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Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Rugged and Flashy Side of Western-Themed Postcards


By: Corinne Court, Registrar at Curt Teich Postcard Archives
I began this blog post hoping to celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Sound of Music. Steve came up with the idea to find a way to incorporate the imagery of Salzburg, Austria and other postcards to celebrate this anniversary.  I took on the task and failed the mission. This postcard is the best I could do. 
4CK700, Cor Unum, The home of the Von Trapp Family Singers, situated on
Luce Hill in the shadow of Mt. Mansfield, near Stowe, VT. 

During my Sound of Music research, I came across postcards of Western film actors.  My plan is not to tell the history of Western-themed films; It's a story too long to be told. The basic formula is, you have rugged cowboys, outlaws, lawmen, "Native Americans," and soldiers chasing each other on a movie set that looks like 19th-century Western America (I put Native American in quotes, because the actors portraying them were of other races).

Western films were very popular during the silent-film era (1894-1929).  The postcards below were some of the top-grossing actors during that time.

One of Western film's first star was William S. Hart (December 6,1864 - June 23, 1946): He started as a stage actor, but transitioned to film after seeing a cheesy nickelodeon Western sometime in 1913. He wanted people to see the real west and by 1914 he was a Western movie actor. His style of Westerns were known as gritty realism, with plain clothes, dusty sets, and run-down buildings, with all characters being flawed, but changed in the end. This trend of realism fell in and out of style throughout movie history. 
G4004, Wm. S. Hart, 
G4003, William Hart with his iconic pinto pony Fritz. Fritz was the first horse to be named in the credits as a costar. Fun fact: He received his own fan mail, which sometimes included sugar cubes. 

Next came Tom Mix (January 6, 1880 - October 12, 1940): By the early 1920s, the gritty realism ran its cources in favor of Tom Mix's style: flashier costumes and the faster-paced movies with action. The movie plots had distinct good and bad guys, and the clean-cut cowboy always saved the day. Again, this trend also fell in and out of style throughout movie history.
G4017, Tom Mix with his famous horse Tony.
Tony was the first horse given equal billing with his human costars.
Fun fact: Tony's hoof prints were placed alongside Mix's hand prints outside Grumman's Chinese Theater
G4018, Tom Mix
Buck Jones (December 12, 1891 - November 30, 1942) and Hoot Gibson (August 6, 1892 - August 23, 1962) joined Tom Mix in the mid 1920s as the top cowboy actors. Buck Jones was known for his rugged baritone voice and it recorded well once films moved to the talkies.  Hoot Gibson, originally a rodeo cowboy, became a film attraction and transitioned successfully to talkies too. 
G4010, Buck Jones
G4000, Hoot Gibson
Gary Cooper (May 7, 1901 - May 13, 1961): He is probably one of the most well-known actors in film history. His career began in the silent-film era and spanned through the golden age of Classical Hollywood (1930-1963). He grew up in Montana and at one time worked as a full-time cowboy. This trade helped him begin his career as a silent-film Westerner. He worked hard to venture out of Westerns and develop into the star he is known as today.
G3993, Gary Cooper
Other Western Actors:
G4007, Newton House
G4014, Leo Maloney in
"Yellow Contraband" (1928)
G4032, Tim McCoy as "The Masked Stranger"
in Beyond the Sierras (1928)
G4031, Tedd Wells in
"A Made to Order Hero" (1927)

G4029, Ted Wells in "The Fearless Ride" (1928)
G4001, Fred Gilman in
"Wolves of the Range" (1928) 
G3995, Howard Davis in
"Return of the Riddle Rider" (1924) 

G3990, Buffalo Bill, Jr. in "Roaring Broncs" (1927)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Chocolate is Melting Away, But Not on Postcards

A69816, Chocolates in the 1910s
There is a rumor spreading that there is a chocolate shortage...SAY IT AIN'T SO!! (tears streaming down my face). The question is, who's fault is it?

In November of 2014, a wide range of sources from newspaper articles to bloggers informed us that there will be a chocolate shortage. To sum it up, we eat too much chocolate. The demand is there, but the supply isn't there at this moment, however it's not entirely our fault. In West Africa (where 70 percent of the world's cocoa is produced) there is a drought, some sort of fungal disease is on the rampage, and China is buying more and more chocolate each year. According to the Washington Post, "...because of all this, cocoa farming has proven a particularly tough business, and many farmers have shifted to more profitable crops, like corn, as a result." I don't blame them!

Furthermore, dark chocolate has become very popular, almost a trendy option. I hopped on this bandwagon a few years ago. The main problem is dark chocolate contains way more cocoa by volume than traditional chocolate bars. An average chocolate bar contains 10% cocoa, whereas darker chocolates contain 70% or more. So, let's start a new bandwagon. Let's go old school...milk chocolate.

 I feel that this chocolate shortage has made our chocolate bars taste waxy. In some ways, chocolate manufactures are trying to keep up with the demand by using additives. Chocolate should melt in your mouth and not leave a waxy aftertaste. 

