Saturday, April 28, 2012
Gangs of New York, c. 1964
Actually we were project girls --Amsterdam Houses in New York City. This is the section of the housing project closer to West End Ave. The top photo was taken in the playground we called The Boats and Barrels because that's what it featured for us to scamper around on, plus sliding pond and monkey bars, without that thick padding underneath that kids get today. The bottom two pictures were taken in The Little Park, right in front of the Boats and Barrels.
We were very confused project girls. We loved "West Side Story," and we identified with the Jets. But every girl in this picture has Puerto Rican or Mexican or Cuban heritage! Our mothers all spoke Spanish at home. Huh? What can I say, I think it was the song that did it, you know "When you're a Jet you're a Jet all the way from your first cigarette to your last dyin' day." As I got older, I saw "West Side Story" with fresh eyes and realized that more than anything else I wanted to be Anita, dancing like crazy on a tenement rooftop. Or at least Rita Moreno playing Anita.
That's me with the poor fitting spring coat and baggy pants-- as the youngest, I got the hand- me-downs from two older sisters. (I changed to tights and Mary Janes in the last picture, with jump rope slung over my shoulder--don't mess with me, pal). My sister Maria is the tall girl with skinny jeans and ski jacket. My sister Elaine probably took this picture with her Brownie camera. Most of the girls in this picture I'm now in touch with via Facebook.
Click below to see who else is gathering around the May Pole theme...
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Automobile costume, 1911
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
S.H. & M. Skirt Bindings, c. 1900
Monday, April 23, 2012
At the rink, 1911
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Stanley's garden, 2005
This 2005 postcard was an invitation to celebrate the 100th birthday of the poet Stanley Kunitz, at Poets House, which he helped establish. I'd heard Kunitz read at the Dodge Poetry Festival, and picked up a couple of his books. Kunitz (1905-2006) was also a gardener, according to Wikipedia:
Kunitz divided his time between New York City and Provincetown, Massachusetts, for most of his life. He enjoyed gardening and maintained one of the most impressive seaside gardens in Provincetown. He was a founder of the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, where he was a mainstay of the literary community, and of Poets House in Manhattan.I'm assuming this photo of Kunitz was taken in his Provincetown garden. The photo, by Marnie Crawford Samuelson, is from his last book, "The Wild Braid: A Poet Reflects on a Century in the Garden."
Here is a poem from his 1995 collection, "Passing Through."
Touch MeSummer is late, my heart.
Words plucked out of the air
some forty years ago
when I was wild with love
and torn almost in two
scatter like leaves this night
of whistling wind and rain.
It is my heart that's late,
it is my song that's flown.
Outdoors all afternoon
under a gunmetal sky
staking my garden down,
I kneeled to the crickets trilling
underfoot as if about
to burst from their crusty shells;
and like a child again
marveled to hear so clear
and brave a music pour
from such a small machine.
What makes the engine go?
Desire, desire, desire.
The longing for the dance
stirs in the buried life.
One season only,
and it's done.
So let the battered old willow
thrash against the windowpanes
and the house timbers creak.
Darling, do you remember
the man you married? Touch me,
remind me who I am.
The Later Poems, New and Selected
W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Free with a pair of shoes, 1880s
A.R. Hougendobler was a merchant of boots and shoes, according to the 1880 census. He lived in Columbia, Lancaster, Penn. with his wife Maggie and 9 children -- six daughters and three sons. His daughters no doubt had a full set of these paper dolls.
I won't be far from the old Hougendobler homestead this weekend. Jayne Keller's annual Morgantown luncheon is always a treat. You'll find these paper dolls on Carol Carey's sales table.
Monday, April 16, 2012
Clark's Thread Works, Newark, N.J. 1907
Hello there! I suppose you are working hard as ever. When you write, send me your photo. And I will send you one of myself. Write soon.Pen pals? The address "95 Washington Ave." is also scrawled on the postcard front.
Mt. Tabor, where Miss Parks lived, was founded as a Methodist summer camp ground in 1869, but soon the more affluent members built Victorian cottages on the small lots where they once pitched tents. I visited the town once, it's in Morris County, near Parsippany-Troy Hills and it is a magical hilly enclave, with dozens of charming small cottages on winding roads, surrounding a village green.
