Saturday, November 8, 2014

Happy 100th birthday, Norman Lloyd (and other musings)

American actor Norman Nathan Lloyd is 100 years old today.

You might know him as Dr. Daniel Auschlander [at right] on the 1980s television series St. Elsewhere, which remains my favorite show ever.

He's also had roles in Chaplin films, Hitchcock films and Scorsese films, and if I have to mention the first names of those directors, then that list probably wouldn't impress you anyway. Lloyd was also an actor in a little company called the Mercury Theatre.

In 2000, at the spry age of 85, he co-starred in the live television play Fail Safe, alongside some guys named Clooney, Dreyfuss, Keitel and Dennehy.

If you want to learn more about Lloyd, you can read his own words in his autobiography, Stages of Life in Theatre, Film, and Television. Or check out this 2004 interview with Peter Tonguette at The Film Journal. Oh, and Matthew Sussman directed a documentary about him in 2007. Also, Jeffrey Wells put together a really nice post about Lloyd, full of video and links, on his Hollywood Elsewhere website.

As of today, it appears that Lloyd and Luise Rainer (The Good Earth) are the two most famous centenarian actors on the planet.1

More actors are sneaking up on the 100 milestone, though. Olivia de Havilland is 98. Kirk Douglas (Issur Danielovitch) will turn 98 next month. Maureen O'Hara is 94. Abe Vigoda is 93. Christopher Lee and Betty White are 92.

There are a couple of other amazing men in their 90s, too. I was watching The Right Stuff2 earlier this week and, afterward, I realized that space-age pioneers Chuck Yeager and John Glenn are still with us.

Charles Elwood "Chuck" Yeager, the first pilot to break the sound barrier, is 91. And John Herschel Glenn Jr., the first American to orbit the Earth and the only surviving member of the Mercury Seven, is 93.

We should make sure all of the younger generations know who they are and what they did for the country, while they are still around. Maybe that would help avoid embarrassing generation-gap errors like those that occurred when Neil Armstrong died.

1. Here is Wikipedia's list of living centenarians, focusing on individuals who are both 100+ years old and notable for other reasons in their long lives.
2. Besides the obvious things that are always correctly lauded with regard to The Right Stuff — the cinematography, the lead acting, the music, etc. — I would like to mention that Pamela Reed, Barbara Hershey, Veronica Cartwright and Mary Jo Deschanel are absolutely stellar. There are very few movies, then and especially now, that place that much care and focus on supporting roles for women.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Vintage photo: It's a wedding. She's allowed to cut loose if she wants.

Ha! Don't get into a drinking game with Grandma at the wedding. She'll put you under the table! In this vintage photograph with no identifications or date, a nice old lady has a glass of something in one hand and a bottle of what looks like Schlitz in the other. She's letting the bride know that she means business.

So, as Friday comes to a close, please ephemera responsibly this weekend.

The QSLs of Loring A. Daniels,
a brief introduction

Earlier this year, I said I was making my way through my last QSL cards. And I was. And it was a lot of fun. I featured swap-club stamps. I was in touch with the former owner of one of the 1960s QSLs. And I sent out a shot-in-the-dark QSL experiment. (Alas, there is still no reply from that last one.)

This was all supposed to be in the name of closure for the final few QSLs in my possession, neatly tying off that category of ephemera.

But it didn't quite work out that way.

I was trying to move on from QSLs. I really was. But, over the summer, I came across an entire collection of them at a local antique mall, all from the same individual. I was amazed to find that they dated all the way back to the late 1920s. (That "standard" QSL card was created around 1919.)

I didn't have enough funds to pick up the whole lot, but I snagged a few dozen cards, mostly from the 1920s and 1930s.

The earlier QSLs are addressed to Loring A. Daniels of Tuxedo Park, Delaware. Later, Daniels moved to Lancaster, Pennsylvania. I am looking forward to discovering more about Daniels and his involvement with ham radio. And I'm looking forward to sharing with you these cards, which date back more than 80 years in some cases. They're truly fabulous; many of them are hand-drawn and nothing like the professionally printed cards from the 1950s through 1980s that I've shared in previous posts.

In the meantime, today's QSL is more of a postcard/QSL hybrid. It features Wacker Drive in Chicago, Illinois, and was mailed to Daniels from Chicago in November 1930 with a 1¢ stamp.

The front of the card features the call sign W9CNO. The rest of the contact information is written in black ink on the front, over the postcard image. It tells us that the contact occurred at 2:30 p.m. on November 1 and that the W9CNO operator was Don Senesac of Chicago.

Senesac adds an additional note to Daniels on the back...

If you can't read it, the note partially states: "First qso with delaware and sure would appreciate a card. O-M - notice in last QST, only 19 of u boys in Del..."