If you would like to read more about this topic, check out these links:

1. Your Dark Chocolate Addiction Is Driving Up the Price of Chocolate, by Roberto A. Ferdman
2. The Washington Post, "The World's Biggest Chocolate-Maker Says We're Running Out of Chocolate," by Roberto A. Ferdman (I'm seeing a pattern here)
3. That Great Chocolate Shortage; Of Course It's Bad Policy, Why Do You Ask?, by Tim Worstall

Here are a few of our chocolate/candy postcards. I wonder where they got their cocoa in the first half of the 20th century?

1920s-1940s Chocolate Advertisements:
D261, 1920s Advertisement for Hoefler's Centennial Chocolates.
A wide variety of Caramels, Nougats, Chews, Nuts, and etc. in milk and vanilla chocolate.
Vanilla Chocolate?
6AH907, 1930s advertisement for Societe Red Stripe Chocolate Bars. 
9AH1676, King's Chocolates
9AH1677, King's Chocolates 
9AH1909, King's Chocolates

9AH1678, King's Chocolates

4BH961, Interior view of a 1940s Candy Shop in Rochester, NY

Misc. Candy Advertisements:
4BH321, Reymers' Fine Candies
4BH1525, Reymers' Fine Candies

9AH564, Wrigley's Gum, Times Square

6AH442, Wrigley's Gum, Times Square

4BH1321, Florida Orange Candy. I like this Advertisement.
It says, "For Health's Sake, Eat More Fruit Sugar Candies."
I think this doesn't apply to today's health standards :)

4AH589, The Old Virginia Apple Candy

1BH1893, Salt Water Taffy. This artist was trying too hard to be ironic :)

Monday, February 9, 2015

A Little Business We Like To Call Show

By: Corinne Court, Registrar at Curt Teich Postcard Archives

It's no secret. Music has a big effect on society since the beginning of time. Music is such a force and cultural connection; it can define who they are, whether they listen to Country, Gospel, Rock 'n' Roll, or name it.   Postcard publishers have printed cards featuring musicians and entertainers, probably since the beginning of...postcards!  

One of our most successful blog posts are the articles written about The Beatles. I thought, why not showcase a few lesser known acts that were worthy enough to be printed on a postcard. Now, just so you know, I don't know many of these acts and there is little information out there. Please share any tidbits of these artists. Thanks!

6EK329, The Singing Payne Family.  The Payne Family Gospel Singers originally consisted of Vernon, the father; Dorothy, the mother; Judy, the daughter; and two sons David and Kenny (youngest). Over the years the ensemble morphed into the Payne Family, and now just The Paynes. I do love their matching outfits!


8CK1014, Singing Capital Chorus. According to their website: "The men of the DC chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society are a premier a cappella singing group in the national capital region. We have been ringing chords and entrancing audiences since our founding in 1945 (and today). "  So, for Valentines this year, don't forget to order the Singing Capital Chorus to sing to your loved one!

G2187 Grand Ole Opry Show. I've never been to the Grand Ole Opry, but I'm going to say it's safe to assume the stage no longer looks this small.  

7EK173, On the back of the postcard: "Grapevine Opry.
Chisal Childs and Johnnie High, recording stars
on the Aunt Susie Label and of the Grapevine Opry."
According to Wikipedia: "In 1974, Johnnie
began his country music show, when he and dance teacher
Chisal Childs, bought and renovated Grapevine Palace Theatre."
5ED123, The Country Belles, ALL-GIRL ultra-modern Country Show Band.  Were they copying Abba with their looks? OR was Abba copying the Belles? ;)  Here is a link to their blog site:


6DK783 Celine's. I wasn't able to find any information about this woman.
The only thing I could find of Puerto Rico and Celine was Celine Dion

6DK784 Papo Roman is a Puerto Rican musician and percussionist.
He's best known for his band Fiel a la Vega.
D18234 Sev and Fred. On the back of the postcard states:
Exciting popular entertainers are well known for their
fast-aced and professional shows, imitations of
famous artists and outstanding vocals. 
5DK1092 Korolevu Trio. On the back of the postcard states:
Seated in a corner of the Adi Kuila Bure,
watched over by giant Tikis, the Korolevu Trio plays
 island music each evening for hotel guests. 

5DK1700 "Wharf Rats - Jim, Nancy, and Tim.  According to the internet, someone asked what happened to the Peter, Paul & Mary group of New Jersey. Here is the answer from Susie, little sister of Tim in 2007: "Jimmy went on to be successful in the country music field as one of the lead singers of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band...Nancy I am not sure what's up with her. As for my brother Tim, we lost him to Chronic Lymphatic Leukemia...He was a successful business man.
7AH1, Roy and Tom, Legless guitar players and entertainers. I don't know any information about these men.

Rock 'n' Roll (80's Style!)

G2225, Adam Ant

G2226. Culture Club. That man on the right doesn't look too happy.

G2228, Van Halen

G2229, The Police? more like Billy Idol.

G2232, Motley Crue. I bet someone out there 
still believes these guys are the devil. ;)

G2230, Iron Maiden

Singing Acts
WOF425, We must not forget about the singing cats!