Friday, December 15, 2017

Schenley Whiskey Ad – Dec. 5, 1952

I've mentioned before how it seems that the Lorain Journal ran liquor ads in its pages every day during the 1950s. A few of the whiskey brands became blog fodder, including Old Log Cabin (which I wrote about here and here) and PM Blended Whiskey.

Well, above is an ad for another whiskey brand: Schenley. The ad appeared in the Lorain Journal on Dec. 5, 1952. It features a nicely stylized snowman. (I love it when classic children's holiday icons sell adult products.)

Unfortunately, it appears that the Schenley brand melted away over the years.

According to this Wiki page, the liquor company was purchased by Guinness in the late 1980s. The brand has not been available in the United States for some time. It seems to have been discontinued in Canada as well over the last few years, although there are still some cases out there according to this website.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Whistle Ad – December 17, 1947

Vintage sign currently on Ebay
Since I mentioned Canada Dry yesterday, here’s an ad for another soft drink that in days gone by was bottled in Lorain – Whistle.

The ad, which ran in the Lorain Journal on December 17, 1947 – 70 years ago this month – is quite charming, with chubby elves involved in wintertime antics. Gee, those guys really aren’t dressed for snow.

I did a two-part series on the Lorain Whistle Bottling Company back here in 2012. The company was located near the railroad tracks at 1138 Lexington Avenue.

Want to see some more Whistle advertising featuring the drink’s distinctive elves? Then you’ll have to visit this blog: Enchanted America: In Search of Elves, Fairies, And Other Mythical, Magical Beings, Places and Things Along the Highways & Byways of North America (whew, that’s a long one).

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Canada Dry Ad – Dec. 19, 1959

I found this ad (which appeared in the Lorain Journal on December 19, 1959) interesting, because it identified the name of a drink that I like to make at home. That is, I like to add some Canadian Club to my Canada Dry Diet Ginger Ale for a nice, Canadian-themed drink.

According to the ad, that drink is called a highball. Gee, I’d heard of that drink but didn’t realize that was what I was making. Suddenly I feel very old.

Anyway, I have another reason for posting this ad.

One of the features of this blogger website is the ability to review statistics to see which posts get the most visits. And for some inexplicable reason, one of the most-visited posts that I have ever written is this one  from 2013 about the old Canada Dry bottling plant building at 1251 Colorado Avenue.

I don’t know why, but when I check my stats each week, that Canada Dry post is usually at the top of the heap. It had more than 500 visits in November. Why?

I can’t figure it out. Does anybody out there have any ideas?

Here’s some information about the Canada Dry bottling plant on Colorado Avenue that I've found since that original post.

According to an article in the Lorain Journal on June 21, 1955, “Canada Dry Bottling Co. of Lorain was established here as a franchised carbonated beverage manufacturing firm in 1947.

“The company, which bottles Canada Dry beverages for Lorain, Huron and Erie counties, is owned and managed by David E. Mowrey.

“Mowrey is widely known in Lorain and is past president of the Lorain board of education.

“The firm employs five persons. Three large trucks are used for quick delivery service.”

Our old pal, longtime blog contributor Bob Kovach sent me (as he put it) the "relic" at right. 
It's a well-worn piece of correspondence from the Canada Dry Bottling Company of Lorain, Ohio, Inc. to its customers, dated August 27, 1948.
The letter is on an elegantly designed masthead that shows some of its Canada Dry products at the time, including two I'd never heard of: Spur and Hi-Spot.
Spur appears to have been Canada Dry's cola product. Hi-Spot was a lemon-lime soda that probably competed with Seven-Up.
Thanks for sharing your find with us, Bob!
To visit a terrific vintage advertising website that includes a history of Canada Dry along with vintage labels and ads, click here

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Saturday Evening Post Cover by Stevan Dohanos – December 27, 1952

The "Log of Lorain" column in the Lorain Journal of January 13, 1953 included a mention of Lorain artist and illustrator Stevan Dohanos' latest Saturday Evening Post cover.

It noted, "Lorainites were well represented on the cover of the Dec. 27 issue of Saturday Evening Post. Steve Dohanos, a Lorain native, painted the cover. The man carrying pine boughs into the church is also a Lorain native. He is Loyal Theron Lucas.