The factory pictured here survived into the 1990s, on the Passaic River in Newark. I believe Union Army uniforms had been made there at one point. A fire destroyed the building sometime around 1998.
Clark Thread issued many colorful trade cards and paper dolls over the years. ONT stands for "our newest thread."
Saturday, April 14, 2012
Peter Pan, 1960. Mary Martin. My all time favorite childhood fairytale-TV special-Peter Pan actor.
It is my heartfelt belief that the best portrayals of Peter Pan have been by women, and they have delivered a not- so -secret message to girls everywhere through the years-- about freedom and possibility.
Take wing, click below.
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Paper doll c. 1880s
UPDATE: Those Fascinating Paper Dolls by Marian B. Howard shows the paper doll on page 189. This is "Louise." Part of a trio of paper dolls first published in Germany and known as "French Dolls" they were published as early as 1884 if not earlier. Also listed in McLoughlin's 1894 catalog.
Sunday, April 8, 2012
Saturday, April 7, 2012
The New York Public Library
There was a walkway on top of it. Edgar Allan Poe enjoyed strolling around the massive structure. In 1853, right behind the reservoir, The Crystal Palace was erected for an exhibition on what is now Bryant Park. The reservoir was no longer needed by the 1890s, and was torn down.
Wikipedia informs that some of the reservoir's original foundation can be found in the South Court of the library. I'll have to look for it next time I'm there.
Photo by David Iliff. Changes are pending in the beloved library. Will stacks of books be removed to open more of this glorious space to the public? Will it lose the peace and quiet and easy access to a deep archive that attracts scholars and researchers? After reading this article in The Nation, I am worried.
Be sure to browse the other pages of Sepia Saturday; click below.
Thursday, April 5, 2012
A vintage scrap showing a Jewish family at the table (click image to enlarge). I see what looks like a loaf of bread in front of the woman in red, so that tells me this is not a Passover seder. The candelabra does not have the nine arms of the Chanukah menorah, so it is not that holiday, either. Now I am just realizing that the whole scene is framed by trees and leaves, and so it leaves me to believe this family is celebrating Sukkoth, an autumn festival. From the Encyclopedia Britannica:
The festival is characterized by the erection of huts made of branches and by the gathering of four species of plants, with prayers of thanksgiving to God for the fruitfulness of the land.A lovely scrap that might have been a merit award from a Hebrew school, according to the dealer who had it for sale. Below, another vintage scrap showing Jewish men at prayer.
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Mrs. Whipple's place card, c. 1930s
A place card for a bridge luncheon, no doubt. I like to think Mrs. Whipple had a fine time, and kept this as a souvenir, perhaps placed it in a scrapbook or shoe box for awhile.
Below, catching up on the Dayton convention. Registration packages are starting to arrive in the mail. I've been enlisted to give a presentation; more on that later.
Take it away, Garth!
2012 INTERNATIONAL PAPER DOLL CONVENTION
COME FLY WITH US !
THE WORLD'S FINEST AIR MUSEUM !!
Just over 5 miles southwest of your Convention Hotel is the oldest, and
the finest Air Museum in the world - - the National Museum of the
United States Air Force.
Perhaps you or a spouse was in the US Air Force or US Air Corps,
or one of your parents - - or grandparents - - or uncles or aunts.
Perhaps they flew in aircraft that today are seldom seen - - the North
American F-86 Sabrejet, the Lockheed Constellation, the Martin
Marauder, the famed B-17 Flying Fortress, the Lockheed P-38
to mention just a small number of the actual aircraft there.
There are far, far more aircraft - - even the aircraft of legend from the
earliest years of aviation - - the Wright Brothers 1909 Military Flyer,
the Curtiss 1911 Model D, the SPAD VII, the Curtis Jenny, the Sopwith
Camel, the Bleriot Monoplane, the Nieuport 28, the Fokker D VII,
the DeHavilland DH-4 and so many, many others!
Here, in one location, in three gigantic hangers, plus an outdoor
air park, are the aircraft flown by the US, Great Britain, France,
Germany, that will stir the memories of those who recall them
and perhaps who flew them.
