Thursday, April 9
Shadow

Tag: Massachusetts

Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 3 — Joining of Waters, Cape Cod (1914)

Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 3 — Joining of Waters, Cape Cod (1914)

Vintage Photo Wednesday
While the idea of building a canal between Cape Cod and what is now mainland Massachusetts dates back to the early American colonial period, a workable plan didn't come to fruition until the early 20th century. Construction on the Cape Cod Canal began on June 22, 1909 and was fully completed in 1916. It opened on a limited basis on July 29, 1914, but was immediately plagued with issues concerning cost and accessibility. This week's photo is dated April 21, 1914 and was published in The New York Times the next day. It shows August Belmont, Jr., president of the Boston, Cape Cod & New York Canal Company, and other dignitaries at Foley's Dock/Dike, Massachusetts. From the Times article of April 22: BUZZARD'S BAY, Mass., April 21. - In the presence of August Belmont, President of the C
Album Cover of the Week: For Twisters Only

Album Cover of the Week: For Twisters Only

Album Cover of the Week, Music
If there has ever been artists to get a ton of mileage out of one song, it's Chubby Checker and "The Twist." Yeah I know he had other hits in the '60s, but Checker hasn't been able to milk "Pony Time" for everything from song sequels to ads for Oreo cookies and the Social Security Administration. Today's featured album cover comes from Checker's commercial prime. It's a 1961 covers album entitled For Twisters Only, and it was clearly meant to capitalize on his biggest song, which had hit #1 in 1960. Surprisingly this LP (Parkway Records, P 7002) did not contain "The Twist" at all, but rather a host of hits from the '50s such as "Hound Dog," "Rock Around the Clock," and "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On." Graphically this is primitive but appealing. There's the obvious choice of a ...
The ’30s and ’40s in living color, Part 1

The ’30s and ’40s in living color, Part 1

Ephemera, History
One of the really cool things about the internet is that now everyone who can get there can get access to a treasure trove of historical documents and photographs that were previously the domain of hardened researchers or supergeeks.  All you need is some time to spare and the desire to take a look at our country's not-so-distant past, and some great stuff is there for the asking.  Case in point, the Library of Congress WPA poster gallery I highlighted a few years ago. This time we're going to look at something even cooler - highlights from a LoC collection of photographs from the 1930s and '40s... in color!  While the subject matter isn't necessarily scintillating on all these, the opportunity to see life as it really looked back then is a rare treat indeed.  Something about seeing a s
Retrotisement: Encyclopædia Britannica

Retrotisement: Encyclopædia Britannica

Retrotisements
Here's a little history lesson for you young'uns.  Back before this internet thing, and way before Wikipedia, people like me used to look up stuff in these big things called encyclopedias.  They didn't list every single episode of That's So Raven or every Pokemon character, but they were generally useful nonetheless. Now I don't recall ever getting that pumped over looking up where John Quincy Adams was born*, but I don't doubt that many a young man did experience that feeling of euphoria.  And hey, you know Britannica was the bee's knees because they had that funky æ character in the title. This particular ad was published in 1994, just as the internet was poised to set new standards of speed in the research and plagiarizing of information.  So anyone lucky enough to have spent
Classic Thanksgiving ephemera – Indian Gum Cards

Classic Thanksgiving ephemera – Indian Gum Cards

Ephemera
In days of yore companies issued trading/bubble gum cards depicting not just baseball players, but even actors, U.S. Presidents, and license plates. One such manufacturer, the Goudey Gum Company of Boston, began issuing cards picturing Indian tribes and well-known Indians in 1933. This series ended in 1940, but Goudey began printing a new series depicting "Indian and Pioneer romantic days" in 1947. Shown here are two cards from that series, owned by a family member. Up top is a card showing a member of the Huichol, native to Western Central Mexico (yes I know that a native Mexican has nothing to do with American Thanksgiving). Most curiously about this card is that it speaks of the Huichol as if they were extinct, but according to their Wikipedia article they are very much alive...