Saturday, March 16, 2013

Weekend Reads: "The Shining," "Zork," "Groundhog Day" and more

Even though I missed #FridayReads yesterday, I wanted to share some recent newspaper and magazine articles (some of them decidedly offbeat) that I've come across recently.

For those of you in the northeastern United States being barraged by one more big winter storm, maybe these reading suggestions will help you pass the time this weekend.

ALSO: Please share what you're reading — books, magazine articles, blogs, pamplets, billboards, etc. — in the comments section below. I'm always looking for new things to read!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Vintage postcard: Lá Fhéile Pádraig ("The Day of the Festival of Patrick")

I hope everyone has a happy Saint Patrick's Day this weekend! This postcard, more than 100 years old1, has wonderful green hues and an Irish theme. The gold text across the bottom states: "WITH HIS WITTY CONVERSATION HE THEN FORMS CLOSER RELATIONS." (He had better be careful, though, because the lovely lass has a knife.)

1. The text across the bottom states: "DESIGN COPYRIGHT, 1908, BY M.W. TAGGART, N.Y." According to the Metropolitan Postcard Club of New York City, M.W. Taggart was in business from 1905 to 1910 and was "a large publisher of greeting and holiday postcards many of which had humorous or patriotic themes. Seaside cards and those depicting Blacks were also common. Many of their postcards were embossed."

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Clippings from the October 1935 issues of the St. Paul Dispatch, Part 4

These clippings from the October 28-31, 1935, issues of the St. Paul (Minnesota) Dispatch pertain to the lives and work of women more than 75 years ago.

Situation Wanted — Female

These fascinating old classified advertisements feature women seeking employment handling laundry, dressmaking, housework, stenography, cooking and more.

Excerpt from Women's Exchange Column

I had never heard of this "blank book" published by Mark Twain before. I wonder if any of them still exist? If they do, can you imagine all the wonderful tidbits of ephemera they would be filled with? According to this post on Ptak Science Books, Twain tried to patent both blank books for scrapbooking and — get this — a brassiere clasp. So there. Go win "Jeopardy!"

Chocolate cookies recipe

Finally, from the Dispatch, here's a recipe from Mrs. C.C.C. for frosted chocolate cookies. They sound pretty awesome.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Clippings from the October 1935 issues of the St. Paul Dispatch, Part 3

Here are a trio of unrelated (but entertaining) clippings in this week's continuing series from the October 28-31, 1935, issues of the St. Paul (Minnesota) Dispatch.

Peter Lorre's expensive shower

This amusing anecdote involves Peter Lorre, the star of "M" and supporting actor in such famous films as "The Maltese Falcon," "Casablanca," "Arsenic and Old Lace" and "The Comedy of Terrors" (with Vincent Price).

A $1,500 bill in 1935, by the way, is the equivalent of about $25,000 today. Or the average teenager's monthly cellphone bill.

Northland Greyhound advertisement

These bus tickets were pretty pricey, too. In 2012 dollars, they translate to, approximately:
  • St. Paul to New York: $322
  • St. Paul to Detroit: $151
  • St. Paul to Seattle, Los Angeles or San Francisco: $454
  • St. Paul to Huron, South Dakota: $82.50 (It's not entirely clear why one would take a bus trip to Huron. In 1935, the World's Largest Pheasant hadn't even been built yet.)

Halloween vandalism radio message

Finally, I think this one is self-explanatory. The Commissioner of Public Safety would like to have, ahem, a word with all the young ghoul-and-ghost pranksters. (Some history on WTCN 1250 can be found here.)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Clippings from the October 1935 issues of the St. Paul Dispatch, Part 2

We're diving into the world of sports for today's clippings from the October 28-31, 1935, issues of the St. Paul (Minnesota) Dispatch.

Maroons find help for Jay Berwanger;
he's Persian passer

"Persian passer" is probably not a phrase you'd see used today. The University of Chicago quarterback in question is Omar Fareed. He went on to be something far more important than an athlete — he was a doctor. This 1985 Los Angeles Times article details his missionary work.

Jay Berwanger is, of course, a famous figure in American football history, and he fits nicely into today's second clipping...

N.Y. club will honor outstanding gridder

This article touches on the creation of what would become the Heisman Trophy. The first recipient of the (then) Downtown Athletic Club Trophy was Berwanger, who was honored in December 1935.

Heavy drinking at grid games charged

You might think the problem of drinking at sporting events is bad today. It might have been even worse in the past, as evidenced by this sobering article, which came less than two years after the repeal of Prohibition.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Clippings from the October 1935 issues of the St. Paul Dispatch, Part 1

As a short series this week, I'm presenting many clippings from the October 28-31, 1935, issues of the St. Paul (Minnesota) Dispatch (now the St. Paul Pioneer Press).1 Topics will include odd news, sports, entertainment, advertising, recipes and international news.

