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This Week’s favourite Female Singer – LaVern Baker



Delores LaVern Baker (November 11, 1929 – March 10, 1997) was an American rhythm and blues singer, who had several hit records on the pop chart in the 1950s and early 1960s. Her most successful records were "Tweedlee Dee" (1955), "Jim Dandy" (1956), and "I Cried a Tear" (1958).


791_lavere_baker_02She began singing in Chicago clubs such as the Club DeLisa around 1946, often billed as Little Miss Sharecropper, and first recorded under that name in 1949. She changed her name briefly to Bea Baker when recording for Okeh Records in 1951, and then became LaVern Baker when singing with Todd Rhodes and his band in 1952.

In 1953 she signed for Atlantic Records as a solo artist, her first release being "Soul on Fire". Her first hit came in early 1955, with the Latin-tempo "Tweedlee Dee" reaching #4 on the R&B chart and #14 on the national US pop charts.Georgia Gibbs‘ note-for-note cover of Baker’s "Tweedle Dee" reached #1; subsequently Baker made an unsuccessful attempt to sue her and petitioned Congress to consider such covers copyright violations.

791_lavere_baker_03Baker had a succession of hits on the R&B charts over the next couple of years with her backing group The Gliders, including "Bop-Ting-A-Ling" (#3 R&B), "Play It Fair" (#2 R&B), and "Still" (#4 R&B). At the end of 1956 she had another smash hit with "Jim Dandy" (#1 R&B, #17 pop). It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. Further hits followed for Atlantic, including the follow-up "Jim Dandy Got Married" (#7 R&B), "I Cried a Tear" (#2 R&B, #6 pop in 1959), "I Waited Too Long" (#5 R&B, #3 pop, written by Neil Sedaka), "Saved" (#17 R&B, written by Leiber and Stoller), and "See See Rider" (#9 R&B in 1963).

In addition to singing, Baker also did some work with Ed Sullivan and Alan Freed on TV and in films, including Rock, Rock, Rock and Mr. Rock & Roll. In 1964, she recorded a Bessie Smith tribute album, before leaving Atlantic and joining Brunswick Records, where she recorded the album "Let Me Belong to You".

In 1966, Baker recorded a duet single with Jackie Wilson. The controversial song, "Think Twice", featured raunchy lyrics that were not considered appropriate for airplay at that time or even today. Three versions were recorded, one of which is the X-rated version with the raunchy lyrics.

In the late 1960s, Baker became seriously ill after a trip to Vietnam to entertain American soldiers. While recovering at the US Subic Bay Naval Base in the Philippines, her husband, Slappy White filed for a divorce. A friend recommended that she stay on as the entertainment director at the Marine Corps Staff NCO club there, and she remained there for 22 years.

In 1988 she returned to perform at Madison Square Garden for Atlantic Records’ 40th anniversary. She then worked on the soundtracks to films such as Shag, (1989), Dick Tracy, (1990) and A Rage in Harlem (1991), which were all issued on CD. She also performed a song on Alan Parker‘s film Angel Heart (1987), which appeared on the original vinyl soundtrack album, but was not included on the later CD issue "for contractual reasons".

In 1990, she made her Broadway debut replacing Ruth Brown as star of the hit musical Black and Blue. In 1991, Rhino Records released a new album Live in Hollywood recorded at the Hollywood Roosevelt Cinegrill, as well as a compilation of her greatest Atlantic hits entitled Soul on Fire. In 1992, she recorded a well-received studio album, Woke Up This Morning, for DRG Records. She continued performing after having both legs amputated from diabetes complications in 1994 and made her last recording, "Jump Into the Fire," for the 1995 Harry Nilsson tribute CD, For the Love of Harry on the Music Masters label.

She received the 1990 Pioneer Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation. In 1991, Baker became the second female solo artist inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, following Aretha Franklin in 1987. Her song "Jim Dandy" was named one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll and was ranked #343 on the Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Text from Wikipedia

Filed under: Article, Music, Popular music, Rythm and blues, The fifties, The sixties Tagged: Female Rythm 'n' Blues singer, Lavern Baker

1949 Champion CH-2


In 1945, Hermann Holbein, a former development engineer for BMW, recovered his beloved BMW 327 sports car from the haystack where it had been interned and reluctantly gave it up to an American GI in trade for an Opel-Blitz army truck. He made a lucrative business out of picking up scrap metal and transporting various materials into a devastated country bent on cleaning up. He picked up a scrap BMW 328, rebuilt it, and Holbein made a name for himself as a successful racing driver for the next three years.

