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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Story of Beer (not watered down)

In light of the recent lawsuit against Budweiser, who is accused of watering down their brew  I thought this wonderful drawn (or is it drought) story of "How beer got Bob that promotion!" from 1954 would be a fitting salute to the mega-brewers of America.  #93 in a series from "Home Life in America"
"Hope you bought enough beer."

"Honey? Do you think they'll notice we have no walls?"

"Poor dear, you have no walls, do you have enough beer?"

"Try the beer, it's like water...with a kick."

"If it weren't for the beer I'd wonder why we were staring into this eternal light."

"More beer for the trip home?"

"He didn't know what he was promoting...he kept referring to the cheddar as "The new big cheese!"

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Could you pass this gas under glass?

I guess I may be a little dangerous when it comes to treasure hunting. Well, this site is called "Confessions of..." I enjoy finding the odd and peculiar and then somehow trying to translate out the humor or the human drama. It got to be one or the other, right? Take this paperweight for example:
I found this at an estate sale in Westport, CT. This sculpture was trapped in lucite and I wanted to know more about it. I wondered if I could break the plastic or melt it down just to get at the art work. I thought it would help me figure it out. Then I just decided to turn it over:
  Well, that explains it! But not really, because there is no information about the magazine called "GAS" (Which I must get a copy of for the coffee table). There is no liquified natural gas facility in San Diego, and if there is I don't think the larger version of the sculpture is there anymore. You call that progress? I can only hope a reader from San Diego will find this post, head down to the gas plant, and snap a picture of it...any takers?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Puzzle (SOLVED) Warning: There are no longer strings attached

(SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM FOR THE SOLUTION TO THE PUZZLE)This may be more of a question of semantics. The study of which was the strength of the previous owner of this puzzle who used it to get newbies and students thinking about the importance of linguistics and communication. Search "General Semantics" and you may be in for a mind bending experience...but solve this puzzle first!

Harry Maynard rubbed elbows with some of the great thinkers of our time. Some of it definitely rubbed off on him as he devoted the better part of his life to the study of General Semantics. Was he headed in the right direction? Teach me something I don't know about GS and I will thank you heartily in the comments.

Straighten the ends of the string

Fold the card and pull the string and paper loop through

Set the string free!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Local History for Sale!!

(Note: The following article appeared in Patch.com as one of the first articles I submitted to them)
I came up with the title “Urban Archeology” years ago.  The pleasure I get from sale-ing doesn’t usually come from items neatly arranged on the tables. I look for the box, the cluttered shelf, or the piles of things that haven’t been disturbed, possibly since they were originally placed. True archeologists look at a “dig” the same way. The longer an item has been left alone (in its “pristine” state) the more information and clues of its origin and purpose can be determined. Sometimes, the messier a sale is - the better.  For me, it can take a lot of sales before I find one I consider a “dig.”   When it happens, I can come away with something really unique. 

When a local estate sale service opened up a 19th century Brookfield, CT farmhouse to the public in order to clear it of its contents my radar started “beeping”.  A side benefit of sale-ing it the opportunity to explore an old house, as well as a chance to uncover some local history. After searching most of the main floor rooms, the first item I noticed was a framed reprint of a Brookfield town map from the 1850’s. 

Brookfield, CT 1850's Map

Even a print copy of a map from the 1850’s is a wealth of information.  Old homesteads, businesses, names of prominent people, and forgotten landmarks make this an interesting and possibly important find. A closer inspection revealed a surprise detail on the back

The last homeowners had managed to discover and document (to the best of their ability) all the names of the previous owners of the property back to the original owners.  My first thought was that this map should not be in the sale; it should stay with the house. Unfortunately, I was alone in my opinion and when I returned from exploring the upper floor I found the map was gone. Quickly scanning the few other shoppers I was relieved to discover that a caring and conscientious Brookfield couple had purchased it. I don’t often quiz people about their purchases, but this couple was nice enough to tell me they would turn the information over to the historical society and allowed me to take the photos attached to this article.

It’s good to know there are other Urban Archeologists out there as well. 

My question for this week is: What are some of the interesting pieces of local history you have found or kept safe over the years?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

AD Quiz #23 What's the Main Ingredient

I have seen a lot of old ads during my digs, but this one must have escaped me. With a name like SPUD, you can't go wrong!  The question is: Why is it that college kids in the 1930s should "major" in Spud. There's something wacky in that tobaccy.
Spud does a student good!
 Well, I guess it's pretty obvious that there's a mixture of crack cocaine and heroine combined with speed, or maybe it's just menthol - ether way, it's Cram-tastic!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Good Lord Man! Is that a Cannon in your lap?

This ad from a 1964 American Home Magazine typifies the potential for subliminal advertising. I am not sure what the imagery is actually supposed to convey, but I found it comical.

I was thinking I would pair this with an ad for one of those filter cigarettes just to show how they seem to contradict each other...maybe cotton keeps the flavor of the cushion from escaping?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Irradiated Milk - It does a body glow.

Okay, so it isn't really Atomic Milk. In the 1940's someone got the idea that if you passed milk over an ultra-violet light it would kill the bacteria and last longer. I don't know where the Vitamin D thing comes in...couldn't you just leave the milk out in the sun? Or, maybe drink it in the sun for the same benefit?  Here is a bottle I found at a recent sale:

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Forgotten LPs From the 70's

For today, Superbowl Sunday, I have found a piece of LP and comedy history, history in the way something happened in the past, not history in the way something is historic.  But it was Superbowl related, so I thought..what the heck. Why not?
And the reverse...
Patchett and Tarses were a comedy team but very little information exists about them other than some lines in IMDB.com. Tarses is billed as a comedy writer, producer, actor. His name is attached to the producing credits of The Bob Newhart Show and others. He and Patchett performed on the Joey Bishop Show in the 1960's. I can't find any information on this album other than about 10 copies for sale on Amazon.com from different sellers.  Would like to see a clip of these guys...anyone have a link?

Imus was a little more known, mainly as a respite for me from my years at high school. WNBC provided a home for morning show and the foolishness over-flowed to an album or 2. I love this album just because Jack Davis (of MAD Magazine fame) did the artwork. 

Finding this in the basement collection of an Estate Sale recently I had to snap an image to share.