Wednesday, March 31, 2010

VTT - Pink & Yellow Easter Dresses

Pink and yellow are nice springlike colors for Easter dresses--and I just happen to have some old postcards and potholder thingies in these colors.

I seem to keep accumulating more vintage potholder dresses even though I have plenty. I think there are so many available because they were saved instead of being used. They are definitely not as practical for holding hot pans as are other shapes of potholders.

I like to collect vintage potholder pattern books as well as the potholders themselves. There are patterns for so many different shapes of potholders. It seems like it is easier to find the books than the potholders they show. However, the opposite is true with regard to the dresses. I haven't been able to find any vintage crochet books with potholder dress patterns.

I'm participating in Vintage Thingie Thursday

Sunday, March 28, 2010

SS - Buitoni Restaurant, New York

Guilia Buitoni started one of the first pasta factories in Italy in 1827. Her great-grandson, Giovanni Buitoni, was involved with both pasta and chocolate manufacture in Italy. In 1939, he came to the United States to represent the Italian candy industry at Hershey Chocolate's thirtieth anniversary celebration. While in New York, he opened a Buitoni Restaurant in the Italian Building at the New York World's Fair. That was followed by two other restaurants in New York.

The Buitoni pasta brand is now owned by Nestlé. For the latest information on Buitoni products, see

Smorgasbord Sundays (SS)
restaurant and food postcards

Thursday, March 25, 2010

PFF - Easter Greetings from Mecki

Hedgehogs are spiny mammals that are found in Europe and other parts of the world, but not in North America. Mecki is a hedgehog character that is very popular in Germany. His wife is Micki. Mecki has appeared on many postcards.

There is a large gallery of Mecki postcards on the Hedgehog Collector website.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

VTT - Easter Bunnies

My favorite Easter postcards are the ones that show rabbits dressed up and doing things. I think the reason I like them is because they remind me of the stories I heard about Easter bunnies when I was little. I'm sure my concept of the Easter bunny was influenced by my mother's childhood Uncle Wiggily book Sammie and Susie Littletail. I didn't realize, until I started researching this book on the web, that this book was the source of the color name "sky-blue pink." Another color that is mentioned in this book, but not elsewhere, is "skilligimink."

My mother's book is in poor condition, but I have kept it anyway. The first 16 pages are completely missing and the rest is falling apart.

This book is from about 1910 so the copyright is expired and the book is available on the web in both print and audio form. If you are interested in reading it or listening to it, you can find the links here. A reprint of Sammie and Susie Littletail is also available in book form on Amazon.

I have copied the text of the "Hiding the Easter Eggs" story here:


What a lot of Easter eggs there were! I'm sure if you tried to count all that Sammie and Susie Littletail, and Papa and Mamma Littletail, to say nothing of Uncle Wiggily Longears and Nurse Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy had colored, ready for Easter, you never could do it, never, never, never! Of course, Uncle Wiggily couldn't get so very many of the eggs ready for the children, because, you know, he has rheumatism, but then Sammie and Susie were so quick, and Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy hurried so, that long before Easter Sunday-morning, or Easter Monday morning, whenever you children hunt for your eggs, they were all ready.

You see, the rabbits have to hide all the Easter eggs that you children hunt for. Of course, I don't mean those in the store windows; the pretty ones, made of candy, and with little windows that you look through to see beautiful scenes. Oh, no, not those, but the ones you find at home. Those in the windows are put there by different kinds of rabbits.

Well, all the Easter eggs were ready, and Sammie and Susie, their papa and mamma, Uncle Wiggily Longears and Nurse Jane-Fuzzy-Wuzzy, set out to hide them. There were many colors. I think I have told you about them, but I'll just mention a few again. There were red ones, blue ones, green ones, pink ones, Alice blue ones, Johnnie red ones, Froggie green ones, strawberry color, and then that new shade, skilligimink, which is very fine indeed, and which turned Sammie sky-blue-pink.

So the rabbits started off with their baskets of colored eggs on their paws.

"Now, be careful, Sammie," called his mamma. "Don't fall down and break any of those eggs."

"No, mamma," answered Sammie, who was still colored sky-blue-pink, for it hadn't all worn off yet. "I'll be very careful."

"So will I, mamma," called Susie.

