Okay folks...
Let's put on a show! You bring your sweet potato and I'll bring mine!
or for the more refined folks visiting here...
Let us consider performing this evening for a few of our really smart chums. You bring your ocarina and I'll bring mine.
This book, Music Is Fun with this Gretsch Ocarina Book, dates back to 1940, pre-war. I'm wondering if it actually became popular, as this book hoped, for service men to form ocarina bands. I would like to hear that. This is another dandy from Bert's collection

Click on any image to see it larger.






I guess you could say this is another "raise your hand" post. Who remembers sweet potatoes when you were a kid. (No, not those things in the bowl with the melted marshmallows on top.) I remember someone having one made out of plastic. Maybe I owned it, I don't know. I do still have my kazoo, but that's a whole other story.

For your listening pleasure I give you some faux ocarina playing by Hope and Crosby. The sound is true ocarina, but they aren't playing it.



Have you got your ukulele in tune? Well sit down and do it now before you read any further.

There’s a reason I’m calling this Happiness Boys Friday. You won’t have a difficult time figuring it out.

Happiness Boys_cover_tatteredandlost

Happiness Boys_inside cover_tatteredandlost

Happiness Boys_title pg_tatterdandlost

Happiness Boys_back_tatteredandlost
Click on any image to see it larger.

This song book is from the big box of sheet music Bert gave me. It dates from 1926. I’d never heard of these fellows, but I’m stunned I know one of the songs they were known for.

So who were the Happiness Boys (aka The Taystee Loafers and The Interwoven Pair)? According to Wikipedia:
The Happiness Boys was a popular radio program of the early 1920s. It featured the vocal duo of tenor Billy Jones (1889-1940) and bass/baritone Ernie Hare (1881-1939) who sang novelty songs.

Jones and Hare were already established as soloists on phonograph records. One of Jones's better solos was "Mary Lou," while Hare scored with the Yuletide novelty "Santa Claus Hides in the Phonograph." In 1920 recording executive Gus Haenschen had them sing an accompaniment on a Brunswick recording. They went on to do numerous recordings for Brunswick Records, Edison, and other companies. Similarities between the two singers were often noted: same height, same weight, birthdays a few days apart.

They began on radio October 18, 1921 on WJZ (Newark, New Jersey), where they were sponsored by the chain of Happiness Candy stores. Listeners mailed in their comments about the singers on cards supplied to retailers by Happiness Candy.

Beginning August 22, 1923, the Happiness Boys broadcast on New York's WEAF, moving to NBC from a run from 1926 to 1929.

By 1928, Jones and Hare were the highest paid singers in radio, earning $1,250 a week. They also made highly successful personal appearances in the United States and Europe.

The partnership ended with Ernie Hare's death on March 9, 1939. Hare's 16-year-old daughter, Marilyn Hare, joined Jones at the microphone, allowing the act to continue as "Jones and Hare" until Jones's death on November 23, 1940. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
Want a sample? You sure?

Here are the words to two of their catchy tunes included in this book:
Broken Down Mamma

Broken Down Mamma
Broken Down Mamma
Quit your tormenting me
Broken Down Mamma
You’re as sassy as can be,
Go on an’ take yo’body on a big long trip
Your daddy’s done found some brand new lip
Broken Down Mamma
You’re just a broken mamma to me.

Indoor Baby

She’s what you call an Indoor Baby
She’s awfully fond of indoor sports
She’s more proficient at parlor games
Than on the links or tennis courts
Two loving arms,
Two lips and two eyes
She’ll challenge any boy
Who likes that kind of exercise.
She’s is not the kind who can ride, swim or climb
But she’s an Indoor Baby all the time.
Wouldn't you like to hear these?

You might now be wondering which song of their’s is now running through my head? Okay, so you’re probably not wondering, but I’ll tell you anyway. It's "Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavor on the Bedpost Overnight?” Raise your hand if you remember it. And what was the catchy chorus? Take a listen to this version by Lonnie Donegan and if you’re of a certain age you’ll probably remember singing along when you were a kid.



