Saturday, June 1, 2013

Stylish vintage ink blotter for
G.W. Carnrick's Hormotone

Here's another vintage ink blotter, on the heels of the Dormison blotter featured earlier this week.

My guess is that this card dates to the late 1930s or 1940s. The type has a slight bit of Art Deco feel to it.

Hormotone, prescribed for amenorrhea and dysmenorrhea, was produced by G.W. Carnrick Co. of Newark, New Jersey.

Regarding G.W. Carnrick, I found this curious full-page advertisement within a 1906 issue of "The American Journal of Clinical Medicine." It seems to pertain to a spat between the current and former companies that Mr. Carnrick was involved with.

Here are other ink blotters that have been featured on Papergreat:

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Maps for the General Motors Futurama at 1964-65 World's Fair

"You will see suggestions for future answers to
our ever-growing highway and traffic problems."

The two maps below appear in a tri-fold brochure titled "Your Guide to the General Motors Futurama New York World's Fair 1964-65." There are showcase areas highlighting Buick, Pontiac, Chevrolet, Oldsmobile, Cadillac, Detroit Diesel, United Delco, AC Spark Plug and more.

Futurama, which followed in the footsteps of the first Futurama (at the 1939 New York World's Fair), was the most popular attraction at the 1964-65 World's Fair. According to, it had a total attendance of more than 29 million visitors, setting a World's Fair record by surpassing the 24.2 million who visited the GM "Highways and Horizons" exhibit in 1939-40.

Here are some excerpts from this brochure:
  • "Perhaps the most popular of all three Futurama attractions is the Ride. On an average day, about 70,000 people will take this intriguing quarter-hour trip into tomorrow. The Ride moves continuously and can accommodate 5,500 people an hour. Once aboard, you relax in your individual lounge chair, and, as you are transported on the fifteen-minute tour into the future, you hear a running description of its wonders over your own special stereo sound system."
  • "And interesting sidelight is that every bit of the spectacular Ride was built and assembled in Detroit — then disassembled, shipped, and reassembled at the Fair site. More than 1,500 shipping crates were required to hold his Ride material."
For more information, check out's General Motors Pavilion page and the Westland Network's "Showcasing Technology at the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair".

And check out this vintage video, which is a hoot:

Finally, if you want to get a taste of what the 1964-65 New York World's Fair site is like now, I highly recommend "What Remains of the 1964-65 New York World's Fair?" on

If you were one of the 29 million people who went through Futurama, please share your memories in the comments section!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Dormison "helps break the anxiety-insomnia-anxiety cycle"

Trouble sleeping? This old ink blotter touts the Schering Corporation's prescription-only Dormison.

Dormison was a "mild sedative-hypnotic" that, according to the advertising:
  • Gently induced a sound, restful sleep
  • Helped patients wake up alert and refreshed
  • Calmed tense and nervous patients
  • Helped break the anxiety-insomnia-anxiety cycle
  • Was notably free from hangover and side effects
  • Showed no evidence of habit-forming properties
  • Was safe for all age groups

Despite all that, it doesn't seem that the product had much staying power. It was called methylpentynol and, according to Wikipedia, "it was discovered by Bayer in 1913 and was used shortly thereafter for the treatment of insomnia, but its use was quickly phased out in response to newer drugs with far more favorable safety profiles."

Hmm. "Far more favorable safety profiles" makes it sound like Dormison wasn't nearly as safe as advertised here.

More recipes from 1959's Covered Wagon Cookbook

There have been some requests from more recipes from the Covered Wagon Cookbook, which was published by the Washington Parish (Louisiana) Fair Historical Society in 1959 and featured on Papergreat last Thursday.

So here you go. These are presented verbatim. Enjoy!

"Preacher Custard"
By Mrs. R.A. Magee

Four eggs and one cup sugar beaten well together, one level tbsp. flour mix well. Two cups sweet milk, and a dash of nutmeg. Place raw mixture in raw pie crust after having place one half block of butter or margarine (chipped up) in the bottom of the pie plate. Pre-heat oven about 250 or 275 degrees --- Bake very slowly until firm and brown.


"Likker Pudding"
By Mrs. Vertrees Young
  • 2½ cups milk
  • 3 medium sized yams
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • ¼ stick butter
  • ½ cup blanched slivered almonds
  • ½ cup whiskey or rum
Put milk into 2 quart casserole. Grate yams, adding milk as you grate to prevent potatoes from turning dark. Beat eggs well and add sugar gradually. Add cinnamon and almonds and mix well with potatoes. Dot generously with butter and bake in a 300ยบ oven until firm. Just before serving pour a jigger of whiskey or rum over the pudding. Delicious with turkey. May be used without likker. (Serves 6).

Grandma Scotts - Queen of Puddings
By Mrs. Delos Johnson, Sr.
  • 1 quart milk (scalded)
  • 1 pint bread crumbs
  • 1 cup scant sugar
  • butter, size of an egg
  • 4 eggs
Scald milk, add bread crumbs. Cream butter and sugar, add well beaten yolks, then add this to milk and bread crumbs. Cook in slow oven, preferably in vessel that contains water, when solid spread with jelly if you want to dress it up and add meringue from whites of eggs, add a tbsp. of sugar to each white. Bake until a golden brown.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Did you use a Foster-Trent remote control to watch Gabe Kaplan?