So they walked on through the woods to visit Newark and all the places around where children want Easter eggs. Of course, if you had gone out in the woods on top of Orange Mountain you could not have seen those rabbits, because they were invisible. That is, you couldn't see them, because Mrs. Cluck-Cluck, the fairy hen, had given them all cloaks spun out of cobwebs, just like the Emperor of China once had, and this made it so no one could see them. For it would never do, you know, to have the rabbits spied upon when they were hiding the eggs. It wouldn't be fair, any more than it would be right to peek when you're "it" in playing blind man's buff.

Well, pretty soon, after a while, as they all walked through the woods, Sammie kept going slower and slower and slower, because his basket was quite heavy, until he was a long way in back of his papa, his mamma and Susie. But he didn't mind that, for he knew he had plenty of time, when all at once what should come running out of the bushes but a great big dog. At first Sammie was frightened, but then when he looked again he knew the dog was not a rabbit-dog. No, what is worse, he was an egg-dog. Now an egg-dog is a dog that eats eggs, and they are one of the very worst kinds of dogs there are. So the dog saw Sammie and knew what the little rabbit boy had in his basket. But he asked him, making believe he didn't know: "What have you in that basket, my little chap?" You see, he called him "little chap" so as to pretend he was a friendly egg-dog.

"There are Easter eggs in the basket," said Sammie politely.

"And what, pray, are Easter eggs, if I may be so bold as to ask?" inquired the dog, licking his teeth with his long red tongue, and blinking his eyes, as if he didn't care.

"Easter eggs," replied Sammie, "are eggs for children for Easter, and they are very prettily colored."

"Oh, ho!" exclaimed the dog, just like that, and he sniffed the air. "Please excuse me. But would you kindly be so good as to let me see those eggs? I never saw any colored ones."

"Well," answered Sammie, "I am in a hurry, but you may have one peep."

So he opened the top of the basket and there, sure enough, were the eggs, the green, the blue, the pink, the Johnnie red and the skilligimink colored ones and all.

"Oh, how lovely!" cried the bad dog, sniffing the air again. "May I have one?"

"No," said Sammie, very decidedly, "these are for the little children." Then that dog got angry. Oh, you should have seen how angry he got. No, on second thoughts I am glad you did not see how unpleasant he was, for it might spoil your Easter. Anyhow, he was dreadfully angry, dreadfully! He showed his teeth, and he made his hair stand up straight, and he growled: "Give me all those eggs, or I'll take them right away from you! I am an egg-dog, and I must have eggs. Give them to me, I say!"

Well, maybe poor Sammie wasn't frightened! He trembled so that the eggs rattled together and very nearly were broken. Then he started to run away, but the bad dog ran after him, and what do you think? Just as the horrid creature was about to take those lovely Easter eggs out of the basket and eat them up, who should come flying through the woods but Mrs. Cluck-Cluck, the fairy hen! She dashed at that dog, with her feathers sticking out, and made him run off. Then how glad Sammie was! He hurried and caught up to his papa and mamma, and soon all the Easter eggs were hidden.

Oh, what fun Sammie and Susie had running back through the woods after the eggs were all put in the secret places! Susie found a turnip in a field, and Sammie a carrot, and they ate them as they hopped along. Uncle Wiggily walked quite slowly, for his rheumatism was bothering him, and when those rabbits got home to the burrow, what do you think they found? Why, there were invitations for them all to come to a party that was going to be given by Lulu and Alice Wibblewobble. Alice and Lulu were little duck girls, and they lived with their papa and mamma, Mr. and Mrs. Wibblewobble, in a pen, not far from the rabbit burrow. They had a brother named Jimmie, but it wasn't his birthday, for he was a day older than his sisters, who were twins. That is their birthdays came at the same time. Some day I'm going to tell you a lot of stories about these same ducks.

"May we go to the party, mamma?" asked Susie.

"Of course," answered Mamma Littletail, and they all went, even Nurse Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy. They had a fine time, which I will tell you about in another book that has a lot of duck stories in it. But I just want to mention one thing that occurred.

Just as the party was over, and every one was coming home, Uncle Wiggily couldn't find his crutch, which Nurse Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy had gnawed out of a cornstalk for him. Finally he did find it behind the door. Then he, and Sammie and Susie, and Mr. and Mrs. Littletail started for the burrow.

