A Spooky Happy Halloween to You!!!

30 10 2007

Spooks (Happy Halloween!!!)
Illustration by Mac Harshberger
Originally uploaded by Paula Wirth

Found the most lovely yellow and gold and black book, The Singing Crow and Other Poems, by Nathalia Crane. Another FOPAL find, of course.

The gorgeous yellow and black plates, and stylized black and white illustrations, are drawn by the amazing art deco artist Mac Harshberger. The book was published in 1926 by Albert & Charles Boni of New York.

I’ve just purchase a book online about this artist, Mac Harshberger: Art Deco Américain, from the The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco/California Palace of the Legion of Honor/Achenback Foundatin for Graphic Arts, 1986. You can bet I will see if I can see their holdings, next time I visit (I’m a member).

Here’s the poem, by Nathalia Crane, that accompanies this most excellent illustration.


Oh, I went down to Framingham
To sit on a graveyard wall;
“If there be spooks,” I said to myself,
“I shall see them, one and all.”

I hugged the knee to still the heart,
My gaze on a tomb ‘neath a tree.
Down in the village the clock struck nine
But never a ghost did I see.

A boy passed by and his hair was red,
He paused by a sunken mound.
“How goes it with all the ghosts,” said he,
have you heard any walking around?”

Now the taunt was the sign of the boy’s disdain
For the study I did pursue.
So I took the hour to teach that lad
Of the things unseen but true.

I talked of howler, banshee, ghoul
The gristly and the lean.
I sat on that graveyard wall and told
of all the things I had never seen.

And suddenly a bat swung by
Two cats began to bawl,
And that red-haired boy walked off in haste
When I needed him most of all.

I lost a slipper as I fled―
I bumped against a post,
But nevertheless I knew I’d won
The secret of raising a ghost.

And the method is this―at least for a miss,
You must sit on a graveyard wall,
And talk of the things you never have seen
And you’ll see them, one and all.

See more illustrations from this beautiful book…


The Case of the Duplicate Daughter

26 10 2007

Duplicate Daughter
Originally uploaded by Paula Wirth

Where’s Perry Mason when I need him?

Ack! I am a victim of identity theft!! Paula has been duplicated!

The story: My parents received a UPS invoice for me at their address in Palo Alto. It seems that someone sent a package in my name, and nearly their same address (my address 2 years ago when I lived at my folks’), except with an Indiana zip code of 47432 instead of a CA one of 94306. UPS sent the invoice to me, due by the end of the month. The package originated in Bloomington, IN, and was delivered to Greenwood, Indiana. I don’t even know anyone in Indiana!!! (or at least I don’t think I do) – and I don’t have a UPS account!

Do you know anyone at 132 Meander, Greenwood IN 46142?

I sent a detailed note to UPS, telling them of the situation. I hope this can be cleared up. I hope they didn’t buy whatever it was in my name, too!! I was mugged a little less than two years ago, and had all my stuff stolen. Also, IBM lost my employee info (or allowed it to be stolen). Who knows what else is out there in my name. Sigh.

This vintage pulp cover seemed apropos for today. Inform me if you know the illustrator (otherwise unknown).

Update: I did find out there is a Paula Marie Wirth in Bloomingdale (not Bloomington)… and a Richard Wirth in Bloomington, IN. I wonder if UPS made a major mistake? Curiouser and curiouser…

I Turned My Marriage Into a Success…

25 10 2007

I Turned My Marriage Into a Success…
Profitable Hobbies Magazine, 1951.
Originally uploaded by Paula Wirth

… and Now I Have Other Good Things Besides!

If only it were all so easy as that, eh?

Then again, I’ve never had the joy of married bliss, successful or otherwise. And I’m currently looking for employment that doesn’t include sales of Bob-Art Greetings, as much as I too, like “nice things.”

Vintage Advertisement from Profitable Hobbies magazine, September 1951. See the full advertisement

For other vintage Success by Mail advertisements, visit the Success by Mail flickr group.

Six-Shooter Edition

24 10 2007

Six-shooter Edition
Illustration by J. Frederick Smith
Originally uploaded by Paula Wirth

Ride ’em cowboy! This little rascal is using his dad’s slippered foot for a horse, while his father perfects that perfectly cool, pipe-smoking 50s demeanor. Gotta love the story title they chose to feature under his chair.

The cover illustration was drawn by J. Frederick Smith, known for his steamy illustrations and photographs. (read his obituary)

See more J. Frederick Smith illustrations in Leif Peng’s flickr stream.

For more old-timey kids in western wear, see the Vintage Kids as Cowpokes flickr pool…

Rocket to a new high with WARD!

21 10 2007

Rocket to a new high with WARD!
Originally uploaded by Paula Wirth

No stranger to sexually suggestive advertisements, I was nevertheless almost shocked by the audacity of this one. No subtlety lost on this particular ad campaign, I dare say.

Advertisement for The Ward Products Corp. from Radio & Television News, September 1953.

Check her out (full-size) in all her glory!

For more contemporary, but equally scintillating Ward-related illustration, check out Ward-O-Matic (no relation to Ward Products Corp.).

The Tug of War is Over!

19 10 2007

Gaymode Fit-Lok Top Pantihose
by JCPenney, circa 1970s
Originally uploaded by Paula Wirth

Now with a “fit-feature” designed to prevent crotch droop, Gaymode Fit-Lok Top has no Sag – No Bag – No Bind!

With Extra Big (mostly blond) hair and thicker black Mascara every time! Check out that Flexxtra nylon! Another Gaymode fashion first!

(Yes, it was really called Gaymode. I really can’t write stuff that over the top, myself.)

What are you waiting for? See more vintage hosiery packaging!!

Doubles Your Protection in Wet Weather

15 10 2007

Doubles your protection
Originally uploaded by Paula Wirth

On a rainy Monday morning, nothing brightens the spirit like a Mother-daughter combo wearing their matching polka dot rainwear!

This photo illustration for General Tire appeared in a 1951 Newsweek magazine.

Rainwear is designed by Lawrence of London.

More General Tire ads…