Monday, May 22, 2017

I'll be back, eventually...

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Program cover: Kabardinka State Folk Dance Ensemble

Here's the colorful cover of a program for the Kabardinka State Folk Dance Ensemble of the Kabardino-Balkarian ASSR.

Let's start with the second part of that. The Kabardino-Balkar Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (that's a mouthful) was an autonomous republic within Soviet Russia from 1936 to 1991. It is a region of just 4,800 square miles in the North Caucasus mountains.

Today, it is the Kabardino-Balkar Republic and is a federal subject of Russia. Its capital is Nalchik (seen at right), which in 1974 was the birthplace of pop singer Katya Lel, who is perhaps best known for the hit song "Moy Marmeladny."

This program cover, which features the logo and name of the Russian travel agency Intourist, measures 7¾ inches wide by 8¾ inches tall. Here is the full English text from the two inside pages. For some of the dances, there are links to YouTube videos.

Kabardinka State Folk Dance Ensemble
of the Kabardino-Balkarian ASSR

Part 1
  • DANCE OF TWO FRIENDS, A. Khahukoyev and Kh. Shomakhov
  • KAFA, FOLK DANCE, Ensemble. Soloes [sic] by V. Misakova, T. Tokova, K. Sottayev, People's Artist of the KBASSR and F. Keshev
  • DAGGER DANCE, V. Shogenov [link to picture]
  • GOLLUH, FOLK DANCE, Men's dancing group, solo by K. Sottayev
  • GIRLS' DANCE, Women's dancing group
  • FOLK DANCE, Dancing group
  • MOUNTAINEERS' DANCE, Men's dancing group
  • BRIDEGROOMS, MOCK DANCE, A. Shabaev, Merited Artist of the KBASSR, and F. Keshev
  • ABZEKH, FOLK DANCE, Ensemble. Solo by M. Alakayev, Merited Artist of the RSFSR
Part 2
  • A DATE, DANCE SCENE, Dancing group
  • ISLAMEI DANCE FOR COUPLES, Z. Dzakhmysheva, Merited Artist of the KBASSR, V. Misakova, K. Dzakhmyshev, Merited Artist of the KBASSR, and E. Maryshev
  • KARTULI, GEORGIAN DANCE, L. Karezheva, Merited Artist of the KBASSR, Zh. Aloyeva, F. Keshev and E. Maryshev
  • ON THE MOUNTAIN PASTURE, Men's dancing group
  • AKUSHI FOLK DANCE, Women's dancing group
  • FISHING, DANCE SCENE, A. Shabaev and F. Keshev

You can also check out this Facebook video, which features the actual Kabardian State Folk Dance Ensemble. If your interest is piqued by this topic, you can learn more at the Circassian music Wikipedia entry.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

"I've Got My Beatles Movie Ticket..."

I discovered this circular piece of Beatles ephemera/memorabilia among Mom's stuff. She was 16 when The Beatles landed at John F. Kennedy International Airport1 in February 1964, on their way to The Ed Sullivan Show. Thus, she was the perfect age to be a passionate teenage fan of the lads from Liverpool and grow up with them, through their many phases.

George Harrison was her favorite Beatle.

The Beatles ephemera has a diameter of 3¾ inches and is printed on paper stock similar to that of a postcard. There are other references to this particular item existing in the form of a button/pin. Perhaps this one was originally part of a button, too.

