Friday, February 28, 2020

Elyria's Leap Year Twins – Feb. 1960

Tomorrow is February 29, a date which we all know only comes around in a leap year, every four years.

Well, here's a cute story from the pages of the Lorain Journal from the leap year of 1960. It's about Harry and Thomas Wallace of Elyria – twins born on Feb. 29, 1912.

The article points out that since they only celebrate their birthday every four years, the middle-aged men were just turning twelve in 1960.

Here's the article as it appeared in the Journal on Feb. 15th, 1960. Although they were twins, they were quite different in likes and dislikes, as the article humorously notes.

Both men served their country during World War II; Tom in the Navy, and Harry in the Army.

Thomas passed away in May 2000, and Harry followed in 2005.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Old Log Cabin Whiskey Ads – Feb. 1950

Gee, this is turning out to be a pretty boozy week here on the blog. Oh well, (hic!) let’s get to it.

Back in February 1950, the Lorain Journal was still a drinking man’s newspaper. I’ve mentioned before how the paper back then was full of ads for hard liquor every day.

The brand whose advertising appealed to me the most was Old Log Cabin Whiskey. (I wrote about it before, back here, as well as here.)

The ads were both charming and manly. Here’s one that ran in the Journal on February 3, 1950.

I love the typography, as well as the imagery. The log cabin in the ad is a great symbol, depicting a cozy, comfortable refuge from the cold.
The same feeling is being evoked in this ad (below), which ran in the paper four days later on February 7, 1950. A slightly different layout, but the message is the same.
Seventy years later, today’s whiskey drinkers seem to have gone soft – or elitist. You can buy whiskeys flavored with exotic flavors such as cinnamon, apple, honey, peach and even peanut butter (yuck). (The honey flavor sounds good, though.)
But Old Log Cabin is still around for those flannel-shirt wearing men who smoke pipes, chop their own wood and prefer to drink alone in their woodland refuge.
Courtesy Batch 206 Distillery
Here’s the link to the website for Batch 206 Distillery, the current makers of Old Log Cabin.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Carling's Black Label Ad – Feb. 26, 1950

Yesterday the blog paid a visit to Stone's Grill in Downtown Lorain circa 1950. Well, here's an ad for something that might have been served there: Carling's Black Label.

This particular ad took up 3/4 of a page of the February 26, 1950 edition of the Lorain Journal – 70 years ago today.

Black Label Beer has been a favorite topic on this blog for quite a while.

The ad is interesting to me because it's from the time period before the brand adopted its iconic label design (shown below) circa 1955.

Seventy years later, the label design seems to be in flux. The art on the can available locally is still designed with a nod toward the beer's Canadian heritage.
But it looks like the latest bottle design in the U. S. (that is, if the internet is to be trusted) looks quite nice, a refreshed version of the classic label.
The Canadian products supposedly look like this (below). I looked for some the last time I was in Windsor but was unable to scare up any. (And I was afraid to ask the clerk lest I look like some kind of hoser.)

Over in England, the brand goes simply by a shortened name: Carling. And here's what it looks like there. I’ll bet it goes great with fish and chips.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Stone's Grill Ad – 1950

Back in December (here), I mentioned Stone's Grill on my post about the Helfrich building.

From about 1929, Stone's Grill was located at 822 Broadway. Then in 1950 or so, the business apparently moved right next door to 818 Broadway.

And that's where Stone's Grill was located when this ad (below) appeared in the Lorain Journal back in January 1950.
Note that at the bottom of the ad, it says that it is "Next to Russine [sic]."

The ad's interesting for a few reasons. Predating today's ubiquitous sports bars, Stone's had a 'life size' RCA Television with a 6x8 foot screen, all the better to watch wrestling, boxing and other sports, in addition to musicals and dramas. (Although Tom & Jerry were listed in the ad, the battling cat-and-mouse's cartoons were not part of the bar's TV viewing options; for the uninformed, Tom & Jerry is also the name of a drink.)

What caught my eye in the ad was the unusual heading with its negative image.

Of course, I had to take it into Photoshop to reverse it. And here's the result.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Arthur Treacher’s Opens in Lorain – Feb. 1970

Fifty years ago this week, Arthur Treacher’s Fish & Chips opened on West 21st Street in Lorain, right across from the Westgate Shopping Center.

Here’s the article that appeared in the Journal on Sunday, February 22, 1970 – two days before the Tuesday opening.

It sounds like the fish and chips served at Arthur Treacher’s was pretty authentic. According to the Journal article, the great grandson of the man who opened the first fish and chips shop in London in the mid-1800s was involved with the Arthur Treacher’s organization.
Here’s a teaser ad that appeared in the Journal on February 26, 1970 announcing that the restaurant was now open. The ad was as tall as a full page of the paper.
Arthur Treacher’s is a well-remembered part of Lorain’s fast food restaurant past. My original 2011 blog entry on the W. 21st Street store is one of my all-time most visited posts. Click here to revisit it, and find out how long the store was open, and what came later.
Today, sadly, the former restaurant building on W. 21st Street is a forlorn site. Somehow it’s managed to evade the ever-popular Lorain wrecking ball (or excavator, if you prefer).
The only indication that this was an Arthur Treacher’s
is this entrance sign with the original Old English lettering
If you have a taste for Arthur Treacher’s, there’s still one on Rockside Road in Garfield Heights, by Jove!

Friday, February 21, 2020

Feb. 1970 – Sandy Goes Back to Blonde

Sandy circa 1965
Yesterday I wrote about a platinum blonde named Dolly. And strangely enough, today's post is about another blonde: Sandy, the Scottish mascot lassie of the long-gone Sandy's Hamburgers fast-food chain (of which there were two outlets in Lorain).

Sandy circa 1968
For a restaurant chain that hasn't been around Lorain (or anywhere) since the early 1970s, I sure write about it a lot. But it's getting pretty difficult to find anyone who remembers it besides me.

Anyway, when the Sandy's chain started out in the 1960s, Sandy was a winsome blonde. But at some point, the decision was made to make her a brunette. Maybe it was in the interest of realism.

That's the new Sandy at right. Why does she remind me of Elizabeth Montgomery – another blonde?

Nevertheless, in the ad below, which appeared in the Lorain Journal on February 23, 1970, Sandy was depicted once again as a blonde.

Hoot mon, the whole thing became moot anyway because within the next few years, Sandy's was bought out and merged with Hardee's – who had no mascot at all.

Here's a pretty good little mini-documentary about Sandy's. It even features an ad from this blog for the Grand Opening of the Sandy's on Meister Road.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Hello, Dolly O'Day

One thing that always strikes me when I’m scrolling through microfilm of the Lorain Journal from the 1950s and 60s is how vibrant Lorain’s and the surrounding area’s nightlife used to be. In addition to all the local bands and combos, there seemed to be a steady parade of various entertainers and musical acts passing through while on the road making a living.

I’ve highlighted a few of those entertainers, including Woody Ernhart, who was appearing at Ben Hart’s Show Bar back in January 1963.

I also did a post about Zsu Zsa and the “Don’t Stop Go” Review, who appeared at Benny’s China Gate (a later incarnation of Ben Hart’s nighclub) in June 1965.

Well, here’s another entertainer that passed through Lorain County, although a little earlier than the two performers mentioned above. Dolly O’Day, “Continental Star of Stage & Screen” made appearances at Richi’s Tavern (the subject of its own post here) back in February 1952.

Here are two ads for Miss Day’s burlesque act that ran in the Lorain Journal – the first on February 8, 1952 and the second on February 11th.
As you can see from the ad copy, Miss Day’s gimmick was her platinum blonde hair, which was insured by Lloyd’s of London for $10,000.
Later during the same year, this small item in the October 25, 1952 Billboard appeared. It notes that Miss Day, “featured strip and burly first-timer of the blond miniature variety, is being spot-booked on the circuits. She comes from lengthy nitery engagements at the Silver Frolics, Chicago; Paddock, Miami Beach, and others in Tampa, Fla., where she has her home not far away from Jessica Rogers.”
There’s not much information about Dolly online; just a few mentions in men’s magazines, as well as in a book by Jack Espinosa looking back at his days as a comic and emcee. It looks like her heyday was the early 1950s.
If Dolly is still out there somewhere, here’s hoping that she has had a good life since her dancing days ended.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Feb. 1970 – Supermarkets Headed for Extinction?

This serene scene was predicted to go the way of the Dodo Bird, according
to the article below. Hey, isn’t that the little girl from The Bad Seed?
Here's an interesting article from the February 27, 1970 edition of the Journal. It explored the possibility that the ritual of going to the supermarket, shopping for groceries and then hauling them home in the family car might eventually become a thing of the past.

It turns out the article was ahead of its time in predicting the growth in popularity of having groceries delivered to the home. Of course, the internet wasn't invented yet in 1970.  So the prediction was that the ordering would be done by telephone.

A variety of reasons (such as a lack of time or transportation) are making home delivery a very desirable option today using various apps such as Shipt, Instacart and Google Express.

Anyway, here’s the article, by Carl Miller of United Press International.

Will Supermarkets Be Replaced by Home Delivery?
United Press International

The supermarket, which currently receives the lion’s share of America’s food dollars, may be headed for extinction.

It probably will be replaced by the end of this century with home delivery services, small neighborhood specialty stores and prepared food outlets, according to a researcher at Battelle Memorial Institute.

“Housewives’ shopping patterns are changing,” Gerald Collings, a research economist at Battelle, told UPI. “They want more convenient, quicker shopping to give them more leisure time.”

Collings said a preliminary study of consumer food shopping habits by Battelle showed a definite trend away from supermarket buying. Conversely, the study showed an increase in catalog sales, telephone ordering and home deliveries.

The supermarket came into being to give the housewife a vast array of goods to choose from, Collings said.

HOWEVER, the acceptance in recent years of proven-quality brand names and labels makes home delivery workable, he said, not only of staple products, but meats, vegetables and pastries as well.

“If she knows the canned soup, cube steak or cream pie she orders this time will be the same as the one she ordered a week ago, she doesn’t need to see it before she buys it,” Collings said.

When home delivery becomes the chief method for consumers to obtain food, small, neighborhood specialty food shops and prepared food outlets will appear in great numbers according to Collings.

The specialty shops will provide the “pickup” items nearly everyone forgets at the market as well as fancy cuts of meat and other items the customer prefers to shop for individually.

The prepared food business, which already is growing by leaps and bounds, will reach a point where there may be as many outlets as there are service stations today, Collings predicted.

He said the logistics of home delivery of food should present no problem.

Delivery would be from a central warehouse from which the consumer would order by telephone. Video – phones or closed circuit television could allow the customer to view any or all of her order if she was so desired.

Collings believes the cost of home food delivery would equal or be less than the current expense of supermarketing. Food prices also would either be comparable or lower, he said.

He pointed out that home delivery would not lend itself to “impulse buying” which help boost profits of supermarkets. But neighborhood stores would benefit from this.

“Food processors and distributors will have to develop some new techniques to stimulate buying,” he said.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Space Ship at Oakwood Shopping Center – Feb. 1960

Back in 1960, the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union was just getting underway, with each country having launched their first satellites only a few years earlier, and NASA itself being founded in 1958.

Thus it was the perfect time for the promotional ad shown above for Oakwood Shopping Center announcing that “The World’s First Space Ship” had landed there that morning. The ad ran in the Journal on February 19, 1960.

Whoever designed the ad had a great sense of humor. The copy notes that the space ship had been to Mars – and then in tiny print it points out that it was Mars, Pennsylvania.

And about that space ship. What was the story behind it?

I suspect that it was the same space ship shown in the Columbus Dispatch item below from May 21, 1967. That one was at Northland Shopping Center in Columbus and was also 70 feet long. The photo caption points out the spacecraft “is really the fuselage of a pre-World War II C-46.”

And here’s a photo of a C-46. It’s not hard to imagine it being modified to look like a rocket.
Anyway, it was a very creative promotion and probably a lot of fun for the kiddies, since the country was space-happy at that time.
Did you see Oakie the Squirrel in the Oakwood Shopping Center ad? For a few years, he appeared quite regularly in ads for the shopping center. But he never had his likeness painted on a building like Pearl the Squirrel.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Washington’s Birthday Sale Ads – 1960

It’s Presidents’ Day – a federal holiday honoring all of our presidents, especially George Washington, whose birthday was the original focus of the date.

But back in 1960, Washington’s Birthday was simply celebrated without the ‘Presidents’ Day’ naming confusion. Thus, it was ripe (as it is now) to be used as a sales theme.

The funny thing is, almost all of the sales adopted the same theme: that George Washington cut down a cherry tree with a hatchet when he was just a kid.

Did Washington really cut down a cherry tree and then refuse to lie about his dirty deed? Read all about it here on the National Park Service website and decide for yourself. It seems like it’s possible to me.

But in the meantime, let’s celebrate the Father of Our Country’s birthday with this comical collection of ad headings culled from the pages of the Lorain Journal back in February 1960.

The Downtown Merchants Association promoted its sale with this large ad. Note how Ol’ George seems to be without his wooden teeth.

The same illustration of Washington was used in its entirety in this illustration used in an ad for Harry’s Mens Wear
Kline’s ignores the cherry tree myth entirely with its use of George beating the drum for the sale based on his natal day. He’s not showing any teeth, though.
An umbrella header for the Journal’s automotive ads shows a mildly demented-looking adult Washington sharpening his axe.
At least the ad for Stillman-Deutsch Furniture - Appliance depicted a youthful George, hatchet in hand, right at the point of yelling, “Timber!”
Perhaps the most interesting sales ad was for Reidy-Scanlan Co. The store advertised that George Washington himself would be at the store to help with the store’s annual Early American furniture sale. (The ad points out that the costumed character would be played by Chester Hanzel, the factory representative for “Light House Lamps.”)
And in case you think you’re experiencing a “Groundhog Day” bout of déja vu, I did similar posts back here (with 1957 ads) in 2013, as well as here in 2018 (with 1958 ads). 
I also noted how Porky Pig’s Birthday pushed Washington’s Birthday out of the limelight in 1957 back here.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Here’s hoping you have a great Valentine’s Day, however you spend it.

If this was 1960, you might have been considering taking your honey to Brady’s Restaurant on Leavitt Road near W. 21st Street. (Today the restaurant’s former location is the empty lot between Burger King and Marco’s Pizza.)

Brady’s Restaurant will be revisited as a blog topic here very soon.

Speaking of honey, while looking at vintage valentine cards online in preparation for this post, I stumbled over these two bee-autiful examples, both featuring bees.
Courtesy V. Desjardins
Although the puns used on both hardly left me buzzing with excitement, what caught my eye was that both of the winged & striped honey-makers were dead-ringers for the early version of our pal Billy Bee, advertising mascot for Billy Bee Honey, the favorite of our friends in the Great White North.
Billy Bee when he was just a baby bee
Billy Bee today
I did a whole post about the un-bee-lievable resemblance between Billy Bee and other bees used in advertising back here.
Lastly, thinking of Valentine’s Day brought back some funny memories of how the holiday was observed in our first grade class at Masson Elementary School in Lorain.
Remember how we had to buy a box of valentines with enough cards that we could give one to every other kid (even those of the same sex) in the class, as well as the teacher?
Most of the pun-ny cards were pretty generic, but with charming illustrations.
There was usually a special one with a slightly more ‘mushy’ sentiment that you would give to someone you had a crush on. We also had to make and decorate a ‘mailbox’ to hold the valentines we received.
I don’t remember the valentines having any well-known cartoon characters on them like they do now. Later, Disney and Hanna-Barbara licensed their creations for use. 
I like these ones with Huckleberry Hound and Yogi Bear.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Ice Harvesting in the Old Days

It’s been kind of a mild winter so far – which is fine with me.

But in the old days, that would have been a disaster for those who made their living as icemen, cutting ice from the lake.

Read all about it in this great article (below) that ran on the front page of the Lorain Journal on Deb. 11, 1950 – 70 years ago this week.

The article looks back at those old days, and the evolution of the ice business since then. It includes comments from old-timer Charles Grescher, who started in the ice business with Lorain’s Crystal Ice Company back in 1908.

Click here to read my 2015 five-part series on the Crystal Ice Company, which was mentioned in the article.