Then, all at once, when they were in the front yard of the Wibblewobble home, if a silver trumpet didn't sound in the woods: "Ta-ra-ta-ra-ta-ra!" just like that, and up came riding a little boy, all in silver and gold, on a white horse. He wanted to know if he was too late for the party, the little boy did, and when Uncle Wiggily said yes, the little boy was much disappointed.

Then Uncle Wiggily asked him who he was, and the little boy said:

"I am the fairy prince! I used to be a mud turtle, and live in the pond where Lulu and Alice and Jimmie Wibblewobble swim. But I got tired of being a mud turtle, though I was a fairy prince, so I changed myself into a little boy."

But, do you know, Uncle Wiggily didn't believe him, and, what's more, he said so. Oh, yes, indeed he did! Then what did that little boy-fairy-prince do, but up and say:

"Well, you soon will believe me, Uncle Wiggily. You come back to the woods a little later, and something wonderful will happen. I'll make you believe in fairies; that's what I will, for you will see a red fairy very shortly."

But still Uncle Wiggily didn't believe, and he went home, moving his nose and ears at the same time. But you just wait, for if I should happen to find a penny rolling up hill, I will tell you, to-morrow night, about Uncle Wiggily and the red fairy.

The Sammie and Susie Littletail book on Amazon.

I'm participating in Vintage Thingie Thursday

Sunday, March 21, 2010

SS - Chicken in the Rough

The "Chicken in the Rough" concept is said to have originated in 1936 when a bump in the road upset a box lunch of fried chicken as Beverly and Rubye Osborne were driving west from Oklahoma to California. When Rubye picked it up from the road, she commented "This is really eating chicken in the rough." Returning home, they started a restaurant serving fried chicken "in the rough," eaten with the fingers as no silverware was supplied. The name "Chicken in the Rough"and the design showing a rooster standing in a clump of grass with a broken golf club were trademarked. As business grew, a special grill to efficiently cook large quantities of chicken was developed. Osborne built several restaurants in Oklahoma City and began licensing other restaurants to use his concept. By 1950 there were 250 Chicken in the Rough franchises.

The contest mentioned on the back of the Chicken in the Rough postcard sounds like a great marketing idea and seems to have gone on for a number of years. There are some variations of both the front design and the wording on the back of Chicken in the Rough postcards. I wonder whether anyone ever won the prize and whether any of the postcards mailed to the office still exist.

At the present time, the Chicken in the Rough concept seems to be barely alive, but looking for new outlets.

Smorgasbord Sundays (SS)
restaurant and food postcards

Thursday, March 18, 2010

PFF - Hungarian Easter Eggs

This Hungarian Easter postcard from 1985 shows a couple of Hungarian decorated Easter eggs and some folk embroidery. The back has Easter greetings in four languages.

Egg decorating styles vary in different regions of Hungary, and some artists develop their own elaborate styles. Wax resist dyeing is the most popular technique and is similar to dyeing batik fabric. This method can produce both simple and elaborate designs and is explained on the Folkology page Hungarian Folk Art Easter Egg Decoration. A method using small leaves is also described there. Another method of decoration is painting directly on the egg with different colors.

Huszákné Czencz Marietta (Hungarian Easter egg artist) has been decorating eggs since 1960. Many beautiful examples of her work are shown on her web page.

The YouTube video also shows many beautiful Hungarian Easter eggs in a variety of styles. The sound on the video sounds kind of strange because it is a mouth harp.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

VTT - The Wearing of the Green


We associate the wearing of green with St. Patrick's Day. Historically, the color green was used as a symbol of Irish patriotism and of sympathy for Irish independence. The song "The Wearing of the Green" is about the repression around the time of the Irish Rebellion of 1798. Wearing the green was prohibited at that time and was punishable. Many versions of the song lyrics exist. Here is one version (source: Triskelle)

"O Paddy dear, and did ye hear the news that's going round?
The shamrock is by law forbid to grow on Irish gound!
No more Saint Patrick's Day we'll keep, his colour can't be seen
For there's a cruel law against the Wearing of the Green."

I met with Napper Tandy, and he took me by the hand,
And he said, "How's poor old Ireland, and how does she stand?"
"She's the most distressful country that ever yet was seen,
For they're hanging men and women there for Wearing of the Green."

