Coming Clean

Swift’s Pride Soap
and Washing Powder
was made in Chicago
by Swift & Company
from around 1875
into the 1930’s.

Swift was a famous
meat-packer, and
found that making
soap was a natural
extension of his
business – about
a dozen different
varieties of it were
manufactured at
the Chicago plant
as well as in Atlanta,
Georgia.

They included
several perfumed
soaps and specialty
cleansers like:
Swift’s Pride
Washing Powder,
Sunbrite Cleaner,
Swift’s Wool Soap,
and a product called
Lexard Superfatted
Toilet Bar .

The cards featured
on the blog today
are advertising cards
for the Swift’s Pride
line of soaps from
around 1905 ;

As you can see,
they’re beautifully
illustrated with a
child and
the shadow
of an animal —-
nicely litho’d,
and containing
a witty verse on
each.

For instance:

” Susie’s song
was very sweet,
She never
missed 
a note,

Her voice was
just
a little bleat,

It sounded like
a goat. “

.

” Bertha’s bonnet
is the style,
Maybe you have heard, 
Bertha’s clothes
and Bertha’s smile
Make her
quite a bird. “

.

!!! HOY !!!

.

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Travel Week : Trolley Parks

a1Hey-
I don’t know
if I told ya,
but it’s travel week !

Oh,
I did, huh?

Alright….
well,
forewarned is
forearmed,
ya know.

Ahem.

Sometimes
I think
we don’t knowglenecho
how to have fun
any more.

Those innocent days
of getting a nickel’s
thrill–

slamming somebody
with a ‘bumper car’,

throwing balls at targets
to win a prize not
worth the 25 cents
you paid to try for it,

waiting for a skirt
to blow up in the
‘fun house’,

taking aim at funny
moving targets
in the ‘shooting gallery’,

— or participating in a
little heavy petting session
in a dark ‘tunnel of love’,

Most of these
are long,
long gone …

( well,
you can still
do much
of this stuff
out in public, I guess,

—but you could
get yourself
in serious trouble …. )

And even if the
Amusement parkspalisde
in which they were
found turn out
to have been just
another lost relic
of modern Western
civilization,

(.. which would be
a damned shame ..)

—- they sure were fun
while they lasted.

They all started with the
‘Trolley Park’.

The 1890’s were a time of
drastic social changes
for American society.

Industrial mechanization,a1
upgraded transportation
infrastructures,
and the electrification
of urban areas
improved the living
conditions for many
working people–

They had more income–

and much more timetrolley
for leisure and recreation.

And it was the combination
of these factors
that led to the rise
of a unique American
phenomena
— the Trolley Park.

Sometimes called
‘Electric Parks’,

they were the forerunners
of modern Amusement Parks…

They were usually operated
by local transport outfits
( like street-car companies )
or utility organizations
(like electric companies).

electricWhile their original intent
was to simply
keep the money
rolling in
during off-peak times
like the weekend,
and holidays, this
idea spread like
wildfire across the
country–

while in 1895,
there were only
about a hundred
and fifty in operation,a2a1

by 1910,
there were over 2,000-

– just about every
city in America had
at least one.

The first ones
weren’t
much more
than scenic
picnic grounds
and band pavilions,
but they quickly
evolved into
much more–

swimming pools,
trail and boat rides,
skating rinks,
ball parks,
and food kiosks
quickly followed —

then, mechanized
amusements
like Ferris Wheels,
Carousels,
Roller Coasters,
and game arcades
were added to
many parks.

The activities offered
at one park,
Central Park
in Hot Springs, Arkansas
were described in 1907
as including:

“…. baseball, bicycle racing,
glove contest, football,
barbecues, revivals, baptisms,
fireworks, badger fights,
and sharp shooting”.

Coney Island, New Yorkdreamland
had four operating trolley parks at one time–
…. in the early 1900’s,
including the famous
Luna Park“,
and “Dreamland“.

Dreamland in particular
was described as one
of the most beautiful
parks ever built–

It was especially
dramatic at night,dorneypark
to a populace who
was still relatively
unaccustomed
to such a display of
electric lights —
— the park used over
1 million light bulbs.

Trolley parks ranged in
size from small parks like:
the 25 acre Lenape Park
near West Chester,
Pennsylvaniabaltimore
( founded in 1892,
no longer extant ) —

…. to larger parks
like the 200 acre
Dorney Park,
near Allentown, PA
( still operational ).

