Friday, September 28, 2012

The "Pleasant" People in your Neighborhood

My dear readers, I am closing in on my 500th POST.  It is most exciting, but it's also odd that even though my blog is inherently nostalgic, I've never really discussed the affliction from which most of us "suffer".

One definition of nostalgia means "a bittersweet longing for things, persons, or situations of the past".  What they forget to mention are the rose-colored glasses by which many of us view this supposed past.  Guilty as charged.

And when I saw these wonderful die cuts yesterday at the Fox Valley Antique Mall-

KA-POW.  That "nostalgia" hit me right in the solar plexus.  And they had to be mine.  :)

If you've ever seen "Pleasantville", then you know what I'm talking about.  It's the movie where two present-day kids wind up entering their TV and becoming a part of a 1950's TV show called "Pleasantville", an obvious nod to the "Make Room for Daddy" and "Leave it to Beaver"s of our past.  They quickly learn that what may seem to be pleasant on the outside is horrifically stifling and bland.  The black-and-white series becomes color in piecemeal, by the characters' experiences in life (characterized by listening to jazz, contemplating modern art, and um, well, prurient activities (snicker, chortle, etc.).

I was born in 1968, a year of great turmoil - two major assassinations, the middle of the Vietnam war, riots in Chicago, and "those damn hippies"; maybe even  in utero I wanted an escape.  :D  I've always enjoyed conflict-free situations, and the ephemera of the middle century provides this.

When I saw these three gentleman staring at me, all I saw was a community where children behaved on the bus, the milkman delivered fresh dairy products (from the LOCAL dairy) direct to my door, and the very pleasant postman speedily delivered my mail, which included actual HANDWRITTEN letters from pleasant relatives!

This is the trap of nostalgia.  Beneath this pleasant surface lay racial tension, social injustice, child abuse, infidelity (it's always the milkman, don't you know!), and other "unpleasantness".  I never want to discount the strife that others felt during this time - I'm sure there are millions of Americans whose view of the middle century is FAR from the rosy picture I just painted.

In a full-circle twist, maybe that's the allure of nostalgia!  Maybe, for a brief second or two, we can forget that the world is full of very "un-nice" things.  When we view these pleasant gentlemen going about their day and making our lives easier, we can take a mini-vacation to a happier time, even if that time never existed.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Label of One's Own

Remember last week's post about Letraset, where I talked about the awesome packet of sheets I got from my friend Matt?  Well, he strikes again!

Talk about ephemera literally falling in your lap - Matt was searching through one of his antique books the other day, and this fell out:

Yes.  Oh my lordy-lord, YES.  It's a bookseller's label from E. Darrow, Bookseller & Stationer, at 103 E. Main Street, Rochester, NY (Estab. 1846). It's really tiny - only an inch wide and half an inch tall!  The four of us were at dinner last evening and when he handed it over, I nearly plotzed.  No one else at the table (including Matt) really knew what the big deal was, but I know my friend Chris Otto (author of the fantastic blog, Papergreat) will know the feeling!

In fact, it was Papergreat where I first discovered these booksellers' labels!  I have never had a book that contained one, so I didn't even know they existed.  But when I saw their antique tininess, I knew I wanted one.  Or two.  Or a thousand.  :D  There are wonderful examples on Chris' blog here, here, and here - and a whole bunch of other places, too!  Chris is a newspaper columnist, so he does a very thorough job of researching and citing sources - far, far better than I.  So you'll get a history lesson with each label, too!

I shall try my best with MY (I love saying that!) label - here's what I discovered, via the University of Rochester library site:
E. Darrow & Brother 
Erastus Darrow (Plymouth, Conn., January 29, 1823-Rochester, March 21, 1909) ran a bookstore in Rochester from January 1846 until his death. Several times during his career he had partners, including his brother Wallace from 1856 through 1866. His advertisements in the Rochester city directories from 1861 through 1867 mention his publishing fruit and flower plates for nurserymen. The Rochester Museum and Science Center Library has four of his plates, two bearing the imprint "E. Darrow & Brother" and two bearing the imprint "Darrow's Fruit and Flower Series." 
So that means that this label is dated somewhere between 1850 (approx.) and 1909! I also found this article in The Publishers' Weekly, dated March 14, 1891, announcing Erastus Darrow's 50th anniversary of bookselling.  Amazing!

