Saturday, June 8, 2013

Colorful 1953 advertisement for Jubilee Kitchen Wax



This 60-year-old advertisement comes from the April 1953 issue of Woman's Day magazine. It claims that Johnson's Jubilee Kitchen Wax has a "magic blend of detergents and wax":
"What an idea! What a work-saver! Johnson's new Jubilee is a wonderful blend of detergents and wax in one handy bottle! Just wipe Jubilee on with a damp cloth. Fingerprints, dirt, greasy cooking films disappear. Then buff lightly with a clean cloth. You leave a lustrous protective coat of wax!"
Don't believe the advertising copy? Then check out this vintage (and slightly creepy) television advertisement:



Apparently, this was a very popular cleaning product. So popular, in fact, that it's made a comeback in the past year or so.

The Vermont Country Store came out with a product called Old-Fashioned Kitchen Wax, specifically marketed to people who liked Jubilee. In fact, the illustration of the woman on their bottles looks a little bit like the woman in this 1953 magazine advertisement.

Not to be outdone, Malco Products licensed Jubilee Kitchen Wax from SC Johnson earlier this year and is now selling a slightly modified version1 of the original product in cases of 12 bottles for $45.

Retro Renovation reported on the relaunch of Jubilee earlier this year and had an in-depth and well-read post that received more than 100 comments from readers happy to see their beloved kitchen wax back on the market.2

You can also now buy single bottles of the new version of Jubilee Kitchen Wax from Gracious Home.

With that kind of staying power, maybe it does have a little magic in it.

Footnotes
1. A Malco Products representative told Retro Renovation: "As far as the formula goes, it is the original formula but we did have to change one raw material that was no longer available and made the product VOC compliant."
2. More than 100 comments on a single post? I am soooo jealous.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Old envelope that was mailed to Covell, Illinois



This envelope (which seems to be from the 19th century) is addressed to:

Mr. Joseph Shade
Covel
McLean County
Ill.

I couldn't find anything of substance about Joseph Shade. (That would make a great name for a paranormal investigator, though.)

Covel is actually Covell, an unincorporated community located in Dale Township, McLean County, Illinois. It's about seven miles east of the city of Bloomington, Illinois.

Perhaps Covell's biggest claim to fame is that it was the site of a mail-plane crash involving historic aviator Charles Lindbergh's in 1926 — about six months before his historic flight from New York to Paris. According to RoadsideAmerica.com:
"On the night of November 3, 1926, with his gas gauge on 'E,' Lindbergh flew as far as he could out over the country near Covell and bailed out at 13,000 feet. The plane crashed only a hundred yards behind a farm house, but the weather was so bad that no one realized it until the next morning. Lindbergh landed on a barbed-wire fence. ... The crash sight was marked by a tower built by the farmer, Charles Thompson, but it was eventually torn down. Then in 1977 a local stamp club, The Corn Belt Philatelic Society, put up a small brick cairn with a bronze plaque at the site."
Read more about Lindbergh and the Covell marker (including how to find it) on RoadSideAmerica. You can also read more about the incident and the Thompson family's part in it on CharlesLindbergh.com.

Meanwhile, are there any philately experts out there who can tell us more about the pre-printed, embossed three-cent stamp on this small envelope? What does it tell us about when this letter was originally mailed?

Thursday, June 6, 2013

#27: That's it. Everyone go to bed. (Postcard Blogathon 2013)



Title: "Now The Day Is Over (No. 2)"
Publisher: Holmfirth. Bamforth & Co., Publishers (England) and New York. Printed in England.
Year: Tiny type on the front of the card states: "Photo Only Copyright 1909."
Used: No.
Comments: Yep. It's over. It's time to go sleep on a soft bed, like this nice lady, surrounded by flowers and with visions of angels in your dreams. Or maybe visions of books. Or old drawers filled with dusty papers.

As a side note, this is Papergreat's 900th post. Wow, that's a lot. I do need some sleep.

* * *
Papergreat's Chris Otto is spending June 5, 2013, blogging as many vintage postcards as possible. It's "The Fast and Furious" (and hopefully also "The Fun") for ephemera lovers and deltiologists. Go back and read all of the posts here.











You're still here? It's over. Go home. ... Go.

#24-26: Men getting in trouble (Postcard Blogathon 2013)

As we near the end of this Blogathon, here are three vintage postcards with similar themes. And I'm not talking about the hats these guys are wearing.



Title: "Waiting and watching"
Publisher: There's a tiny logo in the lower-right corner on the front. It has the initials J.K. on top of a sideways crescent with the initials N.Y. inside.
Year: Not listed. Pre-1907, though, because it's not a divided-back postcard.
Used: Yes. It was postmarked on July 20 in Philadelphia, but, maddeningly, the year is unreadable. The postmark contains the designation "STATION C." It was mailed to Frank Eben in Reading, Pennsylvania. The note on the front states: "Have sent you a suit case by Express 'prepaid' today be on the lookout. R.E."
Comments: Gulp. The stern-looking redhead has a flyswatter, black cat and candle at her disposal as she awaits the drunken mess coming in the door. I don't think she needs any of those things, though. I suspect one laser-eyed look from her is going to sober that guy up with the realization that he's going to be in the doghouse for a long time.



