Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My favorite Papergreat posts of 2013

Where did 2013 go?!?

As we prepare to bid adieu to this year and sally forth into 2014, I took at quick look back at the nearly 400 posts I had this year and chose 16 of my personal favorites.

Maybe this is the first time you've seen some (or all) of these posts, which I think represent a good sampling about what this blog is all about. (And if you know someone who's never heard of Papergreat, send them this link as a New Year's Eve present. It can serve as a nice introduction to the world of ephemera, and it will certainly be more intellectually stimulating than watching Ryan Seacrest or Kathy Griffin tonight.)

The Incomplete Lada Draskovic
Excerpt: "One the most interesting lives I've come across while writing Papergreat is the that of Lada Draskovic. Her story, as I know it, remains incomplete. And it's not just incomplete, but scattered across several different posts. So I thought I'd compile everything I know about her in one place, for the sake of completeness and perhaps to make it easier for someone who's seeking (or sharing) information about Draskovic and her Sweetniks."

Ink blotter for Ticonderoga pencils with Frances Tipton Hunter artwork
Excerpt: "This old ink blotter for Ticonderoga pencils features an absolutely wonderful illustration by Frances Tipton Hunter. (Confession: It took me some guessing and Googling before I was able to correctly read the blurry artist's signature in the lower-left corner.) Hunter (1896-1957) had a style that was similar to Norman Rockwell and was one of the top female illustrators of her era, contributing 18 covers to The Saturday Evening Post in the 1930s and 1940s."

Connecting with the world via postcards in 2013
Excerpt: "If you love mailing and receiving postcards as a way of connecting with the world in a non-electronic way — even in this day of rising stamp prices and shrinking postal delivery — PostMuse's Orphaned Postcard Project is one wonderful effort you can get involved with. ... Another great website to check out if want to mail and receive postcards is Postcrossing. Its motto is simple: 'Send a postcard and receive a postcard back from a random person in the world!'"

(This ended up being the first of more than a dozen Postcrossing-themed posts in 2013.)

Caesar Rodney High School's 1933 baseball results
Excerpt: "Another interesting thing about this cover is that it came pre-printed with illustrations of athletes playing basketball, tennis, football and baseball. The original owner printed the names of athletes who were popular in the early 1930s next to each illustration. ... Two of the names, though, proved to be more challenging. Written next to the two basketball players were Gumy Faulkner and Reds McAllister."

Reader comments: Stamp collecting, mysteries solved & Whirley mugs
(Some of my favorite posts are the ones in which YOU are the star. I love it when you send me your comments, feedback and reminiscences.)

Excerpt: "I still remember coming home from Noel Elementary School (in York, Pennsylvania) one afternoon when I was in second grade in 1954. I was walking down the 300 block of East Poplar Street, where I lived, and I happened to see an orange and black tiger striped envelope in a garbage can which advertised the stamps from around the world that were included inside. Gleefully I snatched that packet from the garbage can and clutched it in my hands all the way home. That day so very long launched a lifelong joyful learning experience for me."

1916 postcard from Norristown's State Hospital for Insane
Excerpt: "Some of the therapy options that were available for the first patients, many of which were occupation-oriented, included a bakery, a billiards room, a carpentry shop, a working farm, a garden, a mattress shop, painting, shoemaking and weaving. Patients could also play croquet and tennis. On the other hand, according to the hospital's website, electroshock therapy, insulin coma therapy, and lobotomies were methods of treatment during the 1930s and 1940s."

Rupert Croft-Cooke observes Ruth Manning-Sanders with the circus
Excerpt: "Driving to Petworth the next morning I passed the Count with the monkey cart and his little cavalcade of ponies, and beside him on his box-seat Ruth was perched. She always drove with the Count in the morning when she was with us, loving the trot of the horses, the fresh smell of the air which is lost to motorists, and the journey made longer. With a gypsy-like scarf round her head, she would sit there chatting with the Count, waving to the successive lorries, waggons and cars as they passed, and happy as a human being could well be in the morning sunlight with a pleasant day ahead."

