Friday, May 31, 2013

Roman Villa on Routes 6 and 2

Another of the long-gone businesses on that vacation map from two days ago is Roman Villa. The restaurant was just west of Edna's Restaurant on the same (south) side of West Erie.

The small blurb on the map (at left) promoted the "ultra-modern" restaurant's "true Italian food."

The restaurant was immensely popular in its heyday, hosting countless dinner meetings, banquets and bridal parties during the 1950s and 60s.

A few online newspaper articles indicated that the restaurant was co-owned by Dominic and Angeline Gigliotti from 1952 to 1971. After that it was owned by the Veterans of Foreign Wars for a few years.

The city directory has a variety of businesses at that 4953 West Erie location from the mid-1970s on, including the Silver Dollar Restaurant (1975-1980), Barbary Coast Restaurant (1981-1982), The Connection (1983), Morelli's Restaurant & Lounge (1984-1985), Cara Vee Cove (1986), Lahn Lounge (1987), and Seven Seas Lounge (1988).

After 1988 it gets a little sketchy, thanks to plenty of holes in the library's city directory collection.

From 1989-1991, the address was listed as being vacant. From 1992-1993, Night Out was listed at that address. The late 1990s showed the address as being a residence, and the early 2000's the address was "not verified."

The final listing was as a "nonclassified establishment" in 2003 and shortly afterwards the address was no longer listed in the books, according to my research.

The property is currently for sale (here is the listing).

It sure would be great if someone could launch a successful new business along that stretch on the approach to Lorain, and make it truly part of Vacationland.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Interurban Crash - May 30, 1907

Here's an article that ran in the Lorain Journal on May 30, 1957. It describes a terrible crash that occurred on the interurban line in Elyria on May 30, 1907 – 106 years ago today.

****
2-Car Crash On Interurban Line Killed Seven 50 Years Ago Today
By BOB THOMAS

FORMER CONDUCTOR Wynn S. Avery,
who lives north of Wellington on Rt. 58,
is shown wearing the same cap and coat
that he wore 50 years ago when his car was
rammed from the rear by another interurban
car. He lost both of his legs as a result of the
crash. The picture was taken in 1956.
"In a short time the mangled passengers had all been extricated and the wrecked car was all that remained to show that a terrible tragedy had been enacted."

Though this might well be a story to be told much too frequently of traffic accidents on the highways on Memorial Day, 1957, it is actually a quote from The Lorain Times-Herald story of an electric railway accident in Elyria 50 years ago today.

Seven persons died and seven others were seriously injured when a special car rammed into the back of another car on Middle Ave. at Fifth St. about 6 p.m.

The Times-Herald account of May 31, 1907, the following day, states:

"Car No. 129, in charge of Motorman Varner and Conductor Wynn S. Avery, left Oberlin at 5:30 o'clock on their regular run to Cleveland. They had on board a large number of holiday excursionists who had spent the day in Wellington and Oberlin.

"At the Country Club, south of Elyria, the car was boarded by a large number of passengers who had picnicked there for the day. The number of people picked up on street corners completely packed the car and the remainder stood upon the platform.

"After passing the car barns a special empty fell in on the main track in the rear of the regular. This car was in charge of Motorman C. N. Fuerndiener and Conductor Williams. The empty special followed the regular at a distance of about a block."

The empty car struck Car 129 with such force that it "rose over the floor of the back platform and plowed over the platform into the rear seats."

Conductor Avery of the ill-fated "129" lost both legs in the accident but served the company as purchasing agent until Feb. 28, 1931, when the Cleveland, Southwestern and Columbus Railway Co., commonly known as "The Green Line" ceased its operation. Avery lives on Rt. 58 north of Wellington.

As a result of the inadequate facilities at the Elyria hospital to care for the injured, a campaign was started to provide the city with a better hospital and it is said that the establishing of the Gates Hospital for Children also grew out of the drive emanating from the disaster.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1907 Memorial Day tragedy, a window display at the Elyria Travel Mart, Broad St., includes newspaper accounts of the wreck, pictures of several interurban cars, including the two involved in the accident, and a model electric railway system.

The display, which will remain on view for several days, was prepared by Paul Lawson and Max Wilcox of Elyria, and Norman Mueller and James Bussinger of Lorain.

