Monday, June 27, 2011

Campbell Soup Company making tomato soup in 1935. From an article in Fortune Magazine.

This is just part of the article that was in Fortune. But it is something to see how things worked and operated in Camden, NJ at the Campbell plant. I am sure it is very different today at the Campbell plant, where ever it is? But what is special and so different from today is the company relied on farmers to bring in crops. Today companies like this have their own farms.

Note the vintage of some of the trucks bringing in the tomatoes. They were very old in 1935! Lastly, the lady who sits with a spoon and adds a little here and there to make sure it is ten and a half ounces. There is a homey quality to the whole process.

The Stromberg Carlson radio with the"acoustical labyrinth". It was very much in a way like an orthophonic horned machine or today's Bose Wave Radio.

This explains it

As you can see in this article, the radio/phonograph was remote controled and had a "acoustical labyrinth". This was a massive advertizing ploy on their part. It was a great idea and it sold radios.

Here above it explains the acoustical labyrinth commercially.

The tag that would be on all Stromberg Carlson radio and phonographs with the labyrinth. However, I recall talking to an old radio man years ago who said it was just a bunch of nonsense. Just some cardboard. Not a folded horn that was in the orthophonic machines made by Victor and later RCA.

As you can see in this picture below, here is one of the horns unwrapped...and I was surprised to see it is all cardboard.

So did it work? I guess it did to a degree. In fact it was one of the many horn types of radios that have come onto the market leading up to the Bose Wave Radio and speakers which are basically folded horns, not too unlike the orthophonic and to a degree the acoustical labyrinth of the 1930's. Just smaller in size.

It is interesting to note that the orthophonic of the 1920's and the acoustical labyrinth of the 1930's and 40's were noted for the bass they produced, and if we look at the modern follower the Bose Wave too is famous for its bass, and for a labyrinth of design that re-enforces the bass and treble it reproduces like it's fore bearers.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The early telephone. It had a lot of info on it.

In the days of early telephones there was a lot going on. This telephone piece from the 1880's lists all the various patents and developers in its progression. This piece has the names of all who were involved and at war with each other in regards to the telephone. Names that grace it's front are Bell, Berliner, Edison and Blake. Now Bell and Edison have instant recognition, Berliner and even more so Blake do not. Those two men made a quite a bit of history I will discuss in the future. But one has to remember that this was war. Bell and Edison were not on the best of terms. Berliner and Blake were allied. So the 1880's was a big time of adventure, high jinx, and innovation on the device we call the telephone. I thought it would be nice to share the face of one of the early phones with you.

This wonderful piece is from an age when the telephone was in its infancy. Soon to become a giant in the 20th century.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A piece of the USS Shenandoah... America's first Airship ZR-1

The USS. Shenandoah in happier days in Lakehurst, New Jersey. She was based there from 1923 till 1925.

Here you see part of the wreck of the airship. She made her first flight on September 4, 1923, she crashed on September 3, 1925. She was in service for just 2 years. Her crash led to better designs for airships that would appear in the future.

The ship hit a massive storm over Ohio and broke into 3 pieces. Several men aboard were killed as they fell from the crashing airship. Also the control car broke from the ship itself and crashed killing all on that part of the ship. After its crash there was a great deal of morbid curiosity about the ship. It was flocked by many who took not only a good deal of the fabric of the vessel, but also the log and many other important items.
Some parts of the ship in time have surfaced in collections and shows. But this crash also led to the writing of a very popular song that was recorded for many phonograph companies. It was called "The wreck of the Shenandoah" It sold well for many years after the event.

Here is an original piece of the fabric of the ZR-1.....The USS Shenandoah

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The End of books...a comment.

The article that directly follows this is a piece called the "End of Books". Of course it is just a story about a dinner party and the comment of what may come. Well as you can see at the time of this writing in 2011, there are still books. In 1894 the phonograph had just arrived on the scene in a rather crude form, but was still an amazing thing. Sort of like our TV's were like in 1935. We all dreamed of what would be and as usual nothing like what we dreamed ever happened.

