Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Mastodon in Brownhelm Township

It's pretty interesting that a massive glacial boulder was found last week by an excavation crew digging for sanitary sewer lines along Indian Hollow Road. (You can read about it here on the Chronicle-Telegram website.) Those kinds of stories – of people digging and unexpectedly coming up with traces of Lorain County's prehistoric past – used to be much more common decades ago.

And here's one of those stories, which has been retold with some regularity but with little detail. It appeared in the Lorain Journal back on January 18, 1929 and is about the remains of a mastodon that was found on the B. C. French family farm in Brownhelm Township. 

As the article notes, "The discovery was made by some men who were digging a drainage ditch on the farm. When about three feet below the surface a spade struck something hard and the men were attracted by the peculiar sound. They examined further and found it to be a portion of an ivory tusk. Digging still deeper they uncovered the entire tusk, about seven feet in length and about eight inches or more in diameter at the largest end.

"When the discovery was made, the men working on the ditch realized that the fossil would be of great value and exercised extreme care in removing it. They were compelled to dig about eight or ten feet deeper to remove the entire remains. Dr. Lynda Jones, of the zoology department at Oberlin College, was called and the mastodon skeleton taken over by the college where it is now held as part of the school's archeological collection.

"Both tusks, the entire skull, and many of the body bones were uncovered."

Some of the bones were put on display in January 2001 at the French Creek Nature Center on Colorado Avenue as part of an Ice Age exhibit. An article written by Ron Vidika in the Morning Journal of January 18, 2001 noted that the discovery on the French family farm took place in the late 1800s.

You might be wondering (like me) if a mastodon and a mammoth are the same. Well, the National Park Service website has a great website page explaining the difference. It notes, "Mastodon were shorter and stockier than mammoths with shorter, straighter tusks."

The folks at Encyclopedia Brittanica provided this nice illustration comparing a mastodon, a mammoth and an elephant. 

It just might come in handy if you're watching the Flintstones and need help identifying the various appliances.

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

On Area Movie Screens – Jan. 22, 1964

With all of the entertainment options and streaming services available to kids nowadays, there's a good chance that they're exposed to much more sex and violence than Baby Boomers ever were when they were growing up. 

It's kind of ironic, because the 1960s were a time of great cultural change, which was reflected in many of the movies being made, which emphasized – what else? – sex and violence. But parents could insulate their children from objectionable fare simply by not taking them to see it.

So what were parents to do if they wanted to go to the movies as a family?

Many parents relied on Walt Disney and his motion picture studio to provide wholesome entertainment that was safe for the entire family to see. Consequently, seeing the latest Disney movie became sort of a ritual for many families. (It was for the Bradys, even though Mom and Dad also took us to see every new bullet-riddled, blood-splattered John Wayne movie too.)

The page above from the January 22, 1964 Journal caught my attention with its ad for Walt Disney's The Sword in the Stone, the story of King Arthur as a young boy, with Merlin the magician as his teacher. It was one of several Walt Disney cartoons that I remember seeing as a kid in the 1960s. 

Even though The Sword in the Stone is not regarded today as one of the great Disney epics, I remember liking it. (I was five years old when I saw it.) The highlight of the movie is a magical duel between Merlin and a wicked female sorceress, in which they both transform into a variety of animals and creatures to do battle. It's not particularly funny, but it's creative, and there is some suspense.

Today's Disney animated features are still very popular, but they would be unrecognizable to Walt Disney himself if he was alive (or unfrozen, as the case may be). The movies aren't designed to appeal to the whole family any more. Their target audience is young girls, with plots often featuring strong female protagonists who don't need a man to rescue them. As a result, I just can't imagine any little boy having an interest in seeing any of the Disney cartoons from the last twenty years. But since Disney owns Marvel Entertainment, there's no shortage of action movies for the young males of the species.

Elsewhere on that 1964 Journal page is an ad for the Hoop chain of restaurants (which I wrote about here); a listing of Radio Programs on W-WIZ that includes Paul Harvey news; Fire Calls, with a report of an alarm (accidental in nature) at U. S. Steel; State Patrol Traffic Reports; and other local news.

