Friday, April 26, 2013

Arthur Paddison's excellent drawing an of an eight-pole generator

This fine and precise illustration was on a folded piece of paper that was tucked inside a composition book I came across recently.

It was done by Arthur Paddison, who labeled it "Megnetic [sic] lines in a eight pole generator."

The composition book1 — which is labeled "School District of York, Pa." — is filled with pages of electrical-circuit sketches. The first page starts with two lamps in a series, and it just goes from there with references to double poles, knife switches, snap switches, flush switches and more.

Arthur generally received good scores on his sketches.

There are a few pages that include a date, presumably written by the instructor who was grading the sketches. The dates listed are:
  • 12/3/34
  • 12/19/34
  • 2/7/35

Now, I haven't been able to 100 percent nail down who this Arthur Paddison is. But my best guess is that it's Arthur Henry Paddison. He lived from 1894 to 1983 and died here in York, Pennsylvania. He married Marie Ann Cecelia Brickner in 1914 and they had a daughter that same year.

So, if this composition book belonged to the aforementioned Arthur Henry Paddison, then he was taking this 1934-35 class and doing these assignments when he was in his late thirties. Perhaps he had gone back to school to become a certified electrician? The idea that Arthur was about 40 when he drew these sketches does make some sense. The contents of the composition book are precise and no-nonsense. (Alas, no doodling.) The printing, to me, seems more like that of an adult than a student, with its idiosyncrasies. And he has some spelling issues — megnetic, paralel, controled — that you would probably not see from a high school or college student who was otherwise doing this level of quality work.

1. The name Arthur Paddison is written on the cover in pencil. There are also a few other very faint words written in pencil on the cover — Pete, Ickabot (or Ickobot) and Hairy George.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Old photo cards from Vienna, Austria

These black-and-white photo cards of Vienna, Austria, measure about 2¾ inches by 3½ inches. They are part of a set of 12 that was published decades ago by Donauland (which translates to "Danube country").


This government and town hall building in Vienna was constructed between between 1872 and 1883. Read more about it on Vienna's English-language website.

City panorama featuring St. Stephen's Cathedral

The centuries-old church is well known for its roof, which features 230,000 glazed color tiles.

Die Wiener Höhenstraße

Die Wiener Höhenstraße translates to Vienna High Road. It is a scenic road on the outskirts of the Vienna Woods on the mountain slopes in the west of Vienna. If you want to learn more, one place to start would be the German-language Wikipedia page (which you could filter through Google Translate).

Wiener Riesenrad

The iconic "Viennese giant wheel" is 212-feet tall and was built in 1897. It is the best-known feature at the Wurstelprater amusement park.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Mystic lights, dinosaur bones, free things for 50¢, and a HE-MAN voice

There's never a bad time to delve back into the groovy world of comic-book advertisements. Here is a small collection of them from the January 1968 issue of Marvel Tales.

Some notes and thoughts:
  • You're probably wondering what the heck the "Flashedelic Mystic Light 'Turn-On' Tibetan Green" is? I am, too. But I'm also, in my convoluted mind, connecting this advertisement to "The Great Gatsby."

    The Bardo Co. is based in Great Neck, New York. And Great Neck served as the model for the novel's West Egg, where nouveau riche Jay Gatsby lives. Meanwhile, Tom and Daisy Buchanan live over in East Egg (Sands Point, New York). And the Buchanans have the dock with the ... wait for it ... green light.

    What if F. Scott Fitzgerald had described that much-discussed green light in a bit more detail? What if the final passage of the novel went something like this?
    "And as I sat there brooding on the old, unknown world, I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first picked out the flashedelic Tibetan green turn-on mystic light at the end of Daisy’s dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night.

    "Gatsby believed in the flashedelic Tibetan green turn-on mystic light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter—to-morrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . . And one fine morning——

    "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."
    See how the writing sparkles just a bit more? You're welcome.

  • Moving on, does anyone else see the irony in paying 50 cents for a list of 1,001 things you can get for free?
  • He-Man1 voice instructor Eugene Feuchtinger was fairly famous, and his methods are still available and taught to aspiring singers today through Perfect Voice.2
  • How much of a rip-off and disappointment do you want to bet those "genuine dinosaur bones" were? Do you believe their statement "We send you actual remains of the life that lived over 400 million years ago"?
  • On the other hand, it appears that Lavoptik eye wash is a legitimate product that can still be purchased today! The price has gone up a bit. It's now $96 for 24 four-ounce bottles. Oof.

Here are some previous Papergreat posts involving comic books:

1. He-Man of Masters of the Universe fame didn't come into existence until around 1980. But the word he-man, indicating a strong and virile man, dates to around 1825.
2. In the advertisement, there's an unfortunate typo and it's listed as the PREFECT VOICE INSTITUTE. Perhaps they could teach you to speak like Ford Prefect.

