Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Curing the Common Hangover

No doubt most of us will be raising a glass to bid 2013 a fond fare-thee-well and welcome in the New Year. While I heartily approve of this tradition (and intend on partaking myself), there’s always the harrowing experience of a New Year’s Day spent feeling like the dregs of a dog’s dinner to think about. Yes, party hearty and pay dearly seems to be the motto where drinking is concerned for even though the US Mail doesn’t deliver on New Year’s Day, Mr. Hangover definitely will be making house calls.

Doubtless humankind discovered the hangover the night after discovering how to produce alcoholic beverages. Since that fateful morning partiers have sought cures for the fatigue, nausea, light and sound sensitivity, dizziness, and skull-crushing headache brought on by a night spent in the bottle. Unfortunately, the passing eons have failed to yield up a remedy for this scourge.

It seems a little odd that humanity never has come up with a cure for the common hangover. I mean since the Stone Age we’ve been fermenting various ingredients, indulging in the mind-altering results, and presumably suffering for the ensuing ill but in the age of rovers on Mars we’re still not sure how to treat Brown Bottle Flu. The best the Mayo Clinic has to offer is drink lots of water, eat a bland snack, take two aspirin, and sleep it off. Sometimes you think they’re not even trying.

What did our ancient (and not-so-ancient) ancestors do when the party they had last night went sour in the morning? Well, here are some folk remedies for hangover – and be forewarned, I do not endorse or recommend any of these for reasons that I think will be obvious.

A Hat-full of Alder Leaves: Some Native American tribes in the Rockies recommended that a wife place the leaves of an alder tree under her husband’s hat not only as a treatment for hangover but general grumpiness. Seems like finding your hat filled with foliage might actually cause grumpiness rather than relieve it. Finding one’s fedora stuffed with twigs and leaves after a night in the ruts might leave a fellow wondering exactly what he’d gotten into before finding his way home.

Headache Flower: In Britain a common folk remedy for hangover was chewing the seeds of wild poppies. It’s important to say that your average poppy seed muffin isn’t going to produce any ill effects, but chow down on a large amount and you might just take a trip in William S. Burroughs Dream Machine. You may already know poppies are used to produce morphine, once a key pain reliever, so it’s possible that the poppy seed cure might be the only effective treatment for a hangover – that is if you don’t mind Lewis Carol-style tea parties. The British post-party pharmacopeia also included betony, viper’s bugloss, mint, and yarrow.

The Hair of the Dog: Before Shakespeare’s time this phrase actually referred to a treatment for genuine dog bites. The idea was for the one who had been bitten to find the offending dog and pluck a few of its hairs, mix them with soot and hog fat and rub it into the wound as a cure – which might just result in needing more dog hair for the bites you receive while trying to treat your dog bite. In ancient medical texts this treatment usually was recommended for being bitten by a rabid dog. The use of the phrase “the hair of the dog that bit you" in reference to hangover treatments has been in use since Shakespeare's time.

The Bloody Mary: Much more pleasant than contemplating plucking hair from a rabid canine is imbibing a Bloody Mary the morning after a binge. Fernand Petiot claimed have invented the drink in 1921 while tending bar at the New York Bar in though this claim can be disputed. Gossip columnist Lucius Beebe printed one of the first US references to the Bloody Mary in 1939 in a column about New York’s 21 Club, including the original recipe:

"George Jessel’s newest pick-me-up which is receiving attention from the town’s paragraphers is called a Bloody Mary: half tomato juice, half vodka

Deep Fried: One thing the old remedies have in common with the Mayo Clinic is a belief that food can help stave off the effects of a hangover. However, the old cures tend to lean toward fatty and fried, high-calorie dishes. After a tough night at the forum, the ancient Romans treated a bad case of passum-head with a nice plate of deep-fried canaries. After an Olympic drinking marathon, the Greeks sought relief by devouring sheep's lungs. And medieval tavern-goers sought to cure their hangovers with a paste of eel and bitter almond. I guess, considering the options, sliders aren’t such a bad choice after all.

Folklore aside, my personal advice is all things in moderation. I’d recommend a little less drink for a lot less pain. Besides, it’ll mean a lot less un-tagging of embarrassing pictures on Facebook once you’re able to bear looking at the computer screen!

I've always had a thing for flying boats, so the China Clipper is a fascination for me. So, while shopping images, I perked up at seeing this shot in an article on Glenn Martin and Martin's construction of bombers and clippers from the May 1937 issue of Life Magazine. Take a close look at the nose of the plane and you'll see it, China Clipper.