Because of this tiny gift I have now learned a little something about Rochester's history.  Oh, and in case you're wondering, I did indeed look up the site on Google Earth and alas - it doesn't appear the original building still exists.  Such is progress.

If I've done my job at all today, I have now given you a new bit of ephemera to obsess about.  Hey, I'm just returning the favor from Chris Otto!  And thanks again, Matt - this tiny label is a TREASURE!!!!  :D

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Have you ever noticed that the United Nations isn't as prevalent as it once was?  Why is that?

It seems to me that the Fifties and Sixties were the apex for this organization.  The idea of a world where all nations agreed to disagree was a dream that almost seemed possible.  Even the president's speech yesterday seemed to echo this sentiment, saying that a world with free speech for all would be a step in the right direction.

Okay, this is NOT a political platform-type blog.  On to the ephemera! :D

I don't have many UN pieces, but what I do have, I love.  Take these stamps, for example:

I was SO excited when I saw the entire set, intact, at the Fox Valley Antique Mall last year!  You may remember me talking about this set last April, and how excited I was to snag these.  I still haven't used any of them - I'm waiting for the right time and my art work to "speak" to me.  :D

I also squealed with delight when I found this tab-backed pin, also at the FBAM, but in a different booth.  It's so beautiful in its tiny simplicity!  I also want to use this in art work, but again - waiting for the right time (artists, you know what I mean, right?).  :D

Here are some tiny silk flags that I SHOULD be using - I have a lot of them!  You may recall this post I did about flags a year and a half ago (man, that went fast!) - well, included in the packets is the UN flag (see what I mean about it being more prevalent 50 years ago?).  I love using flags in my work and this would be a gorgeous one to use.  There is just something about that beautiful blue with the map of the world and the laurel wreath - it's so optimistic.  

I have a few postage stamps from around the world, mainly from about 1972 - the 25th anniversary of UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund, formerly U.N. International Children's Relief Fund).  How many of you, my readers from the U.S., remember trick-or-treating for UNICEF?  I did, when I was 14.  It was the only trick-or-treating my mom and dad let me do at that age (back in the early 80s, at least in my region, it was sort of an unwritten rule that after a certain age, one didn't go trick-or-treating anymore.  Collecting money for charity was an exception).

Lastly, here is the gem in my M.Sasek collection of books - "This is the U.N.".  If you enjoy mid-century illustration, then you MUST check out M. Sasek's books if you haven't done so already.  Even though these books pre-date me by about 6 years or so, I do not recall them from my childhood.  I became aware of them about 10 years ago, when Anthropologie started selling them in their stores (they no longer carry them).  I snagged some for my nieces, but I also got a bunch for myself.  Most of my copies are new editions, but I do have a few oldies and the U.N. one is one of them.  I got this book for FREE in a white elephant swap during our ATC live trade at the Greendale Public Library a couple years ago.  I was ECSTATIC when I found it - maybe you can see why.  :D  Also, it is out of print (?) so I'm that much more grateful that I own it!

It is my wish that someday, the U.N. becomes more relevant again.  Until then, we all must do our part to ensure we live in a peaceful society.  :)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Bestowed Once Again....

Happy Monday, everyone!  I hope you had great weekends!  Mine was art-filled and fun.  :D

One of the things that made my weekend so great was receiving this AMAZING packet in the mail:

WOWIE!!!  That's a LOT of ephemera!  My South African friend Cuan strikes again!  :D

I got so much stuff in the packet that I'll take you on a visual tour of the ephemera in categories!  Take, for example, these vintage Christmas tags:

Aren't they great?  Someone must've gotten great gifts to warrant saving the tags!  I love their vintage-y goodness!  :D

I also received an amazing array of candy wrappers:

I love these!  They're all from the Wilson's company, which is indeed South African.  WOO HOO!!!

One of my favorite things in the bunch are these "Fleet Street Cheques", which must be part of a board game.  Cuan included at least 10 of them - smells like a collage background to me!  :D  Such a great color, and that wonderful design!

And how about these tiny stickers?  They'll be the perfect addition to a collage at some point!  I think they're all  fruit stickers!  I wonder how one becomes "proudly Mohlatsi"?  :D

Here are some invoices/promissory notes - I love these! The ones on the bottom are distinctly South African - notice the "R" in the second line - the Rand is the South African currency.  COOL!!!

