Friday, April 27, 2012

Molly's Teenage Store

Molly's Children and Teenage Store was a fixture on Mission St. in San Francisco sometime in the late 50's, early 60's judging by the postcard above.  The storefront, which must have been impossible not to see,  was a peppermint-striped beaut.  The back of the postcard reads:

Molly's Children's Discount House.  2947 Mission St., Between 25th and 26th Sts. on Mission St.  BankAmericard.  open Friday nights until 9 p.m.  Special Sale for the New Baby.  Infant Seats.  Curity Diapers.  Curity Shirts.  Curity Gowns.  Even Flow Bottles.  Delux Reclining Stroller.  High Chairs.  6 Year Crib & Mattress

It's always interesting to look and see if the place still exists (thanks, Google Earth!), and here we see that the storefront (two, actually) is still there, stripes gone AWOL.  When Google drove by, the buildings housed a grocery and Cybermania store.  Take a close look, however, and you can see the original bones of the building.  The windows, the signage, the door to the alleyway on the right -- even the cornice on the left-hand building is still intact.  What do you like better?  The subtle earth tones, or the stripes?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Titanic Message, 100 years later

The front of this week's postcard is a view of the Bridge and Pond in Elizabeth Park, in Hartford, Connecticut.  It's a few miles from my house, and the park has an outstanding rose garden which is one of the world's largest.  The postcard is postmarked April 17th, 1912.  The date is important!  Why?  Three days earlier, on April 14th,  the Titanic sank en route to New York, on her maiden voyage.

The back of the card is a whole lot more interesting, because it refers to the wreck of the Titanic, without actually mentioning it by name.  It says:

Dear Mother, Went to the Post today, will begin next Monday to send 37.  On account of the ship wreck they said he might be able to get rid of the 40 this week.  Exchanged the dimmer box O.K. but had to get a 35 cent one.  All out of the 25 cent ones.  -- George
Although we don't know the exact details of what George was talking about, clearly his business transaction was affected by the wreck of the Titanic.  What a fascinating view into how the disaster affected many people, some in very humdrum ways! 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Calculating Post

Here's a great linen card from the New York World's Fair of 1939, showing the Marchant Calculating Company Display.  According to the back of the card, the exhibit was located located in the Business Systems and Insurance Building, adjacent to the Trylon and Perisphere -- the "Theme Center" of the New York World's Fair.

Back then, calculators were mechanical, noisy, and expensive.  I made the mistake of googling Marchant and came across tons of information on mechanical calculator history and "fan sites," spending a lot of time browsing as a result.  Here's a model of a Marchant calculator around the same year as the Fair: