KCEN-TV (Temple/Waco, TX)

Film at 11: A Gallery of Vintage TV News Program Ads

Sometimes I know that a post I’m putting together is destined to get 20 views if I’m lucky. But I have to follow my muse wherever she may lead me, and today she leads me to TV newsrooms across the country.

I can’t say exactly why, but I find these old advertisements for network TV news programs to be just so… quaint? Charming? I don’t quite know how to put it. I just love how much these ads convey what it must have been like to watch the news back in the day — not slick in the least. Just a bunch of square white men (and sometimes white women) reading the day’s events.

And now the news of the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s…

WOKR (Rochester, NY), 1969

WOKR (Rochester, NY), 1969

WCAX (Burlington, VT), 1973

WCAX (Burlington, VT), 1973

KGO-TV (San Francisco, CA), 1971

KGO-TV (San Francisco, CA), 1971

WKTV (Utica/Rome, NY), 1973

WKTV (Utica/Rome, NY), 1973

WCTV (Thomasville/Tallahassee, FL), 1975

WCTV (Thomasville/Tallahassee, FL), 1975


WMAL-TV (Washington, D.C.), 1975

WMAL (Washington, D.C.), 1975

WTVM-TV (Columbus, GA), 1975

WTVM (Columbus, GA), 1975

WTVO-TV (Rockford, IL), 1959

WTVO (Rockford, IL), 1959

WTEN-TV (Albany/Schenectady/Troy, NY)

WTEN (Albany/Schenectady/Troy, NY), 1960

WPRO-TV (Providence, RI)

WPRO (Providence, RI), 1962

WTHI-TV (Terra Haute, IN)

WTHI (Terra Haute, IN), 1963

KCEN-TV (Temple/Waco, TX)

KCEN (Temple/Waco, TX), 1964

KCRG-TV (Cedar Rapids, IA)

KCRG (Cedar Rapids, IA), 1966

WECT-TV (Wilmington, NC), 1967

WECT (Wilmington, NC), 1967

WFMY-TV (Greensboro, NC), 1967

WFMY (Greensboro, NC), 1967

WITN-TV (Eastern Carolina), 1967

WITN (Eastern Carolina), 1967

KCAU-TV (Sioux City, IA)

KCAU (Sioux City, IA), 1969

KELOland (Sioux Falls, SD), 1969

KELO (Sioux Falls, SD), 1969

WCHS-TV (Charleston/Huntington, WV)

WCHS (Charleston/Huntington, WV), 1969

WDEF-TV (Chattanooga, TN), 1969

WDEF (Chattanooga, TN), 1969

Vancouver World's Fair 1986

Vintage 20th Century World’s Fair Postcards (1958 – 1992)

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.

Expo 58 (Brussels, Belgium)

Vintage World's Fair postcard - Expo 58 (Brussels)

Brussels World Exhibition map

Century 21 Exposition (Seattle, 1962)

Vintage World's Fair postcard - Seattle (1962)

(via Drive-In Mike)

1964 New York’s World Fair

Vintage World's Fair postcard - New York (1964/65)

(via The Pie Shops)

Expo 67 (Montreal)

Vintage World's Fair postcard - Montreal (1967)

The Kaleidoscope Pavilion

(via The Pie Shops)

HemisFair ’68 (San Antonio, Texas)

Vintage World's Fair postcard - San Antonio (1968)

(via zawleski)

Expo ’70 (Osaka, Japan)

Vintage World's Fair postcard - Expo '70 (Osaka, Japan)

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.”

