Saturday, May 25, 2013

Moo! Vintage postcard of cows from Belle Isle Zoo in Michigan

Joan and I have returned from three days of happy meandering across central Pennsylvania. So I thought this old postcard featuring cows, one of the items we found during this trip, would be quite appropriate.

The card was postmarked in March 1912 in Detroit, Michigan. The following caption is printed on the back:
1242 — THE SACRED COWS OF INDIA, one of the very many interesting species of animals to be found in Belle Isle Zoo. From time immemorial the Hindoos of India have worshipped the Sacred Cow.
Belle Isle Nature Zoo still exists and is part of the Detroit Zoo. It does not appear that cows are still among the animals to be found there. There are, however, fallow deer, many types of turtles and Chilean Conception Spiders (which pretty much rules out any possibility of an Otto Family Visit).

Meanwhile, the message on the back of this vintage postcard is written in tight and tiny cursive. The card was addressed to Mrs. Leroy J. Skinner of Potter Brook in Tioga County, Pennsylvania. The message states:
"Detroit, Mich. Mar. 12th, 1912. Dear Mother, Just a line to say Hello! Everything fine. Quite a snow-fall here last night. Hope all at home are well. Will write later. Address me 425 Hammond Bldg. until further notice. Take good care of yourself. 'Snug' winter weather here. Very best wishes. [Signature unreadable.]"

Friday, May 24, 2013

And now, this public service announcement from Ma-Le-Na

Apparently, eternal life is that simple.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Mrs. Vertrees Young's recipe for partridge pie

This recipe comes from the Covered Wagon Cookbook, a staplebound booklet published in Louisiana by the Washington Parish Fair Historical Society in 1959.

The president of the society was Mr. Vertress Young, who provided a number of recipes featured in the booklet. In the introduction, she writes:
"We, hereby, dedicate this little booklet of Old Fashioned Recipes to our loved ones, who came across our Country in covered wagons, bringing with them their Mother's Mother's recipes for good cooking. A great factor in making pioneer life happy and making modern living happy is good food."
Here is one of those recipes...

Partridge pie
  • 12 doves (partridges)
  • 1 bunch minced parsley
  • 1 onion chopped fine
  • 3 whole cloves
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 pound salt pork diced
  • 2 tbsp. browned flour
  • 1 pint diced potatoes
  • Butter — size of an egg
  • Rich pie crust

Split birds in half — put in saucepan with 2 quarts of water, when it boils, skim off all scum that rises, then add salt and pepper, parsley, onion, cloves and salt pork. Let all boil until tender, using care that there be enough water to cover birds, thicken with flour and let boil up. Stir in butter, remove from fire and cool. Line sides of buttered pudding dish with crust. Lay in birds, then some potatoes, then birds and so on until the dish is full. Pour over the gravy. Put on the top crust with a split cut in center and bake in hot oven 15 or 20 minutes.

* * *

Other recipes in the booklet include Preacher Custard; Aunt Lillie's Fried, Battered Okra; Great-Great Grandmother's Whole Artichoke Pickle; Eierroehrli; Hopping John; Likker Pudding; and Otranto Pine Bark Stew.

If any of those intrigue you, let me know and I'll include them in a future post.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Surely, anyone who was a kid from 1975-1985 remembers these1

These two items are featured in the 1977 Matchbox catalog.

First up is the Collectors Carry Case, the top-of-the line luggage for you car collection. These were for the truly cool kids in the neighborhood. Remember, though: Models are not included!

And then there was the Matchbox Garage, complete with Shell branding. It was essentially the next step up for older boys who had to grow up and leave the awesome Fisher Price Garage behind.

(Let's admit it, though. The Matchbox garage was cool. But you forever longed to get your Fisher Price Garage back from your younger sibling.)

1. I'm sorry. I'll stop calling you Shirley.
2. Sarah, now 13, is still a big fan of Matchbox cars. My wife wrote about the toys that have had a lasting impact for her on Our School at Home.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

1945 ink blotter for mayoral candidate Charles F. "Jeff" Sullivan

Today is the day of the municipal primaries in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.1 So I thought this would be an appropriate piece of ephemera to highlight. It's a 1945 ink blotter touting Charles F. "Jeff" Sullivan's second bid to be elected mayor of Worcester, Massachusetts.2

His campaign was successful, and Sullivan served as Worcester's mayor from 1946 to 1949. During his time in office, he helped to develop the city's airport, had the streets blacktopped, and reorganized the pension system.

He went on to become the Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts.

But around 1953, according to Wikipedia, "Sullivan retired from politics and opened up a liquor store."

So there.

I guess that truly made him "A Man of the People and for the People..."

1. It is also, more importantly, my eighth wedding anniversary! Joan and I will be taking a short, mid-week trip to celebrate. Because I'll be out of town, this is the first in a series of quickie posts I finished in advance. So that you can still get your daily ephemera fix.
2. How do you pronounce Worcester? This College of the Holy Cross page is here to help.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Difficult time for a fellow ephemera collector in the Netherlands

Among the many great people who take the time to comment on Papergreat is Gejus van Diggele, who lives in the Netherlands. He is a collector and researcher of used playing cards and World War II era games and puzzles.

I have only written about playing cards a few times. And when Gejus stumbled upon this September 2012 post about a playing card used as a bookmark, it turned out that I had hit upon one of his true passions. On April 1, he wrote:
"Much to my delight you finally discovered a subject that is fascinating me since 1994: secondary use of playing cards. The Ace of Clubs you did find in a book was simply used as a page marker. The kind of card (Ace) has no special meaning. Probably it was just a left over card from an incomplete deck. As from the 15th century left over playing cards have been used for about everything one can do with paper. My collection of over 4,300 reused playing cards, dating from late 1400 until present, cover over 300 forms of secondary use."
Gejus also mentioned his Pinterest board about secondary uses of playing card, which you can see here. He has accumulated a fascinating collection, and he has only posted the tip of the iceberg on Pinterest. My favorites include a playing card used as a postcard (of course) and the front and back of a playing card used as an obituary notice in 1803.

After his April 1 comment, we exchanged some emails and I invited Gejus to write a guest post for Papergreat about playing cards.

Then I didn't hear from him for a month.

Then came the terrible news: Fire had devastated his 17th century farmhouse and surrounding buildings.

"Fortunately humans, animals, computers and most of the collections could be saved in time," Gejus wrote.

It will take 12-to-18 months to restore the farmhouse, he added.

I'm still trying to figure out what I can do as a gesture of support for this fellow ephemeraologist during a tough time for his whole family. Here's one small thing we can all do — go to his Pinterest board and comment with your support on one of his posted images. I hope it will mean a little something to Gejus to know that we're thinking of him.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Two more 19th century cabinet cards from Reading, Pennsylvania

On the heels of Papergreat's May 8 post — "How a gentleman should properly pose himself in a fake setting" — here are two more 19th century cabinet cards (probably circa 1890) from separate photographers in Reading, Pennsylvania.

This first one is from the New York Gallery, which was featured the other day. It shows a man and a woman (presumably they are husband and wife) and there are no identifications anywhere on the photograph.

This second cabinet card is from Strunk, Artistic Photographer, who was located at 730 Penn Street in Reading.1 In this one, we again find the man in a chair and the woman standing next to him. And, again, there are no identifications scrawled anywhere on the front or back.

The backs of the cards are also quite ornate. You can click on the image below to see greater detail.

1. This photographer's full name was John D. Strunk, and you can browse numerous other (fabulous) cabinet cards that he produced on The Cabinet Card Gallery.