6/3/14

WHICH PAPER DOLL is this?


I've posted this photo at my other blog, but thought that ephemera collectors, especially those who collect paper dolls would enjoy seeing it. What makes this snapshot unusual is that the little girl is holding a paper doll. It's pretty common to find photos of children with dolls, but not paper dolls. I'm sure some eagle eyed reader who collects paper dolls will be able to figure out which doll it is.


Click on image to see it larger.


Click on image to see it larger.

This photo is from the Betty Schnabel estate sale and is in her mother's photo album.

5/2/14

Let's BUY A NEW CAR!


Would you like to put a Mercury in your driveway? If so, it'll have to be a used car. So if we're talking used how about a 1954 Mercury?

I would certainly love to drive one of these in order to experience their new suspension technology. The big old boats were cushy and comfortable. Steering sucked, but the better brands took bumps nicely.

So with the "same ball-joint principle used in your shoulder" were there ever any rotator cuff problems? I know, I know…bad one.


Click on image to see it larger.
Mercury was an automobile marque of the Ford Motor Company launched in 1938 by Edsel Ford, son of Henry Ford, to market entry-level luxury cars slotted between Ford-branded regular models and Lincoln-branded luxury vehicles, similar to General Motors' Buick (and former Oldsmobile) brand, and Chrysler Motors' Chrysler division. From 1945 to 2011, it was the Mercury half of the Lincoln - Mercury division of Ford (the Edsel brand was included in that division for the 1958-1960 model years). Using badge engineering, the majority of Mercury models were based on Ford platforms.

On June 2, 2010, Ford announced the closure of the Mercury line by the end of the year. In terms of sales, Mercury represented only 1 percent of North America's automobile market compared to the 16 percent share of Ford. Ford Motor Company has stated that additional Lincoln models will be introduced to help replace any shortfall from the discontinued Mercury brand. At the time of the announcement of Mercury's closure, Mercury was selling fewer than 95,000 units a year, which is less than both Plymouth and Oldsmobile right before they were phased out. The Mercury Mountaineer was discontinued in the 2010 model year, with the remaining Mercurys following suit after an abbreviated 2011 model year. Mercury's U.S. sales in 2010, its final full year, were 93,195. After the Mercury brand was discontinued in 2011, Ford stripped all Mercury branding from its Lincoln-Mercury dealers. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)

5/1/14

Let's BUY A NEW CAR!


Time to go car shopping. Yeah, just the words "go car shopping" feels like fingernails on a blackboard. Have you ever been followed across a car lot by an obnoxious salesman who is yelling at you because he thinks he can harass you into buying from him? I hate shopping for cars and have my own personal stories of bad car dealerships. However, my last purchase couldn't have gone better. Very satisfied with everything. So I'll let you go shopping for a car because I intend to keep mine into my 70s.

For some reason people seem to like the silver gray car color. Individually I guess they look fine, but when I'm walking through a parking lot and see row after row of silver gray cars I feel like I'm surrounded by pod people. The cars all look alike even though they're from different manufacturers. There is a drabness to them. How does anyone find their silver gray drone when they go back to the lot? I'll admit that I'm a red car sort of person. Has nothing to do with wanting to be noticed which seems to be the cliche about red car owners. I just like the color. I especially like the color when it's shiny and pretty and stands out in a parking lot. I can easily find my car…unless there's another red one parked next to it. This happened not long after I purchased my car. Came out of Costco to find the exact same car parked next to mine. At that point it was so new I didn't yet have a license on it so I had to look inside to see if something looked familiar.

Anyway…let's go shopping…in 1954.

NASH…it's a car…it's an airplane…it's a bed! Who knew?


