Saturday, December 31, 2022

New Year's Eve 1962 "Don't Drink & Drive" Ad

Well, it's New Year's Eve – and readers of this blog know what that means, heh-heh.

It's time for another ghoulish, vintage 'Don't Drink and Drive' ad that appeared in the Journal in years gone by. Today's classic selection is from December 29, 1962 – sixty years ago. It's appeared on this blog before, but it's a classic in my opinion.

I like the grinning guy wearing the fedora that Death (or the Grim Reaper, if you prefer) has his bony arm around. He looks like your basic Madison Avenue advertising executive circa the 1960s, which means he was probably drinking at work as well.

The ad lacks the gruesome or shock element that others have had (such as the crumpled automobile or more menacing depiction of the Grim Reaper) but it still packs a punch, albeit a tamer one. 

And the roll call of sponsors – viewed in 2022 – is (as usual) a list of long-gone companies, with the exception of Lucas Plumbing.

Anyway, have a safe New Year's Eve.


I've been posting these types of ads (some creepy, some not) for years, when I find them, including 19501955; 1956; 19601961; 19681969; 1971; and a whole collection with 1953, 1957, 1959, and 1967.

Friday, December 30, 2022

New Year's Eve Edition of the Journal – Dec. 31, 1962

Sixty years ago, this was the front page of the Lorain Journal on New Year's Eve 1962. I like the cartoony 'Happy New Year' banner, with the wizened 'Old Year' at the far left, and top-hatted Baby New Year on the right.

There's not a lot of big news in this edition. Probably the biggest story in retrospect is the report of the latest victim of the man later known as the Boston Strangler.

Nationally, the merger of the Chesapeake & Ohio and the Baltimore & Ohio (B&O) was authorized by the Interstate Commerce Commission.

Locally, Lorain City Council had just enacted 'revised salary schedules' for all city employees, as well as authorizing the addition of six firemen, four policemen, an assistant building inspector, three sanitation workers, and one worker each for the health and park departments. The sad passing of Rev. Jerome N. Rohner, pastor of St. Joseph Catholic Church for 33 years, was noted.

Of great interest to Journal readers was the announcement of the welcome gifts for the "First Baby of 1963." Some of the gifts included a floral arrangement from Zelek Flower Shop; two barbecued chickens from Dewey Road Restaurant; portraits from Michaels Studio; a savings account from Citizens Home and Savings Association; and a baby scale from Kline's Department Store.


I noticed several stories and items on that front page had a personal connection to my father. 

Dad's Grandpa Esterle became a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church upon his arrival in this country in the early 1900s. Dad's father was a brakeman on the B&O in the 1930s, and his mother worked at Kline's for her entire adult working career.


Happy New Year From the Ontario Store – Dec. 29, 1962

The Ontario Super Mart (or Ontario Discount Department Store, as it was later known) seems to be fondly remembered by many. Not just in the Lorain area – where the chain started out at 1922 Broadway in 1958 and later moved to Elyria Avenue and State Route 254 – but in Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland as well, thanks to expansion. 

Click here to read a nice history of the chain, and its acquisition in 1964 by the organization that would become Cook United. For the local angle, here's the article that appeared in the Journal on Sept. 22, 1964. (Note that Cook also owned Pick-n-Pay, the subject of yesterday's post.)

But that was still a few years away, when the full-page New Year's themed-ad below appeared in the Lorain Journal on Dec. 29, 1962.

It's a great ad, designed to keep the store in the minds of Lorainites despite the move outside city limits, halfway to Elyria.

My original post on the Ontario Store in 2011 continues to be a popular online destination for people who remember Ontario and the various rebranding it went through here and around Ohio. By 2020, there were more than 40 great comments left on the original 2011 blog post; currently there are more than 60, and there's no sign of slowing down.
Lorain used to be a great place to launch a business, as it was the home of several original stores that led to the creation of regional chains. Besides Ontario, there was Muir's, and Kline's
Of course, that made their eventually closings even more bittersweet.

