Wednesday, June 30, 2010

VTT - A Bear & Some Picnic Things

The title on this vintage postcard is Bear Raiding Picnic Table, Yellowstone National Park. I've never been to Yellowstone or encountered a bear, but I do have some vintage picnic things.

I won this vintage Thermos picnic set in a contest in 1970. I never found it very useful, and the only reason I saved it is because I won it. It was a prize in a Crystal Sugar contest to name a vacation home. I would have been much happier if I had won the vacation home. The Thermoses are the kind with glass inside, and the labels are full of instructions of what not to do with them.

My vintage aluminum lawn lounge chair is also something I have had since about 1970. That chair has been used every year. I think it is much more convenient and durable than the new ones you can buy now. It originally had alternating strips of green and white webbing. I put new webbing on it sometine in the 1990s.

I'm participating in Vintage Thingie Thursday

Sunday, June 27, 2010

SS - Mack's Cafe, Murdo, South Dakota

I love the name and clean no nonsense look of Mack's Cafe. It looks like the quinessential midwestern storefront/cafe.

Murdo doesn't seem like the type of place that would have both an uptown and downtown. It is located in the middle of South Dakota, at the crossroads of Interstate 90 and Highway 83. Murdo is the county seat of Jones County, which had a population of 1,193 in 2000.

Murdo's website currently lists four places to eat: Buffalo Bar & Restaurant, GTO Café, Murdo Drive In (open seasonally from May-September), and the Senior Citizens Center (weekday noon lunches for Senior Citizens). There is no mention of Mack's Cafe.

Smorgasbord Sundays (SS)
restaurant and food postcards

Thursday, June 24, 2010

PFF - Bear Panhandler at Yellowstone Park

Bears are a popular subject on postcards from some of the national parks. My favorites are the ones that also picture old cars like this 1955 Ford station wagon. This bear is looking for a handout from tourists. Here is the information from the back of the postcard:


Renowned as a refuge for a wide variety of wildlife, the most often seen and the most popular are the "hobo" Black Bears who are constantly looking for a "hand-out." Though tame, they are very dangerous as they are extremely quick and agile and when full grown averages 250 pounds. For the visitors own protection it is illegal to feed them.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

VTT - Fruit Faces and Reefers

The postcard of the peach and pear is from around 1910 and is signed with the initials of the artist Cavally.

The Reefer DeLuxe booklet was published by the Nickel Plate Road in 1946. Before I found this booklet, I thought reefers were just things that you could smoke or wear. Now I know that they are also refrigerated cars used to transport perishable foods. According to the introduction to the booklet, the Nickel Plate Road was endeavoring to review findings of food laboratories, the varied uses of some perishable foods, and suggest some new recipes "for the enjoyment of fruits and vegetables."

The booklet covers twenty-five fruits and vegetables: Tommy Tomato, Grace Grapefruit, Letty Lettuce, Rosy Apple, Alma Asparagus, Reggie and Olga Orange, Sally Spinach, Lum Lemon, Peppy Peach, Cobby Corn, Carla Carrot, Mac Melon, Cabby Cabbage, Patty and Peter Pear, Ann Avocado, Stringy Bean, Bud Banana, Betty Beet, Celia Celery, Plushy Plum, Oscar Onion, Pearl Pea, Greta Grape, Arty Artichoke, and Sam Spud. These pages about the peach and pear are typical. (Click the images to enlarge them to readable size.)

The Nickel Plate Road, as the New York, Chicago and St. Louis Railroad was known, was constructed in 1881. It continued operating until 1964, when it was merged with other railroads into the Norfolk and Western Railway. The map below is from the Reefer DeLuxe booklet and shows the routes operating in 1946.

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Sunday, June 20, 2010

SS - Zinn's Modern Diner, Denver, Pennsylvania

Zinn's diner operated from 1950 until 2003. It specialized in Pennsylvania Dutch Cooking. This postcard has a view of Zinn's Diner with the first Amos, an Amish farmer statue, that was in front of the diner from 1960 to 1969. This statue was made of papier-mache. It was damaged and replaced in 1969 with a more durable fiberglass and steel statue. The second Amos statue was there until Zinn's closed in 2003.

Smorgasbord Sundays (SS)
restaurant and food postcards

Thursday, June 17, 2010

PFF - Lakers and Celtics

Last week I noticed this card advertising a 1988 serigraph by LeRoy Neiman of Lakers and Celtics basketball players when I was looking through my oversize postcards. I normally don't pay attention to basketball, so I didn't discover until a few days later that the Lakers and Celtics were the teams playing in this year's NBA finals.

The Los Angeles Lakers were the 1988 NBA champions. The Boston Celtics did not reach the finals that year. I was surprised to discover that all four players in the picture were ones I had heard of. These are the 1987-1988 players shown:

Los Angeles Lakers
32 - Magic Johnson
33 - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Boston Celtics
32 - Kevin McHale
33 - Larry Bird

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

VTT - Cat Cooks & Mixing Bowls

My postcard is one of a large series of dressed cats engaged in human activities published by Alfred Mainzer. This one was printed in the early 1960s, but many of the scenes have been reprinted in later years. I am showing this particular card because one of the cats is holding a mixing bowl, and I found some Pyrex mixing bowls at a garage sale this week.

This "set" of four mismatched mixing bowls was bought from a middle-aged woman who was selling it for her father who didn't need it after his wife died.

