Sunday, February 27, 2011

Brenda Starr's Paris Fashions, 1950

I wasn't as familiar with the Brenda from this era, with the short bobbed hair. I grew up with the sixties Brenda of the big bouffant, and of course I'd seen the forties version with the shoulder length hair. This 50s version is pretty classy. 

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Paperdoll Review #49

Another outstanding issue by Marilyn Henry, Jenny Taliadoros, David Wolfe and many contributing writers. Loved reading about Marilyn's memories of her first encounter with the Ziegfield Girl paper doll and paint book, the same set that enchanted David when he was a kid. Charlotte Whatley and Marilyn give an excellent overview of western-themed paper dolls, Gina Clarke provides a history of the Magic Mary sets and Evie Fullingim spotlights Betsy McCall. Marilyn also takes a look at "growing" paper dolls, that show children growing through the years.   Click on the table of contents for subscription information. Of course, that's Hedy Lamarr and Lana Turner on the cover.

Marilyn Henry's Judy Garland is one of the prettiest illustrations I've seen of this star.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Betty Bonnet's Twin Cousins, 1916

I posted one twin two years ago--about time I posted the other twin! Lots of stray pieces came with this cut set. Only later did I realize they did not belong to this set, which appeared in the July 1916 issue of The Ladies' Home Journal. The beach ball, for example. Some hats are missing. The bonus is that hand drawn dress, of course.
Thanks as always to Mary Young, whose guide books are invaluable. I recommend Mary's A Collector's Guide to Magazine Paper Dolls, which can be found on eBay or the out-of-print section of an online bookseller such as Amazon or Alibris.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Presidents Day

Yes, it's George and Martha, but not from a historical set, as I explained here. But if it's American history you're looking for, you can't go wrong in Philadelphia. Here's Garth Lax with more information about the host city for this year's paper doll convention: 

