Saturday, July 20, 2019

Saturday's postcard: "You are going to get the dog"

This postcard, which was postmarked in March 1911, features a view of Lake Carnegie at Highland Park in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.1 The mention on the front of "Aspinwall in distance" refers to Aspinwall borough, which had a population of about 2,600 in 1910 and has one slightly higher than that today. Aspinwall's motto is "The Town That Pride Built."

The postcard was mailed to Mr. Emerson Lanning of Vandergrift, Pennsylvania. This is the second of his postcards featured on Papergreat; the other was five summers ago. The cursive note on the card states:
Emerson — You are going to get the dog, as soon as Geo. gets a chance. He will drop you a card the day before he comes. Baby takes a toothbrush and cleans Jack's teeth everyday. We are all well. Hoping the same to you all.
Cousin Mathilda
So, if I'm following this correctly, is Jack the dog?

1. "Name of Pittsburgh" has its own Wikipedia page. The page notes:
"The name of the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has a complicated history. Pittsburgh is one of the few U.S. cities or towns to be spelled with an h at the end of a burg suffix. ... The city's name is commonly misspelled as Pittsburg because innumerable cities and towns in America make use of the German -burg suffix, while very few make use of the Scottish -burgh suffix. This problem is compounded by the fact that from 1891 to 1911, the spelling of the city's name was federally recognized as Pittsburg."

Friday, July 19, 2019

Moon landing clippings, Part 5

It's an Apollo 11 anniversary extravaganza! Here's a bundle of headlines, short stories and excerpts from the July 21, 1969, edition of The Pittsburgh Press. This was the day after the moon landing.

Gimbels was in business from 1887 to 1987

WATCHING THE MOONWALK INTO THE WEEK HOURS, the Carl Mock family of 3251 Pinehurst Ave., Dormont, typified area families who stayed up long past their bedtimes last night to watch Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin takes man's first steps on the moon. All eyes but two were glued on the TV set as Paul, 4, found sister Nancy, 18, a perfect pillow and fell asleep. Wide awake throughout the epic walk, however, were Wayne, 8, on floor, and, left to right, Mr. and Mrs. Mock, Greg, 13, and Don, 16. Paul was joined in dreamland by Elaine, 6, already in bed. The 2 hour and 11 minute walk ended at 1:10 a.m.

"maybe they're on some other planet"

Thomas O. Paine (1921-1992)

John Dewey (1859-1952)

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Moon landing clippings, Part 4

Making money off the moon mission! This advertisement is from the July 19, 1969, edition of the Cumberland Evening Times of Cumberland, Maryland.

Here's the full text for posterity and for SEO thrills...

* SALE *

We'll Gladly Give, When Our American Boys Walk On The Moon — Our Biggest, Most Scientific Achievement To Mankind ...
That Is: $200 Additional Off Each Of Our Already Sale Priced Lucky 'Win You Over' 7 SPECIALS As Are Now Being Advertised In The Automotive Columns of This Paper. We Sincerely Wish Our 3 Astronauts The Most Heavenly Success 'Outside' Of Our Earth!
Three Cheers!
Cor. Va. Ave. & 5th St. Ind. Blvd. 722-2222
The Oldest Name In The Used Cars In Town

* * *

Wait. Why is the word Outside in quotes? Was this auto dealer in the loop on Kubrick's movie-studio mooning landing hoax? I'm joking, of course. We landed on the moon in 1969. We walked on the moon in 1969. Here's an excellent and entertaining S.G. Collins YouTube video that puts the conspiracy theorists in their place.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Moon landing clippings, Part 3

On July 19, 1969 — the eve of the Apollo 11 moon landing — the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published a fun story on the bottom of A1 about festivities in Moon Township, Pennsylvania. A Monday parade was scheduled to conclude at the township park and, according to the article, "at that time an 'astronaut' (from a helicopter hovering overhead) will land in the 'Sea of Tranquillity' (the park)."

