Carving Out New Friends

Mr. and Mrs. J. Watson Webb

I realize that most of us had to stem our woodcarving budgets to almost nothing under this economy. But back in 1946, when James Watson Webb and his fantastically-named wife, Electra (which is more fun to say than Alexa) sat down in their posh residence on the North Shore of Long Island, only the most desirable location at the time, trees were plenty, and money was no object.

JW was no commoner, no basic blogger like you or I. Nay, he was born into greatness. His mother was a Vanderbilt, his grandfather an ambassador to Brazil under Lincoln. So he did things neither you nor I could do: graduate from Yale, found a brokerage firm, play on the American polo team, serve in the House of Representatives. Do you feel like a loser yet?

Electra herself was the daughter of a sugar tycoon, and she spent her days on buying sprees, snatching up bits of Americana and brilliant craftsmanship (like those above) to add to her collections. Everything from paintings to quilts to New England furniture. At the tender age of 18, she bought a wooden cigar store Indian for $25 and named it Mary O’Connor after one of her favorite family servants. What others at the time would have called tobacco store junk was art in the eyes of Electra.

The year after the above shot was taken, she established the Shelburne Museum, a home for her treasures, and became a pioneer in preserving remnants of early Americana. It houses the SS Ticonderoga, a passenger steamship, an 1890s rail car, a light house, and various sleighs and carriages. Aren’t the grounds lovely? They even have an apothecary shop!

shelburnemuseum. org

Mary O’Connor eventually wound up on the other side of the country, in the California home of her son, J. Watson Webb, Jr. As he had no children of his own, one wonders where Mary is now. The museum?

Mary O’Connor herself https://www.vermontwoman.com/

Post-War Pig Insecurities

What could be sadder than Prolon-induced pig anxiety? Perhaps hooves clutching a wishbone of a fellow creature? Who cares? Hitler is dead!

All of today’s ads come to us from the summer of 1946, when the country was just beginning to get back on her feet. The war was in the past, and so was hog bristle. In this new age, science was the winner, and pigs vs prophylactic Prolon made good copy.

But not as good as a head of youthful, vibrant, slick hair that caught a young lady’s eye. Watch as his locks emanate vitality.

Good night, nurse! He could inspect my rigging any day.

And speaking of crushes, why not try Orange Crush, filled with the juice of tree-ripened Valencia oranges? Yes, that’s right. Actual juice in the bottle, as well as pulp!

Not a fan of orange? Then pause to refresh with Hires. Cheers to silly puns! Now let me dig, woman.

Not a soda person? Maybe a Bloody Mary is in your future. Make it sing with A-1, the dash that makes the dish!

After all that imbibing, it’s time to wind down, head to the parlor, and listen to some Big Band on the Crosley radio. Perhaps make room for a cooling after-dinner mint. Everyone’s heard of Richardson’s mints. U-All-No!

You’re My Wonder (Wet) Wall

I saw this today and had to share. Did y’all even know these were called wet walls? I sure didn’t. But I’ve never worked in grocery, or retail at all. My years were spent serving folks cooked veggies on plates in restaurants, not organizing them so satisfyingly brilliantly.

Who knew radishes and chives harmonized so well?

This is better art than I’ve seen in overpriced coastal galleries. I’ll take this over a watercolor lighthouse any day.

BTW, it’s also called “wet rack,” but I wouldn’t Google that.

I know the starting pay at our local grocery store is $15/hr, way more than I make with my degree. But whoever did this needs to get a bonus. That’s thinking outside the box.

Except at first glance, it kind of looks tuna shoved in there …

Pin-Up Precursor

LIFE 9/55

“Gibson girl” Evelyn Nesbit poses in 1955 with the 1902 portrait drawn of her by Charles Gibson, reflecting the standard of female attractiveness at the cusp of the 20th century. This included voluptuous curves and, as Judy Garland sang in The Trolley Song, “hair piled high upon my head.”

Nesbit had a storied past, including a love triangle much too complicated for this small blog. We can, however, share the beauty of youth that is timeless.

Smithsonian JN2016-00673

Underwood Or Underworld?

LIFE 1949

While a tiger might seem a reach to sell Frosted Flakes, Satan selling pork products make even less sense, especially in 1949, when prayer still existed in public schools. I get it; it’s “deviled” ham, ground and spiced. But I don’t like my ham ground. I like it in thin peppery deli slices, like the ones I purchased this morning.

Deviled eggs, yes. Deviled ham, no.

Canned kipper, tuna, oysters–these I’m fine with. I can see their bony spines. I know it was one sardine I’m eating, not a grind of the worst parts of the pig, processed from 1000 swine into one little can.

Cracked.com reviewed several potted meats, referring to the “coating of newborn-esque vernix” that covered the moist meat (shudders). I hope the reviewer was compensated generously.

I know some of you eat Spam (ground pork shoulder–mostly) but I fear it’s full of hooves and tails. Maybe that’s why Satan makes sense for deviled ham; he has cloven feet. Jesus certainly couldn’t be the pitch man; he never even tasted pork because he was Jewish. And you can’t fashion a newborn manger Jesus out of deviled ham. These could use a little more paprika.

keyingredient.com

For Percolator Or Coffee Pot

This Monarch ad reads like Alice in Wonderland meets The Wizard of Oz, in a colorful illustration fit for a children’s book. Who is the target demographic here? Elementary schoolers with a java fix? The ad also references Luke and Lucy, used repeatedly in post-war ads. Luke the Lion was the mascot, offering abundance to a hungry country. In some cases, he was even a magician!

etsy

With his gold crown, tame demeanor and lustrous mane, he quickly became Mom’s favorite dinner guest. Who cares if he’s not the most masculine of cats when his basket is always full of sweet peas and grapefruit juice?

Pinterest

Postcards From The Edge

Today we start a series of posters from the Cote d’Azure. Many of us haven’t traveled since the 20-teens, so I hope these serve to inspire you with sunny beaches and lush coastline.

L Bonomici 1920
Roger Broders 1931
Victor Raymon 1935 and Robert Falcucci 1937
Hugo D’Alesi 1895
E Maurus, 1935
Jean Luchesi 1948