Saturday, July 27, 2013

Midnight postcard of Palácio Nacional da Pena in Portugal

For you night owls here in North America, here's an undated color postcard of Palácio Nacional da Pena (Pena National Palace), which dates to the first half of the 19th century and is the youngest of the Seven Wonders of Portugal.

The site was originally a monastery, which was greatly damaged by an earthquake in 1755 and rendered uninhabitable. In the 1830s, according to Wikipedia:
"King Ferdinand ... set out to transform the remains of the monastery into a palace that would serve as a summer residence for the Portuguese royal family. The commission for the Romantic style rebuilding was given to Lieutenant-General and mining engineer Baron Wilhelm Ludwig von Eschwege. Eschwege, a German amateur architect, was much traveled and likely had knowledge of several castles along the Rhine river. The construction took place between 1842–1854 ... [T]he King suggested vault arches, Medieval and Islamic elements be included."
Shown in this postcard are the Arches Yard, chapel and clock tower at the palace, which sits on a hill above Sintra, Portgual, and can be seen for miles around.

Here are a couple more public-domain images of the palace from Wikipedia:

I think this would be the perfect spot to hold the first Papergreat Meet-Up, don't you? I'll make some calls.

Vintage postcard: Camping at Deutsches Eck in Koblenz, Germany

This vintage black-and-white postcard shows a large group of people camping in Koblenz, Germany. The card was produced by Verlag Foto-Gauls of Koblenz and the caption on the back side states:

Campingplatz "DEUTSCHES ECK"
Koblenz on Rhein und Mosel

It's not too hard to translate:

Deutsches Eck campsite
Koblenz on the Rhine and Moselle

Deutsches Eck is the headland where the Moselle river joins the Rhine in Koblenz. Its English translation is "German Corner."

Learn more about Koblenz on the city's English-language tourism website. (There's still time to get yourself over there for the Koblenzer Summer Party with Rhine in Flames from August 9-11!)

There are many great details within the undated photograph used for this postcard. You can click on the above image to see a magnification of the photo.

Here's one detail from the card:

Other posts about the Rhine

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Why don't I own this? "Fairy Tales from the German Forests"

With a cover like this, who cares what's inside...

Image from

Tonight, I'm revising my "wish list" of fairy-tale and folk-tale books that I've discovered while browsing Project Gutenberg and other sources.

Pictured above the is the original dust jacket of "Fairy Tales from the German Forests," written by Frau Arndt and published by Everett and Co. Ltd. of London circa 1905.

They don't make 'em like that anymore. Also, this is giving me an idea for a new Twitter avatar.

December 1981 boarding pass for Nigeria Airways

This postcard-sized boarding pass was tucked away inside a copy of the 1959 edition of "Public Administration," a college textbook by Marshall Edward Dimock, Gladys Ogden Dimock and Louis W. Koenig.

It's for an "XMAS RUSH '81" flight to Port Harcourt, Nigeria, a city of more than a million people in the Niger Delta.1

The ticket was for economy class. The passenger was informed that "only one small hand baggage allowed in cabin."

"WT-110" might refer to the departure gate. Anyone know if that provides a hint as to what the departure airport was?

Nigeria Airways ceased operations in 2003. You can't quite tell from the the boarding pass, but its logo consisted of the Nigerian flag with a flying green elephant (named Skypower) in the center.

1. This area of Nigeria is undergoing a transition that will culminate with Port Harcourt becoming a new city to be called the Greater Port Harcourt City.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

More utter goodness from the 1865 Philadelphia Inquirer, Part 3

Our previous forays into the August 29, 1865, edition of The Philadelphia Inquirer have focused on baseball, a major trial and crime.

We'll start this installment with the newspaper's reports of the comings and goings of steamships:

  • The North American1, from Liverpool on the 17th by the way of Londonderry on the 18th, passed Father Point2 yesterday morning. Her news is one day later than by the City of Washington. The North American is bound for Quebec.
  • The Hansa3, from Bremen and Southampton, also arrived at New York yesterday morning.
  • The steamer Propontis arrvied at Boston yesterday morning.
  • A telegram to Queenstown, dated August 17th, says that the Great Eastern arrived at Crookhaven on that morning. The previous report, by the Terrible, of the breaking of that cable on the 2d, and the subsequent attempts at grappling, are confirmed. The Great Eastern behaved in the most admirable manner, and will sail from Crookhaven to Sheerness. A fortnight had expired after the cable signals had ceased and before the Great Eastern had arrived. The public anxiety in England had greatly increased. The impression was very general that the Great Eastern must have met with an accident to her machinery, although some believed that she had gone on to Newfoundland.4

* * *

[The following article refers to the Fourth Cholera Pandemic of 1863 to 1875.]