Monday, January 29, 2024

How Leavitt Road Got Its Name – Revisited

Leavitt Road has been a recurring topic on this blog over the years, with several posts pertaining to the highway's widening and repaving in the mid-1960s. 

And back on this post, there was an interesting discussion as to how the road got its name. I had seen it repeatedly referred to in the Journal as 'the Leavitt Road' since as early as the 1920s. But as regular blog contributor and author Don Hilton observed, it had been used even earlier than that, in the late 1800s, to describe property boundaries in real estate sales.  
Since there didn't appear to be any Leavitt farm on any of the vintage plat maps, the only possible theory was that the name referred to Col. John Leavitt, an early settler of Ohio's Western Reserve.
Longtime blog contributor and historian Rick Kurish had done research with findings that make a pretty strong argument to support the idea that the road is named for that family.
Rick wrote, "I read with interest your blog post regarding Leavitt Road. Since I was a youngster growing up in Amherst I have wondered about how the Leavitt Road came to be named. Like you I searched for someone with the surname Leavitt living on the road — without success. Then about 30 years ago I ran across a book published by the Western Reserve Historical society titled A Tour to New Connecticut in 1811: The Narrative of Henry Leavitt Ellsworth.
"After reading the narrative, I arrived at the same tenuous conclusion as Dan Hilton posted in his comment on your blog, namely that John Leavitt, an early settler of Warren Ohio, was probably involved somehow. The research that I did many years ago led me to a couple of prominent extended families living in Suffield, Connecticut in the 1790s. Their surnames were Leavitt and Ellsworth. When Connecticut put the Western Reserve lands up for sale in 1796, the very wealthy and accomplished Leavitt and Ellsworth families, among others, purchased tens of thousands of acres. John Leavitt purchased land in the Warren, Ohio area, and Oliver Ellsworth purchased land further west.
"John Leavitt became one of the early settlers of the Warren area. One of his business interests was opening a hotel in Warren. Oliver Ellsworth seemed to be more of a speculator. As far as I know, he never set foot in Ohio and died in 1807. In 1811 his son Henry Leavitt Ellsworth set out to inspect the family’s lands with an eye toward their development. 
"So, you ask, how may this be related to Leavitt Road?
"First, a little genealogy. The Leavitt and Ellsworth families were related by marriage. Henry Leavitt Ellsworth’s grandparents were David Ellsworth and Jemima Leavitt, hence his middle name. 
"In his narrative, he also describes stops at his cousin John Leavitt’s hotel in Warren and at his family’s land in Sullivan and Nova. Since Route 58 (Leavitt Road) originates/terminates in the Sullivan/Nova area, it may be significant that the land had a Leavitt connection.
"Is any of this proof of how Leavitt road came to be named? 
"It’s all just speculation on my part, but I’ll keep it under consideration until a better explanation comes along.
"I am enclosing a couple of scans from the Henry Leavitt Narrative that show the lands owned by the Ellsworth family in 1811. The map of the Western Reserve shows the route covered by Henry Leavitt Ellsworth during his tour.
"The second scan details the lands by acreage owned by his father Oliver Ellsworth at the time of his death. 
"As you can see he owned 15,829 acres in Range 18, which would later become the Sullivan area and 2,800 acres in Range 19 which is now the Nova area (see note 27).
"It would appear that the genesis of Leavitt road may have been in the Sullivan area or the Western Reserve. Who knew?"
I sincerely appreciate Rick's hard work in researching this. He has me convinced. Besides, we have a sign from above that he's correct. Check out the page number on the page from the book with the map: 58. Most appropriate for Leavitt Road – State Route 58!

Friday, January 26, 2024

Journal Front Pages – January Blizzards of '77 & '78

My younger brother and I, circa January 1977.
That's one of the trademark Brady green Cutlasses behind us.
Each year when January comes around again, I can't help but remember the two consecutive years – 1977 and 1978 – when we experienced real blizzards in that month.

