Monday, September 23, 2013

1908 receipt for 400 calendars from Yoe Printing Company

This fragile and elaborate 1908 receipt is for Yoe Printing Company. I suppose if you run a printing company, you want your receipt to be a showcase for all of the wonderful things your company can do with design and color. And this paper certainly accomplishes that.

Yoe is a tiny borough of about 1,000 residents in York County, Pennsylvania, about 12 miles from where we live. It was incorporated in 1893. Here's an excerpt regarding Yoe's history from the borough's website:

"Originally called Snyderstown, Yoe Borough encompasses 136 square acres and was built upon what was once part of two farms in York Township, one belonging to Jacob Snyder, which was bought in 1815, and the other farm, which belonged to Henry Taylor.

"In 1871 Aaron Snyder, a son-in-law to Jacob Snyder, moved back to the family farm which was then owned by Henry Taylor’s son Zacharia, and set up a sawmill operation, thus establishing the first business in what was to become Yoe Borough. ...

"In 1888, the people of Snyderstown applied for a permit for a post office, but were turned down because there was already a town bearing that name in PA with a post office. So, Moses Snyder suggested the name of 'Yohe' in honor of this mother and Aaron Snyder’s first wife Catherine Yohe. So as not to offend the second wife of Aaron, Moses suggested dropping the 'H' out of the name, and thus the spelling of 'Yoe' came to be. The settlement of Yoe continued to flourish, and on August 23rd 1893, was incorporated into a borough and thus Yoe Borough was born."

Also according to the borough website, Yoe had about FIFTY cigar factories in 1907. They churned out about 100,000 cigars per day. Holy smokes!

So, that's some context for Yoe. The Yoe Printing Company, with J.K. Taylor as the sole proprietor, was founded in 1896. According to the receipt, the company handled advertising novelties, calendars, fans, leather goods, cigar cases (obviously), and bottle cartons.

Also stated on the receipt: "We contract for large printing orders" and "We do the highest class of work at the minimum expense."

That brings us to what this receipt was for. R. Wm. Ziegler1 of Market and Penn streets in York paid $26 to Yoe Printing Company for 400 calendars on July 2, 1908.2 Have no doubt, this was a major transaction. Something that cost $26 in 1908 would be the equivalent of $654 in 2012, according to The Inflation Calculator. That's a lot of coin to spend on calendars. I believe, but haven't ever confirmed, that Ziegler ran a pharmacy in York. If that's the case, it would have made sense for him to make a bulk purchase of calendars, either to sell in his store or give away as promotional items.

As for Mr. Taylor, I found this sad tidbit in an issue of The Inland Printer that was published sometime between October 1910 and March 1911:
"With assets of $8,800 and liabilities of $38,241, James K. Taylor, as an individual and trading as the Taylor Printing Company, and the Yoe Printing Company, at York, Pa., has been declared a voluntary bankrupt. Alvin Riest was appointed receiver."
Finally, I found this humorous news item in the June 15, 1904, edition of the Reading Times:
"YORK COUNTY. Miss Sadie Clay, an employe of the Yoe Printing Company, York, accidentally used her last week's pay as fuel for the fire. Her pay envelope got mixed up with some rubbish which she threw into a stove."
1. This is the third R. Wm. Ziegler receipt to appear on Papergreat (we can be thankful that he kept them!) and I think it clears up once and for all that the correct spelling of his last name was, in fact, Ziegler. Here are links to the other two receipts:
2. On July 2, 1908, the New York Giants defeated the Philadelphia Phillies, 4-3, in the opener of a four-game series. The Giants went on to sweep the series. The Phillies, however, went on to have a respectable 83-71 season, finishing fourth in the National League. Their best hitters were Sherry Magee (.283 batting average, 30 doubles, 16 triples, 40 stolen bases) and Kitty Bransfield (.304, 25 doubles, 71 RBIs, 30 stolen bases). The second baseman was Otto Knabe. On the bench were Moose McCormick and William J. "Kid" Gleason, who went on to manage the Chicago White Sox in the infamous 1919 World Series.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Mikey, together in one post

Happy first day of autumn! Today we have a couple of vintage magazine advertisements that have absolutely nothing to do with autumn.

First up is this Pabst Blue Ribbon1 advertisement featuring Douglas Fairbanks Jr. from the August 1950 issue of The American Legion Magazine.

Fairbanks — who never quite achieved the Hollywood fame of his swashbuckling father but, more importantly, played a key role as a US naval officer in World War II — is enjoying his lager in a glass that looks fairly unsafe for boating. He's also trying to drink while he's strapped into a huge rod-and-reel rig. Given that he needs two hands for his rod, I'm not sure what he's going to do with his beverage after the person with the tray leaves. It doesn't seem as if this was thought through.

Next up is an advertising icon that everyone 30 and older should be familiar with: Mikey. This advertisement from the September 20, 1977, issue of Woman's Day is essentially a pictorial summary of the famous Mikey/Life television commercial that first aired in 1972.

Mikey was portrayed by child actor John Gilchrist and the other two boys in the commercial are his actual brothers — Michael (on the left) and Tommy. It seems that Michael and Tommy had the more difficult thespian responsibilities in the commercial, but are always lost in the shadows of The Mikey Performance.

And, no, Mikey/John Gilchrist did not die from eating Pop Rocks and guzzling soda. He's alive and well.

Now, Pop Rocks and Pabst Blue Ribbon — that might be another question entirely.

1. Here is some interesting information about the modern-day popularity of Pabst Blue Ribbon, courtesy of Wikipedia: "The beer experienced a sales revival in the early 2000s after a two decade-long slump, largely due to its increasing popularity among urban hipsters. ... [T]he company has opted not to fully embrace the countercultural label in its marketing, fearing that doing so could jeopardize the very 'authenticity' that made the brand popular."