Title: "The average income of a Married Man is 3 A.M."
Publisher: Unclear. There is the following notation on the back of the card: "Ser. 1007-12 Des. Drunks"
Used: Yes. It was postmarked in October 1919 and sent to Mrs. Emma Eben in Reading, Pennsylvania. The message simply states: "I hope this is not the case with my hubby. Violet." Were people trying to tell the Ebens something?
Comments: This has the funniest wordplay of the three postcards. And it also has the least-scary wife. She doesn't look like someone who is going to berate him too badly. She just looks concerned. And maybe it's not even his fault. Maybe he had to wade into shallow water to save some drowning kittens and he took off his shoes so he wouldn't get them wet. Yeah, that's what happened. And then some onlookers gave him a nip of whiskey so that he wouldn't catch a chill. He's a hero, you see!



Title: "PEACE at any PRICE"
Publisher: None listed.
Year: Not listed.
Used: No.
Comments: Did this man even do anything to warrant being in trouble and handing over his pay? Why does she have that rolling pin? Clearly, this respectable fellow is in an abusive relationship. He should seek help immediately.

* * *
Papergreat's Chris Otto is spending June 5, 2013, blogging as many vintage postcards as possible. It's "The Fast and Furious" (and hopefully also "The Fun") for ephemera lovers and deltiologists. Read all of the posts starting here.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

#23: Tennis at Farquhar Park (Postcard Blogathon 2013)



Title: "Tennis Court, Farquhar Park, York, PA."
Publisher: M.J. Shambaugh, York, Pa.
Year: Not listed.
Used: No.

Comments: The front of this postcard is obviously not in great condition. ... Farquhar Park is still around, and still sports tennis courts that I've used.1 It's one of the multiple great parks in the City of York. Our family's favorite is probably Kiwanis Lake, which we visit often to see the geese, ducks and some endangered species of birds that have chosen to roost there in recent years.2 ... For more vintage postcards of York, Pennsylvania, check out this October 2011 post on my wife's Only in York County blog.

* * *
Papergreat's Chris Otto is spending June 5, 2013, blogging as many vintage postcards as possible. It's "The Fast and Furious" (and hopefully also "The Fun") for ephemera lovers and deltiologists. Read all of the posts starting here. Are you tired of reading this note yet?

Footnotes
1. Tennis attire has, however, changed a bit over the decades.
2. Two more Kiwanis Lake notes: (1) It's possible that I enjoy, as a guilty pleasure, going a little too close to the goslings, which causes their parents to hiss at me in comedic fashion; (2) I took these two photos at Kiwanis Lake in early September 2011.

#22: Oberammergau Passion Play (Postcard Blogathon 2013)



Title: Passions Spiele Oberammergau (Oberammergau Passion Play); Die haupt darsteller (the main cast)
Publisher: Foto-Verlag Kronburger, Oberammergau
Year: Not listed.
Used: No.

Comments: This postcard shows one season's primary cast of the Oberammergau Passion Play, which has had performances dating back to 1634 in Oberammergau, Germany.

The performance's origins are pretty fascinating. Per Wikipedia:
"The town's residents vowed that if God spared them from the effects of the bubonic plague ravaging the region, they would produce a play thereafter for all time depicting the life and death of Jesus. The death rate among adults rose from one in October 1632 to twenty in the month of March 1633. The adult death rate slowly subsided to one in the month of July 1633. The villagers believed they were spared after they kept their part of the vow when the play was first performed in 1634."

The Passion Play is staged every ten years, in years ending with a zero. In 2010, there were 102 performances over a period of about five months. More than 2,000 performers and behind-the-scenes workers take part in the event, and all of them come from Oberammergau, which has only about 5,100 residents. Each performance lasts about seven hours.

The next performances will be held in 2020.

This postcard features either the 1950 or 1960 cast. Click on the postcard to see a larger image and check out all of the cast members.

Further reading: The 2001 James Shapiro book "Oberammergau: The Troubling Story of the World's Most Famous Passion Play" is described as providing an "important look at the unpredictable and sometimes tragic relationship between art and society, belief and tolerance, religion and politics."

* * *
Papergreat's Chris Otto is spending June 5, 2013, blogging as many vintage postcards as possible. It's "The Fast and Furious" (and hopefully also "The Fun") for ephemera lovers and deltiologists. Read all of the posts starting here.

#21: The 1910-11 Lakeview Gusher (Postcard Blogathon 2013)



Title: "Reflection in Lake of Oil — Lake View Gusher — 29. Copyright 1910 by West Coast Art Co."
Publisher: California Sales Co., Pub., San Francisco.
Year: 1910.
Used: Yes.

Comments: Hey, why don't why celebrate our modern environmental disasters with postcards, like they did in 1910? We could have a whole series of glossy postcards commemorating these impressive events:


Wouldn't that be swell? And such a fine keepsake for future generations.

Anyway, this 113-year-old postcard features the Lakeview Gusher, one of the largest accidental oil spills in world history. Over the course of 18 months in 1910 and 1911, 9 million barrels of crude oil spewed from Lakeview Gusher Number One in Kern County, California.

According to a 2010 Los Angeles Times article, "The site became a tourist attraction. Special trains carried gawkers to Taft. Preachers showed up to lead prayers that the geyser of crude 'would not flood the world' ... [And] some folks saw the gusher as a sign of disapproval from the Almighty. Hadn't one preacher in Pennsylvania warned drillers that the oil was meant to remain in the earth to 'kindle the fires of Hell'?"