Although today's TV weather reporting makes a big deal out of an inch or two of snow, there's no comparison with what took place back in '77 and '78. Anyone who lived through those years won't forget it.
I remember them pretty well, as I was in my senior year at Admiral King High School in January 1977, and away at Ohio State in Columbus in January 1978.
We'll start with 1977.
January 1977 wasn't going all that well before the storm, with an ongoing energy emergency. Here's the front page of the January 24, 1977 Journal.

Then a few days later on Friday, January 28, 1977, the blizzard hit. (I remember being annoyed that the Admiral King vs Marion basketball game was cancelled, because I had been planning on going to the game with a girl from the band that I was interested in.)

Here's the Saturday, January 29th Journal with the tragic aftermath of the storm. As you can see, lives were lost.
Then almost exactly a year later, it was the same thing all over again. Here's the front page of the January 26, 1978 Journal.
And here's the next day, with the report that the Ohio National Guardsmen were coming to help.
And then the eerie look back on the storm, again with a death toll in the area.
I remember at Ohio State how the dormitory administrators consolidated students in the larger dining halls to save energy during those few days of the storm. Our Stadium Scholarship dining room was closed, and we had to trudge across the snowy wasteland over to Morrill Tower by the Olentangy River. Ugh. It was an anxious few days before things returned to normal.
I wrote about these storms before (back in 2010), with slightly poorer reproductions of Journal front pages. Here's my post on the 1977 Blizzard, and here's my series on the Blizzard of '78 Parts 1, 2 and 3).

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Lorain Journal Front Page – 100 Years Ago Today

I've been jumping around in time the last couple of days, seeing what the front page of the Lorain Journal looked like on that day – eighty and ninety years ago. 

Today, leave us turn back the hands of time to exactly 100 years ago today to see what was going on in my hometown. So above you see the front page of the Lorain Journal of January 25, 1924.

I'm sure you're probably wondering if that's a typo in the headline: KIDNAPED CHILDREN LOCATED. But it's correct. Several dictionary websites point out that 'kidnaped' is the American spelling, while those crumpet-eating, tea-drinking chaps across the Big Pond use two P's.

The story about the kidnaped children is a sad one. Their parents had been having 'domestic difficulties,' and two of the children (both boys) had been living with their mother in Lorain at the home of the gentleman for whom she was a housekeeper. The boys' 16-year-old sister, who had been living with their father in Kendallville, Indiana was the one who 'whisked' them away from their mother. The article notes that they were being returned to Lorain and that the court would decide where they should live.

Elsewhere on the front page: at the Lake Shore Electric crossing at Kansas Avenue, a group of boys were tricking cars into stopping (making them believe an LSE car was coming ) and then tying their sleds on the back of the stopped cars to hitch a ride; several fires caused havoc in town, including an entire house and its contents destroyed on E. 23rd street; a restaurant on E. 28th Street was robbed of $12 worth of nickels; and the superintendent in charge of operation, traffic and purchases of the Lorain, Ashland & Southern railroad was preparing to retire after a career of more than 46 years.

One handy feature at the bottom of the page – SAFE TO SKATE – noted that while Highland Park, the marsh near the viaduct, and the pond behind Fairhome school were all safe, the river was not.

And let's not overlook the popular comic panel featuring cartoon philosopher Abe Martin. (Read about it here and here.)


Longtime blog contributor and local historian Dennis Thompson left a comment on this post in which he was wondering where the 'marsh near the viaduct' was located. I'm guessing it's the one shown in the early map of Lorain shown below, as it is specifically tagged for skating.

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Lorain Journal Front Page – Jan. 24, 1944

Fast forward ten years from the front page of the Lorain Journal that I posted yesterday, and you have the newspaper page shown above, from January 24, 1944 – eighty years ago today. I've posted page 2 as well.