****
In case you'd like to read about the tragedy just as it happened, with much more detail – and blame – than the short version that ran in the 1957 Journal, here's the front page of The Elyria Chronicle of Friday, May 31, 1907. (Click on it for a readable version.)

But be forewarned, there are some gruesome details about the wreck that are included on that front page.


Here's a link to the Chronicle-Telegram's online account of the 100th anniversary of the crash back in 2007, and a nice explanation of how Edgar Allen, a businessman who lost his son in the tragedy, devoted his life to opening hospitals, including Elyria Memorial Hospital as well as the Gates Hospital for Crippled Children (later known as the Easter Seals Society). And here is a link to an interesting C-T article about the motorman who was blamed for the crash.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Edna's Restaurant on Routes 6 and 2

The Routes 6 and 2 map that I posted yesterday was fairly intriguing, full of businesses that I'd never heard of: Edna's Restaurant, Roman Villa, Willow Restaurant Motel and others. Like many of you, I wondered where these places were located and what happened to them. So, I'll be spotlighting some of them on the blog.

First up: Edna's Restaurant

The restaurant's description next to its place on the 1957 map read, "On Routes 2 & 6 just past the underpass – Stop 111, "Lorain's Newest, Most Modern Family Restaurant."" So where was it, anyway?

Since Edna's Restaurant was there for more than a decade, it was easy to find a real numerical address for it in a later book: 4875 West Erie.

Anyway, here is the restaurant's 1958 phone book listing (below).

1958 Lorain Phone Book Listing
Edna's Restaurant later became known as Edna's Hitching Post Inn. Here's a July 1963 ad that appeared in the Journal (below).

July 4, 1963 newspaper ad

Then, in the 1973 book, the restaurant's listing became Romo's Restaurant & Lounge.

Strangely, the 4875 address was missing from the 1974-1977 directories. But beginning with the 1978 book, the address was listed as Lion Crest Lounge.

Lion Crest Lounge continued at that address up to and including the 1981 directory.

The 1982 directory had a new business at that address: Selenti's Cafe Casata. By the 1983 book, however, it was the Lake Road Buffet Banquet Center. The address was listed as vacant in the 1984 book.

Finally, in 1985 a business was listed with some real staying power: The Galleon. The pub would continue to be listed at the 4875 address until around the 2010 directory.

Today the building sits on the south side of U.S. Route 6 just east of the Marathon service station with no signage to indicate that a business is housed there. It looks like it's in good shape, so I'll bet that we haven't seen the last business at that address.



Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Routes 6 & 2 Vacation Map – May 11, 1957

Well, it's after Memorial Day, so that means it's the unofficial kick-off to summer.

So it's a good time to post this – a cool ad that ran in a two-page spread in the Lorain Journal on May 11, 1957. (Click on it for a larger view.)

The ad celebrated the completion of the work being done on the highway at that time and served as an advertisement to promote the businesses in that area.

It's a fascinating little graphic, full of long-gone businesses and attractions.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day Ad 1953

Here's another one of those full-page ads that used to run in The Journal around Memorial Day, with a listing of local sponsor companies at the bottom. This one ran on Friday, May 29, 1953.

I really like the soldier artwork and the decorative typography at the top of the ad.

The listing contains plenty of well-remembered businesses. Unfortunately, who would have guessed back then that out of that huge list, only a handful of businesses and organizations would still be around in 2013?

I'm glad Driscol Music Company, Burge Building, Walter A. Frey Funeral Home, Crystal Clear Dry Cleaners, the Morning Journal and V.F.W. Post 451 are still around.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Duke Ellington at Elberta Inn – May 1935

Here's an interesting grouping of ads that ran together on the same page of the Friday, May 24 Lorain Journal and Times-Herald. They collectively celebrate the upcoming appearance of Duke Ellington and his Orchestra at the Elberta Inn in Vermilion on Sunday, May 26, 1935 – 78 years ago this weekend.

A couple of the ads include some copy that would certainly be considered racist today. However, that's not the reason I posted this material. Instead, I was focusing on Duke Ellington's fame and popularity and the fact that he commanded so much attention and goodwill during his trip to the area.

Anyway, I like the stylized caricature of the Duke in the main Elberta Beach ad.

The Elberta Inn was lost to an unfortunate fire in February 2011.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Heilman's 40th Anniversary Ad – May 24, 1960

Here's a nice ad for Heilman's, the well-remembered Lorain restaurant that used to be located down at the Loop. The ad celebrates the restaurant's 40th anniversary and has a nice capsule history of the business (which I blogged about back here).