783_Champion CH-2,_01
Racing did not pay the bills, however, and he resolved to fill the post-war need for a small car, which he would design and sell the production rights to. A chance meeting with an old acquaintance, engineer Albert Maier of the gear-making firm ZF, brought together their individual interest in building a small car. In fact, Maier had already built a very basic open roadster with the backing of the ZF Company. In January 1949, Holbein came to a licensing agreement with ZF to build the car, raising the money by selling his three racing cars and two trucks. It would be called the Champion, with a nod to Holbein’s racing successes.

783_Champion CH-2,_02
Holbein and Maier saw the need for the development of the little car and worked out the design for a custom transaxle driving the rear wheels and incorporating inboard brakes. Meanwhile, the prototype used an Irus lawnmower gearbox. The new, stylish, aluminum body was found to be too expensive to make, so Holbein modeled a simpler body in clay, and his racing mechanic built it using a bent flat sheet and motorcycle fenders. Aluminum discs hid the tall wire wheels’ humble motorcycle origins. There was a single “Cyclops” headlight, and the 198-cubic centimeter Triumph motor, along with its cylindrical fuel tank, sat nakedly out in the open on the tail. It was called Champion CH-1, and it made its debut at the Reutlingen show in April 1949. Orders flooded in, but the vehicle was not yet ready.

783_Champion CH-2,_04
Development continued, and companies that could supply parts had to be found. The Hörz Company in Ulm made large clocks for clock towers, and they agreed to make the transaxles. The new ZF transaxle was incorporated into the two upgraded CH-2 prototypes, along with a new Triumph 248-cubic centimeter motor used as a stationary engine in farm applications, which was now under a louvered cover. Bosch in Stuttgart supplied the generators, Continental in Hannover supplied the tires, Schleicher in Munich supplied the hubs, and Hella in Lippstadt supplied the lamps. Former aircraft builder Böbel had a press, and they agreed to do the body shells.

783_Champion CH-2,_05
Production of the CH-2 got underway, and the press was enthusiastic about the new, small roadster. The first cars made it clear that the transaxle was not up to the job. The Hörz people refused responsibility, but ZF stepped in to help. In addition, teething problems with breaking in the front and rear suspension elements caused Holbein to take the drastic action of recalling all cars sold to date and refurbishing and upgrading the chassis to the latest specifications. The public’s faith in the new car was not shaken.

783_Champion CH-2,_03
The CH-2 became the CH-250 in March 1950, with a new twin-piston motor, a split windshield, bumpers, and smaller wheels. This model would lead to the charming Champion 400 coupe and eventually to the Maico 500 sedan. Perhaps two of these CH-2 cars exist worldwide. The bare metal bodywork of this exceptionally rare car was completely remade by a master metalworker, and it was restored by the museum’s in-house staff; it runs and drives just as well as it looks.

Text and images from RMauctions

Filed under: Article, Automobiles, The forties Tagged: 1949, Champion CH-2, German cars, Microcars, mini cars

Go-Go Dancers


792_go-go_01Go-go dancers are dancers who are employed to entertain crowds at discotheques or other clubs where music is played. Go-go dancing originated in the early 1960s, by some accounts when women at the Peppermint Lounge in New York City began to get up on tables and dance the twist. It is also claimed that go-go dancing originated at, and was named for, the very popular South L.A. rock club Whiskey A Go Go which opened in January of 1964.  Many 1960s-era clubgoers wore miniskirts and knee-high, high-heeled boots, which eventually came to be called go-go boots, to night clubs. Night club promoters in the mid‑1960s then conceived the idea of hiring women dressed in these outfits to entertain patrons.


The term go-go derives from the phrase "go-go-go" for a high-energy person, and was influenced by the French expressionà gogo, meaning "in abundance, galore", which is in turn derived from the ancient French word la gogue for "joy, happiness".


In the 1960s

On 19 June 1964, Carol Doda began go-go dancing topless (after having had her breasts implanted with silicone to enlarge them) at the Condor Club on Broadway and Columbus in the North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco. She became the world’s most famous go-go dancer, dancing at the Condor for 22 years.

