Saturday, May 18, 2013

Two Pennsylvania postcards: Shohola and Mauch Chunk

Related post: 10 great Pennsylvania postcards

I have two vintage Pennsylvania postcards for you this morning.

First up is this postcard of a man and his dog that pictures Shohola. The note on the front of the card states: "Dear Etta - Here for the day & it is raining like mad. Dot."

The card was mailed in 1906. There are three postmarks, for some reason. The stamp has a faded 1906 postmark from Shohola. And there are two Brooklyn, New York, postmarks — one from 3:30 p.m. on May 28, 1906, and one from 5 p.m. on May 28, 1906.

The card is addressed to Miss Etta Flower of 790 Classon Avenue in Brooklyn.

Shohola Township is a small municipality within Pike County along the border in northeastern Pennsylvania. It was a historically significant location for sawmills, dams and bridges.

Unfortunately, the township has also been the site of at least a dozen major railroad accidents. The worst was The Great Shohola Train Wreck in July 1864, which resulted in at least 60 deaths. The dead, according to Wikipedia, were buried in unmarked graves next to the track, where they remained until 1911, when they were moved to the Woodlawn National Cemetery in Elmira, New York.

Recreationally, Shohola Township had the Shohola Glen Amusement Park from 1886 until 1907. Today, it is home of Lake Owego Camp for Boys and Camp Shohola for Boys.

For more about Shohola Township, check out the Shohola Area Historical Information Web Page.

* * *

This postcard features Mauch Chunk, Pennsylvania, "from the mountain road."

The name Stanley is written on the front. The back of the card was postmarked twice — at 8:30 a.m. on September 4, 1906, and at 7 a.m. on September 5, 1906, in Millbury, Massachusetts. It is addressed to Miss Lotta Ferguson of Millbury.

Mauch Chunk is now, of course, call Jim Thorpe and is the home of that famous athlete's remains. But maybe not for long. A federal judge recently ruled that Thorpe’s two surviving sons had the right under American Indian ancestral law to move his remains back to Oklahoma, where Thorpe was raised. What that would mean for the town's name remains unclear.

For more on Mauch Chunk/Jim Thorpe, see this homeschooling/travel guide on Our School at Home.

1. Shohola is the Lenape word for "Place of Peace."

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Old notebook documenting trips to the general store

This is the front cover of a skinny, pocket-sized notebook that belonged to someone named ABABB long ago. I'm guessing that's actually A. Babb, but an educated guess is all that is.

Every page of the book is filled with lists of groceries and sundries and their prices, written out in pencil.

There are no years mentioned, so we're left to guess at when this is from. Some of the most repeated items are crackers, eggs, lard, apples, cookies, thread and milk.

Here are some of the listed items and their prices:
  • 1 peck apples, .20
  • Braid, .05
  • Thread, .05
  • Tobacco, .10
  • Matches, .04
  • Rhubarb, .15
  • Eggs, .10
  • Lard, .28
  • Pork, .36
  • Beans, .09
  • Mustard, .10
  • Currants, .10
  • Crackers, 10
  • Peaches, .13
  • Oil, .14
  • Cocoa, .25
  • Flannel, .26
  • Candy, .05
  • 16¾ # Ham, 2.36
  • Rice, .16
  • Raisins, .10
  • Beef, .56
  • Wood, .40
  • Stamps, .04
  • Salts, .05
  • Hoof Nails, .03
  • Shirts, .20
  • Drawers, .20
  • Stockings, .10
  • Overalls, .50
  • Shoes, .55
  • Suspenders, .25
  • Clams, .18
  • Sardines, .25

Shown below are two side-by-side pages from the notebook. The numbers in the far-left column on each page refer to the day of the month.

And so the notebook was used precisely as it was intended. The cover itself states: "Dry Goods and Groceries. Fancy Goods. Notions. Hardware, Crockery, Hats & Caps. Boots & Shoes, Clothing, Etc."

Actually, it wasn't used for all of those things. It wasn't used for ... notions.

I'm a big fan of using pocket notebooks for jotting down notions. I have Moleskine notebooks filled with all sorts of passing thoughts, lists, Big Ideas and oddities. Trust me when I say that those will make for some very interesting fodder for future historians and ephemeraologists.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Here's hoping that Pixlr is a cure for blogger's block

I'm not sure what it's called when an ephemera blogger has writer's block.

I'm not even sure an ephemera blogger can even claim that he or she has writer's block, and lump himself or herself in with real writers, like F. Scott Fitzgerald and Charles Schulz.

Whatever it is — blogger's block?? — I'm stymied in my quest for words so far this week.

So I amused myself tonight by fooling around in Pixlr and creating this collage featuring images from posts that I've started and pondered, but not yet finished. Some day, hopefully, all of these will get their own posts.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Caption contest: Win a bundle of vintage paper!

It's been many months since the last caption contest, so here you go!

Post your best caption suggestions in the comments section below, along with your name. The winner, as chosen by me, will receive a collection of assorted ephemera. I'll take entries through Monday, May 20.

This illustration, by the way, is from the 1956 schoolbook "At Home," which was published by Scott, Foresman and Company. It was written by Paul R. Hanna and Genevieve Anderson Hoyt. It was illustrated by Beatrice and Leonard Derwinski.

"Burlesque in the Church," a strongly worded 1970s religious tract

Here's an excerpt from "Burlesque in the Church," a religious leaflet1 published about four decades ago by the Gospel Tract Society of Independence, Missouri, and stamped by the North Hills Bible Church here in York County:
"BURLESQUE ... striptease ... bare exposure of the female body to the eyes of man. ... Used to be men had to pay to see such acts. BUT NOT IN THE 70's. Yes ... burlesque has now moved out into the open .. in the schools ... on the buses ... in the streets ... and yes, today most any young man can see almost anything he wants in the way of female exposure ... yes, you guessed it ... BURLESQUE HAS MOVED INTO THE CHURCH.

"It hasn't been too long since most any self-respecting girl would not allow her dress to be even a portion of an inch above her knees ... but things have changed. Yes ... used to be only the girls of ill repute would even dare to expose even half an inch above their knees when sitting down, but now ... even the deacon's daughter .. the Sunday School teacher ... the preacher's daughter ... in some instances can be seen with any number of inches of bare flesh exposed for any man to see ... free of charge. Many times lace on undergarments ... portions of milady's2 panties are clearly visible ... further adding to the free exhibition that she is giving to anyone who cares to look on."
The tract continues to pull no punches in its conclusion.

So, can we safely file this one under "Every generation blames the younger generation for the moral decline of society"? (With a little fire and brimstone, sexism and misogyny mixed in for good measure.)

What are your thoughts? And no "Footloose" references, please.

* * *

Interestingly here in York County, a debate over moral standards and a church-going community are intertwined again this month in a story involving a proposed strip club that would be in close proximity to a church and other family-friendly businesses. Here are links to the York Daily Record/Sunday News' coverage:

1. This is the second old religious tract featured this year. This first one was back in January.
2. Milady?? What writer was still using milady in the late 20th century?