I'll have to take some time to do a proper entry on the clipper soon, maybe this summer when the breeze is warm and a fellow's thoughts start turning to the sea.

A Pre-New Year's Eve Message

Planning on enjoying a night of partying on New Years and then the bowl games on New Year's Day? Well, maybe you should watch this message from Century Productions!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! Here's wishing you all the best in 2014!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Welcome to the Postseason

Welcome to the post season, football fans. All the prognostication is over and the swollen-headed experts can pretend the fantasy scenarios of how the season would play out they so proudly proclaimed back before week one actually played out. Most fans of the home team can begin their off-season commiseration and start looking forward to the eternal promise of next year while sixteen teams fight it out in the Thunderdome that is the NFL playoffs.

The photo is of Cal Hubbard of the New York Giants and was taken in November of 1936. Hubbard started playing pro ball in 1927 playing both defense and offense. In 1929 Hubbard moved to the Green Bay Packers where he played for the legendary Lambeau and won an NFL championship.

Hubbard took to the small town atmosphere in Green Bay and began umpiring baseball games during his summers there. In 1936, he took on a new career as an American League umpire and eventually became well known for his work on the diamond. In 1958 he was appointed umpire-in-chief of the AL and to date Hubbard is the only person to be enshrined in both the Baseball and Pro Football Halls of Fame.

The Funnies - Post Christmas Equation

Life Magazine, January 1914

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Federal Motor Truck Company

As the 1914 ad above suggests, the Federal Motor Truck Company had a reputation for being the every day truck, there to do the job. Its vehicles were basic, no radical design innovations or experimental motors, just tried and true trucks to do hard work.

The company was founded by Martin Pucher in 1910 and manufactured trucks at its Detroit, MI plant for most of its existence. Unlike many early automotive companies, Federal endured through the Great Depression and produced vehicles up into the 1950's. Eventually it fell on hard times, though, and military contracts weren't enough to keep it alive. The last Federal was produced in 1959.

You can read a much more detailed account of Federal's history by Rolland Jerry here, and I've added a little, PowerPoint-esque video showing some Federal trucks below (hope you don't mind the irritating ad attached to the video).

Friday, December 27, 2013

Willard Young and his Orchestra - Turn On the Heat

Ventured outside today and got a cold dose of reality...well, at least it was pretty cold. So, in honor of the inclement weather, here's a little ditty by Willard Young and his Orchestra extolling the positives of a good central heating system.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Pennsylvania Oilproof Vacuum Cup Tires (1914)

Pennsylvania Oilproof Vacuum Cup Tires...it took several minutes for me to figure out the middle line of text was "oilproof". I guess typography wasn't a big concern in 1914 when this ad aired. I'm sure that what we see as double (or even triple) entendre went without so much as a raised eyebrow back in the ragtime era too. I like to imagine that a car equipped with PA oilproof tires sounded like a motorized octopus going down the avenue. Cue the suction-cup sound effects!

Speaking of suction cups, notice that the ad executives didn't use that term when describing their tire tread design? Patents for the first modern suction cups were issued by the US Patent Office in the 1860s. TC Roche was awarded a patent in 1866 for what he called a "Photographic Developer Dipping Stick". In 1868 Orwell Needham patented a more refined suction cup, calling it an "Atmospheric Knob"  which he purposed for use as a handle for drawers. I couldn't find an etymology for "suction cup" on the web, but I'm sure it's out there somewhere and that it probably didn't come into use until after 1914.

I couldn't find any definitive information on the fate of the Pennsylvania Rubber Company, though I did find that a company going by the name of  the Pennsylvania Rubber Works moved from Erie, PA to Jeannette, PA in 1903. It's probably that the name changed at some time and that the records of that change didn't show up in my web search. I did find a postcard of the Pennsylvania Rubber Works in Jeannette, though. These cards always amaze me. I mean, the factory and the landscape in which it appears are utterly un-amazing and though I appreciate having it as a document for this blog post, I can't imagine sending it to the folks back home. 

On the back of the card, "Hey mom and dad, just drove by this building and boy did it stink. Made me miss ma's meatloaf..."

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The Christmas Pudding

If you've taken a little time to browse this blog, you'll know I have a fascination with the past. Whether it's old cars, advertising from the 30's, the music of the 20's, or the comics of the early 1900's, I'm fond of all things forgotten. So, it probably isn't surprising that I found a somewhat forgotten Christmas day tradition to write about today. What is that tradition, you ask? It's the dinner table cannon ball, the desert bowling ball, the Christmas pudding.