The full-page ad ran in the Lorain Journal on May 24, 1960 – 53 years ago tomorrow.

Sadly, Heilman's restaurant closed in 1968. The other Heilman's venture – the nearby Heilman's Ranch House – lasted until 1974, when it became a victim of urban renewal (which I posted about here).

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

More late afternoon Lorain shots

On the same day I photographed the former library, I also grabbed a shot of the progress on the former Gel-Pak building on Broadway (above). It's looking great.

Hard to believe it looked like this (at left) back in October 2010.

(According to this online story, last week was move-in time for Lorain County Health & Dentistry.)

While driving around, I also grabbed a shot of the former William Seher mansion (also known as the Slattery Motion Pictures house) on Ninth Street. Just like when I photographed the former library, the sun was just right to give the scene a nice, warm glow (below).


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Carnegie Library in late afternoon

While killing time waiting to pick up my Selenti's Pizza on Friday, I drove around Lorain with my camera, checking to see if there were any good shots to be had in the late, late afternoon.

I was shocked – in a good way – to drive by the former Carnegie Library and see how beautiful it looked (above). Many of the ugly, overgrown trees surrounding it have been removed since the last time I photographed it (at left) and the view on Friday was almost picture postcard-perfect.

I was almost choked up when I took the photo. Kudos to the City of Lorain for the obvious TLC the grounds received.

In case you missed it, the building was in the news recently. It was announced a few days ago in the Morning Journal (here) that the Black River Historical Society may move into the building. Now that's great news.

All the scene needs now is the Stars and Stripes (see vintage postcard below).


Monday, May 20, 2013

Birth of the Litterbug

Pride Day was over the weekend, celebrated by Lorain County as part of Keep America Beautiful's Great American Cleanup, with hundreds of local volunteers sprucing up their cities. (Here's the story as reported in the Morning Journal in case you missed it.)

That reminded me that I had this article about the Litterbug mascot, which was used by Keep America Beautiful beginning in the 1950s. (Readers of this blog know that I love advertising mascots and their history!)

Surprisingly, the organization did not create or develop the villainous insect symbol. The Litterbug sprang from the creative mind of a Pennsylvanian housewife – Hilda Vogel Fox – and was "loaned" to the national anti-litter organization.

Here's the story as it appeared in the May 10, 1956 Chester Times.

****
Countian's 'Litterbug' Idea Is Sweeping U.S.
By ORRIN C EVANS

UPPER PROVIDENCE – A blonde, blue-eyed and statuesque housewife on Palmer Mill rd. who talks in a restrained, modulated voice has been heard throughout the nation.

Mrs. Hilda Fox began discussing the "litterbug" in 1951. She conceived the idea of the Gremlin-type insect scattering empty tin cans, cartons, empty match books and pop bottles in gleeful abandon as a dramatic promotion stunt in her drive for litter-free highways in Pennsylvania.

Today her voice is being heard throughout the nation through such converts as William G. Stolk, president of American Can Co., E. J. Condon, vice president of Sears, Roebuck and Co., Richard C. Doane, president of International Paper Co., and W. B. Murphy, president of Campbell Soup Co.

BILL SIGNED
In addition, Gov. Leader last month signed a bill providing penalties for persons throwing refuse from motor vehicles on state highways.

Mrs. Fox learned of Gov. Leader's action, culminating her long and vigorous campaign, when she and her husband returned to their home Monday from a month's vacation in Holland.

Because it was the first vacation her husband Cyril G., president of Fels & Co. soap manufacturers, has had in 15 years, she agreed not to utter the word "litterbug" during the trip. And she didn't either.

When asked her reaction to the new Pennsylvania law, her voice came in flutters" "I can't believe it... It's so thrilling... it's oh, it's wonderful.

She had heard nothing about the signing of the bill.

TURNED IT LOOSE
"I turned "litterbug" loose," she said, "and this is the result."

It's been a long and often discouraging campaign which Mrs. Fox has pushed with the same zeal she showed in 1939 when she started and organized the Pennsylvania Roadside Council, which resulted in establishment of the rustic roadside rests for motorists now dotting the state.

And she put into the "litterbug" crusade the identical energy she spent when she served – from 1951 to 1955 – as chairman of the National Council of State Garden Clubs.