The "I've Got My Beatles Movie Ticket Have You?" phrasing recalls the idiomatic — and, in the eyes of some, grammatically questionable — "You've Got A Friend In Pennsylvania" state advertising slogan and license plate of the 1980s.2

The "Beatles Movie" referred to is 1964's A Hard Day's Night, a musical-comedy that ended up as a critical success despite the fact that its overwhelming purpose was simply to serve as a vehicle for Beatles songs. In the 2012 book Beatlemania: Technology, Business, and Teen Culture in Cold War America, André Millard writes:
"Cinemas and radio stations began promotional campaigns that made buying a ticket for the Beatles' film an event, and the lucky fans who had camped out all night got special badges that said 'I've Got My Beatles Movie Ticket, Have You?' A Hard Day's Night was an exceptional film in many ways, but it worked best as a substitute for the live performances and sense of intimacy that was central to Beatlemania. The film opened simultaneously in over five hundred American cinemas in the summer of 1964 — perfectly placed between two American tours."
So, Mom apparently acquired the circular badge that summer and tucked it away, among her cherished possessions, for 53 years.

Related Beatles note #1

In the realm of ephemera that is much more rare, Atlas Obscura's Sarah Laskow reported today on a little sketch that John Lennon left behind after moving in the 1960s. Look familiar? Can you even imagine coming across that in your house?

Related Beatles note #2

The Lancaster Barnstormers, one of our local Atlantic League baseball teams, are hosting their home opener at Clipper Magazine Stadium tomorrow night. They're having a Beatles-themed opener, which will include an appearance by Ringo impersonator "Ringer Star" and these nifty tie-dye T-shirts for fans...

1. John F. Kennedy International Airport was originally Idlewild Airport, before being renamed for the late president.
2. Grammar Girl says "have got" is perfectly acceptable English.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Old, definitely 100% authentic photograph of Dracula

Who says you can't take a picture of a real vampire?

Fairy-tale postcards via Postcrossing

One little thing that's been comforting during the chaos and sadness of the past two months is that I've still been receiving a steady flow of postcards from international Postcrossers in my mailbox each week. They always bring a smile to my face after a long day. Here are two fairy-tale themed postcards I received recently...

Pictured above is an Anne Anderson illustration from the tale "The Miller's Daughter." It was done for a 1922 edition of Grimms' Fairy Tales. You can see a better image of this illustration on Wikipedia.

This postcard was sent by Angelika, who is retired and lives in scenic Blankenburg, Germany.

This postcard features the vintage cover of the Ladybird Books edition of Red Riding Hood Also Goldilocks and the Three Bears. On the back, Hélène writes:
"Hello Chris,
Greetings from the city of Moose Jaw in the province of Saskatchewan in the central Canadian prairies. I am a clinical herbalist and a retired teacher-librarian. These little Ladybird books were very popular 50 years ago and children loved them. Now, illustrations in children's books have changed a lot."

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Cool illustrations: The New Human Interest Library (Part 19)

On the heels of yesterday's post, here are some more photographs of children's games from 1929's The New Human Interest Library.

Regarding this "wooden spoons" game, the text states:
"A very good game for a large or small party is that of 'guessing with the wooden spoons.' One of the party — a girl, for instance — is blindfolded, and sits upon a chair. She is then given two large wooden spoons, such as are in common use in every kitchen. One after another, the other boys and girls come up to the blindfolded sitter and stand or kneel before her, and she has to guess who each one is by simply feeling him or her with the wooden spoons. ... The task is very much more difficult than it looks, and there is great fun as the spoons go over the face and body in the attempt of the blindfolded player to discover the identity of the other. ... Of course, any outburst of laughter when the spoons are going over our face would disclose our identity, so we must keep perfect silence. ... We must be careful when using the spoons to touch another player with them quite lightly, so as not to hurt him; and any player who wears glasses should remove them before going to be felt with the spoons."
Also, take care in which kitchen implements you use for this game. You definitely want wooden spoons, and not ice picks or knives.

And now for something completely different...

Did you now you could have this much fun with eggs?!?

The text states that the game requires "an ordinary hens' egg — not too large — which has been prepared beforehand by being blown — that is, having the contents removed without cracking the shell."

The egg race is pitched as a battle of the sexes: "Nothing must be used by the girl but the paper fan or her hand; and the boy, on his part, must simply blow with this mouth."

