Sunday, October 15, 2017

From the readers #100:
Epic October edition

Hoo boy, it's been nearly eight weeks since the last "From the Readers," so there is — thanks to you — a lot of fun and super stuff to present today. Thank you as always for making Papergreat an interactive experience!

Take a ride with Edwards Motor Transit Co. (a post from nearly seven years ago!!): Scott Frederick writes: "I am the proud owner of one of the original GM PD-4107 buses that was delivered new to Edwards in 1967. The destination reel still has each and every city that is outlined on the envelope pictured above. It had been a transit bus for Edwards, then was conveyed to Trailways when they absorbed Edwards in a legal wrangling after bankruptcy. Converted to a motorhome in 1974, then renovated again in the 1980s, the bus is undergoing a complete transformation in to an entertainer coach, or more popularly known as a 'tour bus.' Stay tuned."

Chris adds: Wow! Thank you so much for getting in touch and giving us this 2017 update, Scott. It's great to see the stories attached to things like this, decades after their original purpose.

"Let the newspapers be kept!" (Some thoughts from 1932): Valued and shadowy research assistant "Mark Felt" writes: "The newspaper article in The Guardian (Manchester, UK) which you reference in your post includes a small advert from Baxendale & Co., Ltd. Much like the British Museum Newspaper Repository, the Baxendale factory was also destroyed in the Blitz in 1940. Source: Baxendale survived the Blitz, and then some. Stiff upper lip!"

Romaine Smith's pixie-laden bookplate from the 1930s: The amazing Wendyvee, who writes Roadside Wonders (blog link, Facebook link) and researches sunkenariums, writes: "Oh, I love that cover art! Can you imagine the amount of library research we would have to do if not for the Internet? Not that I would mind spending some time at the library. I haven't done that in ages! Of course, as is my obsession,I had to Google Map [Romaine's] house. Nice porch (that now has an AstroTurf covering, which made me smile and think of my grandmother's house)."

More fabulous covers from vintage juvenile-fiction books: Something identifying itself as "Dissertation writers in UK" writes: "these old book covers really give me a feeling of nostalgia. and i love these books too. i so want all of them but damn my budget wont allow. but i love to go to your blog and drool over these. make sure to keep posting because you are amazing."

Chris adds: This was obviously spam, but it was the best-done spam comment of the past two months, so I'm allowing it. I'm all for book-loving Spambots drooling over Papergreat.

Book cover: "The Talking Cat and Other Stories of French Canada": Joan, who has been kicking butt this summer and fall with Unschool Rules while also working a full-time job and taking classes, writes: "I want to read the title story!"

Chris adds: You have time for leisure reading, too???

Scholastic Fest: #8, Mystery by Moonlight: Christopher Childs shares this note about Mary C. Jane, who was the author of this book: "Mary Childs Jane was my aunt — one of the two younger sisters of my Dad, Charles Dyer Childs — and throughout my childhood, one of the most anticipated events each year (often, but not always, at Christmas) was the arrival of Aunt Mary's latest mystery. And summer visits to her home in Newcastle (and to my Aunt Nell's nearby home in Alna) were always high points, as well. As I grew older, Mary began to send passages from Emerson — whose writings she loved — and to share more serious thoughts about life and living. One of my older siblings also carried on an extensive correspondence with her, and she had a significant influence on aspects of our thinking, and on what we decided was important and valuable in life. So this children's mystery writer ran deeper than many people know. I am grateful for her affection and for her long-term interest in me and in the course of my life and career(s). Thank you for honoring her with your response to her work."

Chris adds: Thank you for contacting us, Christopher! The sharing of these kinds of wonderful memories makes me want to write Papergreat for another 50 years!

Illustration: "Revolving Poker Rack" from Pacific Game Company: Wendyvee writes: "Wouldn't that be funny if one of these were sitting on my dining room table right now? Oh wait, there is one!"

Chris adds: "That's CRAZY. I mean, it's 2017 and, while I'm sure there are a bunch of those poker sets still around, the number of original boxes has to be super low. What are the odds?!!?"

1961 advertisement: "Give her an island and a Paper Mate pen": Mark Felt writes: "Construction of the Berlin Wall commenced at 2 AM (Central European time) on Sunday, August 13, 1961, corresponding to Saturday, August 12, 1961, in the western hemisphere. The children on the cover of this magazine appear oblivious to events occurring half a world away."

