Friday, April 27, 2018

Owney the USPO Mascot


Owney, Railway Mail Service mascot

In 2011, the USPS offered a Forever stamp honoring a dog who followed a mail clerk to work in 1888 and became a mascot because it liked the smell of mail bags. He traveled the country in railroad mail cars, always returning to Albany, New York, where he originally hopped aboard.

Along with the release of this stamp, USPS also offered a number of high-tech tidbits to try to get youngsters interested in stamps. They also opened a contest to First Day Cover artists to create covers to be included in an exhibit at the National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C., along with Owney - who is now stuffed and on exhibit. 

I forgot about the contest until Monday morning when I was at the post office to mail a package. The postal employee who aided and abetted some of my early adventures with stamps excitedly approached me with some news - Our Postmaster had been to the postal museum in Washington, and she took a photograph of my cover - in the museum exhibit. I thought that was pretty special.



Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Buffalo Robes No. 1, June 23rd, 1859


A MEANS TO AN END

From C. M. Russell's Running Buffalo

This is the first of three piece I have been commissioned to do, all of them referring to Buffalo Robes. I have seen advertisements for what were called Sleigh Robes, and I would imagine they were sought after for that reason. These that are being sold by this businessman in Boston would have come to them via an Indian trader on the frontier. They would have come from Indians who traded the robes for trade goods, and in 1859, Indians were the source for the robes. This is a story of not only the paper, but the huge herds of buffalo that were almost gone by the time Charlie arrived in the West.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Baby Ruth and Paul Tibbits


Back in August of 2010, I put up a post of a billhead which referred to a sale of Baby Ruth Candy Bars which I obtained from a Michael Popek of Forgotten Bookmarks via SusanE at This Old Paper. It was great fun to put together that post (and the image), primarily because I was to learn a great deal about the way that the candy was merchandised across the country.

The Baby Ruth candy bar was THE Gravy Train for a fellow by the name of Otto Y. Schnering, who not only knew how to make a good candy bar, he also knew how to promote it.

In 1926, Otto hired a barnstorming air racer by the name of Doug Davis to spread Baby Ruth candy bars far and wide - from the air. Davis had three Waco airplanes and two former military pilots with which he was barnstorming the Southern states and he called it the Davis Flying Circus. It was quickly turned into the Baby Ruth Flying Circus. Check the link above for more information about what became a sensation from the skies when Davis started dropping Baby Ruth candy bars tied to rice paper parachutes - in over forty states across the United States.

Even more interesting than the Baby Ruth Flying Circus is the story of Paul Tibbits, who garnered a ride in Davis' Waco to serve as the bombadier for one of the Candy Drops in Florida in 1927.

Paul Tibbets was born in 1915 to Enola Gay and Paul Warfield Tibbets in Quincy, Illinois. In 1924, the Tibbets family moved to Florida. Paul was nine. On a warm summer day in 1927, barnstorming pilot Doug Davis, let twelve-year old Paul ride in his Waco 9 airplane and toss Baby Ruth candy bars to the crowds at Hialeah racetrack and Miami Beach. Tibbets always traced his interest in aviation to that day.

Do you recognize the name of Paul's mother?  On August 6th, 1945, Paul Tibbits flew the B-29 he named the Enola Gay over Hiroshima, Japan, and will be forever remembered in history books, as will his mother.

I've done the Curtiss Baby Ruth airplane twice before, and with this one I'll put the plane in the hanger. My art probably doesn't make you want to go buy a Baby Ruth, but you'll perhaps think of my art the next time you pay 75 cents for a nickel candy bar!

Messenger for the Palace


The third time will not be the charm for this bottle. While working on this one, I had a vision of a Russell label to match the cigar box pictured below. Might be a nice combination.



There's also a square top box label that is pretty close to the same design as pictured below. My thinking is I should make a Bateman & Switzer Whiskey label of my own.


To me, either one of them is not really a very good likeness of Charlie. I can do better.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

J. H. Owings, The Great Rocky Mountain Remedy



A year ago, I was chasing a bottle. The bottle I was chasing is a sought-after and very collectible bottle that Dr. J. D. Eastman had produced for an herbal remedy formula called Oregon Grape Root Bitters. When Owings purchased the business from Eastman, he also obtained all of the business paper. Included in the business was a very well done letterhead which included a paper label for his product, which went unused once he had the embossed bottles produced.

While attempting to locate a collector willing to give me a photograph of this bottle, I was told of the existence of an Eastman letterhead with the label.


The bottle this label was applied to may or may not have been embossed, but once I saw this letterhead, I knew exactly what I needed to do to add a labeled bottle to the Owings letterhead. The embossed bottle was placed on a bill of lading, and I posted it here.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Horse of the Hunter, Buffalo Brewing Company


This is a piece of billhead for the Buffalo Brewing Company of Sacramento, California. I follow several glass groups on Facebook, including Western Bottle Collectors and patent medicines. I love putting glass on old paper, and I also like putting C.M. Russell's fabulous art on paper appropriate for it. Thanks to a good friend, Daniel Lopez for putting this piece in my hands.