Her husband – no neophyte in organizing and developing programs – says of her: "I'm constantly amazed at her apparent limitless energy."

National impetus was given the campaign of Mrs. Fox last year when Reader's Digest published a piece captioned: "Are You a Litterbug."

"That's when things really began happening," Mrs. Fox recalls.

Shortly after that issue appeared on the nation's newsstands, businessmen and industrialists had their interest piqued.

They organized under the title of Keep American Beautiful, Inc., describing the setup as a "national service organization for the prevention of litter."

And today Mrs. Fox wears proudly on a coat label a silver replica of the "litterbug." It was ordered from a silversmith and presented to her by the president of American Can Co. at ceremonies sponsored by Keep American Beautiful, Inc. in New York City.

It means there's now another team fighting litter in America.

As an aid to motorists, thousands of "litterbags" have been manufactured. Square-bottomed, of stout brown paper, they are for use as one would use a wastebasket in the home.  Service station attendants would empty them as part of their routine. A strong handle allows one of them to be hung easily inside the car door.
Label buttons – the size of half dollars – are also available to motorists backing the clean highways drive.

WELCOME NEWS
"The signing of the bill by Gov. Leader," she said, "is the best  welcome home news I've had. After seeing the spotless streets and highways in Holland, it's simply wonderful to return home with hopes of the possibility of eventually seeing the same thing in this country."

Mrs. Fox returned to a table on the patio at her home and plunged into scads of mail – the major portion in connection with the "litterbug" campaign – and was back at work.

****
I remember the litterbug image from when I was a kid; I'm sure I encountered him on signs or posters at National Parks during my family's cross-country camping trips. (The image at the top of this post was scanned from a 1960s litterbag that I bought on Ebay for a couple of bucks.)

Eventually, though, I'm sure the litterbug mascot became too politically incorrect for the national campaign with his cigarette and eye patch. It seems that many states, municipalities and organizations created their own versions of the litter-tossing insect.

Anyway, back in Pennsylvania – where it all began – the litterbug received a total makeover in 1997. (Here's the story of his redesign.)

He's no longer a total villain; instead, he's been described as more of a mischievous type. Gone are the eye patch, the cigarette, and the pointy stinger, too. He wears a small derby, which I suppose hearkens back to the gangster era. He looks like he's been eating well too.

Large costumed versions of the popular mascot appear at various Pennsylvania events to spread the anti-litter message to kids. 

I hate to say it, but I prefer the original version of the litterbug. He's much more iconic and better designed.

Plus, he might as well be shown smoking. Cigarette butts are still the most common form of roadside litter in front of my house on U. S. 6.


Friday, May 17, 2013

More Amber Oaks Fun

Shortly after the gala Grand Opening of Amber Oaks, the ad above ran in the Lorain Journal on May 23, 1963. As you can see, the opening had been a big success. (Hey look at that--the little guy from the auto ads even made a cameo appearance in the ad!)

Here's another Amber Oaks newspaper ad from a few years later. This one (below) is from September 12, 1968.

Here's a look at the restaurant as it used to look in the early days. This shot (below) is from a June 1971 Golden Crescent Guide to Dining and Dancing column by Dennis Traster. The feature – which was a unique form of advertising – used to appear in the Journal and spotlighted a different restaurant each time.


And lastly, here's the restaurant as it looks today.


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Amber Oaks Grand Opening Ad - May 16, 1963

Here's the full-page ad announcing the May 17, 1963 Grand Opening of Sheffield Lake's venerable Amber Oaks restaurant. The ad ran in The Journal on Thursday, May 16 1963 – exactly 50 years ago today (and on a Thursday too).

I'm glad that these big grand opening ads were the trend back then. They sure make it easy for amateur historians to nail down dates, and find out the names of builders and suppliers.
I love the Cinerama-style typography for the Amber Oaks name.

Anyway, I'm very happy that the restaurant is still around. Although I haven't been there lately, for many years it was the special occasion place for the spouse and me (I really loved the seafood platter).

Here's hoping Amber Oaks is around for another 50 years!

Tomorrow: More Amber Oaks fun


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The House on Park Drive

A few weeks ago on a Saturday morning, while taking a shortcut I passed this house on Park Drive near Central Park in Lorain. Immediately I did a double-take and thought, "That house looks familiar!" So I doubled back and grabbed this shot.
Later on when I got home, I confirmed my guess as to why it looked familiar. It was one of the houses that Frank Hicks, my art teacher at Admiral King High School, had given us the option of drawing for our sketch book assignments.
I featured a few of those sketches on this blog over the last few years, especially back here.
Anyway, here is the sketch of the house from probably around 1974.

