One of the many things that makes Kentucky Fried Chicken unique in fast food history is that its growth as a powerhouse franchise was not quite as direct as, say, McDonald's. For one thing, the chain began not as a dedicated franchise location but rather as a menu of items out of a regular restaurant. In this case, KFC was essentially born in a pair of motels/restaurants in Asheville, North Carolina and Corbin, Kentucky. Colonel Harland Sanders, who owned both in the 1930s, rebuilt his Corbin location as a motel with a 140-seat restaurant after a fire struck in late 1939. Here is a June 1940 newspaper ad for the Sanders Court & Café, published in the Asheville Citizen Times. Note how there is no reference to chicken: The first Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise opened on Septem
Happy Father's Day from The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit and from the fine people who bring you Edgeworth Pipe Tobacco! It's Dad who tends the furnace, it's Dad who mows the law, And it's Dad who pushes off to work before the crack o' dawn... It's Dad who carries bundles. And it's Dad who has to pay, Let's give Dad the FINEST! for his pipe on FATHER'S DAY!
It's been a few years since my last gallery of vintage Beistle Halloween decorations, and I've collected some cool images so it's time to share once again. This time I'm focusing on Beistle products exclusively from the 1940s. Eagle-eyed readers may notice the name "Luhrs" pop up in this gallery. This refers to H.E. Luhrs, who was the son-in-law of company founder Martin Luther Beistle and served as president of the company. So with that bit of history out of the way, let's look at the gallery! And don't forget to check out my first and second Beistle Halloween decoration galleries.
In the fall of 1949, just four years after the end of World War II, the U.S. and Japan were on their way to rebuilding the bridges that had literally and figuratively been burnt since 1941. One of the first steps on that road to friendship was a goodwill tour bringing American baseball to the Land of the Rising Sun. In October, a man named Lefty O’Doul was responsible for organizing a baseball tour featuring the team he managed at the time -- the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League. The tour was a huge hit and contributed at least some small part to Japan's passion for America's pastime. Just one of the many pieces of ephemera from the Seals' Japanese tour is this fantastic game program. Here are a few images from that program, including the gorgeous front and back cover
Some of the best old Kodachrome slides you can come across are of parking lots. They give you the chance to see a nice cross-section of cars, sure, but they also offer a hint as to the economic condition of the area. A bunch of rusted old junkers paints a very different picture than a lot full of shiny, newer models. This is a great selection of pre and post-war models, including at least two Woodie station wagons. And as an even bigger bonus, you can see a Sears storefront, from a time when they reigned as one of the great retail operations in America. Good times, my friends, good times. If anyone can identify any of the cars in this picture, please leave a comment.
This year for Father's Day, I'm going to skip the vintage ads in favor of something much more unique. Here are three great pieces of Father's Day ephemera, courtesy Western Union. These telegram design templates, which comes from the 1940s and 1960s, are really something else. Funny how the image Western Union most associated with fatherhood in the 1960s was fishing. Click on any telegram for a larger image. And if you still really want to see some great vintage Father's Day advertisements, you can check them out here and here.
It sure doesn't feel much like it here in the northeast, but according to my calendar it is actually the first day of spring 2014. Since opening my windows isn't an option yet, I can at least look at some vintage spring advertisements showing other people enjoying blue skies, crisp air, and green grass. Ah, and what better way to enjoy a fine spring morning than by inhaling a deep lungful of that rich, tobacco aroma only Chesterfield can offer! Hey, buy me a radio like that and I'll swoon too. After about the sixth beer this is pretty much what everything looks like to me too. Screw the Easter egg hunt, I want one of these beauties! Now this illustration can be viewed one of two ways. I choose to think the best.
The 2014 Winter Olympics from Sochi are nearly upon us, so let's do some winter sports. This outstanding vintage photo is not actually from the Olympics, but it's close enough. According to the auction I snagged it from, this was taken in Lake Placid in 1949. If that's true, then this image was shot at the 1949 FIBT World Championships in Lake Placid. The FIBT (aka IBSF) is the organization that oversees bobsledding and skeleton. The bobsleigh shown does display the Olympic rings and the 1948 date, so it's likely that this was also used in the prior year's Winter Olympics in St. Moritz, Switzerland. (For a full-size version click here.) Two things that stand out to me immediately are the leather helmets that resemble nothing so much as repurposed football helmets of the era, a