Monday, April 24, 2017

Cool illustrations: The New Human Interest Library (Part 18)

I was wrong, way back in February, when I stated that we were at the end of the "The Do-It-Yourself Book" portion of 1929's The New Human Interest Library, our ongoing series that understandably ended up on the back-burner in late winter/early spring.

There is simply more cool stuff (to me) in "The Do-It-Yourself Book," so more posts it is!

On Page 137, a subsection deals with "Amusing Games for Halloween," and there are several pictures. The text states:
"Halloween, or All Hallows' Eve, is a festival that has long been observed, particularly in Scotland, and although many of the customs associated with the season are superstitious, yet there are also some interesting games which boys and girls have played for generations on Halloween, or the last night in October."
These first three photos and captions show some of the apple-based games that are illustrated on this page of the book...

And this is the caption that accompanies the following three photos: "These pictures show a boy and girl playing the Halloween game of dropping a fork to pick up an apple."

The text adds:
"Sometimes the fork is held by the handle in the mouth, and allowed to drop from there into the tub. This makes it harder to spike the apples. We must, of course, be careful not to overbalance the chair. Instead of the tub being nearly full of water and having apples floating in it, it is sometimes left dry, and in it are placed an apple, a potato, a carrot, and a turnip. ... The apple is the most sought after, and the turnip is regarded as the least desirable."
Come back to see more games from this section tomorrow!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter! ... Wait. What?

This vintage photo comes from the absolutely wonderful @HorribleSanity Twitter feed.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

From the readers: Thoughts on Mom, Norman Remington Co. and more

As I slowly get back into the swing of things here, it's time to play catch-up on some reader comments from the first quarter of 2017.

Mary Ingham Otto, 1948-2017: Thank you for all these kind comments when I announced the sad news...

  • Blakeney wrote: "I enjoy your blog and am so sorry to hear about your mother. Prayers to you and your family — may you see her again one day."
  • Tom from Garage Sale Finds wrote: "Sorry to hear of your loss, Chris. It's clear you had special bond and common love with her. No one well-remembered ever dies."
  • Joan wrote: "I was wondering what the Papergreat Tribute would be and this was perfect."
  • Art & Kevin wrote: "I was devastated to hear of your Mom's passing. My partner Kevin and I have cruised with your Mom several times and we always kept in touch. I am so sorry for you, and having lost my Mom a couple years ago, it is a very difficult journey in healing. Your Mom was so very proud of you, Adriane and her beloved grandkids. She was a dear friend and a fantastic lady. Be at peace knowing she is at peace. Art and Kevin, Vancouver, Canada."

"Jim and Judy," a 1939 grade-school textbook with a York connection: Anonymous writes: "When I was 6, we moved into a house in Texarkana and I found this book in an old cedar chest there. Mom was 7 months along, and she and Dad were discussing what to name the baby. I said, 'If it's a boy name it Jim, if it's a girl, name it Judy.' They liked it. My baby sister likes it, too."

Mystery real photo postcard: Man and two women: Tom from the Garage Sale Finds blog writes the following, with respect to "Balto.": "It's possible that's an abbreviation for Baltimore. There is a 425 East Baltimore street there. It's location of an 'Adult Entertainment Club' now."

Bookseller's label for The Norman Remington Co. of Baltimore: Anonymous writes: "I am also proud to see my great great grandfather Stanley G. Remington (whom I am named after), my grandfather John T. Remington and uncle John C. Remington — how they were part of American History of the book business! To see the dates that Stanley started in the late 1800s makes me glad that I am part (only a small part) of this family's History! My Dad was active duty Navy, so we were not in Baltimore but twice a year to visit with the Remington family and I as a little boy got to see the Charles Street offices and store before it closed 1979. I thought it was a cool place hanging in the history and stories of the location. Also the example of their work ethic. They did Baltimore proud! Thank you!"

