Saturday, January 18, 2014

1918 postcard: "Let's take a trip you und me..."

A couple things about the front of this postcard:

1. Does it look like this goat-mobile is about to hit a rock and take a major jolt? Is that intentional?

2. If it looks like the little girl's smile has been augmented, that's because it was. The note on the back of the card will explain.

This postcard was postmarked at 1:30 p.m. on October 2, 1918, in Watertown, New York.1 It was mailed to Mrs. George Munson of Nicholville, New York. (Nicholville is a hamlet within Lawrence, New York. The hamlet was originally called Sodom.)

The cursive note on the card, to the best of my interpretation skills, states:
Dear Pearl do you recognize this pair. please observe I added a little to the facial expression on the young lady. arrived in Watertown tuesday 1 p.m. Geo is still crazy to move and I am just sawing wood.2 will be good you know what that means. be [obscured]. lovingly, [obscured]

1. October 2, 1918, was the date of World War I's Charge at Khan Ayash. It also marked the conclusion of the Fifth Battle of Ypres.
2. "Sawing wood," of course, is slang for sleeping.

FOVA #5: Golden Sceptre tobacco

Magazine: The Strand Magazine
Date: Circa 1896
Company: Surbrug, New York City
Product: Golden Sceptre pipe tobacco
Text: If you're a pipe smoker a trial will convince that Golden Sceptre is perfection. Send 10¢ for sample package.

Friday, January 17, 2014

FOVA #4: Jaguar, The 3.4 Mark 2 Saloon

Magazine: The Sphere
Date: November 10, 1961
Company: Jaguar
Product: The 3.4 Mark 2 Saloon
Text: A special kind of motoring which no other car in the world can offer. Jaguar. Grace...Space...Pace.

The aquatic life: vintage book jackets featuring a submarine and a yacht

Ready for some nautical adventures? I found these two books, with dust jackets attached, during last week's trip to Bethlehem.

Especially in the case of the Submarine Boys novel, it's not too common to find decent dust jackets on books this old.

The Submarine Boys' Trial Trip

This is the 1909 edition published by the The Saalfield Publishing Company, and it features the adventures of Jack Benson, Hal Hastings and Eph Somers.

I actually wrote about a different copy of this book in January 2012. That edition was published by the Henry Altemus Company of Philadelphia. Apparently, all of the books in this juvenile adventure series by Victor G. Durham were published simultaneously by Saalfield and Altemus.

One Altemus advertisement describes the series thusly:1
"These splendid books for boys and girls deal with life aboard submarine torpedo boats, and with the adventures of the young crew, who, by degrees, become most expert in this wonderful and awe-inspiring field of modern naval practice. The books are written by an expert and possess, in addition to the author's surpassing knack of story-telling, a great educational value for all young readers."

Cruising is Fun: The Handy Handbook for Yachtsmen

This book was written by Brandt Aymar and published by Greenberg.

In 1941.

As you might imagine, within a few months of this book's publication, recreational yachting was no longer quite as enjoyable of a pastime, what with those unterseeboots lurking in the high seas.2

Chapter 1, by the way, is jauntily titled "So You've Got a Boat!"

2. In fact, World War II is still haunting the seas, according the the May 2013 Mother Jones article "How Hitler's U-Boats Are Still Attacking Us" by Julia Whitty.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

FOVA #3: Inventory Book of Household Goods

Magazine: The Strand Magazine
Date: Circa 1896
Company: The New York News Company
Product: Inventory Book of Household Goods
Text: Fire! Fire!! Fire!!! "Then comes Mr. Insurance Man and asks for your inventory!!!! And in that day you will regret you did not procure for 10¢ our..."

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Buzza Company auction bridge pads

Pictured above are the illustrated covers of two auction bridge score pads published at least seven decades ago by The Buzza Company of Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Auction bridge was the precursor to contract bridge.)

The Buzza Company was in business from 1907 to 1942. Here is a short company history from the Hennepin County Library of Minnetonka, Minnesota:1
"George Buzza founded the Buzza Company in 1907. The company started out by selling college advertising posters and posters for retail clothing stores. When the market for these disappeared, he decided to manufacture greeting cards. After a slow start the company turned a corner in 1917 when sales hit $75,000. By 1927 sales reached $2.5 million. In 1928 it merged with the Charles S. Clark Company of New York City. In 1929 Buzza sold his interest in the company and retired to California. The Buzza Company continued in business until 1942 when its stockholders decided to liquidate it because of large business losses."

Here's a look at the inside of one of the score pads.

Buzza still has some very good buzz with collectors. There is a Buzza Collectors Web Club for fans of the company's products. Buzza Motto prints, especially, are still highly sought and collected. (Just search for "buzza" on eBay and you'll see a few hundred auctions.)

This 2011 blog post by Vintage Val includes a video and more information about the Buzza Mottoes, and you can also check out this Pinterest board dedicated to Buzza.

Finally, there is Carol Pattison's 2009 book, Sentimental Treasures: Buzza Mottoes, which contains more than 360 full-color photos.

1. Other sources of information about The Buzza Company include:

FOVA #2: Morton Salt

(What's FOVA? See yesterday's post.)

Magazine: Unknown
Date: Circa 1953. (Morton developed iodized salt in 1924, and there's a reference to Morton pioneering iodized salt 29 years ago.)
Company: Morton Salt
Product: Morton Salt and Morton Iodized Salt
Text: When it rains it pours. America's best selling table salt. More people use Morton's because "when it rains it pours." Available plain or iodized. (Morton pioneered iodized salt 29 years ago to help prevent simple goiter.)
Note: The illustration is attributed to Douglass Rockwell.