Interestingly,
four major Trolley Parks
are still prospering
in Pennsylvania,
the highest number
among the 50 states….

namely:

Kennywood (Pittsburgh),kennywood
Dorney (Allentown),
Lakemont (Altoona) ,
and Waldameer (Erie) Parks.

Parks also offered an
interesting variety of themes…

One park opened
in the 1890’s
in Jacksonville, Florida,
was called the
Florida Ostrich Farm“,

…. and gave visitors
a chance ostrichto watch
ostrich races,
pet ostriches,
and even buy
ostrich plumes —
sometimes costing upwards of 40 dollars
each.

The oldest surviving
Trolley Park today
is Lake Compounce Parkfamous
near Bristol, Connecticut,
founded as a ‘picnic park’
in 1846—

At one time,
it had the largest miniature railroad in the world.

While it looks very much
like a modern Amusement
Park, still retains a good
deal of it’s original rustic
charm–

The 1911 Loof-Murphy
Carousel still uses it’s
original Wurlitzer 153
band organ,

And the Wildcat
Roller Coaster,
built by the
Philadelphia
Toboggan
Company in 1927
to replace an earlier
structure, still thrills
wooden coaster
fans today.

One of the best
rememberedpalisades
of these parks
was the world famous
Palisades Park,
near Fort Lee, New Jersey,
opened in 1898.

This park was
easily accessible
by trolley and ferry
from the
city of New York–
— it could actually
be seen from Broadway
on a clear night.

It offered a large
salt-water swimming
/wave pool, the largestaa
of it’s kind at the time.

I remember, as a child,
seeing advertisements
for this park on the
back of comic books,
and wondering what
it would be like —

—- unfortunately,
I grew up a long way
from the place,
and never got to see it.

There was even a
hit song about it —
Palisades Park
by Freddie Cannon, glenecho
in 1962.

All in all, the large
assortment of
shows, events, rides, games,
and all kinds of other attractions on offer
made Palisades Park a
favorite of people all
over the Northeast,
until it’s closing in 1971.

The site, which is
visible from the
George Washington Bridge,
is now covered with
condominiums and undesirables
parking lots.

In my adopted hometown
of Charlotte, most residents
are completely unaware
that the state’s first roller coaster was located in
a 100 acre park two miles northwest of uptown–

…. not to mention
a zoo,
a casino,
a Ferris Wheel,
a dance hall,
and a large lake
complete with
‘unsinkable boats’.lakewood

Called Lakewood Park,
the only remaining trace
of it is some railroad tracks on which used to run the trolley to the
park.

Even the lake is gone.

(For those interested,
the site is between
Glenwood and Rozelles
Ferry Road, in a wooded
area southeast of I-85.)

Though not strictlyglenecho
defined as a trolley park,
Glen Echo Park, near Washington D.C,
in Glen Echo, Maryland,
which originated as a
Chautauqua Assembly Park,
eventually developed into a
famous amusement park
from the early 1900’s until
the 1960’s —

and the park is
still in use today
as a cultural and
arts center —

certainly closer
to it’s original
intended purpose, lakewinnie
but perhaps not
as much fun.

Southerners still
can visit several
vintage-style parks,
though —

Lake Winnie,
(technically called
Lake Winnepesaukah)
(near Chattanooga,
Tennessee)
is over 85 years old,
and still has that
special charm found
in old parks.

One of my favorite rides
there is a log flume
(from 1927)
that looks like it was fabricated out of the material from old steel Quonset huts.

The Mad Mouse is gone, alas, but a new one has been built to replicate that hairpin feel…..

There’s an antique
1916 Carousel,
of course,
and a Philadelphia
Toboggan Coaster
called the Cannon Ball.

And anyone who evera2a
visited the
now-a-parking-lot
that once was
The Miracle Mile
Amusement Park

in Panama City, Florida,
will recognize several of
the rides, which have found
sanctuary at Lake Winnie.

And the park itself is
beautiful, scenic, and
just plain fun.

(Hey-
don’t forgeta23
to See Rock City
while you’re in Ole Chatty–
—– just sayin’. )

But most trolley
parks are gone, now.

Those that remain
hold out a tantalizing
taste of what was ,

and what will
probably never
be again —

A token,fun
a trace–
of something
innocent,
wonderful,

…….. and,
oh so American.

For more on the subject
of Amusement Parks,
see my posts on:

Lost Florida Amusement Parks
Weeki Wachee Springs
Lost Amusement Parks: Heritage USA 

.