The handsome house looks pretty much the same. Those might even be the same monster shrubs. (I had similar ones in front of my 1940s colonial on the east side. I needed a ladder to trim them!)
In the sketch, it looks like I started to draw a BLOCK PARENT sign in one of the front windows – and almost 40 years later there's still a sign in the same window. Now that's dedication to community involvement.
The Lorain County Auditors website lists the house as being built in 1940.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Duskey Brothers Grand Opening Ad – May 11, 1955

Here's an ad announcing the new Pure Oil service station opened by the Duskey Brothers at 19th and Broadway. It ran in the Lorain Journal on May 11, 1955.

There's those ubiquitous free glasses again. Remember them from this similar promotion for Bill Thomas Service?

Too bad gas stations don't give away anything anymore. In fact, you're lucky if they give you a receipt at the pump after you've filled your tank!

Anyways, here's a shot of the former service station at 19th and Broadway as it looked last year (below).


Monday, May 13, 2013

The Pizza Puppies Mascot!

Here's something I didn't know existed: a Brady's Restaurant ad featuring an advertising mascot for Pizza Puppies™, the special hotdog creation that was covered with pizza sauce and melted cheese.

The ad above appeared in the Lorain Journal on June 30, 1958.

I like the chef's hat-wearing doggie mascot. He looks sorta like a cousin to Rover, the Dog 'N Suds mascot.

Anyway, I'm continually impressed by the amount of advertising that Brady's Restaurant did in the Lorain Journal in the 1950s and 60s. It really imprinted the restaurant's name in the consciousness of the local citizenry to the point that even thought the restaurant has been closed for decades, I still get asked if I'm related to the Bradys who ran Brady's Restaurant.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Brady's Restaurant Ad – May 12, 1958

It's been a while since I featured Brady's Restaurant in this blog.

So, to rectify that oversight, here's an ad that ran on May 12, 1958 in the Lorain Journal – 55 years ago this weekend. The theme of the ad is the return to 1946 prices (1946 being the year the well-remembered restaurant opened).

Remember the discussion about Pizza Puppies back here? Well in this ad, John Brady's unique hot dog creation is front and center with its own logo. And he even spells out the recipe for those of you trying to figure out what to make for dinner tonight.

I love the 1950s stylized cartoon heads with their enthusiastic smiles in this ad.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Nielsen Jewelers Part 2

1939 newspaper ad
With Harry Nielsen launching his own jewelry and optometry business in 1937, the original H. P. Nielsen Sons business carried on for a few years before adopting the Walter S. Nielsen name in the early 1940s.

Both Nielsen stores coexisted throughout the 1940s and 50s. Harry Nielsen's 1951 phone book ads stated that he was "Lorain's Oldest Jeweler," while in the same book, the ad for Walter S. Nielsen mentioned that the firm was "Established 1877."

Sometime in the 1950s, the Walter S. Nielsen store became known as as Nielsen Jewelers, and moved to its present 753 Broadway address.

Harry Nielsen passed away at the age of 71 in January 1960. He had been retired from active participation in his business.

Dr. Walter S. Nielsen passed away in early March 1971 at the age of 78. He had retired in October 1968, having turned the business over to his son Carl.

Today, Nielsen Jewelers carries on in its attractive building at 753 Broadway.

The company enjoys a fine reputation for quality work, and have created beautiful custom jewelry for both my mother and, more recently, my mother-in-law.

It's great to see what I'm assuming is the oldest established business in Downtown Lorain still thriving after more than 135 years.

Visit the company's Facebook page by clicking here.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Nielsen Jewelers Part 1

Last month, Mark Hicks emailed me a photo (left) of an old eyeglasses case that he found while cleaning out his garage. He wondered if I had any information about Dr. Walter S. Nielsen, the optometrist's name on the label.

Turning to vintage Lorain City Directories for information, I was surprised to learn that Dr. Nielsen's business was the predecessor of Lorain's present day Nielsen Jewelers.

****
The original Nielsen jewelry company – H. P. Nielsen – was one of Lorain's oldest businesses, appearing in the oldest city directory (1891) at the library. According to later ads, the company dates back to 1877.

