Saturday, October 26, 2013

Photo of the government center at Baguio from The Mentor

This large (9½ inches by 7 inches) sepia photograph was part of a set that was "prepared by the editorial staff of The Mentor Association" in 1915. It is "Monograph Number Three in The Mentor Reading Course."1

Pictured is the government center in Baguio, Philippines, which is nicknamed the country's "summer capitol."

This is how Baguio was described in a long passage on the back of this photograph:

"The Philippines are very fortunate in having Baguio, near Manila, a wonderful highland country with an average height of 5,000 feet above the sea. In this favored region 77 degrees Fahrenheit is the usual maximum during the hottest weather of the year. ...

"Forests of pine and oak cover the gently rolling hills, and wild roses, huckleberries, raspberries, 'Jack-in-the-pulpits,' and violets, make one imagine oneself in New England."

"The Spaniards, after careful investigation, had decided to establish a health resort in this wonderful region, but did not carry out their plans. The American government has made it accessible to the people of the Philippines. Naturally, Americans were better able to appreciate its possibilities at the outset than were the Filipinos; but the latter soon discovered that they profited greatly by the change, and many of them have built summer homes there, while many others go there annually for vacations."

"After careful investigation it was decided to transfer most of the insular government offices to Baguio during the hot season, and the several bureaus were housed in the larger building here shown.

"At the left are tennis courts for Filipino employees. On the hilltop at the right may be seen the great government mess hall. Employees were at first glad to live in tents, but were later given quarters in dormitories or in modest cottages.

"An athletic field at the Teachers' Camp, golf links at the Country Club, a polo field and numerous baseball fields, tennis courts and volley ball courts, afford abundant opportunity for invigorating outdoor sports.

"An army post, a government hospital, a great observatory, schools, churches, rest houses, and numerous simple but comfortable private residences scattered along twenty-one miles of fine road make a rapidly growing little city. ...

"The grip to Baguio is made by rail and automobile, and now takes about eight hours. In 1916 it will probably be possible to make the whole trip by train. Baguio should then become the great health resort of the Far Eastern tropics."

1. The Mentor magazine, the brainchild of William David Moffat, was described in detail in this January 2011 post on the website Inherited Values. The magazine's creators described their overall goal as follows in 1913, in this excerpt taken from the Inherited Values article:
"The purpose of The Mentor Association is to give people, in an interesting and attractive way, the information in various fields of knowledge that they all want and ought to have. The information is imparted by interesting reading matter, prepared under the direction of leading authors, and by beautiful pictures, produced by the most highly perfected modern processes.

"The object of The Mentor Association is to enable people to acquire useful knowledge without effort, so that they may come easily and agreeably to know the world s great men and women, the great achievements, and the permanently interesting things in art, literature, science, history, nature and travel."

Friday, October 25, 2013

Today's cool cover: 1962's "The Story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears"

Here's the cover of The Story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, a "See and Say Storybook" that was created and published in 1962 by James & Jonathan Inc. and the Samuel Lowe Company of Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Another James & Jonathan/Lowe book was featured in this December 2011 post. It's not 100% clear to me what the relationship was between those two companies, although I believe Lowe served as the publisher.

Meanwhile, this is the second cover related to The Story of the Three Bears that I've featured this year. Back in April, I wrote about a much older book that was adorned with a cover illustration by Margaret Tarrant.

What's your favorite version or illustration of The Three Bears?

A couple quick #FridayReads

I'm currently reading Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs.

And, if you need a sobering dose of reality, Joan flagged this short article in The Atlantic: "The Saddest Sea Creatures in the World Feast on Floating Trash" by Megan Garber.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Dick Gendron's QSL card featuring the Cherry Street fire

Tomorrow is the 50-year anniversary of the Cherry Street Fire.

Now I just need to find out what the Cherry Street Fire was.