Many believe the recipe for the Christmas (plum) pudding can be traced back to medieval England, but the first recipes appear in 17th century publications. The ancestors of the plum pudding may be older, going back to savory puddings such as those found in the Harleian Collection  of manuscripts found in the British Library. In the 1400's a method for preserving meat in a pastry casing with dried fruits in the form of pies became popular and these mince pies became popular dishes for the festive season.  The chief ancestor of the modern pudding, though, goes all the way back to the pottage of Roman times. Pottage was slow cooked in a large pot and by the 15th century plum pottage, a stew of vegetables and fruit, had become a common first course. While this is all well and good, what about the holiday treat Dickens' Tiny Tim heard singing in the copper? Well, it wouldn't come into being until the Victorian era.

Over time the savory elements of mince pies and pottage were scaled back and an emphasis was placed on sweet fruits and though mince pies still exist to this day, pottage eventually became largely known as plum pudding. In 1747 East Sussex cook Eliza Acton recorded the first recipe for Christmas Pudding in a cookbook and by the 1830's the holly-topped ball of flour, fruits, suet, and spices appeared on holiday tables. I did some digging and came up with the following 1837 recipe for Christmas Pudding from a book with the catchy title of A Housekeeper's Book: Comprising Advice on the Conduct of Household Affairs in General by Frances Harriet Green. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A Christmas Card from the Gentleman from Indiana

Here's wishing you and yours every blessing of the season!

May your stockings and hears be full!

The Grinch is Serving...

Now we don't think of yeast as a food unto itself, but dig into the magazine archive and you'll find ads touting it not only as food but as good for digestion. Nothing like a little yeast mash to wash down Christmas dinner!

Monday, December 23, 2013

A Little Christmas Music - Send Me Your Love for Christmas (Raymond Scott Orchestra)

Well, here we are. Christmas Eve is dawning and the jolly old elf is making a last check of the tack and harness while the elves tune up the jingle bells. It's been fun punctuating the season with a bit of holiday music from off the beaten path. All that's left is tearing the wrapping paper off those lovely presents under the tree and getting to work on January's resolutions.

What's one of the best gifts a fellow could get on Christmas day? Well, I'd say a little love from the one he loves best! And in keeping with that sentiment I'll make my last yuletide ditty Send Me Your Love for Christmas by Raymond Scott and his Orchestra. Here's hoping you and yours have the jolliest of holidays, may the seasons blessings find their way into your stockings and your heart brim with cheer!

The Funnies - New in Town (1927)

Life Magazine, 1927

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Stutz Motor Company

My apologies for getting a late start to posting the regular Sunday automotive musings. Blame it on the season and the weather, we spent Saturday carousing with some good friends and a rainy gloom has fallen over the city, making daybreak seem to arrive sometime around eleven-thirty. Regardless, I've managed to shake the cobwebs off and I thought in honor of last night's festivities I'd do a little holiday piece. No, that doesn't mean images of Santa riding cars or ads extolling the virtues of buying an automobile for your honey's stocking (though I think I'll do both of those in coming holiday seasons). Instead I'm taking a more sidelong approach. As I've mentioned before, Kelly and I belong to several swing clubs and this year one of them held its annual Christmas Ball at the Stutz Building here in Indianapolis which meant we got to spend some time in the company of some great old cars.

The Stutz Bearcat on display at the Stutz Business Center, Indianapolis, IN

The Stutz Motor Company made high-end cars here in Indy starting as the Ideal Motor Car Company around 1911 and produced vehicles all the way up to 1995. Possibly one of the most famous of Stutz's cars is the Bearcat which featured one of the first multi-valve engines to appear in automobiles. 1919 brought stockholder troubles and in 1922 control of the company had changed as did its focus.  The re-imagined Stutz produced "safety cars", that is to say automobiles which featured innovations such as windshields made of safety glass, a low center of gravity for better handling, and the "Noback" transmission designed to hold hills.

The Stutz Black Hawk Streamline LSR Car at the Stutz Business Center, Indianapolis, IN

In 1927 Stutz set the world land speed record, averaging 68 miles per hour over 24 hours and in 1928 driver Frank Lockhart employed a pair of supercharged DOHC 1.5 liter engines to power his Stutz Black Hawk streamline racer.  Lockhart turned in a speed of 198.29 mph in his first pass with the Black Hawk, but in his second run a blown tire resulted in a violent crash which ejected Lockhart from the vehicle killing him instantly.