792_go-go_04Go-go dancers began to be hired on a regular basis at the Whisky a Go Go on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood in the Los Angeles area in July 1965. The Whisky a Go Go was also the first go-go club to have go-go cages suspended from the ceiling (they were there from the very beginning in 1965), and thus the profession of cage dancer was born.

The phrase go-go was adopted by bars in the 1960s in Tokyo, Japan. It was of lesser reputation until it was abandoned by a majority of clubs and appropriated by burlesque and striptease establishments, which in turn became known as go-go bars and the women working there known as go-go dancers. During the Vietnam War there were many go-go bars in Saigon, South Vietnam, to entertain U.S. troops. A synonym used in Vietnam for go-go dancers is "table dancer".

Text from Wikipedia 

Filed under: Article, Entertainment, People Tagged: Carol Doda, Condor Club, Go-go dancers, Whisky a Go Go

The Lure Of The Mad Men – Part 19



The first time I saw this ad on the net I laughed so much I almost fell off my chair. Finally an ad playing fully on men’s insecurities and self-esteem. And so boldly texted I find it hard to believe it was easy to place in most magazines.

It can’t have been much fun driving round in an ‘89 911 Carrera 4 for a while after that ad hit the magazine pages, a lot of Porsche owners must have been the victim of rather nasty comments about their lack of size, particularly from men who themselves couldn’t afford a car like that.

By the way, I’m quite aware that the ad may be a fake made by some net prankster, but I love it anyway – Ted

In context

Two guys were sitting on a front porch when a blonde walked by. “Let me show you how stupid blondes are” one of them said to the other and he called the blonde over. When she reached them he said “I’ll give you $10 if you paint my porch white”. “Ok” the blonde answered. The man told her she’d find paint and brushes round the corner and the two men went in to have lunch. An hour later the blond came in and said “I’m finished, give me my $10”.

They went out to check her work and found the porch was still unpainted. “You’re not finished” the man said angrily. “Of course I am” the blond replied and continued “Besides it’s not a Porsche, it is a Ferrari”.

Filed under: Advertising, Advertisments, Automobiles, Retro advertising Tagged: Mad Men, Porches, Porsche 911 Carrera 4, Small peckers

Grand-daddy’s Sauce – Part 42


All posts material: “Sauce” and “Gentleman’s Relish” by Ronnie Barker – Hodder & Stoughton in 1977

Holiday Postcards Part 4


Filed under: Ephemera, Holidays, Humour, Vintage Tagged: postcards

1964 Lightburn Zeta Sports



Australia is a land of huge open spaces, and Australians tended to look towards America for their automotive needs. Nevertheless, Lightburn and Co. of Camden near Adelaide , makers of tools, cement mixers, washing machines and fiberglass boats, perceived a need for a minicar.

The rights to the British Anzani- built Astra car were obtained, but a new fiberglass station wagon body designed and built for it. Called the Zeta, the car was a hideous assemblage of jutting, ill-conceived shapes and angles, with tailfins on the roof (see link below). There was no tailgate. The familiar Villiers 324cc twin powered the front wheels. Despite participation in the 1964 Ampol 7000-mile cross-country trial, the car remained a curiosity only.


1958 saw the introduction of the ‘Frisky Sprint’ sports car by Frisky Cars Ltd.
Designed by Gordon Bedson the car was powered by a 3 cylinder 492 cc Excelsior motor that took the prototype to 90 mph. The car made its appearance at the 1958 Earls Court Motor Show but never entered production.

Next year at the 1959 Earls Court Show Gordon Bedson met Harold Lightburn, the owner of theLightburn Company and the following spring went over to Australia to work on a new sports car.
Bedson took a chassis and some Frisky Sports with him to Australia along with drawings of theSprint and a supply of fifty motors by Fichtel&Sachs, the 493cc engine from the legendary FMR "Tiger". The Lightburn Zeta Sports although based on and similar in appearance to the Frisky Sprint, is not a Sprint.


The original Frisky Sprint did have doors- shallow bottom-hinged ones, but they were deleted in the interests of strength. The windshield was changed, the tail restyled, and the final drive altered. The car did not meet New South Wales’ lighting regulations, so some were fitted with additional free-standing headlamps on the hood. It seems most Zeta Sports were built in 1961, but the car was not introduced until the summer of 1964 for some reason. While Lightburn had a network of Alfa Romeo dealerships at the ready, they were underwhelmed by orders, and only some 28 were sold.