I didn't want to go to sleep last night. I felt like it would be wasted hours. I ended up spending hours with this book, The Art of Noir by Eddie Muller. A beautiful book full of four- color images of vintage noir movie posters.

The book was originally published in 2004 so you know it must be pretty good to still be in print. You don't have to go looking for used copies.

If you have a love of film noir, vintage illustration and posters, hand lettering, oh heck...Joan Crawford, Humphrey Bogart, Ida Lupino, Dick Powell, Betty Davis, Ray Milland and on and on and on. Simply stunning sumptuous images.

I've put a link to the left in the Amazon column where you can see more images from the book. I add these below just to give you an idea of how stunning it is.

Time will pass and you'll find yourself lost in it. Each page brings a new and stunning piece of ephemera that fortunately was not destroyed as the theater owners had been originally told to do.

And don't think you're getting a small format book. This book is a very nice trim of 10.6" x 14.3", 271 pages. A coffee table book that should come with it's own table because you'll just want to leave it open so you can stand back and take it all in.



Included in a large box of sheet music Bert gave me is a magazine from 1926, The School Arts Magazine. I'd never heard of this publication. It was published by The Davis Press, Inc. out of Worcester, Massachusetts. It appears the magazine was first published in 1901. When my issue was published, 1926, their offices were located at 44 Portland Street. Today, Davis Publications is located at 50 Portland Street so in over 100 years they haven't moved too far.

The School Arts Magazine 1926_tatteredandlost

A magazine that then, and apparently now, focuses on helping schoolteachers teach arts and crafts. From their website:
SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.
Considering that too often schools jettison art programs this is a nice step back in time when the arts were considered of value to a growing child. I won't even go into what I think of people today who see no value in the arts or specifically exposing children to it. I get angry just thinking about it. I'm glad to know this magazine still exists.

To see a full copy of an edition from 1918 click here.

Inside the edition I have is a wonderful little find. A paper doll for children to color.

SAM_Dutch paper doll_tatteredandlost

SAM_dutch paper doll dress_tatteredandlost

SAM_Spanish paper doll_tatteredandlost
Click on any image to see it larger.

Paper doll lovers, come out, come out, wherever you are! This one might be a new one for you.


SWANS DOWN CAKE FLOUR vintage recipes

I don't have a cover for this old cookbook, nor can I find any date on the pages. It has fallen apart and most likely belonged to my maternal grandmother. I can see from the logo on the center spread that it is for Swans Down Cake Flour. Swans Down Cake Flour has been around for over 100 years. It is now owned by the Reily Foods Company.

I do recall my mother using this flour, but eventually she used Softasilk, which is what I now use. I don't even know if Swans is available in my stores. I had forgotten about the brand until I found these pages.

The main reason I'm posting this is because of the lovely illustrations. They aren't photos. The artist appears to be named Giro. They're really nicely done so I do wish I could find something about the artist, but I'm finding nothing (and no, the fellow in Spain who has a couple images on iStockphoto is not this Giro). If anyone has examples of Giro's work let me know of the links.

Click on any image to see it larger.


Swans_fruit and spice cakes_tatteredandlost

Swans_birthday cake_tatteredandlost


Swan_strawberry meringue_tatteredandlost

Swans_red devils food_tatteredandlost

So did Giro work from photos or did they have to bake all these tasty morsels? Oh my, a full on carb rush while trying to work. Hey, some of the recipes look worth it. Strawberries are just showing up at the market so I might just have to make a cake. Then again, maybe I'll just dream about it instead. Salivating as I type this. And yes, I do look like Pavlov's dog.

UPDATE: I've done another post on Swans Down Cake Flour with more vintage recipes. It can be seen here.

New book NOW available on Amazon.
Tattered and Lost: Forgotten Dolls

This one is for those who love dolls!

Snapshots from the last 100+ years of children and adults with dolls. Okay, there are a couple of dogs too.

Perfect stocking stuffer for the doll collector on your list!


EXOTIC GIFT from the Mideast in 1957

This item is from Bert's collection. Imagine opening an envelope and finding this inside. I think it's amazing it exists intact.