(via Duncan Brown)

Expo ’74 (Spokane, Washington)

Vintage World's Fair postcard - Spokane (1974)

Washington State Pavilion

(via The Pie Shops)

Expo ’75 (Okinawa, Japan)

Vintage World's Fair postcard - Expo '75 (Okinawa, Japan)

Mitsubishi Pavilion

(via World’s Fair Photos)

1982 World’s Fair (Knoxville, Tennessee)

Vintage World's Fair postcard - Knoxville (1982)

1984 Louisiana World Exposition (New Orleans)

Vintage World's Fair postcard - 1984 Louisiana World Exposition

Expo ’85 (Tsukuba, Japan)

Vintage World's Fair postcard - Expo '85 (Tsukuba, Japan)

Gas Pavilion

(via World’s Fair Photos)

Expo 86 (Vancouver, British Columbia)

Vintage World's Fair postcard - Expo 86 (Vancouver)

World Expo 88 (Brisbane, Australia)

Vintage World's Fair postcard - World Expo 88 (Brisbane, Australia)

Seville Expo ’92

Vintage World's Fair postcard - World Expo '92 (Seville, Spain)

International Exhibition Genoa ’92

Vintage World's Fair postcard - International Exhibition Genoa '92 Colombo '92

Vintage World's Fair postcard - New York (1939)

Vintage 20th Century World’s Fair Postcards (1900 – 1940)

Getting to a World’s Fair is definitely one of the items on my bucket list. But until I can attend one in person, I guess the next best thing will have to be to look at some vintage World’s Fair postcards. The selection I present here spans every officially sanctioned and recognized fair and exposition from the first half of the 20th century. Due to the outbreak of World War II, there were no fairs held between 1941 and 1957. The next part of this overview (to be published later) will pick up with Expo 58 and run through Expo ’98.

Exposition Universelle (Paris, 1900)

Vintage World's Fair postcard - Paris (1900)

Petit Palais


Pan-American Exposition (Buffalo, 1901)

Vintage World's Fair postcard - Buffalo (1901)

The Stadium

Louisiana Purchase Exposition (St. Louis, 1904)

Vintage World's Fair postcard - St. Louis (1904)

Varied Industries Building

(via Brenda)

Liège International (Belgium, 1905)

Vintage World's Fair postcard - Liège (1905)

The Munich Building

(via alanp_photo)

Milan International (1906)

Vintage World's Fair postcard - Milan (1906)

Irish International Exhibition (Dublin, 1907)

Vintage World's Fair postcard - Dublin (1907)


Jamestown Exposition (Norfolk, 1907)

Vintage World's Fair postcard - Jamestown Exposition (1907)

History and Historic Arts. Auditorium. Education and Social Economy Building.

Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition (Seattle, 1909)

Vintage World's Fair postcard - Alaska–Yukon–Pacific Exposition (1909)

United States Government and Hawaiian Building

 Brussels International 1910

Vintage World's Fair postcard - Brussels (1910)

Visit from the King and Queen of Belgium

Turin International (1911)

Vintage World's Fair postcard - Turin (1911)

Monumental Bridge and the Pavilion of Paris


Exposition Universelle et Internationale (Ghent, 1913)

Vintage World's Fair postcard - Ghent (1913)

La Section Française‎ (The French Section)

Panama–Pacific International Exposition (San Francisco, 1915)

Vintage World's Fair postcard - San Francisco (1915)

Great South Gardens


Panama–California Exposition (San Diego, 1915)

Vintage World's Fair postcard - San Diego (1915)

Downtown Plaza and U.S. Grant Hotel


Independence Centenary International Exposition (Rio de Janeiro, 1922-23)

Vintage World's Fair postcard - Rio de Janeiro (1922)

Ibero-American Exposition of 1929 (Seville, Spain)

Vintage World's Fair postcard - Seville (1929)

Mexican Pavilion

1929 Barcelona International Exposition

Vintage World's Fair postcard - Barcelona (1929)

Exposition of 1930 (Liège)

Vintage World's Fair postcard - Liège (1930)

Entrance Doors, North Sector

International Colonial Exposition, Maritime and Flemish Art (Antwerp, 1930)

Vintage World's Fair postcard - Antwerp (1930)

Pavilion of the French Colonies

A Century of Progress International Exposition (Chicago, 1933-34)

