Showing posts with label ephemera. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ephemera. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12/12/12 : Scenes from the End Times

Once again, I must apologize for a hastily constructed blog entry.  However, it has been brought to my attention that today's date is full of awesome number orderliness.  It is a repetitive pattern that will never be repeated in our lifetimes!

This is especially true given that the Mayans said the world would end on December 21st.  Bummer.

Presumably, the end times will be interesting in a chaotic way until the Earth splits asunder and we are consumed by the inner fire.  Or something like that.  I've tried to imagine what December 21st might look like and have drawn from an ample inventory of photos taken in junk rest homes to share with you, the gentle reader.

So there you have it.  Apparently, only the strong will survive.  Mostly.

My Spousal Unit commented that perhaps this image collection had gone a bit too far.  To that I say we must face The End with as much mirth as we can muster!  I sincerely wish everyone of you a pleasant last week or so on this poor, doomed planet.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Ephemeral Chicago Circa 1942

Keylime has a a NOS Silk-Spun brand silk ribbon and is now a crisp and happy camper.

I'm sorry to have missed the era of streamlined trains.

Today, the trains may look newer, but there is little difference in the appearance of the Lake and Wells line crossing.

Two of my favorite buildings:  The Wrigley and the Tribune.  The Wrigley features white terra cotta tile.

Deco style doesn't get much better than this.  So optimistic!
Back cover.  Chicago has pretty much anything a tourist could possibly want.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Your Career at NASA - Circa 1966

In The Birthday Blog Post From Space, I shared some images from a 1964 National Geographic magazine featuring the United States' plan for getting to the moon.  President John F. Kennedy proposed to Congress in May of 1961 that we should establish a national goal of "landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth" by the end of the 1960s.

Remember in the movie Apollo 13 all of those guys in shirts and ties with their cigarettes?  Welcome to your career at NASA!
 With this audacious goal in mind, we did indeed deliver Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the Sea of Tranquility on this day in 1969.  In eight short years, the United States committed its resources to the mission and creation of new technologies and infrastructure.  In the process, we gained a whole generation of engineers and scientists.  To celebrate Apollo 11 day, I'm sharing a great bit of ephemera I found at a local antique mall:  NASA:  A Guide to Careers in Aero-Space Technology" revised in July, 1966.

Our youngest daughter, the one who wants to go into engineering, was looking over my shoulder just now and commented on the first photo that it "looked like something promoting a job".  The expression on her face said "meh".   Marketing rockets and space travel is a whole lot easier than marketing math, science and engineering.

This is a page from "The Question and Answer Book of Space" copyright 1965 and 1970.  Herein witness the kind of kids' book I grew up with.

Still, with a shared vision, people can dream of working together to do something really great.

 To put this 1966 publication in perspective, our first one man capsule made a 15-minute trip above Earth's atmosphere on May 5, 1961.  The rocket with lift capacity to reach the Moon was still a concept in 1966.

Factoid of the day:  the 1961 Redstone missile delivered 78,000 pounds of thrust.  To escape Earth's gravity and make it to the Moon and back, the  first stage of the Saturn V generated 7,610,000 pounds of thrust.

Basically, it took a lot of this...

To get from the Mercury program in 1961...

At 5:14 AM on May 5, 1969, Lt. Commander Alan Shepard steps from a transport van and walks to a waiting Redstone missile.  This image is scanned from the book "LIFE Science Library; Man and Space" copyright 1964 and 1966.
To the Moon on July 20, 1969...

Image from "Album of Spaceflight" copyright 1983.
You can find more great Apollo 11 ephemera at one of my favorite blogs:

I grew up with the Apollo space program and have fond memories of watching the first lunar landing at the tender age of five and the final missions featuring the lunar buggy.  May your dreams of space be as pleasant.
P.S.  The House Full of Nerds celebrated Apollo 11 day by watching the Star Trek episode Assignment: Earth.  I'm pretty sure that Roberta Lincoln is using a computer controlled Royal Electress.  Please correct me if I missed the typewriter identification.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Rhinos Illustrated in "The Kingdom of Nature"

This is part 2 of the series on illustrations from "The Kingdom of Nature; An Illustrated Museum of the Animal World".  Just click on the label at the end for the rest of the series.