Perhaps the person who wrote and sent this postcard was one of those gawkers who traveled to the "tourist attraction." He sent his postcard to Norristown, Pennsylvania, and wrote:
East Bakersfield
Sept. 5, 1910.
Received your welcome card and was glad to hear from you. This view is of the Famous oil well at Maricopa, maybe you have read about it. Hope everybody is well. I remain yours truly.

* * *
Papergreat's Chris Otto is spending June 5, 2013, blogging as many vintage postcards as possible. It's "The Fast and Furious" (and hopefully also "The Fun") for ephemera lovers and deltiologists. Read all of the posts starting here. If you don't, he will drink your milkshake.

#20: Ginza Tokyu Hotel guest room (Postcard Blogathon 2013)



Title: Guest room
Caption on back of card: "Ginza Tokyu Hotel, Tokyo, Japan. 450 ROOMS with private bath, shower and radio. The GINZA TOKYU HOTEL is the most up-to-date, entirely air-conditioned and soundproof establishment in the very heart of Tokyo. It also provides the utmost in comfort, convenience and gracious living, as well as all the facilities of a first class hotel."
Publisher: None listed.
Year: None listed.
Used: No.

Comments: To follow up on the previous post, here's a postcard from the same era that shows that Americans weren't the only ones chasing the dollars that Americans suddenly had to spend on travel and recreation. This hotel in Japan was clearly banking on English-speaking tourists flocking to Tokyo and needing comfortable, Western-style accommodations.

I've written extensively about the Ginza Tokyu Hotel before. Here are those previous posts:

* * *
Papergreat's Chris Otto is spending June 5, 2013, blogging as many vintage postcards as possible. It's "The Fast and Furious" (and hopefully also "The Fun") for ephemera lovers and deltiologists. Read all of the posts starting here.

#19: Stay at Haley's Colonial Court (Postcard Blogathon 2013)



Title: Haley's Colonial Court, 163 San Marco Ave. (U.S. 1 & A1A), St. Augustine, Florida, VA 9-9392
Publisher: MARS Motel Supply, Jacksonville, Florida
Year: Not listed.
Used: No.

Comments: The caption information on the back of this unused postcard repeats the address and also touts that Haley's is "exclusive but not expensive." ... I'm a big fan of 1950s and 1960s U.S. hotel and motel cards, from that post-war time when Americans took to their automobiles and fanned out across the country's new highways. One group's version of the American Dream was to make a living by running these freshly scrubbed mom-and-pop motels that sprang up along the interstates. Their colorful postcard-advertisements spoke to their hope and optimism. Some of those motels surely did fine business for a generation before being wiped out by hotel chains, their own decay and the gradual end of the American cross-country vacation.



I'm guessing this place didn't make it for long. Not when a Google search for "Haley's Colonial Court" only brings up three results. ... Here is a June 2012 post on more hopeful motels from this era. ... And here's a September 2011 post that includes some photographs of what happens to the hotels and motels that don't stand the test of time.

* * *
Papergreat's Chris Otto is spending June 5, 2013, blogging as many vintage postcards as possible. It's "The Fast and Furious" (and hopefully also "The Fun") for ephemera lovers and deltiologists. Read all of the posts starting here.

#18: Called away unexpectedly (Postcard Blogathon 2013)



Title: Called away unexpectedly.
Publisher: None listed. But it was made in Germany.
Year: Not listed.
Used: Not really. Written in pencil is "Mr. C. W. Shaw from Madelyn." But that's it. No address, stamp, postmark or message.

We're going to have a short hiatus in the Blogathon. I wasn't "Called Away Unexpectedly." The family is heading out to the alpaca farm and then to get some dinner. ... I'll be back a little later for one more Postcard Blogathon Sprint, to see how many more I can get in before midnight Eastern Daylight Time.

Mention what postcards you've enjoyed most so far in the comments section, and I'll see what I can wrangle tonight!

* * *
Papergreat's Chris Otto is spending June 5, 2013, blogging as many vintage postcards as possible. It's "The Fast and Furious" (and hopefully also "The Fun") for ephemera lovers and deltiologists. Read all of the posts starting here.

#17: High atop Mont Saint-Michel (Postcard Blogathon 2013)



Title: "J.P. - 89. - MONT ST.-MICHEL. - L'Escalier vu en dirigeable"
Publisher: Not listed.
Year: Not listed.
Used: Sort of. It was not mailed. But the back of the postcard was used for the following cursive text:
"No. 6. Turning to the right, on this landing, we look down upon the distance we have covered. You can very well see the complexity of the walks and stairs. Every step becomes more interesting and more quaint. From here a fisherman on the beach looks like a mere fly. The steps are now one mass of O.D. [off-duty] uniforms. One lanky doughboy just remarked 'Where in hell are we going?'"
Comments: So this postcard, now separated from its original set, was part of a tourist's notes from a visit to Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy, France. ... Mont Saint-Michel was used an inspiration for the design of Minas Tirith in Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King." ... An old photo of Mont Saint-Michel appeared in this April 7 post (which describes the acquisition of some of the cards I've been posting and writing about today).

* * *
Papergreat's Chris Otto is spending June 5, 2013, blogging as many vintage postcards as possible. It's "The Fast and Furious" (and hopefully also "The Fun") for ephemera lovers and deltiologists. Read all of the posts starting here.