Postcard featuring my dream house
Excerpt: "Cozy stone house? Check.
Built into the surrounding environment? Check.
Sod roof? Check.
Goat on sod roof? CHECK!!
This Plastichrome postcard by Colourpicture1 features a photograph by Hugh MacRae Morton."

Graphic design: 8 cool company logos from old magazine ads
Excerpt: "Today, for something a little different, here are eight company logos pulled from advertisements featured in the pages of Ladies' Home Journal in 1919 and 1936. I chose these because I thought the graphic design and typography used by these companies were creative and worth sharing here in 2013."

Dubble Bubble Quiz tucked away inside an old schoolbook
Excerpt: "Today's find is an old Dubble Bubble gum wrapper that was tucked away inside the handsome 1936 textbook Elson-Gray Basic Readers Book Six. The book, published by Scott, Foresman and Company, features 400+ pages of reading selections, including 'Starting a Wild-Life Sanctuary' by Dallas Lore Sharp, 'Pandora's Box' by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and 'The Village Blacksmith' by Henry W. Longfellow. The flattened gum wrapper measures 2½ by 1¾ inches. In addition to the cartoon representation of Jonah and the whale, which serves as the Dubble Bubble Quiz."

Hay llamas! 1950s illustrated map of Catskill Game Farm
Excerpt: "The zoo was in operation for 73 years, from 1933 to 2006. It was owned and run by members of the Lindemann family (including founders Roland and Kathryn) during that entire time. It was officially recognized as a zoo in 1958, which allowed for it to expand its collection of animals. The entire site spanned more than 900 acres, but the Game Farm itself consisted of about 136 acres that were open to the public from spring through autumn."

Esther (Bassick) Whittaker and the Gettysburg Address
Excerpt: "And so Esther Elizabeth Bassick — the future Esther E. Whittaker — was born at 4:30 a.m. on September 4, 1910, and weighed in at 7½ pounds. William Howard Taft was the President of the United States and it had been a little less than 47 years since Lincoln's famous speech. ... She died earlier this year. ... At age 102."

The Nimoy Award for 1967 goes to...
Excerpt: "After a short wait, in which we had chewed our fingernails down to the third knuckle, an elevator door opened, and we all looked up — it was him! He was wearing a dark suit with a kind of turtle neck affair. A tremendous black cape was slung over his arm. We were all sitting on a small red velvet couch when he approached us. We all froze, and as a result, we probably had expressions on our faces akin to the Three Stooges."

Hurry and get this old-fashioned ice skating party for just $1
Excerpt: "So realistic, they almost spring to life. Ma and Pa sit bundled in their sleigh as their snowball flinging lads and lasses frolic and gay villages whirl across the ice. Authentic Mid-Eighties costume design, in true, bright, rich colors. ... You and friends will enjoy this rare bit of Holiday Charm that sends you on a sentimental journey back through many Christmases. Use year after year — on mantel, table, near tree. Durably constructed of dimensional plastic."

Helen Myers and the dandy 1926-27 West York girls' basketball team
Excerpt: "Myers was more than just a basketball standout. Her full name, according to the yearbook, was Helen Romaine Myers and her nickname was 'Hellie.' She was her class secretary all four years, was a member of the Athletic Association, was the sports editor of Blue and White (the bi-weekly student newspaper) as a senior, was the business manager of the Ladies' Home Journal Campaign, sang with the Glee Club, competed on the track and volleyball teams, participated in the minstrel show, and was a member of the Alpha Beta Literary Society."

Eight awesome things you'll never find inside e-books
Excerpt: "I'm a Books Guy. Books you can hold in your hands and take anywhere without worrying about battery life or the elements. Books, too, are more than just the sum of the words written by the author. They are full of other treasures. The kind of treasures that, to my knowledge, will never exist with e-books.

"As a Books Guy, I live for those discoveries within old books."

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