Lastly, but not leastly, here are a couple of labels for South African products.  I had always thought that "pilchard" was a made-up word (as in the line from The Beatles' "I am the Walrus - "Semolina pilchard/climbing up the Eiffel Tower"), but apparently it is a real fish!  Now I can wow 'em at the next dinner party with my Beatles trivia.  Oh, wait - that type of trivial knowledge is why I WON'T be invited to any dinner parties.  :D  Okay, back to the labels - that Coo*ee Soda one looks strikingly familiar, doesn't it?  I mean, I'm surprised the company hasn't been sued by that other cola company which begins with a "C".  Maybe Coke doesn't have much of a presence in South Africa?  Maybe they worked out a deal?  :D

So now you can see why I was so thrilled to receive this parcel in the mail!!  I'll tell you, I have hit the JACKPOT lately with the awesome mail!!  :D  Thank you, Cuan, for being so kind and generous!  I truly appreciate every snippet of ephemera you send, and I'll get your packet off to you this week in trade!  :D

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Gift of Tags!

Let's flash back to August of 2011.  If you're a long-time reader of this blog, you may remember my posts about CREATE!, the retreat I attended with my friend Kim, who was an instructor there (I came along as a helper).  Because Interweave Press (the sponsor of the event) allowed the helpers to sit in on the class, I got a literal front-row seat to view all of the students' work.  It was so neat!

And as serendipity would have it, I was seated right in front of a very nice woman named Dawn (that's her on the far right in the photo, above).  The name of the class Kim was teaching was "Collage my Life", where you created collages using personal items.  I was very taken with Dawn's collage, because she used the most beautiful gray, taupe and light blue hues in her piece.  It was so serene!  If memory serves, it was beach-themed (Dawn, if you're reading this, correct me if I'm wrong!).  Because I was so fond of the collage, I struck up a conversation with Dawn.  It was great to meet her, and after the class we became Facebook friends.  I'll say this - love it or hate it, NO other form of social media has done such a service to maintaining old and new friendships as Facebook.  Just five short years ago, I would've met Dawn at CREATE!, and that would've been it.  What a world we live in!  :D

But I digress.  A while back, I had put this piece here, entitled "The Merrymakers", up on my wall.  Dawn commented on it and we got to chatting about it.  Then she wrote me,
"This might be kind of an odd question, want some vintage tags from cashmere and wool sweaters circa 1940 or 50's maybe? I think the tags might be in better shape than the clothes.....They belonged to my eccentric, great Aunt Marge. She was known for having his and her toilets with a tiny waist high wall in between so her and the mr could still hold hands. When she passed on, we found all her diamonds hidden inside her toilet. WOW! Old people really used to know how to live....anywho, I saw the above collage and immediately thought of my aunt. I think she'd really dig you. They're yours. :)"

Isn't this unbelievable?  You could NEVER make up a story like that if you tried!  What a lady!  :D  What got me, though is firstly, that Dawn actually thought of ME when entrusting her dear Aunt Marge's clothes tags to someone is wonderful enough.  To think that Aunt Marge would've found me a hoot?  Well, I'm getting verklempt all over again.

And then, when I got the packet of these amazing labels in the mail yesterday -

SHAZAM!!  They are all SPECTACULAR!!  Check out the vintage Lane Bryant tag....

And the neat John Wanamaker one (click on the link for the super-cool history behind Wanamaker's!), which happens to be Dawn's favorite.  Hmm....however could I repay her for this gesture?  :D

I've already profusely thanked Dawn on Facebook, but this is my public letter of thanks to you, Dawn, for the most loveliest of gestures.  I really can't thank you enough.  You totally made my day with this gift!!  

Am I a lucky girl, or WHAT?!  :D

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Obsolete Office Artifacts, Part II

In yesterday's post, we talked about vintage and NOS (new-old stock) Letraset letters - well, today I want to continue the office supply love with more wacky stuff that we'll probably never see being sold again - which is kind of sad, when you think about it!  Time left these little fellers behind, for whatever reason.