Pick-n-Pay New Year's Eve Ad – Dec. 26, 1962

Does your menu for New Year's Eve (or Day) include special items in honor of the occasion?

In the Brady household during the 1960s and 70s, shrimp cocktail (with the horseradish sauce of course) was the once-a-year guilty pleasure at our little family party. But I don't remember the New Year's Day fare consisting of pork roast and sauerkraut, which is a tradition for many.

You won't find pork and sauerkraut in this Pick-n-Pay ad that ran in the Journal on December 26, 1962 either. It stresses 'party foods,' including various lunch meats, cheese, Vienna sausage, egg nog, sardines and – appropriately enough – Alka-Seltzer.

I like the clip art of the celebrants, with their party hats and noise makers. 

Mom and Dad used to keep some of those on hand for my siblings and me when we were kids. The plan was to keep us occupied (and awake) during the evening by working on an elaborate puzzle. At midnight, we let loose with the noisemakers as the ball dropped in Times Square on TV, but shortly after that it, it was off to bed with us. 

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Merry Christmas!

Full-page Lorain Telephone Journal Ad
from Dec. 24, 1962

Here's wishing all of you a Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year! Thanks for stopping by here each day to see what's been posted, and to read all the great comments left by our jolly gang of contributors, old and new. 

I'm planning on taking my usual holiday break from daily posting until just before New Year's Eve. That will give me some time to enjoy the season, and also work on some behind-the-scenes preparation for some long-delayed posts (such as the Pueblo, Aqua Marine Resort, Don Hilton's new book and many others). 

Of course, I'll probably be unable to resist the odd post here and there. (Actually, they're all a little odd.) We'll see. But I'll be back in time to post the annual grisly "Don't drink and drive" New Year's Eve effort.

Anyway, here's a full-page retelling of the Christmas story as it appeared in the Journal on December 24, 1972. That's Gene Patrick's well-remembered, classic artwork decorating the page, which includes a photograph of the Nativity scene in the window of Reidy-Scanlan Furniture on Broadway. 

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Holiday Editions of Journal Comics – Dec. 24, 1962

While growing up in the 1960s, I always looked forward to the arrival of the Journal, because I wanted to see what was happening in the comics. Li'l Abner (and its strip-within-a-strip "Fearless Fosdick," was my favorite, but I also enjoyed the other comics, especially Gasoline Alley.

But at Christmas time, the plot lines in many comics (as well as the gag-a-day strips) ground to a halt – allowing the cartoonists and artists a short holiday break, and a chance to wish their readers a Merry Christmas. 

Below is the Christmas Eve edition of the Journal's comic pages in 1962. Many of you will recognize the familiar positions on the page of their favorite strips (such as Blondie at the top of its page), as well as the other features on the page such as Tell Me Why, and the daily crossword puzzle.

Note that Al Capp used his Christmas Eve strip in Li'l Abner to wish "Merry Christmas" to list a roster of "those who made 1962 a merry year." This included other comic strip artists (such as Milt Caniff, Walt Kelly and Charles Schulz); comedians (Bob Hope, Buddy Hackett, Jonathan Winters, Allan Sherman, Bob Newhart, Jackie Gleason); writers (John Steinbeck); actors (Cary Grant, Peter Sellers); and a host of others, including Fidel Castro.

Some strips incorporated Christmas into their plot lines or gags (such as the charming The Ryatts). Others (like Bunion and Mickey Mouse) ignored it entirely. 

(Click on each for a larger, readable version.)

As a bonus, since the Journal didn't publish on Christmas Day, the paper included the Dec. 25th comic pages in that same Christmas Eve edition.

Looking at these pages, I only have one thing to say: How come shapely Lolly's little brother looks just like Beetle Bailey?
I also just remembered that as a kid, I once asked my father what his favorite comic strip was. His answer? B.C. I guess he appreciated its laugh-a-day format and slightly intellectual slant that often required a little bit of thinking to get the gag. 