The yellow and blue bowls show a lot of wear and seem to be older than the green and New Dots bowls. The yellow and blue bowls have the older type of markings on the bottom. These markings apparently were used in the 1940s and do not include numbers or sizes. The bottom of the yellow bowl is shown below. This marking is as described on the Pyrex Love site. It has "T.M. REG." in an arch above the word "PYREX" and "U.S. PAT. OFF" below in an up-facing arch.

The green bowl is in better condition than the other colored bowls and is marked, from top to bottom, 403 2 1/2 QT., TRADE MARK, 3 l, PYREX, ®,, MADE IN U.S.A., OVEN WARE. The New Dots bowl has similar markings.

I have always used plastic mixing bowls, and my mother used stainless steel ones. To me, glass mixing bowls don't seem very practical, so I am not planning to use these. I think the main reason I bought them is because I have seen so many on Vintage Thingies Thursday. They were also a bargain at $4 for the set.

I'm participating in Vintage Thingie Thursday

Sunday, June 13, 2010

SS - Branding Room at Western Hills Hotel

The Western Hills Hotel was located at 6451 Camp Bowie in Fort Worth, Texas. It is obviously an exaggeration to say that it was "The NICEST Hotel Anywhere," but it was a popular and glamorous gathering spot in the 1950s.

I wonder whether this elaborate food display was a regular feature or whether it was made specially for the photo. I don't think those steaks look very appetizing, and the decorated fish behind them looks positively disgusting. The Branding Room restaurant was also decorated with a large mural that was saved when the hotel burned down in 1968. The mural is now in the art collection at Worthington National Bank’s Sundance Square location.

Below is a recipe for barbecue sauce from the Western Hills Hotel that appeared in an A.1. Sauce Life magazine ad in 1957.

If you think branding steaks sounds like fun, you will be glad to know that you can buy your own steak branding irons so that you can try it at home. In addition to Rare/Medium/Well steak branding irons, you can even get a "Rockin' Dad Steak Branding Iron." That might be a fun gift for the Dad who has everything.

Smorgasbord Sundays (SS)
restaurant and food postcards

Rockin' Dad Steak Branding Iron

Thursday, June 10, 2010

PFF - Betsy Ross and the First Stars & Stripes

This is an oversize (5-1/4" X 6-3/4") postcard and is part of a series made for the 1976 U.S. bicentennial. I am posting it in honor of flag day.

This is the text from the back of the card:

By Dunsmore

In 1776, Mrs. Ross of Philadelphia was commissioned to make the first American flag. A committee consisting of Robert Morris and George Ross, accompanied by General Washington called upon this celebrated seamstress and together with her suggestions produced "Old Glory" , the emblem of our Liberty. The design was adopted by resolution of the Continental Congress on June 14, 1777.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

VTT - Strawberries, Seeds, & Milking Stool

This Buckbee's advertising postcard is from about 1910. At the top is printed "Growing Buckbee's Great Ruby Strawberries on Rockford Seed Farms." At the bottom is printed "H.W. Buckbee - Rockford Seed Farms. Forest City Greenhouses - Rockford, Ill. Send for Free Catalogue." Below is an enlargement of Buckbee's "Full of Life Seeds" trademark from the back of the card.

My stool is an old milking stool that is decorated with painted strawberries on all sides. The size of the stool is 7" X 14" X 14" high.

I'm participating in Vintage Thingie Thursday

Sunday, June 6, 2010

SS - Grison's Steak & Chop House, San Francisco

Bob Grison opened Grison's Steak House & Chop House at Van Ness and Pacific Avenues in 1936. A few years later he opened Grison's Chicken House across the street. The Chicken House closed in the 1970s, and the Steak House closed in 1984.

Both Grison's restaurants used wooden menu postcards for a number of years. The menu on the left is from 1939/40 and has the words "Come to the Fair!" in the top left corner of the back (The Golden Gate International Exposition was held in San Francisco in 1939 and 1940) . The menu on the right is probably from the 1950s. If you click on the image to enlarge it, you can see that there a many changes in the menu. On comparable items, the prices of most items on the right are about three times those on the left.

Both postcards have the quote about customer satisfaction by Walter Winchell, a famous columnist, on the back at the bottom of the left side. "One dissatisfied customer can do your restaurant more harm than the praises of a thousand others can undo. So, if a man has a tough steak, don't give him a sharp knife, give him another steak."

Smorgasbord Sundays (SS)
restaurant and food postcards

Thursday, June 3, 2010

PFF - World's Largest Strawberry Shortcake

This is a postcard of the "World's Largest Shortcake" at the 57th Strawberry Fair at Lebanon, Oregon. This year the 101st Strawberry Festival is being celebrated June 3-6. This year's shortcake will be served on June 5. The cake is baked at a local grocery store baker. It is baked in hundreds of smaller sheet cakes. Then it is assembled, covered with powdered sugar, and dotted with strawberries.

Below is the recipe printed on the back of the postcard. It served over 14,000 people! The recipe has changed quite a bit since then. The ingredients listed on the festival website are 514 cups of sugar, 224 cups of shortening, 192 cups of eggs, 992 cups of flour, 576 teaspoons of salt, 2048 teaspoons of baking powder, 448 cups of milk and 18 cups of vanilla.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

VTT - High School & Graduation Keepsakes

When I saw all the vintage high school graduation thingies last week, I decided to show my things this week. The large letter postcard is from the town where my high school was located. The large "L" appears to have a picture of the high school.

The first photo shows my senior yearbook, my diploma, the tassel from my graduation cap, a pinback button, and a gold graduation charm. The second photo is a closeup of the charm. The charm has a relief of a diploma, eyeglasses, and a book. There is a red stone on the diploma and a pearl border around everything.

I'm participating in Vintage Thingie Thursday
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