Saturday, June 6, 2015

Saturday's postcard #4: France's Mont Saint-Michel in the snow

  • Title: Le Mont Saint-Michel (Manche)
  • Caption on back of card: Le Mont sous la Neige ("Mount in the Snow")
  • Publisher: Les Editions d'Art Yvon, Paris, 15, rue Martel. (Note the word Yvon on the lower-right corner of the front of the postcard.)
  • Year: None listed.
  • Used: Not really. Someone scrawled "14 July 1961" on the back, in light pencil.
  • Comments: I didn't consciously plan it this way, but here we are back at Normandy to conclude this Very Mini Blogathon on D-Day. This card shows historic and beautiful Le Mont-Saint-Michel covered in a bit of snow. ... According to, Edition d’Art Yvon, led by founder/photographer Pierre Yves Petit, began business as a postcard publisher in 1919. The Yvon images are still reprinted and sold on postcards today. ... Mont Saint-Michel has been featured in two previous Papergreat posts: In April 2013 and June 2013.

Saturday's postcard #3: 1967 Oldsmobile Custom Vista-Cruiser

  • Title: 1967 Oldsmobile Custom Vista-Cruiser
  • Caption on back of card: Same as the front.
  • Publisher: None listed.
  • Year: None listed, but 1967 would make sense, no?
  • Used: No.
  • Comments: The only other identifying information on the back of this postcard is "Litho U.S.A. 25-B-114." Plugging that into Google gets a big whiff. Presumably this was a promotional postcard used by Oldsmobile and/or auto dealers. ... The Vista-Cruiser, which was about as long as a Star Destroyer, was produced by GM's Oldsmobile division from 1964 until 1977, according to Wikipedia. Maybe your family had one? The 1967 model was part of the "First Generation." ... Here's a YouTube video by Miguel Caparros that shows off the 1967 vehicle (ski family not included)...

Saturday's postcard #2: "Greetings from New Bloomfield, PA"

  • Title: Greetings from New Bloomfield, PA
  • Caption on back of card: None.
  • Publisher: NYCE?
  • Year: None listed.
  • Used: Yes.
  • Comments: These old linen postcards came printed with "Greetings from" followed by the name of every city, town, village and hamlet imaginable. The colorful scenes of country roads and automobiles were generic and not specific to the area that the "Greetings from" were coming from. ... So this one sends greetings from New Bloomfield, which is a tiny borough of about 1,000 people in Perry County, Pennsylvania. According to Wikipedia, "The official name of the borough is Bloomfield. However the United States Postal Service, presumably to avoid confusion with the neighborhood of Pittsburgh which is also named Bloomfield, refers to the area as 'New Bloomfield.'" ... The postcard is described as part of the "'NYCE' Quality Colored Landscape Locals" series on the back. There was a NYCE Manufacturing Co. in Vernfield, Pennsylvania, that made postcards. (Vernfield is an unincorporated place near another unincorporated place, Harleysville, in Montgomery County. Seems that's an area that would be worth some more investigation.) ... This postcard was mailed to Mrs. Lester Bean of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in 1955, with the following punctuation-free note:
    "Hi Mom
    Well I am up here in the mountains again it is nice up here See you Sunday to get up on the news around there
    'Mom' Mamma"
    ... The postcard was mailed with a red, two-cent Thomas Jefferson stamp. ... Blank "Greetings from" postcards, by the way, are excellent to use for requesting Summer Tickets to the Late Show at the Ed Sullivan Theater.

Saturday's postcard #1: Cute cotton girl in the South

So many postcards! So little time!

Today, in addition to most importantly being D-Day, is the two-year anniversary of the conclusion of Great Papergreat Postcard Blogathon of June 5-6, 2013. I need to do another one of those some day. In the meantime, I'll use the 2013 format to have a Very Mini Blogathon today. Enjoy!

  • Title: None. Just a pretty young girl in a bonnet holding a heaping handful of cotton.
  • Caption on back of card: None.
  • Publisher [?]: Edw. Winslow, Orangeburg, South Carolina
  • Year: None listed. Likely 1950s or 1960s.
  • Used: No.
  • Comments: There's not much identifying or descriptive information on this one, but the great photo makes it worth sharing and remembering for posterity. This is a Plastichrome postcard by Colourpicture of Boston, Massachusetts. The only other information on the reverse side is "Color by Bob Taylor." I'm assuming that means Taylor is the photographer. For more on Plastichrome, see this April 2013 post.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Available courses at the University of Delaware, circa 1940-41

This is the cover of the thick volume that served as the course catalog at the University of Delaware in 1940-41, when my grandmother was a student there. She was enrolled at the Women's College, but also took some classes at Delaware College1, as she majored in biology en route to an eventual career as an allergy technologist, after the war.