Journal Front Page – Dec. 24, 1962

Well, it's Christmas Eve and many of us are going to stay in tonight because of the single digit temperatures and snow-covered, icy roads.

Why not take a look at what was on the front page of the Christmas Eve edition of the Journal from December 24, 1962? (There was to be no edition published on Christmas Day.)

There's a lot going on: Operation Ransom down in Cuba, where 1,113 invasion prisoners were being freed in a 'humans for cargo" swap; a White Christmas being forecast for Lorain, which was experiencing temperatures similar to what we have now; a longshoremen strike in New York; a hate crime down in Mississippi, where nightriders riddled the home of James Meredith (who had cracked the long tradition of segregation at the University of Mississippi) with bullets; and a biannual break in the hostilities between the Israelis and the Arabs allowing Christians to make a pilgrimage to Bethlehem to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

All that and a cute seasonal cartoon.

Friday, December 23, 2022

Meyer Goldberg Christmas Ad – Dec. 17, 1962

For many people, getting ready for the holidays means laying in a good stash of groceries to feed a houseful of family and friends. In that case, a full-page ad like this one for the well-remembered Meyer Goldberg grocery store chain would be of particular interest. It ran in the Journal back on December 17, 1962.

That's a nice illustration of Santa Claus about to tie on the feedbag. It captures what the classic, iconic Santa looks like: a jolly guy with a full face, small nose, big cheeks and bushy beard – not what passes for Santa these days on TV commercials, where any guy with a white beard (often trimmed) will do.

Although a turkey is quite noticeable is the Santa cartoon, it's ham that rules the roost in the ad, with a variety of selections including semi-boneless hams, pic-a-nic hams, canned hams and (if you'll pardon the expression) butt portions. Similarly, beef selections include the, er, rump roast. There's even Canadian Bacon, eh?

Anyway, what's interesting about the ad are some of the other sale items, which include Hawaiian Punch, and Kraft's Miracle Whip. 

Miracle Whip is one of those things that many of us grew up with but shunned once we left the family nest. My mother never, ever had mayonnaise in the house – just Miracle Whip. When I asked her years later why, she answered, "Because mayonnaise doesn't have any flavor." Mom made a lot of things like ham salad and bologna surprise (a sandwich spread) that called for some kind of salad dressing, and it was always Miracle Whip that she used. There's a similar old-time product called Spin Blend that has that tangy flavor as well. 


And here's wishing longtime blog contributor and all-around great guy Alan Hopewell a Happy Birthday today, and an early Merry Christmas too!

Thursday, December 22, 2022

High School Holiday Scenes – December 1962

Although Lorain has been one of Ohio's larger cities for some time, it sure seemed like a small town while I was growing up. That's because the Journal did a good job of covering the entire city and presenting a sense of unity to its readers. Back then, everyone read the Journal and it was the heart of the community.

Here's a good example, from Christmas 1962. It's a full-page of photos depicting students at the various area high schools decorating for the holidays, with scenes from Lorain High School, Admiral King High School, Clearview High School and St. Mary High School. It ran in the paper on December 29, 1962.

From Lorain High School, we have student Sharyn Bacsi decorating a tree; and guidance counselors Mrs. Lillian Leimbach and Mrs. Nyla Pace getting their office ready for the holidays.

From Admiral King High School, students Terry Hollett, Barbara Garska, Susan Krase and Glenn Lucas decorate a student council tree that would be donated to a needy family.

From Clearview High School, students Howard Deliman and Kathy Stumphauzer are shown making a bow for a package to go under the school's Christmas tree in the main lobby; and students Dan Cain and Marie Yuresko posing with a turkey dinner, the special lunch served in the three schools that make up the Clearview District.

And finally, from St. Mary High School, we have French class members Ron Etzkorn, Mary Anne Meyer, Linda Connell, Dave Dombrosky and Bari Lynn Baxter performing an original French Christmas play; students Mary Anne Meyer and Mary Brosky decorating a bulletin board; and Pat Koba, James Balcik, Dave Tomsco, Ray Bialik and Donna Attie participating in an Advent wreath ceremony.

