Sunday, July 6, 2014

1970 calendar tucked away inside 1936 book about Blacky the Wasp

On the Fourth of July I featured a newer item that was tucked away inside an older book. Here's another piece of ephemera along those lines. It's a pocket calendar (slightly larger than a credit card) for the year 1970, courtesy of Good News Publishers of Westchester, Illinois, and the Christian Book Shop at 255 West Market Street here in York.

Good News Publishers dates to 1938 and still continues under the name Crossway. You can read about its history here.

The 1970 pocket calendar was found inside a 1936 staplebound volume titled The Adventures of Blacky the Wasp.

The book was written by Chas. E. Robinson1, illustrated by Charles Ramsay and published by the Gospel Publishing House of Springfield, Missouri. That publisher is still in existence.

The nature of this 88-page volume can be gleaned from the blurb on the title pages, which states:
"Filled with many strange, little-known facts, stated with scientific accuracy, about John Bartram's Great Black Wasp whose life history cannot be explained by the supposed laws of Evolution."
(Bartram (1699-1777), who was born in the Pennsylvania Colony, was a Quaker botanist, horticulturist and explorer.2 In 1749, he wrote a letter to Mr. Peter Collinson in which he described the Great Black Wasp.)

Here's an excerpt from Robinson's tale about Blacky, to give you a taste of the author's approach:
"Blacky the Wasp is a great digger. Indeed such wasps as she is are called, by men who study about such things, Digger Wasps. Since Blacky found the place for her home on the side of the clay bank by Laughing Little Brook she has dug and carried out a great deal of clay. The clay that Blacky has carried out of the hole she has made if it were weighed would weigh as much as one thousand seven hundred wasps the size of Blacky. ... God made Blacky so that she knew without being told what she ought to do, and just how to do it. He made her so she didn't need anyone to tell her to hurry with her work, and get it done. Isn't it a wonderful God who would take the pains to put it into little Blacky's head the knowledge that she must dig a deep hole in the side of a bank, and that she must dig it in a certain distance in one direction and then change and dig it in another direction until she has dug it deep enough?"

1. One source indicates that the E. stands for Elmo. According to the author biography on the final page of The Adventures of Blacky the Wasp: "Charles E. ("Daddy") Robinson understands that the child receives many of his first and lasting impressions from the living things about him. So Mr. Robinson makes nature speak out to the glory of God. He causes the birds and insects to give a vocal lesson on faithfulness and the wonderful provisions of the heavenly father." Other books by Robinson included The Adventures of Sally Cottontail, The Gnat's Lifeboat and Other Stories, The Adventures of Keo the Colt, and The Adventures of Hush-Wing the Owl.
2. Bartram wrote a book titled Observations on the Inhabitants, Climate, Soil, Rivers, Productions, Animals, and other Matters Worthy of Notice, made by Mr. John Bartram in his Travels from Pennsylvania to Onondaga, Oswego, and the Lake Ontario, in Canada.


  1. The 1970 Christian Book Shop Calendar brought back many memories. I had several of those calendars. I remember the Christian Book Shop quite well. Before the Christian Book Shop opened in that loacation at 255 West Market Street, there was a neighborhood grocery store located there - at least from the late 1950's to the early 1960's but may have been there longer. It was known as Yost's Store. Mr. Yost not only operated the store, but also owned the building. My grandmother lived on the 3rd and rented from him. I believe the store stood empty for a number of years after the grocery store closed and until the Christian Book Shop opened. While the store was rather small, it was jam packed full of Christian books, awards, jewelry, records, tapes and other items. Eventually the Christian Book Shop store at 255 West Market Street was too small to conduct a growing business and they moved about two blocks east towards the square. They moved into the former Cut Rate and later known as Super Shoes building which is today occupied by the Pawn Shop. Actually up until the early 1970's, Thompson's Book and Stationary Store at 35 West Market Street had a monopoly on Christian books, awards, Sunday School and Bible School Curriculum as well as business supplies, secular books, cards, and just about any stationary or office supply you needed. Starting in the 1970's, their business began falling and they eventually closed in the mid 1970's. For years, the Christian Book Store operated where the Pawn Shop is today. Because of a deteoriating business atmosphere in the city of York, The Christian Book Store moved to their location on
    Industrial Boulevard and were there for many years. About two years ago they moved to their current location off Concord and Mt. Zion Roads in the Strip Shopping Mall. Of course, the store changed owners and names quite a few times. When the the Christian Book Shop was located at 255 West Market they were a much friendlier and quaint Mom and Pop style store. Whenever stores become large they lose that customer friendliness and camaraderie.

  2. Looks more like 1910 calendar, check the days of the week.

    1. It's 1970, week starts from sunday here.

  3. Black Sabbath's debut LP was released on 13th Feb 1970. I am so glad this handy source clarified the date.