HOY !!!!!!!!

a2a

 

What The Devil

I’ve been noticing
a variety of celebrities
getting some bad
press recently…

It seems to run
in cycles,
somehow.

Periodically,
since the media
has built up these
‘personalities’,
I guess it feels
it has the perfect
right to tear
’em right back down
again –

– at any time
it suits their
purposes to do so.

And of course,
that’s anytime
— any time —
that there’s
$$money$$
to be made
on the deal.

I dunno why,
exactly,

— but it
does kinda
bring to mind
the image of a
nefarious,
notorious
character
straight
out of legend,
lore and
mythology….

Talk about
bad press, man,
he’s been the
king of bad
press for centuries.

But apparently,
somebody still
likes him, cause
he’s making
all kinds
of comebacks
on TV shows,
books and commercials
( and politics ) .

And as tight assed
as the Edwardians
truly were, they seemed
to favor him on their
postcards as well.

A lot of time,
they wouldn’t
mention
his name,
or his place
of residence..

— and if they did,
it would be encoded
or in a hushed tone.

Superstition?

Bad juju ?

Well,
ok, partly.

But also,
because the
Postal Service
could be a
real stickler
about stuff
like that.

Yep, it was (is)
against postal
regulations to seem
be promoting the
image of the guy
using the mails.

Especially
a postcard –

– which can be seen
by anybody –
women, children,
and wild eyed
bible thumpers,
alike.

I’ve always
regarded
the guy,
and his
dwelling place,
as an allegory –

— one cooked up
for the purpose of
keeping people on
the straight
and narrow —

(sorta like
a mythical
buzz-kill)

– but there are still
plenty of folks
who absolutely
believe that he’s
alive and living
right down
the street,
doing tattoos
for a living,
running the local
headshop, or even
writing blogs.

Some guys even
dress for it, 
and play up
this image,
particularly my
fellow bikers,
mainly because it
scares the squares.

I get it —

I like to do
a bit of
square scaring
myself,
occasionally.

As far as
devil imagery
is concerned, though,
I’m not really a fan…..

But I’ve got
plenty of
postcards in my
mail bag
that are just burning
to ‘get the hell
out of there’…

— if you’ll
pardon the
rather mixed metaphor —

And, since there’s
no torment in Hades
that’s worser
(sure, why not ‘worser’)
than the one that a
writers-blocked blogger
feels when he’s scratchin’
around for a topic……

well,
here ya go.

And speaking
of ‘getting
the hell out of there’,
a big howdy to
our friends
down in Martin County, Florida.

Welcome back
to civilization,
– or what passes
for it, anyway.

!!! HOY !!!

.

Remembrances

remember

One of the things
that postcards were
supposed to do was
remind someone of
something —

whether it be
of a person,
a place,
a time,
a thing,
or even an idea….

A
remembrance.

Yes,
that’s it,kiddie
exactly.

I know that it seems
that sometimes that
this blog relies way
too much
upon references,
concepts,
perspectives,
and illustrationstryand
that may appear:
out of touch,
out-moded,
out of date,
and just plain out.

Yeah, I guess
that means
we’re dusty,
musty and
crusty, even.try

Our frame
of reference
is rather passé,
anachronistic,
démodé,
and old fashioned.

Yep,
so right.suit

And I don’t mind
any, or all, of that.

While maybe
many of the cards
give me some pause
for reflection about
their relevancy…

— the truth is
that those veryprop
propensities toward the
arcane and archaic are
a big part of what this
whole blog is about.

A guy in his middle age
(like it or not, I am)
learns
(or, hopefully learns)
to be able to
distinguishkids
between the oldies,
the goldies and
the moldies.

Hopefully, we can
interpet them
all on the
Müscleheaded Blog
in a way that is still
meaningful….

— and if not that,fredstone
then at least,
we can have
some fun with them.

Remembering the
relics of the past
is part and parcel
with learning from
the past –

It’s important toforgetbeach
understand
that living, breathing,
feeling human beings,
just like us,
produced and
enjoyed them-
they meant something
to them.

Yes, just as our relics
mean something to us,
and as we’d hope thatforge
they mean something
to someone in the future.

Perhaps it’s too much
to expect that they will
feel the same about them
as we do…..

…… but it’s enough
that we can share part
of those things thatbathing
we experience in our
short time here.

Let succeeding
generations
make what they
will of it.

I am content.

.
!!!!!! HOY !!!!!!!!

.