Collectively, the cute, posed photos depict a wholesome image that's almost surreal, like something out of Archie comics. But they mirror the city at that time and create a nice holiday feeling. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Another One Bites the Dust

A Google Maps view

Courtesy Morning Journal
I was a little dismayed to find out that the house at 2782 Oberlin Avenue was demolished about a week ago. 

I found out through one of the little 'teaser' emails that the Morning Journal sends out to entice people to subscribe. The address of the house mentioned in the email made me wonder if it was the same old farmhouse that I had written about back here in 2012; sure enough, it was. Apparently it had suffered a fire and had been more or less abandoned.

It's kind of sad that a landmark from the days when that stretch of Oberlin Avenue was mostly farms is now gone. The house was a reminder of the times when the City Limits was at Meister Road, and Black River Township lay beyond. 

Anyway, if you look closely while driving Oberlin Avenue between Meister and Cooper Foster Park Road, you can still see a few farmhouses that have somehow survived, including the old Neuman farmhouse. Click here and here to read about some of the other houses.

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

December Snowstorms – 1962 and 1972

Well, a major winter storm is predicted for the Midwest later this week, which is unusual for our area before Christmas. So it's a good time to look back at two memorable December snowstorms: one in 1962 and the other in 1972.

Below is the front page of the December 6, 1962 Journal.

As the lead article notes, "The worst winter storm since 1950 dumped up to nine inches of snow in the area Thursday, paralyzing traffic, communications and business.

"Motorists who left their homes Thursday during the early evening found themselves faced with a driver's nightmare upon returning home just a few hours later. Every street and intersection in the area was clogged with stalled and abandoned autos left behind by grumbling, disgruntled motorists. 
"Countians who journeyed into Cleveland were forced to spend the night there almost by police order. Traffic became so snarled in Cleveland that the police urged motorists to check into hotels or spend the night in their cars, rather than add to the crippling traffic jam."
Another front page article noted that "virtually all industries in Lorain County were shut down today because the heavy snow kept thousands of workers from getting to their jobs.
"The giant National Tube Division, Lorain Works, was forced to keep workers on the job overtime in the hot ends where continuous operation is a vital necessity."
All of the schools in Lorain, Huron, Erie and Cuyahoga counties were closed, with the exception of the nursing schools.
Ten years later, the area was hit with a winter storm that was more bone-chilling than one to require a lot of shoveling. Here's the front page of the December 16, 1972 Journal.
As the story explains, "Weathermen were predicting area temperatures could plunge as low as zero tonight.
"There was a chance of snow flurries in the northern part of the state after a snowstorm left up to half a foot of snow.
"In Lorain, Erie and Huron counties today, several inches of snow coated the ground – leading to slick roads and accidents in many places.
"In Cleveland, where more than six inches of snow fell yesterday, city streets were still slippery although traffic was light and few problems were reported."
At Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, a jumbo jetliner skidded on a snow-covered runway, with no injuries.
It's interesting comparing the two front pages. While they both contain several stories, the trend of less articles and bigger photos (to eat up space) was already in motion by 1972.  
At least both of them had Today's Chuckle.

Monday, December 19, 2022

Christmas Stockings Article – Dec. 6, 1962

Well, Christmas is about week away – so it's a good time for this article. It's all about how the custom of hanging Christmas stockings on the mantle got started. It appeared in the Journal back on December 6, 1962.

And since some of you have expressed an interest in seeing the whole Journal page from whence I extracted my articles, I included it here.

Among the ads is one for the Holiday Inn Steak House, which I wrote about back here, and the Sky-Lite Bar, subject of this post. There's also an ad for McGarvey's Party House, located in the O'Neil-Sheffield Shopping Center, with my fellow Biz Grove bandmate Kenny Lorence performing with his Trio.