Text from Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum

Filed under: Automobiles, British, The sixties, Transportation, Traveling Tagged: 1964 Lightburn Zeta Sports, Micro cars, mini cars

Miss Friday – The Battery Powered Typist


794_miss friday

Say hello to Miss Friday everyone. Miss Friday is a busy battery powered typist who works all day and presumably was meant as a toy for girls. Not exactly action man, and a toy at least my own daughters would found boring after about 17 seconds at the age a toy like this would have been a suitable present – Ted ;-)

Filed under: Retro technology, Toys Tagged: Battery powered toys, Miss Friday, Typists

The Sunday Comic – A Guilty Pleasure

This Week’s Girlymag Articel – Public Relations Pay Off


This chick doesn’t do much in the way og public relations – but privatly, wow!

Public Relations Pay Off

One of the smartest guys in the woman business was a fellow by the name of Casanova. This is a guy who knocked off so many dames that he was able to fill volumes with stories of his conquests. The reason he was so successful was that he let the dames read his stuff, in other words, Casanova was his own press agent.

Read the whole article and see
the naughty pictures HERE

Warning: Nudity do occur in this article. If you are under age or live in a country where watching images of nude women for some reason  is against the law  I take no responsibility if you click the link above. In other words you’re flying solo from here on – Ted ;-)

Filed under: Article, Glamour, Models & starlets, Nudes, People, Pinups, The fifties Tagged: 1959, Casanova, Girliemags, Glamour models, Tonight Magazine

1959 Frisky Family Three



In August 1959, Mr C. J. Wright a Wolverhampton business man with garage and haulage interests, bought the stock, jigs, tools, fixtures and fittings, along with the rights to manufacture and the trade name of Frisky from the Official Receiver. He formed a new company Frisky Cars (1959) Ltd. and he and E F Wright became directors. A Mr G A Stuart was made general Manager. The 753_frisky_02company announced that they hoped to restart production in September at Fallings Park with a target of 30 three-wheeled cars a week, also that a deluxe version would follow and that it was hoped the Friskysprint would be built later. Also announced was the intention to build a new production plant on a 30-acre (120,000 m2) site in Penkridge but this never happened.

In September 1959 a new version of the Family Three was announced. The Frisky Family Three Mk2, dropped the MacPherson strut front suspension of the original car replacing it with the Dubonnet system used on the Friskysport. The chassis was lengthened to allow the engine to be moved back out of the cabin and it was now offered with the choice of either a 250 cc (15 cu in) or 328 cc (20.0 cu in) Excelsior Talisman twin engines giving the advantage of an Albion gearbox with a true reverse gear. Twin front seats replaced the original bench seats and production commenced in early 1960.

753_frisky_04In October 1960, a new model, The Frisky Prince was shown at the Earls Court Motor Show. This was basically a re-bodied Family Three with front hung doors. Around the same time, a deal was done with a company called Middlesbrough Motorcraft and kits to build your own Frisky became available from them. Anthony Brindle, who had become joint managing director of Frisky Cars took part in a publicity run attempting to visit five European capitals, Paris, Luxembourg, Brussels, Amsterdam and London not spending more than £5 on fuel.

A four-wheel version of the Prince was announced for 1961 but never reached production.

Text from Wikipedia

Filed under: Automobiles, The fifties, Transportation, Traveling Tagged: 1959 Frisky Family Three, British cars, Microcars, mini cars

Nikola Tesla – Mad Scientist ?


795Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla was prevalent scientist of the 19th century. He often worked with Thomas Edison in the 1880’s until the two had a falling out because Edison became paranoid that Tesla was stealing his ideas. Tesla developed AC power used all over the world now and worked with George Westinghouse to promote it. He laid the foundation for radio, television, and almost too many modern inventions to name. Basically almost any technology he started the base for. Madness turned him into a recluse later in his life, as goes the path of many geniuses before there was more understanding of mental illness. Tesla died in poverty in a small apartment and by then was considered a full blown “Mad Scientist” in 1943.

Text from Vodka, Unicorns, and Lincoln Logs

Filed under: Facts, People, Retro technology, Vintage Science Tagged: Mad Scientists, Nikola Tesla

Round The World By Steam – 1898 “Dominion Line”


1898_Dominion Line

The Liverpool and Mississippi Steamship Company was founded in 1870. In 1872, the name was changed to Mississippi and Dominion Steamship Company. Originally it was to sail from Liverpool to New Orleans via Bordeaux, Lisbon and Havana. Later a route from Liverpool to Quebec and Montreal was added in the summer. The New Orleans route was abandoned and the Line continued the Canada route and added a Portland, Maine route in the winter. Later a Bristol to Montreal route was also added. All but the Vancouver carried livestock.