But I have them now!  Here are a couple of favorites of mine:

I scored these little fasteners from The Reporter, the paper where I used to work.  My friend Joyce, who worked there for 38 years, said I could have them - they were just laying all sad-like in the bottom of this tray in an unused file cabinet.   They're both so visually appealing, aren't they?  :D

Here's a super-cool old "tin" (made of paper) that holds Oakville O.K. Paper Fasteners, which looks like a predecessor to staples - Ebay has them at circa 1930s (that's probably about right).  Design-wise, these are fantastic.  Function-wise, they leave a lot to be desired - that little prong in the middle?  HOLY SHARPNESS!! It's like a tiny razor!  If you ever come into contact with these, take a lesson from This Doofus - don't check to see how sharp it is.  :D  Bonus?  The tin's almost full! :D

Here's another "tin", and even though it looks old, this one's new-old stock!  I purchased it at Wegner's Department Store right here in Fondy!  You may recall other posts about the awesome NOS at Wegner's - it's a veritable treasure chest of vintage-y goodness!  :D  These Quick Grip Clips are for hanging things from a blackboard - you insert the clip between the moulding and the slate, and voila!  Wall space!  :D

I've used a couple of these babies in my artwork - more to come, I'm sure!  :D

Monday, September 17, 2012

Letra...Set....GO - Office Supplies, Part I

I learn so much from you, my dear readers!  For example, when I asked you what your favorite childhood ephemera was (for the contest last week), quite a few of you said, "office supplies!"

I couldn't agree more.  I love vintage office supplies - in fact, I'm going to make this a two-part office supplies post!

Hands down, my all-time favorite office supply is Letraset Letters.  One may hear them called by other names - dry transfer, Chartpak letters (another brand name), rub-ons - but whatever the name, there are only two opinions about them - they are either revered, or reviled.  :)

I fall into the first category, although I may not if I actually had to use them for my job!  That's exactly what my friend Dina had to do - she was a graphic artist in the 70's and 80's, back when wax and graphic tape - and Letraset letters - were de rigeur.  It was this same wonderful friend who gave me this amazing and enormous pile of letters....

Yeah, I know.  I'm in awe, too.  :D  Aren't these incredible?!?  These are fonts I've never even heard of!  She brought them during one of our "white elephant" swaps at our ATC live trades - I nearly plotzed when I saw the box!  A friend of hers was throwing them out and asked if anyone wanted them - Dina saved them from the "great circular file in the sky"!  I just love them.

This past Wednesday night, Brian and I were at our friends Matt and Fran's house. Matt hauled out his own packet of letters, only his are either Stenso or Deca-Dry, two brand names I've never heard of!  Imagine my surprise when he asked me if I wanted them - um, yes, please!  :D  I helped Matt and Fran with a family art project and this was payment and a HALF!  Thanks again, Matt!  :D

Are you drooling yet?  Would you like some of your very own?  Well, you're in luck!  Our friend Sara at Manto Fev is selling unused Chartpak letters for a BUCK a set!  That's insanely cheap!  I've gotten quite a few sets from her (like these, above) and they're always wonderful - now it's your chance!  :D

I LOVE using these in my art work - I use them probably more than any other supply I have.  :)

Friday, September 14, 2012


Hee hee - did you think this was going to be a "naughty" post?  No, it's just another of my horrible plays on words.   Fooled you!  :D

I can't believe I found more of these!  You may remember a post I did about these "fauxkerchiefs" back in March - well, on a recent trip to the Fox Valley Antique Mall, I saw these beauts and I had to have 'em. I got six in the pack and as you can see, almost all of them are different colors!  Why, this gentleman was prepared for any hanky emergency!  :D

I love the "One Hour Martinizing" logo - it's one of the first logos I can ever remember seeing. My parents never dry-cleaned anything, so I must've been with my Grammie on errands or something.  The store I remember was on Military Avenue, which was the shopping center district of Green Bay (and the store's still there!).  I don't know if it was the font, or the colors, or what, but it really drew me in.

The history of the company is interesting - it was founded in 1949 by Henry Martin, who developed a solvent for dry cleaning whereby the clothes could be cleaned on-site (previously, the solvents were so flammable that the processing had to be done at a remote site from the store).  It revolutionized the dry cleaning industry and One Hour Martinizing was born.  Of course, others followed suit (get it?  Suit?  Dry cleaning?) and according to the Wikipedia page, franchises in the US have been steadily declining in the last decade or so.  We don't have any in Fond du Lac - I wonder if we ever did?

Much like in the last post about these little guys, I have plans to either cut them up or do some embroidery on the hanky itself.  I got all 6 of these for only $2.75, so I don't feel bad about it!  :D

P.S.  Today is the last day to enter the Paper Flea Market $15 gift certificate giveaway - head on over to this post and comment!  I'm drawing a name at 5 p.m. CDT this evening, so hurry!  :D

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Das Loterie!