Miniature photographs from 1930s New York City: Wolfgang Schindler writes: "My grandfather had bought a set of exactly these photographs (12 to 16) while staying in NYC in late 1937. I still have most of them."

The Dude's QSL card and some groovy 1970s swap-club stamps: "Unknown" writes: "Space Patrol was a QSL swap club. It was started by the same person who started Canadian Goose, I think."

Monday, April 10, 2017

Two postcards purchased at Griffis Grocery in Lawtey, Florida

The past five weeks have been a whirlwind, as you might imagine. In the midst of everything else that I've been dealing with, my 190,000-mile vehicle was mortally injured by miscreants1 while it was parked in the public garage at my workplace. The extent of the damage is such that it doesn't make any sense to put money into fixing it up and removing all of the poorly-drawn phallus graffiti from the sides and the hood.

So I had to remove my belongings from the car in advance to driving it to the salvage yard. The last thing I discovered was in the glove compartment — the two vintage postcards that I purchased in February 2016 at a tiny grocery store [pictured above] near Lawtey, Florida.2

Here's what I wrote last summer about the store:
"To be clear, though, Lawtey isn't a ghost town. It has a population of about 700 and has been well-known in recent times for using a speed trap on U.S. 301 as a source of local revenue. I stopped at a tiny grocery/antiques store called Griffis Grocery ... and purchased a bottle of soda and a pair of early 20th century postcards from a sweet old woman who told me she was legally blind."
The postcards went into the glove compartment on that day and came out yesterday, as I was emptying the Ford Taurus in preparation for its farewell.

So here's a look at those two postcards. I think I'll use one of them for Postcrossing and retain the other one as a keepsake of that afternoon driving through Lawtey.

R.R.Y.M.C.A. Building, Brewster, Ohio
That stands for Railroad YMCA. The Brewster Railroad YMCA/Wandle House, located on Wabash Avenue in Brewster, started as a railroad dormitory constructed in 1916 by the Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway. The building now houses the Brewster-Sugarcreek Township Historical Society Museum and The Station Restaurant.

Chalmers Motor Co., Detroit, Michigan
Short-lived Chalmers Motor Company was established in 1908, struggled with business after World War I, and merged with the Maxwell Automobile Company, forerunner of Chrysler, in 1922.

1. Hooligans, vandals, juvenile delinquents, mischief-makers, hoodlums ... kids who should have been inside reading books.
2. You can see the grocery store's sign in this 2011 post on The Goat.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

1958 photo of Mom & friend

This photograph, marked as being from 1958, shows Mom (right) and a friend named Charlene sitting in the den of the family house on Oak Crest Lane in Wallingford.

As I write this post, I'm sitting in the same chair that Charlene is sitting on in this photo; I've used it as the chair at my computer "desk" for a couple of years now. I think it will easily outlast all of us.

Mom, meanwhile, is sitting on a mattress that might well be the same one that's currently in the guest bedroom of her house in Aspers — the house she didn't get to live in nearly long enough following her retirement and move away from Oak Crest Lane.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

St. Peter's Church in the Great Valley

This old postcard, from the family collection, shows St. Peter's Church in the Great Valley, where we are laying Mom to rest beside her mother and grandparents on this windy but sunny Saturday morning, with a graveside service by the Rev. Abigail Nestlehutt.

St. Peter's, in Malvern1, was founded in 1700 and, according to this mid-century Dexter Press postcard, the present church was constructed in 1744 and the oldest legible tombstone dates to 1703.

Mom rarely let one of my visits to her house pass without reminding that the information about the family's burial plot at St. Peter's was located within one of the middle drawers of the old living room. And, indeed, everything I needed — including the original receipt from 1958 — was there and ready to go. The church official handling the interment was impressed.

Today, the oldest section of the cemetery, right beside the 1744 church, is contained by a stone wall and has, as its "groundskeepers," a small flock of sheep. They keep the grass short without the church having to deploy the services of a nasty lawnmower near the fragile old stones.

