Friday, July 30, 2010

"How Can You Do It" postcard, 1910

Beth at The Best Hearts Are Crunchy hosts this weekly gathering of postcard collectors. If you'd like to join, simply go to her blog and enter  by clicking on the linky gadget and following the instructions. Then simply click on the other links to see many other vintage and unusual postcards.

Ah yes, the age old question: "How can you do it on $14.25 per?" The sender scribbled "year" but then tried to erase and wrote "month" below the question mark. I guess making $14.25 a week would have been unheard of! But I'd have to research salaries in 1910 to say that with any certainty. But even back then people wondered if others lived beyond their means...hey, what are you doing with a box seat at the opera, anyway?

So this card was mailed to Mr. Doctor Johnson in Scranton with the cryptic message:

On [or "Oh" ?] Doc I have something in my eye can you take it out. How is the old maid across the counter from Pony. Klein 104 Mulberry St.

Something tells me these two were enjoying an inside joke. Maybe "the old maid" joked about "something in my eye" to bring a young fellow closer...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Silhouette, c. 1930

Two girls light candles on a small Christmas tree. Amazing how much detail and expression can be conveyed in a silhouette. The words on the bottom appear to say "rmany"; perhaps "Germany" was cut off. Another great find from Geno Sartori's table at the Green Flea. 

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Camel cigarette ads, 1951

More appalling cigarette ads, from two different 1951 movie magazines.

I'm familiar with these actresses mostly from two specific roles: Anne Jeffreys was in Topper (the early TV show) and the great Vivian Blaine played Adelaide in Guys and Dolls, on Broadway and in the movies (a role that required a lot of singing).

Yes, doctor recommended, and not a single case of throat irritation! "I'd walk a mile for a camel" came later I guess. And Joe Camel was the 1980s. Mad Men indeed.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Scrap paper dolls

Christine H. asked about how scraps are used to create a paper doll. These scraps invited girls to fashion costumes, and the result can be artistic, charming or awkward--or all three at once. Here's a sample that was recently for sale at The head and shoulders and legs are vintage scrap; the rest, including the doughy arms and the softly drawn hands, and the crepe and lace dress, are the work of a child (or young adult).

Below, a few from my collection:
This is a copy of an old articulated doll. You can see how the torso was created to join the other scrap parts.

This doll (and the one below it) are very old. The child who owned these had only the head and arms to work with; the torso and feet are hand made. Dennison crepe was the paper of choice, from what I've read in many paper doll source books. Although the shiny black paper used to reinforce the back might have been office supplies brought home...

Hansel and Gretel c. 1920

Sunday I went to the Columbus Flea Market and visited Geno Sartori. It's been a while, and he did not disappoint. Geno always has interesting scraps, bridge tallies and paper-cutting of all kinds. I'm taking a wild guess on the year of this vintage scrap of Hansel and Gretel.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Lucky Strike ad, 1936

What better way to welcome "Mad Men" back but with a Lucky Strike ad? That slogan, "It's Toasted," was featured in the first season as a turning point for their biggest client in 1960, but in fact the slogan was in use for decades. This box has to have one of the best graphic designs ever produced. Clean and simple.
Of course, it makes me heartsick to think how many people picked up the deadly habit because of an attractive box and a seductive ad. 

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Ann Blyth, 1951

From the same Motion Picture magazine featuring Ava Gardner on the cover. Nov. 1951. I remember this actress best for her portrayal of Veda, the bad seed at the heart of Joan Crawford's "Mildred Pierce."

Friday, July 23, 2010

Las Valencianas, 1954

I was thrilled that Spain won the 2010 World Cup. True campeones.

My Spanish is faulty, but I think the  message on the card is: "Among flowers and oranges the people of Valencia parade their indescribable charms..."

Vicente and Pilar sent this to Emma Luz on Jan. 1, 1954. "Many Hap[p]y and prosperity in the New Year."

A big thank you for Beth at The Best Hearts Are Crunchy for hosting Postcard Friendship Friday.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ava Gardner, 1951

Motion Picture and Television magazine, Nov. 1951. The cover teases a story inside about the evils of Hollywood gossip, but has plenty of its own gossip inside, including a story about Ava Gardner and her torrid love affair with Frank Sinatra. (Maybe that's why Ava is smirking!)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

J.C. Leyendecker Paper Dolls

Bruce Patrick Jones created this beautiful souvenir for the 2010 convention. Exquisite!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Helen Page Sweetheart

An original paper doll drawn and hand-colored by Helen Page, c. 1980s. This was one of my finds at Jayne Keller's party in the spring. This die-cut  paper doll was part of the Margaret Menamin collection. If you click on the image and look closely, you'll see a small cut following the curve of the slip's bodice where the additional face can be inserted.