1973 Stutz Blackhawk at the Stutz Business Center, Indianapolis, IN

Stutz production came to an end in 1935 and didn't resume until 1968 when a New York banker funded Stutz Motor Car of America. In 1970 the prototype Stutz Blackhawk was distributed featuring GM parts. These cars featured all the luxuries the 70's could offer: power steering, automatic transmission, power brakes, electric windows, air conditioning, power locks, electric seats, and all leather upholstery. Initially the venture was successful, Elvis Presley bought a Blackhawk in 1971 and other Stutz owners included Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Evel Knievel, Barry White, Lucille Ball, and Sammy Davis Jr. The high cost of a Stutz meant an extremely small production run (less than 700 vehicles between 1971 and 1882).

Wiki-rumors have Stutz currently designing an electric vehicle, but that seems to be wishful thinking. With competitors like Tesla Motors, Fisker, BMW, Cadillac, and Mercedes in the market it seems unlikely that a niche manufacturer like Stutz could make inroads.

A Little Christmas Music - Christmas Island (The Dinning Sisters and Bob Atcher)

Yes, long before Jimmy Buffet and his parrot heads got hold of it, the song Christmas Island was a hit.

The Dinning family consisted of nine children, all musically inclined. After winning several amateur musical contests, three of the family, twins Jean and Ginger and sister Lou started performing with their brother Ace's orchestra. Eventually the trio moved from Oklahoma to Chicago where they were hired by NBC radio eventually becoming the highest paid act in the city.

An interesting link between past and present, the Dinnings nephew Dean was bassist for Toad the Wet Sprocket.

The song Christmas Island was written by actor Lyle Moraine in 1946 and originally popularized by the Andrew Sisters backed by Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians in a Decca recording that same year. Moraine appeared in 42 motion pictures, often without credit. If you want to see Moraine in action you can rent Son of Paleface starring Bob Hope and Roy Rogers. Moraine appears as a bank clerk in the film and co-wrote the cowboy songs sung by Rogers in the film with Jack Brooks and Jack Hope.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

A Little Christmas Music - It's Winter Again (Hal Kemp)

There's a little nip in the air, so it's a good time for a tune from Hal Kemp. Let's try It's Winter Again.

The Grinch is Serving...

Hunt's Rice and Beef Porcupines...spit out the quills.

Friday, December 20, 2013

A Little Christmas Music - White Christmas (Louis Armstrong)

Ah Louie, Mr. Armstrong I'd dearly have loved to have seen you in person. If the time machine is ever invented, I'll use one of my trips to spend an evening dancing to the music of Louis Armstrong. For the time being, here's his unique version of Irving Berlin's White Christmas.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

A Little Christmas Music - Meet Me Under the Mistletoe (Dick Robertson and his Orchestra)

Here's another tune from Dick Robertson and his Orchestra, Meet Me Under the Mistletoe.

I thought I'd written about the tradition of mistletoe somewhere in my blog, but when I looked I couldn't find anything on the subject. At the risk of repeating myself (I beg forgiveness if I do, the dog is getting older you know), to remedy that situation let's touch on the origin of smooching under the old yuletide weed.

Mistletoe is a parasitic plant that attaches itself to a tree or bush, drawing water and nutrients from its host in order to live. Now, that doesn't seem to be much of a starting point for a plant that's associated with love and kisses and the holiday season, but let's press on and try to ignore any unflattering comparisons to certain romantic entanglements.

The etymology of the word mistletoe isn't certain. Some say it's related to the German mist (for dung) and tang (for branch) as a reference to the fact that the plant can be spread via bird droppings. I find this origin dubious, though, since it's unlikely Germanic peoples naming the plant would have understood how it was spread well enough to make the link.

As this little spell from Queen Loeta and the Mistletoe, a 1857 tome by George Halse suggests, mistletoe has always been attributed with certain magical properties.

The magical essence of mistletoe goes back into antiquity and the most likely source of the Christmas custom associated with it might be the early church's habit of adopting pagan traditions into its ceremony to ease acceptance of the new faith. It's know that pre-Christian peoples in Europe saw mistletoe as a representation of the divine male essence, romance, fertility, and vitality and that these people sometimes kissed under sprigs of the plant seeking some sort of mystical boon.

Mistletoe as a Christmas decoration isn't mentioned before the 18th century. According to tradition, when a man and woman meet beneath the mistletoe they are obliged to kiss.  Washington Irving described this tradition in his 1820 The Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent.