Celebrating the 80th anniversary of publication of "The Hobbit": Wendyvee writes: "So many flavors. I think Mikhail Belomlinsky's is still my favorite but I like the Portuguese cover a lot too."

J. Edward Schwartzer's bookplate: Mark Felt writes: "It would appear that J. Edward and Harriet Schwartzer had no children (or at least none were alive at the time of J. Edward's death in 1986). J. Edward Schwartzer's brother Joseph passed away in 1995. Referenced in the above link is Joseph's firstborn son (J. Edward's nephew), named Thomas E. Schwartzer, of New Cumberland, Pennsylvania. Now in his mid-70s, no doubt Thomas would enjoy reading this posting at Papergreat. Or try the next younger brother, Richard, in Seneca, Oregon. Or contact other brothers and sisters (nephews and nieces) of J. Edward and Harriet, or their descendants. Someone must have an interest in genealogy and/or ephemera!"

Chris adds: Phew! Great sleuthing. I need a Kickstarter or an IPO or something so that I can bring you on board as the full-time Executive Vice President In Charge of Ephemera Reunions!

Two old postcards for Atlantic quality lubricants: Mark Felt writes: "Time to update your older posts, Chris, as the links behind 'this image', 'here', and 'here' now lead nowhere. Entering 'Bisignani Nash' Peckville (with quotes exactly as shown) into Google now yields links to the Scranton Republican from 1928 to 1930. Might the Great Depression have killed Bisignani Nash Motor thereafter, the only fringe benefit of which is the clue it may have yielded decades later as to the age of these postcards?"

Chris adds: I have more than 2,300 posts! Can I maybe fold "Archival Link Maintenance" into your Executive VP job description? :)

Processing silk (probably) in Japan: Mark Felt writes: "The characters at the bottom of the card read 'Yarn-Spinning (Japanese Tradition).' Interesting to note the text is written from right to left, which indicates that it dates from not later than the middle of the 20th century."

Chris adds: OK, you will also be Executive Vice President In Charge of East Asian Language Translations. And I'll probably have to get you a secretary. But I'm keeping the office with the big window.

Cool illustrations: The New Human Interest Library (Part 22): Wendyvee writes: "Wouldn't you just love to see those carolers costumes in real life? I may just have to download the Camp Fire Girls chart so that I don't spend all of my riches in one place. I kid, but as we talked about before, it probably would be more practical for kids to learn this in school than some other things."

Chris adds: Those caroling costumes are terrific. It's not my place to say if they're historically accurate, but they do look a bit more like forest pixies than carolers. Also, it's hard to say how ideal those outfits would be a chilly and perhaps snowy night of December caroling. ... I'm with you 100% on the financial chart, and if you need any copies, let me know. Maybe I should start a Papergreat Historical Documents Download Database. Think I could get a sponsor for that?

And Joan adds: "That reminded me of this oldie but goodie (from Man vs. Debt)."

Aunt Maggie climbing over a wall to avoid a bull: Mark Felt writes: "Do you suppose the bull finally got the best of Aunt Maggie?"

Chris adds: Alas, the bull eventually gets everyone.

Roll, roll, roll in ze hay ... Roll, roll, do it all day: Mark Felt writes: "A certain Henrietta Clark graduated from the Greenville High School in Greenville, Maine in June, 1924 (source link). That would put her date of birth in or about 1906. Could this be the same Henrietta Clark? If this is the same Henrietta Clark, then she would have not yet been seven years old when this postcard was mailed; considering the content of the postcard, that doesn't seem likely. Then again, there's more than one Henrietta Clark in Maine. With the ubiquity and pervasiveness of the Internet, will ephemerologists of the future face the same ambiguity?"

Chris adds: My guess is that a hundred years from now, or less, there will be so many "holes" in the internet archives that future historians will be challenged by a different kind of ambiguity and will need a different set of tools, probably involving cloud-computing forensics, in order to solve history mysteries.

Questions, answers & mysteries with Hookland's David Southwell (Part 2): RaphaeliteGirl writes: "Fabulous interview. I now want to create Art From Hookland. ... The idea of punk landscape is compelling."

Mystery photos: The Bow Tie Man and his family: Joan writes: "It's unfortunate that I think of The Bow-Tie Killer from Problem Child, isn't it?"

Chris replies: Anything that reminds us that Problem Child exists is, indeed, a problem.

How to have fun on long trips (1952): Wendyvee writes: "We played license plate bingo often; but I personally invented the world's most annoying 'long trip activity.' When I was in third or forth grade, Santa brought me a tape recorder with a microphone attachment. I proceeded to interview everyone in the car for what probably seemed like the entire four-hour drive to my grandparents' house. My poor sister and parents."