On Monday, I received in the mail what is now the oldest ephemera (that I know of) in my collection:


I got this amazing set at Paper Flea Market (speaking of this wonderful shop - have you entered our giveaway for the PFM $15 gift certificate yet?!?).  When I saw all of that amazing handwriting, it had to be mine.

Because it's 124 years old, it's in pretty delicate shape.  I haven't even dared to take the largest piece out of its sleeve yet - it's folded unto itself and I fear even more damage.  But the envelope and blue "folio" are in amazing shape for their age!

What strikes me the most about these pieces is the wording - firstly, the office is in Hamburg, but it's all clearly in English.  Also, people must've had a lot more time on their hands back then, because not only is it handwritten (they may not have even had a typewriter yet!), but they use a LOT of words to say what they want to say.  Whereas today, someone would write: "Here is the 5th class prize list and 6th class 1/4 renewal ticket", Back then they said, "Herewith I beg to hand you the official prize list of the 5th Class and also your 1/4 Renewal Ticket for the 6th Class Hamburg Money Lottery, wishing you the best success - "

I can't say as I know how this lottery works, seeing as how it's written in what I like to call "casual legalese". :)  I think what's going on is that this guy, a Mr. George Goss from Cameron, Pennsylvania, pays into the lottery and if he wins, then a percentage of his winnings go right back into the lottery - sort of like a dividend. What's interesting is that nothing's really changed except the printing; there's as much advertising and excitement generated around this lottery and there are our state lotteries of today.  But it smells like a giant scam to me, and a VERY expensive one at that!  I used a currency calculator and inflation adjuster, and 300,000 Marks in 1888 would equal $4,742,902.24 in today's US dollars.  YOWZA!!  Of course, there is no such thing as a Deutche Mark anymore, but I digress.  :D

Some of you may be wondering if I'll be using this stuff in my art work - yes?  Please don't hurt me!  I know some of you feel sick right now - HOW could I possibly deface some 124 year-old beautiful papers?!  I completely understand how you feel.  But since they're decaying already - so badly that I don't want to remove the sheets from the casing - what good will it be in 100 years?  I may leave the blue sheet intact, but the envelope and other sheet are fair game in my book.

If I do happen to use it, I'll be sure to post the final result!  :D

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Fine Shoes.

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Elise and I took a trip to the Fox Valley Antique Mall in Appleton, which is about 40 miles north of Fond du Lac.  I hadn't been there in over a year and Elise had never been!  She was hankerin' for an antique-hunting trip and I was ever so happy to oblige.  :D

I've mentioned this antique mall before (a couple of times, actually!), but I'll reiterate how HUGE it is.  It's essentially two pole buildings connected with a breezeway, where the old guys and vendors hang out over coffee.  If I were closer I would probably be right there with 'em!  :D  Elise and I got about 3/4 of the way through, so we'll have to go back (oh, darn!).

One of the items I bought was a collection of antique Green Bay artifacts.  I believe there were 18 pieces altogether, and all of them are fabulous so I'll be dividing up the set with different blog posts.  Here's today's wonderful bit of ephemera:

WOW.  Now, some of you may know already that I grew up in Green Bay and lived there until I moved to Fond du Lac 16 years ago.  It's fascinating to me that this invoice, which is from the first decade of the 20th century, pre-dates my entire family's residence in that fair city by at least 40 years (my dad and his first wife moved to Green Bay in 1946; my mom's family moved to the city in 1954).

I Googled the address (104 N. Broadway) and I can't tell if the building is original or not.  The brick is in fantastic shape and I believe it recently got a facelift - the Broadway district has had a renaissance of sorts in the last 15 years or so.  Judging by how close together the buildings are, it is entirely possible that it once housed the E.C. Streckenbach company.  My search found nothing online, but I'll bet I could find something at the Central Library in Green Bay.  Then again, this invoice pre-dates the Green Bay Press-Gazette by at least 6 years!

If you're wondering whether or not I'll be using this invoice - that would be a NO.  At least for now.  I really bought this for the Green Bay history factor. But one never knows.....  :D

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Avon Calling - and I've got a Giveaway! :D

From the "Buying Back my Childhood" files, case #648:

Oh. My GOODNESS GRACIOUS ME.  I am in heaven.  And I'm back in 1978.  :D

Is this not the COOLEST?!?  This is a case of lipstick samples that the Avon Lady would carry with her so that you could try them before buying.  When I saw it for sale in The Paper Flea Market's shop, I HAD to have it.  Why?

