Thursday, April 17, 2014

Illustrated map of "Desert of Maine"

This little card — it's five inches wide — served as both the admission ticket and route map for an attraction called the Desert of Maine in Freeport, Maine. The ticket/map was printed by the Globe Ticket Company in Boston, Massachusetts.

The "desert" is, according to Wikipedia, a "a 40-acre tract of exposed glacial silt (a sand-like substance, but finer-grained than sand) surrounded by a pine forest." It's been a tourist attraction since 1925, when it was purchased for just $300 from the frustrated family that could no longer farm the land.

The map has 19 marked points. Here's the legend for those points, taken from the other side of the card:

1. Desert of Maine Gift Shop

2. Fascinating sand designers

3. The original barn of the once-fertile Tuttle Farm

4. One of the many vari-colored sand beds — Use the trowel and see how many colors you can find.

5. Remains of the original Tuttle homestead boundary posts

6. Moss beds

7. An excellent vantage point for picture-taking

8. Here lies an apple tree which was completely buried in 1953.

9. Another vari-colored sand bed

10. Another excellent point of vantage for photographers

11. The almost-completely buried Spring House built in 1938

12. Birches surviving the encroaching sea of sand

13. The Desert of Maine's highest dune — 75 feet

14. Clay beds, always moist

15. Last vestiges of the original Tuttle farm orchard

16. Indian tepee (A good place to get a photo of the "chief" of the family)

17. Indian shop

18. Desert of Maine Oasis refreshments

19. The famous Desert of Maine register. Please check your state or country and record your visit.

At the Desert of Maine today, admission is $10.50 for adults and a little less for those age 16 and under. It offers narrated coach tours, walking tours, nature trails, gemstone hunts, the opportunity to fill your own sand bottle, camping, disc golf and a butterfly room.

Has anyone ever been there?

Old advertising card for Battlefield Nurseries in Gettysburg

This undated advertising card, which is about the size of the postcard, is for Battlefield Nurseries, a business that was launched in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, more than a century ago. According to the card:

  • The proprietors were C.A. Stoner and J.E. Stoner.
  • The office was located at 42-44 West High Street.1
  • The business offered "healthy and hardy fruits and ornamental trees, shrubs, vines, roses, etc."
  • Special attention would be given to orchard planters and those designing lawns and parks.

Here are some historical tidbits I discovered, regarding Battlefield Nurseries:

  • Battlefield Nurseries had 6½ acres in Gettysburg, according to the eighth annual report of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture for 1902. That made it the fifth-largest nursery in Adams County, behind only C.L. Longsdorf in Floradale, W.E. Grove in York Springs, O.P. House in Bendersville, and A.S. Wright in Bendersville.
  • Two related items: "The firm of C.A. & J.E. Stoner, trading under the name of The Battlefield Nurseries was dissolved May 17th, 1905, and the business of the Battlefield Nurseries at Gettysburg will hereafter be conducted by C.A. Stoner, who has become sole proprietor of said Battlefield Nurseries." ... "I take pleasure in announcing that I was formerly a member of the firm composed of C.A. & J.E. Stoner trading as 'The Battlefield Nurseries' at Gettysburg, Pa., and I now own the Westminster Nursery at Westminster, Maryland. I have disposed of my half interest in the title 'Battlefield Nurseries' to C.A. Stoner and I now remain owner of the undividen one-half interest in the growing nursery stock known as the Battlefield Nurseries at the time of my retirement therefrom May 17, 1905, and will also supply my trade therefrom. J.E. Stoner." (The National Nurseryman, Volume 13)

So we know that the card was printed prior to May 1905, when the Stoners split up as business partners in Gettysburg. That is reinforced by the back of the card, which contains more than a dozen testimonials from Battlefield Nurseries customers. Here are some of them:

  • "Frederick, Md., Nov. 17, 1902. We received the pear trees O.K. and they are fine. C.E. KLEIN."
  • "Franklintown, Pa., April 13, 1903. It is with pleasure that I wish to inform yon [sic] about the trees that I bought of you this spring. I am very well pleased with them and I find that every person in the whole neighborhood that secured trees are pleased. I have been talking with a great many about buying trees for fall planting and they all intend to plant Battlefield Nurseries trees. MILTON HOFFMAN."
  • "East Berlin, Pa., April 4, 1903. In looking over the nursery stock received from you I am much pleased. C.B. KAUFFMAN."
  • "New Germantown, Pa., April 11, 1903. Trees at hand in good shape and well pleased. S.A. GEETSHALL"
  • "Barnitz Sta., Pa., March 30, 1903. Trees received O.K. J. WARREN PEFFER."
  • "Monaghan, Pa., April 11, 1903. Would you please send me one more shade tree — Carolina Poplar! They are fine and I am well pleased with them. JOHN BURGARD."