Mr. ZIP is way, way more famous than I thought: Joan writes: "This subject (and the word selvage) were heretofore unknown to me. So thank you — I learned something new today! I should put it in my learning journal!"

And Mark Felt adds: "You didn't mention how Zippy got his name: 'ZIP' = 'Zone Improvement Plan.'"

"Steal not this book my honest lad": Wendyvee writes: "I am going to start using 'Tom Harris will be after you' any time that I feel is appropriate. People will be confused ... and I kind of like that."

Chris adds: I approve whole-heartedly of that plan.

One of my earliest appearances in a newspaper: Wendyvee writes: "I remember when my grandparent's local paper used to announce that we came to visit them. Such different times. Your parents look like babies themselves here."

Joan adds: "This. Is. Awesome."

Scholastic book: "Spooky Tricks": This was a popular book! Tom from Garage Sale Finds writes: "I still have this book from my youth. I always bought these magic books from Scholastic, convinced they were going the share the secrets of the Magic World with me. Instead, they taught me how to stick a pin in a carrot and pretend it's my thumb."

Former newspaper co-worker Amy Gulli writes: "Holy crap, I think I had that book as a kid!"

Nena Zachary Challenner, posting on Papergreat's Facebook page adds: "I had that book in my classroom!"

And Wendyvee adds, regarding Spooky Tricks cover artist Tālivaldis Stubis, "I know the Funny Girl poster well. My first roommate was a theater geek and she had one on our wall."

Happy Halloween: Witches and zombies and scarecrows! Oh my! Lee Abernathy writes: "Thanks for the TV Guide page/clipping of Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things. That was right around when I first saw it (only it was on Channel 9 from LA). ... I was 9 years old, it scared the crap out of me too. Rating: 10/10."

Scholastic Fest: #1, Lost Race of Mars: OlmanFeelyus writes: "The cat on the cover is called 'Mitten.' He is a Mars equivalent of a cat and the kids get to keep him as a substitute for their earth cat, Chipper, they had to leave behind. Mitten comes from Mars Kitten."

Chris adds: Thank you! Great cat clarification!

George Manning-Sanders' short obituary from 1953: Mark Felt writes: "Mr. Boyce's Birthday aired at least once in the United States, namely on WNYC-FM (93.9 MHz) in New York on Saturday morning, October 12, 1957 starting around 12:30 AM. Even sixty years ago, quality programming was to be found on the FM dial (back in the days when radios still had dials). Note that the American rendering of the title of this play inserts the period in the abbreviation Mr. whereas the British rendering does not. Other than various references to the BBC and this one reference to WNYC, this play seems to be gone with the ephemeral wind."

9/11: Wendyvee writes: "Wow. Powerful ... and a reminder of the fact that though we have more capability to archive and document than ever ... the transience of the web is a real concern."

Enjoy a free drink at Doris Wong's Hong Kong night club: Wendyvee writes: "Wow. This sure was a find! I bet sailors brought a lot of stories home that they couldn't tell in front of their mothers."

Factory For Turning Chickens Into Robot Warriors: Joan writes: "I loved this then, but I love it even more now. Here's to more family lazy days!!!"

Tom from Garage Sale Finds adds: "Funny stuff. With my kids artwork and papers, I compromise and just scan everything."

And Mark Felt adds: "Not to be confused with the 'chicken-vator' at various Disney parks, where guests who become too terrified to experience the plunge down the Tower of Terror are allowed a more leisurely earthbound return to the gift shop."

"100% hand made" Black Forest Weather House for just $2.99: Linda Chenoweth Harlow, posting on Facebook, writes: "We had one of these when I was growing up!"

1942 postcard: "Everything is peaceful & quiet here": Mark Felt writes: "There's a decent chance that the recipient of this postcard was Joseph Michael Barth. Joseph was a widower by 1942 — his wife Mary had died in 1930 — so receiving a card signed "Love, Catherine" would not have been scandalous."

"The Valley of Hell" in Germany's Black Forest: Wendyvee writes: "I had the pleasure of seeing parts of the Black Forest. I even got to ride the Höllentalbahn (terribly uncomfortable train but such gorgeous scenery and cool engineering that it doesn't really matter)."

Chris adds: OK, that's officially going on my Bucket List!

1 comment:

  1. Joan updates to add: I DID read that whole book in question!