Click on image to see it larger. (SOURCE: National Geographic, June 1954)
Ambassador was the model name applied to the senior line of Nash automobiles from 1932 until 1957. From 1958 until the end of the 1974 model year, the Ambassador was the product of American Motors Corporation (AMC), which continued to use the Ambassador model name on its top-of-the-line models, making it "one of the longest-lived automobile nameplates in automotive history.
In 1954 the Nash Ambassador was the first American automobile to have a front-end, fully integrated heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning system. The heating and ventilation system system was called Weather Eye and now could equipped with Nash-Kelvinators' advanced Automobile air conditioning unit. While other manufacturers in America at the time offered A/C on some models, their air conditioning units were driven by a large and heavy, trunk mounted expander and heat exchanger that carried the air into the car via clear plastic tubes and out through ceiling mounted vents. Nash's unit was inexpensive, compact, fit under the hood, and could either circulate fresh or recycled air. With a single thermostatic control, the Nash passenger compartment air cooling option was described as "a good and remarkably inexpensive" system. The option was priced well below systems offered by other carmakers (in 1955, Nash offered it at USm$345, against $550 for Oldsmobile or $570 for Chrysler); other makers, such as Ford, did not even offer optional air conditioning. (At the time, even a heater was not always standard equipment.) (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
Want to see images of Nash cars in movies? Seriously, I'm not kidding. Click here. Kind of cool. You'll find the 1954 Nash was used in the classic Frank Sinatra movie written by Sterling Hayden called Suddenly. How about the old Superman series? Yup, Nash Ambassador. Then there's always Bride of the Monster. Yeah, no idea.

Click here to go to the website for the Nash Car Club of America.

4/30/14

MORE COWBOY Illustrations


In the last post I mentioned that one of the characters on one of the book covers looked very much like a friend's husband. I sent her a jpg and she and her daughter were dumbstruck. I am sending them the book. Turns out her husband was also a big Louis L'Amour fan.

This time I've got three more L'Amour covers with what appears to be another "guest star."

I love illustration, much more than I like fine art. I guess it's the graphic designer in me. I'm fascinated by someone working within set parameters and how with a limited amount of time they can turn out work that fills the need and is memorable.

When you think of all the art that has been created for paperback books it's staggering. And when you think about the fact that there's been some seriously good work that once used was relegated to the trash bin, it's heartbreaking. I'll admit to not being a fan of the majority of art used on romance novels, but mysteries and westerns can be very enticing. I'd love to have any of this work to hang on my wall.


Image from 1972 edition.


Image from 1973 edition.

So here we have the "guest star, " though maybe I'm the only one noticing it. Dean Martin. Yes, THE Dean Martin who starred in many Westerns with the likes of John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, and Robert Mitchum. Now, did the illustrator intend for readers to recognize this as Dean Martin? Who knows. Illustrators often work from photographs. I know of a book done by a famous illustrator who used the wife of a politician to portray the Wicked Witch of the West in his book of Oz. You had to be blind to not recognize her face.


No edition information given.

4/23/14

COWBOY illustrations


I've never been a fan of Louis L'Amour books, but my father has a big stack of them given to him by the wife of a deceased friend. I think over the years dad has probably read all of them, but has no interest in me buying more of them. These days he's a big fan of Craig Johnson's Longmire series, a pseudo western. When my dad finishes reading a book he always hands it to me, no matter if I'm interested in it or not. I am the repository of books. I still say that anyone could walk into my home and find at least one book they'd like to read.

These three books were stuck in a paper bag of books I'd taken off a bookshelf when some new windows were installed last year. Yes, it's taken me this long to get the bookshelf back in place and start sorting the books. This time I'm going through and picking out stuff that will not go back on the shelf. Mind you, it's hard for me to get rid of a book. I love books, but then I'd have to since I make my living creating them.


1979 edition. Click on image to see it larger. 

What first struck me about one of these is how much one face looks like a friend's husband. Now, that would seem highly unlikely, except for the fact that he was an actor who did appear in several westerns. So maybe, just maybe, the illustrator was working from a photo of him. I've sent the image along to my friend to see what she thinks.


1985 edition. Click on image to see it larger. 

No information is ever given about the illustrators of these books, which to me is a shame. Just a brief callout on the copyright page would be nice. I'd like to be able to compare images they've done. It sort of boggles the mind how many illustrations have been done for paperbacks since their inception. Artists cranking out one cover after another, but still giving their best. A lot was riding on these illustrations, no pun intended. Point of purchase sale was the most important element behind what finally got chosen. Did the illustration capture something that would make a buyer stop and become a reader?


1979 edition. Click on image to see it larger. 

Will I toss these books as I put the shelves back together? Probably not. I'll never read them, but I do like the covers.