World War II and the daily progress of the Allies against the enemy were still grabbing most of the headlines. It's hard to imagine watching a war play out every day in the pages of a newspaper, along with radio broadcasts and the occasional newsreel at the movies. 

But as you can see, the War, and stories related to it, dominated the front page as well as page 2. One of the most interesting stories is the account written by war correspondent Lowell Bennett, about being shot down in a night raid over Berlin and taken prisoner. It formed the basis of his book Parachute to Berlin. It's pretty exciting and well-written, especially the details of his jump from the plane and his subsequent rescue, before being turned over to authorities as a prisoner.

The continuation of Lowell Bennett's story from page 1 is on page 3 below.

As usual, there are several small items from other Ohio cities of a tragic nature: children dying in a home fire, a baby poisoned after ingesting medicine tablets resembling candy. There's also a reminder of African Americans facing continued discrimination during the War, with an item about six men from Lorain being accepted in the January colored quota.

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Lorain Journal Front Page – Jan. 23, 1934


Ninety years ago today, this is what greeted readers of the Lorain Journal on January 23, 1934.

Now that's a front page. It has two headlines and each one is a humdinger: a daylight robbery at gunpoint that took place at the Hotel Antlers, and the tragic death of Earl R. Morris, the mayor of Oberlin, due to pneumonia.

There's an interesting article about the decision to delay widening Oberlin Avenue. It reveals that at that point, the street had four different widths: 33 feet wide from West Erie to the Nickel Plate railroad tracks; 28 feet from the tracks to 19th Street; 21 feet from 19th to 22nd Street; and 18 feet from 23rd to the city limits (at Meister Road). The same article notes an intention by the county to extend Oakdale Ave. from the city limits to North Ridge Road. (That never happened.)

As was often the case, there's a juicy story with pictures on the front page: "Another Woman Doctor on Trial." The story asks, "Did Dr. Sara Ruth Dean, comely 33-year-old specialist, knowingly serve Dr. John Preston Kennedy, her former medical associate, a poisoned highball while he was a midnight guest in her home last July?" Dr. Dean was going on trial for murder that week. It would take five weeks to finally convict her. Her sentence, however, was commuted years later by the governor.

From Virginia, there's a sensationalized story of a 'gas man,' so called because he supposedly attacked homes in this region by unleashing clouds of deadly chlorine. You can read more about these gas attacks – which eventually were determined to be a classic example of epidermic hysteria – here, here and here.

Lorain was experiencing some sharp lake winds, after a weekend with spring-like weather. The thermometer dropped 20 degrees in less than 24 hours.

And from Cleveland came the story of a taxicab driver who received a ten-cent tip from the father of a baby born in his cab while they were rushing to the hospital.

Monday, January 22, 2024

Lorain Sunday News Front Page – Jan. 24, 1954

Yesterday was Sunday, so that's as good a reason as any to post yet another front page from the Lorain Sunday News. This one is from January 24, 1954.

A photo at the top of the page reveals that the new home of the Lorain Sunday News was a building at 1895 East 28th Street. An accompanying article notes that it was the first time that the newspaper had its own home since it began publishing in 1932.

Here's the Lorain Sunday News building as it looks today.

It's interesting that the article notes that the new home of the Lorain Sunday News was located "just west of the old car barns," referring to where the Lorain Street Railway cars were stored. (I did a 'Then and Now' of the car barns back here.)

Also on the LSN front page is a photo depicting the current controversy in town: whether to abandon Ashland Avenue where it ran north to Harmon's Beach.

The issue stirred up strong feelings in Lorain's daily paper as well. In a letter published in the Lorain Journal's "Voice of the People" column of January 20, 1954, a reader noted, "This issue is no more than a quick land grab by those people who now own property adjacent to the street concerned.

"First of all, this issue not only concerns Ashland Avenue, but, all of the now dead-end streets bordering the lake from Leavitt Road to Root Road.

"If Ashland Avenue is closed, I know for a fact that Brownell Avenue will be closed a short time after. Undoubtedly the east side streets will follow in quick succession.