The Cholera. — The cholera continued its ravages at Ancona. Up to the 12th instant the number of deaths that occurred from it reached seven hundred and eighty-one.

The cholera had increased in intensity at Constantinople. The total number of deaths on the 12th reached three hundred and eighty-four. Business was generally suspended.

The Marseilles papers state that on the appearance of the of the cholera in Egypt the municipal authorities in Marseilles desired to place all ships entering that port from the Levant in quarantine. For that purpose they applied to the Board of Health in Paris for permission to do so, but their application was refused. They add that as yet the inhabitants of Marseilles have not suffered from cholera, although no quarantine has been enforced.

* * *

NEW YORK SOCIETIES IN THE CITY. — Last evening the Arion and Colonia German Singing Societies, about one hundred in number, from New York, arrived in this city. They are the guests of the Young Mænnerchor. In honor of their arrival, the latter society will give a grand pic-nic and summer night's festival today, which will be strictly private, and none but those invited will be allowed to join in the festivities. The guests will be conveyed in carriages to the pic-nic grounds, leaving Fourth and Vine streets at one o'clock P.M. They will pass down Fourth street to Walnut, out Walnut to Nineteenth, up Nineteenth to Green street, and thence to Fairmount Park. From Fairmount Park they will visit Girard College, and then continue on their way to where the festivities are to take place.

More in this series

1. A steamer named the North American sank in January 1865 (eight months before this article), killing about 200 passengers, many of whom were "invalid soldiers." It's possible that, after the sinking, the former Union and USS Fort Jackson was refitted as the new North American that is mentioned in this August 1865 news item.
2. Father Point is the English name for Pointe-au-Père, Quebec.
3. This might be the Hansa that is mentioned in the Inquirer.
4. The SS Great Eastern (pictured at right) was a famous steamship in its time. According to Wikipedia: "She was by far the largest ship ever built at the time of her 1858 launch, and had the capacity to carry 4,000 passengers around the world without refueling. Her length of 692 feet was only surpassed in 1899 by the 705-foot, 17,274-gross-ton RMS Oceanic, and her gross tonnage of 18,915 was only surpassed in 1901 by the 701-foot, 21,035-gross-ton RMS Celtic."

Per its name, it was intended for voyages to the Far East, but it only ever made trips across the Atlantic. And, in fact, its maiden voyage was marked by a fatal explosion. Later, it was converted to a cable-laying ship, and, even later, was used as a floating music hall. Here's a public domain image of the Great Eastern before its launch in 1858.

From the readers: Bessie Carrier, Weeki Wachee, rinderpest and more

I love it when someone can find a personal connection to some of the ephemera that's shared on Papergreat.

To open this edition of Reader Comments, here's a note I received regarding the September 2012 post titled "Old mail and lists tucked away inside 'The Valley of Decision'":

"Hi! Wow. This is kind of crazy. I got to your website while doing an internet search for Bessie Carrier Lester, whom I believe is the same person as Bessie N. Carrier (Lester being her married name). If it's the same person, she was born in 1895, went to Staunton High School, attended Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, married my husband's great uncle sometime after WW2, and passed away in 1962. With no children or (to my knowledge) any surviving siblings, she was the last living member of her family.

"Just last month, my family rediscovered some of the Carrier's silverware and family bibles in one of our basements, where they had sat forgotten for decades, and have been trying to learn as much as we can about the Staunton Carrier family, and Bessie Carrier in particular. I would love to be in touch with you about the papers you've found!"

Nina and I have already been in further touch about The Bessie Papers and I intend to get them into her family's hands. I will have further updates later.

* * *

Old booklet for Harrisburg's Capital Roller Rink: Debra Jane Seltzer of writes: "The building houses Tyco Electronics now." And she shares this picture.

* * *

#13: A meal at Weeki Wachee Spring (Postcard Blogathon 2013): Bonnie Jeanne (aka PostMuse) writes: "I went to Weeki Wachee Spring with my ex-mother-in-law the year before she was my mother-in-law. It was my first ever vacation where I stayed in a real hotel, not a cabin with kitchenette. I had visions of ordering room service like in the movies, which were dashed when I discovered it costs money. But I loved the mermaids. When NOAA announced mermaids don't exist last year, I was furious. I had seen them with my own eyes. Thank goodness the fine people at Animal Planet produced that wonderful documentary that aired (recently) to prove once and for all mermaids exist. I'm looking forward to the unicorn documentary next year."

