No “Dear John” Letters Here

I recently rescued a box of letters, correspondence between a wife and her GI husband during WWII, from the precarious future at the hands of a flea market peddler. Two of their letters are presented here. Frances always began her letters to Melvin the same way – “My Darling Husband.” Melvin’s favorite salutation to Frances […]

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Montgomery Ward for Hearth and Home

When it’s the summer of 1915 and you live in rural West Virginia, where to shop boiled down to two choices, Sears Roebuck and Montgomery Ward. These two mail-order behemoths were the country’s repository of all things — a consumer’s wonderland in catalog form. Whatever the need, from simple sewing notions to formidable build-it-yourself house […]

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A Mid-Century Christmas

The stuff dreams are made of. To Bogart and Greenstreet it was a statue of a falcon from Malta. But to millions of children during the Christmas Season it was the Billy and Ruth Toy Catalog. Published every Christmas from the 1920’s thru the 60’s this colorful wonderland was a fountainhead sweet dreams and lengthy […]

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Pennies From Heaven

  The airy times of post-World War One America began loosing its shimmer in 1929. That October the raucous roar of jazz bands was muted to a whisper while the delight of gyrating flappers and nose tickling Champagne became bittersweet memories. It was the start of an eleven year economic downturn know as the Great […]

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Choo Choo Goes Boom Boom

The pairing these two pieces of ephemera, a slightly salacious men’s magazine and a U.S. Postal Service First Day Cover (FDC), may be confusing – they’re as opposite as the two tips of a compass needle. But in our case, they’re pointing in the same direction: a story of World War II heroics. This issue […]

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Hitler – Courtship and Color Swatches

  This past July a British tabloid published images from a 1933 home movie showing the future Queen Elizabeth II, at age seven, mimicking the Hitler Salute. Few people remember that at the time these home movies were taken, Adolf Hitler was admired by many. Or, if not admired, at least it was thought to […]

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The doctor knows best.

Famed neurologist and author Dr. Oliver Sacks passed away this week. Through his ground-breaking work and numerous books, this remarkable man touched the lives of countless individuals and their families. The Academy Award-nominated movie, “Awakening,” was based on his book of the same name. In it he describes his pioneering work with neurologically damaged patients. […]

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The Last Hours of Abraham Lincoln

  The material presented here is from a book published months after his death – The Life and Public Services of Abraham Lincoln. In part it chronicles the last hours of his life, notating the time, his pulse rate and general condition until he breathed his last.           Abraham Lincoln became […]

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1870 menu

“Waiter, is this an elephant in my soup?”

  “Waiter, is this an elephant in my soup?” “Oui madame.” What may sound like a Henny Youngman skit, could very well have been actual dialog between a restaurant patron and her waiter. But when the restaurant is in Paris and the language spoken is French, it sounds much more appetizing. Whether it’s speaking about […]

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The Incredible Mr. Omir

  I don’t know if John Omir ever saw this poster, but if he had, his broad smile and inflated chest would hint that he knew something about its message. Patriotic broadsheets like this one from World War Two, were posted throughout British shipyards. They served as a reminder to the workers that they too […]

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