"If the present lakefront property owners close the city streets, how will the majority, and I should say the vast majority, get to the lake."

The letter writer, William Parker (who would eventually be elected Mayor of Lorain in 1979), recommended that the city improve the street for greater accessibility to the lake. And that is what the city decided to do, judging from this article which appeared in the Lorain Journal on Feb. 6, 1954.

Unfortunately, in 1970 the city of Lorain finally did close Harmon's Beach, and barricade the portion of Ashland Avenue leading to it (which I wrote about here).

Friday, January 19, 2024

Vogt Oldsmobile Ad – Jan. 19, 1954

I'm a big Oldsmobile fan, so naturally this ad for Vogt Oldsmobile from the January 19, 1954 Lorain Journal caught my eye. The dealership was celebrating its move to the building at 2950 Broadway that resembles an airplane hangar. As noted on this 2011 post (as well as this one from 2018), Kunick Motor Sales was at that location before Vogt moved in, and Kaminski Oldsmobile became the tenant as the 1950s drew to a close.

I like the fact that the ad features photos of the entire staff of Vogt Oldsmobile. Imagine my surprise when I recognized one of my mother's floor-mates from Kingston of Vermilion! The gentleman (whose identity I'll keep to myself out of respect for his privacy) sat with Mom and me at dinner many times, and I enjoyed his company and good humor very much. Even in his late 80s, his mind was sharp as a tack.

Strangely enough, while doing some blog research I discovered that in the mid-1960s, the gentleman was involved in a traffic accident right where the Big V is located at West Erie and Fifth Street. When I mentioned it to him, he correctly told me the date it happened and the names of the others involved in the accident! However, he wasn't sure about whether the Big V had been hit, and the report of the accident in the Journal doesn't say anything about it.

Anyway, I'm not sure if the gentleman is still on this Earthly plane, but either way, I wish him well.

A 2023 view

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Lorain Journal Front Page – Jan. 18, 1954

We're due for some more snow on Friday, so I thought I'd post another Lorain Journal front page from January 1954, since Lorain was dealing with the white stuff back then as well. But as you can see, seventy years ago today, the city was putting on a happy face and indulging in some wintery fun.

As the caption for the charming montage notes, "Skating enthusiasts have been promised a few days of continuous cold by the weatherman. Lorainites, quick to take advantage of the cold spell, crowded the skating pond at Lakeview park around the clock Sunday."

The photographs really capture an innocent time, of kids just being kids, playing with their friends with no parents hovering over them. It almost makes you feel a little wistful.

Reading the addresses of the children as listed in the photo caption, I think it's interesting how they're from all over the city. I remember Mom telling me how she and her friends walked down to Lakeview Park from Sixth Street to ice skate; they pretty much walked everywhere – something today's kids don't do (for various reasons, including greater availability of rides, and safety).

Elsewhere on the front page: an item revealing Lorain achieved a record-breaking $1,700,000 in liquor sales in 1953. Now that's something to celebrate - perhaps with a drink! 

The article mentions the state store on Seventh Street in Lorain. I'm betting fewer and fewer people remember State Liquor Stores, and having to go to one to get their favorite bottle of booze. 

The former State Liquor Store at 201 Seventh Street

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Journal Entertainment Page – Jan. 10, 1964

Judging by this page of advertisements from the January 10, 1964 edition of the Journal, there were still a lot of entertainment options to choose from in the Lorain area, even in the mid-1960s. It's a nice glimpse of the city still in its heyday, which many of us Baby Boomers were lucky enough to experience as kids.

It's the dead of winter, so the Mid-America Boat Show was underway in Cleveland. Surprisingly, there's a big headliner: legendary trumpeter and performer Louis Armstrong, appearing with his All Stars. I'll bet that was a great show.

Here he is on the Ed Sullivan show in October 1964 performing his big hit, "Hello, Dolly!"

Now back to the Entertainment page.

If nightclubbing was your taste, there was the 'new' Elberta Inn, Colony Bar, Lincoln Park, and Dewey Road Inn. For teens, there was The Note out in Ruggles Beach and roller skating at Lorain Arena.