The story also makes mention of another Pennsylvania municipality with a nomenclature relation to the moon mission: Apollo borough. According to the Wikipedia page about Apollo: "At the time of the Apollo 11 moon landing, Apollo, Pennsylvania, was the only place in the world named Apollo. Coincidentally, it is in Armstrong County, and the name of the first astronaut to walk on the moon was Neil Armstrong. On the day of the moon landing, members of the Apollo fire department dressed as astronauts and drove to nearby Moon Township, where they planted a flag and returned with some 'Moon Soil.'"1

Finally, separate Associated Press coverage of the Moon Township festivities ends with this kicker about another celestial Pennsylvania municipality: "Meanwhile, residents of nearby Mars, Pa., are awaiting future space flights."2

Here's the full Post-Gazette article...

1. Fun fact: "Apollo, PA" is a palindrome.
2. Maybe folks can fly to Mars in the Kecksburg, Pennsylvania, UFO.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Moon landing clippings, Part 2

This little snippet from the Saturday, July 19, 1969, edition of The News-Herald of Franklin and Oil City, Pennsylvania, shows the local TV listings for late Saturday night into early early Sunday morning of July 20 ⁠— the day Apollo 11 landed on the moon.

The televised moon coverage was everywhere. In the "TV Scout" column elsewhere on this News-Herald page, Joan Crosby notes that "the television networks have recognized the momentous nature of the Flight of Apollo 11, and particularly of the moon landing phase, by preempting all programming for 31 hours. ... These hours will be filled out with special material including Orson Welles narrating a science fiction film, a review of the Lyndon Johnson years in the White House, a tour of the Smithsonian Institution's aeronautical sections and a visit to the world of 'Space Odyssey, 2001.'"

(The piece narrated by Welles was apparently a documentary titled How Science Fiction Viewed the Moon.)

In the TV listings, you can see reference to the round-the-clock Apollo 11 coverage at the start of the Sunday listings. Five channels are listed for "30 Hours of Continuous Apollo 11 Coverage."

There are a couple other curiosities to note, too. The movie offerings at 11:30 p.m. Saturday include Weirdo Theatre's presentation of The Undead, a 1957 film that has a 4.0 (out of 10) rating on IMDb and features Billy Barty and Dick Miller.

On the defunct blog Old School, which had just 15 posts between 2008 and 2013, DHessert wrote this in 2010:
"When I was young (no doubt you thrill to hear those words), My brother and I used to have an old black and white tv in our bedroom. In those days having an extra tv was quite a luxury, but little danger to your development, as there were so few interesting shows on that we rarely bothered to turn on the darn thing. Most of our time was spent riding our bikes around town, exploring the nearby river, or getting into trouble with our BB guns...but I wax nostalgic, to the point!

"Every Saturday night at 10:30 we would climb into bed and prepare to be scared by 'Weirdo Theater.' 'Weirdo Theater' was a show that reran all the old horror movies from the 30's, 40's and 50's. All of them were creepy to a kid, but the films that really grabbed me were the Frankenstein films. I loved the creation scenes in the lab with sparks flying everywhere, tubes of colored liquid bubbling, the hunchbacked Igor on the roof, and the crazed Dr. Frankenstein screaming 'It's alive!' For my money it didn't get any better.

"As I grew older I moved onto many other films, and in high school I read every Stephen King book I could get my hands on, but I still have a soft spot for the big guy with the flat head and bolts in his neck."

Another curious TV listing is Rocket Robin Hood, which came on at midnight Sunday. I had never heard of it. It was, according to Wikipedia, a Canadian animated series that aired from 1966 to 1969 and placed "the characters and conflicts of the classic Robin Hood legend in a futuristic, outer space setting."

The Merry Men lived on an asteroid and tried to fend off the sheriff of the National Outer-space Terrestrial Territories and the Warlord of Saturn. Clearly it was a great show for kids during the heyday of the Apollo program! (Although I'm not sure of the point of airing it at midnight.)

Monday, July 15, 2019

Moon landing clippings, Part 1

With the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing happening Saturday, I thought it would be interesting to dive into and pull out some related clippings to publish here during the week.

