“Having commandeered the Rolls Royce from the door of the Cavalry Club, he had immediately, by a mental process which many perils had perfected, dismissed the question of rightful ownership from his mind.”
– From Fire Tongue (1922) by Sax Rohmer
A portion of a 1933 ad from the Saturday Evening Post extolling the virtues of the Plymouth automobile and Rural Free Delivery, with my thanks to Alan Stamm. And in June of 2013, I received this from Mike LaMonaca:
“My family has a photo of that ad, because the photo was taken on my great-grandfather’s farm in Hammonton, New Jersey. I happened to come across my digital copy of the ad yesterday and decided to run it through Google’s Image Search, and found your blog post. I then asked my dad for the story behind the ad so I could share it with you. His reply:
“The photo appeared in the Saturday Evening Post in 1932. It was taken in front of the mailbox at the homestead on Pine Road. The building on the right in the background is the packing house before the additions that were made in later years. You can see the sign painted on it which said, “Carmine LaMonaca Fancy Fruit and Vegetables’” or something to that effect. The building on the left was the barn which burned down in 1943. The older man in the foreground was a neighbor who was recruited to pose for the picture. The younger man in the foreground was Mr. Peters, the mailman. The man in the background with the cow is my father’s brother, Joe. The young boy in the background is my mother’s brother, Sylvester (Hank) Matteo. My mother’s family, who lived in S. Phila. would come to the farm in the summertime to make some extra money. Hank served in the army in WWII. After he got out, he wound up working for the Saturday Evening Post. While he was there, he was able to get a copy of the ad for himself.”
Yesterday, I was directed to a blog that took my breath away, The Selvedge Yard, wherein I found an extraordinary collection of images, including this fabulously unlikely shot of a motorcycle, and a car with a sidecar hosting a lion, riding on the Wall of Death, a famous fair attraction where riders used centrifugal force to defy gravity and thrill onlookers. Don’t miss this one. Your life will be the richer for it. And thank you, Jon.
Between 1930 and 1938, the British post office publicized its new Air Mail service with special blue pillar boxes. A leaflet advertising the new service (shown above) was illustrated by Theyre Lee-Elliott. The pillar boxes were complemented by a blue fleet of Air Mail automobiles, specially modified Morris Minors. You’ve got to love the fin on the back.
Both the car and pillar box achieved a measure of immortality when cast as Dinky Toys.
“The only way to see Hanoi is from the back of a scooter. To ride in a car would be madness–limiting your mobility to a crawl, preventing you from even venturing down half the narrow streets and alleys where the good stuff is to be found. To be separated from what’s around you by a pane of glass would be to miss–everything. Here, the joy of riding on the back of a scooter or motorbike is to be part of the throng, just one more tiny element in an organic thing, a constantly moving, ever-changing process rushing, mixing, swirling, and diverting through the city’s veins, arteries, and capillaries. Admittedly, it’s also slightly dangerous. Traffic lights, one-way signs, intersections, and the like–the rough outlines of organized society–are more suggestions than regulations observed by anyone in actual practice. One has, though, the advantage of right of way. Here? The scooter and the motorbike are kings. The automobile may rule the thoroughfares of America, but in Hanoi it’s cumbersome and unwieldy, the last one to the party, the woolly mammoth of the road–to be waited on, begrudgingly accommodated–even pitied–like the fat man at a sack race.”
– Anthony Bourdain in Medium Raw (2010)