#16: That's a lot of albacore (Postcard Blogathon 2013)



Title: A Five-Ton Catch of Albacore with Rod and Reel.
Year: Copyright 1907 by Ironmonger
Publisher: M. Rieder, Los Angeles, California. (Made in Germany)
Used: No.

Comments: I found some variations on this postcard on CardCow.com. They indicate that these images originated on Santa Catalina Island, off the coast of California. The main community on Santa Catalina is Avalon, which has a tangled history that involves the Tongva people, chewing-gum magnate William Wrigley Jr., multiple attempts to develop a resort community, Zane Grey, Marilyn Monroe and, of course, lots of great fishing. ... Interestingly, Avalon served as the spring training location for the Chicago Cubs from 1921 to 1951 (except for the World War II years). Read more about that on South Bay History.

More: Fish recipes for the grill were featured on September 3, 2012.

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Papergreat's Chris Otto is spending June 5, 2013, blogging as many vintage postcards as possible. It's "The Fast and Furious" (and hopefully also "The Fun") for ephemera lovers and deltiologists. Read all of the posts starting here.

#15: A vintage birthday wish (Postcard Blogathon 2013)



I truly only have one question about this postcard.

Why does the little girl look like Sloth from "The Goonies"?



* * *
Papergreat's Chris Otto is spending June 5, 2013, blogging as many vintage postcards as possible. It's "The Fast and Furious" (and hopefully also "The Fun") for ephemera lovers and deltiologists. Read all of the posts starting here. (Sorry about this one.)

#14: A mystery family portrait (Postcard Blogathon 2013)



Title: None.
Publisher: None listed
Used: No.

Comments: This group portrait must be 100 years and is clearly showing its great age, with all of the major creases. ... At one time, it must have been thumb-tacked to a wall or bulletin board, based on the tiny holes along the top. ... The matriarch is seated at the steering wheel of a fake automobile, surrounded by three men and three women. Were they all her children? ... Two of the men are wearing uniforms, but the quality of the image is not good enough to see any details. (Call me crazy, but it almost looks like the initials FTD appear on those caps.) ... I love the terrible drawing of a house that serves as the backdrop for this sitting. ... While the mother is the head of the family, it seems obvious that the photograph's focal point is the woman in the white dress. The focus becomes less sharp as you radiate outward from her. Was the person who tacked this postcard onto the wall her sweetheart?


* * *
Papergreat's Chris Otto is spending June 5, 2013, blogging as many vintage postcards as possible. It's "The Fast and Furious" (and hopefully also "The Fun") for ephemera lovers and deltiologists. Read all of the posts starting here. And check out more ephemera mysteries here.

#13: A meal at Weeki Wachee Spring (Postcard Blogathon 2013)



Caption on back: "Florida's Weeki Wachee Spring, with its new, enlarged underwater show, has been seen by millions who have said, 'It's the world's greatest underwater spectacle. It's guaranteed entertainment!'"1
Publishers: Florida Natural Color of Miami and Koppel Color Cards of Hawthorne, New Jersey
Used: Yes. It was postmarked on November 14, 1962, in Venice, Florida, and mailed to Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania.

Comments: Weeki Wachee Springs is still going strong (although its website does take quite a while to load). It opened in 1947, with swimmer/promoter/educator/coach Newton A. Perry spearheading its development. Some of its popularity was spurred during a period, starting in 1958, when the American Broadcasting Company owned the attraction. In 2008, Weeki Wachee Springs became a Florida state park.

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Papergreat's Chris Otto is spending June 5, 2013, blogging as many vintage postcards as possible. It's "The Fast and Furious" (and hopefully also "The Fun") for ephemera lovers and deltiologists. Read all of the posts starting here.

Footnote
1. It's not clear if all of the millions of people said that exact quote. That would seem unlikely.

#12: A cozy Irish cabin, circa 1906 (Postcard Blogathon 2013)



Title: An Irish Cabin.
Publisher: Unknown, but see below.
Year: Mailed in 1906.
Used: Yes.

Comments: OK, I'm sure that living conditions were cramped and not always sanitary. But doesn't this cabin in the rolling hills of Ireland look like a cozy place to live? No paperwork. No traffic jams. No Walmart. ... This postcard pairs nicely with the "Goat-on-Roof Dream House" I featured earlier this week. ... The card was postmarked at 2:45 p.m. on July 12, 1906, in Douglas, Isle of Man. The postcard was mailed to Belfast. ... I don't know who the postcard publisher was, but this logo appears on the back of the card:



Other posts about Ireland

* * *
Papergreat's Chris Otto is spending June 5, 2013, blogging as many vintage postcards as possible. It's "The Fast and Furious" (and hopefully also "The Fun") for ephemera lovers and deltiologists. Read all of the posts starting here. If you enjoy this series, please send Chris a goat.

#11: Dutch Kids have a falling out (Postcard Blogathon 2013)



Title: "We vas mad mit each other."
Publisher/Series: This postcard is part of the Dutch Kids Series. The publisher's logo features the initials TB inside a pair of concentric circles.
Year: Not listed.
Used: No.

Comments: What happened? Things were so happy earlier with the Dutch Kids! I suspect this is the boy's fault. He has a bit of a smirk.

Hopefully these two won't grow up to be like some of the Couples With Issues I'll be featuring later today.



