Saturday, June 21, 2014

The "Eye Ball Q.S.L." card from Road Runner

This KBC4059 QSL card for Dick "Road Runner" Jalbert of Agawam, Massachusetts, is slightly larger than a business card.

Eyeball QSLs are, to my understanding, used for the exchange of ham-radio contact information at face-to-face gatherings (as opposed to being sent through the mail, as standard-size QSL cards often are). Eyeball QSLs might be handed out at club meetings or given to prospective members or newcomers to the hobby.

On the blog titled VU2SGW, a ham-radio hobbyist from India wrote the following in 2009:
"The term eyeball in HAM lingo means nothing but meeting a person and having eye to eye contact. Eyeball QSL Cards can make a lasting impression at club meetings, hamfests, or anywhere hams gather. They are visiting card size and are easier to carry around than a QSL Card. When I happen to run across a fellow Ham in public, I don’t miss the opportunity to hand out my eyeball card. I do digital graphic designing as an hobby, it was an added benefit. I have designed some custom made eyeball for me and my friends as well."

Meanwhile, on the GL1800Riders message board in 2012, a poster nicknamed Halfling from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, began writing about eyeball QSLs and potential meetups among hobbyists. Read his two message-board threads here and here.

In August 2013, I featured a 1960s Errol Engraving advertisement for ham-radio supplies. On of the items available was 60 self-sticking "Eye Ball" QSL labels for 50 cents.

Check out all of the vintage QSL cards I've posted on Papergreat.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Snazzy 1960s postcard of a historic Chicago hotel

I love the artwork on this 1960s postcard for a Sheraton hotel in Chicago, Illinois. It looks like something that would be right at home in Mad Men. Unfortunately, there is no indication on the front or back of the artist who deserves credit for this. We know only that it was a Lusterchrome card made by Tichnor Bros. of Boston, Massachusetts. The card was published by International Hotel Supply Co., also of Boston.

Here's the information about the hotel that is printed on the back:
505 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611
Telephone: 312 - WHitehall 4-4100
Teletype 312-222-0749
1100 luxurious rooms ... Magnificent indoor swimming pool ... Exotic "Kon-Tiki" Restaurant ... Located on beautiful Michigan Avenue near City's smartest shops ... adjacent to City's newspapers and advertising agencies ... within walking distance of Chicago's Loop. Free Parking. Family Plan.
Insured Reservations at Guaranteed Rates
Confirmed in Seconds via Sheraton's exclusive "Reservatron II"

This building has a storied history. It was designed by architect Walter W. Ahlschlager and built in 1929 as the Medinah Athletic Club, a luxury men's club.1 But then it fell victim to the stock-market crash and closed in 1934. It went through several incarnations, including serving as residential apartments at one point, before being transformed into a hotel in 1944.

Over the years, it has been the Continental Hotel and Town Club, a Sheraton hotel (there was expansion and the addition of the "Kon-Tiki" Restaurant during that period) and a Radisson hotel.

It is now the InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile and is on the list of Historic Hotels of America.

Here are some excerpts from the InterContinental's history webpage:
  • "Restoration work was guided by the original athletic club's 1930 yearbook, the SCIMITAR, donated by a club member. Its black-and-white photographs were used to duplicate and restore entire rooms, right down to the detailing in draperies, carpets and murals. Today, each floor of the hotel represents a myriad of cultures and eras."
  • "The four-story lobby features a grand staircase with cast-bronze friezes along the handrail taken from the original Medinah Athletic Club, showcasing a harmonious merging of old-world elegance with 21st-century craftsmanship. Ceilings are painted in dark tones with Celtic and Mesopotamian motifs of the lion, the fish, the eagle and the Assyrian bull to typify the highest powers of nature."
  • "The Grand Ballroom is the site of some of Chicago's most elaborate weddings and events. Located on the seventh floor with a balcony on the eighth floor, the Grand Ballroom is designed in an unusual elliptical shape. Around the ceiling are 37 hand-painted murals of classical landscape scenes that were taken down and restored by the artist who consulted on the restoration of the Sistine Chapel ceiling. He also added 24-karat gold leaf to the moldings surrounding the paintings and the 12,000-pound Baccarat crystal chandelier, the largest in North America."
  • "Directly above the Grand Ballroom is the hotel's famous junior Olympic swimming pool. Although the original athletic club facilities included a gymnasium, running track, bowling alley, golf driving range and archery range, the pool is the only element to survive today. Considered an engineering feat when it was built in 1929 because it was above ground, the pool is 25 meters long, and holds 120,000 gallons of water. It has had many famous visitors, including Olympic gold medalist and Tarzan star Johnny Weissmuller."

1. According to Wikipedia: "The cornerstone of the Medinah Athletic Club was laid on November 5, 1928. In a ceremony held that day, a copper box was placed within the cornerstone to commemorate the occasion. Filled with records of their organization, photographs of its members, a copy of the Chicago Tribune announcing the proposal of the building, coins, and other historic data, this time capsule remains sealed within the hotel’s limestone exterior."

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Nostalgia: Five TV movie intros that kids these days will never experience

Kids these days ... they just pop in a DVD or click on the movie they want to watch in Netflix. There's no combing through TV Guide or the newspaper to see what's going to be televised. And, sadly, there is no opportunity to experience these fabulous movie openings that defined my generation. (Trigger warning: You will get nostalgic watching these!)

