Leader Board Ad

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

You say...Havana, and I say Habana..

In a box of old papers ( i will call it the Victor Cromwell collection) I found an interesting invitation. I have written about Cuba before, thanks to a wonderful piece of breweriana:
 You can read the post that accompanies this post card here. This time around I was more interested in Cuba around the time of the revolution. I found an invitation to the Habana Yacht Club. I would like to know who invited Victor to Cuba to be a guest for a day at this posh establishment.
Havana pre revolution

On May 25th, 1952 the invitation offers all the privileges to the invitee to enjoy the Casa Club Playa del Mairianao, which I can't figure out. The Marianao was another club supposedly started by members of the Habana Yacht Club. Because the country is soon in turmoil there is not a lot I can find on the club, other than it is still standing but boarded up today.
Habana Yacht Club
 If you know more about the Habana Yacht Club please share it in the comments. I would especially like to know who sent the invitation.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Headache? Shirley it must be your Temples

At first I thought this was one of those: "Send a penny post card to receive a free sample!"  Normally found in magazines of the 30's. After reading the letter below Victor Cromwell, or someone at his house was listening to a BC sponsored radio show and feeling a little achy.

The letter doesn't mention that there are photos enclosed but the rusty paperclip on the letter and Shirley Temple tells me that she was part of the deal. John Barrymore...hmmm it's an odd pair in the same envelope.

I think I have it!  John is the "Before"  and Shirley Temple is the "After."  Why did they take this stuff of the market...that's quite a selling point. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Can you pass the Mental Nuts test?

Advertising, 1906, early CT
This little book measuring 5" x 3" was appealing to me both for the graphics and the title itself. I thought it might have been a psychiatrist' manual for the quick diagnosis for the insane. But, then I thought that was crazy. This is actually a neat little promotional item from 1906 created for watch dealers to personalize and hand out to customers. 
A neat little advertising remnant from a long-gone watch dealer ,etc. in Meriden Connecticut. I don't know what these were supposed to accomplish for the store owner because this is full of tough problems. 
Click for readable size
I would really like to try and figure some of these out, and I have tried, but after several minutes I start to look at my Waltham watch and realize, "I am late for something..."  If anyone tries to guess even one of these first three, place your guess in the comments and I will provide the answer key. Have at it!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

This Mae Not Be The West I Can Do

Among the items you can find in a scrapbook are Autographs. I have never been convinced that these were a good investment as collectables. If you were a fan...yes. Otherwise all the elements of condition and verifying real from fake or signed by a publicist make these anyone's guess for a find. But the images themselves are worth gawking at. For example:
Mae West publicity still, 1934
 The autograph with text says: "Come up and see me sometime Bill, Anytime.  Mae"  2 problems with this - First, Mae West's line was "Why don't you come up sometime and see me?" And secondly, I can't find any signature of hers that looks like this one.  This either makes this very rare or very fake. Her actual signature is this image to the right.

In 2 other scrapbooks I found more than I'll ever need to know about Nelson Eddie and Jeanette MacDonald. I did find what may be original signed pictures...but I'm not sure. Nor am I interested enough to know if they are real or copies of copies.
Signed Autographs
Finally, if you are a fan Hollywood, I found a signed still of Marjorie Reynolds. Best known for her role in "Holiday Inn" she never made it as an "A" actress. Finishing her career as the wife of William Bendix in the TV series "Life of Riley." She started in silent pictures and ended in TV, not a bad run for an actor. She died in 1997.
Marjorie Reynolds Signed autograph
  My only advice is: Don't throw out any scrapbook before looking through it.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Playground Graveyard...take me there

No, this isn't a tease for the new Stephen King novel, but now that I think of it...maybe he and I can collaborate on his next book. I'll write the title, and he can do all that wordy, grammary, cliff hanger-y,surprise ender-y stuff. We can split the profits 50-50.

I will let you know how that strategy works out for me. I know one way to spend my advance from the publisher on SK's ( I can call him "SK." We're partners.) next collaboration with me -"Playground Graveyard - Deathslide"

I digress. Here is how I plan to spend my money.
1950s playground equipment
Click for a larger image.
Now, I am not exactly sure if this is a piece of playground equipment, or these kids didn't finish their vegetables at dinner. All I know is: Where was this when I was growing up!? I don't think any threat of "No TV!" would peel me away from this. I have seen some scary playground contraptions, but this is my favorite.

Instead of looking for Nazi war criminals in South America, how is it no one suspected they would sneak into the U.S. and begin to design playgrounds of terror to hurt and maim our country's most important natural resource? Fortunately, the Nazi's underestimated the resilience of American youth and instead, the Nazi were driven off American playgrounds by the squeals of laughter and eventually the lawsuits and liability insurance premiums.

Care to share some of your playground memories?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Guess The Gadget: One good turn...

Brass Wrench
Is it really a gadget if it has no moving parts? Or is it a doohickey, a whatzit, or possibly a thing-a-ma-bob? No matter, because even if you should guess, I can't tell you if you are right because...I have no idea what it is, where it came from or what it's used for. Do you?  Bear with me on the quality because I used a scanner to image it. The fuzzed out number are 4,6,8,10,12, No other markings.

Hint - it is a tool, and each spire is a different sized square. So what was it meant to tighten or adjust? Who made it and when?

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Sexy Rocket City...Your Pad? or Mine? In 3..2..1

There were likely hundreds of these dotting the Florida landscape. The rocket boom from the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs made millions for developers...Disney being one of them. 
1960's real estate development ad Florida
Sticker inside cover of rocket book
No, this isn't a Disney development. Much like the time-share scams that still exist today, back in 1962 you could go to a seminar about real estate and learn about investing with the promise of a free book.
Inside book cover title" Countdown for decision" by Major General Medaris
And walk away smarter and ready for the coming boom. Unfortunately, this development never made it...even though it was both Urban and Suburban!
From Florida's library and information service:

Rocket City was to be a residential/industrial park planned city between Orlando and Cape Canaveral in eastern Orange County, Florida, but the project was abandoned due to the developer's bankruptcy. The series contains promotional materials of the developer, All-State Development Corporation (Miami, Florida).  The records document the review of the promotional activities by the Division.  It also contains the Division's legal and investigative files into land fraud by the developer.

Oh well, back to the launching pad. Nice sticker, though.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

1854: The Indian Races of New England

I don't often know what to do when I find a really old book. The value may be high, but that doesn't mean it will bring that price. I am usually more interested with what's inside...preferably the bits of stuff that gets stuck in the pages for safe keeping. This book, which came from a Southbury sale this past weekend, didn't have anything tucked between the pages.  Actually, it was the pages that were a real "find".
 The tome was titled:

 I have seen books like this at other sales, usually they are $80 or more. This one was a dollar. It was in poor condition with loose boards and a damaged spine which probably made that 1$ price tag an accurate estimate of its worth. To me, it was a cheap opportunity to get a look at some local history through the eyes of a mid 19th century historian.
 These hand tinted images are great to look at for their detail, but we'll never know if they are accurate, that may have to wait until someone perfects the time machine.

 This last image is my favorite, which depicts the genuine instability of life for early colonists. Of all the humorous church signs the one I would like to see on the church lawn - Bring Your Guns To Church! - get ready to circle the pews!