* * *
Papergreat's Chris Otto is spending June 5, 2013, blogging as many vintage postcards as possible. It's "The Fast and Furious" (and hopefully also "The Fun") for ephemera lovers and deltiologists. Read all of zee posts starting here.

#10 National Hotel in York, Pa. (Postcard Blogathon 2013)



Title: National Hotel, York, Pa.
Publisher: Wallick's News Stand, York, Pa. (Made in Germany.)
Used: Yes

Comments: This building has been home to York's Holy Hound Taproom since 2012. But it has a long, storied history, of course. Here's an excerpt from the Taproom's website:
"Known over the years as the White Hall Hotel, the National Hotel, and Jack’s Department Store – the National House is one of York’s most recognizable landmarks. The building was constructed in 1828 as the White Hall Hotel, and played host to guests such as former President Martin Van Buren (1839) and famed British author Charles Dickens (1842). Sometime before the Civil War, the hotel was renamed The National House as it is known today. In 1921, the lower level of the building became Jack’s – a women’s department store that is still sorely missed by many longtime Yorkers."
(Side note: For some great information on the aforementioned Jack's and many other memories of York County's stores and restaurants of the past, check out this alphabetical index on Only in York County.)

This postcard was mailed in 1909 and has two most postmarks — one at 4 p.m. on March 18 in Cochranville, Pennsylvania, and one on the morning of March 19 at Muddy Creek Forks, Pennsylvania. The card is addressed to "Mrs. S.P. Duke, M.C. Forks, York Co., Pa." The message states:
"Dear Mother
As Harry is not able for us to go, cant tell what day we can go maby Sunday and maby not at all dont look for us John would like to have his trunk overcoat and axe good by. AMD."
Other blogs about York County history

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Papergreat's Chris Otto is spending June 5, 2013, blogging as many vintage postcards as possible. It's "The Fast and Furious" (and hopefully also "The Fun") for ephemera lovers and deltiologists. Read all of the posts starting here. (And no, I haven't yet been to the Holy Hound Taproom.)

#9: Weaver's Lebanon Bologna (Postcard Blogathon 2013)



Caption on back: Weaver's Famous Lebanon Bologna, Lebanon, Pa., Since 1885. Special curing in old fashioned smokehouses gives our Lebanon Bologna its unique flavor.
Publisher: Dexter Press, West Nyack, New York
Year: Not listed.
Used: No.

Comments: I have eaten MANY Lebanon Bologna sandwiches — on white bread with mayo — over the years. For long periods, that has been my favorite luncheon meat. ... An excellent article about the storied history of Lebanon Bologna was written by Stephanie Shapiro and published by the Baltimore Sun in 2005. ... The biggest brand name in Lebanon Bologna these days is Seltzer's, which has been around for more than a century. ... Weaver's, meanwhile, was acquired by Godshall's in 2005 and is now part of that larger company, which also includes the former Kutztown Bologna Company.

Other posts about Pennsylvania Dutch foods

* * *
Papergreat's Chris Otto is spending June 5, 2013, blogging as many vintage postcards as possible. It's "The Fast and Furious" (and hopefully also "The Fun") for ephemera lovers and deltiologists. Read all of the posts starting here. Or if this post got you really hungry and you want to dig into some recipes, start here.

#8: Floral Clock in Detroit, Michigan (Postcard Blogathon 2013)



Title: Floral Clock at Gladwin Park, Detroit, Mich.
Caption on back: This Floral Clock is located at Gladwin Park, which contains 75 acres. Here also is the water pumping station were seventy-three million gallons of water are pumped daily for Detroit's supply. The Clock is run by water power.
Publisher: C.T. Photochrom
Used: Yes. It was postmarked at 9 a.m. on July 12, 1924, and mailed with a green 1¢ Benjamin Franklin stamp.

Comments: Alas, this clock and and this park are no more. According to HourDetroit.com, Detroit’s Water Works Park opened around 1879. The park was home to picnic sites, tennis courts, baseball fields, a library, a greenhouse and more. The water-powered floral clock at the park’s entrance came a little later. In 1912, the park was renamed Gladwin Park, but people never really came to call it that. The park's demise came shortly after World War II, according to a 2009 article on HourDetroit.com:
"It remained a popular draw, though, until 1945, when the City Council deemed it unsafe and closed it. It was razed in 1962. There are few vestiges of the park’s glory days, save for the Beaux Arts-style Hurlbut Memorial Gate facing Jefferson. It was erected in 1894 to honor Chauncey Hurlbut, a long-serving president of the Board of Water Commissioners. The area does, however, retain its original function of serving water to the city. In 2003, a sprawling wastewater-treatment facility was completed."

This postcard was mailed to Mr. B. Bishop in Floyd, Virginia, in 1924 and contains the following note, in cursive:
Dear Grandfather how are you? I am getting along fine and like my work — I wish you would take time and write to me. Love Elizabeth
* * *
Papergreat's Chris Otto is spending June 5, 2013, blogging as many vintage postcards as possible. It's "The Fast and Furious" (and hopefully also "The Fun") for ephemera lovers and deltiologists. Read all of the posts starting here. If you're a grandfather, though, please write to your grandchildren before reading any further.

#7: The Queen and her children (Postcard Blogathon 2013)



Title: London, The Queen and Her Children (multi-view with images of Houses of Parliament, Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace and Piccadilly Circus)
Publisher: Lansdowne Publishing Co. Ltd., London
Year: Not listed.
Used: No.