So what of books? Yes people do not write or read books like they once did. But that does not mean the book is dead. I think books will continue to be read and printed on paper but, mostly electronically as time goes on. But there will always be books around here and there.
There will always be the holdouts who will never give them up. So has technology made the book obsolete? In a way yes, but also, in a way no. For there still is something magical and enjoyable about holding a book in your hands and using your mind and imagination. Just the feel of the book has a special meaning at least to me. Plus there are some areas where the book still holds its own.
I have my own library and that equals into a lot of books. But that is something as long as I live, I would not like to be without.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The End of Books..... An article from the August 1894 Scribner's Magazine

Are books dead? We hear that all the time today. Today with audio books and all kinds of electronic devices to store books,information and the like we think of books as a flash from the past. This article from 1894 is interesting to read as it brushes the future as to our entertainment and how we gain our information. Some of it is funny and some reminds me of our present time. Specially on the next to last page as we see a woman watching a picture and listening in her chair. Like a precursor to TV. Also on that next to last page you will see a trainload of people all with earphones on. Lastly a few pages before that you will see a person on a walk with earphones on and listening to his book. Of course my favorite is the last illustration that shows a lady seeing the doctor as her hearing is impaired by the loud recordings. Boy isn't that right on. You can see an entire generation today that will be in severe need of hearing aids in the future.

So enjoy this wonderful piece on the end of books and the outlook for new technology.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

One car dealer who gave money away! They are no longer in business

I found this among some of my Grandfathers stuff. I think it was an interesting advertising ploy. Weed Chevrolet was in Bristol, PA. They put a new penny in a holder and gave them away. Looking at the date on the penny they could afford to give it away. As it was the big post war boom for cars. Cars were on order for months before they would be ready and the dealers raked it in. So this is piece of history when GM was in clover. Now they are barely keeping their head above water and referred to as Government Motors.
It is interesting that Weed Chevrolet was in business from 1926 till the time of the current economic crash. They survived the first major depression, but this latest one finished them off.

The first seal of the Edison Electric Light Company 1878

A special piece from the dawn of an industry and even before the incandescent light was perfected. The stamp has a bulb of sorts, with no set type of filament as there was no set type of filament yet. Of course you can see that the screw in type of bulb was long off. You have to imagine that there was nothing much to go on, as all was new and unexplored territory in the fields of science and innovation. In a year a bulb will be developed. But, it would take a few more years till an industry was developed around it.

So here enjoy a piece of history from the very beginnings of a revolution. The electrical revolution.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Burial Vaults at the height of the great depression.

Yes we are all going to die. Some of us will be buried, some cremated, some given to schools to play with and dissect. But everyone has to go from this mudball called earth. It is a interesting thing to see how the funeral industry found new and fascinating ways to not only bury your loved ones, but also rid you more of your hard earned cash. In 1834 it was just a box and a quick burial. By 1934 as this ad suggests, it was a big process. Which meant ....MONEY!!!

So this heart rending scene of mother's letter let's us know that she and every other widow would be very content to know that her husband was in a airtight, sterile, and protected environment. Not to be morbid, but unless we are bringing them up again, should I care what anyone else is buried in? They are dead, they are not making encores.

It is a great racket, but not what it once was. The day of the 3 day funeral with all the trimmings is pretty much past. Even 2 days of viewings is looked at as kind of silly. And once the body is in the ground...well it is not coming out.

But the funeral industry has made it a pretty good racket out of grief and making sure you respect your family member. Even in an economic depression. But now we have been brain washed to think that is normal to embalm a body, or find a fancy casket, or a fancy vault.
When my grandmother died I got her the cheapest casket and no vault. She was part of nature in a matter of months. Why bother? I would be happy for the same.
Cause yes these vaults work for a while, but then they leak and pollute the ground with all of the embalming fluids just like every other embalmed body.

Can you just imagine the toxic waste dump cemeteries are? Not from bodies not embalmed, but from those that are!

Well it is all history, and the history of embalming I should go into soon.

This is a great ad, and I am sure it sold a lot of burial vaults...even in a great national depression.

Safe and healthy milk. Advertisement for glass lined tanks for milk 1935

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The 1936 PIERCE ARROW A great color advertisement and a last gasp of a dying company.

The Pierce Arrow was a great maker of luxury cars and had been making such cars since the dawn of the 20th century. In fact the cars used by President Woodrow Wilson, Harding and for a time Coolidge were all Pierce Arrows. The company was one of prestige and class.

The cars themselves were built like battleships with a wooden white ash frame and paneled with 19 gage steel. This was very time consuming process and a very lengthy process for manufacturing.

But the cars were built to provide the safest and most luxurious performance of any car then on the market. The cars weighed in at around 3 tons. Gas consumption was extreme. But once again if you could afford a ten thousand dollar car in the height of the great depression...did that really matter?

But this was one commodity that could not survive a great economic downturn. By the 1930, Studebaker and Pierce Arrow has joined forces, but there was little hope for a company that in it car department made only luxury cars.
This last attempt in 1936 was to bring out a V8 to V12 luxury car that was the safest and best car you could buy. It was!
But who could afford it? Sadly in 1938 the company closed out it production of cars and the last maker of cars in Buffalo New York was gone.

