This is a catalog of items from my vast archive of odds and ends and other bits of junk I have lying around.
I picked this up in a junk shop some years ago. It's 8x10" and must have been developed in some kid's photography class. Alas, there is nothing written on the back. My favorite part of this picture is the facial expressions on each of these two. My second favorite part is the box of cough medicine in the foreground. I wonder where theses guys are now?
I have no idea what these are, but I really like them. They aren't made of metal, but of something similar to plaster. They're quite hard; you can't scratch it very easily. The base is about 3/4 inch across.
Quaker Pack-O-Ten Warplane Cards
These are three of a pack-o-ten collectible cards. They are the size of regular playing cards. I think they're quite good looking.
Here is an (undated) ATLAS of human anatomy -- all of 14 pages. Aside from its assertion that muscles are organs, for heaven's sake, I think you can base your trust in this "atlas" merely by examining the figure on the cover.
When I was a student at the University of Texas in the early 80s, this item appeared in the student newspaper. It is one of the best headlines I've ever seen. And the story doesn't disappoint! A few years ago, I laminated this, so that's what the glare is all about.
Determinative Bacteriology, 7th German Edition
This is a handbook -- a hand atlas, actually -- of bacterial specimens. This is the seventh edition, translated from the German and published in 1930. It's a very lovely volume of color plates showing what different specimens would look like under the microscope and in the test tube with details on their preparation. For example, one such picture is described thus:
Agar plate, 48 hours at 37 degrees C, 60x. Surface colony. The agar was poured, and blood from the finger tips was smeared on it, and upon this was placed the gonorrheal pus.
Each plate is protected by a sheet of glassine paper. Nice touch.
This is a nice, wood pencil or tool box. I suspect it was for drafting tools. If you put pencils in this thing, you'd have to dump them all out to find the damn 3B you want. This measures 9.5 inches long, 2.25 inches wide, and 2 inches high. It slides open way to easily to carry around. I like it and need to find a good use for it.
Here is a delightful little booklet of party games. Unfortunately, there is no date on it. 1930s? "How often does a party get off to a good start only to die a lingering death because the poor hostess cannot keep her guests amused?"
One game is "Fun With Peanuts". Sounds promising, right? It is! "Each guest is given ten peanuts and in turn try to toss as many as they can into a large bowl placed at the end of the room. Bets between guests may be allowed." There's more: "Couples are seated on the floor in a circle with a large pile of peanuts in the center. At a given signal from the hostess they begin threading the peanuts on the strings."
Most of these games are pretty silly; they're supposed to be. But they seem more suited to a party of teenagers. The worst one is this:
"Then do their faces get red!" Who on earth came up with that one? "What's wrong with this party games book?" is more like it.
Here is an unfinished collage I did. I guess I felt I wasn't getting anywhere with it. All the same, I do like how the bright colors contrast with the photograph. There is no date for this. It looks like it was taken in the 20s, doesn't it?
Southern Pacific Lines Certificate
A friend of mine gave me this little card and I love it. It measures 4 by 2.5 inches. As you can see, it's a pocket-sized (sort of) card that served to prove --- on the spot! -- the competency of one V. V. Ragland to perform the duties of Dispatcher for the Southern Pacific Lines. He received said certification in 1923. I embellished it a bit, as I hope you discovered. Along with two rubber stamp images (the green one is of a shell), I affixed part of a transparency I made from a cookbook diagram of meats and their uses. And, as I so often like to do, I laminated it (with my own laminating machine). This preserves it and helps punch up the colors.
Wouldn't you like to know that the V. V. stood for?
A Manual of American and European Mammals
I don't know how old this charming little book is, but it's not in great structural shape. However, the pictures inside look like they were just printed. This measures 6 by 3.5 inches. There is no text or title page. The cover says one might find the animals' scientific names therein, but I don't see any. Here are all the plates in no particular order. As you will see, it doesn't really matter because the animals are, generally, in no particular order themselves. I don't know why a chimpanzee would be pictured with a flying fox. But aren't these lovely? My favorite is hungry bear.
The Head Within -- A Picture of Good Health
Here is the final installment from the medical book: the head and brain. Again, the colors are fabulous. Let's go inside.
Of course, we now know that things like firmness, friendship and veneration (!) are not mapped to the brain this way. That's preposterous. There is an interesting word in the frontal lobe that I have never seen before: bibativeness. It means a penchant for drinking. Alas, it's considered obsolete, but it seems like a perfectly good word to me. I will have to use it.