There are a few clubs that I've never heard of: Lemon Tree Lounge in Vermilion, Driftwood Nite Club on Elyria Avenue, Shore Bar on North Broadway in Downtown Lorain, and Oasis Club out on E. 28th St. So I guess there's still a few businesses for me to research.

If you were just interested in grub, there was Vians, Manners, and Kenny Kings

And there's also Effy's at 1869 E. 28th Street – a drive-in that, coincidentally, someone recently emailed me about.

And note that Ronnie and the Rainbows were appearing at Three Sisters on Broadway at 20th Street.

That's well-known local guitarist and musician Ron Zehel, who's been mentioned on this blog a few times, from performing at the Mary Lee Tucker Show, as well as The Note.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Lorain Journal Front Page – Jan. 12, 1954

Well, we had our first taste of real sub-zero temperatures the last few days. It certainly makes things interesting, especially when so much of the country is also in a deep freeze. 

It's not unlike the weather of seventy years ago, as noted on the front page of the Lorain Journal of January 12, 1954.

As stated in the article, "The full fury of winter lashed Lorain, as the state was caught in a bitter cold wave which promised to send temperatures to zero in some parts of Ohio tonight.

"The cold front which brought snow squalls that cut visibility to a half mile along Lake Erie swung from the west shortly after dark Monday and city and state road crews were called out shortly afterward to spread cinders and salt in an effort to keep streets and highways from becoming slippery and hazardous.

"Temperatures in Lorain remained in the 20's during the night although readings as low as five above were reported from the southern section of the state, where snowfall, however, was light."

Elsewhere on the front page: a photo of the aftermath of a collision of a New York Central passenger train and a tractor trailer truck carrying pipe near Amherst; a police chase involving six police cruisers from four cities and two states in pursuit of a car driven by a fifteen-year-old; a political crisis in Rome; an effort to build another turnpike going diagonally across the state of Ohio; criticism launched at President Eisenhower's suggestions for tweaking the Taft-Hartley labor act; and the capture of four Ohioans who escaped from the Trumbull county jail.

Best story of all: the one about 'Dragnet Launched For Doughnut Con Artist."

Monday, January 15, 2024

Jack LaVriha Profile – Feb 1972

A blog post last week featuring a Lorain Journal front page from January 11, 1954 included an article that mentioned Jack LaVriha. I thought it would be a good time to post this profile of the well-known newspaperman, who many of us remember as a longtime reporter at the Journal as well as the announcer at many Lorain parades. He was also a tireless supporter of getting Lorain hostage Terry Anderson released.

The profile, written by Bill Scrivo, appeared in the Sunday Journal on Feb. 20, 1972.

It reveals that Jack LaVriha had a pretty interesting career, with much of it away from the newspaper business. He also spent some time as the editor of the Lorain Sunday News (a weekly newspaper from which I post articles here from time to time).


Going back to the article from last week that mentioned Mr. LaVriha, there was a real feud between the Lorain Journal and radio station WEOL out of Elyria in the 1950s. You can read about it on the Wiki entry for WEOL, as well as the resulting Supreme Court decision about the Journal's attempt to keep its advertisers from also buying ads on the competing radio station. 

But what the WEOL history neglects to mention is that the Lorain Journal applied for a TV license in June 1952 – followed by WEOL applying for the same channel, apparently just to be stinkers. With the resulting months of delays with two competing applications, the radio station effectively scuttled the newspaper's attempt to launch a TV station. When the smoke cleared and the Journal withdrew its application, WEOL had the TV license – but never built a studio or went on the air.

Friday, January 12, 2024

On Area Movie Screens – January 10, 1964

We'll close out the week here on the blog with yet another look at what movies were playing at the local theaters – in this case, a mere sixty years ago. Above is the movie page from the January 10, 1964 Journal.