So here is a late advertisment for the last great Pierce Arrow that did not change the fortunes of the company. A new frame, a better engine, a fantastic car....and an economic depression.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Wellesley College Float Night booklets from 1894, 95, and 96.

These old booklets are from Wellesley College, which was an early all girl school founded in 1875 by Henry Fowle Durant. Float Nights were big events and as here written by LINDA VAUGHAN, she explains some of what the "Floats" were about.

Starting in 1875 a tradition in women’s sport was in the making at Wellesley
College. At that time the sport was referred to as rowing; it is now known as crew. There were several major components associated with the development of the crew tradition: a boating pageant known as “Float Night”, a “scientific” instructional program, and intramural and intercollegiate competition. During the formative years two people strongly influenced the development of crew and its component parts; the founder of the college, Henry Fowle Durant, and the first director of the department of hygiene and physical training, Lucille Eaton Hill.
While at the time of the opening of the college in 1875 Victorian women were assumed
by most people to be frail creatures whose health might be impaired by the rigors of
academic life, Mr. Durant was a strong advocate of vigorous exercise in the fresh air and sunshine. He therefore provided an opportunity for the students to exercise and enjoy the outdoors by purchasing three boats for rowing on the lake. More boats were purchased and eventually the rowers established a practice of serenading the campus while drifting in their boats on the lake at sunset. This spontaneous gathering evolved into a campus event known as Float Night which for a period of time was one of the major components of the crew tradition. Eventually it became an elaborate panorama of parades, singing, rowing demonstrations with star and W formations, processions of tableaus in the form of floats and fireworks displays. Because of gasoline shortages and blackouts, this pageant was not held
during the war years, and after several attempts to revive Float Night after the war, it was totally abandoned in 1948. It had become too costly and the existing student body had never witnessed the event, so that the thread of at least one part of the crew tradition had been lost.
A second aspect of the tradition began in 1882 with the arrival of Lucille Eaton Hill
who was keenly interested in organized sports. Under her direction a more scientific
approach was instituted in the crew program. This was also made possible by the purchase of new 8-oared barges. The crews began to be selected on the basis of health, discipline and technical skill so that by 1900 the original rower-singers had become athletes.

Class of 1896

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

John Paul Jones Sword presented by Louis the XVI by Charles Henry Hart 1907

Charles Henry Hart (1847-1918) was born in Philadelphia and was a well known art collector, author, and historian. His works and collections were huge. He was involved in the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago as a head of artistic operations dealing with American art. He was the director of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. plus the author of many books and articles. Here we have a short piece on John Paul Jones's sword and the story of how it ended up where it was
. This was from a program that was read by Hart in 1907. He inscribed the pamphlet in the front. I had this for many years, I bought a box of pamphlets about 20 years ago. All for a dollar. So I have found some treasures in the box and a lot of junk, more junk than anything else. I will be putting more stuff on from that box soon.
But here is a neat address that was all the rage to do, as Jones body had just been returned to the United States not too long before. So there was a lot of people having a lot to say about the great captain of the American Revolution and all things associated with him.

Monday, June 06, 2011

"MOXIE" A soda from New England that was never the biggest or the best. But sure got some interesting advertising.

Moxie soft drink is a New England, and mainly just New England drink. It has been around since the 19th century when it was originally devised Dr. Augustin Thompson. it was a nerve medicine to cure such things as softening of the brain and things like that. It was a popular drink in the 19th century. Even as we entered the 20th century it had many fans. One such fan was president Calvin Coolidge. Well, Coolidge was from New England so that answers that.

How many soft drinks get a song named after it. Well, Moxie did. It was out and for sale from around 1921-24. Maybe Calvin Coolidge had a copy he played on his Victrola. Below is a record label for that hit song.

Even the baseball legend Ted Williams was wild about Moxie. He was from New England too. For a while they even used Ted Williams picture on their label.

Sadly I have just not seen it becoming or having been much of a big deal in other parts of the country. At least in the last 50 years or so.
It remains a New England soft drink and I guess for as long as it exists will remain so.
But after all is said and done, how many sodas have a hit song named for them. I am sure I will fine one. I recall the Coca Cola commercial of the 1970's "I'd like to teach the world to sing" which was used to advertise coke. But it was not originally about it as far as I know. So I am sure you will not hear the song Moxie anytime soon, but at one time it was, like the soda, a big hit!