Today's word...FEVER

|ˈfēvər| noun
an abnormally high body temperature, usually accompanied by shivering, headache, and in severe instances, delirium : I would take aspirin to help me with the pain and reduce the fever.

sample |ˈsampəl| noun
a small part or quantity intended to show what the whole is like

Having a fever gets you thinking and sometimes what you're thinking is pretty weird. Like samples. I thought of samples.

As I took Tylenol this week to get rid of my fever I thought of aspirin which got me thinking back on samples of aspirin and how you used to get said samples in little metal boxes. And you didn't get just one or two pills, you got enough to fill the little box. These days you get maybe two pills tightly sealed inside a little throwaway packet. You take the pills, you throw away the packet, you forget what the product was. Much cheaper than the old boxes, but advertising wise not nearly as useful. With the little boxes you got enough product to make it productive plus you were left with a nice little box to fill up later with product. The boxes fit nicely in a purse or pocket so you carried their advertising with you.

These little metal boxes show their age. They've been knocked around. They're scratched and rusted and dented. They're not plastic which is lifeless and never seems to go away. I wouldn't save little plastic boxes like I do old tins. They'd look the same 30 years from now. They'd look like...plastic.

Next weeks word:

rash | ra sh | adjective
displaying or proceeding from a lack of careful consideration of the possible consequences of an action



CLOSE COVER before filing

I imagine everyone has seen little sewing kits inside matchbook covers. You often find them in drawers at hotels. But I've never before seen a nail kit.

I found this inside an old box while doing some dusting. I have no idea how old it is but Pacific Bell no longer exists. I'd say it's pretty darn old because the phone illustration shows a dial receiver, not push button. So I'm guessing this goes back to the 1970s or earlier.

No biggie. Just a "Petite Nail Kit" from the phone company. I guess the idea was you could do a self manicure while being put on hold.

pacific bell_tatteredandlost


THE LOOK OF LOVE or "Dear, you have basil stuck on your teeth."

Putting together the grouping of nurse book covers got me to thinking of the stack of gothic novels stashed away that once belonged to a friend's mother. I never read any of them, but when they moved she gave all of them to me. I enjoy the cover art, women running away from castles. I used to give her a bad time about it because she was a voracious reader...of women running away from castle books. The covers are always camp high drama. Someday I'll scan some of them to post here. But in the meantime...

I remembered a book I bought years ago that is a collection of various romance novels covers. The book is called The Look of Love: The Art of the Romance Novel by Jennifer McKnight-Trontz. It was published in 2002 by Princeton Architectural Press. I've put a link in the left column so you can see some of the content of the book and read reviews. 

The book is broken up into chapters and
includes "Bad Girls and Good Girls", "Loves of a Nurse" and "Hometown Doctor." There are sexpots, gypsies, stewardesses, hunky men with chiseled jaws, exotic locations, and yes, ladies running away from castles. The author has given the illustrator names when possible. A lot of the work is pretty pedestrian until you see it grouped together, then it just becomes funny. What's not to love about a book called Hootenany Nurse?


I'd have been fine EXCEPT FOR THE BLOOD

When I was around 12 years old I was sick a lot. Throughout the school year. Throughout summer vacation. Nothing serious, just tonsillitis, strep throat, colds. I whiled away my time reading. I was a big Nancy Drew fan, but during this brief period all I wanted to read were books about becoming a nurse.

There were very few career options open to girls back then. There were the standard top three if you weren't going to be a wife and mother. Your choices were teacher, stewardess, and nurse. Sure you could be a librarian, but they were almost always portrayed as uptight women that shushed you for getting out of line. There was no romance in being a librarian (unless you knew Professor Harold Hill). I, on the other hand, figured I'd be a cowgirl or detective...until I fell for the nurse romance propaganda. There were plenty of girl's series books willing to feed this notion. 

I indulged my fantasy of being a young pretty nurse flitting around a hospital hunting for a doctor while healing the sick. Yeah, right. Then I realized blood made me nearly pass out so the whole nurse fantasy went out the window. Good thing. I'd have been a lousy nurse. This also cured me of wanting to be a Candy Striper even though I loved their pink uniforms.

Below are the books that got me through this fascination. Ultimately each of them had formula story lines that tried to convince you that you might start out wanting a career, but what you really wanted was a husband. Seriously, read the cover copy or look at the illustrations and try not to laugh.

Click on any of the images to see them larger.

sue barton student nurse_front_tatteredandlost
sue barton student nurse_back_tatteredandlost
Copyright 1936, 4th Scholastic printing September 1962

sue barton senior nurse_front_tatteredandlost
sue barton senior nurse_back_tatteredandlost
Copyright 1937, 3rd Scholastic printing March 1963.

cherry ames_department store nurse_tatteredandlost
Copyright 1956.

cherry ames_camp nurse_tatteredandlost
Copyright 1957.

cherry ames_back_tatteredandlost

"...and her gay adventures"? Yup, things have changed.