Attention housewives: Here are 5 of the 219 ways to a man's heart

This staplebound recipe book, 219 New Ways to a Man's Heart, was published around 1929 by True Story magazine.1 It was a followup to 161 New Ways to a Man's Heart, which sold 125,000 copies at 10 cents apiece, according to this second edition's preface.

This edition contains the 161 recipes from the first edition, plus 58 new recipes.2 (A few years later, True Story published a third edition — 333 New Ways to a Man's Heart.)

The cost of the second edition remained 10 cents, even with the additional recipes.

The recipe books were compiled by True Story's resident cook, Phoebe Dane. In the foreword, she writes:
"Men certainly like good substantial home cooking, the kind of things Mother used to make, as they usually express it. And while we may have a lot of good simple dishes that we make for the children, and some dainty and elaborate recipes clipped from magazine articles that we like to try on our women friends — after all, it's for the man of the house that we put forth our noblest culinary efforts. Why not admit it? ... My good wishes for a happy home, a smiling family and above all, a contented husband, go with this little book."

Here are five recipes from the book, which I chose more for their entertainment value than their potential for satisfying a spouse.

Eggs and Spaghetti
Cook ½ pound spaghetti in boiling salted water until tender — about 20 minutes — and drain in colander. Hard cook as many eggs as desired, slice them them and warm in tomato sauce thickened with flour and butter and seasoned with grated cheese. Arrange the spaghetti in a circle on a hot dish, with eggs and tomato sauce in center, sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.

Sweet and Sour Tongue
Boil tongue in salted cold water, almost covered, until tender. Skin, strain water, and skim fat. Boil together until thick (1 hour) a Lepkuchen (fish cake)3, a slice of lemon, 1 white onion, sliced, 1 cup granulated sugar and 1 cup vinegar, with stock from tongue. Boil tongue in this sauce ten minutes, leaving pot uncovered.

Chicken Gelatine
Pull off the thick skin from chicken feet and remove the toes.4 Add just enough water to cover them and simmer for 2 hours. Strain off liquid, add 4 white eggs to the jelly and boil the mixture for 5 minutes. Let cool 20 minutes then strain through 2 thicknesses of cheesecloth. Leave in a cool place overnight. Remove any fat that has solidified on the surface and combine with fruit juices or flavoring.

Gesetze Boney Soup (A Favorite Jewish Dish)
Clean and wash 1 quart white beans and put in a large pot or kettle. Lay in this ½ pound smoked breast of beef, and 1½ pounds brisket with the bones. Add 5 pieces of garlic cut small, salt and 2 tablespoons flour. Fill with water to an inch over the meat, and boil all day long.

War Cake5
Boil together for five minutes 2 cups water, 2 cups brown sugar, 1 teaspoon ground cloves and cinnamon, 2 tablespoons butter, ¼ teaspoon salt and 1 pound small seedless raisins. When cold, add 3 cups sifted flour and 1 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in a little warm water. Bake 50 minutes in a modern oven.

1. Related post: "A Thousand Ways to Please a Husband"
2. The booklet also contains a number of neat old advertisements, including ones for Thompson's "Double Malted" Malted Milk, Lux, French's Mustard, Chicos Spanish peanuts, Jell-O, Ovaltine, Kellogg's and Mazola-Mayonnaise.
3. I'm a bit confused by this, because the only Lepkuchen references I can find online are for lebkuchen/lepkuchen, which is a Pennsylvania Dutch dessert that has nothing to do with fish. Help?
4. This marks the first time that sentence has been used on the Internet. I am beaming with pride.
5. War Cake is also known as Depression Cake.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Far-Out Vintage Advertisement #1: Stokely's Finest Golden Corn

More than 1,100 posts into the Papergreat Era, I still have a daunting supply of cool items that I want to include here.

But I'm never going to get to all of them!

Watching a couple episodes of Hoarders last night, however, has inspired me to find new ways to tackle the ephemera backlog. So, in addition to continuing onward with regular posts full of fun facts, silly asides and unnecessary footnotes, I'm launching a new feature today.

The FOVAs (Far-Out Vintage Advertisements) will be quick posts in which the image is the star. Most of these are from old magazine tear sheets. I'll keep the text minimal and let you enjoy these — for the design, for the humor, for the nostalgia. (Please share your thoughts and memories in the comments section.)

I plan to post one of these every afternoon, giving you a new reason to come back daily.

Here's FOVA #1...

Magazine: Unknown
Date: Unknown
Company: Stokely-Van Camp, Indianapolis, Indiana
Product: Stokely's Finest Whole Kernel Golden Corn
Text: Heat. Eat. Enjoy.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

"The Oak and the Mistletoe-Seed" in 1883's The Fourth Reader

This wonderful illustration, "The Oak and the Mistletoe-Seed," serves as the frontispiece in the 1883 textbook The Fourth Reader, which was part of Butler's Series, published by E.H. Butler & Co. of Philadelphia.

"The Oak and the Mistletoe-Seed" is one of 84 stories in the 256-page textbook. In the tale, which deals with the importance of kindness, the seed is given a voice and there are no children present. It begins this way:
"The seed of the beautiful mistletoe was separated from its parent. It went forth in search of a home wherein it might receive protection and care. 'Perhaps,' said the little seed to itself, 'I may one day be a large and beautiful plant like that from which I have sprung.'"
Other stories in The Fourth Reader include:
  • "The Faithful Spaniel"
  • "The Cocoanut-Tree"
  • "Marjorie's Almanac"
  • "The Caliph and the Weaver"
  • "How King Olaf Built his Church"
  • "The Banana"
  • "Your Rate of Travel"
  • "Vision of Belshazzar"
  • "The Seven Sleepers of Ephesus"
  • "The Tower of the Black Douglas"

Here's a closer look at part of the frontispiece.