1898_Dominion Line_ill01

In the early 1890s the Dominion Line was in financial trouble and on 12th Dec,1894 the business was sold to Richards, Mills & Co., Liverpool who were owners of the British & North Atlantic S.N. Co.and it’s fleet of five cargo steamers – NORSEMAN (1), ROMAN, OTTOMAN, ANGLOMAN (1) and CAMBROMAN which had been running between Liverpool and Boston under Warren Line management. From 1894 the B & NA and Dominion Line were combined.

In 1902 the International Mercantile Marine Company was formed and acquired the shares of Frederick Leyland & Co, Dominion Line, American Line, Atlantic Transport Line, Red Star Line and White Star Lines. Much re-allocation of routes and ships took place within the group. Dominion Line’s passenger services ceased in 1914 and in 1921 the remaining Dominion ships were transferred to Leyland Line ownership but continued Dominion services under the name White Star – Dominion Line Joint Service. This name disappeared in 1926 to be replaced by White Star Line (Canadian Sevices).

Text from TheShipsList

The ship on the poster

SS New England: Her tonnage was 12,099 tons gross, 9,110 under deck and 7,730 net. The poop was 92 feet, bridge deck 318 feet and forecastle 70 feet. Construction of steel. Water ballast. She had twin screws, triple expansion, 2 x 1898_Dominion Line_ill064 cylinders of (2) 30½, (2) 50¼ & (4) 58 1/8 inches diameter respectively; stroke 54 inches. The engine delivered 985 nominal horse power which gave her a maximum speed of 15 knots. The engine was built by the same company as the hull. She had 3 decks and passenger accommodation for 200 passengers 1 first class, 200 second class and 800 in steerage. She was fitted with electric light, refrigerating machinery, submarine signalling device and wireless. She was first fitted with 3 masts, but later this was reduced to 2 masts. Call sign: QDST. Official registration #: 109441

The interior pictures below are from a booklet issued by Allan Line – text:
"One Class (II) Cabin Steamers" The demand for this type of steamer has been met by placing the "Scandinavian" and "Pretorian" on the "One Cabin" basis. The "Scandinavian" is the largest steamer, 12,100 tons, sailing to Glasgow. Since her first voyage to the St. Lawrence (May, 1912) she has carried the record number of passengers. Her spacious promenade decks, public rooms and staterooms, meeting fully the requirements of the experienced traveller.

1898_Dominion Line_ill021898_Dominion Line_ill05 Dining room and the lounge

1898_Dominion Line_ill041898_Dominion Line_ill03
The enterance hall and the smoking room

Text and interior images from Norway-heritage

Filed under: Advertising, Maritime history, Transportation, Traveling Tagged: Dominion Line, SS New England, Steamship posters

New post Series – London Anno 1959


Back in 1959, Country Life published a book called “Country Life Picture Book of London” with the under tittle “In colour” with photos by G F Allen. The book gives a lovely slightly larger than life time bubble from one of the worlds most fascinating cities. In this series you’ll get a chance to take a step inside that bubble – Ted

Queen Elizabeth II at The Trooping The Colour Ceremony, Horse Guard Parade.

Filed under: British, Photography, The fifties Tagged: 1959, Horse Guard Parade, London, Picture books, Queen Elizabeth II, The Trooping The Colour Ceremony

London Anno 1959 – Part 1



Apsley House, Piccadilly, the first building on the left, is known as ‘No 1, London’ and thus makes an appropriate starting point for this series. It was built from designs by the Adam brothers between 1771 and 1778 for Lord Apsley, later Earl Bathurst. In 1810 it came into the possession of the Marquess Wellesley, elder brother of the Duke of Wellington. The Duke himself lived there from 1816 and the house became his property in 1820. Every year on the anniversary of the battle, until the Duke’s death in 1852, the Waterloo Banquet continued to be held in the Waterloo Gallery. In 1947 Apsley House was given to the nation by the present Duke as a Wellington Museum.