Comments: When do you think this photograph of Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles and Princess Anne was taken? Charles was born in 1948 and Anne was born in 1950. I would say 1956-57 might be a good guess. ... It's now 2013. The Queen is 87 and the Prince of Wales is 64, having bided his time as heir apparent for more than six decades.



Another neat thing about this card is that you can magnify the Piccadilly Circus section and see an image of that historic area more than a half-century ago.



Other posts about Queen Elizabeth II

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Papergreat's Chris Otto is spending June 5, 2013, blogging as many vintage postcards as possible. It's "The Fast and Furious" (and hopefully also "The Fun") for ephemera lovers and deltiologists. Read all of the posts starting here.

#6: Another potato exaggeration (Postcard Blogathon 2013)



Title: Potato — The Kind we Raise in Maine
Publisher: Genuine Curteich-Chicago "C.T. Art-Colortone"
Used: No.

Comments: OK, I'll play. IF such a potato existed, how would you hoist it — intact — onto the bed of an open train car? And is the train car designed to carry that kind of weight? This potato appears to be the size, roughly, of a sperm whale, and so we can guess than it weighs 60 to 65 tons. ... How much might such a potato cost today? Let's say it weighs 65 tons. There are 2,000 pounds in a U.S. (short) ton. So that's 130,000 pounds. Let's say you can get a very fair price of 60 cents per pound. That would make the cost of this super spud $78,000. But think of all the rewards points you would accrue! ... Finally, what the heck is that guy doing on top of the potato? Does he think he's the King of the World? And how is he getting down?

More: For another silly potato postcard and information about the real world record for a potato, see this May 11 post.

* * *
Papergreat's Chris Otto is spending June 5, 2013, blogging as many vintage postcards as possible. It's "The Fast and Furious" (and hopefully also "The Fun") for ephemera lovers and deltiologists. Read all of the posts starting here. And let me know if you want fries with that.

#5: A sweet message to "Dearest" (Postcard Blogathon 2013)



Title: "Deerfield, Mass. Old Frary House, Built 1698"
Publisher: Not listed.
Year: Not listed.
Used: Yes. (Written on, but not mailed.)

Comments: The Frary House (which is actually believed to date to around 1750, not 1698) is certainly interesting. But what makes this postcard a keeper is the fading cursive inscription on the back:
"Dearest
Where we spent a delightful hour, well chaperoned. I was in love with you then, but I was afraid to let you know it.
E."
* * *
Papergreat's Chris Otto is spending June 5, 2013, blogging as many vintage postcards as possible. It's "The Fast and Furious" (and hopefully also "The Fun") for ephemera lovers and deltiologists. Read all of the posts starting here.

#4: "Fruit?" "No. Alcohol, please." (Postcard Blogathon 2013)



Caption (on reverse): Meal service on the Convair 880M Jet Courier
Publisher: Japan Air Lines
Year: Not listed.
Used: No.

Comments: So, there's a lovely basket of fruit on top of the flight attendant's cart, but this well-manicured woman is going right for the hard liquor. So sad. ... Do you think this photo was staged by Japan Air Lines? Or did their photographer just take a bunch of shots during the flight, and this was the best postcard image he or she came up with? ... The Convair 880 was produced from 1959 to 1962 for a variety of airlines. Less than 10 of this model remain in the world today, and the only one that has been preserved is Elvis Presley's Lisa Marie (named for his daughter), at Graceland in Memphis. ... CardCow.com features another Japan Air Lines postcard, which shows the exterior of the CV-880M. ... Finally, I think this postcard would have been much more interesting if the flight attendant had been serving the gentleman in the back, instead of the woman. I want to know his story, and what he got.



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Papergreat's Chris Otto is spending June 5, 2013, blogging as many vintage postcards as possible. It's "The Fast and Furious" (and hopefully also "The Fun") for ephemera lovers and deltiologists. Read all of the posts starting here. (P.S.: Put put whatever you had for breakfast today in the comments section below.)

#3: The Dutch Kids are happy (Postcard Blogathon 2013)



Title: "Would you like so happy as ve are to be."
Publisher/Series: This postcard is part of the Dutch Kids Series. The publisher's logo features the initials TB inside a pair of concentric circles.
Year: Not listed.
Used: No.

Comments: This cool vintage postcard pretty much speaks for itself. We'll meet these two kids again later today, though, after they've had a "falling out." ... If you're interested in gaining more insight about Dutch Kids postcards from serious collectors, check out this forum on PostcardCollector.org.



* * *
Papergreat's Chris Otto is spending June 5, 2013, blogging as many vintage postcards as possible. It's "The Fast and Furious" (and hopefully also "The Fun") for ephemera lovers and deltiologists. Read all of zee posts starting here.

#2: Moonlit castle in Massachusetts (Postcard Blogathon 2013)



Title: "Winnikeni Castle by Moonlight," Haverhill, Mass.
Publisher: The Metropolitan News Co., Boston, Mass., and Germany
Year: Not listed. Pre-1907, though, because it's not a divided-back postcard.
Used: Sort of. The back is addressed to Mrs. Steppie at 37 Herschel Street in Manton, Rhode Island. A green 1¢ Benjamin Franklin stamp has been affixed, but there is no postmark, so it was probably never mailed. Also, along the left-hand side on front of the card is some cursive writing that appears to state "From H. Giles."

