Saturday, February 1, 2014

FOVA #19: Far East Moon Guitar ... and more

(Note: This is only a portion of the advertisement.)1

Magazine: House Beautiful
Date: March 1962
Company: Palley's, Los Angeles, California
Products: Far East Moon Guitar, Alabaster Grapes, Italian Hanging Lantern
1. Far East Moon Guitar. An authentic Oriental stringed instrument to inspire the decorative imagination. Traditional in Chinese life for centuries. Hang or frame as a conversation piece ... play it if you desire. A graceful 38" long. Sold up to $45.00 in decorator shops.

2. Alabaster Grapes. From Italy. An exciting decorator accent when used to decorate that special bowl, table or what-not shelf. Colors: white, yellow, pink, green, brown, black, red, or blue. Specify color and size. Give 2nd color choice.

3. Italian Hanging Lantern. A glass decorator lantern from Genoa, Italy. Has antiqued or black metal binding and chain. Complete with chain and mounting bracket. Specify glass colors: smoke, green, amethyst or white.

1. Not pictured: Sea Grass Matting, Far East Wall Plaques, South Seas Luau Net Kit and Bamboo-Handle Silverware.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Postcrossing gems: Margaret Tarrant and Cossack Mamay of the Ukraine

I received a couple of neat, folklore-themed postcards from Europe this week via Postcrossing.

Shown above is the front of the card I got from John in the Netherlands. It's an illustration titled Water Sports by English artist Margaret Tarrant (1888-1959). The work of Tarrant (pictured at right) has been featured on Papergreat before; she illustrated this cover of the The Three Bears.

According to her Wikipedia biography:
"In the 1920s, Tarrant helped to popularize fairies in a long-running series of titles on the theme such as The Forest Fairies, The Pond Fairies, and The Twilight Fairies. She was long associated with the Medici Society and many of her postcards, calendars, and children's books were published by the organization."
Clearly, this postcard illustration, with its fairies racing ducks on a pond, fits in with her primary theme.

On the postcard, John writes:
"Hello Chris. I never before heard of Ruth Manning-Sanders, nor Margaret Tarrant. But somehow, they must at least have met. (?) Anyway, I live in the coastal town/port of Vlissingen, which gave its name to New York's Flushing. My town is some 1,000 years old, but in the 16th century only it became more important. Our most famous citizen: 'Michiel de Ruyter.' If you want, just Google him."

The second postcard came to me from Natalia in the Ukraine.

Natalia writes:
"Postcard shows Cossack Mamay [who] is a Ukrainian folkloric hero. Cossack Mamay is encountered in legends, folk stories and proverbs. Cossack Mamay is one of the most common characters in Ukrainian folk painting, from the late 17th century to the present time!"
Here are some more Cossack Mamay tidbits from Wikipedia:
  • The Ukrainian spelling of his name is Козак Мамай.
  • He is a primary character within the Vertep, the portable puppet theater of the Ukraine.
  • He is considered to be the national personification of the Ukraine (much as Uncle Sam is considered such in the United States).
  • Cossack Mamay is usually shown with a kobza (a lute-like musical instrument), a horse, and his weapons hanging from the branches of an oak tree. (All of those can be seen in this postcard, which is an illustration by Maryna Mykhailoshyna.)

Looking back, another Postcrossing postcard I received last year from the Ukraine — A meal of varenyky and uzvar — also features the character of Cossack Mamay, although he is not specifically named as such. The mustache and hairstyle are certainly similar.

FOVA #18: Olympic StereoCenter

Magazine: House Beautiful
Date: March 1962
Company: Olympic (Division of the Siegler Corporation)
Product: Olympic StereoCenter
Text: A HOUSEFUL OF FUN from one Olympic StereoCenter.
TV in the living room .. 23" TV* with expanded 3-D sound!
HI-FI in the playroom .. both stereo and monoaural!
RADIO in the bedroom .. AM, FM, FM-Stereoplex, Simulcast!
Easy as 1-2-3, you send this richly varied entertainment throughout the house! You can switch your programs from room to room, with the exclusive built-in Sound Control Center (below) and optional remote speakers. her is fun for all the family, all the time! Olympic combinations start at $329.95. Quality hand-wiring, power transformers! Early American, French Provincial, Contemporary, Traditional, Oriental styles in a wide variety of furniture finishes!