Filed under: British, Facts, Photography, The fifties Tagged: Adam brothers, Apsley House, Duke of Wellington, Lord Apsley, Piccadilly, the Waterloo Banquet

1956 Eshelman Deluxe Adult Sport Car



Eshelman was a marque of small American automobiles (1953–1961) and other vehicles and implements including motor scooters, garden tractors, pleasure boats,aircraft, golf carts, snowplows, trailers, mail-delivery vehicles and more. The Cheston L. Eshelman Company was incorporated on January 19, 1942 and was based on the sixth floor of an industrial building at 109 Light Street in Baltimore, Maryland, with aircraft production facilities located in Dundalk, Maryland.

The Eshelman company began production of commercial light aircraft in Dundalk after World War II, but was best known toward mid-century for its inexpensive light garden tractors and similar machines (including the Kulti-Mower) which were widely promoted in small advertisements in the back pages of mechanical and scientific magazines.


By 1955 a second, larger model was added to the Eshelman line, a basic six-horsepower open car for two passengers also named the "Adult Sport Car". These ASCs were 64 inches (1,600 mm) long, 36 inches (910 mm) wide and 32 inches (810 mm) in height and were powered by an air-cooled rope-started Briggs & Stratton #14 engine (electric starting was optional) that permitted a top speed of 30 mph (48 km/h) and a 70 mpg-US (3.4 L/100 km; 84 mpg-imp) fuel consumption rate. Major ASC mechanical differences included 4.50×6 pneumatic tires with four-wheel cable-operated scrub brakes, a foot throttle, and a pedal-operated parking brake. Extra-cost options included a lawn sweeper ($39.95) and a hauling cart ($79.95). The Adult Sport Car was 40inches wide and was equipped with headlamps and taillamps powered by a separate battery that needed occasional charging, as there was no generator.


The following year saw a minor restyling on both models including an opening hood, cut-down sides for easier entry and exit, and fully opened rear wheel wells. A utility version of this car was offered for use on golf courses (and advertised as providing "36 holes per gallon"). Also from 1956 the smaller models were powered by Briggs and Stratton aluminum-block engines; the Model 6B engine of 2.25 horsepower in the standard series and the Model 8B engine of 2.75 horsepower in the deluxe cars.

Text from Wikipedia

What is most fascinating is the names the producers gave these mini and micro cars. This one looks like badly designed pedal car for small children and still it’s called a “Deluxe Adult Sport Car” and I’ve seen grass mowers with more powerful motors – Ted

Filed under: The fifties, Transportation, Traveling Tagged: 1956 Eshelman Deluxe Adult Sport Car, American cars, Micro cars, Minicars

Great American Cars Of The Forties – 1941 Chevrolet


The years just before World War II saw much change at Chevrolet. The new 1939 bodyshell got a major redo for 1940. Another new design arrived for’ 41, clearly a cousin but mostly fresh. To many, Chevy was never better than it was in 1941.


Chevy’s new A-body, shared with the junior Pontiac and Olds, didn’t look any larger, but passengers liked its extra interior room, shown by a three-inch stretch in front seat width. Outside, the familiar running boards seemed to be missing, but they were actually concealed by the lower door sheetmetal. Sealed-beam headlamps were new, and were integratedwith the front fenders for the first time.


Riding a three-inch-longer (116-inch) wheelbase and measuring 196 inches stem to stern, the’ ‘Fashion Plate for , 41" was a bright, perky entry in the low-price arena. Its bold, neat horizontal grille, obviously borrowed from Buick yet memorably Chevy, lured many buyers into the showrooms. And why not? The Depression seemed to be gone for good at last, aided by a national economy gearing up for an ever more likely war effort. Chevy’s brisk’ 41 styling was the sort of thing long expected of Harley Earl’s Art & Colour Studio. Compared to this year’s dated, rather lumpy Ford it was sleek and refreshing yet fashionably practical.


The odds-on favorite of the younger set was the Special DeLuxe coupe, a sharp and lively car with an 80-mph top speed, 0-50 mph acceleration of about 14 seconds, and an $800 base price. Sure, the business coupe sans back seat cost a few dollars less, but the five-seat model was a bigger seller, with 155,889 units. That didn’t quite match the top-selling Special DeLuxe two-door Town Sedan-228,458-but it did overwhelm the four-door Sport


Sedan and its 59,538 units. Remaining Special DeLuxe choices were the wood-body wagon, the costliest’ 41 at $995 and the scarcest at just 2045 units, and the sporty cabriolet with vacuumoperated soft top, priced at $949. Buyers content with a little less trim and fewer amenities looked to the four-model Master DeLuxe line, priced from $712 to $795. All told, Chevy built over a million ’41 cars, a new record. Some 60 percent were the costlier Special DeLuxe models.