3. There is no Footnote No. 3. What are you still doing here? Go read something educational. Like "The Great Gatsby."

1909 postcard sent to Crab Neck, Va.: "Write me a letter, sweetheart"

This old postcard has seen better days. But we might have significant wrinkles, too, when we're 104 years old.1

My first question: Is this letter-writing woman on a ship? It seems that she is, because those sure look like portholes above her. What do you think?

Beyond the setting, what I like most about the postcard is the very notion of letter-writing. It fits in nicely with the theme of this blog and with the "lost art of letter-writing" post I had in early February.

Meanwhile, the message on the back of the card states:
Oh you Mag. how we do miss you. I certainly did hate to see you leave. I guess Cliff and you are having a good old time arn't you.
The card is postmarked August 11, 1909, in Portsmouth, Virginia.2 It was sent to Miss Maggie Mills — that would be "Mag" — who lived about 40 miles north of Portsmouth in Crab Neck in York County, Virginia.

Crab Neck is no longer Crab Neck. It's now call Seaford, which is a much less interesting name. According to Wikipedia, John Chisman began the Seaford Settlement in 1636 on 600 acres. The area was originally called Crab Neck, Crab Rock and Calamar. The Crab Neck post office was established in 1889 and changed its name to Seaford in 1910 (the year after this postcard was mailed).

1. I'll be 104 in December 2074. Next-generation bloggers reading this in the future should look me up!
2. August 11, 1909, is one day after the birth of famed guitar designer Clarence Leonidas "Leo" Fender.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Celebrating Earth Day 2013

Postcard of Geiranger in Norway. (Read more in this post.)

OK, I'm feeling guilty about this morning's post. Here are some links to posts in the Papergreat archives that fit in much better with the theme of Earth Day.

Postcard of bridge in Takao, Japan. See more postcards from Japan here.

EndoPest and EndoWeed make gardening MORE FUN!

Well, this is not what I originally intended, but it appears I've come up with a fairly inappropriate post for Earth Day.

This is an undated brochure for EndoPest, a garden-dusting product once offered by Swift & Company.1 It first caught my eye because of the "insect" pictured on the cover, which looks like something out of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland."

The pamphlet states that "EndoPest was developed by Swift & Company to bring gardeners the same satisfactory results in pest control that they have learned to expect of Vigoro in plant feeding. EndoPest controls sucking insects, chewing insects, and many fungus diseases. Because it is so complete, diagnosis is seldom necessary."

The pesticide was dispensed with a dust gun (complete with refill cartridges), which apparently made gardening more fun:
"Everything about EndoPest is designed to help you get more fun out of your gardening. To use EndoPest you merely pull off tape at 2 points on the original dust gun package. Then use as a bellows by sliding bottom backwards and forwards while holding top of package firmly in your hand, directing it to the area to be dusted."

Here are some more illustrations and excerpts from the pamphlet.

And, of course, after you've killed all the bugs, you need to kill all the weeds, too. The back of the pamphlet touts "selective lawn weed killer" EndoWeed.

1. It would take a month of research to sort through the tangled web of history involving Swift & Company, Peter Pan peanut butter, Butterball, Esmark, Beatrice Foods, ConAgra, HM Capital Partners, and JBS S.A. It is, of course, disconcerting that this company gave us both meat and weed-and-pest killers over the decades.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Faded cover of "A Ten Ton Cutter" by Harry Castlemon

This faded book cover is from a hardcover edition (probably 1897) of "A Ten Ton Cutter" by Harry Castlemon.

The title/copyright page is missing, which makes it harder to be 100% certain of the date of the publication. But the spine tells me that Philadelphia-based Henry T. Coates & Co. is the publisher, and other sources indicate that company put out an edition of this novel in 1897.

According to a pair of cursive inscriptions1, the book was given as a gift to Roy, from Aunt Jennie, for Christmas 1918.2

Harry Castlemon was the pen name of Charles Austin Fosdick (1842-1915). He fought for the Union during the Civil War and became a popular author of juvenile fiction for boys after the war.

According to Wikipedia, he once stated: "Boys don't like fine literature. What they want is adventure, and the more of it you can get in two-hundred-fifty pages of manuscript, the better fellow you are."

The plot of "A Ten Ton Cutter," according to "The Annual American Catalogue 1898" by Office of the Publishers' Weekly3, is as follows:
"The scene of the story is a watering-place in the neighborhood of Baltimore. A boy named Hank Lufkin is very industrious and earns money for his mother, though his father is given to idleness. A steamboat comes into the dock one day and a young girl falls overboard. Hank rescues her, and her wealthy father rewards him with a ten-ton cutter, with which he proceeds to make a living by carrying excursion parties. His financial success excites envy, and attempts are made to steal his boat, etc."
1. Here are some recent stories regarding the teaching of cursive writing in America's schools:
2. The book recipient's full name might be Roy Simmons, if I'm reading the last name correctly. The gift-giver is either Jennie Carson, Jennie Parson or Jennie Parsons. It's difficult to tell. Based upon some other information, I would guess these folks were from either Virginia or West Virginia.
3. Here is the full entry for "A Ten Ton Cutter" from "The Annual American Catalogue 1898":