Here's a sampling of some of the classes that were available at the University of Delaware at this time:

Delaware College

(Key to abbreviations: Ag Ec = Agricultural Economics, AgM = Agricultural Mechanics, Agr = Agronomy, AI = Animal and Poultry Industry, Ba = Bacteriology, Physiology, and Hygiene, Bibl = Bibliography, CE = Civil Engineering, Soc = Sociology)

  • Ag Ec 302 — Farm Management. The problems of organization, coordination and management of the enterprises of the farm.
  • AgM 202 — Field Machinery. An introduction to the fundamental field machines with emphasis on principles of construction, adjustment, repair, and care.
  • AgM 402 — Farmstead Equipment. Operation, design, and care of water, sewage, heating, and refrigeration systems on the farmstead.
  • Agr 321 — Soil Management. The classification, conservation, fertilization and management of soils.
  • AI 427 — Dairy Cattle Management. The fundamental principles of dairy farm husbandry including questions of feeding, breeding, management, sales, advanced registry testing, cost of milk production, etc.
  • Ba 407 — Poultry Diseases. A study of the infectious diseases of poultry which are of great economic importance to the poultry industry.
  • Bibl 102 — Use of Books and Libraries. A survey of about 200 of the more important dictionaries, encyclopedias, indexes, catalogs, bibliographies, and reference handbooks together with training in their use and instruction in the compilation of special bibliographies. Lectures with problems to be work on a laboratory basis.
  • CE 341 — Highways. Economics, principles of design and methods of construction of different types of roads and pavements.2
  • Soc 304 — Criminology and penology. A study of the backgrounds and causes of crime, together with a survey of the penological measures which have been and are being used to meet this social menace.
  • Soc 309 — Race Relations. A survey and analysis of American race relations. Consideration is given to the problems arising from the presence of such groups as the Negro, the Indian, the Oriental.

Women's College

(Key to abbreviations: Ec = Economics, Ed = Education, FA = Fine and Applied Arts, HE = Home Economics, M = Mathematics)

  • Ec 309 — Money, Credit and Banking. An analysis of the theories of money, credit, and banking and their relation to prices.
  • Ed 202 — Introduction to Teaching. A survey course designed to acquaint the student with important aspects of organized education as a major social enterprise and to lay the basis for later professional study for those who may wish to prepare for the profession of teaching.
  • FA 101 — Elementary Design and Color. A study of the elementary principles of art structure and color theory with special emphasis on their application to everyday life. Practice in original design.
  • FA 241 — Bookbinding and Tooled Leather. Background of past processes and present day tendencies in bookbinding and tooled leather. Creation of original designs worked out of each of the above crafts, making and decorating of books, portfolios, bags, etc.
  • HE 102 — Elementary Meal Preparation. The fundamental processes underlying the selection and preparation of foods, their function in the diet, processes of cookery, food production, distribution, and manufacture. Preparation and serving of simple meals.
  • HE 313 — Clothing Problems. Family clothing problems at various economic levels, tailoring, children's clothes.
  • HE 422 — Family Life. A study of the principles underlying successful family life; parent-child and sibling relationships; the family's leisure; the family as teacher and interpreter for its younger members.
  • M 446 — Higher Algebra.3 Matrices; bilinear forms; linear equations; quadratic and Hermitian forms; symmetric and Hermitian bilinear forms; linear transformations; invariant factors and elementary divisors.4

Related posts


1. There is some overlap, especially in the areas of general education, among the classes that were offered by Delaware College and the Women's College. So it's likely that many of those classes were co-ed at that point.
2. If you're interested in the history of American highways and their construction, you should check out The Big Roads: The Untold Story of the Engineers, Visionaries, and Trailblazers Who Created the American Superhighways by Earl Swift.
3. "Elective for Seniors of sufficient mathematical maturity."
4. I don't know what any of those things are. I would have stuck with the chickens or Use of Books and Libraries.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Edward Gorey's fabulous cover art for "The Wanderer"

This one, alas, is not from my personal library or art-covered walls. But it's too great not to share. It's Edward Gorey's cover illustration for the Doubleday Anchor edition of The Wanderer (original French title Le Grand Meaulnes) by Alain-Fournier.