                            LET  FREEDOM  RING !
                                    Email # 4
Continuing with our tour of the "Old City" of Philadelphia - when we left
you 2 weeks ago, we were at the Second Bank of the United States,
enjoying its excellent portrait gallery.
As you leave the Second Bank of the United States, cross 4th Street,
and continue east on Chestnut Street. In the middle of the block is a
small alleyway to your right. The building that faces you at the end
is a treasure - - Carpenters' Hall.
Historic Philadelphia. Carpenters' Hall, a splendid cruciform building
with an octagonal cupola, hosted the First Continental Congress in
1774 and was the original home to Franklin's Library Company, The
American Philosophical Society, and the First and Second Banks
of the United States.
Today, Carpenters' Hall is open to the public and welcomes over
150,000 world-wide visitors to this wonderful Georgian building.
Admission is Free.
Leaving Carpenters Hall, walk back down the alley. (If you have time,
you may wish to stop at the New Hall Military Museum on your left,
or, on your right, Pemberton House which houses the National Parks
Museum Shop). Cross Chestnut Street, turn right, and in the middle of
the block between 4th and 3rd Streets there's another alley leading
north. Follow it, and you'll come to Franklin Court.
No visit to old Philadelphia would be complete without mention of its
most famous citizen, Benjamin Franklin.
This is the spot where Benjamin Franklin lived, and although his house
was demolished in 1812, it is outlined by a skeletal structure of tubular
steel above ground. Underground you'll find a museum with displays,
interactive exhibits, and a 22-minute film on Franklin.
Just beyond Franklin Court, on Market Street, are restorations of
five buildings, three of which were erected by Franklin, that contain
an 18th century Post Office, an architectural/archeology exhibit,
an operating post office, and a postal museum. It's appropriate, since
Franklin was responsible for the US Post Officel Department, and was
the country's first Postmaster-General.
Leaving the Market Street buildings, turn right, cross 3rd Street, and
continue east one block to 2nd Street. Turn left (north) on 2nd Street
and walk about half a block to an architectural gem - - Christ Church.
This Anglican (Episcopal) Church, at 2nd Street just above Walnut St.,
is one of the nation's quintessential Colonial churches. It is a beautiful
brick structure with a 200 foot white steeple. Its construction began in
1727, and those who worshiped there regularly included George
Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Betsy Ross, Robert Morris, and
Dr. Benjamin Rush. The church preserves the pews used by
Washington, John Adams, and their wives.
The interior of the church is every bit as lovely as its exterior. It contains
a baptismal font from the 1300s - - a gift from London's All Hallows
Church in which William Penn was baptized, a pulpit from 1769, and
a chandelier still in use since its installation in 1740.
The interior is open Monday-Saturday 9 - 5, Sunday 1 - 5.
Your visit to the interior is free; the Church suggests a $3.00 donation.
Leaving the Church, turn left and walk 1/2 block to Arch Street.Cross
Arch Street, and walk 1/2 block north to Elfreth's Alley on your right.
This 15 foot wide street, bordered by 33 houses is among the oldest
continuously inhabited residential streets in North America, and is a
National Historic Landmark. The oldest houses in the Alley are
nearly 300 years old.
Among the Alley's residents were tradesmen and their families, including
shipwrights, silversmiths, dressmakers, and pewter smiths. The Alley is
a rare surviving example of 18th century working-class housing.
The Georgian and Federal style houses, two to three and a half stories
high, and the cobblestone street, were typical of Philadelphia in the
early 1700s.
There is a Gift shop in #124, which also offers Guided Tours, and a
Museum in #126. All other houses private and must be viewed from the
outside. The Museum is open Tuesday - Saturday 10 AM - 5 PM;
Sunday 12 PM - 5 PM. Museum admission is $5.00 US.
Naturally, with a street only 15 feet wide, you stroll down Elfreth's
Alley, rather than drive. 
Leaving Elfreth's Alley the way you entered, turn left, and walk 1/2
block south to Arch Street. Now, turn right, and walk just over a block
to the Betsy Ross House.
According to the oral history, in 1777, three men-George Washington,
Robert Morris, and George Ross, visited Betsy Ross in her upholstery
shop. Washington pulled a folded piece of paper from his inside coat
pocket. On it was a sketch of a flag with thirteen red and white stripes
and thirteen six-pointed stars.
Washington asked if Betsy could make a flag from the design. Betsy
responded: "I do not know, but I will try."
As the story goes, Betsy suggested changing the stars to five points
rather than six. She showed them how with just one snip of her scissors.
They all agreed to change the design to have stars with five points.
Betsy Ross then proceeded to construct the first US Flag.
Her home, at 239 Arch Street, was built over 250 years ago - - the front
portion about 1740, and the stair hall and rear section in the 1750s.
The structure is a variation of a "bandbox" style house, with one room
on each floor and a winding staircase stretching from the cellar to the
upper levels. The building's front façade, with a large window on the first
floor to display merchandise, and its proximity to the Delaware River,
made it an ideal location for a business. In fact, the house served as
both a business and a residence for many different shopkeepers and
artisans for more than 150 years. The first floor front room was used
as the workshop and showroom. The business owner and his or her
family lived in the rest of the house.
Today, the Betsy Ross House is furnished in the period in which Betsy
lived here. You can view seven period rooms, including a kitchen, parlor,
bedrooms,  and the only interpretation of an 18th century upholstery
shop in the country. The rooms are furnished with period antiques,
18th-century reproductions and objects that belonged to Betsy Ross
and her family. Highlights of the collection include Betsy Ross' walnut
chest-on-chest, her Chippendale and Sheraton side chairs, her
eyeglasses, her quilted petticoat and her Bible.
The house is open 10 AM - 5 PM every day. Admission is $3.00.
Hot dogs, drinks and snacks are offered in the courtyard.
After you tour the house, make sure to meet Betsy Ross and plan
to spend some time relaxing in the shady courtyard where you'll enjoy
free family-friendly programming, hear storytelling and see colonial
crafters at work. It's a good opportunity to take a little rest.
Exiting the Betsy Ross House, turn right, and stroll west on Arch St.
for three blocks and cross Arch Street to the Christ Church Burial
In this two-acre space are 1400 markers, including the graves of
Benjamin Franklin, Francis Hopkinson, Joseph Hewes, George Ross,
and Dr. Benjamin Rush - - all signers of the Declaration of
Independence; Dr. Thomas Bond, the founder of the first hospital; and
Commodore William Bainbridge the Commander of "Old Ironsides",
the USS Constitution.
The Burial Ground is at the corner of Arch Street and 5th Street.
Cross 5th Street, turn left, stroll 1/2 block south, and you'll be
right back at the Visitors Center where you started.
I’m sure that you’ve noticed that Emails #3 and #4 have taken you on
a circular self-guided tour of the sights and venues in the Independence
Mall area. You can skip venues if you wish, and at any time, can stroll
two or three blocks across the circle, and be back at the Visitors Center.
So - - there you have the remainder of the "old city" sights.
Well, not quite - - there are a couple more spots of interest that
I'll cover in one of the later emails.
However, as you can see, a day in the "old city" can bring you
face to face with the nexus of US History in its earliest days,
and permit you to walk the paths and visit the buildings and rooms
where so much history took place.
- - Garth
                               August 17 - 21, 2011
                  Embassy Suites - Philadelphia Airport
                               9000 Bartram Avenue
                            Philadelphia,  PA  19153
                          CONVENTION REGISTRATION
CITY_______________________STATE_______ ZIP/PC__________
Registration:  $295.00 USD 
Absentee Registration:  $155.00 USD
  (Absentee Registrations are limited in number.)
Guest Registration (Meals, Reception Party) $150.00
  GUEST NAME:__________________________________________
Make Checks payable to:  2011 Paper Doll Convention
____ Check/money order enclosed
____ Credit Card #____________________________Exp.Date______
        (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, AmEx accepted)
        (charge will appear on statement as "Paperdoll Review")
Mail to:
David Wolfe
P.O. Box 2279
New Preston,  CT  06777