Up first: The July 20, 1969, edition of The Palladium-Item and Sun-Telegram of Richmond, Indiana, had a person-on-the-street feature across the top of Page A1. There's not a specific question. The headline just states: "Safe Adventure On The Moon Is Fervent Wish of Watchers on Earth." There are head shots and quotes from seven local residents, five of whom are white men. Here are the other two:

Teresa Herald is likely in her early to mid 70s now. I would love to interview her and ask if she remembers being on the front page of the local newspaper during that momentous weekend, if she received any reactions (or backlash) to her remarks, and what she thinks about the state of the country, the planet and the U.S. space program today.

Meanwhile, we are still awaiting the first woman to walk on the moon. When will that happen, and who will that be?

Sunday, July 14, 2019

From the readers: Lazy days of summer edition

Ye olde mailbag has been pretty sparse lately, which I think is mostly a reflection on my lack of posting consistently.

With regard to a December 2016 post — Christmas postcard mailed to Mattoon, Wisconsin, in 1910 — I received some nice messages from a woman named Diane, correcting one of my guesses. Here are the notes from Diane:
I was looking for local postcards/photos of the Mattoon, Wisconsin, area and found you have a card sent to Ethel Pollock. She is my grandma's cousin, Ethel Arabelle Pollock. She never married and lived her entire life in the Mattoon area. Ethel was born December 18, 1890, and died January 16, 1954, and is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery near Mattoon. Ethel is the daughter of Albert and Bertha (Knowles) Pollock. I live in the town of Hutchins (Mattoon address at one time) and the Pollocks came here right after the Civil War. I am not sure who Mrs. Patzel is, though. She may have lived in this area at one time.
Thank you for the information, Diane! I hope to send you this postcard if I can track it down in whatever shoebox it's currently residing within.

Keeping America beautiful with "NEW miracle Plastic": There were a couple of Facebook comments about this one:

  • Tom Beiter writes: "100% of crying Native Americans approve."
  • Wendyvee of the awesome Roadside Wonders writes: "One set of my grandparents had a vinyl (or pleather) bag that hung from something on the passenger side of the car. Pretty sure that it was an ad specialty from the dealer (or maybe insurance company)."

Lamenting what we'll never know about Phyllis J. Stalnaker Harris: Most of the feedback on this post was noted in the previous "From the readers." Here are a couple that have come in since then:

  • Babz writes: "Oh for goodness sake. The entire point of the meme is the obvious fact that she was much more than the label law enforcement or society put on her. Sheesh."
  • Daveguy1 writes: "It's funny: the San Diego police of that time may have done her a strange favor — by labelling her that way, they elicit our sympathy for her, and [she] seems a heroic free spirit. I think she has a really soulful look in her eyes. I wish I could've known her."

When the USA made cool things like chicken drink coasters: Matt from 4 Color Cowboy (an ephemera blog) writes: "These are fantastic. They could probably reprint them, slap 'em on Etsy, and they would sell."

10 years ago today: A Papergreat precursor: Joan writes: "I remember that Vincent Price report! (And the fond days of sorting the books. Let's sort more books!)"

Mystery RPPC: Long-ago toddler with fuzzy toy: Joan writes: "That is a Right Fine Friend." [Advertisement: Want to send (stuffed animal) Friends and smiles around the world? Support Pengins for Everyone via its website or Facebook page.]

Farewell to a book: Tom from the great blog Garage Sale Finds writes: "Looks like a cool book and love that cover, not to mention Golden Age comic artist Alex Schomburg inside! I'm in the planning stages of building a Little Free Library. My daughter can't decide how she wants it to look. I plan on stocking it with all the vintage kids books I can't seem to stop bringing home from garage sales."

Coupons from the E.H. Koester Bakery Co.: Regarding this 2011 post, Helga writes: "My grandmother lived on the 700 block of W. Lexington until 1980! As a child, we would go down to Koester for the day old bread and raisin rolls I think. The scents of baking bread was one of my childhood memories with her. I am always in search of a pic of her house. 717 W. Lexington."