Well, let's flash back to 1978.  My late uncle Jim and his wife Ida lived in Waupaca, which is about 75 miles northwest of Fond du Lac (and the same from Green Bay, oddly).  When my sister and I were kids, we would spend the weekend with Jim and Ida occasionally.  On one of these trips, Ida showed me these TINY lipsticks.  I was immediately in love because a). they were lipsticks, which is grown-up stuff to a 9 year old; and b) the miniature factor.  I distinctly remember asking to have one, which would've mortified my mother.  But Idea acquiesced, and I took one home.  I remember the smell of that lipstick, but not the color.

So when I saw this complete set on Paper Flea Market's site, I snatched them up faster than you can say, "Ding Dong! Avon Calling!"  :D

I loved the idea of the Avon Lady when I was a kid.  I thought it was SO glamorous to be an Avon Lady and I loved it when we'd get catalogs in the mail or from neighbor ladies who were trying it out.  I remember so vividly getting "Sweet Honesty" perfume (you can still buy it!) in a compact for Christmas one year and a lip gloss duo that came in the shape of a hamburger.  I loved the lip gloss but hated the taste, so I hardly ever used it.  But I loved it!  I believe that was also 1978!  I guess that was an "Avon" year!

I had seen a similar case to mine of lipsticks on Pinterest, and then the very next day Trina was carrying one in the shop!  I'm so glad she had them, and I'm so glad I own them!  But that's the way it goes with ephemera and durable ephemera, right?  :D  In case you were wondering if I'm actually going to use the lipsticks?  Of course!  But not as lipstick - that would be kind of gross.  :)  No, I'm going to use them as "encaustics", of a sort - it should be interesting!  Stay tuned! :D

And speaking of Trina and the Paper Flea, we're doing a GIVEAWAY!  :D  Yep, there's a $15 gift certificate to Paper Flea Market at stake, and all you need to do is tell us, in the comments below or on Facebook (but not both), some kind of ephemera from your childhood that you loved.  It can be anything - a favorite stamp, a brochure you kept, durable ephemera like this lipstick sample case - anything.  I'll draw a winner from the comments on this Friday, September 14, at 5 p.m. CDT.  Because of shipping costs, we have to limit this to folks in the US and Canada.

Ready?  GO!  :D

Monday, September 10, 2012

A "Souper" Surprise!

"Nostalgia marketing" is a funny thing, isn't it?  All of this retro packaging showing up in our supermarkets to make us misty for the days when we ate Wheaties or Lucky Charms every morning, or the Pepsi and Doritos you had with your friends after school (while watching re-runs of "The Brady Bunch, of course!), or a rowdy game of Monopoly after dinner with the family.  I'm pretty sure that I'm their target market, but would I be the one consuming these products?  Probably not.  So are the young ones who are consuming the retro-packaged Pepsi and Doritos interested in the old packaging?  If they're as geeky as I was, that would be a resounding "yes".  :D

Well, Target and Campbell's have taken it one step further - they're celebrating the art made popular from that very vintage packaging, the first time around!  Have you seen these?

I love 'em!  They're recreations of Andy Warhol's famous Campbell Soup screenprints he made back in 1962.  So the labels are reproductions of the art that Andy made from the Campbell's Soup labels of the 60s.  I feel like I'm caught in some sort of tape loop!  :D

This type of marketing is genius, in my book.  My sister and bro in-law surprised me with these because they knew I'd like them (how thoughtful!).  I also love tomato soup, so it's a win-win!

So is it only a matter of time until Brillo comes out with a package honoring Andy's work with their product? :D

I've used the Campbell's label in my own artwork too - very much inspired by Andy, of course!  :D

"Andy's Soup Factory" ATC

"Tomato Soup" pendant

Friday, September 7, 2012

Having a Fling!

Here's one of those things that when I see, I HAVE to buy -

YEAH!  Isn't this so cool?  It's a product called "Fling" by Procter & Gamble and they're detergent-filled dishcloths, the design of which is actually patented (and here's the patent online, which became a reality on February 18, 1964).