The mistletoe is still hung up in farm-houses and kitchens at Christmas, and the young men have the privilege of kissing the girls under it, plucking each time a berry from the bush. When the berries are all plucked the privilege ceases.

And I like Mr. Irving's take on the tradition. Nothing increases fondness more than short supply.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Little Christmas Music - The Merry Christmas Polka (Dinah Shore)

Dinah Shore, darling of Chevrolet in the 50's achieved fame as a big band singer, an actress on the big screen, and as hostess of variety shows on the small screen. I have an unusual fascination with the polka, so much so that I forced my poor wife to learn the dance and play victim to my poor rendition of it every Oktoberfest. But the biergarten is closed and we're into the yuletide season and it's time to trot out a different, more Fezziwig kind of polka. So, here's Dinah and The Merry Christmas Polka.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Little Christmas Music - I told Santa Claus to Bring Me You (Bernie Cummins Orchestra)

Ohio seems to a hot spot for big bands. Bernie Cummins was born in Akron in 1900 and his first ensemble debuted in Indiana. Eventually Cummins put a dance band together and his lineup changed over the years to reflect the changing tastes of his audience. Since Cummins' orchestra primarily played the Midwest, it felt right to feature one of his Christmas ditties. I Told Santa Claus to Bring Me You is one in a series of popular songs where the singer pleads with the man in red for the perfect girl or boy wrapped up under the tree. Sounds a little bit like kidnapping to me, but the holiday season is filled with imponderables.

December: The Full Cold Moon

It's not surprising that December's full moon is known as the Full Cold Moon. In December here in the northern hemisphere we stand at the bottom of the year's wheel and often the bottom of the thermometer too. It's the perfect moon for seeing a certain flight crew of reindeer making practice runs in preparation for the big night.

Here's a little Almanac wisdom for December.

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Funnies - In the Gift Shoppe (1927)

Life magazine, December 1927

A Little Christmas Music - Santa Clause is on his Way(Sammy Kaye and his Orchestra)

Sammy Kaye was born Sammy Zarnocay, Jr. in Lakewood Ohio on March 13, 1910. Aside from the Christmas tune, Santa Clause is on His Way featured as my daily yuletide offering, Mr. Kaye has another December connection. Shortly after the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, Sammy wrote the music for the tune Remember Pearl Harbor. Surely it’s just one of many patriotic, support the military, and the boys over there songs that came out of the war era, but one worth mentioning.

A Yuletide Poem - The Mistletoe, A Fantasy of California by Carolus Ager

Sunday, December 15, 2013

A Little Christmas Music - I'm Doing my Christmas Dreaming (Frank Sinatra)

How about a little Blue Eyes to stave off a blue Christmas? With all the Sinatra schlock out there, I hadn't heard I'm Doing my Christmas Dreaming before I stumbled upon the recording while streaming the oldies. It's surprising what you'll find when you're not looking!

Dodge Brothers

Previously I've posted a 1954 Dodge ad, but this is a much older one. In 1922 Dodge promised lightness, hardihood, and economy. Yes, hardihood is a word. It is defined as boldness or daring and I can't really see any hardihood in what essentially amounts to Dodge's imitation of Ford's business coupe.

My grandfather was a Dodge man and when he passed away I inherited his old Dodge Challenger. At the time I didn't appreciate it, now I wish I had the lead sled back again. You never realize what you have until it's gone.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

A Little Christmas Music - Santa Clause is Coming to Town (Joe Moss and His Society Dance Orchestra)

Yet another version of the classic, Santa Clause is Coming to Town.

The Grinch is Serving...

Prem, Spam imitator, in hot sandwich form! There are dozens of Spam knockoffs, personally I remember my mother buying cans of Treet and recently I heard a broadcast of A Way with Words that featured a version that went by the name of Tang. This particular ad comes from a  1941 issue of Life Magazine. As for the contest, any names for a hot Prem sandwich?

Friday, December 13, 2013

A Little Christmas Music - Jingle Bells (Phil Harris and the Sportsmen)

Phil Harris is probably best known for The Thing and That's What I Like About the South, but this little Christmas offering comes from 1952 and teams him up with The Sportsmen.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A Little Christmas Music - I Want You for Christmas (Dick Robertson and his Orchestra)

Dick Robertson has a different sort of pet in mind as a Christmas gift! Robertson was a prolific writer, penning tunes under a variety of pen names during his twenty-some year career.  This particular holiday tune caught my ear tonight. Here's I Want You for Christmas for your stocking. Better by far than a lump of coal!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Monday, December 9, 2013

A Little Christmas Music - Jingle Bells (Ozzie Nelson and his Orchestra)

'Tis the season. Snowflakes, gingerbread, mistletoe, and ho-ho-ho here we go right into the Yuletide. I heard a piece on NPR this week extolling the virtues of the holiday punch bowl and it brought back fond memories of the days when we used to get all dressed up for a holiday cocktail party. It's been a few years since our last blow out and absence makes the heart grow fonder. Or maybe that's absinthe.