Sci-fi book cover: "Black in Time"

  • Title: Black in Time
  • Author: John Jakes (1932-present)
  • Cover artist: Steele Savage (1898-1970)
  • Publisher: Paperback Library (a division of Coronet Communications)
  • Publication date: September 1970 (first printing)
  • Cover price: 60 cents
  • Pages: 171
  • Format: Paperback
  • Cover blurb: "A black militant, a white supremacist, and a time-travel device tangle in a fight to rewrite history and eternity!"
  • Back cover blurb: "RIGHT ON! Into the time machine plunges Jomo, the black militant leader of BURN. "Revolution then" is his motto; he's going to rearrange history so the blacks get a fair shake — or, preferably, world dominance.

    "But in another area of time, rabble-rousing white supremacist Billy Roy Whisk is also at work — fixing history so the slaves are never freed.

    "Worlds spin in and out of existence. And through the paradoxes of time, one black man is pursuing Jomo and Whisk, trying to stop them before their experiments wipe out the world — forever."
  • Book advertised on last page: My Life with Jacqueline Kennedy, by Mary Barelli Gallagher
  • First sentence: "On the stage, the actors playing the eunuch and Phaedria's brother had been rehearsing the same scene for half an hour."
  • Last sentence: "Jomo moved."
  • Random sentence from middle: "Langorously, Diana started walking through the high meadow grass."
  • Goodreads rating: 2.73 stars (out of 5.0)
  • Amazon rating: 3.2 stars (out of 5.0)
  • What people have written about the book:
    • "It's the American future — meaning 1977 in this case — and we have time travel as an educational resource. Unfortunately though, one of those black militants has gone back in time to change the past so as to get rid of all white people and make Earth a black planet — just like one of those evil liberals behind the new Star Wars movies would probably appreciate; and worse, some right wing televangelist nutjob has also gone back in time hoping to change history and make it a white Christian planet; and thus does chaos ensue. ... Aside from having been written by a white dude, Black in Time is a blaxploitation novel, more or less, at least by virtue of Jomo, our time travelling black power activist loosely based on Huey Newton and pals." (Lawrence Burton, on Pamphlets of Destiny)
    • "If you happen to own John Jakes: A Critical Companion, you might be surprised to find that it contains zero mentions of Black in Time. It says Jakes 'has made American history come to life' yet it doesn't mention his one book in which Harriet Beecher Stowe attacks a time-traveling racist with a red-hot poker." (Grady Hendrix, on
    • "It's pedantic, offensive, painful, and not enough time machine wankery. Its really really bad. No, really." (Scott Nieradka, on Goodreads)
    • "So yeah, I’m going to look for more of John Jakes’s science fiction works. This one was really engrossing and just a ripping good yarn with a decent, albeit sort of obvious, moral. Hate doesn’t solve problems, guys. It only makes them worse, no matter which side of the fight you’re on. Don’t even hate the haters." (Thomas, on Schlock Value)
    • "Given that the book focuses on race relations, and has a main character who’s a white supremacist, one should expect some offensive language. Aside from the liberal use of the N-word, Jakes has the white supremacist (Billy Roy Whisk, which is an excellent name for such a character) talk about trying to kill 'Martin Luther [C--n]' before he has a chance to start his movement. And to be fair, Jakes doesn't come across as someone who endorses such language; he's giving all that to the characters we're supposed to despise. I'm just giving potential readers full warning." (on Shelf Indulgence)
    • "In the end, Black in Time is just trashy enough to kill mainstream appeal but not trashy enough to garner a weirdo cult following, leaving it in pulp novel limbo." (Matt Sears, on Goodreads)
    • "One advantage of this book is that it has a hilarious cover: leaving it on your coffee table will guarantee a hit conversational piece." (Caraculiambro, on Amazon)

Words in this post
that are new to Papergreat

  • rabble-rousing
  • eunuch
  • langorously
  • televangelist
  • nutjob
  • blaxploitation
  • wankery