1. In Gettysburg, 42-44 West High Street is now the site of a multi-family home, according to Trulia.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Well-loved 1942 Borden recipe booklet

Sure, it's neat to come across a pristine vintage cookbook. And as a part-time dealer of used books, I know that the value of old books can rise considerably based upon their condition. But, as a part-time ephemera collector, I also think it's neat to come across old paper that is well-worn and meant something to somebody.

There is no doubt that the booklet shown above — a 24-page collection of recipes from Borden — was an important part of someone's kitchen for many decades. The cover is creased from top to bottom and reinforced with tape around the edges. The year of publication (1942) has been printed in the upper-right corner, along with the notation that this booklet contains canned milk recipes. The corners are worn and there are numerous smudge marks inside from someone flipping through the pages.

This booklet was well-loved and well-used. And that's pretty cool.

As to whether the recipes are magic, as Elsie the Cow claims in the cover illustration ... well, that's another question.

Here are the names of some of the recipes listed inside. Let me know in the comments what one(s) you want me to share, and I'll do so in a future post.
  • Apricot coconut balls
  • Molasses taffy
  • Peanut butter fruit confections
  • Six way cookies
  • Unbaked brownies
  • Baked cocoa custard
  • Chocolate orange frosting
  • Tutti-frutti ice cream
  • Magic chocolate pie
  • Magic lemon meringue pie
  • Magic prunecot pie
  • Fluffy chocolate pudding
  • Magic mayonnaise
  • Magic fruit cream sauce
  • Surprise apple cake

Monday, April 14, 2014

Vintage wrapper for a Milk-Nickel

Here's a vintage wrapper for the "Milk-Nickel," which was produced by Meadow Gold back in the day.1 The wrapper is six inches long with an opening at one end. These are the ingredients, as listed inside one of the folds:

Ice milk on-a-stick covered with an imitation chocolate coating containing: vegetable oils, sugar, cocoa, non fat milk solids, lecithin, salt and vanillin (an artificial flavoring).

Here are some memories and tidbits about the Milk-Nickel that I uncovered:

  • Monterey County Herald: In a January 19, 2014, article in the Herald, columnist Phil Bowhay writes:
    "If you are mature enough, you might remember Milk Nickels, chocolate-covered ice cream on a stick. Unless you swallowed it fast, which we usually did, it tended to melt all over your hand. Fun to lick it off, or let somebody else do it. The big deal with Milk Nickels was the free stick gimmick. Every hundred or so sticks were marked 'free,' and so it was for the next Milk Nickel. (Without the free stick they cost a nickel...5 cents.)"
  • Fourth Ward Store: This essay, by Leo and Edna Loveridge, contains the following excerpt:
    "The little Fourth Ward Store was started around 1930. It started right in that neighborhood and was around about thirty years. ... We would buy a 'Milk Nickel' as they were called — chocolate coated ice cream on a stick. They came in a box of 24, and there was a free one in each box. They could tell which one was free. Years and years later he asked, 'Did you ever wonder why you got a free one every time you came in and I waited on you?' I said, 'No, I just thought I was lucky.' Even back then he was giving me free ice cream. She was a cute little gal. I guess even at that early age I must have been deeply attracted to her."
  • Midlife Crisis Hawaii: This blog has a June 2010 post titled "Old Time Cold Summer Treats." The post is not about Milk-Nickels, but there are 117 comments2, including these that refer to Milk-Nickels:
    • "In the late 70s when I moved to my first apt, a 7-11 popped up on the corner and they had a sale on Milk Nickels 10 cents each. My neighbors and I pretty much cleaned out that freezer of Milk Nickels. lol They kept replenishing and the sale lasted over a month… boy were we happy!"
    • "Thinking about 'milk nickels' there was this other ice cream bar we’d get in school. Just like a milk nickel but better. It had lil crispies in the chocolate coating. I stayed up almost all night trying to figure out its name as I don’t think they’re made anymore. And THEN……it came to me…..'Dixie Doodle'. And I can now live life again as that mystery’s solved."
  • Duke University Libraries: Milk-Nickel billboard, circa 1930s
  • Untitled list of school memories from Hawaii: Lynn Knudsen Fragas recalled: "Lani Moo at Meadow Gold Dairies in Niu Valley and her yearly birthday party, where you had to get
    on stage and sing to get a half pint of chocolate milk or a milk nickel."