In the 1903 directory, the business was located at 307 Broadway.

The 1912 directory listing gave a detailed description of the business, advertising "Watches, diamonds, jewelry, cut glass, fine china and watch repairing." In that same directory, son Harry was listed as a salesman at the store, and son Walter was still a student.

By 1919, H. P. Nielsen had retired, and the business became H. P. Nielsen Sons, with sons Harry and Walter in charge of the business.

Here's a city directory ad from 1931. Note that 'optometrists' was now listed as part of the firm's description.

In 1937, Harry Nielsen opened his own jewelry store, with the end result of Lorain having two Nielsen jewelry stores, both offering optometry.

Here's the listings for both stores as they appeared together on the same page of the 1937 city directory.

Next: The rest of the story

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Passing Scene – May 6, 1967


It's been a while since I posted one of Gene Patrick's The Passing Scene cartoons, so here's one that ran on May 6, 1967 – 46 years ago yesterday. (Click on it for a larger view.)

It features some nice caricatures of Mayor "Woody" Mathna and Joseph Zahorec. (Woody prevailed in the election.)

****
The third panel designating May as "clean-up paint-up fix-up month" reminded me that Loraine Ritchey asked me to mention on this blog that May 18th is Lorain Pride Day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. To find out what you can do to help, visit the official website by clicking here.

Volunteers are needed to select an area in the city that they believe needs to be cleaned up and to, well, clean it up! The Lorain County Solid Waste District will provide the trash containers and trash bags, and the City of Lorain will pick up the trash and waste and dispose of it. What a deal!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Going... Going...

There's not much left of the former Admiral King High School, my Alma Mater. This is what was still there (above) on this past Saturday morning. Kind of looks like a cheap motel.

In case you're wondering what part of the building it is, here's a view from the middle of February (below, top) paired with another view of this past weekend.


By George, this has got to be the world's slowest demolition!

Central Bank Then & Now

Ah, I gave one bank (Lorain National) the 'then and now' treatment so here's the other one.

Here's a closeup (above) of that great Central Bank illustration from the 1937 Brookside yearbook ad. The building looks so impressive here; a real center of commerce. It looks like it belongs on Wall Street instead of central Lorain.

And here's the 'now' view, shot fresh this weekend.

Only the columns remain of the former Central Bank – a nice touch by a creative architect. (I'm fairly surprised, though, that they haven't been knocked down by a drunk driver!)

I don't know exactly when the former bank building was razed – I've been unable to find a clipping or mention on the internet. I do know that Central Trust (as the bank was later known) was purchased by Bank One in the early 1990s.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Lorain National Bank Then & Now

I happened to be in Downtown Lorain on Wednesday afternoon and stopped at a light, when I looked up and realized the building in front of me was the same one as in the small National Bank of Lorain ad from the 1937 Brookside yearbook (that I posted yesterday).

So, of course I had to grab a shot while turning the corner (no one was behind me).


Although I don't bank at Lorain National Bank, I've admired this stately building for some time. It looks like a bank should, and gives you confidence that they're going to protect your money, in the same way their neighbor down the street Fifth Third does.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

1937 Brookside Yearbook Ads

I bought this 1937 Brookside High School yearbook – officially called The Leader – on Ebay a few years ago from a seller in Michigan.

While flipping through the book, I found an old black and white photo of some very young children, imprinted with a Christmas greeting and a family name. What was unusual was that I recognized the family's name on the photo, as well as one of the kids as a girl that I had gone to school with in Lorain.

From there it was easy to find the girl's parents in the city directories (I was happy they were still around, and in the same house) and send them back the Christmas card they had mailed about 50 years earlier.

Needless to say they were very surprised and grateful, and sent a very nice thank-you card to me.

****
Anyway, also in that same yearbook were a variety of interesting ads in the back. (I continue to find that old yearbooks provide a great snapshot of local businesses at the time of their publication.)

Whoever was in charge of selling ads did a good job. This book is loaded with ads of well-known Lorain businesses, including The Lorain Journal, Heilman's, the William Seher Company, the Wickens Memorial, Kutza's Pharmacy, Dusky Brothers and H.P. Nielsen. Some have nice little pieces of artwork accompanying their ad copy.

I particularly like the beautiful line art of the Central Bank Company. Does anyone do that sort of rendering today? I doubt it.

Click on each of these for a larger view.