The Howard Johnson's on West Erie (now home to Chris' Restaurant) was serving up a roast chicken dinner with potato, vegetable, rolls, beverage and – natcherly – your choice of Howard Johnson's famous ice cream. And the 333 Bar had a fish fry featuring fresh caught Lake Erie Fish (wonder what kind?) with golden brown French Fries, Cole slaw, bread and butter for 65 cents.

There's plenty of juicy news if you like to know about local break-ins (Crime Report) or who was in a fender bender (City Traffic Accidents). 

But there's also some very tragic news about a Sandusky toddler who choked to death on some marbles and a Cleveland girl who died from injuries apparently caused by a parent. (My heart goes out to both families who undoubtedly don't want to be reminded of these sad events of sixty years ago.)


Back then, despite its size, Lorain was a small town and the Journal covered all of its goings-on, including an upcoming Christmas party for the Lake Erie Chapter of Ohio Credit Unions, as well as local attendees of the Ohio Civil Defense Council meeting of a few days earlier in Delaware, Ohio.

On area movie screens, we have Jackie Gleason starring in Gigot at the Tivoli. I remember seeing this on TV and not liking it too much. I'm not a big fan of pathos. (And I've never liked it when comedians such as Jackie Gleason or comic actors (such as Robin Williams or Tom Hanks) decide that they want to be dramatic actors and never make a funny movie again.)

There's also Geronimo with Chuck Connors (hey, that was on GRIT TV recently) at the Dreamland; No Man is An Island and Man in the Moon at the Ohio; and The Manchurian Candidate at the Palace.

Friday, December 16, 2022

Delis Bros. Christmas Ad – Dec. 6, 1962

After a couple of days of truly wretched-looking Santa's, here's one that's a little more palatable to close out the week. This ad for Delis Bros. Furniture ran in the Journal back on December 6, 1962.

The Santa illustration is bold, simple and modern – just like what you would find in those Harry Volk clip art books. We had a whole collection of them dating back from the 1950s at my old job, and I used them a lot, giving my work a real retro vibe.

Courtesy Bart Solenthaler and
But getting back to Delis Bros. I did a previous post about the business back here.

Looking at the December 1962 ad, it's kind of interesting that specific styles of furniture are promoted, such as Early American. Does anyone still decorate their home in that style? Mom used to make fun of it, saying that all it took to make something Early American (such as a lamp) was to slap an eagle decal on it.
Mom's preference was French Provincial, which never made a whole lot of sense to me since she was German. But that's what she liked, and she researched it carefully (I've found a paperback in the basement about it.) She made sure everything in the house was coordinated and fit in the design scheme.
As for my taste in furniture, I guess you could call it Early Levine's.

Thursday, December 15, 2022

O'Neil - Sheffield Center Christmas Ad – Dec. 6, 1962

As I mentioned yesterday, images of Santa Claus in newspaper ads found in the Journal radically changed during the early 1960s. There was a deliberate attempt by advertisers to present something new and different, perhaps reflecting the change in decades.

Here's a really good example. This offbeat Santa was the focal point of an ad for the O'Neil - Sheffield Center.

I actually mistook his round cheeks with the crosshatch design for his eyes – making me think he resembled a (yechhh) common house fly. But his closed eyes are the U-shaped slits on both sides of his tiny nose.

Ironically, the odd layout and distracting illustration of the jolly old elf almost overshadow the mention of the very thing that most of remember fondly at that shopping center: the Talking Christmas Tree.
"Youngsters talk to our glittering 50-ft. Norway Spruce... and it answers back!" reads the ad copy.
Christmas at O'Neil - Sheffield Center has been mentioned on this blog several times, with posts spotlighting  1954; 19551959;  1960; and 1963

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Scoggin Ford Christmas Ads – December 1962

Santa Claus was depicted in a variety of ways in newspaper advertising as the 1950s gave way to the 1960s. The classic depiction of the jolly old elf started to be replaced in favor of newer graphic renditions that mirrored the modern, changing times.