Vintage World's Fair postcard - Chicago (1933/34)

General Motors Building

Brussels International Exposition (1935)

Vintage World's Fair postcard - Brussels (1935)

International Exposition Dedicated to Art and Technology in Modern Life (Paris, 1937)

Vintage World's Fair postcard - Paris (1937)

1939 New York World’s Fair

Vintage World's Fair postcard - New York (1939)

The 14-Ton Giant Underwood Master (Typewriter) Operating Daily


1939 International Exposition (Liège)

Vintage World's Fair postcard - Liège (1939)

The Palace of Germany


Golden Gate International Exposition (San Francisco, 1939-40)

Vintage World's Fair postcard - San Francisco (1939/40)

Night View of Treasure Island, Magic City of Golden Gate International Exposition on San Francisco Bay

(via Shook Photos)
Procter & Gamble Daytime Soap Opera Promo Artwork (1981)

Vintage Daytime Soap Opera Promotional Artwork (1981)

I don’t even like soap operas, especially the daytime variety, but this 1981 promotional image from Procter & Gamble Productions was too cool not to share. It features six P&G soap opera title cards from the 1981-82 television season, which aired on the three major broadcast networks. They are Search for Tomorrow, Another World, Texas, The Edge of Night, As the World Turns, and Guiding Light.

Procter & Gamble Daytime Soap Opera Promo Artwork (1981)

A few of these I had never heard of, and now I know why. Texas only aired from 1980 to 1982, while The Edge of Night went off the air in 1984. Only As the World Turns and Guiding Light lasted into the 21st century.

Speaking of that last one, my buddy Jeff Giles from Popdose is working on what is sure to be a great book for GL fans, called Llanview in the Afternoon: An Oral History of One Life to Live. It’s not available for sale yet, but you can check out the Facebook page for the project to find out when it is.

hurricane on radar

The 10 Deadliest Atlantic Hurricanes in History

The 1900 Galveston HurricaneToday marks the beginning of the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season (which runs until November 30). Throughout the summer we’ll be looking at some of the worst hurricanes in history, in terms of death tolls and damage amounts. Up first is a review of the ten deadliest hurricanes ever spawned in the Atlantic Ocean.

One interesting fact that stands out to me is that unlike the list of the ten deadliest tornadoes, only three of these tropical cyclones occurred after 1950. This is a direct result of improved weather forecasting technology, which can typically allow for days of advanced notice rather than hours. So as a comparison, the infamous Hurricane Katrina, while still dealing a devastating blow to the U.S. Gulf coast, isn’t even in the top 20 in terms of casualties — although the nearly 1,900+ killed is still a tragically large number.

1. The Great Hurricane of 1780

Few meteorological details on this storm are known, but we understand this much — In October 1780 more than 20,000 perished in the Caribbean as it tore through the Lesser Antilles, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, Bermuda, and possibly East Florida and some U. S. states. Rep0rts of the day claimed that every tree in Barbados was downed, but not before all being stripped of their bark.

Among the dead were 4,000 French soldiers who drowned near Martinique when their ships were capsized. The soldiers were aboard 40 ships involved in the American Revolution.

Hurricane Mitch2. Hurricane Mitch (1998)

As with many tropical cyclones, most of Mitch’s devastation was due not to fierce winds, but rather to torrential rainfall and flooding. In particular, Honduras (35.89 inches), Guatemala (23.62 inches), and Nicaragua (62.87 inches) were deluged with precipitation. Nearly 20,000 people in the region died, to say nothing of the mass devastation to housing, crops, and infrastructure.

In Honduras, an estimated 70–80% of the transportation infrastructure of the entire country was wiped out, including nearly all bridges and secondary roads. The damage was so great that existing maps were rendered obsolete.