But base price was just the beginning. Many owners went wild on accessories, a wide selection that was hard to resist. Fender skirts, spotlights, backup lamps, Guide rectangular foglamps, ‘washboard" front fender chrome, a grille guard and a fold-down rear guard were some of the exterior spruce-up items. Inside, the symmetrical woodgrain dash might hold a clock or one of several radios, including a five-band shortwave set. Turn signals and two-tone steering wheel (with built-in spinner) were other extras.

ill_006Mechanically, the’ 41 Chevy was much as before. The familiar "Stovebolt Six" in its reworked, 216.5-cubic-inch 1937 guise got a new cylinder head and 6.5:1 compression that boosted output to 90 horsepower, a gain of 5 bhp, and all models acquired Maurice Olley’s controversial "Knee-Action" independent front suspension. Vacuum shift, introduced as a 1939 option, was another new standard. Gear changing required only fingertip effort as the lever traveled only a tiny distance, but shifting was sluggish and many owners eventually converted to manual transmission. A midyear addition to the line was the $877 Fleetline sedan, a forecast of 1942 and early-postwar styling. Looking like a scaled-down C-body Cadillac, it had blind rear roof quarters and a notchback shape with a more formal air. An impressive 34,162 were sold for the model year.

Though the coupe and cabriolet have long been the most prized ’41s, all these Chevys are sharp and very desirable. Some consider this to be one of the best-looking low-priced cars ever, and one of the nicest cars of any kind. This was unquestionably a vintage year for Chevrolet, and it seems almost everybody has owned a ’41 at one time or other. We suspect most of those folks wish they still did.

Filed under: Automobiles, The forties Tagged: 1941 Chevrolet, American cars

This Week’s Soft drink – Primo Gassosa


These days when most of us reach for a soda on the supermarket shelf our options are limited to a few international brands that have cornered the market. And when we do grab it, it will most likely be in the form of a plastic bottle or aluminum can. But in the early 20th century, the business of soda, like many others, was a local enterprise.


In 1900 two brothers, recent immigrants from Italy, founded a soda and beer bottling plant at 812-14 Washington Avenue. The business went through several product and name changes, often taking on a different name every time there was a new product, according to Robert Esposito, the grandson of James “Giacomo” Esposito, one of the brothers.

primo_gassosa_003bThe name that is most likely to ring a bell these days is probably its last one: “Primo Gassosa,” an Italian name meaning “First (or first best) Gas Soda.” The soda was popular for many years. Some claim that it’s cola and lemon-lime flavors rivaled Coca-Cola and 7up. However, the changing of the times, the transition from re-usable glass bottles to disposable plastic ones, and shifts from small stores to giant supermarkets, made it too difficult to continue. However, James Esposito’s grandson Robert, and great-grandson Alexander have taken on the historical documentation and research of the family soda business as a labor of love. That Alexander Esposito is a private investigator no doubt helps when unearthing artifacts such as the unopened case of Primo Gassosa he found in a South Philadelphia supermarket basement years ago.

Text found at: philaplace.org/

Help Needed
I need your help visitors, both in suggesting sodas and soft drinks from around the world and in giving your opinion on the ones presented if you know the product. And you can start with giving your opinion on the ones posted already or reading what other visitors have written  – Ted

List of Soft drinks and sodas posted already
Visitors soft drinks and sodas suggestions and comments

Filed under: Food & drinks, Soft drinks and sodas Tagged: Primo Gassosa, Sodas, Softdrinks

On This Day In 1963 – Philby Confirmed As ‘Third Man’


Former Foreign Office official Harold Philby has admitted he was the "third man" in the case of British diplomats Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean. Security services are now aware that using information he gained while working for the MI6 in Washington, Mr Philby warned the pair that intelligence services were on their trail. This information enabled them to escape to the Soviet Union.

Kim Philby. Cricket enthusiast, bon viveur, tireless party-thrower
and ace undercover agent

It is now apparent Mr Philby was a double agent working for the Soviet authorities during his time with the foreign office. The news was announced in the House of Commons by the Lord Privy Seal Edward Heath.