"So if the colour we must wear be England's cruel red
Let it remind us of the blood that Irishmen have shed;
And pull the shamrock from your hat, and trow it on the sod
But never fear, it will take root there, though underfoot 'tis trod.

When laws can stop the blades of grass from growing as they grow
And whem the leaves in summer time their colour dare not show,
Then I will change the colour too I wear in my caubeen;
But till that day, please God, I'll stick to the Wearing of the Green."

My thingies this week are potholder versions of green wearables. First is a pair of crocheted potholder dresses.

Next is an "Overall Sam" applique potholder. Overall Sam is the male counterpart to Sunbonnet Sue. Both Sunbonnet Sue and Overall Sam have sun hats hiding their heads. Sue is usually shown in a side view, while Sam is often shown in a rear view.

I'm participating in Vintage Thingie Thursday

Sunday, March 14, 2010

SS - Zehnder's Restaurant, Frankenmuth, Michigan

This old postcard from Zehnder's Restaurant in Frankenmuth, Michigan doesn't give a lot of information, but it does include a helpful map of their location and a memorable rhyme.

Zehnder's is one of those old restaurants that has lasted and lasted. They even have a big website complete with online shopping. According to the Zehnder's website, Zehnder's is America's largest family owned restaurant. Zehnder's restaurant began in 1927 when the Zehnder family purchased the old Exchange Hotel which dated back to 1856. There are ten dining rooms, which can seat more than 1,500 guests. Their menu features "all-you-can-eat family-style chicken dinners, seafood, steaks, fresh baked goods and European desserts."

Smorgasbord Sundays (SS)
restaurant and food postcards

Thursday, March 11, 2010

PFF - Texas Cowboy Riding a Jack Rabbit

Postcard jack rabbits always look huge. I always knew they weren't THIS big, but I still thought they must be quite large. It turns out that they aren't any bigger than an average cat. The National Geographic website gives their size and weight, and shows their size compared to a 6 foot tall man.

Size: 2 ft (61 cm)
Weight: 3 to 9 lbs (1.4 to 4 kg)

Jack rabbits got their name from their big ears that look like those of a jackass. Jack rabbits actually aren't even rabbits--they are hares. Hares are larger than rabbits, have longer hind legs and longer ears, and are born with a full coat of fur and open eyes.

Despite their small size, jack rabbits are capable of speeds up to 40 miles an hour and leaps of more than ten feet.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

VTT - Corning Glass and Vintage Pyrex

Corning Glass Center in Corning, New York is shown in the postcard above. This is where "the public may see under one roof a complete record of the history, art, science and manufacture of glass." Tours are still offered at the Corning Museum of Glass. This postcard is from the early 1960s, so the center has probably changed quite a bit since then.

Pyrex is now manufactured by World Kitchen at their Charleroi, Pennsylvania plant near Pittsburgh. PYREX is a registered trademark of Corning Incorporated used under license by World Kitchen. Other World Kitchen products include CorningWare, Corelle, Revere, Ekco, Baker’s Secret, Magnalite, and Chicago Cutlery brands.

I have two sets of Pyrex "Bake Serve Store Casseroles." I love how convenient they are to store. I keep all six of the casseroles nested together in my cupboard, with a stack of lids beside them. The first turquoise set of small casseroles I bought in 1968. This pattern is called Butterprint or Amish. The sizes are 1 pint, 1-1/2 pint, and 1 quart.

The second brown and tan set with amber lids I bought sometime around the mid-1980s. This pattern is called Homestead. The sizes are 1 liter, 1.5 liter, and 2.5 liter.

I bought my 9-inch turquoise pie plate at an antique show a few years ago because the color matches my casseroles.

I just bought the vintage Pyrex booklet, Getting the Most Out of Foods, last weekend. I was attracted by the beautiful Art Deco cover. It is "Form B-29—200M 9-30 Eastern" from Corning Glass Works. I think the 29 and 30 probably refer to the years 1929-30.

vintage Pyrex booklet

The first half of the 32-page booklet tells how Pyrex saves time and fuel, gives menus for meals cooked in Pyrex ovenware, and tells why women prefer Pyrex dishes for baking and serving. There are 20, 30, and 45 minute menus. Each menu is composed of dishes that have the same baking time and can be cooked at the same time using several different Pyrex dishes.