The main reason I posted it is because it includes an ad for It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World – one of my favorite movies (which I wrote about here). Our family saw it in Cleveland at the Palace and it's a cherished memory of mine (and an early one too since I was only about five years old). I watch the movie on DVD every few years and it always makes me happy, as well as making me want to visit California to see some of the locations where it was filmed.

Here's a promotion for the movie that I've never seen before. It's pretty funny.

Elsewhere on the page, there was quite a variety. James Garner, one of my father's favorite actors (who he always referred to as 'Rockford') was starring with Doris Day in Move Over, Darling (1963) at the Tivoli. It's interesting that even at that late date, the movie ad promotes that 'news and color cartoon' were part of the bill. Animated cartoons made for the big screen were pretty bad by that time.

At the Palace in Lorain was a pretty good horror comedy, The Comedy of Terrors, starring Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, Boris Karloff and Basil Rathbone. Joe E. Brown was listed as a 'special guest star.' He was a busy guy apparently, because he was in It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World too.

Over at the Ohio Theatre was one of the popular British 'Carry On' films, Carry On Regardless.
Also on the bill was another British comedy, Dentist on the Job (released in the U. S. as Get On With It). I guess Lorainites' tastes in movie comedy had to evolve, since the last Bowery Boys movie had been released in 1958.

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Lorain Journal Front Page – Jan. 11, 1954

Seventy years ago today, this was the front page of the Lorain Journal. As usual back then, it's loaded with local, national and international news (as opposed to today's Morning Journal news stories, which are softer than the enamel on my molars).

Front and center is a nice photo of the Ernest T. Weir in winter. The caption notes, "The biting cold air this morning (it reached four degrees above zero, according to some reports) drew mist from the Black River that nearly hid from view the boats tied up for the winter. The mist subsided later in the morning as temperatures rose into the twenties. This picture of the Earnest [sic] T. Weir, taken about 11 a. m., still shows the fingers of vapor playing along the ship's hull.
Did you know that Lorain's harbor still has ship traffic? Historian and author Matthew J. Weisman monitors the comings and goings of vessels on the Black River in Lorain, and is happy to email a Lorain Harbor Port Activity report to anyone that is interested. In addition to information about the ships and what they are doing in Lorain, Matthew also includes photos and fascinating historical tidbits. Send me an email (the address is in my profile at the bottom of this page) if you would like to be added to his mailing list.
Elsewhere on the page: President Eisenhower recommending some changes to the Taft-Hartley Act, consisting of compromises between what labor leaders wanted and what management wanted; a tragic plane crash that killed the president of Braniff Airlines, as well as his duck hunting partners and two pilots; some good news for the Fruehauf Trailer plant in Avon Lake; the 'heaviest snowfall in five years' that hit the Mid-Atlantic Seaboard, bringing 15 inches of snow; a heated discussion in the Ohio House of Representatives about the need for a second Ohio Turnpike to run from Conneaut to Cincinnati; and the launching of the political career of Charles A. Mosher, who would go on to serve eight terms as a Republican member of the U. S. House of Representatives.

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Buckeye Beer Ads – January 1954

This vintage bottle is currently on eBay
Buckeye Beer, the Toledo-based brew that dates back to 1836, has been the subject of a few blog posts as the brand was featured occasionally in advertisements in the Lorain Journal in the 1950s and early 1960s. The ad campaigns I saw were quite creative and made good use of illustration.

This clever series of Buckeye Beer ads (below) ran in the Lorain Journal during January 1954. Although only six ads are shown, amazingly, the ad campaign featured a different one each day of the month. They always appeared in the Sports section on a left hand page, and always in the lower right corner. Each ad depicted a frustrated man – in trouble with his wife, performing an unpleasant duty, engaged in an annoying sports situation – who needs to 'buck up' with a Buckeye Beer. 

Most of the ads in the campaign were drawn by cartoonist Walt Ditzen, who enjoyed a fine career with his nationally syndicated 'Fan Fare' sports strip. Ditzen had a great, funny style. Of the ads shown above, he did all but the one of the man losing at checkers to a little kid.