Let's turn to the next section. Muscles of expression! Just look at those teeth! Do ears have muscles? The eye ball is my favorite part of this section. Look how beautifully rendered everything is.
On the next page we see the parts of the brain and the always creepy sideways view of the tongue. Finally, we have the bones of the skull like "cheek bone" and "nasal bone".
I sure would like to see the rest of this book. I notice on this page that it was copyrighted in 1916 by C. J. Stanley. So the search is on!
Well, the sun is back so I can give you page 2 of 3 from an old medical book. I only have these pages, not anything else, so I don' know where these came from.
I think you will agree that this is pretty fantastic. I love the colors! I also love learning all the technical terms like "collar bone" and "muscle of shoulder". I don't know how those med students do it.
Today I'm going to try to insert a slide show, so let's see how that goes. (Okay, I can't get it to show the pictures in order, so you'll have to figure it out.)
Successful Collection Letters, by William H. Butterfield, Part II
The weather is very dark and drippy here again, so I'll wait for the sunshine to take more medical book pictures. In the meantime, here are some more selections from the above-mentioned book.
Man, there are a lot of cheesy phrases in this thing, not to mention an over-abundance of misused quotation marks (don't get me started!) It seems certain that anyone who would write a book on collection letter-writing would be the type of scarecrow to do that sort of thing. One particularly nauseating chapter bears the title, "Checks Appeal" -- Making Collection Letters Pull [italics his, of course]. Let's take a peek!
This chapter aims to demonstrate -- by the example of letters both real and imaginary -- how to write letters that appeal to the debtor's sense fair-mindedness and, as you can see below, either his feel for humor or the strength of his stomach.
Oh, brother. Aren't they just delightful? The person who owned this book was humored well enough.
Now, do note the letter on the left in the frame below. See the one just above it in which every S is typed as a $? So clever. And take the one on the right. Sheesh. Do any one of you happen to be familiar with the district attorney from the old Law & Order show -- the one played by the odious Fred Thompson? I think you'll hear a familiar drawl as you read the letter on the right.
This bilge goes on for pages! It's the longest chapter in the book, traveling from page 37 all the way up a long, steep hill to page 92. And that is way more than enough for today.
Successful Collection Letters, by William H. Butterfield, Part I
How could anyone resist an old book like this? It was published in 1941 and penned by the above Mr. Butterfield. He was the "Head of Department of Business Communication, College of Business Administration, The University of Oklahoma." My father was a student there at that time! But he wouldn't have taken any such class, I imagine. He studied geology.
If you imagine that an old book like this would be filled with amusing, old-fashioned advice and examples, you'd be right. Let's jump right in. There is one chapter titled, "Seven Sins of Collection Writing." I would say many of these ring true today, although most people aren't writing individual collection letters anymore. One of the sins is the Obvious Form Letter. Too bad. The chapter begins thus:
There are, unfortunately, many "bunkers" and "sand traps" lining the "fairway" of the collection writer's course -- many pitfalls which can mar the effectiveness of his correspondence.
Let's start with Excessive Fat. This part is my favorite and here are some examples of why. (Please excuse the shadows. It's raining today and this is the best spot of light, even though it casts a shadow or two.)
That second one's a piece of work, isn't it? "Knowing that a son of yours entered Blank last fall, it'd be shame if something happened to him". Good grief.
Here are a few examples of the sin of The Exasperated Tone:
And then we have The Barbed-Wire Expression.
We cannot tell whether your failure to heed our urgent letters means that you are willfully neglecting our bill or that you are merely irresponsible.
Well, that's all for today. I'll post some more for you soon.
Page from a Medical Book, Part I
This is really cool, isn't it? And beautiful. It seems to be from a medical text of some sort. I don't mean it was a textbook; the descriptions seem too rudimentary for that. But who knows? I don't know the date of publication, but I'm sure someone had to past in those flaps by hand. I love the colors! I have three different pages, so stay tuned to learn more about the wonders of the human body.
Junior Ace First Aid Kit
Isn't this keen? It's a little tin box with first aid supplies inside -- helpful to the budding pilot. Only one item remains: a tiny, tiny box of adhesive plaster -- a roll of medical tape that is now yellowed and hard. This box is about 3.25 by 2.75 inches. I think it's very charming.