Jan McKay gave a presentation on the artwork of Helen Page at the Kansas City convention, and how I wished I could have made that one! Click here for Anne Donze's convention blog entry about Jan's talk. Wonderful photos, too.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Mad Men paper dolls

Not really paper dolls, of course, but a page designer's use of the paper doll motif to accompany an article about the show, which returns to AMC on July 25. This page is from today's (Sunday, July 18) New York Post, Pulse section, page 37. Many collectors have a special place in their collection for newspaper paper dolls of any kind, including this example.

World War I paper dolls

Yes, I am once again shameless reposting from Agence Eureka, because Patricia simply never fails to amaze me with her wonderful cut-outs. These gorgeous paper dolls commemorate the Allies of World War I.
Above, England and Russia; below, Italy and France.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Robert Pattinson Paper Doll

This is part of Tom Tierney's Vampire Paper Dolls book, which you can purchase here.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Macy's Herald Square, 1907

Macy's in Herald Square was our family department store when we lived in the city. Love seeing the El, a streetcar and horse-pulled wagons all in one shot. 

Oct 24/07 Dear Louise received your card is very nice will be over Sunday with love from Fred
At least I think that's Fred...Miss Louise Ludwig lived in Maspeth, Long Island, more familiar to us today as Maspeth, Queens. Back then it must have been quite the country outpost. Love the printed message on the reverse, "Save Steps!" featuring all the latest technology: Mechanical Carriers, Pneumatic Tubes, etc.  The card was a business show souvenir, and Lamson Consolidated Store Service Co. was clever to give these away. But what on earth are "Time Systematizers"? Time clocks, perhaps.

As always, check out the blog of our gracious hostess for Postcard Friendship Friday, Beth at The Best Hearts Are Crunchy, where you'll find links for many more vintage postcards.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Emily by Lucy Eleanor Leary, 1956

Emily, Boston Sunday Post Cut-Out Doll and Be Kind to Animals Week. May 6, 1956.

Bastille Day

From the phenomenal collection of Agence Eureka. There are other parts to this paper toy construction on her blog.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Teri Pettit's Convention Photos

Teri Pettit displayed many of her Vivian Smith greeting cards at the Kansas City Convention.  Here are some links to Teri's convention photos:

Viv Smith Exhibit

Pop-Up Cards

Hallmark Visitors Center

Baby and Angel Cards

And of course, Teri's excellent website with full scans of many of Viv Smith's paper doll cards to download can be viewed here.

It's been a joy to see so many wonderful pictures of the convention. Thanks, Teri!

American Splendor, 1976

Not for every taste, but right up my alley. R.I.P., Harvey Pekar.

A simple story, a slice of life. The comic book version of cinema verite. A lot of early Pekar was pretty ribald and raunchy, but it did honestly reflect his life as a young man in Cleveland. Finding American Splendor was like finding an underground zine or letter that talked about things you  thought about, too, not all of it pleasant or easy to think about.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Radio Stars, 1936

Jessica Dragonette was the Queen of Radio back in the 1930s. You can read more about her here, where you'll also find the photograph that this illustration is based on.

Art by the renowned illustrator Earl Christy.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Hose-supporter, 1923


Dearest, How would you like to be the "passionate puppy" on the other side? It's nearly Wed.--am getting fearfully excited--all my love
The correspondent wrote No. 1 in the upper left hand corner, so she may have wanted Mr. Howard Weisel to know more cards were on the way. Sent from Asbury Park in 1923. Lucky dog indeed!

Click over to our delightful host Beth at The Best Hearts Are Crunchy for more vintage postcards.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Elizabeth Taylor, 1951

Photoplay magazine, May 1951. That question "Spoiled Brat or Mixed-up Teenager?" has been asked of many young stars, including Miley, Britney, Lindsay etc., etc. But I doubt any of them will have the acting career Taylor had.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Anne Donze's Kansas City Convention Blog

Thanks to Anne (above, with some of her paper doll creations)  for posting some fantastic pictures from the Kansas City Convention on a new blog, "The KC Convention According to Anne Donze." Congratulations to Pat O'Rourke who organized the event--sounds like a great time was had by all. 

Central air conditioning, 1955


"Who says central air conditioning is a luxury!"

...not I. Lennox Company ad, Readers Digest, August 1955.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Friend Paper Doll, 1967

By Joan Walsh Anglund, of course. This set came in a 6" X 6" hinged box, with scissors and glue stick.

A previous owner of this uncut set gave it as a gift, and typed a message on the Indian costume. How often we used to say "Indian giver" as children--only much later did we realize how offensive the term is.