* * *

Oldest food trademark still used in the United States: Anonymous writes: "I love this stuff. My mom would spread the deviled ham on some Ritz crackers as a snack back in the 80s, but I had no idea it was such an old product. So my kids tried it recently and they loved it. It was cool to share my story as a kid with them and about the deviled ham and how my mom would have these lil cans hidden and only pulled them out on special occasions. My kids love this stuff now."

[Note: I'm actually undecided about whether the above comment is spam. But I shared it anyway. Also, "Deviled Ham Spam" would be a great band name.]

* * *

Requiem for a 129-year-old encyclopedia volume: The author of Jelly-Side Up writes: "I love this entry. I'm linking to it in the comment section of my post a scandal going on right now in Urbana, Illinois, over the purge of nonfiction books aged 10+ years. Your story is charming; thank you for sharing! What a great find that encyclopedia was! Here is my blog post: A Storm of Skies and Pages: “Bookgate."

* * *

More stuff from inside "A Thousand Ways to Please a Husband": Helen, who authors the Button and Snap blog, writes: "I was in the Girls Friendly Society in Los Angeles growing up. We always made and sold Queen's Cake as a fundraiser. Thanks for sharing the recipe — I'm looking forward to making it again. That's a pretty creepy slogan, but I'd never heard it before. Luckily, the motto in the U.S. is 'Bear ye one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.'"

* * *

More utter goodness from the 1865 Philadelphia Inquirer, Part 1: My super-smart and always-yearning-to-learn wife1 writes: "Interestingly, the thing that jumped out at me was rinderpest. ... Did you know that was the catalyst in creating a germ theory of disease responsive to vaccination? (I've learned this from my biology coloring book!)"

* * *

Great links: Vincent Price's travels and St. Elsewhere history: Daniel Butterfield, author of The St. Elsewhere Experience, writes: "Thanks so much, Chris, for the shout-out, and even more for sending me your copies of On Call! This has refueled my creative juices re: St. Elsewhere, and I'm looking forward to getting the other six posted. And the work isn't thankless — it's a pleasure!"

* * *

Four things tucked away inside "Mary Meade's Magic Recipes": Jen Walker, whose runs the website Unique Kitchen Items, writes: "Thanks for sharing this. Such a different post and one I've really enjoyed. I love the 'Magic Flavor Recipes' advert — so cool."

* * *

Potentially unnecessary bonus image of a blender with a face: PostMuse writes: "On a related note, a favorite video series,"

* * *

Family Circle's "Most Beautiful Christmas Tree" of 30 years ago: Gary Bowers writes: "This is my family tree. It is so cool to see it published so many years later."

Hooray! Another Papergreat Ephemera Connection!

1. Also, my super-smart and super-wonderful wife, Joan, just earned her black belt in Taekwondo this past weekend! She's just all-around amazing!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Meet Isadora, perhaps the coolest blogger in the whole blogosphere

Here's a fabulous story from right here in my own community...

When Isadora Dukehart, a seventh-grader and avid reader in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania, learned that the budget for her school district's library system was being slashed, she decided to do something about it.

The intrepid bibliophile launched a blog with the twin goals of raising money for the libraries and also garnering book donations from publishers.

And it worked.

More then 200 books have been donated by generous publishing houses, and she's received some monetary donations for the school district, too.

But don't take my word for it.

Read the story of Isadora's accomplishments in this news article by Vanessa Pellechio in The Evening Sun.

And check out her blog — cleverly titled Because I Read So — and her Facebook page.

Maybe you, too, will be inspired to help out with her oh-so-worthy cause.

I'll leave you with these thoughts from Isadora on her blog's About page:

"My library is my place of refuge and solace. In a good book, I can visit faraway lands, worlds beyond this one, or go just down the street. And in these times of economic challenge, I think we need, more than ever, access to reading materials."

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Potentially unnecessary bonus image of a blender with a face

This disturbing illustration of an anthropomorphic piece of food tumbling into an anthropomorphic blender is featured on the title page of the 1956 edition of "Mary Meade's Magic Recipes for the Electric Blender."

I originally meant to include it as part of last Wednesday's post.

But I forgot.

So here you go.

Sweet dreams.