Reputed Betsy Ross descendant
declines allegiance to flag

The case of Jehovah's Witness Charles Newcomb. It appears that he quickly apologized.

Meat added to menu for Dionne babies

The Dionne quintuplets were born on May 28, 1934. Two of them — Annette Lillianne Marie and Cécile Marie Émilda — are still alive today. This article documents their consumption of veal liver and their fledgling attempts to walk.

Groundhogs taste like rabbits, hunter says

So there you have it! If you're interested in some groundhog recipes, check out these wild game recipes. (Links to recipes for alligator, bear, moose, squirrel and ostrich are also included.)

1. Previous posts featuring clippings from these Dispatch newspapers include:

Sunday, March 10, 2013

"Atomic Explosion and the End of All Things" By H.E.M. Snyder

This staplebound booklet — "Atomic Explosion and the End of All Things" — was published with an initial press run of 10,000 copies in 1946 by H.E.M. Snyder.

It had a price of 30 cents.

Snyder, a pastor, moved around Pennsylvania a good bit. According to the title page, he was "Formerly Teacher of Bible and Evangelism in The Lancaster School of The Bible and School of Theology, Lancaster, Pa., and Pastor of Trinity Evangelical Congregational Church, Manheim, Pa."

There are also two ink stamps for H.E.M. Snyder on the title page. The first one has been crossed out with crayon and indicates he served as a pastor in Royersford, Pennsylvania.1

The second stamp reads:
H.E.M. Snyder, Pastor
1906 Carlisle Road
York, Pa.

I'm not sure if 1906 Carlisle Road was once a church, or if that's Snyder's residential address when he resided in York County. (My friends at Preserving York or Only in York County might be able to help with that question.)

The religious booklet discusses the fears and questions that had been raised since the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, on August 5, 1945. Snyder writes:
"No event since the death and resurrection of Christ has left such an impress universally upon the mind of man. Everywhere one can hear the question being asked: 'Is this the end of civilization? Does this mean the end of the world?' In this pamphlet we propose to answer this question, and to show some of the lessons God would teach us through the increased knowledge gained through the splitting of the atom."
Some of Snyder's discussion points include:
  • I. The atomic bomb demonstrates the reality of the unseen. Snyder writes: "Scientists have gone down into the infinitesimal, invisible specks of matter called atoms to unlock the secret of God's power. ... They went into the atom, split its nucleus, and released the energy of the sun. Just think for a moment. The atom is so tiny that there are billions and trillions and quadrillions of them on the tip of your nose.2 And man picks out one of these invisible specks, splits it and releases its power. How did the scientist ever dream that such a tiny thing existed?"
  • II. The atomic bomb confirms the truth of the word of God.
  • III. The atomic bomb also gives us a good conception of the power of the son of God. Here, we get a little bit of biographical insight about Snyder: "Before the Lord called the writer to the Holy Ministry, he was employed by the New Jersey Zinc Company. Adjoining our office was a chemical laboratory. Here we heard the discussions of some of the leading research scientists. ... Here we first learned that in our universe there is a system of more than 90 elements, constructed of tiny, invisible atoms of different weight and construction."
  • IV. The advent of the atomic bomb has made Christians yearn more intently for the advent of our Lord, and to pray more fervently the prayer of John: "Even so, come, Lord Jesus."
  • V. Finally, atomic explosion makes it easier for us to see how God is going to bring this world to an end by fire. Snyder writes: "If man, with all his limitations and sin, can invent a bomb that is capable of destroying entire cities, how easy it should be for men to believe that the everlasting God, the Great Creator of all things visible and invisible, can make weapons of destruction so horrible that man's atomic bombs in comparison will be as paper caps that a little boy shoots on the fourth of July in a toy pistol! ... [But] our ominipotent Lord will keep the new man-made bomb under His control. I am not afraid it will get out of His hands."

The booklet concludes with the music and lyrics for two songs written by Snyder in 1935: "He is Coming" and "Not Ashamed of Jesus." The latter was co-written by Ruth Mae Snyder and Marian L. Snyder.

1. A Google search also places Snyder in Easton at one point.
2. Paging Amedeo Avogadro! Also, later in the booklet, Snyder changes from "billions of trillions of quadrillions" of atoms on the tip of one's nose to "quintillions of quadrillions of billions" of atoms on the tip of one's nose. Carl Sagan has nothing on Snyder.