QST means "calling all stations" and likely refers to a well-known amateur-radio magazine that has been published since 1915.

And so that's a first look at one of the Daniels QSLs. Much more to come!

Victorian card for New Home sewing machines (Speakman & Manierre)

This colorful but bittersweet Victorian trade card measures roughly 3 inches by 4½ inches.

The advertising copy states:

Simple, Durable, Handsome,
Office, No. 10 East Seventh Street,
Wilmington, Delaware.

Of course, a young boy sitting on a wall and looking forlornly at the flowers in his hand has nothing to do with selling sewing machines, but that was par for the course for Victorian trades. It was memorable enough that nobody ever threw it out! And now it has far, far outlasted Speakman and Manierre, whoever they were.

There is a Delaware-based plumbing-supply business, Speakman Company, that was founded in 1869 by Allen and Joseph Speakman. But I cannot find any mention of a person named Manierre who was involved with the business. Nor do I think Speakman was ever involved with the sale or manufacture of sewing machines.

I did, at least, find some other vintage advertisements that pitch "The Light Running New Home Sewing Machine":

So the actual company manufacturing this item was called The New Home Sewing Machine Company, and it was located in Orange, Massachusetts.

You can read more about the company's history in a wonderfully illustrated post by Alex I. Askaroff, in this post by Kate Miller-Wilson on LoveToKnow, and from a 1997 article titled "The Men Behind New Home."

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Public service announcement:
Winter is coming

It's still autumn, but it's starting to feel like winter. Part of Maine got 20+ inches of snow earlier this week. And an "Arctic outbreak" is forecast to bring chills to the United States next week. It's time to check on the snow shovels and salt, find your mittens and make sure the larders and freezer are stocked with Spam and scrapple. (Or, if you prefer, Vegan Spam and Vrapple.)

So, anyway, here's a neat old illustration simply titled "WINTER." It's from a loose page (with no identifying information) that I came across. And it doesn't appear that the artist is credited anywhere within the illustration.

I did discover, however, that the original source of this piece of artwork might be an 1857 issue of Arthur's Lady's Home Magazine, according to this 2012 post on Janet Boyer's Fizz of Ideas blog, which shows a color version of the same illustration.

Here are some closeups that show the wonderful level of detail within "WINTER."

Related posts

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Exaggerated vintage postcard of a weakfish caught off Long Island

One of the articles that was included in yesterday's links roundup was io9's fun piece titled "Tall Tale Fishing Postcards, The Ultimate Humblebrag Of The Early 1900s."

Here, to accompany that, is an exaggerated cartoon postcard that I came across recently. The text on the back of the unused card states:

Giant swordfish, marlin, tuna, bluefish, weakfish, fluke, bass, bonita, codfish and many other edible varieties that abound in Long Island waters are caught in great numbers.

I'm surprised they didn't call it a "reel vacation." Seems like there was a missed pun opportunity there.

This is an undated Plastichrome postcard. It gives credit for the "color photo" to Milt Price of Northport, New York. And the card features this logo for Tomlin Greeting Cards:

The Tomlin Art Co. was also located in Northport. According to the Metropolitan Postcard Club of New York City, Tomlin was in business from 1943 until sometime in the 1960s. It was "a publisher of collotype view-cards of Queens County and Long Island, New York. Many of these cards, printed in black & white and monotone had hand coloring added to only selective parts of the image possibly by airbrush. This firm later went on to produce photochromes."

Meanwhile, the abundance and "paradise" of Long Island fishing today is not, of course, what it used to be. For a great read with tremendous photography, check out this November 2013 Narratively piece by Doug Kuntz and Tara Israel titled "The Last Fishermen of Long Island."

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Cool stuff: Witches, Tupperware, eating habits, Veselka and more

Everyone is a little eclectic, in his or her own way, about what they like they read. My daughter is just finishing up and enjoying The Matrix and Philosophy, for example. I don't suspect that all of these articles are your cup of tea. But maybe one of the topics, websites or writers will pique your interest and introduce you to something you might not otherwise have stumbled upon. Enjoy!




Monday, November 3, 2014

Fun with book spines

Here's yet another thing you can't do with e-books: Arrange the colorful spines to make a creative visual statement.

I reckon this one could apply to lots of stuff, including Star Trek, the new movie Interstellar and the new Michel Faber novel The Book of Strange New Things.

See more book-spine poetry from the School Library Journal.

Creased and crinkled old snapshot of a youth baseball team

This old snapshot, which is about five inches wide, does not have any identifications on the front or back. So we're left to wonder what year this is from and what area's youth baseball team is pictured.

Here's a closer look at the team...

And here are closeups of a few players...

I wonder if any of them went on to the major leagues!

Related posts