*Diagonal measure

Vintage cover: Horatio Alger Jr.'s "Risen from the Ranks"

Risen from the Ranks; or, Harry Walton's Success was written by Horatio Alger Jr. (1832-1899) and first published in 1874. It was one of the volumes in the Luck and Pluck Series.1

This cover is from the edition that was published by the John C. Winston Company. (Many companies published and republished Alger's works.)

Chapter XIII concerns the Clionian Society and its elections.2 Our hero, Harry Walton, has just been elected Secretary of the society. Here's an excerpt of the discussion that follows:
Fitzgerald Fletcher did not vote for him. Indeed, he expressed it as his opinion that it was a shame to elect a "printer's devil" Secretary of the Society.

"Why is it?" said Oscar. "Printing is a department of literature, and the Clionian is a literary society, isn't it?"

"Of course it is a literary society, but a printer's devil is not literary."

"He's as literary as a tin-pedler," said Tom Carver, maliciously.

Fletcher turned red, but managed to say, "And what does that prove?"

"We don't object to you because you are connected with the tin business."

"Do you mean to insult me?" demanded Fletcher, angrily. "What have I to do with the tin business?"

"Oh, I beg pardon, it's your cousin that's in it."

"I deny the relationship," said Fletcher, "and I will thank you not to refer again to that vulgar pedler."

1. Some of the other Alger series included the Ragged Dick Series, the Tattered Tom Series, the Brave and Bold Series and the Way to Success Series.
2. There have been at least three U.S. colleges with a literary club known as the Clionian Society. According to Wikipedia, the one at McKendree University in Lebanon, Illinois, is still active. Clionian, I believe, is a reference to Clio, the muse of history in Greek mythology.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

FOVA #17: Atmore's Mince Meat

Is that boy coming out of the pie?!?

Magazine: The Ladies' Home Journal
Date: November 1919
Company: Atmore & Son, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Product: Atmore's Mince Meat
Text: Really Thick Mince Pies! There's no pride or pleasure in a pie unless it makes the mouth water — unless its goodness fulfills your expectations. Mouth-melting pies of this sort are made with Atmore's Mince Meat. Sun-Maid Seedless Raisins and Fruits in Atmore's expand and absorb the rich juices. Your oven produces a thick pie that's a revelation. Housewives: insist on Atmore's. No sugar or "extras" needed. Atmore's Old-Fashioned Wet Mince Meat (sold in bulk) needs no mixing. ... Try Atmore's Philadelphia Plum Pudding.

Old-style Ruth Manning-Sanders library book borrower's card

Remember when library circulation cards looked like this?

This is the card that's still tucked away in the interior pocket of my copy of A Book of Spooks and Spectres by Ruth Manning-Sanders.

The book was previously part of the Metro Nashville Public Schools library system and, according to a stamp on the outside edge of the book's pages, was housed at Joelton Elementary School.

And, in the early 1990s, some students named April, Chris, Angela and Derrick checked this book out. (If, perhaps, more students had checked it out, it might have remained on the library's shelves.)

This circulation card was made and sold by Brodart, which has been in the library supplies and furnishings business since 1939, according to the history page on its website. In a neat twist (for me), it turns out that it's primarily based in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

In fact, you can still get the borrower's card pictured in today's post from Brodart! The cost is $30 for 1,000, or $3.15 for a "convenience pack" of 100. (I'm curious how many of these Brodart still sells, as libraries become more digital.)

As for the book itself, A Book of Spooks and Spectres contains 23 international folk and fairy tales, as retold by Manning-Sanders. Some of the tales include "Old Tommy and the Spectre" (from England); "Yi Chang and the Spectres" (from Korea); "Rubizal and the Miller's Daughter" (from Bohemia); "Tummeldink" (from Schleswig-Holstein); "The Little Old Man in the Tree" (from Yugoslavia); and "The Lake" (from Estonia). That last one is an odd and delightful tale in which a lake, tired of the annoying villagers who live nearby, rises up into the air — fish and all — and flies off to a new, more peaceful, home.

Related posts

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

FOVA #16: Perfect Cold Cream

Magazine: The Ladies' Home Journal
Date: February 1920
Company: Daggett & Ramsdell, New York City
Product: Perfect Cold Cream "The Kind That Keeps"
Text: It's your charm of face — your lovely complexion — that brings you the Valentines of love and admiration. To win supremacy in the courts where many vie for beauty, you have but to use Daggett & Ramsdell's Perfect Cold Cream "The Kind That Keeps." Indoors and out-of-doors, at fêtes and under public gaze, your fair skin will be assured of softness and delicate freshness., if you apply D&R Perfect Cold Cream daily. It's the cream supreme that relieves all irritation of chapping and chafing. Hands that are rough and red respond quickly to its healing qualities. Babies are kept happy by its use. You will enjoy its home ministrations in countless ways.

Battling cold, flu or grippe? Take some opium-laced Derfule!

While the polar vortex, bombogenesis, cryoseisms and other nasty weather phrases are attacking North America this winter, many of us are further plagued with coughs, sniffles, fevers, chills and general unwellness.

But if you still have some Derfule — as advertised on this vintage ink blotter1 — in your closet or medicine cabinet from 80 years ago, you're all set!

Derfule, produced by the Cole Chemical Co. of St. Louis, was specially formulated to fight colds, grippe and flu:
"Discomfort is often quickly relieved, mucous secretion checked and cough reduced by use of Derfule. Each capsule contains Powder of Ipecac and Opium (containing 1/40 gr. Opium) ¼ gr., 'Warning - may be habit-forming' Atropine Sulfate 1/500 gr., Acetophenetidin 1½ gr., Aspirin 2 gr., Camphor ⅛ gr., and Caffeine Alkaloid ⅛ gr. Average adult dose 1 or 2 capsules. Exempt narcotic, registry number required."

It looks like Derfule contained an ingredient that was also known as Dover's Powder, an opium-based medicine developed in the 18th century by English physician Thomas "Doctor Quicksilver" Dover (1660–1742).2

According to Wikipedia, Dover's Powder "was an old preparation of powder of ipecacuanha (which was formerly used to produce syrup of ipecac), opium in powder, and potassium sulfate. The powder was largely used in domestic practice to induce sweating, to defeat the advance of a 'cold' and at the beginning of any attack of fever."

Of course, if there's no Derfule around or if it doesn't give you the needed relief from your cough due to cold, you can always try to find an old, old bottle of Bayer around the house...

1. The Herb Museum website features a different vintage ink blotter for Derfule.
2. Doctor Quicksilver sounds like a name of a character in a Marvel comic.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

FOVA #15: Flexible Flyer

Magazine: National Geographic
Date: Circa 1934
Company: S.L. Allen & Company, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Product: Flexible Flyer
Text: NOTE TO PARENTS: Remember half the fun at Christmas is in getting the make of sled you want. ... Boys and girls! Now is the time to tell them it has to be Flexible Flyer — the smoothest and keenest sled on the hill. You want the streamlined chassis and Safety-Runners of Flexible Flyer. You want the Super-Steering that takes every turn in high. You want Flexible Flyers — the sled that made sledding a leading sport. All sizes, styles and models now on display. Show the family exactly the one you want!

Vintage postcard showing the alpine village of Sestriere, Italy

Every time I look at this postcard, I think it's fake.

It looks like an architectural model. Or perhaps a futuristic set from everyone's favorite 1960s British marionette action series, Thunderbirds.

But, no. This is a real photograph. Or, at least, I'm 98% convinced at this point that it's a real photograph.

It's definitely a real place.

This is Sestriere, a picturesque mountain village in northwestern Italy, along the French border. It's primarily a ski resort that sits about 6,700 feet above sea level and served as the venue for the alpine events at the 2006 Turin Olympics.

According to
"Sestriere is one of Italy's oldest purpose built resorts. ... The two hotel towers that dominate the skyline have become the symbol of the village. They were built in the 1930s by FIAT’s founder Giovanni Agnelli to provide a holiday retreat for the workers in the FIAT factory down in Turin."
I culled some additional information on Sestriere history from its Italian-language Wikipedia page. It was founded in October 1934. Agnelli had purchased the land that became the village for 40 cents per square meter. The two hotels (seen in this postcard) are known as The Towers and were designed by Vittorio Bonadè-Bottino in the Italian Rationalism style.

After World War II, Agnelli's nephew, Giovanni Nasi, continued the development of Sestriere. Nasi served as the village's mayor from 1948 to 1980.