Regardless, here's raising a glass of cheer and hoping that the holiday has been treating you right so far. May the lines be small, the sales be big, and the joy lasting. To put you in the mood here's a little seasonal ditty from Mr. Nelson's Orchestra, Jingle Bells.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The F. B. Stearns Company

Frank Ballou Stearns built his first automobile in the basement of his family's Cleveland, OH home at the age of seventeen. His first production model auto was a buggy-style, one cylinder came in 1897. Throughout the early 1900's, the F. B. Stearns Company focused on performance automobiles, introducing a 60hp four cylinder touring car with five or seven seats. Barney Oldfield won the Mount Wilson Hillclimb in a Stearns Six at Brighton Beach in 1910, a vehicle believed to be the most powerful of its era.

Eventually Stearns turned its attention toward the consumer market and by 1914 when this ad ran the company was introducing its Knight sleeve engine.  The company's founder retired in 1925, selling out to J. N. Willys who operated the company until 1929 before liquidating it and sending the legacy of Stearns to the automotive graveyard. 

This ad comes from a 1914 issue of Life Magazine.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

A Day Which will Live in Infamy...

As this headline from the December 15, 1941 issue of Life Magazine screams, on this date in 1941 the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii plunged the United States into the conflagration that had been raging in Europe and China since 1931. The Japanese intended to use the attack as a preventative measure, thinking it would prevent US involvement in Imperial actions against Southern Pacific holdings of the United Kingdom and operations in Southeast Asia.

Japanese operations against Pearl Harbor began at 7:48  on a Sunday morning while most of the base's personnel were attending church services. 353 Japanese fighters, bombers and torpedo bombers attacked in two waves, launched from six Japanese aircraft carriers. When the smoke cleared, all eight US battleships anchored in Pearl were damaged, with four sent to the bottom of the harbor. 2402 Americans perished in the attack and 1,282 were wounded. The Japanese lost 29 aircraft and five midget submarines at a cost of 65 casualties.

Japanese leaders underestimated the American response, though, and on December 8th the United States declared war on Japan.  By December 11th, war had also been declared on Italy and Germany and America had entered World War II.

While digging around the internet, looking for something besides the time-worn photos of burning aircraft and sinking ships we've all seen over the years, I came across this little snippet of a radio announcement. Hearing the words sends a chill through me and takes me back to a September not too long ago when the modern world changed forever.

The Grinch is Serving...

I'm not sure I can think of anything less appetizing than frosted ham. Maybe hamsicles? As for mincemeat ham...no comment.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Grinch is Serving...

A glorious Grinchy celebration brought to you by the good folks at Heinz. Who knew you could get canned plum and fig pudding? What kind of sadist would serve it anyway?

The 50’s definitely weren't the era for food photography. What’s the deal with the cancer chicken and what are those lumpy things sharing its plate? Who wants cranberry and grape jelly to go with their cancerous chicken? And Heinz mincemeat? I suppress a shudder!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Quote for December

"December 25th has become guilt and obligation."

- Phil Donahue

Haynes Automotive Company

Ah, hyperbole, automobiles advertising is thy name!

Haynes began offering a "light six" in 1914 (the year that this ad aired in Life Magazine), an achievement that they proclaimed with all the qualifiers of a sports announcer playing up their favorite team.  Haynes claimed to have developed the first gasoline driven American made car - an honor that actually went to the Duryea brothers.

Haynes was an Indiana company, operating out of Kokomo until 1924 when it declared bankruptcy.

The Grinch is Serving...

This year I thought I'd drop in on my Yuletide role model, the Grinch. Throughout December we'll be checking old Grincy-pooh's cupboard to see what the green fellow is serving his guests. And one thing's for sure, no Christmas banquet of doom is complete without an opening course of coffee and fruitcake! Yes, it sets the festive mood and gets that indigestion going early!

1885 - A Christmas Song

Holiday wishes from the December 26, 1885 issue of Good Housekeeping Magazine.