Comments: I love illustrations and images of moonlit scenes. And so did postcard publishers. Early postcards featuring buildings flooded with interior light (pre-Kinkadean) standing in the midst of gloom on moonlit nights are quite common. ... It appears that this postcard maker spelled the name of the castle incorrectly. The front of the card states "Winnikeni Castle." But according to the official website, it's "Winnekenni Castle." Here's an excerpt about the castle's history from the website:
"In 1861, Dr. James R. Nichols, a brilliant chemist and agriculturist, bought the Darling Farm, which sat on a hill overlooking Kenoza Lake to use for his experiments with chemical fertilizers. In 1872 he visited England and was inspired by their long-standing stone structures. He returned with an idea to build a summer home from native boulders and rocks. He was quoted at the time as saying ... 'we desire to prove to farmers and others in a practical way the value of boulder rocks (so common on almost every New England Farm) as building materials.' Construction began in 1873 and was completed two years later in 1875. He called the building Winnekenni Castle and the surrounding farm Winnekenni, an Algonquin Indian word for 'Very Beautiful!'"
Check out the website for more details about the castle's construction. Currently, Winnekenni Castle can be be rented out for a variety of events. And, according to the website, "in October, the property is transformed into a Halloween attraction that will scare your pants off." (IN! Let's go, Joan!)

Other posts about castles

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Papergreat's Chris Otto is spending June 5, 2013, blogging as many vintage postcards as possible. It's "The Fast and Furious" (and hopefully also "The Fun") for ephemera lovers and deltiologists. Read all of the posts starting here.

#1: Every journey starts with a step (Postcard Blogathon 2013)



Caption: "BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY. This beautiful picture taken at Doughton Park is one of the many scenic spots along the parkway, a scenic mountain top motorway of almost 500 miles connecting Shenandoah National Park in Virginia with the Great Smokies in North Carolina and Tennessee. Color by Eva Luoma."
Publisher: Genuine Natural Color Made by Dexter Press, Inc., West Nyack, N.Y.
Used: No.

And so it begins!

I wrote earlier this year: "I could research and write about postcards all day long." And so it's time to see if I can live up to that boast. I'll be writing and posting new entries about postcards from my collection throughout the day. I'm not sure how many I'll manage to do. 25? 35? 60? We'll just have to see how it goes.

I'm hoping to keep things speedy and fun, and to mix in as many interesting vintage postcards as possible. I'll be hitting on a lot of different varieties, including humorous cards, buildings, vintage cards from here in York, and fantastic scenes. I little something for everyone, I hope.

(And if this gorgeous postcard of the Great Outdoors inspires you to get up from your computer or tablet and spend the day out in the fresh air, that's great! These posts aren't going anywhere. Check back tonight or on a rainy day.)



* * *
Papergreat's Chris Otto is spending June 5, 2013, blogging as many vintage postcards as possible. It's "The Fast and Furious" (and hopefully also "The Fun") for ephemera lovers and deltiologists. Read all of the posts starting here.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Recalling the Civil War with 3 miles of electrical wiring and 650 lights



No, I'm not talking about the Electric Map that once told the story of the Battle of Gettysburg and is now being rehabilitated in Hanover, Pennsylvania.

I'm talking about the electronic display telling the story of the Civil War's Battle of Chattanooga. It was built in 1957 and was once housed at a place called Confederama at the foot of Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

This undated brochure touts the oddly castle-like wonder that was Confederama, including its air-conditioned, walking-free environment. The reverse side of the brochure states:
"Mighty armies battled at Chickamauga and Chattanooga in 1863 in action that 'sealed the fate of the Confederacy.' See history come alive, re-created for your enjoyment.

"The sounds of battle and the strains of 'Dixie' and 'The Battle Hymn of the Republic' ring out over the three-dimensional, 480-square-foot reproduction of historic terrain — the world's largest battlefield display of its kind.1

"More than 5,000 soldiers (made especially for Confederama in South Africa)2 show where armies moved as guns flash in battle and cannon puff real smoke, accompanied by a shot-by-shot explanation of these historic conflicts."

"An intricate, electronic automation system activates more than 3 miles of electrical wiring and 650 flashing lights to make vital history real and exciting for the whole family. Our convenient location, dynamic exhibit, attractive souvenir and gift shop will, together with our helpful personnel, offer you a thoroughly enjoyable experience."

Alas, there is no longer a tourist attraction called Confederama and the electronic battlefield display is no longer at its original location.

But the electronic display still exists. It has new owners and has been moved a little further up the mountain, where it is now housed at The Battles for Chattanooga Electric Map & Museum. Here is some more about that transition from About North Georgia:
"By the early 1990's the museum had fallen into disrepair and the original owner died. Civil War enthusiasts realized what a loss it would be if the museum closed and backed efforts to save the famous landmark. A local business owner purchased the museum and all the contents. A grand refurbishing was begun. Each of the figures on the huge battlefield was removed and cleaned. Some were repainted. Wiring that in some cases was nearly 40 years old was replaced. A new, digital soundtrack was recorded."

Additional links

Footnotes
1. By comparison, the Electric Map at Gettysburg was/is 891 square feet.
2. Oh, there's some uncomfortable irony there.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Postcard featuring my dream house



Cozy stone house? Check.
Built into the surrounding environment? Check.
Sod roof? Check.
Goat on sod roof? CHECK!!