More information:

Monday, January 27, 2014

Vintage, foreboding religious tract: The Mark of the Beast

This dire Christian tract was written by A.M. Fox and issued by the Pilgrim Tract Society of Randleman, North Carolina.1 I estimate that it was published sometime between 1933 and the early 1940s. The Pilgrim Tract Society, according to its own history, was incorporated in March 1938. (Its founders, though, were producing tracts years before the official incorporation.)

For additional historical context, some of the American agencies and legislation referred to in the elaborate "Mark of the Beast" illustration include:
  • Social Security (established 1935)
  • The New Deal (enacted between 1933 and 1938)
  • Works Progress Administration (established 1935)
  • National Recovery Administration (1933-1935)

Here are some interesting excerpts from the four-page tract, which is very concerned with Adolf Hitler, personal identification numbers, and ultraviolet tattoos (not necessarily in that order):
  • "Two particular baits the Anti-christ will use to coax people under his snare before they are caught and compelled to take the mark: Money and hunger. Many people are already more concerned about their ability to buy and sell than they are about their soul's welfare."
  • "The promise of big money for little work will also cause many to take their soul-damning mark which seals their eternal destinies and sends their souls to hell."
  • "You will not, perhaps, be compelled to take the number 666, but merely take your own social security number, or its equivalent, when it has become universal."
  • "Already there are dictators (un-crowned kings) springing up everywhere.2 It means only one thing: they are preparing the way for the great world dictator, the Anti-Christ ... to come and take the reins of the whole earth."
  • "Perhaps through radio television the image will be made 'to both speak and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.'"3
  • "No longer do say, 'It shall come to pass in the last days,' but it HAS come to pass. The blue eagle brought a mark of great change in America.4 In Russia, the hammer and sickle is the mark. In Germany, the swastika, and in Italy the battle ax and rods are fore-runners of the universal mark of the Beast, and are making the world mark-conscious in order to SNARE the people."
  • "Modernism, Communism, Fascism, Nazism and all other isms are hell-born and the world has accepted them without reservation though they tend to destroy all faith in God."
  • "Practically all nations have their 'number' system in operation, without which no man can secure work or buy the necessities of life. It is used chiefly for identification purposes. In all our defense work and other projects, etc., one must have his number as well as his picture in sight."
  • "The Hall Laboratories have an invention that could be utilized as a great asset in these busy times, but the Devil will, no doubt, monopolize it and bring about this very mark of the Beast. It is a fluid that can be written or tattooed on human flesh but remains invisible unless a certain light shines upon it. Now, one day too soon, when we have more license and ration books and identification numbers than we can manage, most people will gladly have their social security numbers tattooed on themselves and be privileged to 'throw away' all the red tape and march under this light in the store or the gate to their jobs and be recognized as beneficiary of all the ration requirements, etc., and be thereby ENSNARED into taking the mark of the Beast, the brand of hell."

The last section seems to be referring to the concept of ultraviolet/blacklight tattoos, but I can't discover anything more about the what and where of Hall Laboratories. Anyone have any ideas?

Related posts

1. Randleman is misspelled as "Randeman" on the tract.
2. That refers to Hitler, Benito Mussolini, and Joseph Stalin, among others.
3. Television was in development through the 1920s and 1930s. It first began to make an impact and impression in the second half of the 1930s, as it was used in Germany to broadcast the 1936 Berlin Olympics and it was showcased to the American public at the 1939 New York World's Fair. Already, though, some were clearly fretting about the possibility of powerful figures using TV to influence the masses.
4. The "blue eagle" is a reference to National Recovery Administration logo. Coincidentally, I also brought this up last week in a post about Kellogg's Corn Flakes.

FOVA #14: Goat Lymph Sanitarium Association (say what?!)

Magazine: The Strand Magazine
Date: Unknown
Company: Goat Lymph Sanitarium Association (New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Toledo, Ohio)
Product: Goat Lymph Treatment for Nervous Diseases
Text: In this treatment — the most important advancement of the century in therapeutics — sufferers from neurasthenia (nervous prostration and exhaustion), locomotor ataxia, paralysis, epilepsy, articular rheumatism, and the troubles incident to premature old age, have the strongest possible encouragement for complete recovery. Our new magazine gives full information. It will be mailed to you on request.

Note: And if this doesn't work, there's always radium.

Enjoying the lindo, a traditional Croatian folk dance

The cheerful looking men and women on this undated vintage postcard1 are doing a traditional folk dance called the lindo.