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Purr-Sonal Greeting, 1912

I love this card, not just for the crazy grin on the cat, but for the newsy post on reverse, touching on the cold weather, farm life and even fashion. Note the sender added his own message to the cat's paper: Ye Ow What A Climate.

Here's the news Will sent to his sister, Mrs. Annie Maillat of Parkers Glen, Pike Co., Pa. on Jan. 25, 1912:

Dear Sis, I haven't heard any whippoorwills lately around here but Em saw a robin in one of our trees the other day. I had a letter from Frank yesterday it has been very cold out there too and lots of snow. We have been very lucky to escape that part of it. Lots of sickness around here, mostly pneumonia. Our hens are doing well considering the climate. We get from 10 to 14 from 35 hens. Hope this finds you all well. Will
Then Will adds a line going up the left side: Straw hats are not in style now. Sweet.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Two frisky young pussies! 1907

Egad! OK, this is 1907, I'm sure "Rob" meant no harm by this very weird card. Forget the greeting on the front, which likely makes any smart aleck from the mid-20th century on snicker. What's with the strange looking dame with the fearsome schnozz? And that odd pile of  hair. Looks like a Mad Magazine illustration. Hope Miss Edith Heator and Mrs. N. Steen took no offense.

Here's what Rob had to say:
Will be over Sunday at 2:30 p.m. so be on the look out. Is it lonesome with out me can not get home unless I come after my affinity. It take[s] your affinity to bring you home. Love Rob.
Sounds like Rob was shy about courting, and wanted some reassurance.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Kitty with pink bow, 1910

Mr. Francis Ditzler of 218 Guilford St. received this on April 27, 1910, signed simply, "Guess From Who." Only "City" appeared where a city and state should have been written, and it found its way through the mail. The postmark clearly says Lebanon, so could be Pennsylvania.  

Monday, February 14, 2011

Beatnik valentine, c. 1959

An American Greeting card, which Molly McClure was very clever (and brave) to send to her beau.

Happy Valentine's Day

A tag I made yesterday for my husband. I kept it simple, so I had no excuse not to do it! The tag was a long ago gift in a zine swap, beautifully painted in shades of pink and gold, so all I had to do was glue on elements from my scrap heap.

Thanks to Nan at Retired in Alaska for the inspiration. Check out her blog to see some absolutely gorgeous tags, and some fabulous pictures of her life way up north.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A googly-eyed valentine, 1911

Googly-eyed dolls were quite popular during the era when this card was produced, so it's no surprise they'd show up on valentines, too.  Copyrighted 1911 Schlesinger Bros., N.Y.

Dear Friend
We arrived at Tiffin all O.K. We certainly had a fine time. My address is 19 Coe St.
Cletus Diringer

Saturday, February 12, 2011

"Cut me out" valentine, c. 1930s

I love the Fern Bisel Peat line and colors, but not sure this is Peat. The initials under the candy box look like NFC. Hmmm....This is another copy of a vintage card, part of a freebie at a paper doll luncheon.

UPDATE: I just realized I had a copy of a valentine (just the image, captured from the internet some time ago) by the same artist:

Friday, February 11, 2011

"Ballet-Hoo" valentine, c. 1940s

An A-Meri-Card with a cute paper doll and corny pun, of course! This copy of the vintage card was distributed at a paper doll luncheon.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Friday, February 4, 2011

I. T. Schick & Son Millinery Importers, 1908

A beauty of a postcard from the milliners on Chestnut Street in Philadelphia.