Here's a good example. A pair of ads in a Ford campaign (sponsored locally by Scoggin Ford of Avon Lake) utilize a downright offbeat version of Santa Claus.

This ad with Santa on a unicycle ran in the Journal on December 6, 1962.

1963 Falcons, Ford Fairlanes, Ford Galaxies and Thunderbirds are the models being promoted. The small image of a Ford in the background seems like it might have been a response to some creative director asking, "Aren't you even going to show a car in the ad?"

This ad (below), which ran in the Journal about a week later on December 13, 1962 is hilarious. It depicts Santa as a flasher!

The ad copy humorously notes "Imagine the surprise when your family sees this gift – a new, beautiful, sparkling Christmas Ford." Again, the small image of a Ford seems like an afterthought.
It's hard to imagine a modern Ford campaign utilizing illustration (especially one with Santa looking like a dirty old man).
Today the former Scoggin Ford location is home to Nick Mayer Ford.

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Middendorf Discount Toy Basement Ad – Dec. 3, 1962

Toys have certainly changed over the years.

It seems to me there used to be two types: timeless toys that were simply fun (often requiring some physical activity), and toys that allowed kids to use their imagination and mimic grownups.

You see both of them in this ad for Middendorf Discount Toy Basement, which was part of Middendorf Pharmacy, located at 2051 Broadway. The ad ran in the Journal on December 3, 1962.

On the 'pure fun' side of things, you see roller skates, which never seem to go out of style, as well as coloring books and puzzles. 

And then there are the toys that allowed the kids to fantasize about what they might want to grow up to be: baby buggies, strollers and dolls (for future mothers); an IDEAL Ride-a-Tank (for future soldiers); a toy piano (for future concert pianists); toy cash registers (for future store employees); and a toy telephone (for future spam callers).

With a nod to the TV watching kids, there is a TV Stool for $1.99. There's one on eBay right now that somehow survived the past sixty years.

And there's even a toy in the ad that we had in the Brady household: the Kenner Super Show Projector

Images courtesy of
The Kenner Super Show Projector allowed you to project color comic strip slides (mostly TV cartoon favorites) on the wall for a primitive show of sorts. 
It could also function as an overhead projector so that you could present your own drawings on the wall. We did this a lot in the Brady household, and it made for some fun evenings. It probably encouraged my love of drawing as well.

The weirdest thing about the Super Show Projector was that it came with jointed, cardboard "puppets" that you could manipulate offscreen using the long, attached 'handles.' We had the Rocky and Bullwinkle versions shown below, as well as Popeye and Brutus (or Bluto if you prefer). 

I don't remember ever using these things. They were so odd-looking that we didn't know how to operate them!


(I also wrote about our Kenner projector back here in a 2012 blog post.)

Monday, December 12, 2022

Journal Front Page – December 3, 1962

Sixty years ago this month, Lorain County was dealing with the inconsistent enforcement of the Blue Law, which prohibited most businesses from being open on Sundays.

It made for quite a mess.

As you can see from this front page of the Journal from December 3, 1962, some stores – such as Hills Department Store in Lorain – voluntarily were closed. But others, such as the Ontario Discount Store on State Route 254, just outside of Lorain city limits, remained open.

Lawsons – which had sponsored the failed Issue 1, which would have allowed its stores to operate on Sundays – cooperated with the Blue Law, with all seven of its local stores closed on Sunday.

In view of all the confusion and noncompliance, the Lorain City Prosecutor called for a moratorium on the closing of businesses in Lorain "until there is uniform enforcement of the Sunday closing law in Lorain County and throughout the state."

Elsewhere on the front page, the Russians were beginning to remove their bombers from Cuba; a train carrying "a secret, guarded shipment for the Atomic Energy Commission" derailed north of Marietta, Georgian; Pope John XXIII was recovering from a week of stomach problems and anemia; and of course, Today's Chuckle.

With the holiday season underway, the Journal was including a small graphic at the bottom of the page indicating the number of shopping days till Christmas. (I wonder if the tally included Sundays?)

And in the Index, it was noted that the annual Christmas story for kids (broken up in daily chapters) was beginning that day, namely "Mr. Shnoo's Zoo."

The second installment of Mr. Shnoo's Zoo
from Dec. 4, 1962

Friday, December 9, 2022

Phone Company Santas – Dec. 8, 1962

A few days ago I posted a 1962 newspaper ad for Lee Furniture, observing that the Santa Claus artwork was somewhat ancient.

For comparison, here is a pair of 1962 ads for two telephone companies – the Elyria Telephone Company and the Lorain Telephone Company – that each feature Santa Claus artwork. Both ads ran in the Journal on December 8, 1962.
The Elyria Telephone ad has the somewhat realistic Santa illustration typical of 1960s clip art. Interestingly, the phone artwork looks suspiciously like it was grafted onto the bag of gifts.

The ad copy encourages shoppers to add an extension phones in the kitchen, "beside Dad's easy chair," in a teenager's room or any bedroom for that matter.
The Lorain Telephone ad features a much more modern and stylized version of Santa Claus combined with typical line art of telephones. The ad copy is simple and direct: "Of course I give color telephones – doesn't everyone?"
Looking back at both ads, it's ironic that the phones in those ads would still be usable today (if the house or residence has phone jacks, like mine). 
Giving a telephone as a gift would still be a great present today, but at a much greater cost (with the cheapest iPhone running for around $430, and the most expensive at around $1,700 bucks). And they have planned obsolescence built right into them (at no extra cost, of course).

Thursday, December 8, 2022

National Tube & Lorain Slag Photo – December 1962

No big story today – just a nice reminder of the days when Lorain was an industrial giant. It's a photo of the steel mill and salt heap from the W. 21st Street Bridge. As the caption notes, "The billowing black smoke from the Lorain Slag Co. and the National Tube Division, Lorain Works darkens the early morning sun-lit sky and blends with pinks, oranges, golds, blues and grays of sunrise. The photo was taken by Journal photographer Norman Bergsma at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday from the Central High Level Bridge at one-eighth of a second at f/11.

The photo ran in the Journal back on December 7, 1962. It's a pity the photo isn't in color.

Chief Photographer Norm Bergsma's work has been featured many times on this blog. The photographer himself was the subject of a post as well back here. Here's the 1968 photo from that post.

Much has changed in the world of photography since that 1962 photo.

Drones make it possible to get fantastic aerial photos easily without renting a plane or having to find a vantage point like a bridge or high building. And HDR (high dynamic range) photography makes it easy for a so-so photographer to create mind-blowing images that are absolutely surreal.

As for me, I'm not a fan of HDR photos. They're simply too phoney-baloney looking, although they are very popular when posted on Facebook.

I'm nostalgic for the days when I took my Pentax K-1000 SLR camera and roamed Central Ohio while playing hooky from Ohio State for the day. I'd shoot cows (with my camera) as well as a variety of rural vistas, creating black and white photo compositions while trying to remember which F-stop settings to use to give me the effect I wanted.

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Lee Furniture Christmas Ad – November 13, 1962

Remember the Lee Furniture newspaper ad that I posted around Election Day? It featured the Republican elephant and Democratic donkey prominently at the top of the page.

Well, those two political icons make cameo appearances in this ad for the furniture company, which ran in the Journal on November 13, 1962 with a Christmas theme. The political pair make incongruous showings in the 'carpet' portion of the ad, while the donkey flies solo in the appliance box. I wonder if anyone reading the ad noticed – or cared?

The strangest thing about the ad (to me at least, reflecting my graphic design background) is the ancient Santa Claus and reindeer artwork at the top of the ad. At a time when many companies were employing totally modern images of St. Nick in their ads that reflected the changing times, Lee's ad seems to look backwards towards the 1920s or 30s.

Anyway, as usual it's interesting to see the prices back then. Sixty years ago, a whole bedroom set including a double dresser, mirror, bookcase bed, and chest was priced at $88. (That's 886 clams today, using one of those inflation calculators.)

I'd never heard of a bookcase bed before, but after looking at a few pictures on Google, I think I could use one. It looks perfect for stashing things quickly for a quick decluttering.

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Hot Dog! Love Them Giant Santas!

Large, fiberglas Santa Claus figures mounted in front of (or on top of) commercial businesses have been part of the seasonal landscape in Northeast Ohio since at least the early 1960s.

I devoted a whole post to this holiday phenomenon back here.

The most well-known example locally is the one displayed each year by the good folks at Hot Dog Heaven in Amherst (shown above in 2021). That particular Santa Claus holds a book and a pen, and is identical to the one that was out at Oakwood Shopping Center in 1960.

And this year, Santa is back at his familiar post in front of the restaurant.

But just how long has Santa been hotdogging it in Amherst?

Here's the earliest ad that I could find promoting the Santa figure. It appeared in the Journal on December 8, 1984.

A story in the Morning Journal of December 13, 1991 reveals some information. It notes, "In the front yard of Hot Dog Heaven, Amherst, is a jolly, happy Santa that stops the traffic and the school buses full of smiling faces who slow down to stare at him. He's 13-feet tall, weighs 300 pounds and is made of fiberglas. Jack O'Flanagan, owner, says, "The children and adults just love to see him out there. It takes four of us approximately two hours to put him up each year, but it's worth it."

The article continues, "Jack isn't sure how old Santa really is, as he purchased him 10 years ago from a gentleman in Lorain who had him for four years. Seems the man had bought a building in Lorain and found Santa on the roof. He's been on display ever since."

Anyway, I've been wondering for a while just where that Hot Dog Heaven Santa Claus came from.

And here's a possible lead, although I have no way of knowing for sure. It's from the Sunday, December 17, 1972 Lorain Journal and shows a new east side business – with a Santa on the roof holding a book and pen, in the same style as the one in front of Hot Dog Heaven.

The caption notes, "Swinging into the holiday season with Santa is one of Lorain's newest businesses, the Swing In Beverage store at 825 East Erie Avenue. Owners Mr. and Mrs. James Hambly took over a store that had been vacant for three years to create the drive-through type beverage store."

Today, the building is home to D&D Coins & Jewelry.
Anyway, it would be interesting to know for sure if the Hot Dog Heaven Santa Claus spent some time promoting liquor before his current gig helping to sell frankfurters.

Monday, December 5, 2022

House at 1033 E. Erie Ave. Revisited – Dec. 1962

When I saw the photograph of the wintery scene above in the December 14, 1962 Journal, I knew I had written about that house before on this blog. The fine, old mansion at 1033 E. Erie Avenue on Lorain's east side is instantly recognizable to anyone who travels that stretch of U.S. Route 6.

As the caption notes, "The home of Charles Martin, 1033 E. Erie Ave., with its surrounding blanket of snow makes a typical Christmas card scene. The black clouds in the background failed to dump the heavy snow which was predicted for Thursday night. The home is the Atty. Charles Adams homestead."

Naturally, I wanted to see what I had written about the house before. But when I used the 'search' function on my own blog, I couldn't locate the old post among the more than 3,500 old ones. I had neglected to include the address of the house in my "Then & Now" photo comparison – making it hard to find. But I found it eventually (click here to visit that 2010 post).

Anyway, here is a vintage photo circa 1903 of the house from that 2010 post.

And here's a modern shot courtesy of the Lorain County Auditor website.

On my original post, it was noted that in 1903 the house was owned by Geo. L. Glitsch, who was employed by the law firm of Thompson, Glitsch & Cinniger. The 1962 photo caption refers to it as the Charles Adams homestead.
I found a reference in an October 17, 1922 Lorain Journal to attorney Charles Adams of Lorain. Maybe he sold his house to a fellow attorney, Geo. Glitsch.