It's a beautiful spot for Mom.

1. Because the church is centuries old and because the towns and communities of southeastern Pennsylvania have gone through numerous and overlapping nomenclature and post-office changes over the years, St. Peter's "location," within the Great Valley, has been referred to Malvern, Paoli and Devault, among others.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Mom, the excellent artist

Hello, all. Papergreat will return to its regular programming schedule at some point this Spring. I promise. In the meantime, here are some cool pieces of art that Mom made during the late 1960s.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Mom, the lifelong reader

Working my way through many old photos of Mom...

I really love this one. She's holding a copy of Peter Rabbit and Other Stories. I believe this is the 1947 hardcover that was illustrated by Phoebe Erickson and published by Wonder Books.

Mom was an avid lifelong reader. One of her childhood favorites, Dangerous Island by Helen Mather-Smith Mindlin, became one of my childhood favorites. She also passed down to me her love of the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books.

Just a tiny sampling of her favorite authors would include James Michener, Nevil Shute, Colleen McCullough and Stephen King. She enjoyed non-fiction narratives and diaries of ordinary women living through trying times.

The last books she read were Servants: A Downstairs History of Britain from the Nineteenth Century to Modern Times, by Lucy Lethbridge; The Foxfire Book, edited by Eliot Wigginton; and The President Is Dead!: The Extraordinary Stories of the Presidential Deaths, Final Days, Burials, and Beyond by Louis L. Picone.

The book she had most recently added to her Amazon wish list was When the Children Came Home: Stories of Wartime Evacuees by Julie Summers. I may read that one myself.

And just wait until I tell you about her cookbooks...

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Mary Ingham Otto, 1948-2017

Mom and me (1971)

Hello, readers. My wonderful mom, Mary Ingham Otto, died suddenly on March 2. It's been a difficult couple of weeks, and the services and burial won't take place until we can get the family gathered together in early April, to lay her to rest near her grandparents and her mother.

Mom was Papergreat's #1 reader and #1 fan. She would send concerned emails if I went more than a few days without giving her something new to examine and read.

She wasn't a big fan of the comments system, though. All of her stuff showed up as Anonymous. But I always knew which ones were hers. The last feedback she gave to me regarded the February 20th post "1912 softball team at Miss Capen's School for Girls," which dealt with oft-mentioned Greta Chandler Adams, her grandmother.

"Love this entry," Mom wrote to me in an email. "Did you know that Grandma had auburn hair?"

I had not known that.

That exchange also spurred another discussion of Linden Hall School for Girls in Lititz, Pennsylvania, my mom's alma mater. Founded in 1746, it's the oldest boarding school for girls in the United States.

As remarked upon the success of this winter's basketball team, Mom wrote: "When I played, it was in the old gym. ... There was one foot of space between out of bounds lines and the wall. You didn't want to be headed fast for the sidelines during the game."

Mom's last email, on March 1, was to tell me that she was "enjoying the rainy day." She and I were both very keen Weather Watchers.

Mom was an amazing person, and I am already missing her greatly. I'll be writing and remembering a lot about her this year.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017


The Graduate first appeared on movie screens 50 years ago. It was nominated for multiple Oscars, including acting nods for Anne Bancroft, Katharine Ross and Dustin Hoffman (but not William Daniels, who went on to win two Emmys for St. Elsewhere1).

One of the most-referenced scenes in The Graduate comes when Hoffman's character, Ben Braddock, is speaking with Mr. McGuire (played by Walter Brooke). It goes like this...
Mr. McGuire: I just want to say one word to you. Just one word.
Benjamin: Yes, sir.
Mr. McGuire: Are you listening?
Benjamin: Yes, I am.
Mr. McGuire: Plastics.
Benjamin: Exactly how do you mean?
And that brings us to today's pieces of ephemera.