As you can see, it's in a Saran Wrap-type box, with a serrated edge.  The directions possess that wonderfully faulty logic that only worked in the latter mid-century:
"Throw out your dishrag!  No more messy, sour dishrags to use or launder.  FLING is fresh and clean every time.  Put its tough wet-strength cloth to work and then - throw it away!"
Great in theory, but really wasteful.  Then again, no more wasteful than paper towels, I guess!

This product must not have been around for very long, because I can't find much at all about it in my online searching.  I don't even see any images - could my blog be the first?!  :D

I love the museum-like qualities about this box!  It's nearly full, which is the reason why I bought it (for 2 bucks!) - with this funky design, I will absolutely be using it in my art work!  I may even experiment (with gloves) to see if the "detergent" is still contained in the paper, and what kind of funky things 48 years of sitting around would do to it.  Stay tuned!  :D

Thursday, September 6, 2012

It's Sacony Sue!

I'm not a big comic book fan, but sometimes one just pops out at me and I have to take a second look -

Such was the case with this gem, "The Woodland Adventures of Sue (The Magic Manikin)".  Isn't it marvelous?

I've had a dickens of a time trying to research the darn thing, though - here's what I do know.  Sacony was a company that manufactured women's clothing in the middle part of last century.  Sacony Sue was a line of separates for young girls - they had mix-and-match outfits called "Go Two-gethers" (get it?).  Check out this wonderful ad from the Reading Eagle dated August 27, 1959 and you'll see what I mean.  :D

Since the clothing line was called Sacony Sue, it was no stretch to anthropomorphize it into a comic book character.  Here's the gist -  Sue is a magic manikin (mannequin) who was brought to life by Peppo, the manikin maker (sounds like someone ripped off "Pinocchio"!).  She mainly hangs out in store windows modeling her favorite Sacony Sue separates, but hey, even manikins need a vacation, right?  This time, she's off to the woods with her friend, Mr. Owl, who turns out to be a sort of avian Robin Hood - he steals all of Sue's clothes to give to some needy girl who had no separates of her own!  Along the way, they encounter a gnome named Rumplefrumplediddle, who's bereft because he can't pronounce his own name (what's the big deal?  It's not like it's Welsh!); and a unicorn who's totally bummed because he only makes rainbow-colored hoofprints instead of plain old purple like all of the other unis. Of course, these "problems" get solved in the end and everyone's happy when they arrive at the Back-to-School Fashion Show!  Let's go shopping!

As corny as this comic book is, I would've LOVED IT as a kid, especially for this:

YES!  These marvelous cut-out paper doll outfits!  Never mind that they're flimsy and would've only lasted through one playing, they're fabulous!

Incidentally, if you'd like a copy of Sacony Sue to call your very own, they're still available at Old Stuff Only, and they're in MINT condition!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The World's Fair!

Have any of you attended a World's Fair?  I haven't, although one of my friends ALMOST made it to the 1964-65 World's Fair in New York (her brother got sick so they couldn't go).

For people of my generation, especially those of you who live in the States, we were in our mid-teens the last time the US held a World's Fair.  I was 15 or 16 when the Fair was held in New Orleans in 1984 - that was the last one (I don't even remember hearing about it!).  In fact, for some of us the only reference to the World's Fair could possibly be the hilarious Simpsons episode where Bart, Milhouse, Nelson and Martin Prince road trip to Knoxville, TN, the site of the 1982 World's Fair (which was actually quite popular in real life, and turned a small profit of $57, but left Knoxville $46 million in debt!).  Here's a recap to refresh your memory. :D

Other popular expos from this time period were Seattle (1962), which produced the Space Needle; and Montreal, which hosted "Expo '67" to commemorate 100 years of independence (and was the most popular World's Fair of the 20th century).  I have ephemera from two different World's Fairs - the aforementioned New York fair in 1964-65:

World's Fair napkin, 1965

Unused World's Fair pass, available at Old Stuff Only

...and the San Antonio "Hemisfair '68", held in conjunction with the 250th anniversary of the founding of San Antonio (the fair, incidentally, ended the day before I was born!).

"Hemisfair '68" bag, available at
Old Stuff Only

It appears that, for the next decade and a half, anyway, there will be no expos or "World's Fairs" held anywhere in North America.  It's interesting to note that developing countries are in the forefront with these expos now, with Kazakhstan, Turkey and Thailand all bidding for the 2017 or 2020 Expos.

I have used some of my ephemera in my collage work - one of the napkins from the New York World's Fair:

Is the era of the World's Fair over?  Only time will tell!