Some Old Pocket Notebooks
Here are three very old pocket notebooks. They reveal little tidbits of the lives of three people: one in Ohio, one in Chicago and one in Dodge City, Kansas.
Let's start with the book from The Union -- "Home of Quality". It was (is?) the largest department store in Central Ohio. Wow! The inside back cover lists these attractive items for women: Gotham Adjustable Stockings ($1), Vitality Health Shoes ($6), Kayser Underwear in the Famous Cordial Weave ($1) and Warner's two way stretch girdle ($5). Whatever nitwit owned this thing took the time to pencil in a charming little racist poem about. "Tony da dago". Nice. I wonder if he/she carried this little gem around so as to entertain strangers stuck in line? Can you imagine?
The next item came with the compliments of J. Frank Edwards. Inside is a 1900 calendar and what appears to be a list of all the phone calls its owner made in 1901. There are a couple of address and the code for his or her post office key. In the back, its owner wrote, "Eat popcorn or something dry before going to bed and you will have pleasant dreams". The Old Settler's Picnic was on August 29, 1907. I would love to have seen that!
Finally we have my favorite, compliments of The National Bank of Commerce in Dodge City, Kansas. It belonged to Vincent Ragland. Mr. Ragland appears to have purchased a Remington typewriter, model No. 10 on September 18, 1913. Subsequent entries in the book include purchase details for a Winchester Repeating Rifle, which he later sold for $7. He spent $2 on a "vest pocket Kodak" in 1904 and later traded it for another model. He rented his typewriter to Mabel Williams on March 11, 1915 and again one month later and one month after that. She paid $2.50 each time for the privilege. Mabel wasn't the only one, either. Ragland got a lot of mileage out of that typewriter. The rest of the book includes addresses (one to someone at the Sulfur[sic] Osteopathy Hospital), more purchases and, interestingly, the measurements of a Victrola. And Gertrude gave him a fountain pen for his birthday, August 14, 1933 (I like that he noted the date!). If there were ever a guy who needed a smart phone, it was Vincent Ragland!
Box of Feathers
This is on old, beat-up cardboard box that has been repaired with masking tape. What's special about it? It's filled with beautiful feathers, all courtesy of my friend Ward. I love it that a nondescript old box holds such a beautiful treasure. I love opening it up to experience the effect. But I think I'm going to find a more suitable container for it so I can see the feathers without so much effort. But I'll keep the box (of course).
This old box measures 6.5 by 1 by .5 inches. It's not quite long enough to hold some pencils, which is too bad for me. It's made of cardboard and is stamped in green thusly: Topeka Barber Supply. Co. Topeka, Kas. The short end says, "Shorty", which may be the style/size of the razor that used to be inside.
Check out this old postcard from India. It was postmarked in Calcutta in 1930. Unfortunately, the stamp has been removed. It's a bit hard to read, but the sender's message says, "Rangoon, Burma, 3/3/30. Dear Bert: Having a wonderful trip. Greetings. John McSomething."
What kind of a guy goes to India and Burma and doesn't write any more than that? At least the image is pretty interesting.
Old San Francisco Postcards
I have a small, but growing, collection of old postcards of San Francisco, where I lived for 15 years. Here is the entire set so far. I think my favorite is the one of the guys in Chinatown reading the posted newspapers. I also like the one of the Cliff House on fire. Nicely done, don't you think? There is one of Roald Amunden's ship Gjoa, which was the first to sail through the Northwest Passage in 1905-06. The ship ended up in San Francisco and (according to Wikipedia) wasn't returned to Norway until 1972. I would like to have seen it. The windmill is still there. Today, you can visit the site and read the plaque. The card of the Mission Dolores church is kind of nice. We lived about two blocks from there. It's an interesting place to visit and has a cool graveyard. If anyone sees an old SF postcard, get it for me and I'll pay you back promptly for your trouble.
Junk Shop Postcards
I sure would like to see the instructions for these exercises. I'd also like to know how old this is. This is yet another thing where, taken out of context, the phrases come alive in a different way. It looks like a Surrealist word game or a poetry generator. Or both! These cards measure 3.25 by 4 inches. Charming, aren't they?
Peter Coddle's Trip to New York
I have no idea what this game is about, but it makes me a bit apprehensive about visiting New York. Is this a scavenger hunt?