And more news from Garth Lax, this time regarding all the great sites to see in the historic city:

                        LET  FREEDOM  RING !
                                   Email # 3
234 Years ago a group of 56 British Colonists gathered in Philadelphia
in the State House of the Province of Pennsylvania, and from that
gathering emerged the Declaration of Independence. In 1787, delegates
gathered there to write the Constitution of the United States
Today, the area in which they walked is known as the "old city", and
you can still tour the original buildings, see the chambers, and stroll
the streets that saw so much of the early history of the United States.
Before you come to Philadelphia, rent a copy of the movie, "1776",
or in the U.S. just watch for it on television right around July 4. It's an
historical musical, very entertaining, and set in the "Old City" of
Philadelphia. You'll watch the recreation of events in the legislative
chambers of Independence Hall, and see many of the buildings that
we'll mention in this email and the next one.
You'll "meet" many of the people who met in Philadelphia in 1776 - - an
entertaining Benjamin Franklin, an exceptionally well-played John
Adams, a young Thomas Jefferson, John Hancock, and many more.
"1776" will make the "Old City" more alive and your visit much more
Let's get started.
The Visitor Center, at the corner of 6th and Market Streets, is the point
at which you should begin. You can view the 28 minute film,
"Independence"; visit touch screen computer kiosks; pick up maps and
other literature; and have any questions answered by Park Rangers.
However, the main reason is that this is where you'll get your free
timed ticket to visit Independence Hall. You must have a ticket to
enter Independence Hall. You'll pick up your ticket on the day of your
visit starting at 8:30 a.m. Arrive early — during the busy season, tickets
often are gone by 1 p.m. 
To guarantee a ticket and to avoid waiting in the walk-up ticket line,
consider purchasing timed tickets ($1.50 each) in advance, either by
phone or online through the National Park Reservation system. You
may call toll free at: 1-877-444-6777 from 10AM to 10 PM Eastern
Time or you nay use the website at . While tickets
to Independence Hall are free, the reservation fee is $1.50 per ticket.
You must claim them (using reservation number and valid identification)
at least 60 minutes before the tour on the day of your visit. The
"Will Call" section is to the left at the desk. You do not need to wait
in the walk-up ticket line.
The famous bell was commissioned from the London firm of Lester
and Pack (today the Whitechapel Bell Foundry) in 1752, and was cast
with the lettering (part of Leviticus 25:10) "Proclaim LIBERTY throughout
all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof." It originally cracked when
first rung after arrival in Philadelphia, and was twice recast by Pass and 
Stow, whose last names appear on the bell. It acquired its distinctive
large crack sometime in the early 19th century—the conventional story
claims that it cracked while ringing after the death of Chief Justice
John Marshall in 1835.
Originally, the Bell was mounted in the steeple of what today is
Independence Hall. For a time (1950s to 1970s), the bell hung on
its yoke in the Tower Room of Independence Hall, where it was
visited (and touched) by millions, to the point at which portions of
the lip had the patina worn away to expose the original copper and
tin alloy.
Today, the 2080 pound (940 kg) bell is housed in its own pavilion
across the street from Independence Hall. It's Free.
To get there, as you leave the Visitor Center, walk south, cross Market
Street, and head for the metal and glass building in the middle of the
block between 5th and 6th Streets - - the security screening center.
It's a bit like airport security - - place all metal objects in your purse or
camera bag, remove your belt. The security line sometimes is long, so
check your timed Independence Hall ticket, and allow about 45-60
minutes to go through security, visit the Liberty Bell Center, and go on
to Independence Hall. (If time does not allow, then go to Independence
Hall and come back to the Liberty Bell later.)
Liberty Bell Center is open from 9 AM to 5 PM.
Independence Hall, the centerpiece of Independence National Historic
Park, is located on Chestnut Street between 5th and 6th Streets.
The lovely building in the Georgian style, was built between 1732 and
1753, and served as the Pennsylvania State House. This is the building
in which the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution were
vigorously debated and adopted. 
The guided tour of Independence Hall, led by National Park Rangers,
begins in the courtroom where lawyers from opposing sides shared
tables and law books. George Washington’s “rising sun” chair
dominates the Assembly Room which is arranged as it was during the
Constitutional Convention. In the adjacent West Wing, the original
inkstand used to sign he Declaration of Independence and an original
draft of the Constitution are displayed.
The Assembly Room in which the Declaration was adopted is pictured
on the reverse of the US $2 bill from the painting by John Trumbull.
Independence Hall is open 365 days a year. Hours vary by season.
Following your tour, you'll exit Independence Hall by the front door that
faces south. Now, make a quick right and walk to the next building,
Congress Hall.
 From 1790 to 1800, Philadelphia was the Capital of the U.S., and
Congress Hall was the Capitol Building, housing the House of