[Documentary Narrator Voice]
Soon after television began gaining popularity in the United States in the late 1940s and early 1950s, man sought ways to control this technological wonder from the comfort of his own recliner. Zenith created the Lazy Bones remote in 1950, but this device was connected to the television by a wire. The first true wireless remote control, the Flashmatic, came and went in 1955, a victim of inferior design. But the key breakthrough came just a year later in the form of the Zenith Space Command, a remote control that employed ultrasound to control the television. The device clicked and struck a bar with each use, bringing the synonym clicker into the English language. As in, "Momma, do you reckon you know where the clicker done got to?"1

This illustrated advertisement for a television remote control — complete with two "clicks" and a disconcerting bolt of lightning — is featured on the back cover of 1975's Trail Blazers' Almanac and Pioneer Guide Book.2

(This exact almanac is thoroughly examined and skewered in a 2008 Studies in Crap post by Alan Scherstuhl. I cannot possibly top what Scherstuhl achieved in his analysis of this piece of 1970s ephemera. But he doesn't comment on the $3.29 TV remote control, so I guess I'll continue with this post, as a public service.)

The remote control is being offered by Foster-Trent of Larchmont, New York. Some of the company's other offerings, in the same advertisement, include a pair of magnifying eyeglasses3 for $4.77, a "Super Awl" for $2.89, and a package of 24 formfit denture cushions for $1.29.

But, clearly, the most sought-after item was the TV remote, which allowed Dad to remain safely in his Barcalounger and click the volume up or down as he watched "The Six Million Dollar Man" and breakout star Gabe Kaplan on "Welcome Back, Kotter."4

Best of all, there was No Shock Hazard!

1. Information for this section was gleaned from the Television Remote Controls subsection of this Wikipedia page.
2. You wouldn't think that trail blazers and pioneers — there's a Daniel Boone-type figure and an American Indian on the cover — would be the target audience for a TV remote control advertisement, but there you have it.
3. "Not sold in New York. Not prescription, not for astigmatism, eye diseases."
4. Or, if Dad was a bit on the geeky side, he might have been watching David McCallum in "The Invisible Man" or the short-lived Mel Brooks sitcom "When Things Were Rotten." What he was definitely NOT watching, however, was the Monday night CBS lineup that included "Rhoda," "Phyllis" and "Maude." Hell no.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The poignant letters left at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Joan, Ashar and I spent three days in Washington, D.C., last July, mostly to see the vast and amazing collections housed by Smithsonian Institution.

In the late afternoon of the second day, we made the short walk to see the earthquake-damaged Washington Monument, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial. A thunderstorm had just passed through, and, as we came to the stirring, Maya Lin-designed Memorial Wall, one of the first things that struck me was the presence of soggy papers along the wall.

The memorial opened in November 1982 and, since then, notes, letters, flowers, flags and sentimental objects have been placed along its path nearly every day.

Some of the items have been large — a Harley-Davidson motorcycle1, original sculptures and teddy bears.

But most of them are simply pieces of paper.

Poignant notes from family members, friends and complete strangers.

Gratifyingly, all of these items are collected and preserved (with the exception of flowers) by way of a top-notch "museum property system." According to the National Park Service's Vietnam Veterans Memorial Collection website:
"Objects are collected and inventoried each night by Park Rangers who work for National Capital Parks-Central. ... The objects picked up are then treated as part of a historic collection, and are cataloged and placed in storage, as if they were extremely old and valuable."
The number of items collected annually peaked in 1992 and 1993, but thousands are still collected each year. There are no plans to stop collecting or preserving the items.

As I mentioned, it had just rained on that July 2012 afternoon. And so the papers left at the wall were very wet. Certainly harder to preserve than notes left on dry days.

These are some of the photos I took that afternoon.

For more information about letters and objects left at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, see these websites and articles:

1. The National Park Service describes the motorcycle this way: "A 'show' Harley-Davidson motorcycle, left during Memorial Day 1995 by motorcycle enthusiasts from Wisconsin. The license plate is stamped 'HERO.' The plate was summarily retired by the governor of Wisconsin. The bike's extended fork is festooned with 37 dog tags which are representative of the 37 casualties and missing in action of Wisconsin. The body of the bike is painstakingly painted with Vietnam scenes."

Undated rain check from Port Royal Speedway in Juniata County

Today is a major day for auto racing in the United States, with the Indianapolis 500 and the NASCAR Sprint Cup's Coca-Cola 600 both being contested. In Pennsylvania, dirt-track racing is also a big part of the sports culture.

This is an undated (1960s?) rain check1 from Port Royal Speedway, a dirt racetrack in Port Royal2, Juniata County, Pennsylvania. (The actual ticket is only two inches wide.) Port Royal opened in 1938, closed during World War II and has been in continuous operation since 1946.

Port Royal Speedway and its races are also a big attraction at the Juniata County Fair, which dates to 1852 and will be held from August 31 to September 7 this year.

These days, most tickets at Port Royal range from $15 to $30. (Student tickets, though, are a relative bargain at just $5.) So it's a bit quaint to think of a time several decades ago when admission at Port Royal was just $1.50.

1. The concept of a "rain check" was first used in baseball, as early as 1884.
2. Port Royal was originally incorporated as Perrysville is 1843. The name was changed to Port Royal in 1874.