Why We Say…

15 09 2008

ATOM
Originally uploaded by Paula Wirth

Ever wonder about the history of various common American/English idioms and expressions? An adventure in exciting educational etymological entertainments can be YOURS!

I will be sharing illustrations and anecdotes from this vintage 1953 book by Robert L. Morgan, illustrated by Peter Hoffman.

Expect to see various examples, in no set alphabetical or thematic order, appearing in my “Why We Say…” flickr set, in the upcoming days and weeks, starting with ATOM and BABY DIAPERS. (The combo of atomic baby diapers comes to mind, and that is not a pleasant thought!! Luckily, in this case, they are separate entities. Thank goodness.)

Much thanks to Glen Mullaly, who pointed out a great 2004 Interview with Pete Hoffman (by Dave Karlen), and found out that this book was based on a single educational feature panel strip series (that lasted 28 years!)

More about Pete Hoffman:

WHY WE SAY… A Guidebook to Current Idioms and Expressions — and Where They Came From
By Robert L. Morgan, Illustrated by Peter Hoffman
Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.,  New York, 1953.
(out of printget your own copy on AddAll)





Museum of Neon Art (MONA)

14 08 2008

Dive for fun and profit
Originally uploaded by Paula Wirth

On my recent trip to Los Angeles, while shooting pictures in the historic Broadway Theater District, I fortuitously ran into the Museum of Neon Art (MONA), on 4th Street.

They have an impressive selection of vintage neon signs (though only a smaller portion of them are on display at any one time), as well as recent neon art, kinetic sculptures, and other electric marvels. My faves were the Jantzen diver, as well as a Lancelot Tile sign.of m

I was sad to have missed their Neon Cruise, a nighttime bus tour of local neon landmarks. Guess I know what I will be signing up for next time I’m in the area.

More of my pics from MONA
As well as MONA’s flickr group

Be sure to check out the museum the next time you are in L.A.!

For additional neon pleasures of an ecclesiastical nature, join us at my new flickr group, Neon Gods (Religious Neon Signs)





Easter Egg animals by Richard Baer

23 03 2008

Easter Egg animals by Richard Baer
McCall’s magazine, April 1954
Originally uploaded by Paula Wirth

Happy Easter!

Make these perky Easter egg animals at home!

Designed by Richard Baer for the April 1954 edition of McCall’s magazine, the animals include “Mr. Mouse,” an elephant, frog, rooster, duck, and of course, a bunny.

Read more

See the cover





Mister Rogers sings…

21 03 2008

Mr. Rogers Sings for those times when…
45RPM record cover
Originally uploaded by Paula Wirth

for those times when…

You feel you did something wrong

I spent many an hour watching Mister Rogers as a kid. Loved the puppets. Wish I had the accompanying poster by Alice and Martin Provensen, originally included with the sleeve for this 1973 45RPM record.


Check out the lyrics
for Sometimes People are Good, and Everybody’s fancy… pretty amusing, indeed.

See the record cover





Easy-Do Parties Electrically

16 02 2008

Easy-Do Parties Electrically
by Marguerite Fenner, PG&E, 1960.
Originally uploaded by Paula Wirth

How does one achieve that “Relaxed Party-Giving Feeling”?

Live Better… Electrically!!!

Throwing parties is a breeze with this entertaining little cookbook, written by Marguerite Fenner, and published in 1960 by Milliken Publishing Company for PG&E’s Home Economics Department.

Although, if you look at this cover illustration, it is hard to determine whether Suzy Homemaker’s electric appliances are responsible for her carefree attitude, or because hubby/pool boy has been drafted into service preparing the froofy electric blender smoothies.

Try this tasty number — Fresh Pineapple Mint Splash!
1 cup diced fresh pineapple
3 oranges, peeled and cut
1/4 pound after-dinner mints
1/2 cup water
1 cup chipped ice

Put all ingredients except ice in container. Cover and liquefy at low speed. Add ice and run at high speed until ice is melted. If too thick, add more ice or water. Makes about 4 servings.

See more images from this cookbook…





Meat in the Meal for Health Defense

12 01 2008

Meat in the Meal for Health Defense
Illustration by John Howard
Originally uploaded by Paula Wirth

Make the meat in your meals Moffat’s Manteca Fed Beef

Continuing with the theme of pleasing one’s husband through food, here’s another winning recipe book, Meat in the Meal for Health Defense, from 1942. The cookbook offers a range of thrifty recipes sure to make one’s man cheer.

Recipes include: Frankfurter Salad Bowl, Defense Scrapple, Bacon Waffles, Meat Stuffed Potatoes, and, of course, lots of steaks and chops, with generous proportions to please the men!!

This unique illustration (complete with flat, ribbon arms) was by John Howard (a Life magazine illustrator).

See the full cover illustration, including the happy male recipients of this meaty meal…

See more Dishes Men Like (from 1952)…

And a message from the National Live Stock and Meat Board

For more vintage cookbooks and recipes, see the flickr group Vintage Cookbooks





10 Cakes Husbands Like Best

12 01 2008

10 Cakes Husbands Like Best
Originally uploaded by Paula Wirth

From Spry’s Recipe Round-Up!

Spry Vegetable Shortening (an early competitor to Crisco and marketed by the Lever Brothers), sponsored a series of radio programs (30s-50s) called “Aunt Jenny’s Real Life Stories,” ending each show with a recipe (featuring Spry as a primary ingredient, of course!)

I’ve found several cookbooks and advertisements extolling the virtues of Spry, including this delightful recipe book, 10 Cakes Husbands Like Best, with a message from Aunt Jenny inside.

More about Aunt Jenny

And about Aunt Jenny’s Real Life Stories

For more vintage cakes, see the flickr pool Birthday Cakes of the Past.