Meadow Gold dates to 1897 and is still around3, making products such as TruMoo chocolate milk, Espresso Fudge Pie Premium Ice Cream, blue raspberry drink and guava nectar. There are also many kinds of ice-cream bars, though no Milk-Nickel. The company's standard ice-cream bar is probably the closest descendant of the Milk-Nickel.

Related post
1972 wrapper for Eskimo Slush Stik

1. Most other online references refer to them as Milk Nickels, without the hyphen. But I'm going to use the hyphen, since there's one right there the wrapper.
2. Yes, I'm jealous. Y'all should comment more on Papergreat.
3. I found a couple of different Meadow Gold websites, and I'm not sure which one is the most current. They are (which has a nice history page) and, which is focused on the company's presence in Hawaii. Meadow Gold is also listed as a "brand" of Dean Foods on this page.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

World War II matchbook covers

These old matchbook covers contain stirring illustrations of tanks, planes, ships, soldiers and eagles, along with various patriotic slogans aimed at those on the American home front during World War II:

Plus, of course, all of the matchbooks remind you to "Close Cover Before Striking," the history of which is discussed in this 2012 blog post by John M. Greco.

Only two of the matchbooks also serve as marketing for a specific business. One touts Victory Tavern, while another promotes Dubbleware union-made work clothes, which were produced by M. Hoffman & Co. in Boston, Massachusetts.

These matchbook covers were a gift from Jim Lewin, owner of The York Emporium, which has to be one of the best places to browse for used books, ephemera and curiosities on the East Coast. Lewin is recovering from a heart attack he suffered in January and hopes to return to tend to his store soon. (For more, check out this excellent story by Mike Argento in the York Daily Record/Sunday News.) In the meantime, though, the Emporium, with its endless aisles filled with treasures, remains open.

So, if you're a book lover and are within driving distance of York, Pennsylvania, you should plot out a day trip on your calendar. As Lewin said: "It's not about me. It's about the store, and it's about the books."

Related posts

It's been five years since Harry Kalas, the Voice of the Phillies, died

Five years ago today, on April 13, 2009, Harry Kalas died at age 73.

Kalas (pictured at right circa 1980) was the broadcasting voice of the Philadelphia Phillies from 1971 through early 2009. My favorite call by Kalas is Mike Schmidt's 500th career home run on April 18, 1987, at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia. You can watch and listen in this clip from Major League Baseball on YouTube.

This is the very short piece I wrote for the front page of the York Daily Record/Sunday News on the day Kalas died.

Harry Kalas, who was perfectly described as “the narrator of our memories”; whose baritone delivery could be picked out in a half-instant from all the static and swill on the AM band; whose easygoing play-by-play and banter with Richie Ashburn was a constant summertime companion in the heads of Phillies fans as they cooked meals, folded laundry, ran errands, relaxed down the shore and nodded off at night; whose dramatically rising tones sent chills down the spine with descriptions of Michael Jack Schmidt’s Hall of Fame career and the exploits of four World Series teams; whose time in the Phillies’ broadcast booth was bookended by Boots Day and Troy Tulowitzki at-bats; who had us almost convinced that Chunky Soup was a good and healthy idea; who made “Outta here!” forever a part of the baseball lexicon; and whose voiceover work on NFL highlight reels stands on its own high pedestal despite the impossible challenge of following in the footsteps of John Facenda, sat down with his notes and scorebook in the press level at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., for the seventh game of his 39th season as the voice of the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday afternoon and died.

He was 73.

Hard to believe.

“In many ways, Harry is the narrator of our memories,” said NFL Films president Steve Sabol.

And now, our narrator is himself a memory.