Representatives and the US Senate.
It's next door to Independence Hall - - just to the west.
The exquisite red brick building topped by a cupola and weather vane
was completed in 1789. It was in this building that Congress ratified
the Bill of Rights, signed the Jay Treaty, watched Washington and
John Adams take the Oath of Office as President, and heard
Washington's Farewell Address in 1797.
The House chamber on the first floor (hence its nickname, the "Lower
House") was rather simple and featured mahogany desks and leather
chairs. The room has been restored to its original appearance in 1796.
The second floor, reserved for the Senate (the "Upper House"), was
more ornate and adorned with heavy red drapes.
By 1796, the room featured 32 secretary desks very similar to the
desks that still are used in the current Senate chamber in the
US Capitol. 28 of the desks at Congress Hall are original. Portraits of
Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, gifts from Louis XVI , hang in adjoining
committee rooms. Be sure to look up at the fresco of an American
Bald Eagle painted on the ceiling, holding the traditional olive branch
to symbolize peace. Also on the ceiling is a plaster medallion in the
form of a sunburst; the 13 stars representing the 13 original colonies.
Tours are conducted throughout the year.
When you exit Congress Hall, walk along Chestnut Street toward 5th St.
Make a right on 5th St. The first building on your right is Old City Hall.
From 1790 to 1800, the US Supreme Court met in Philadelphia's
Old City Hall, a 2 1/2 story red brick building just to the east of
Independence Hall. The building is nearly a copy of Congress Hall,
but a bit less elegant.
Guided tours are conducted several times a day. Entry is free,
but restricted to the guided tours.
The next building that you'll come to is Philosophical Hall.
The Hall, constructed between 1785 and 1789, was the central
meeting place for members of the American Philosophical Society.
The Society was founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1743, and its
members included George Washington, John Adams, Thomas
Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, as well as doctors, lawyers,
merchants, clergymen, and artisans.
The building is open to the public and contains very interesting
exhibits. The current exhibition, "Of Elephants and Roses; Encounters
with French Natural History, 1790-1830" has a somewhat off-putting
title. However, imagine yourself in Paris 200 years ago. You could
have seen the Empress Josephine’s famous black swan, a mastodon
tooth sent by Thomas Jefferson to the Paris Museum of Natural
History, and original watercolors by Pierre-Joseph Redouté, known as
the “Raphael of flowers.”  These are among the objects that will be on
view in this sumptuous exhibition about the science and art of French
natural history from the 1789 Revolution to the July Monarchy of 1830
- - an era when Paris was the center of life sciences in the Western
world, and Philadelphia, the center of science in North America.
Philosophical Hall is open 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Thursday-Sunday
(on Fridays, it's open until 8 PM)
A $1.00 donation is requested.
When you exit Philosophical Hall, make a left and walk back toward
Chestnut Street. Turn right on Chestnut Street and walk about halfway
down the block to the Second Bank of the United States.
At the corner of 4th and Chestnut Streets, three blocks east of
Independence Hall is a beautiful Greek Revival Building, one of the
finest in the U.S., that was built to house the Second Bank of the
United States.
With its eight Doric columns, crowned by an entablature containing a
frieze and simple triangular pediment that spans the width of the
structure, the building appears much as an ancient Greek temple
The building has had many uses since the bank closed in 1841.
Today, it serves as an art gallery, housing a large and famous
collection of portraits of prominent early Americans painted by
Charles Wilson Peale and many others.
The structure is open daily free of charge.
I'll be back in two weeks with In the Footsteps of Benjamin Franklin #2.
- - Garth
                               August 17 - 21, 2011
                  Embassy Suites - Philadelphia Airport
                               9000 Bartram Avenue
                            Philadelphia,  PA  19153
                          CONVENTION REGISTRATION
CITY_______________________STATE_______ ZIP/PC__________
Registration:  $295.00 USD 
Absentee Registration:  $155.00 USD
  (Absentee Registrations are limited in number.)
Guest Registration (Meals, Reception Party) $150.00
  GUEST NAME:__________________________________________
Make Checks payable to:  2011 Paper Doll Convention
____ Check/money order enclosed
____ Credit Card #____________________________Exp.Date______
        (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, AmEx accepted)
        (charge will appear on statement as "Paperdoll Review")
Mail to:
David Wolfe
P.O. Box 2279
New Preston,  CT  06777

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Certificate of merit , 1908

Fannie Wright received this card from her teacher Grace K.Wiles on Jan. 21, 1908. Wiles must have handed it to Fannie in class (it's not a postcard) and simply inscribed their names and the date.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Yours Fur-Ever Valentine, 1934

A Whitney Made Worcester Mass. card. No message on back, but it was mailed from Sarasota, Fl., to Miss Edith Izier in Ridgewood, N.J.