It’s difficult to remember for many, but once upon a time Newark, New Jersey was a thriving city and a point of pride for the state. And while I’m not going to claim that the Hagin & Koplin Ford dealership was the jewel of Newark, it sure made for a damn gorgeous photo.
As urban car dealerships go, this is a beauty. While the main showroom building is pretty nondescript, it’s the signage that really makes this shine. The big, bold usage of the Ford crest — first introduced in 1950 — with its neon adornments is of course the first thing to strike the eye. I especially love how the crest was integrated into the building itself, something that must have cost extra to build.
The cars on this lot have been identified as 1959 models, so this photo was likely taken some time between August 1958 and August 1959 (give or take a month), which coincides with the typical U.S. model year period.
I don’t know what ever became of the Hagin & Koplin Ford dealership, but as late as 1967/68 they operated a Volkswagen dealership at 380 Elizabeth Avenue in Newark. That much is apparent from this VW bus brochure with the dealership’s stamp on it. Whatever building was at that address is now an overpass for Interstate 78.
In addition to their primary purpose in drumming up business for their company, airline travel posters of course wanted to get you in the mood to visit places all over the world. And without the benefit of a TV commercial, travel posters had to work overtime to help you paint a picture of exotic locales in your mind. Here are 20 such vintage travel posters that did their job exceptionally well, most dating from the 1950s and ’60s.
And if I may be allowed a shameless plug — which I am — I should tell you that some of these images are available as beautiful custom apparel and other products on my Zazzle shop. Why not go there now? Just click on The Hangar for all airline-related goods.
Iconic English musician and journalist Mick Farren passed away over the weekend after collapsing onstage at a performance in London, so I felt it was time to take this series out of mothballs and feature a great album cover he was directly associated with. It’s from the debut album by Farren’s influential psychedelic rock band, the Deviants — Ptooff!
Described in the liner notes as “the deviants underground l.p.,” Ptooff! falls stylistically somewhere between garage rock and psychedelic rock. It’s not as trippy as early Pink Floyd; it sounds more grounded — mostly — but also more sinister.
Cover design and artwork on the album is credited to Kipps, a name I can’t find referenced anywhere else. I know little of the Deviants, but it wouldn’t surprise me to find out that Kipps is just a pseudonym for one or more of the band members.
The original issue of Ptooff! — Underground Impresarios, IMP 1 — contains a brilliantly designed fold-out poster. It reveals that the front cover is part of a larger comic book-like image.
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 NFC South — the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Falcons do not retire jersey numbers, but in 2004 they established their own Ring of Honor for former players. The inductees to date are Steve Bartkowski, Deion Sanders, William Andrews, Jeff Van Note, Jessie Tuggle, Tommy Nobis, Mike Kenn, and Claude Humphrey.
Carolina Panthers (1)
#51 — Sam Mills
New Orleans Saints (4)
#31 — Jim Taylor
#81 — Doug Atkins
#51 — Sam Mills
#57 — Rickey Jackson
In a rather odd move, the Saints still issue these four jersey numbers to active players even though officially they’re “retired.”
According to this Deadspin article, New York City has basically given the owners of Madison Square Garden ten years to find a new place to play. The arena, which is the fourth to bear that name, opened on February 11, 1968 on the site formerly occupied by the above-ground portion of Penn Station. Apparently New York wants to undo that architectural crime, and so here we are.
Not to get all nostalgic or anything, but I thought it worth taking a quick look back at MSG IV’s early days. Here’s a neat exploded view drawing of the Garden from the November 1967 issue of Popular Mechanics. It shows the main areas of the building by function.
Back for more, eh? As the follow-up to my set of World’s Fair postcards covering the first half of the 20th century, here is the second half. This set picks up with Expo 58 in Brussels, which marked the first World’s Fair held after World War II.
British Pavilion: “Suspended from four giant steel masts 34 meters tall, this pavilion will appear as if it is floating in the air. Inside the pavilion will introduce Britain’s history and industries.”
While on vacation in Cape Cod recently, I brought a wad of cash to my favorite used book store and went nuts. In fact, I didn’t purchase one book. Instead I walked away with a healthy stack of vintage magazines — everything from old issues of Family Circle, The Saturday Evening Post, and Better Homes and Gardens to random fashion and auto magazines. And this, the 1959 Symphonic Phonographs catalog.
Within these pages lies a bounty of vintage turntable models, all with that special late ’50s beauty. You’ve got your sturdy and fashionable portable players, like the Junior and Sophomore models seen here…
… and you’ve got hefty models that double as furniture, as was the style back then, like the Symphony.
You really can’t go wrong either way I suppose. I have no idea what one of these beauties in good working order would fetch on the market today, but I was at least willing to fork over three dollars for the catalog. If you want to see the whole set — including the original order form — you can check it out on my Flickr page.
I largely stopped doing music reviews on this site for two reasons — one, I find that the process of reviewing an album takes a lot of the joy out of just listening to it, and reviewing music doesn’t quite fit in with the shifting focus of this site. I make an exception for that today because I got a wonderful surprise and I want to share it with you.
You may remember the heady days of the late ’90s Swing Revival, when mainstream music became fun once again (even if just for a few years). You may also remember one of the acts from that revival that rose to prominence during the time — Eugene, Oregon’s own Cherry Poppin’ Daddies. Their 1997 album Zoot Suit Riot was not only a surprise hit that year, but became one of my favorite releases of the genre.
The Daddies strayed from that neo-swing sound on subsequent albums, and to be honest I lost interest. It’s not that I don’t support artists following their own muse, but I came for the swing and the swing alone. But I knew they were still out there plying their trade, and so I rooted for them from the sidelines and I hoped that one day they would return to that style. And return they have on the recently released White Teeth, Black Thoughts.
I’ll spare you a lot more words and I’ll tell you that if you liked Zoot Suit Riot, you will like this album and you should buy it. Bandleader, lead singer, and main creative force Steve Perry has crafted a set of fun, inviting songs that more than anything else are just plain fun to listen to. The album kicks off in style with the punchy Dixieland-inspired romp “The Babooch,” and all of a sudden it’s 1997/98 all over again.
It’s pretty much one big party from there on. Some of the highlights for me are “Whiskey Jack,” a rocket-powered cover of Louis Jordan’s “Doug the Jitterbug,” and the slightly dark, slinky title track. White Teeth, Black Thoughts is a bit front-loaded but the dropoff isn’t terribly noticeable. There’s a neat little production trick on “Jake’s Frilly Panties” that adds a scratchy record effect and a heavy dose of compression to help you imagine what it would have been like hearing CPD back in the day. Also, “Huffin’ Muggles” has cool to spare and is probably the best song on the back half.
So to sum up: This is a really fun album, I’m thrilled to see the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies doing what I think they do best, and you should buy the album and go see them live. You can get all that information on their website.
It’s been awhile since my last Football Friday post, but with the preseason inching ever closer it’s time to get back into the swing of things. So here’s a cool photo I came across this week of American Football League legend Gino Cappelletti, Boston Patriots receiver/kicker. Gino was truly a double threat, and led the league in scoring for four of its ten seasons. He also took home AFL MVP honors after the 1964 season.
Cappelletti is one of seven Boston/New England Patriots to have his jersey number retired by the team.
Here’s Gino (#20) attempting a kick, with backup QB Tom Yewcic (#14) holding.
Oh yeah, let’s not forget to take a second and admire those sweet, vintage Patriots uniforms.