Month: June 2013

Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 35: New York Horsecar Scene, 1910s-1920s

Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 35: New York Horsecar Scene, 1910s-1920s

Vintage Photo Wednesday
I'll admit that this one has me a bit puzzled. What I can gather is that this is a shot of a horsecar in front of a building owned by the Hartford and New York Transportation Company. The company operated steamboats, barges, skiffs, tugboats, and other water craft and carried passengers between New York and Connecticut -- making frequent stops along the Connecticut River. In 1906 the company was taken over by the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad. All this is to say that I can't really nail down a date for this very nice photo. Click for the full-size version. The main clue for dating offered here is the horsecar in the foreground of the photo. Horsecars -- which differed slightly from horse-drawn trolleys -- were pretty much phased out of New York City by 1917 or so, w
Here’s a Pair of General Mills Cereal Products from the 1970s

Here’s a Pair of General Mills Cereal Products from the 1970s

Ephemera
There have been five monster-themed cereals from General Mills since 1971, four of which are represented in this box scan and giveaway toy ad. Here are some mid-to-late '70s boxes for Count Chocula, Franken Berry, Boo Berry, and Fruit Brute. And here's a neat toy giveaway advertisement for Monster Bike Spinners from the back of the boxes. It was nothing more than a piece of plastic with a propeller that snapped onto your bike's handlebars, really.
Retired NFL Jersey Numbers: AFC South

Retired NFL Jersey Numbers: AFC South

Football Friday, Sports
Since it’s the off-season I thought I’d start a fun project involving NFL history. So I’m going to go division by division and post galleries of football cards (when available) featuring all NFL players who have had their jersey numbers retired by their teams. This week it’s the four squads of the AFC South — the Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Tennessee Titans. Previous galleries: AFC East, NFC East, AFC North, NFC North Houston Texans (0) The Texans have yet to retire a number in their decade-plus of existence. If I had to bust out my crystal ball, wide receiver Andre Johnson (#80) is a potential future candidate. He holds a number of team records (some by a sizable margin) and is poised in 2013 to become one of the NFL's top 20 receivers ever for c
Auction Finds: Vintage Cragstan RCA-NBC Mobile Color TV Truck

Auction Finds: Vintage Cragstan RCA-NBC Mobile Color TV Truck

Auction Finds, Games & Toys
I would so love to own one of these vintage tin beauties -- it's a battery-powered RCA-NBC Mobile Color TV Truck from Cragstan. I've included multiple shots here because there's a lot of great detail here. Based on the NBC logo used, I'd date this at around the late 1950s. Here's a few pics with the original box. Love the vintage '50s color scheme. Great detail on the cameraman, and of course there's the classic RCA "His Master's Voice" logo on the side. On the right side we have the original peacock logo, circa late '50s. I wonder what's going on behind the blinds? For more auction finds, click here.
Vintage CompuServe Ad Gallery (1980s – 1990s)

Vintage CompuServe Ad Gallery (1980s – 1990s)

Featured Posts, Retrotisements
During the 1980s, CompuServe was the undisputed king of online communities. Founded in 1969 as  Compu-Serv Network, Inc., the company got its start providing in-house computer processing support for Golden United Life Insurance, as well as by selling mainframe time-sharing.  This of course was in the days when both computers were very big and very costly to own. Fast forward to the '80s, and CompuServe -- owned then by H&R Block -- began to experience tremendous growth. Their subscriber base jumped from 3,600 in 1980 to 60,000 by early 1984.  By 1993 the service had more than 1.5 million subscribers, 90,000 of whom were in Europe. But the rise of competing services such as America Online and Prodigy ultimately spelled doom for this pioneer. AOL essentially bought CompuServe (alt
Here’s a Terrifying Popular Mechanics Magazine Cover from World War I

Here’s a Terrifying Popular Mechanics Magazine Cover from World War I

Ephemera, History
I find images and illustrations from World War I to be more frightening on average than almost anything -- the Holocaust excepted -- from World War II. There's something morbidly fascinating about the weaponry used in that conflict. It certainly was new and cutting edge for its time, but looks curiously antique now. It gives drawings like this one from the July 1915 issue of Popular Mechanics all the more sinister. It showcases a German soldier wearing an oil tank with a mask and goggles, which can all be used for just one thing: shooting liquefied fire at his enemies. And just to complete the look, he's got a service pistol at the ready. This sort of military ensemble would probably be called steampunk now, if it weren't so cruel in its very design. I suppose I shouldn't be s...
Dinner Music #1: Hunt’s Tomato Sauce Goulash & Franz Liszt

Dinner Music #1: Hunt’s Tomato Sauce Goulash & Franz Liszt

Music
In the Dinner Music series, I present a recipe from a vintage magazine and pair it with some appropriate music. Feel free to make the meal, listen to the tunes, and let me know how it turned out! For no particular reason, I'm kicking off my new Dinner Music series with a goulash recipe from the June 15, 1953 issue of Life magazine. It's from an advertisement for Hunt's Tomato Sauce. For those not familiar with the dish, here's what Wikipedia has to say about it: "Goulash (Hungarian: gulyás) is a soup or stew of meat, noodles and vegetables (especially potato), seasoned with paprika and other spices. Originating within the historical Hungarian ethnic area, goulash is also a popular meal in Scandinavia and in Central and Southern Europe." The Recipe 3 tbsp. fat 1 large onion, s
Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 34: Dick’s Drive-In, Seattle, 1955

Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 34: Dick’s Drive-In, Seattle, 1955

Vintage Photo Wednesday
Courtesy the Seattle Municipal Archives Flickr feed, here's a neat shot of a rather ordinary scene. It's Dick's Drive-In Hamburgers on Broadway East. This was taken in 1955, not long after this location opened. Dick's started right around the same period that McDonald's started to take off with their franchise model. Click for a larger version. This location is still open today, and it certainly doesn't appear as if things have changed all that much. There are more trees and the prices are higher, of course, but you can't expect hand-dipped malts to cost 21 cents forever.