Friday, June 24, 2016

1970s summer comics nostalgia with Thing and Vision, Episode III

Back in July 2012, I featured DC Comics' Batman hawking Twinkies1 in a comic-book advertisement. Today, in the interest of giving equal time to Marvel Comics, I am presenting portions of the Twinkie advertisement "Thor Meets a Glutton for Gold" from the May 1978 issue (#39) of "Marvel Two-in-One."

The full-page advertisement features a little mystery involving Thor and Asgard's disappearing stockpile of gold.2 But gold-thief Gudrun the Golden3 is foiled when Thor sets a trap involving the Hostess snack cakes.4 And when Gudrun is captured, Thor exclaims, "Thy taste for gold has entrapped thee!!!!!!" (Yes, with six exclamation points. This is the comics, after all.)

Meanwhile, another Asgardian exclaims, "The creamed filling, too, is worthy of the gods."

Here's the triumphant final panel of the advertisement.

In 2009, Teague Bohlen5 wrote an article titled "The 10 Dumbest Comic Book Hostess Ads" for The Robot's Voice. His (slightly edited) summary of the advertisement is as follows:
"So let me get this straight: Gudrun the Golden is stealing the gold from Asgard. Thor’s brilliant plan is to hook him instead with golden-hued Twinkies, so he leaves the real gold alone. Which works. But then at the end, Thor and Sif are talking about how Twinkies are preferable to real gold ... so didn’t you just completely [screw] Asgard over, Thor? Nice work, God of Blunder."
Actually, I'm going to side with Thor on this one, Teague. The love of gold is one of the roots of evil. If nobody — on any planet, real or otherwise — hoarded or coveted or overvalued gold, we'd have a lot fewer problems. And much more time to eat Twinkies and read comics.

1. Fun fact: In Mexico, there is a version of Twinkies called Submarinos. And they even come in different flavors.
2. It's really depressing to imagine that the love for, hoarding of and fighting over gold spreads even to other (imaginary) planets.
3. Gudrun has his own bio page on the Marvel Wikia. It's kind of sparse, but here are some highlights:
  • Powers: Asgardian physiology
  • Weaknesses: Golden Hostess Twinkies Snack Cakes
  • Unusual Features: Moustache and beard
4. I didn't know that Hostess delivered to Asgard. I wonder if the Asgardians like Ding Dongs, too.
5. I don't know if "Teague Bohlen" is his/her real name, but that person also wrote an article titled "10 Very, Very Strange intellivision Games." Among the 10 are Frog Bog, Kool-Aid Man! and Microsurgeon. It's possible I had two of those games.

Mystery photo: A girl and her doll

Here's another mystery photo from the family archives. The cardboard measures 2⅛ inches wide by 2¾ inches tall, and the photograph of the young girl with her doll is just 1¼ inches wide.

The faint pencil handwriting on the back, which likely includes a name, is no longer legible, so we're pretty much stuck.

Note the pinholes in the top and bottom of the cardboard. And one final thing we know is that the photo studio was in Wilmington, Delaware.

Here's a closer look at the young lady and her doll...

Other posts with dolls

Reddy Kilowatt & the Tower of Light at the 1964 New York World's Fair

Electricity-generation mascot Reddy Kilowatt made his first appearance on Papergreat more than 254 weeks ago, in a post highlighting the advertisements featured in a 1953 Philadelphia Phillies baseball scorecard.

Today, Mr. Kilowatt — who was "born" way back in 1926 — is shown on a Dexter Color New York postcard for the Tower of Light at the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair.

Here's the text from the back of the postcard:
Reddy Kilowatt says:
"At the New York World's Fair, the Tower of Light is the world's most brilliant welcome light.
"A Total Electric Gold Medallion Home is the world's most modern home — it's as clean as electric light itself. See your local electric utility company for complete information."
(Pay no attention, of course, to the original source of your "clean" electric light.)

But what about this Tower of Light? Here are some fun facts:
  • Description from the 1964 official guide to the fair: "The world's most powerful searchlight beam rises from the center of this unusual building, whose exterior walls consist of 600 aluminum prisms fitted together to form an eye-catching pattern."
  • The beam of light emanating from the center of the pavilion reportedly had 12-billion candle-power and could be seen for hundreds of miles. Officials stated they were prepared to turn off the light if it affected migrating birds.
  • The 25-minute Tower of Light theater show on the wonders of "electrical living" featured Reddy Kilowatt and Light-Bulb Benjamin Franklin.
For literally the entire history of the Tower of the Light, check out Bill Young's website. It has a nine-page article on the Tower of the Light that starts here. Click on the "Topic Content" drop-down menu in the upper-left to get to each section. Information includes brochures, memories and the entire script of the Reddy Kilowatt/Benjamin Franklin presentation.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

From the readers: Pork cake recipe, classrooms, alien pets and more

Old photos, illustrations and books take center stage in this edition of "From the Readers." Thanks to all of you for being contributors to Papergreat.

1950 home tips: Flaxseed, laxatives, nail polish, marbles and more: Regarding some of the recipes that I mentioned were inside 1950's Vermont Recipes, Twitter follower @inmybook writes: "I'm curious about 'pork cake', frosted or not?!?"

Alas, there is no frosting. Here's the full recipe, if anyone is interested.

Pork Cake
Maud P. Davison of Wallingford, Vermont
Mrs. Warren Hayes, Poultney, Vermont

  • 1 lb. fat salt pork, chopped
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1-2 cups molasses
  • 2 cups chopped raisins
  • 2 tsp. soda
  • 5 cups flour
  • Mixed spices to suit taste: cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, approx. 1-3 tsp. each
Pour hot water over pork. Let stand till lukewarm. Add sugar, spices and soda. Sift flour and mix a small amount with the raisins. Add, with remaining flour, to first mixture and bake in bread pan in slow oven (about 300 degrees) for 2½ hours.