The image is part of a recent article by Huffington Post's Claire Fallon — "Edward Gorey's Forgotten Book Cover Art Will Make You Happy And Afraid." You should check it out to see all the wonderful covers.

A much wider variety of covers are collected in Edward Gorey: His Book Cover Art and Design, which was published this year and features an introductory essay by Steven Heller.

Fallon writes on HuffPost:
"Heller notes the clear influence of 19th century cartoons and classical drawing in Gorey’s cover art — the jaunty, loose-limbed figures and pen-and-ink detailing — but his use of space typically lends the antiquated style a different aura. A small figure, dwarfed by a barren landscape in a few, flat colors, signals an ominous isolation that is pure Gorey."
* * *

Randomly, here are a few other great links I've come across this week:

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Wanamaker gets hip and other items from a 1970 Delaware County Scene

This advertisement for the John Wanamaker department store in Wilmington, Delaware, appears on the back page of the July/August 1970 issue of Delaware County Scene. Using a hip font, the advertisement declares 1970 to be "a new decade of young now fashions."1

Wilmington's Wanamaker complex opened in 1950. The building was recently renovated and repurposed to serve as the headquarters of Incyte, a biopharmaceutical firm that, among other things, has developed a drug called Jakafi to treat a rare blood cancer.2

Delaware County Scene was a combination of tourist guide and history guide, filled with local advertisements for the southeastern Pennsylvania county and Delaware. This 24-page issue3 is perfect bound and printed on newsprint.

Silvia Barfield Shay was the editor and publisher of Delaware County Scene, which was published out of Wallingford in cooperation with the Delaware County Tourist Bureau. According to Page 2, its distribution locations included banks, real estate offices, libraries, hospitals, schools, beauty shops, "milk and fuel oil companies," motels and tourist information centers.

Here are some other interesting tidbits from this issue:

  • You could rent a Ford Falcon for $9 per day, plus 9 cents per mile, from Drexel Fleets Inc. in Media.
  • There is an advertisement for Snowden's, which billed itself as "Media's oldest and most complete department store," having been established in 1868. According to "A Brief History of Media: 1850 to 1900," Snowden's continued in operation until a fire destroyed the West State Street building in 1976.
  • The follow is written about the Marrion Blackwell Trio in a section titled "After Dark Discoveries":
    "One of the delights of a visit to the Media Inn is the fine entertainment of the Marrion Blackwell Trio, who like 'the man who came to dinner' came to Media for a two weeks contract and has stayed year and year. Mr. Blackwell is a most versatile man on all instruments, and proudly relates to the days in Yankton, S.D. where he appeared with Lawrence Welk - the year 1932. Assisting at the piano is Bobby Jefferson with 'Streamline' Burrell on the drums. Fans came from the tri-state area week after week to enjoy the Marrion Blackwell brand of dance-forever music."
  • Carroll W. Griffith Co., a Wilmington-based real-estate company offered: "Complete real estate coverage thru 'Realtron,' (IBM computer for finding homes quickly)."4
  • Bethany Beach in Delaware was described as follows: "Quiet and picturesque Bethany Beach located between Rehoboth Beach and Ocean City, Md., is experiencing an influx of vacationists, but despite its growth has retained its family type atmosphere, free of crass commercialism, noise and traffic."

1. If you're interested in Wanamaker's history, check out the entries in Papergreat's Wanamaker Series.
2. For more on Incyte, see "Incyte to lease former Wanamaker building near Wilmington" (November 15, 2013, and "Incyte takes over reimagined Wanamaker building" (November 21, 2014,
3. The July/August 1970 issue was Vol. 4, No. 3.
4. According to the Canadian Real Estate Association: "The Realtron system was programmed so that members could ask it to produce homes from its memory bank to fit their prospects' needs. Within seconds after the question was posed, the computer would print out or speak to the member about appropriate properties." For more, here's a newspaper article from 1969 with the headline "Real Estate Board Will Use Computer To Locate Homes."