A Boy and His Horse
Curling Iron Fail
When I was taking pictures of the muscle men book, I found THIS tucked inside. It's the instructions to the silver envelope sealer!
Isn't this fantastic?
My Latest Acquisition
I often see these old scrapbooks, but this one actually has scraps pasted into it.
The Abominations of Modern Society
I hope you all appreciate the sacrifices I make for you. The temperature here right now is 90° and the weather site says, "feels like 106°". The humidity defies description. But it was worth it to bring you Thomas De Witt Talmage's The Abominations of Modern Society, which was published in 1872. Rev. Talmage was born in New Jersey in 1832. Before you do anything, I want you to go right now to his Wikipedia page and check out his picture. And while you're there, go to "Early Life and Education" and find the link to his brother's (John Van Nest) page and get a load of his picture. Do it!
Rev. Talmage was a big deal in mid-century New York City. His fiery sermons attracted thousands. I admit that I haven't read this diatribe (nor do I intend to). I just glance at whatever page happens to show itself when I open the book. There are some real 19th Cenury gems of good, old-fashioned admonition and outrage here:
Look at the swearing, bloated, sensual wretches who stand on the outside of the New York City Hall, picking their teeth, waiting for some crumbs of emolument to fall at their feet; and then tell me how far it is from New York to Sodom.
But, wait! Let's hear his opinion on the employment of women:
I say, if she have more skill and adaptedness for any position than a man has, let her have it! She has as much right to her bread, to her apparel, and to her home, as men have. . . . I go still further, and say that women should have equal compensation with men. By what principle of justice is it that women in many of our cities get only two-thirds as much pay as men. . . . here is the gigantic injustice -- that for, work done equally well, if not better done. Woman receives far less compensation than man.
That IS an abomination! I wonder how that went down in 19th Century New York society? Perhaps there is more to this guy than meets the eye.
The good Reverend died in 1902 of "brain inflammation". If he had lived in this century, surely the cause of death would be "brain explosion". Enjoy!
I picked these up somewhere in Northern California. These are photos taken by a policeman at the scene of a fatal accident in 1935. You can see some railroad tracks in one of them. Creepy, huh? (If you come here looking for professional photographs of photographs, you're in the wrong place.)
Cool Latvian (?) Tacks
Trailer City Causes Resentment!
I have no idea what this creepy card game is all about, but I love it! Maybe you say the name of the town and the other player guesses the disaster or other news item. Strange, isn't it? My favorite is the picture of the ocean liner! I should frame these. (Thanks, Ward!)
Have you guessed what that silver thing is? Well, it's a fancy envelope moistener and sealer! Here it is in action. The water filters down from the barrel to moisten the pad. You slide the edge of the envelope in the slot and drag the device along the gummed edge. I'm a bit afraid to try to remove the cork because it has been torn flush with the opening. Maybe that's not such a big deal. I could get another cork and just let the dead one float inside.
Can you guess what this is? It's just a few inches long and the barrel is hollow. It has a cork on the end. I'll reveal the answer tomorrow, but I'll bet you'll figure it out.
LITTLE URCHINS / I think maybe Nancy gave me these cards. I've had them a while and the memory is dim. I wonder if they are part of some card game? Seems likely. I don't get, though, why the artist's name is Frogswool.
OLD WATCH PARTS BOX WITH COOL LITTLE VIALS
LABELS FOR THE BEST FRUIT ON EARTH
OLYMPIC BIRD SCRAPBOOK
May 11, 2016 / Successful Muskrat Farming
This gem from the 1920s is your go-to guide to becoming your own furrier! I had no idea that the muskrat is also know as a "musquash", which is what I will call it from now on.
Now, don't think that you just skin and trim the musquash and throw the rest away. How could musquash meat be objectionable?
In conclusion, I ask you: Is this not the most perfect author photo ever?
May 11, 2016 / SEALTEST PAMPHLETS
These thin Sealtest promotional recipe pamphlets are a pretty common find in your antique stores and junk shops. A lot of mine are gifts and I love them. The bright colors of the old food photos are a big part of the appeal to me, not to mention the educational articles within! ("Get-to-gethers"?)
I was so preoccupied by this charming little girl, that I didn't notice the little turkey-shaped ice cream desserts she and Lord Fauntleroy are about to enjoy!
If you'd like the recipe for this wienie bake, just let me know.
(Is it me, or does the name "Sealtest" seem a bit too institutional for ice cream?)