This Plastichrome postcard by Colourpicture1 features a photograph by Hugh MacRae Morton. The caption states:

"INVERSHIEL, a Sixteenth century Scottish Highland village at Linville, North Carolina, showing 'Bill Goat' mowing the sod roof of Croft house."

First off, if you have any doubts about that being a goat on the roof of the house, here's a link to another Morton photograph in the University of North Carolina archives that was taken in the same sequence as the one featured on this postcard. If you zoom in on that high-resolution photo, you can clearly see the bearded white goat.

The photographs were taken in July 1967, and this additional caption information is provided at the UNC website:

"'Mrs. Agnes MacRae Morton and son Julian in doorway of Croft House. Pet goat (Bill) trims green-grassed roof. Note native stone walls, chimney pots, leaded windows.' Croft House is located at Invershiel, a reproduction of a 16th century Scottish Village in Linville, NC developed by Julian Morton (Hugh Morton's brother)."

Hugh MacRae Morton (1921-2006) was a conservationist (he developed Grandfather Mountain2 in North Carolina) and professional photographer who donated his life's work to the North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives.

You can read more about the Croft House at Invershiel at "Scottish Heritage at Linville" by Celeste Ray on the A View to Hugh blog and "Invershiel ... An Old New World" by Betty R. Raveson (a 1967 magazine article in Palm Beach Life).

The Invershiel community, never completed, is now known as Tynecastle, and Randy Johnson wrote about it for WNC Magazine. It is unlikely that Croft House is still around in its original state. According to Johnson's article:

"In the ’60s, there were misfires in achieving the 'unbelievable livability' promised. The original cottages have seen their grass roofs, which were not entirely practical, replaced by tile when roots began growing through the tar paper. Gone forever is the chance to see a goat grazing atop the sod roof of Agnes’ house, which Hugh captured in a photograph.

Despite such issues, the basic formula of two-foot-thick stone walls, insulated and backed by custom wood paneling, has stood the test of time—with ongoing maintenance, of course. 'There’s no way around it,' says Bret [Schwebke], 'leaded glass windows need care, and the joints between the stone in these structures need to be kept up. Just the rock itself requires waterproofing every two years.'"

Footnotes
1. Two other Plastichrome postcards were featured recently: (1) Fruit shopping at the famous Farmers Market in Los Angeles and (2) Silly postcard of a potato in a toy tractor
2. In 1952, Morton built the Mile High Swinging Bridge on Grandfather Mountain. It's safe to say that my wife will never cross that bridge. Or perhaps even look at photographs of it.

Breaking news: Postcard Blogathon set for this Wednesday



Earlier this year, I hinted at having a Postcard Blogathon this summer. Instead of going to great pains to carve out a date on the calendar and make a big fuss about it, I'm just going to do it and see how it fares.

So, this Wednesday, starting sometime between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, I'm going to plow forward and try to blog about as many postcards as possible in one day.

The emphasis will be on speed, volume and fun. Expect a lot of rapid-fire posts with interesting cards, messages and stamps. But not a ton of in-depth research or footnotes.

So plan to drop by often on Wednesday. There should be lots of new (old) stuff every hour of the day.

And spread the word!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Looking for something to do in June? This book can help. I think.



Now that I have your attention (or possibly frightened you away forever), I can tell you that "What Shall I Do This Month" by Margaret Hutchings1 was published in 1965 by Taplinger Publishing Co. It's a month-by-month list of inexpensive project ideas for children.

In her chapter about June, Hutchings offers four craft suggestions and begins with this one:
"Patterns and pictures made of flowers do not sound very exciting but I am sure you would enjoy making them."
Way to enthusiastically pitch the idea to dubious readers!

In addition to that art project, the author suggests the following activities for June:
  • Press Butterflies From Paint
  • Make Some Pot Pourri
  • Turn Picnic Litter Into A Frog2

Maybe she was being a bit sneaky and was actually offering craft ideas that were so godawful boring that kids would flee to the outdoors and get some fresh air. Which is never a bad idea.

As for the Egg Thing that's featured on the cover and will haunt you dreams alongside Sid Haig, it's one of the featured projects for April. Hutchings writes:

"Do you have Boiled Eggs for for breakfast on Easter Sunday? If so, try drawing faces on them before they are cooked.

Ask Mummy if you may practise on some eggs that she is going to use for cooking, so that you are quite used to doing them when Easter comes.

Of course, I don't know who will be at your house for breakfast for Easter3 but I have given you an idea for Grandpa, a big sister and a baby brother. Don't try to make the eggs look exactly like the people who are to eat them4 but draw the things which you notice most of all. For example Grandpa's spectacles and bald head..."

Finally, Hutchings caps the book with a December project that seems right up the alley of fledgling psychopaths.



Footnotes
1. Hutchings was also the author of:
  • "Modeling in Hessian"
  • "Big Book of Stuffed Toy and Doll Making"
  • "Teddy Bears and How to Make Them"
  • "Toys From the Tales of Beatrix Potter"
  • "Making and Using Finger Puppets"
  • "Making Old Testament Toys"
  • "Making New Testament Toys"
  • "Sculpting in Burlap"
2. You just need to scrounge up trouser buttons, an empty match box, wooden ice cream spoons and felt. You know, your standard picnic litter.
3. Because that would be creepy.
4. That would also be creepy.