"Lucas was working summer stock in Connecticut last summer and apparently posed for the picture at Dohanos' studio at Stamford, Conn."

Loyal T. Lucas was born in Lorain on December 4, 1904. Although his name doesn't seem to be included in the list of successful Lorain-born entertainers, Mr. Lucas enjoyed a fine career in Hollywood, judging by his page on Here is the link.

It looks like he specialized in playing miners and old coots on TV Westerns. These appearances included Have Gun – Will Travel (1961), Tales of Wells Fargo (1962), Death Valley Days (1964), Branded (1965), Wagon Train (1964 & 1965), Gunsmoke (1961 & 1965), and The Virginian (1965).

He also had roles on Bachelor Father (1962), The Addams Family (1965 & 1966) and Quincy M.E. (1980).

Monday, December 11, 2017

Madge's Grand Opening – December 10, 1963

The view on Sunday
Remember when I wrote about the one-story brick building located on the southeast corner of Colorado Avenue (State Route 611) and Abbe Road in Sheffield? Although the building is empty now, a variety of businesses were located there at 5316 Colorado Avenue beginning in the 1950s and into the 1990s.

One of the businesses that called that address home was Madge’s Coffee Shop. Above is its Grand Opening ad that appeared in the Lorain Journal on December 10, 1963, just in time for the holiday season.

“Madge” was Mrs. Magdeline Delgado. As you can see from the ad, Spanish foods were the specialties of the house. I’m sure the food was great (and much better than the canned tamales I buy at the grocery store).

Madge's Coffee Shop’s only listing in Lorain city directories was in the 1964 edition. By the time of the next directory, Chris’ Sub Shop had taken over the space.

Perhaps Madge was just a little ahead of her time, offering authentic Spanish foods to a general public that wasn’t familiar with that type of food – yet.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Pre-Civil War Avon Lake House Vandalized - Dec. 8, 1965

Here’s a sad story from the pages of the December 8, 1965 issue of the Lorain Journal. It’s about an Avon Lake farmhouse that predated the Civil War that was senselessly vandalized a few weeks earlier. As stated in the article above, “A onetime farm house, lived-in before there was an Avon Lake or even a Civil War, is now under the legal axe of quick repair or demolition, courtesy of Thanksgiving week vandals.

“The house, said to have been part of a family history for the past 143 years by owner Mrs. Ruth Bramen, No. 2 Putnam Hill, Greenwich, Conn., is the first house in Avon Lake west of Bay Village on the south side of Walker Road. It is part of a 93 acre estate on the verge of being sold for “around $93,000.” Value of the house itself was never set and may be considered a small fraction of the final price.”

The damage was considerable. According to the article, “Every window was smashed; screens and doors were splintered; mattress springs, mattress and bedding were hurled through upper floor windows; a bag of cement was bashed open and the fine powder combed by breezes through the house; lamps, fixtures and non-bearing walls were broken, ripped or kicked.”

The sad thing is that until the end of the first week of that November, the house had been occupied by tenants, and appeared to be in order. So the vandals worked pretty quickly.

The photos by Bob Cotleur accompanying the full-page article are disturbing, even if it was unlikely that the house would be restored or saved after the sale of the land.

I’m not too familiar with Avon Lake history, but it appears that today the property is part of Walker Road Park, which is co-owned and managed by both Avon Lake and Bay Village. Judging by the views on the Historic Aerial website, the farm house was indeed gone by 1970.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Fireball! December 9, 1965

I often wonder if a meteor is going to clobber the Earth in my lifetime. I don't worry about it too much, but it crosses my mind from time to time.

Anyway, back on December 9, 1965 – 52 years ago this week – something fiery did indeed fall out of the sky and hit some Lorain County terra firma. It was said to be a fireball, part of a meteorite that apparently was seen over a seven-state area and possibly California. But even now, there is some debate as to what it was that everyone saw, both in the sky and on the ground.

Here's the original story as reported, written by Charles Gray, as it appeared on the front page of the Lorain Journal the next day.
So what was it? According to this report in the Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, it was – as originally thought – a meteorite.
Or was it possibly some kind of spy craft, as described in this account published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on the 50th anniversary of the event?