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the smiling men of pasadena 5: a clean smile

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The December 31, 1920 edition of the Pasadena Post spotlighted (mostly) grinning photos of the paper's staff and local businessmen. Given my penchant for going down research rabbit holes related to anything quirky I stumble upon (and desire to learn more about places I've travelled to), this series will look at some of the stories behind the smiling faces.  Pasadena Post, December 31, 1920. A clean, fresh start to a new year? This installment's smile is courtesy of a business that would leave Pasadena with an art deco landmark. I discovered little about George F. Whitehouse, other than he remained an executive for Royal Laundry through the late 1920s, after which he was associated with another launderer. His 1946 obituary bluntly states that he "dropped dead at his home." Los Angeles Times, August 7, 1923. Royal Yosemite Laundry (the "Yosemite" part was dropped by the mid-1920s) grew out of a merger of three cleaners orchestrated by Arthur Clinton Tubbs

the smiling men of pasadena 4: smiles may be habit forming

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The December 31, 1920 edition of the Pasadena Post spotlighted (mostly) grinning photos of the paper's staff and local businessmen. Given my penchant for going down research rabbit holes related to anything quirky I stumble upon, this series will look at some of the stories behind the smiling faces.  Pasadena Post, December 31, 1920. He might be smiling out of habit but, based on the information I found about Clarke Bogardus, he may have hid plenty of pain behind that grin. At age 17 he enlisted for service in the First World War, ending up in an ambulance unit.  During the Second Battle of the Marne in August 1918 he, according to his obituary, "contracted a disease from which he never fully recovered."  Pasadena Post, June 5, 1920. After the war, he wrote the Post 's "Motor Gossip" column. He later established an advertising agency and was involved in Pasadena Preferred, an organization promoting local growth. By the late 1940s local papers periodically p

the smiling men of pasadena 3: cigars and preserves

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The December 31, 1920 edition of the Pasadena Post spotlighted (mostly) grinning photos of the paper's staff and local businessmen. Given my penchant for going down research rabbit holes related to anything quirky I stumble upon, this series will look at some of the stories behind the smiling faces.  Pasadena Post, December 31, 1920. Unless you're going to a farmers' market, using "marketing" for grocery shopping seems charmingly antiquated. Tracing the Braden's Preserves story through old newspapers is a confusing mess, as it appears there were different firms with similar names. During the early 1920s, the FTC filed a complaint against A. Claude Braden and his Braden's California Products preserve company for imitating a competitor's name. This competitor was likely the A.C. Braden Quality Foods Company, which was also based in Pasadena. Though the complaint was dismissed in 1923, an A.C. Braden catalogue of the period notes that their products were

a LoveBundle with a LoveBug for your LovedOne (valentine's day 1971)

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  New York Daily News, February 8, 1971. How many people wandered around North America with LoveBug corsages pinned to their heart on Valentine's Day half-a-century ago? If the answer was "not many," it wasn't for a lack of trying as FTD filled newspapers across the US and Canada with ads featuring the LoveBug and his LoveBundle. Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, February 7, 1971. I'm trying to figure out if the triangle sticking out of the LoveBug is part of the ribbon or is his tongue. It's possible that the LoveBug was a cousin of the Tim Horton's  Timbit character  and  Thing from TVO's  Readalong . Schematic diagram of the LoveBundle, Ottawa Citizen, February 4, 1971. In Ottawa, the Citizen offered two LoveBundles as prizes in a children's colouring contest. "Some 400 children got out their colouring materials, set their mouths just right and coloured the bouquet called a LoveBundle," Citizen women's editor Shirley Foley not

the smiling men of pasadena 2: the eternal smile of "uncle bill" haas

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The December 31, 1920 edition of the Pasadena Post spotlighted (mostly) grinning photos of the paper's staff and local businessmen. Given my penchant for going down research rabbit holes related to anything quirky I stumble upon, this series will look at some of the stories behind the smiling faces.  Pasadena Post, December 31, 1920 . "That ponderous body of his simply shakes." There's descriptive language you just don't see any more.  From the accounts I've found, it seems William A. Haas was a classic old-time entertainment PR man, full of stories and tall tales to go along with his eternal smile. When he died in 1941, his obituary included many claims that might not hold up under scrutiny. He unsuccessfully ran for coroner (possibly in Iowa) against future president William Howard Taft. He suggested that William McKinley be promoted as the “Advance Agent of Prosperity” during the 1896 presidential campaign. He planted the idea of motion pictures in Thomas E

the smiling men of pasadena 1: introduction and the composite smile of f.w. kellogg

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   Pasadena Evening Post,  December 31, 1920. Some newspapers end a year with reflections on the previous 12 months. Other express their hopes for the next 12. As 1920 gave way to 1921, the  Pasadena Evening Post  decided what would really cheer readers up (and keep advertisers happy) was to publish in its New Year's Eve edition a ton of ads and photos depicting grinning members of the paper's staff and the local business community. While some of those depicted look relaxed and friendly to talk shop with, others have strange expressions generally associated with membership in cults. Originally this post was going to be a long image dump, but I couldn't resist digging deeper, finding out more about the gentlemen featured in these ads. Newspapers.com has a decent selection of Pasadena papers, which to led to a two-day research adventure which yielded some interesting stories. I'll admit that I've developed a soft spot for Pasadena (and neighbouring Altadena) in recent

literary department: the goat and the tiger

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This weekend, I had to buy a new computer. The old one had performed well given how heavily I use, but either old age or an inability to get along with recent Windows Updates meant increasing wildcat strikes by my mouse and keyboard. Setting up the new system was easy, and has provided an excuse to sort files. Among the folders I found was one filled with snapshots from late 1970s editions of Books in Canada , taken while working on other projects during some long-ago trip to Toronto Reference Library.  The first image jumped out at me. Books in Canada, August-September 1977. NIGHTMARE FUEL!!!  Kind of reminds me of that part of the opening sequence for the old Elwy Yost series Magic Shadows where the fighter pilot turns into a tiger man. Or the dude who physically modified himself into a catman . Or something Dr. Moreau genetically whipped up.  Shedding some colour on this doesn't make this cover any less creepy. Let's take a closer look at the ad...   Books in Canada,