Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Book cover: "Grandad and the Magic Barrel" by Ruth Manning-Sanders

  • Title: Grandad and the Magic Barrel
  • Format: Hardcover. All pages full color
  • Size: 6.5 inches by 8.5 inches
  • Pages: 24
  • Author: Ruth Manning-Sanders
  • Illustrator: Robin Jacques
  • Publisher: Metheun Children's Books Ltd., London
  • Printer: William Clowes & Sons Ltd.
  • Color reproduction: Lawrence-Allen Ltd.
  • Year: 1974
  • ISBN: 0 416 78890 4
  • Notes: This 41-year-old children's book is a wonderful rarity. It's a single tale by Ruth Manning-Sanders published as a hardcover book, with full-color illustrations on every page by her longtime "A Book of..." collaborator, Robin Jacques. ... This is one of three Manning-Sanders stories that were published as single-tale volumes in 1974, but the only one illustrated by Jacques. The other two — Stumpy: A Russian Tale and Old Dog Sirko: A Ukrainian Tale — were illustrated by Leon Shtainmets. ... Grandad and the Magic Barrel is a comic cautionary tale about the dangers of greed and cloning. And Jacques' stippling-technique illustrations greatly enhance the tale's enjoyment. He and Manning-Sanders were truly well-paired storytellers. ... This book, by the way, originally sold for 95 pence, per a sticker on the back cover.
  • Excerpt:
    "We can keep fish in it," said Grandad.

    And he picked up the fish and dropped it into the barrel.

    Oh, oh, see there! See there! No sooner had that little fish fallen into the barrel than the barrel was full of fish to the brim. Tom began taking out the fish, but as many as he took out, just that number of new fish appeared in the barrel.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Luckyday buttons — the talk of the town

Here's the front and back of a 3¼-inch-wide card that once held spare or replacement buttons from a brand called Luckyday.

Some of these buttons were produced in Muscatine, Iowa, which was once the Pearl Button Capital of the World, according to an informative article from the Muscatine History and Industry Center.

If you're interested in reading more about vintage buttons, one good place to start is the Button Floozies blog.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

1907 postcard: Nubilous but moonlit sky hangs over riverside town

As I sit here typing, it's 12° F outside and the fierce winds have died down for the moment. Here's an early 20th century postcard featuring a painting of a cloudy summer night, with a full moon shining through the overcast sky and down onto some riverside rooftops.

I can only read the second of the two postmarks on the back of the card. It was stamped on December 9, 1907, in Linden Hall, Pennsylvania. There are two possibilities for what Linden Hall could refer to:

  • Linden Hall is a girls' school (founded in 1746) in northern Lancaster County. I suppose it's possible that it once had its own post office.
  • There was a Linden Hall in Centre County, Pennsylvania, which thrived until the 1920s. It definitely had a post office around the turn of the century. It is now the Linden Hall Historic District.

I don't have a great guess as to which of those two it might be.

The split-back postcard is addressed to Miss Bertha Tressler of Linden Hall and the short message is: "I beg your pardon for not writing yet but will write soon. E.R.H." Yes, another one of those postcards to indicate that a longer correspondence is on the way.

Another mystery of this postcard is the publisher. This is the tiny logo on the back. It might be H.K. & M. Some sources indicate that it's Hubert Kohler & Co. of Munich, Germany.