Click on any image to see it larger.
Souvenir scarf_1_tatteredandlost

Souvenir scarf_2_tatteredandlost

Souvenir scarf_3_tatteredandlost


Ridin' the rails to DOWNERS GROVE, ILLINOIS

My friend Bert, who I've mentioned at my other blog, is a collector of ephemera and most especially photographs. Last week when I visited him he mentioned a story about his father at the Downers Grove train station. I remembered I had a post card of the station and emailed this to him last night.

Downers Grove Depot
Click on image to see it larger.

The card brought back the following memories for Bert:
"As a child in the late 1920"s and 1930"s. Bert used to stand on this station's platform and watch the freight trains go by. He would look at the many railroad signs on the freight cars and dream of those places that seemed so remote to his childhood visions of being there. Little did Bert know that his eventual home would be in the city of Oakland, CA where the Southern Pacific trains terminated its runs, then people took ferries across the bay to San Francisco and connected to Peninsula trains at the Townsend Street terminal, on journeys to all points south. But today, like dreams, that vast railroad junction in Oakland has vanished and changed into large ports-of-call for container ships to unload their cargoes. Has the Downers Grove railroad station survived, he wonders?"--Bert
Bert, the station is still there. Click here to see a recent photo. And here's a fun video of a steam engine going lickity split through the station.

Video by http://www.youtube.com/user/ryanrules281

From Wikipedia I find the following about Downers Grove:
Downers Grove was founded in 1832 by Pierce Downer, a religious evangelist from New York. Its other early settlers included the Blodgett, Curtiss, and Carpenter families. The original settlers were mostly migrants from the Northeastern United States and Northern Europe. The first schoolhouse was built in 1844.

During the American Civil War, 119 soldiers from Downers Grove served in the Union Army; at least one of these was interred in the cemetery downtown. There was an abolitionist presence in the village, and some of the older homes are thought to have been stops on the Underground Railroad. However, there is no evidence to substantiate this claim.

The Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad was extended from Aurora to Chicago through Downers Grove in 1862, boosting its population. The town was incorporated in March 1873. Its somewhat unusual spelling ("Apostrophe-free since 1873") remains a minor historical mystery.

In April 1947 the wreck of a Burlington Railroad Twin Cities Zephyr passenger train killed three people, including the engineer. The streamliner struck a large tractor which had fallen from a freight train and two passenger cars crashed through a wall of the Main Street Station.

The construction of two major toll roads along the village's northern and western boundaries, I-355 in 1989 and what is now referred to as I-88 in 1958, facilitated its access to the rest of Chicago metropolitan area. Downers Grove has developed into a bustling Chicago suburb with many diverse businesses, including the headquarters for Rossi Furniture, FTD, Sara Lee, Arrow Gear Magnetrol, Dover, TMK IPSCO and Luxury tour operator, Abercrombie & Kent. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
It's funny where ephemera leads. I've had this post card for many years and never thought about posting it. Now it's linked forever with Bert. Thanks Bert!

More of Bert's railroad nostalgia:
At one point in my youthful years in Downers Grove we lived in a house alongside the railroad tracks. Next to the house was a railroad "Roundhouse" for locomotives to be turned around and face the opposite direction. As trains sped by locomotive "firemen" would sometimes shovel off coal along the railroad tracks for us "poor people" to pick up and burn in our stoves. People really helped each other then. When the Burlington Railroad Twin Cities Zephyr passenger trains were first put into service, a pair of them slowly rode "side-by-side" through Downers Grove. We watched them pass in awe of such beautiful art deco design and technical advances. Eat your hearts out Charles Lindbergh & Amelia Earhart for pioneering the demise of flights that put passenger trains to rest.


TAKE FLIGHT on Valentine's Day

This first card has 1951 written on it in pencil and was published by Hallmark.

boy pilot_1951_Hallmark_tatteredandlost
boy pilot__2Hallmark_1951_tatteredandlost

This second card, one of my favorites, has no date, but I'm assuming it's late 30s to 40s.

girl pilot_ft_tatteredandlost

girl pilot_in_tattererdandlost



I can't find anything about the company S. Bergman that published this card. I can find a lot of their cards online, but nothing about the business. So we'll just forget about trying to educate ourselves today.

