This Dist-o-Map of Texas is the wheel that launched a thousand wheels! Well, at least 200 -- so far. These Dist-o-Maps are a common sight in the ephemera section of many junk shops and antique stores. We also have one for the Pacific coast.
The really amazing thing about this wheel is what's going on behind the scenes. My mind was fairly blown when I looked under the front disc.
It's kind of fun to play around with. McAllen is 920 miles from Albuquerque, but nobody needs to know how far Odessa is. You don't want to go there.
This is wheel is 7.5 inches across.
I can't believe this wheel is only ten inches across because, in real life, it's enormous! It has all the information you need to eat and be healthy. Let's say, for example, that you'd like a nice serving of pancreas for breakfast (as one does). Just point the dial to "pancreas" (it's listed just under "brains") to find out what's in that stuff. It contains plenty of silicon, The Optimistic Mineral!
The Wheel O' Life was produced in the 1940s by...wait for it...the Wheel O' Life Company. We actually have two of these wheels. Sadly, The Wheel O' Life is flawed and the Wheel O' Life Company knew it. The holes don't always center themselves properly and there are instructions on the back addressing this deficiency: "If necessary, adjust slightly so that the figure appears in the center of holes. If more than one figure appears, use the one nearest the center. If only part of a figure shows, do not consider."
Tomorrow, I'll show you a wheel that is considerably more complicated than this one yet amazingly accurate in its figure-to-hole integrity.
Here is a wheel from 1963 that's actually pretty helpful, especially for math-illiterates like me. It would be better if it were plastic, though. Have you ever noticed how often that sickly yellow-brown color shows up in 60s design? Horrible!
This komputer is seven inches across and is double-sided. I should probably keep this in the kitchen.
This 1944 wartime wheel assists you in building your very own victory garden. And I think it does a pretty good job of it -- unless you live in Wisconsin. It includes information on soil, fertilizer, watering and pest control. Consult your "local seeds man" for more information.
The reverse side of this 5.75-inch wheel has more vegetables to choose from -- like carrots, thank goodness. And it's all brought to you by the clear heads at Calvert Distillers.
(I ask you: How can any garden that has squash in it be considered a victory for anyone?)
This is a charming bit of 1950s advertising. Hold-Bob bobby pins were endorsed by John Powers, founder of a famous modeling agency and a world-famous beauty authority. Wow!
I can't imagine either having this kind of hairstyle or taking the time and effort to achieve it. How long do you have to sit around before you can take the pins out? Do you sit under one of those helmet-type hair dryers? Would you do this every day?
This is wheel is seven inches across and in very good shape. It's one of my favorites. I think it's pretty clever.
I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that this is our oldest wheel. It (or the soap) was patented in 1881 and I can't imagine this is too much older than that.
This measures 3.75 inches and is in somewhat bad shape. It stands to reason. It's a little game with advertisements for the Enoch Morgan's Sapolio soap products. Honestly, I can't figure out the dang game, but its interesting nonetheless. I don't know what desperate situation you'd find yourself in to resort to playing the Sapolio soap game.
I'll bet you didn't expect to see a wheel from Australia and we didn't expect to get a hold of one, but here it is. I'm not sure how useful this wheel would have been, but I guess it's interesting enough. I don't think it's very attractive, though. Nevertheless, this wheel proved so popular during the 150th Australian Anniversary Commemorative Pavilion at the Royal Easter Show in 1938, that "...many thousands of people could not secure copies. . . ." Really? Many thousands? People from across the land wrote in requesting one! It makes you wonder what crappy souvenirs the other pavilions were offering. But volvelles are cool, so you can hardly blame them. After all, WE bought one! I salute the N.S.W. Railway for offering it.
This is is made of very sturdy cardboard and measures nine and three-quarters inches. It includes the towns of Dubbo, Murwillumbah, and Wagga Wagga.
Here is another Pan Am wheel and this time it's about time. If you find yourself in Leopoldville and need to know what time it is in Peiping, then just turn the disc to find out.
This wheel measures just over four inches and was printed in 1949 by Slide-Chart Corp. I guess there was a booming knowledge wheel/slide chart industry at one time. I was born too late!
I love the side with the airplane. I do wonder, though, what the flying clipper ship's bells is all about. Did they actually ring the time? How could you get through the 51 hours to Singapore if some damn clock is waking you up?