"This information, coupled with the latest message received by Mrs Philby, suggests that when he left Beirut he may have gone to one of the countries of the Soviet Block" he said. British authorities had always suspected there was a "third man" and asked if this new evidence confirmed it to be Mr Philby the reply from Mr Heath was, "yes".

Mr Philby, often known as Kim, had been working as a journalist in Beirut when he disappeared four months ago. When Mr Burgess and Mr Maclean defected to the Soviet Union in 1951 Harold Philby was singled out as someone who could have warned them. As a result of this he was forced to resign from his post at the Foreign Office by the then Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden. The investigation into the case was never closed.

British spy George Blake, right, with Kim Philby in Moscow in 1975

Today’s revelations have been ridiculed by Mr Burgess, speaking from Moscow he maintained that Mr Maclean had been alerted when "over-eager MI5 sleuths" bumped into his car. Mr Maclean refused to comment.

In Context:

Harold Philby was recruited by the Soviets during his time at Cambridge University. He was a member of a group called Communist International. Once in Moscow Mr Philby became a Russian citizen and re-married.

He worked as a general for the KGB and was awarded the Order of Lenin for services to the country. He died in Russia in 1988 and was buried with full military honours. Mr Philby was nicknamed Kim after a spy character in a Rudyard Kipling book.

Text from BBC’s OnThisDay

Filed under: Article, British, People, The sixties Tagged: George Blake, Harold Philby, Kim Philby, Russia spies, Spy

Round Britain By Railway Posters – Marblethorpe & Sutton-On-Sea



Mablethorpe is a small seaside town in the East Lindsey district of Lincolnshire, England.


802_mablethorpe_01Mablethorpe as a town has existed for many centuries, although part of it was lost to the sea in the 1540s. For example, records of the Fitzwilliam family of Mablethorpe Hall date back to the 14th century. In the 19th century it was also a centre for ship breaking during the winter. Mablethorpe Hall is to the west of the town along Alford Road. It is near the parish church of St Mary (the Mablethorpe church group also includes Trusthorpe)

802_mablethorpe_02D. H. Lawrence; Mablethorpe is the destination for the Morel family’s first holiday in the D. H. Lawrence novel, Sons and Lovers, published in 1913. "At last they got an answer from Mablethorpe, a cottage such as they wished for thirty shillings a week. There was immense jubilation. Paul was wild with joy for his mother’s sake. She would have a real holiday now. He and she sat at evening picturing what it would be like. Annie came in, and Leonard, and Alice, and Kitty. There was wild rejoicing and anticipation. Paul told Miriam. She seemed to brood with joy over it. But the Morel’s house rang with excitement."

802_Sutton-on-Sea_01Sutton-on-Sea is a small coastal village in the East Lindsey district of Lincolnshire, England. It is situated at the junction of the A52 and A1111 roads, 6 miles (10 km) north-east from Alford and 2 miles (3.2 km) south fromMablethorpe. The village is part of the civil parish of Mablethorpe and Sutton.

Village facilities include a post office, public houses, a general store and a hotel, and a paddling pool on the sea front.


At very low tides it is possible to view the remains of an ancient submerged forest on the beaches of Mablethorpe and Sutton on Sea.

802_Sutton-on-Sea_02The church, which is a Grade II listed building, is dedicated to Saint Clement. It was built in 1818-19 on a new site after the previous church was destroyed by the sea.

The Alford and Sutton Tramway ran from Alford town to Sutton-on-Sea on rails set into the road. It opened in 1884 and closed 5 years later.

Sutton-on-Sea railway station opened as part of the Sutton and Willoughby Railway. It closed on 5 October 1970 by which time it was owned by British Rail.

In 1897 the village was the subject of a plan by the Lancashire, Derbyshire and East Coast Railway to build a port and harbour at the terminus of its East-West line to Warrington on the Manchester Ship Canal. However, by the time the line reached Lincoln the money had run out and Lincoln remained its terminus.

Text from Wikipedia

Filed under: Article, British, Ephemera, Holidays, Illustration, Places, Transportation, Traveling Tagged: British Railways, Marblethorpe & Sutton-On-Sea

The Life & Times Of Aunt Mabel – Part 5



As you can see, Aunt Mabel was not at all pleased when she realised that the tour round the Continent she had signed up for was a non boozer. “Not a drop of the strong stuff, but fancy hats and homemade cookies, talk about fur coats and no knickers” she later commented.

Filed under: Food & drinks, Holidays, Traveling Tagged: Aunt Mabel, Group tours