Damage from the 1900 Galveston hurricane3. The 1900 Galveston hurricane

The hurricane that slammed into Galveston, Texas in September 1900 is still the deadliest one to ever strike the United States. Many of the deaths could have been prevented has the low-lying island of Galveston acted on proposals from some concerned citizenry and erected a protective seawall. The highest point of Galveston was 8.7 feet above sea level; the storm surge from the hurricane was more than 15 feet, enough to wash over the entire island.

When it was all over, an estimated 8,000-12,000 were dead, including one as far away as New York City. Needless to say, construction on the Galveston Seawall began in 1902.

4. Hurricane Fifi (1974)

Funny name aside, Fifi is the second-wettest hurricane to hit Honduras (after Mitch), and killed more than 8,000 people — most of them in Honduras. Nearly a quarter of those fatalities were in the city of Choloma, which lost between 2,800 and 5,000 of its population of 7,000 due to massive flooding.

5. Hurricane San Zenon (1930)

Also known as the 1930 Dominican Republic Hurricane, was a small but powerful Category 4 storm. It made landfall on September 3 near Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, packing peak winds of 155 mph. It cut 20-mile-wide swath of destruction and three whole districts in Santo Domingo. The Red Cross put the death toll at 2,000, although estimates ran as high as 8,000.

6. Hurricane Flora (1963)

With a total death toll of between 7,186 – 8,000, Flora was at the time the deadliest Atlantic hurricane post-Galveston. In addition, agricultural damage to the island of Tobago was so great that they abandoned crops altogether and switched to tourism as their main source of income. Some locations in Cuba received more than 80 inches of rainfall; Santiago de Cuba reported 100.39, the highest measured amount in the history of Cuba.

7. 1776 Pointe-à-Pitre hurricane

As you might expect, little is known about this storm. It struck Guadeloupe in the Lesser Antilles on September 6, 1776 and by the time it was over more than 6,000 were dead. The cyclone also struck a large convoy of French and Dutch merchant ships, sinking or running aground 60% of the vessels.

8. The Newfoundland Hurricane of 1775

At least 4,000 perished when this storm hit the British colony of Newfoundland (in what is now Canada). Most of the dead were English and Irish sailors, who drowned. The storm is Atlantic Canada’s first recorded hurricane and the country’s deadliest natural disaster.

It is thought that this same storm struck North Carolina and Virginia about a week earlier, and that what hit Newfoundland was the remnant.

Damage from the Okeechobee hurricane (1928)9. The Okeechobee hurricane (1928)

This was just the second recorded hurricane to his Category 5 on the Saffir-Simpson scale. It’s also the only Cat 5 storm to hit Puerto Rico at that strength. It’s known as the Okeechobee hurricane due to the deaths of at least 2,500 people in South Florida — they died when a storm surge from Lake Okeechobee breached the dike surrounding the lake, flooding an area covering hundreds of square miles.

At least an additional 1,200 in Guadeloupe lost their lives, as well as roughly 300 in Puerto Rico (where this is known as the San Felipe II Hurricane). Total fatalities are estimated to be at least 4,078.

10. The 1909 Monterrey hurricane

An estimated 4,000 people or more in Mexico died when this storm hit in August 1909. Peak winds were measured at 120 mph, a Category 3 on the Saffir-Simpson scale. Half of the city of Monterrey was destroyed, including four city blocks on the south side. 800 died in that area alone. Catastrophic flooding occurred when the reservoir dam near Monterrey burst.

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Prepare for a funky summer from the New Mastersounds

Unless you’re a connoisseur of modern-day funk and soul you likely haven’t heard of the New Mastersounds. That’s a shame, because for more than a decade this Leeds-based outfit has been churning out some of the tightest, most hip-shaking grooves around.

The quartet is currently touring the United States and recording their upcoming album here (Tornillo, Texas to be precise) — a first for them. In another change, the band will be adding vocals to their previously instrumental attack. To give fans a preview of what’s to come, the New Mastersounds recently released a cool behind-the-scenes video for the making of the album, Breaks From the Border. Check it out:

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Sunday Jazz: For Mother’s Day, remember the dash

Mother’s Day is typically a time for celebration and joy. But for many, it’s a time of reflection and even sadness. This week’s edition of Sunday Jazz is, in my estimation, a bit of both.