And it's even located at historic Wright Field, where the Wright
Brothers conducted their test flights after Kitty Hawk proved the
feasibility of heavier-than-air flight.
And it's just over five miles from your Convention Hotel !!
And it's free!
Is someone in your family fascinated by engines? Just about
every aircraft engine ever made is here, along with armament;
photographs; exhibits about the Four Chaplains, the Tuskegee Airmen.
the famed Sperry bombsight, the Ferry Command, and the WASPs
- - everything about aviation!
Including a Moon Rock (brought back by Apollo 16), and
the World War II 8th Air Force Control Tower.
There's even a Missile and Space Gallery, with a Mercury Capsule,
a Gemini Capsule, and the Apollo 15 Command Module! Plus some
major IRBMs and ICBMs - - the Jupiter, the Thor, Titans, and
Minuteman that you can view from the ground (they're tall!) or
from an elevated platform.
And - - there's the Research and Development Gallery !!
Sound dry? Lots of bald guys with white lab coats wandering
around writing strange mathematical equations on vertical surfaces?
To the contrary! The R&D Gallery contains some of the most
storied experimental aircraft in history, and I'll bet that you've heard
- the Bell X-1B. The Bell X-1 was the first to break the sound barrier.
- the XB-70 Valkyrie, the first to fly 5 times the speed of sound.
- the Bell Textron XV-3, world's first successful vertical takeoff
and landing (VTOL) tilt-rotor aircraft
- the Hawker-Siddeley XV-6A Kestrel, designed for vertical or short
takeoff, while retaining full speed in normal flight, the Kestrel was
the predecessor of the famed Harrier aircraft in the Royal Air Force.
- the Lockheed YF-12A, the predecessor and design basis for the
- and many, many, many more.
Oh, did I mention the Presidential Aircraft ??!!
In a special section of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base are
a number of aircraft that have served Presidents of the US:
- the Sacred Cow, the only VC-54C ever constructed, flew
President Franklin Roosevelt to the Casablanca Conference
with Prime Misister Churchill and General DeGaulle in1943.
- the Independence, a Douglas VC-118, flew President Truman
to Wake Island in October 1950 to discuss the Korean situation
with General Douglas MacArthur.
- the Columbine III, a C-121, the military version of the Lockheed
Constellation, was the aircraft used by President Eisenhower
from 1954 to 1961.
- Air Force 1, a VC-137C, was the aircraft used by Presidents
Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon, and also served their successors
through President Clinton. This was the aircraft on which
Lyndon Johnson was sworn in as the new President on
November 22, 1963 - - and you may recall the famous photograph
of Vice-President Johnson taking the oath of office from
Judge Sarah Hughes, with Mrs. Johnson and Mrs. Kennedy
watching. That scene took place in this aircraft.
In the Presidential Gallery, you'll be able to board the Sacred Cow,
the Independence, the Columbine III, and Air Force 1, and view
several other smaller Presidential aircraft.
I mentioned that the Presidential Gallery (as well as the adjacent
Research and Development Gallery) is in a restricted section of
Wright-Patterson. Wright-Patterson has some highly restricted areas,
and we can't just go wandering through them. There's a special
shuttle bus that transports people to the restricted area (and back)
four times each day - - 9:30 AM, 11:15 AM, 1:30 PM, and 3:15 PM.)
You must sign up for a particular shuttle bus run, and it's strictly
"first come, first served".
Here's what you'll need to show them to register and board the bus:
For US Citizens, a current government-issued photo ID
(original passport, State photo ID, State Driver's license)
For Canadian citizens, an original passport (not a copy or image),
or a NEXUS card.
For all other non-US visitors, an original passport (not a copy or image)
Those under 18 must be escorted by an adult (1 adult per 2 children)
Children under 18 are not required to produce ID when accompanying
I cannot begin to mention, let alone describe everything that's here.
There is so much to see in this incredible Museum that you really
should allocate the entire day. Get there early (9 AM or so) so you
can sign up for the shuttle bus to the Presidential Gallery and the
Research and Development Gallery.
One more caveat - - Shuttle buses are not handicapped accessible.
Individuals requiring special assistance to board the bus should contact
the museum's Operations Division in advance at (937) 255-3286 to
Now, what about Tours of the Museum? Let's look at them.