My great-grandmother's travel scrapbook included a small envelope, 4 inches wide. Printed on it, in red ink, is a message "From our Children to their Benefactors" (the image at the top of this post). The full message states:
"Formosa is famous for its beautiful butterflies and we enjoy collecting them.

"Moreover. We found a nice way to send our beautiful butterflies to our benefactors. The plastics industry, one of the fastest growing industries on the island, fixed our butterflies in durable material. We helped them and they help us ...... to send a small token of our gratitude to OUR DEAR BENEFACTORS."
Formosa is Taiwan. Portuguese sailors named the island Ilha Formosa, and that was the most commonly used name from the 16th century through early 20th century. As the 20th century unfolded and Japan, and then China, claimed control of the island, Formosa faded and Taiwan rose in modern usage. The status of Taiwan is, of course, extremely complicated and it should suffice to say that if you are the leader of major Western nation, you should consider carefully any phone conversations you might have with Taiwan's president.

And so that brings us to plastics, which didn't work out too swell for the butterflies involved in this show of gratitude from the children of Formosa. Here's a look at the 3-inch-wide piece of plastic that was inside this envelope — the "token of gratitude."

"Laminated butterfly," by the way, is a phrase that brings more than 5,000 results in a Google search. Poor little guys.

St. Eligius Footnote
1. Papergreat posts about St. Elsewhere:

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Two early 20th century firefighting postcards

Here are two vintage postcards with a firefighting theme.

The top postcard shows a half-dozen firefighters on the street, aiming their hoses toward a building that's on fire. The caption states: "Fighting Fire at close range." It was made in Germany and is part of the "New York Fire Fighters Series." There's a tiny logo on the back of the card, shown at right. This split-back postcard was never used or written on, and calls for a one-cent stamp for mailing to the United States, Canada or Mexico, and a two-cent stamp for all other countries.

The second postcard is labeled "GOING TO THE FIRE" and features a horse-drawn fire engine. Additional information on the front states: "1946 ILL. POST CARD CO., N.Y." That would be the Illustrated Post Card, which was in business from 1904 to 1914. Its logo — a bald eagle with a shield — appears on the back of this undivided postcard. According to
"This major publisher produced a wide variety of tinted halftone postcards in series that were printed by Emil Pinkau in Leipzig, Saxony. Each city or location of their color card sets were assigned the same number prefix. They also published an unnumbered series of chromolithographic fine art cards that were printed in Dresden. ... Their best known cards are from a very large set that captured scenes throughout the City of New York. ... In 1909 they stopped importing cards from Germany and began printing their own."
This card was never used either, though someone has scribbled some illegible words on the back, in pencil.

Related posts

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Green baggage sticker for
Holland-America Line

This is an unused Holland-America Line baggage sticker that my great-grandmother placed in one of her scrapbooks. It's green, oval-shaped and measures 6.5 inches across, at its widest point. It includes spaces for the passenger's name, steamer, sailing date, room number and port of landing. Passengers could choose whether this piece of luggage was to be placed in their stateroom or in the baggage room, where access to it would be limited.

Here's a link to a rectangular version of essentially the same luggage label on

Holland America Line was a Dutch-owned shipping company from 1873 to 1989. It helped to bring many immigrants from the Netherlands to North America over the years, especially during the final two decades of the 19th century. Its transatlantic passenger service ended in the early 1970s, but it got new life in 1989 when the company was purchased by Carnival. Transatlantic cruises returned in 2011.

Holland America's newest passenger ship, the MS Koningsdam, is the fleet's largest ever and made its maiden voyage in April 2016.

Eye-catching dust jacket illustration by Ilonka Karasz

When browsing through some books at a sale in Lancaster last year, it was the dust jacket that caught my eye when I came upon this copy of 1945's The World, the Flesh and Father Smith, by Bruce Marshall.1 It's a well-reviewed and well-regarded novel — described as a slightly comic and poignant tale of a Catholic priest, spanning the first half of the 20th century in a small town in Scotland — but not really my cup of tea, reading-wise.