This post is just for the members of the Typosphere.  There is a special rhino obsession that accompanies an annual typing event, the NANOWRIMO (National Novel Writing Month).  To see rhino mascots at their best, visit

Our guest typewriter for this post is mysterious as it has not yet been blogged.  Some may recognize its unique typeface.  We also have a guest writer:  Hannah F. of

Basic rhino anatomy.
The horse just doesn't get that the rhino wants to play.  Awww!

When pressed, the mighty rhino will defend himself.

But mostly, the rhino is a friend to all animals.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Type Specimen Book - Western Typesetting

I love this cover graphic.  As found on the shelf, the book has no words or graphics on the spine.  It's just pure black.

Gingercat and I stopped by our favorite used bookstore, Prosperos, and found this great Type Specimen Book.  It was published by the Western Typesetting Company.  There is no copyright or other date information and the price lists are missing from the inside cover sleeve.  The one clue to the date is a 6 digit alphanumeric telephone number that would have been phased out in the 1950s.

The address is in what is now the Quality Hill neighborhood in downtown Kansas City.

 A Google search turns up nothing other than the apparent fact that I got a really good deal on this book.  Any information about the book or the manufacturer would be appreciated.

I also own an American Type Founders specimen book from the 1940s.  I actually prefer the layout and organization of the Western book.

The cowboy theme continues throughout the book.  It's pretty fun! I've posted a few samples.  The Script selection is amazing.

I want the Italic Swash type on a typewriter.
One of gingercat's friends was very happy to receive s sample of this typeface.
I am still a little obsessed with the blackletter fonts.
The reliable old Epson 3170 scanner is happy to be on the job.  I rescanned the cover and I can tell you that is is a vast improvement over the combination HP scan/print thing that shall not be named.  The next scans are also from the Epson.

I would be remiss in not showing the typewriter simulation samples from this book.

Thanks for reading.  Until next time, yee, haw, pardner!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Royal Hartford Typewriter Factory Photo Resurection

I finally pulled the photo of the Royal Typewriter factory final adjustment room out of its frame and gave it a proper scan.  The driver software for the Epson 3170 has some nice restoration tools built in.  This is a 16-bit grey scale scan with a touch of unsharp mask.  The built in color restoration function did the rest.
The original post with additional information about the factory and the photographed and unadjusted image is at

If you missed it the first time around, this will give you a good idea of how well this print has weathered the last 90+ years.
Photographed in the frame.  How's that for digital magic?

I've added a "Download Zone" to my Fotki site.  Feel free to grab a digital copy at

The image comes in file sizes ranging from relatively easy to download to high resolution.  The latter should blow up nicely to just about any size you want.  I'm thinking this would look good on Adorama's black and white paper at poster size.

Lucky me:  Kansas City hosts one of 13 National Archives for Federal archival records.  This Saturday, they are putting on a full day "Preservation Matters" workshop on archival and preservation techniques for photographs, ephemera and household heirlooms.  I'll probably find out that I have done everything wrong, but I am still looking forward to learning more.

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Kingdom of Wacky and Wonderful Illustration

At a recent antique show, I scored a slightly beat up and thoroughly awesome copy of The Kingdom of Nature; An Illustrated History of the Animal World by Mrs. Frank Leslie and copyrighted in 1888.  The preface advertises a content of almost 1,000 illustrations.  Many of them are just amazing in a distinctly late 19th century way.  Here are a few samples to start with.  A series will follow here and on my secondary blog,

The price for this gem?  $5.00.  One of the high points of living in the dawn of digital books is that the real ones are being dumped on the cheap.  The sad part is that many will never find a home and will end up in a landfill somewhere.  It appears that this book has not been digitized.  I hope you enjoy the images here and to follow.

The Oliver 9 decided to contribute a short review seen further below.

Times were tough in the "Predamite Period" described at the beginning of the book.
The Mighty Oliver 9 is back!  With assistance from the faithful gingercat.  He gets grumpy without exercise.

Fortunately, evolution kicked in.  I wonder if he knew how to use a typewriter?

It's all good until he runs out of femurs for his feline friend.

This calligraphic type style should be mandated by law.
This is a hefty and substantial tome.  Cover to cover, it is pushing 2 inches thick with 440 pages of slight puffery that is typical of the era.  I have read far worse in turn of the last century technology history reviews.  If the title page is any indication, this is probably the best book ever written!  Or something like that.

Yep, best book ever!