S. Bergman valentine_tatteredandlost

S. Bergman Valentine_bk_tattaredandlost

From the S. Bergman company in 1913. A bit of fancy dancing with your valentine.


Here are some postcards people might not be aware of. Each fall I buy the Cynthia Hart Victoriana Calendar from Amazon. I won't open it or look at it until January 1st. Don't ask, it's just one of those things. Anyway, postcards are included with the calendar. Here are a few from the past several years. You also get Christmas, Halloween, birthdays, and I can't remember what else. These are obviously valentine cards. They're all quite large so keep your eyes open for them to add to your valentine collection.

Cynthia Hart


VALENTINES From Parents to Their Daughter

This week I was given an old tattered scrapbook that belonged to a woman named Montez Lawton. She was an elementary school teacher in Northern California. The book is falling apart, the pages brittle. But inside are a few wonderful items including handwritten get well wishes from her young students.

These valentines are also inside, sent to her by her parents. I will take them from the album and put them in my archival albums where I keep all of the valentine's I've found. These are unusual to my collection because I tend to find and buy ones that were clearly for children. These are a bit more adult.

Click on any image to see it larger.

Rust Craft Valentine_tatteredandlost
Rust Craft Valentine_I_tatteredandlost
Published by Rust Craft.

The Wishing Well Valentine_F_tatteredandlost
The Wishing Well Valentine_tatteredandlost
Published by The Wishing Well (not affiliated with the company now using the name in the UK)

This one might as well be a get well card and indeed I imagine the image was used for a variety of cards. Nothing about it looks like a valentine.

Hallmark Valentine_tatteredandlost
Hallmark Valentine_I_tatteredandlost
Published by Hallmark.

To see some of my past posts about Valentines:

VALENTINE, VALENTINE, wherefore art thou? To see more about this book click on the link in the Amazon column to the left. The book sells used dirt cheap. It's full of fun images from old valentines.



This ad starts off by referencing the work their planes did in helping to build the Alcan Highway (the road that connects the lower 48 to Alaska through Canada). The last part of the ad is where the reference the war demands and the part they are contributing.

As to what became of the company, well there's not much to find:
The Jacobs Aircraft Engine Company was formed in 1929 in Philadelphia. Later the company moved to Pottstown, Pennsylvania.

An early product was the Jacobs L-3, a small 55 hp 3 cylinder engine of 1929 (4.125x4.75=190cuin). By 1933, Jacobs had developed its most famous engine, the L-4 seven-cylinder radial; it was better known as by its military designation, the R-755.

Later developments included the 285 hp L-5 or R-830 (5.5x5=831.54/13.627L), and 330 hp L-6 or R-915 (5.5x5.5=914.696/14.989L)

Jacobs engines were fitted to many US-built aircraft of the inter-wars period, including several Waco models.

After World War II, Jacobs became a division of Republic Industries (not Republic Aircraft). (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
I really like the illustration which unfortunately has no artist signature.

Jacobs Aircraft Engines_tatteredandlost
Click on image to see it larger.

Again, another image from the November 1943 National Geographic.



This ad is, like the ones I've been featuring the past few weeks, from the November 1943 National Geographic. Back when General Motors was a super power. Back when railroads were still the way to move products from coast to coast. How people moved coast to coast. The railways and General Motors are a shell of what they once were and both require tax payer money to stay afloat.

General Motors in WWII_tatteredandlost
Click on image to see it larger.


PULLMAN SLEEPERS, a Soap Opera, and a Moral

Another vintage World War II ad from the November 1943 National Geographic. This one, for Pullman Sleeper train cars, sells you a soap opera and a moral to the story. Like many other ads, the company was not just selling their product, but also the idea of the country uniting in the war effort. Also, be polite...except of course to the enemy. Racism front and center.

Pullman train car ad_tatteredandlost
Click on image to see it larger.