 federal automobile use stamp."
  • "The only WASP [Women Airforce Service Pilots] from York County is Miss Mary Sophia Reineberg, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Reineberg, who graduated with the fourteenth class to complete flight training in army planes under air force supervision at Sweetwater, Tex. Before joining the WASPs she was a surgeon-chiropodist for six years and logged 165 hours of private pilot time in three years."
  • "At 18 Robert H. Kauffman, son of Mr. and Mrs. Emerson L. Kauffman, of York, finds himself a soldier for the third time. He enlisted at 15 but was discharged when military authorities learned his real age. Later, at 16, he was accepted again and served at Camp Lee, Va., when he was turned out and now he has become of age for the army."

* * *
And here are a few of the classified advertisements from that same issue:
  • HIGHEST PRICES FOR CUT HUMAN HAIR, 10 in. up. Check mailed on receipt. No combings. Zauder Bros., 115 W. 47th St., New York.
  • MAKE UP TO $25-$35 WEEK AS A TRAINED practical nurse! Learn quickly at home. Booklet free. Chicago School of Nursing, Dp. M-8, Chicago.
  • BECOME A FOOT CORRECTIONIST. MAKE up to $100 week. Easy Terms for home training. Arch support making alone offers rich rewards. Free Booklet. Stephenson System, 44 Back Bay, Boston, Mass.
Finally, there was this classified advertisement:

I'm not entirely sure what J.B. Cushing was up to, but it seems a little creepy. And expensive. One dollar in the summer of 1944 would be about $13 today. That's a lot of clams to have a stranger answer three questions. Preying on lonely hearts, perhaps?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Great links: Terrific three-part "St. Elsewhere" retrospective

Indiewire's Edward Copeland recently published a superb three-part anniversary retrospective titled "Returning to St. Eligius: St. Elsewhere, 30 Years Later." Here are the links to the three articles (each of which is spread over multiple pages):1

The articles are full of fresh interviews and insider information that's especially geared toward fans of the show. There's a lot of stuff that I already knew (such as the fact that David Paymer was originally cast as Dr. Wayne Fiscus). But there are also a lot of tidbits that were new to me.2 Here are a few:
  • An unfilmed, proposed ending leaped 25 years into the future — to 2013 — with Dr. Daniel Auschlander, dying of liver cancer since the show’s debut in October 1982, still alive at age 101.
  • Producer/director Mark Tinker describes how the show would pull off single-take elevator shots that gave the illusion of the characters moving between floors:
    “We would also do things like walk into the elevator and then have a scene take place in the elevator that never stopped, that never had a cut. The characters were in the foreground and the doors in the background were facing out. While they were playing the scene, we’d switch out what was outside the elevator, so when they stepped out, it would look like a different place and make it seem like the elevator really worked.”
  • In Part 2, Copeland advances a fascinating (and plausible) theory for why Dr. Jack Morrison's character, portrayed by David Morse, suffered trauma after trauma during the course of the series. (It involves the short-lived NBC dog series "Here's Boomer.")
  • Actress Florence Halop, who played caustic long-term patient Mrs. Hufnagel, would apologize to actors after scenes in which her character was rude to their characters.3
  • Copeland details another behind-the-scenes trick: "The performers also had to learn complicated medical terms as well. When Stephen Furst first began playing Dr. Axelrod, he couldn’t wrap his vocal cords around some tricky words but, thanks to a very cooperative extra in an ER scene, Furst employed the old Brando trick and taped the lines to the side of the woman’s face where he could read them."
Copeland's article is also layered with numerous video clips from "St. Elsewhere," which is all the more reason to go check out all three parts.

I'm sharing one Vimeo clip here, though. Some readers have asked me about the series' final scene and where they can watch it. Here you go. This clip, in fact, includes the final five minutes of the final episode.

1. I am annoyed by web articles that are spread over multiple pages without offering a "Single Page" reading option. (The New York Times handles this well.) But it's not quite as annoying as my least-favorite web article — the slideshow that exists as a slideshow for no reason other than to drive pageviews. Those really burn my biscuits, as Dr. Craig might say.
2. My two previous posts on St. Elsewhere are:

3. My favorite Mrs. Hufnagel moment comes when fatherly Dr. Donald Westphall berates the hospital staff for neglecting her, and then goes to see her, only to find himself the subject of her acidic tongue. Actor Ed Flanders' reaction is priceless.

Mystery photo: 3 women at the beach

I don't know anything about this photograph. Picked it up at a flea market. The image above is a cropped version of the photo; I removed some sky and sand so that we could better see the three young women in the center.

The only thing on the back of the photo is the number 91 written in pencil.

Here's a better look at their faces.

Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Perhaps the most ridiculous book cover produced in the late 1970s

I'm not kidding here, folks. My family and co-workers know I'm prone to hyperbole, but I'm pretty confident in calling out 1978's "Easy Gardens" as the most ridiculous book cover produced in the late 1970s.

I guess you could quibble on the adjective if you want — most horrifying, silliest, awfullest, most laughable, absurdest, etc. ...

This cover it has it all. Creepy guy grinning straight at us. Seventies hair. Wide collar. Weed whacker. Safety goggles. Brick path. Random partial rainbow. All in vibrant 1970s colors.

This might have to be my new Twitter avatar. What do you think?

Luggage label from Hotel Europäischer Hof in Baden-Baden

This is an unused luggage label for Hotel Europäischer Hof in Baden-Baden, West Germany. (Note the black-red-yellow flag for the Federal Republic of Germany in the upper-left corner.) The label probably dates to the 1950s or early 1960s, and it measures 4¼ inches by 3 inches.

Baden-Baden is a spa town located in the western foothills of the Black Forest (Schwarzwald).1

The hotel is still around. In fact, it's been around for about 170 years. It's now the Steigenberger Europäischer Hof. It has 120 rooms, five suites, shoeshine service, a hairdresser, a golf concierge and much more. Here's a link to its current brochure.

This is the first hotel luggage label I've feature on Papergreat. There are entire blogs and galleries devoted to this ephemera niche. Here are a few of them:

1. Yesterday afternoon's post included a vintage postcard of young women in the Black Forest. I think I would like to retire to a quiet little town in or near the Black Forest. That sounds nice. Not Baden-Baden, though. It's a little too rowdy, with its population of about 55,000, plus spas and casinos.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Tonight's coolest thing: Polish poster for "Terror of Mechagodzilla"

The hat tip for unearthing this awesome 1970s Polish poster for "Terror of Mechagodzilla"1 goes to the folks at Geppi's Entertainment Museum in Baltimore.

Go like Geppi's Facebook page for all sorts of cool stuff like this.

1. The original Japanese title of the movie is "Mekagojira no gyakushu." It has also been known as:
  • Die Brut des Teufels (West Germany)
  • Distruggete Kong! La terra è in pericolo (Italy)
  • Les monstres du continent perdu (France)
  • Les ogres de l'espace (France)
  • Monsters from an Unknown Planet
  • Monsters from the Unknown Planet
  • The Escape of Mechagodzilla
  • The Escape of Megagodzilla

5 old postcards featuring traditional outfits from around the world

One of the cool (and educational) things about postcards is that they can teach us about cultures and clothing all over the world. Check out these outfits featured on a handful of vintage postcards...

1. Viana do Castelo, Portugal

2. Volendam, Netherlands

3. Performance of khon (dramatic dance) in Bangkok, Thailand

4. St. Peter in the Black Forest (Schwarzwald), Germany

5. Greek island of Kastelorizo