The text on the back, in Croatian and English, states:
Narodni ples iz okolice Leskovca (Crna Trava)
Folk dance from the surroundings of Leskovac
(Crna Trava)
First of all, we're dealing with three different location names, which are now in three different countries.
  • Dubrovnik — This Croatian city is a walled seaport on the Adriatic Sea that dates to the 7th century. Its current population is about 42,000 and you might recognize some of its locations from their use in HBO's Game of Thrones.
  • Leskovca — This is a tiny settlement of fewer than 100 people in the hills of eastern Slovenia.
  • Crna Trava — This is a village and municipality in Serbia. The name Crna Trava translates to Black Grass, and there's a story behind that.2 The village and municipality have a combined population of about 2,000.

So, we have Croatia, Slovenia and Serbia in the mix here. But enough with the geography. What's the lindo?

According to "Five Croatian Dances to See and Enjoy" on
"Seen by many tourists during their summer visit to Dubrovnik, lindo can also be found throughout the Konavle region and the Peljesac Peninsula as well as surrounding areas. It features a dance master who, together with its trusty lijerica (a three-string instrument played with a bow) dictates the rhythm to the dancers by stamping his foot. The dance master issues commands, usually in rhyme, and usually of a humorous nature."

Just this past October, in a sign of the times, some lindo dancers in Dubrovnik qualified for the Guinness Book of World Records by dancing together in a group of 274.

A blogger for The Essence of Dubrovnik indicates that lindo is pronounced lin-jo and wrote about seeing an amazing dance troupe performance in December 2010: "There was one particular dance where the men performed some very intricate footwork, the only music coming from castanets attached to their black leather boots."

Finally, here's a link to one of the YouTube videos you can find showing lindo performances.

Related posts

1. The postcard was printed in Italy and is a Rotalcolor Rotalfoto. It was produced by the "biro za turističku propagandu" of Zagreb. That translates to the fairly unsubtle "bureau of tourist propaganda."
2. According to Wikipedia: "The origin of the name dates back to 1389, when Battle of Kosovo took place. A Serbian army unit, composed of Serbian archers and cavaliers, decided to take a rest on a grass field while travelling to the battlefield. Since the flowers and other herbs covering the field were highly poisonous, the soldiers became intoxicated, thereby they did not wake up on time for the battle. Realizing that fact, they cursed the grass that poisoned them, branding it 'black' grass."

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Nope. Not going to this football party.

Read closely. I think I'll be catching the Broncos-Seahawks game somewhere else next Sunday.

Photo cards: Souvenir cheesemaking in Broek in Waterland

These three photos, each of which is about 3½ inches wide, were part of an undated packet of photo cards titled Souvenir Cheesemaking, Cheese Export, from Broek in Waterland, Holland. The photos were published by F.W. Bruin, and the photographer was Jan Loos of Hilversum.

Beneath each photo is the text that appears on the back.

Kaasmakerij - Cheese-Factory

Droogstelling (kaas) - Cheese Drycaffold

[Apparently, these Dutch believed that drycaffold was our English term for "drying rack."]

Winterstal - Winter cow-house

Broek in Waterland is a cozy little town of about 2,000 residents near Amsterdam. It has always been known for its beauty and cleanliness. (There's an anecdote, surely untrue, that even Napoleon had to remove his boots before entering the town.)

Here are some links to more information about Broek in Waterland and that general area of The Netherlands:

FOVA #13: Radium Remedies Co.

Magazine: The Strand Magazine
Date: Circa 1904 (elsewhere on the page is a reference to the St. Louis World's Fair)
Company: Radium Remedies Co. of Chicago, Illinois
Product: Radium Remedies
Text: Chronic Diseases, Consumption, Cancer, Bright's Disease, Rheumatism and all forms of (supposedly) incurable diseases yield quickly, and are permanently cured by the Eighth Wonder of the World, Radium. "The most wonderful scientific discovery of recent years." — British Medical Journal. There is no guess work or experimenting about Radium. People who want to be cured can be cured quickly. Full particulars about Radium and our Remedies which make a scientific application of the marvelous new power to the treatment of the above mentioned diseases and Asthma, Catarrh, Bronchitis, Dyspepsia, Liver and Kidney Troubles, Malaria, Nervous Disorders, Eczema and Partial Paralysis, will be sent FREE upon receipt of inquiry and a statement of your case.

Note: This was a bad idea, right?