Cherry apparently couldn't make up her mind. "Do I want to be a department store nurse? Nope, let's try cruise nurse. Oh wait, how about flight nurse? Oh no, better yet, island nurse!"

These two Cherry Ames books were given to me by my childhood friend who eventually did go on to become a nurse, and is still a practicing nurse at an elementary school in Washington State.

A series put out by Whitman in 1963 called "Nurses Three" that look just plain weird. 

nurses three_3front.tattereandlost

She looks like an actor in a Spielberg movie that has just seen the glow of an alien spaceship.

nurses three_3back_tatteredandlost

The sequence here is pretty strange. Mad scientist, delivering the goods, and then lets go dancing!

nurses three_2front_tatteredandlost

She looks like she's trying to sell a kachina doll. The new and improved family size. Never judge a book by its cover.

nurses three_2back_tatteredandlost

Ahh, so she was the person to tell Dr. Kildare, "You're gay."

nurses three_1front_tatteredandlost

And this one doesn't look like she's got a thought in her head. Maybe that's because...

nurses three_1back_tatteredandlost

she'd rather be playing tennis, talking to Huck Finn, or listening to Allen Ginsburg read "Howl".

And to close things out here's the last nurse book I ever read. This one was a step away from girl's series and into the world of women's romance books. This one was sexy. And don't ask me what Nurse Fairchild's decision was because I can't remember.

nurse fairchild_front_tatteredandlost
nurse fairchild_back_tatteredandlost
Copyright 1952.

To see more books where the heroine is a nurse check out this website Tiny Pineapple, or this one, Girls Series Books Rediscovered.


DEAD OR ALIVE Happy Birthday?

Here's a birthday card with a rather odd message. I'm trying to wrap my head around this. Apparently the alternative to a birthday is death. I think we all know that, but has a cute hound in a hat ever been used to deliver such a message?

I'm trying to imagine the writer of the card selling their boss on this idea:

        "See, it's to make them feel good about getting old. Consider the alternative."
  "Yes, I get that, but you're reminding them of death on their birthday."
        "Well, yeah...but isn't that what it's all about? You're going to die so have fun while you can?"
        "But Sherman, I've told you before we save death for the sympathy department. You know this. Remember those "get well" cards you wrote reminding people of their impending demise? It just isn't working for us."
        "Well, what if we put a funny little doggie in wings? Would that help? Boss, would that help?"
        "This is your last chance Sherman. One more death reminder and you're transferred to funeral announcements."

You just never know what you're going to find in ephemera. 

Buzza-Cardoza front_tatteredandlost
Buzza-Cardozo interior_tatteredandlost
Click here to see the card above larger. Card by Buzza-Cardozo.



Once upon a time, not so long ago, little kids loved Cowboys and Indians. A company could probably guarantee a sale of something by gearing it towards Cowboys and Indians. Pigs? Not so much. But maybe I'm wrong.

This card most likely dates from the 1950s. It was published by "Fravessi Lamont Inc." Other than that I know nothing. I purchased it in a stack of cards at the flea market, all to a boy named Ricky.

I always liked multi-purpose cards like this as a child. It's a card and a paper doll. And I would have loved the pig. And a pig with an Indian outfit? Whoa, that would have been a joyous surprise.

Fravessi front_tatteredandlost

fravessi interior_tatteredandlost

fravessi back_tatteredandlost
Click on images to see them larger.

Continuing with the Indian theme, here are a few other children's birthday cards. The one with the little girl making smoke signals has an actual feather on her headband still intact after over 50 years.

830B front_tatteredandlost

830B interior_tatteredandlost
No publisher name given for this card. Click on images to see them larger.

Forget-Me-Not front_tatteredandlost

Forget-Me-Not interior_tatteredandlost
Published by "A Forget-Me-Not Card" company. Click on images to see them larger.

UPDATE: Today I received the following comment and wanted to post it also as an update:
John Lamont said...
I can't tell anything about Fravessi, but Jean Lamont was my grandmother. She was a pretty talented water colorist. I have some of her work in the basement and alas, one of her best pieces was lost in the 9/11 attack (I had an office on the 59th floor and had her painting there.) Jean Lamont divorced and remarried Stanley Dell, who was a major translator of Carl Jung. They settled in Washington, CT, where she died around 1987.
Thank you John for adding this information. It's always so much fun to be able to expand on ephemera. I'm certainly sorry for the loss you suffered. Again, thank you.

UPDATE: From Anna Harding:
Fravessi comes from the first names of: Frances Duncombe, Vera Carlson and Agnes “Essie" Govett, who started the company in 1929. The company was later Fravessi-Lamont, then back to Fravessi (maybe in the late '80s). Fravessi was purchased by Olympia Sales Inc in 2002 and continues today as Fravessi and Fravessipaperstreet. Their retail site is olympiacardshop.com and they do carry vintage designs.
Thank you Anna!