A photograph from the fire is featured on this unique QSL card, which is stamped "FIRE BUFF" on the front and has the following information on the back:

1 Q 0928

Sadly, Gendron died in 2001 at age 65. It would have been interesting to get in touch with him and ask him about this QSL card and photograph. Here's a little bit about him and his life from his obituary:
"Dick worked at Cassler's toy store on North Winooski Avenue for more than 30 years. He served honorably with the Vermont Army National Guard for eight years. He was a longtime member of the Malletts Bay Fire Department and was known as the 'fire photographer' for Burlington and surrounding towns. In keeping with his spirit of community service, Dick founded the C.B. Radio Patrol Club."
See more vintage QSL cards starting here.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Flock of sheep featured on endpapers of Elson Junior Literature book

Here's another in a series of awesome vintage endpapers that have been featured here in recent months.1

This one comes from 1936's Elson Junior Literature Book Two, published by Scott, Foresman and Company. The book includes excerpts from pieces written by the likes of Henry Thoreau, Thomas Hardy, Sir Walter Scott, Henry Longfellow, Charles Dickens, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Daniel Webster, Abraham Lincoln, Rudyard Kipling, Edgar Allan Poe and Oliver Wendell Holmes.

But it's this endpaper illustration that I really love. And while the overall image is cool, these closeups show some of the fascinating details within the scene.

Is that supposed to be a smokehouse? A kiln?

1. Other posts featuring endpaper illustrations include:

Page for October 22 from 1916 book of short daily prayers

God's Minute was a compact little volume published in 1916 by The Vir Publishing Company in Philadelphia. The book (see picture below) is 4 inches wide, 5½ inches tall and 1 inch thick. It is described as "A Book of 365 Daily Prayers Six Seconds Long for Home Worship," with the content provided by "365 Eminent Clergymen and Laymen."

As you can see above, the October 22 prayer was provided by Rev. Charles Henry Pinchbeck of Baltimore, Maryland.

The book is well-used and well-worn. Pages are falling out, stained and paper-clipped. The exterior binding was taped to provide additional support in some unknown decade along the way.

In the 1940s and 1950s, someone used the book as a kind of journal. Numerous pages have pencil annotations about what took place on that particular day. For example (all spellings kept intact):

  • January 5 — Berl Moving to Sanford N.C. 1953 Franklin to Marys. Stuarts Draft Cool 30° at noon.
  • January 7 — Clarence Spitler died 11 AM 1944
  • April 8 — J. Wesley Spitler Burried 11 A.M. at Mt. Tabor 1954
  • June 18 — Franklin going to War. Howe took him to Staunton due 6:30 A.M. Spent nite here. 1953.
  • July 9 — Wreck oil tank & Lumber truck at 12 & 11 intersection, 2 drivers killed, blocked trafic 3 hours, 6 AM. 1952
  • October 15 — R.A. Spitler married 1885. Oct - 15th. Visited them Sunday Oct. 15 "65th aniversity" 1950
  • October 25 — First Freese 1955
  • December 7 — Pearl Harbor Attact 1941

I'm going to dive into this book again in a future post.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Four old postcards from Montoursville, Pennsylvania

I don't normally post images of postcards that aren't in my collection, but I was cleaning out some files on one of my computers and I figured these four vintage postcards of Montoursville, Pennsylvania, were worth sharing (for the tiny subset of you out there who are interested in seeing them).

I enjoy collecting postcards from the places that I've lived, which includes Montoursville (located in the northcentral part of the state) during most of the 1970s and early 1980s.

So, here are four cool images that I found in various corners of cyberspace.

"Broad St., Montursvill"

"Broad St., Montoursville"

"Caandell Bennett Porter Table Works"

"High School"

Old postcard of Altoona High School mailed in 1906

This postcard is dated June 1, 1906, and includes a short message on the front: "Will write a letter to-morrow." It was mailed to Mattapan, a neighborhood in Boston, Massachusetts, and it moved through the postal system pretty quickly. It was postmarked in Altoona, Pennsylvania, on at 2:30 p.m. on June 1 and postmarked as received in Boston — nearly 500 miles away — at 2 p.m. on June 2! Nice service.

Pictured is an earlier version of Altoona High School. This same card is featured in Altoona, a postcard book by David W. Seidel, which has the following caption:

"The second Altoona High School, constructed in 1905 in the neoclassical style, was characterized by Hummelstown Brownstone, colossal portico, and glass dome with Ionic columns. The central interior vault under the dome also had open spheres between floors under the dome. This structure was demolished in 1974 for a new high school, over the pleas of preservationists."

The fact that the preservationists failed to save the building is more interesting, given that the 1905 school was one of the early designs by famous American architect Charles M. Robinson, who later moved to Virginia and designed numerous college and public-school buildings that have made it onto the National Register of Historic Places. (For more on him, check out Charles M. Robinson's Schoolhouses in Northern Virginia.)

Isn't it a shame that this majestic building only stood for 69 years and can't be seen today?