“Tribute” is the final track on Robert Glasper‘s fantastic 2007 release, In My Element. It was written for Glasper’s mother, Kim Yvette Glasper Dobbs, who along with her husband Brian was murdered in April 2004. Kim’s impact on her son’s life and on his music was incalculable, and so it was only fitting that he recorded and released “Tribute” for her.

The song is beautiful any way you approach it, but what elevates it from pure melancholy to joy is the inclusion of Rev. Joe Ratliff’s eulogy, delivered at Brentwood Baptist Church in Houston, Texas. I would kill the spirit of his moving words by analyzing them here, so I exhort you to just listen to them.

And remember that whether you are a mother, honoring a mother still with you, or thinking of one who is gone, remember the dash…

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Here’s some stuff I enjoyed this week

Here’s a fresh batch of some quality interweb finds I’ve come across over the last 7 days:

  • Like a scene from one of those apocalypse movies, a graphic photo of San Francisco after the earthquake and fire of April 18, 1906. (Shorpy)
  • The Rock is disturbed to find out that Christina Aguilera was not debuting a new song at the Super Bowl. (Blame It On The Voices)
  • Bet you didn’t know so many NFL teams had marching songs, did you? (Album Art Exchange)
  • Now this is what we need to spend time researching – which Chicago Cubs game did Ferris Bueller and friends attend the day they skipped school? (Big League Stew)
  • Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan in 60-Seconds With Papercraft and Computer Graphics (Geekologie)
  • Really long but really good article detailing film director Paul Haggis‘ involvement with, and eventual estrangement from, the Church of Scientology (The New Yorker)
  • Speaking of Scientology – Come for the auditing, stay for the Stallone! (Gawker)
  • You all know I’m a sucker for vintage ads, and this batch of ones from a pair of 1967 NFL guides is spectacular. (Neato Coolville)
  • New license plate slogans for 2011; Hawaii and Texas are my favorites (Esquire)
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Book report: The Worst Hard Time

The Worst Hard TimeYou ever talk to one of those annoying people who always feels compelled to one-up your tales of woe?  You try to get a little sympathy for spraining your ankle, and all they can do is go on about the time they broke their leg twenty years ago.  Then there’s the other variation, where you try to talk about a difficult situation with an older relative and they bust out the “back in my day…” line to trump you.  It’s like, enough already old timer.

Well here’s the thing about the folks who lived through the Dust Bowl of the 1930s – their stories really are worse than your stories.  Every time.  And they don’t have to embellish or exaggerate.  The trick is to make those stories readable and engaging, which isn’t as easy as it may seem.  Fortunately we have Timothy Egan‘s 2005 work, The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl.  It’s a skillfully written book that captures the tragedy and pathos of the time even better than I expected.

Egan sets the stage with a fascinating history of the region, which wasn’t always the brown, desolate place it would become.  A few hundred years ago the Midwest was a great expanse of grassland, and was home to millions of bison as well as large, thriving Native American tribes.  European settlers explored the area but found it unfit for farming.  In fact, the region was known for a long time as the Great American Desert (although it wasn’t what we think of as a desert, it did contain vast stretches of treeless, semi-arid land).  Eventually the white man started moving into the more hospitable parts of the Midwest, but left the High Plains largely alone.

Fast forward to the Civil War period, and what was a trickle of settlement became a steady stream with the passage of the Homestead Act in 1862.  Pretty soon all the prime real estate was taken, leaving the formerly undesirable High Plains (essentially the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma, northeast New Mexico, southeast Colorado, and western Kansas).  Successive legislation made even harsh land seem like a good opportunity, and within a few decades towns popped up in places they had no business being.

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