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Sunday, July 26, 2015

What is a Rebus Puzzle? See if you can figure these out!

I found this puzzle - known as a Rebus at a local antique shop. The coincidence bug hit me again because just that morning I was thinking of tossing a 1958 ATT Almanac (promo piece) when I saw a Rebus puzzle in the back. I thought, "That's kind of cool, maybe I will scan it and blog it." Later that same day I walk into my friend Justin Krul's antique shop (Just In Antiques and More) and saw this image above. What are the odds of that? 

Try you hand at solving these but they may not be easy as the clue for solving them was well known people. The box they came from was a sort-of adult party game set which looked to be from the 1940's or 50's. 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Magic Show Revealed 1919

Back in my early days, when ever I saw some other "older" kids toys at a tag sale I would always see the AC Gilbert Erector Set. It seemed too complicated and, because it included a real electric motor, too dangerous, which of course made it "too cool." I bought at least one set when I was 13.
I didn't know Gilbert also made a magic set.
Most kids at one age or another are natural performers and this set not only feeds into that but actually shows you how...

I have never seen a magic set that actually took you through the steps and even how to recover from your mistakes - see above.

As you can see the young person that owned this set took the script serious enough to examine and edit those sections he didn't want to include in the act. When he was done and had sufficiently practiced - it was time to type up programs...

This was a full show and given that the boy was probably in his young teens, I would have to guess that he grew up to be the next Houdini - or maybe...
He was!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

"Back in Business" Poster from 1945

There were innumerable inconveniences suffered by the american people during WWII. It doesn't compare to the citizens of the oppressed nations the Allied powers would ultimately defeat.  That aside, the food and gas shortages, and overall reduced services from local businesses combined to make what might have been normal life (for a post depression society) even more bleak. 

When the finally ended it wouldn't be "all back to normal" for  a while. In the mean time, businesses had to do what ever they could to let customers know that they were making progress. This original poster I found likely hung in the window of a hotel in the most visible spot. It is an awesome find!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Moving Sale video turns into an Audubon Clip Reel

Any chance I get to preview a sale will cause me to bring my video camera to capture and share what’s there. This sale was previewed for me on Friday afternoon before the weekend weather moved in. I almost ended up spending all my time in the field nearby as it was filled with a great selection of butterflies and wildflowers.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Anniversary Statue of Liberty (arrival 130 years ago)

Last Wednesday the Statue of Liberty celebrated its arrival 130 years earlier into New York Harbor.  I found this gem a few months ago in a postcard album from 1925.

I suppose if you were emigrating to the United States, the statue would have been impressive at any time of day. Night, somehow, must have been more dramatic.  Read more about the Lady arriving in pieces here.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Letter form Camp 1930's

Hello Muddah, Hello Fadda...

When I looking for old paper, I shouldn't be surprised at what I find, but I am.  Take this letter as an example:
The letterhead is readable but not much else - here is the transcript:


       This is my first opportunity to write to you about camp. I don’t like it any too much. Please send down the money (PS also send a bulb for my flashlight). I am getting better at tenis (sic) but am not good yet.  I like baseball and have had fun playing it.  The fellows in my tent aren’t any to good. There too dumb and nuty etc.  Am still in tent 4 although I am thinking of changing tents. I am in the boating club and can now fairly my l….. 

He saved the letter, but maybe decided never to send it. When I researched the Rhode Island camp I was surprised to find that it was 99 years old and still going (from their website):

In 1916, The Y.M.C.A. continued to grow rapidly. and in April of 1916 purchased a 65-acre farm in Coventry, Rhode Island, now called Camp Westwood. The price was $1,500 for the farm and buildings. Board President, John Johnston named the camp after his niece, Miss Arlene Westwood. After the purchase, the Y.M.C.A. commisioned Henry Vigeant to build the Mirimichi (Indian name for gathering place); a dining hall for the campers. Camp Westwood still provides an opportunity for city youngsters to get away to the country.

This is not the strangest piece of correspondence between camper and home - that award goes to this post from a few years back - click here.

Monday, June 8, 2015

The "Our Gang" Kids - Fantasy Vs. Reality

I grew up on a steady diet of rerun comedies from the 30's syndicated for the after-school crowd because it was cheap, and perfect. The settings and messages were magical because at 40 years old they seemed other-worldly at least to this 10-year-old at the time.
It wasn't until I started digging in the past that I could clear up some of my own misconceptions of how things were. I found the image below when I purchased a pile of old photos and the correlation between what I remembered from those days while glued to the TV set.
Jimmy's looking pretty good, actually a little surly, but definitely confident on his gravity-powered machine. A little different from the posed shot of the group above, which I don't remember from the series.

I think as Spanky got older the series lost some of its innocence and better characters. I will leave you with this video of one of my favorites, even though I am really a fan of all of them. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

8 Victorian views from 1914

The year is 2114. You dig through the plastic pods in the storage capsule and uncover one that says "100 Year-Old Pictures." Will they be recoverable? Or, will the "1"s and "0"'s have slipped off the media leaving nothing but a blocky representation of some great-greats you never met and now you'll never know what they looked like.  Paper-backed prints have a vulnerability, but if stored correctly they can still be shared.

 If you still have old photos, remember to write something about the people on the back before it's too late.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

In 1940, They Weren't Called Low Income Seniors

Naming people at different stages of life has become the hob-goblin of the lexicon. When do you go from middle-aged to senior citizen or elderly? Apparently, it was a challenge for the Social Security Administration when it was only 5 years old (an older toddler.)
There is a long history of economic security on the government's site if you have the time. I was only interested in the year the current form of Social Security as we know it was established - 1935.
 This pamphlet and a few others I pulled from a box of old papers provide a peek into what the purpose of the program was near its inception. I could't resist mocking how they expressed who the program was for...needy old people.