The second half of the booklet shows the Pyrex product line with prices and tells how the products can be used.

I'm participating in Vintage Thingie Thursday

Sunday, March 7, 2010

SS - The Chuck Wagon, Rapid City, South Dakota

The Chuck Wagon restaurant is no longer at 3609 Sturgis Road in Rapid City. That address is now listed as the location of a Mr. Movies video rental store.

The chuck wagons that were used on western cattle drives originated in 1866. Charles Goodnight rebuilt a sturdy four-wheel wagon, fitting it with a chuck (food) box in the rear. The chuck box was the width of the wagon and had a hinged lid that lowered to become a work surface for the cook. Inside the chuck box were shelves and drawers for food and cooking utensils.

The tops of chuck wagons had bows across the top covered with waterproof sheets. The sides of the wagon held water barrels and tool boxes. A canvas or cowhide sling was attached to the bottom of the wagon to hold fuel collected along the way. The average wagon box was about 10 feet long and 38-40 inches wide. The wagon box carried the cowboys' personal items, gear, and bulk supplies.

Typical chuck wagon meals included beans, beef, sourdough biscuits, and coffee. In addition to their meal-time use, chuck wagons served as headquarters and social centers on cattle drives.

Smorgasbord Sundays (SS)
restaurant and food postcards

Thursday, March 4, 2010

PFF - Big Tex - Texas State Fair

This postcard is a Curteich Panoramic Postcard measuring 3-1/2" X 8-1/4". It shows Big Tex, a 52 foot tall cowboy, who has been greeting visitors to the Texas State Fair in Dallas, Texas since 1952. In the postcard photo (circa 1970), Big Tex is wearing a Lee brand shirt, belt, and jeans. Nowadays Big Tex is dressed in Dickies brand apparel.

Big Tex "talks" to visitors--his talk includes saying HOWDY about 60 times a day. His body was rebuilt in 1997, and in 2000 he became able to move and wave to visitors for the first time.

Vital Statistics (from the Big Tex Fact Page):
HEIGHT: 52 Feet
WEIGHT: 6,000 Pounds
HAT: 75 Gallon, measuring 5 feet high
SHIRT: 100 inch neck and 181 inch long sleeves.
BELT: 23 feet long, with a 50 pound buckle
PANTS: Size 284W x 185L.
BOOTS: Size 70, measuring 7 foot 7 inches high

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

VTT - My Heroes Were Cowboys

The movie and TV cowboys on these three postcards by Movie Candid Color Cards (circa 1949) were my heroes when I was about five years old. From left to right the cowboys are Roy Rogers, Hopalong Cassidy, and Gene Autry. **I will put the text from the backs of these postcards at the end, for those who are interested.

I actually saw Hopalong Cassidy in person and had an autographed picture of Roy Rogers. My first watch was a Hopalong Cassidy watch. Hopalong Cassidy was very big business in 1950 (you can read all about him in the 1950 Time Magazine article "MANNERS & MORALS: Kiddies in the Old Corral." Below is a photomontage of me in my cowboy outfit superimposed on a photo of Roy Rogers and his horse Trigger.

Unfortunately I didn't save any of my cowboy stuff except the photo of Roy Rogers and my cowboy hankies.

**From the backs of the postcards:

ROY ROGERS and TRIGGER are one of the most successful entertainment teams in the world. Starring in Republic westerns, Roy also has a weekly radio show, makes records, has tieups with twenty-odd wearing apparel manufacturers, and his rodeo has broken all records with 12,000,000 admissions in the last six years.

BILL BOYD, or "Hopalong Cassidy," as he's better known to youngsters from six to sixty, has never been far from the top of the Cowboy Roost. This year, however, with his new series of weekly appearances on Television, Hoppy's hit the peak of a Hollywood career that began as a De Mille extra in 1919.

GENE AUTRY started a new cycle in Hollywood when he joined Republic Pictures in 1934 as their singing cowboy star. Now equally prominent on radio, screen, records and rodeos, Gene and his horse "Champion," are high on the list of America's perennial entertainment favorites.

I'm participating in Vintage Thingie Thursday

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