Advertisement for "Valuable Cooking Receipts" (Yes, "receipts"): Regarding the illustration on this vintage advertising card, Nancy Rosin posted this note on Facebook: "Artist is Kate Greenaway."

Thanks for adding that info, Nancy! Kate Greenaway (1846-1901) was a children's book illustrator and author. An article on The Victorian Web states that Greenaway "is best known for pictures of girls in old-fashioned costumes disporting themselves among rural scenes." Her drawings inspired designs for actual children's clothes.

New occasional series: The Wanamaker Diary 1910: Anonymous writes: "I work at a library, and one of these was donated to us, but I grabbed it because it looked interesting. It's full of handwritten notes, but I have no idea what these things are supposed to be? Mine is from 1932."

These books served as diaries, calendars, casual reading and reminders of all the wonderful things available inside Wanamaker's. I wonder what all of those handwritten notes say!

Scholastic Fest: #1, Lost Race of Mars: Mahatma Randy writes: "I think I may have read this novel as a kid. Was the name of the alien pet, 'Yank?' So named because it had red, white, and blue fur? If so, I think I'd like to read it again."

No, I don't think that's this book. There's no creature named Yank with red, white and blue fur in Robert Silverberg's novel. Anyone out there have any ideas?

Galactitags: The must-have accessory in the event of alien abduction: Joan writes: "This may go on my Top 5 Favorite Papergreat Posts of All Time list!!"

Well, there have been more than 1,900 posts, so that would be quite an elite ranking!

Coupons from the E.H. Koester Bakery Co.: Anonymous, adding to this oft-commented-upon post, writes: "My friend sent me your site because my wife's maiden name is Koester (no relation that we know). Anyway she bought a black box with a flip lid that had the Koester blue & gold metal sign attached from an antique dealer. Do no know if that box was originally used to hold bread. She did not tell the dealer her name until a favorable price was agreed on. She kept an eye on that box for two years."

Cool story! Thanks for sharing.

Ephemera for Lunch #20: Mystery classroom (1907-1929): Jim Fahringer writes: "I am impressed with the 'no slouch' posture of these individual students. Everyone is sitting up very straight. I really don't think this is a one room school house. All of the students look like they are basically the same age. Because of that, I believe this school is a city school where many students of the same age were housed in their particular grade. I don't think you would want to mess with this teacher. She has the look of a very strict teacher. I wonder who the man is sitting in the very back row? Perhaps he was the principal or the county school director. Neat postcard — I wish this postcard could talk and tell us of the things that occurred inside the halls of this school a hundred years ago."

Mystery real photo postcard: 5 young ladies (4 of them cheery): Tom from Garage Sale Finds writes: "Her coat and hat don't appear to fit well and could be hand-me-downs. Maybe that's why she's mad."

Monday, June 20, 2016

Here's a basketball team the Cleveland Cavaliers never defeated

I don't think it's far-fetched to claim that I'm one of the few Americans who has a 100-year-old photograph of his great-grandmother's women's college basketball team. Greta Chandler was a member of the Class of 1914 hoops team at West Chester Normal School and appears in this photo, which was taken in March 1913.

As you can see above, the photograph is mounted on a thick piece of cardboard that measures 14 inches by 12 inches and has some big chunks missing from two corners. The photograph itself measures 9½ inches by 7½ inches, and here's a closer look...

Let's zoom in further on the basketball players...

Greta Chandler, who wouldn't meet me until about 57 years later, is the fifth person from the left, in the back row. She's competing with her teammate at the end of that row for Best Hat. We might have to declare that contest a draw.

Here's the full rundown on the players, who we can identify because their names were written in ink on the back of the cardboard (yay!).

Front row, from left
  • Mary Ritchie, guard
  • Rebecca Greenburg, captain and forward
  • Aline Corwin, side center (a former position in women's basketball that played in the backcourt along with the guards)

Back row, from left
  • Julia Kirk, guard
  • Miriam Holt, guard
  • Ethel Bratton, center
  • Miss Harding (coach)
  • Greta Chandler, forward
  • Mary DeHart, side center
  • Elizabeth Holden, manager and forward

Here's a closer look at Captain Greenburg...

And here are her shoes, which are clearly not Nikes...

Sunday, June 19, 2016

1943 Father's Day ephemera,
plus pictures of me & Dad

For today's holiday-themed piece of ephemera, here's a 73-year-old Father's Day greeting that I came across at the oft-mentioned treasure shop in York New Salem. The text states:
Father's Day Greetings
Dear Dad: Sunday is your day — and I certainly wish that we might enjoy it together. Because that is impossible, I take this means to wish you a world of health and happiness. You are doing your part in the great undertaking; just as I am here. Together we will be victorious, I know.
Father's Day in 1943 was right in the midst of World War II; D-Day was still a full year away. There was heavy action in the Pacific Theater, and the Allies were regularly bombing the Axis powers on the European mainland, hoping to prepare for an eventual invasion.

This card, from the USO Club in Fayetteville, North Carolina, is signed "Pvt. Pearson P. Knisley." Pearson was the son who was serving in the military in 1943 and sent this card to his father, since it was impossible for them to be together on that day. A little research shows that Pearson Playfield Knisley lived from December 17, 1923, to February 22, 1998. He was born and died here in York County. His father, who received this Father's Day card, was Emory Earl Knisley (1896-1973).

* * *

To continue the Father's Day theme, here are some photos of me and my dad, back when I was just a wee lad in 1971. He's still enjoying the beach, living down in Bradenton, Florida. Happy Father's Day, Dad!