Downtown 1958

Downtown 1958

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

A Couple of News Items

August 9, 1880, Oshkosh Daily Northwestern
August 31, 1880, Oshkosh Daily Northwestern
So often the newspapers of this era have such dry and stilted prose that the copy is unreadable.  But I still get a kick out of reading the news of that era. 

Here's a couple of stories that are entertaining, even for today.  Plus, they come complete with language of the day.  When's the last time you saw the word "vagabond" used twice in one paragraph, or a woman referred to as a "man eater?"  And "humbug"?  I think we only get that every December when we watch Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" and hear it used by Mr. Scrooge. 
In the top story the bank referred to as Hewitt's is the Bank of Menasha.  It's charming to me that the population of Menasha was still so small and apparently everybody knew everybody, that it could be referred to by the operator's name instead of its legal business name and there was no confusion over that.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Joy in the Ride

August 16, 1979, Neenah-Menasha Daily Northwestern
Just the simple joys of riding one's bike as the waning days of summer lead us on the path back to school and the inevitable day-to-day drudgery of it all.  Ah, freedom!

Monday, August 14, 2017


August 11, 1959, Appleton Post-Crescent
While the above photo for the Buick Electra is a stock photo provided by the car company, I was still taken aback by that ad copy, describing the car as "sleek and low."  Compared to what people drove in years before, this car WAS just that.  The styling reflected America's entry first into the Jet Age, but now, for this era, the Space Age.  Is it any wonder, this America on the move, would want its autos to reflect its future hopes and dreams of a streamlined world?  These iconic auto designs are still looked back upon fondly.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Oral History

September 14, 1979, Neenah-Menasha Daily Northwestern

Dr. Michael O'Brien brings us another oral history from 1979.  Today's installment covers memories of educators from the past.  If there is a common thread to all these oral histories, it's that perseverance goes a long way.  These residents endured economic downturns and historic upheavals that tested the wills of parents, teachers, employers...everyone.  The 20th century was a crazy roller coaster ride- World War I, the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression, World War II, and the post-war 1950's.  But having a dedication to one's work and a goal to achieve most often led to success. 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Aerial View

August 25, 1963, Appleton Post-Crescent
This is a nice aerial photo to go along with the dedication of what we at St. Mary's always referred to as the "'62 Building," even though this dedication by Bishop Bona took place in 1963.  I may have shared this before but the whole place was interconnected in the basement.  As first through fourth graders, our classrooms were in the "'52 Building."  Often, we'd take trips to the library in the "'62 Building" or to that building's new "A/V Room," where, if we were lucky, we might see a movie or something special.  (I think, one time, we watched the Davy Crockett movies there for some reason.)  In the warmer weather, we might go outside, but in the winter, we'd just travel through the basements to get there.  Of course, this also meant traversing part of the high school basement and it was so alien to see those "big kids"  milling around, changing classes and whatnot.  Often we'd encounter the maintenance man, Mr. Coopman and he was always so friendly to us.  (As you can see, for this little kid, it didn't take much distraction to make my day better!)

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Alex's On the Water

February 17, 1961, Appleton Post-Crescent
I was taken with the interesting "photoshopped" quality of this ad, with the cutout photographs on the stark white background.  But Kentucky Fired Chicken at Alex's?   Colonel Sanders, after a go at running his own chicken restaurant, decided to franchise his product to independent restaurants which would pay a franchise fee.  Initially it was four cents on each chicken, in exchange for the Colonel's "secret blend of herbs and spices" and the right to feature his recipe on their menus and use his name and likeness for promotional purposes. If I recall, Marc's Big Boy on College Avenue in Appleton also had a franchise for Kentucky Fried Chicken.  Sometime later, Sanders abandoned this concept in favor of creating the fast food chain that we all know today.  We first saw this restaurant in a 2013 blog post:

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

A Thing of Beauty

August 11, 1963, Appleton Post-Crescent
A black and white newspaper certainly does not do justice to these photographs!  And the irony of speaking of a "flood of color" can not be ignored. Since 1930, Smith Park has had some sort of gardens as we saw in the following post from last year:  As far as parks go in northeastern Wisconsin, its beauty is a mark of pride for Menasha.