However, I love the dust jacket illustration, even with its chips and tears and ragged edges. It's the work of Ilonka Karasz (1896-1981), a Hungarian-born artist who immigrated to the United States in 1913 and created an amazing artistic legacy for herself.

Here are some facts about her, from Wikipedia and her obituary in The New York Times:

  • In 1914, Karasz, who was only about 18 at the time, co-founded the European-American artists' collective Society of Modern Art. For a few years in her late teens, she also taught textile design at the Modern Art School.
  • From the 1910s to the 1960s, her designs — inspired equally by folk art and modern art — found their way into textiles, wallpaper, rugs, ceramics, furniture, silverware and toys. She also illustrated children's books, including The Twelve Days of Christmas.
  • Karasz's textile work came for companies including Mallinson, Schumacher, Lesher-Whitman, DuPont-Rayon, Susquehanna Silk Mills, Standard Textile, and Belding Brothers. She was known as a pioneer of modern textile designs requiring the use of the Jacquard loom and became one of the few women to design textiles for airplanes and cars.
  • She began painting covers for The New Yorker in 1924 and continued up to 1973, creating a total of 186 covers. Most featured lively vignettes of daily life viewed from above and drawn using unusual color combinations.

I think the description of her covers for The New Yorker would also apply to her work on The World, the Flesh and Father Smith, though the latter is more subdued. You can check out some of Karasz's amazing (trust me) covers for The New Yorker, plus her other work, at the blog Fishink.2 For more about Karasz, you should also see this terrific 2010 post on a blog titled We Too Were Children, Mr. Barrie.

1. From the back-cover blurb: "Bruce Marshall is a dark, smiling man..."
2. Art prints of The New Yorker covers are available from Condé Nast.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Cool illustrations: The New Human Interest Library (Part 17)

This is the final post from "The Do-It-Yourself Book" portion of 1929's The New Human Interest Library, and we're going out with a bang, creating our own zoo. I believe that the creature on the far left is supposed to be a lion. And we are also presented with an illustration of a chicken facing off with a monkey — a duel that looks like a weird twist on Freddy vs. Jason.

Here are some excerpts from the text:

  • "They did not look much like animals then, but that was before they were touched and brought into shape by the wonderful fairies Needle and Thread."
  • "our fierce lion was a corner of fawn-colored, smooth-faced cloth from a tailor-made suit"
  • "our fat pig and dear little white bunny were odds and ends of eider-down"
  • "The best materials are tightly woven stuffs that are plain on one side and fluffy or shaggy on the other. Thin and loose cloths that easily fray are troublesome."
  • "Stuff always with unbleached wadding. A yard will fill three or four animals of 7 inches or 8 inches long and 4 inches or 5 inches in height."

Here's a closer look at this showdown, which involves either a very large chicken or a very small monkey...

Monday, February 20, 2017

1912 softball team at Miss Capen's School for Girls

I've already written about my great-grandmother, Greta Chandler, and her basketball exploits at West Chester Normal School, circa 1913. Now we have a photograph of Greta with her softball team, about one year earlier.

The only caption is "Capon School 1912." With a little help from Mom and some Google searching, the strong likelihood is that this is the softball team from Miss Capen's School for Girls in Northhampton, Massachusetts. (Capon having been misspelled in the family album.)

Miss Capen's School was a preparatory school, run by Bessie T. Capen, connected with Smith College, and many (but not all) of its students went on to attend that college. It was originally known as The Burnham School, before Capen took over. It was closed in 1920, when Miss Capen died. Here's a little bit more about the school, clipped from 1915's A Handbook of the Best Private Schools of the United States and Canada, Volume 1.

There were at least two buildings associated with Capen's School. Both became parts of the Smith College campus after 1920.

Here's a closer look at the 1912 Capen's School softball team. Greta Chandler is in second row, the third person from the left.