1. Self Tour. Because the museum is laid out in chronological order,
beginning with the Wright brothers and going through today's stealth
aircraft, it's easy for you to self-tour the facility. (You can even take
a virtual self-tour of the Museum to help you plan your visit.)
2. Heritage Tours. These are free guided tours that are open to the
general public. Tours are offered daily at 1:30 p.m., with an additional
tour at 10:30 a.m. on Saturdays. All tours begin at the entrance to the
Early Years Gallery (through the Gift Shop and turn right).
Advance registration is not necessary.
3. Behind the Scenes Tours. These are regularly scheduled, free
guided tours of the museum's restoration area. Participants are
shuttled to the restoration hangars, located about one mile from
the main museum complex. Tours are offered nearly every Friday
at 12:15 p.m. Advanced registration is required.
Registrations are currently being taken for tours through May 2012.
(If you're interested in the Behind the Scenes Tour, let me know and
I'll tell you when you can register for an August tour.)
4. Presidential and R&D Galleries Tours. I told you about these above.
They're located on the controlled-access portion of Wright-Patterson
Air Force Base, are accessible using the shuttle bus service from the
main museum complex. This service is offered on a first-come,
first-served basis, so you'll want to sign up as soon as you arrive at the
Museum, since the shuttle buses will fill quickly. Be sure to review the
ID requirements that I listed above.
When you go to the National Museum of the US Air Force, remember
that while there are chairs and benches in the exhibit hangers, the
floors are concrete, so be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes !!
Yes, there's a cafeteria, the Valkyrie Cafe, located on the second floor
of the Museum. They serve a chicken dinner, a nice variety of
sandwiches both hot and cold, soup, chili, salads, pizza, desserts.
Even breakfast if you get there early. The prices are quite reasonable.
Those who have attended Conventions know all about the "Helper" Prizes.
Those who have attended Conventions know all about the "Helper" Prizes.
For those who haven't attended yet, the "Helpers" are wonderful paper
doll or paper doll-related prizes that are donated to the Convention, and
raffled off. The raffle is an exciting time and one of the high points of any
Elaine Price is in charge of the Helper prizes this year, and since many
people have registered already, Elaine would like to get started on the
Helper prizes. So, those who have Helper prizes that they'd like to
donate to the Convention may send them to:
Elaine Price, 5492 Asbury Lake Dr.,#62, Cincinnati, Ohio 45247.
Or - - you may contact Elaine to tell her what you'll bring by writing
Or - - you may contact Elaine to tell her what you'll bring by writing
to her at the above address or emailng her at firstname.lastname@example.org
For their protection, be sure that donated items are encased in plastic
and your name and address are on a card enclosed with each item.
In three weeks, we'll be back to tell you of some wonderful buildings
that you can visit - - including a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house,
an 1804 Federal style home, and an 1803 Inn that has hosted
12 US Presidents plus many other notables.
- - Garth
2012 INTERNATIONAL PAPER DOLL CONVENTION
August 9 - 12, 2012
Hope Hotel, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
Registration: $185,00 USD
Absentee Registration: $75.00 USD
(Absentee Registrations are limited in number.)
Guest Registration (3 Meals) $85.00
Make Checks payable to: Louise Leek
P.O. Box 9244
Dayton, OH 45409
Sunday, April 1, 2012
Broad St., Newark, N.J., 1913
Dear Mother, --as the stores at N.Y. closes at noon we will not have anytime for shoping so Julia Lear & I are going over again next week. Was tickled to read your letter this morning. Have written the boys. Give them my best regards. Love to Harry & all. Lovingly your daughter.I can't make out her name--Bertye? In any event, a sweet note to her mom, Mrs. L. Smith of German Valley in New Jersey.
Earlier pictures I posted near this intersection of Broad and Market (1906 here, and 1908 here) showed different angles on the street, but always bustling with activity. By 1913, the city looks more urbane, with more cars and more money. Autos still share the street with streetcars and horse carriages. The large buildings and signs speak of aspirations, and the growth to come.
To see some modern day streetcars, check out the article at The Atlantic Cities blog, "The Streetcar as a City's Moving Symbol." The Milan model is quite appealing.
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