Million Dollar Movie (WOR-TV)

ABC Sunday Night Movie

HBO movie (1980s)

Creature Double Feature (WKBS-Channel 48, Philadelphia)

CBS Saturday Night Movies

Share your memories of TV movie intros in the comments section!

Vintage pamphlet touting the Dutch Boy Color Gallery

The smiling Dutch Boy is the iconic image that has been used to market Dutch Boy paints for more than a century.

This is the cover of a small pamphlet that was used to advertise the National Lead Company's Dutch Boy Color Gallery. I believe it dates to the 1950s.

The Dutch Boy brand dates to 1907, which is when the character was conceived. The Dutch Boy website states that: "Michael E. Brady, the nine-year-old boy who became the inspiration for the famous Dutch Boy trademark, was not Dutch at all, but an Irish-American who lived near the artist commissioned to create the logo."

Some further background comes from a 2009 article at Retro Planet:
"Artist Rudolf Yook, an artist of Dutch descent, drew up the image for the Dutch Boy. The company commissioned Lawrence C. Earle to do an oil painting of their new advertising icon, which would become their trademark. The boy was to be wearing overalls, Dutch wooden clogs, and carrying a paintbrush and bucket. Earle used an Irish-American boy who lived in his New Jersey neighborhood as the model for the Dutch Boy. Interestingly, this nine-year old little boy grew up to be Michael E. Brady, a well-known political cartoon artist, who worked for the Brooklyn Eagle."
Here's a look at the inside of the pamphlet...

The text states:
"Our 'Dutch Boy' Color Gallery offers you something new in paint! Something more than a fascinating choice of colors; more than a choice of three rich finishes — flat, satin, high lustre. More, because your choice includes an easy-to-use alkyd resin type enamel — the latest advance in paint. It rolls or brushes on utterly smooth. It dries tough. Its beauty snaps back with every washing. It shrugs off wear. So come in, choose your favorite Color Gallery hues today!"

The back of the pamphlet indicates that it was once available at Motter Supply Co. at 232 Locust Street in Columbia, Pennsylvania. That business appears to be long, long gone.

A final interesting note about Dutch Boy is that there was a Dutch Boy Paint Gallery, highlighting "Our Future in Colors," at Disney's Tomorrowland from 1956 to 1963. Read more and see lots of cool images at Dave DeCaro's DaveLand blog and

Monday, June 16, 2014

Aesop's Fables illustrations courtesy of Mrs. Winslow's Soothing Syrup

Around 1915 (exact publication date not known), the makers of Mrs. Winslow's Soothing Syrup published a booklet, which also served as a promotional device, titled Fables from Aesop.

The 12-page, staplebound booklet contains 10 illustrated fables. Each page also contains promotional blurbs and testimonials for the Soothing Syrup, which was designed for teething children.


There was a good reason for Mrs. Winslow's to openly declare that there was no morphine in the soothing syrup: At one point, there had been morphine, as a primary ingredient.

The product, created by a Mrs. Charlotte N. Winslow in the 1840s, originally consisted of morphine sulphate, sodium carbonate, spirits foeniculi, and aqua ammonia, according to Wikipedia.

As early as 1860, according to The Quack Doctor, the American Medical Times noted grimly that parents were “relieved of all further care of their infants” through the use of Mrs. Winslow's product.

In 1911, the American Medical Association flatly labeled Mrs. Winslow's Soothing Syrup as a “Baby Killer" — but even that apparently didn't speed the product's exit from the market.

In fact, the third volume of An Annotated Catalogue of the Edward C. Atwater Collection of American Popular Medicine and Health Reform states that "as late as 1915 ... the mixture contained five per cent alcohol and one-tenth of a grain of morphine sulphate per fluid ounce."

So, clearly, we should be happy for the regulation of pharmaceuticals that exists in the modern United States.

Here is a look at four illustrations of Aesop's Fables from within the booklet...

The Fighting Cocks and the Eagle

The Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs

The Dog and the Hare

The Kid and the Wolf
(Goat on roof!!!)

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Great reads: Puns, Alzheimer's, elephants, corpse roads and more

I know, you haven't even finished reading all of the great articles I posted in the last roundup.

Too bad. You're simply going to have to make more time in your life for reading. Because this roundup has more than 30 additional recent links that come with the Papergreat Seal of Approval. Have fun diving in! And if you come across something cool, send a tweet to @Papergreat.

Books & reading







Pure silliness

A colorful trio of vintage ink blotters

I have featured a wide variety of vintage ink blotters here over the years, including a questionable sedative to battle insomnia, an allegedly healthful product to mix into your milk, and a pro-anthracite blotter for Crown Coal.1

Here, for your Sunday morning enjoyment, are three more vintage pieces.

"Look in the yellow pages"
According to Wikipedia, "the name and concept of 'yellow pages' came about in 1883, when a printer in Cheyenne, Wyoming, working on a regular telephone directory ran out of white paper and used yellow paper instead." In some countries, they are officially known as the Golden Pages.

Robin Hood flour
This brand, which dates to the early 1900s in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, is still around. Now, of course, it's owned and operated by an international food conglomerate — Cargill. Read more about it on the product's history page and also check out Robin Hood's extensive recipe library.

Dorman Products
This detailed ink blotter touts the "complete line of clutch parts" available from Dorman Products for Buicks, Pontiacs and Chevrolets. Dorman's aftermarket auto-parts business dates to 1918.

1. Check out all of the past ink-blotter posts here.