"Place, with a trace of humanity" Photography/Photo of the Day/Pittsburgh

vintage

Pittsburgh Seltzer Bottles in Bridgeport Conn Crate

The glass bottles attracted my eye as I saw them sitting on a soda fountain counter on Carson Street  in the South Side.  Only when I got home and uploaded the photo did I read Bridgeport Conn.   The bottles are from the Pittsburgh Seltzer Works but that wooden crate had Bridgeport Conn, stamped right on the side.

Bridgeport – where I spent four years of my life. Granted, a long time ago. It’s where I got my Art Education degree.

Oh and it’s home to the P.T. Barnum Museum, where Elias Howe invented the first sewing machine, where Sikorsky(now gone global)  manufactured helicopters, where Dr Fones founded Dental Hygiene profession  in 1906 and a ton of other well known names born there including Walt Kelly and Al Capp.

I think Paul Newman  when he was filming The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, once called it the “armpit of New England” which wasn’t very kind.  There was lots of industry and manufacturing, and then decline, departure and attempts to revitalize. The P.T. Barnum Museum is worth a trip, though.  Seriously.  And if you are into deterioration and dilapidation reports click here to read about Remington Arms.

 

Pittsburgh Seltzer Bottles

 

 

 

 


Remember Uncle Frank’s ’53 Chevy?

Do you remember seeing Uncle Frank’s Chevrolet (1953) when he was just putting the engine in?

Here’s what it looks like now after all the work  (love) he has put into it!  Shot from the passenger window- the interior.

uncle franks chevy

 

 

uncle franks chevy (2)

 

 


Weekly Photo Challenge : Nostalgic

I thought we were in Burnt Chimney, Virginia.  Precisely Wirtz, VA.

Friday afternoon.

When I saw that the weekly challenge was nostalgic    I wondered what I longed for- I don’t truly long for the return of the milk truck or the milkman to bring the glass bottles of milk to the door.  But this truck did make me remember and recapture a time of my life, past…..

Nostalgic. Sometimes, we long for the past: for moments we want to remember or recapture. The good times. The golden years. Or perhaps we’re homesick, or longing for something — or someone — that might have been.


 We went for ice cream cones at the Homestead Creamery Friday afternoon. There were white rockers to sit in out front. This old milk truck was parked on their lawn.

I remember out milkman (an it was prior to PC naming- not milk person or milk carrier)  bringing a wire basket of glass bottles of milk to the milk box on the back steps.  A dozen eggs.

I remember the sound of the truck door sliding open and shut on his truck. The rattle of glass. The sound of the milk box lid closing. You can buy milk in glass bottles at Homestead Creamery.

Our milkman was from the Alderney Dairy in New Jersey.

If you want to see a previous post of a vintage Harmony Dairy milkbox you can click here    

Milk truck

and here’s the image from the link above, showing Dorothy‘s Milkbox ’cause who has time to click and go check it out?  

Dorothy's Milkbox


Swivel Stools and Ice Cream Counter at Yetter’s in Millvale

It gets dark early these days. The interior of Yetter’s caught my eye after we parked and headed down Grant Ave to Sedgwick Street.

Steve and I were on our way to Panza Gallery for an art opening reception last Saturday night. Do you remember Millvale Days when I didn’t bring my camera and had to shoot with my phone? Well, we headed for the art opening and all I had was my phone to capture this scene at night.

Yetter’s is known for their homemade candies which you can mail order online although I must confess I have never eaten a chocolate covered potato chip. Just an old fashioned place with fresh candies and ice cream and delicious milkshakes.

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10th Euro Car Oktoberfest Held at Volkswagen of America Westmoreland Site

It was a gorgeous October day. On the warm side.  Guys in T shirts and shorts. Saw a few VW tattoos. I took the scenic route from Columbus as I made my way back home to Pittsburgh.

I drove to VW Westmoreland (which used to assemble VW Rabbits but closed in 1988) to a Euro Car show sponsored by Sendell Motors and organized by Jason Santo Columbo and Josh Volk. (if you click their names it will send you to the events FB page)

 It was George with the 1973 VW Thing from the Garfield Art Car Show last week who told me about the Oktoberfest today. Parked next to George was Lenny’s 1964 356 Outlaw Porsche. Lenny told me he spent 13 years restoring it. I should write out THIRTEEN so it sinks in.  A labor of love.  He’s a certified race flag waver who works at the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix, keeping the drivers safe by signaling with a flag, letting them know what is going on.  Lenny has an article in the ARPCA (Allegheny Region Porsche Club of America) but I couldn’t find the specific link to it, sorry.

Some of you may remember the post of  Volkswagen Family photograph shot in North Carolina.

Thanks for the tip on the show today, George!                  So, what do you think, Uncle Frank?

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I Swear This ’57 Chevy Has a Face

(At least I think it’s a 1957 from the images I could find on google.  

If you think I’m wrong, let me know)

You can see why they made the Pixar movie CARS.  Two eyes and a nose and a mouth are perfect and lend themselves to being humanized, animated and given the ability to talk.

Just in case you need a little something to keep you busy on weekends.

It’s only a mile from my house and I keep seeing her look at me when I drive by.  Cars are female, right? Like boats?   (Except in the movie CARS there are a lot of guy cars)     But do you still  hear comments like, “She’s a real beaut!” or ” I got her up about seventy on the straightaway.”   when referring to a car.  How did boats and cars get designated female  and is that something old fashioned that is totally out of style?  Here’s some debate I was able to find on the subject at English Forums.

 


The Family Jewels in NYC

New York City- Tuesday August 21st. School starts for me in Pittsburgh on Friday so this is the LAST of the summer vacation.

My sister and I were shopping for a corded landline.  Good luck with that!  You think you have something in mind but your choices are dictated by what is produced AND what is in stock.  But that ‘s another whole story.

As we walked by this Vintage Clothing and Accessories store on West 23rd Street, The Family Jewels, we saw a young woman working on getting the padlock out of the security gate. We chatted for a minute and said we’d be back.  The vintage tablecloths caught our eye.

Meet Liz.  She graciously consented to be photographed.  She patiently explained the different ways they procure the vintage items.  And you know how I like to ask people how they get started with their collections.  She has a collection of poodle items that were gifts from friends who know she likes poodles.   She had a poodle and that’s how it all started. See her tattoo and necklace! She had the most beautiful green eyes, too. Thanks, Liz!

 


Such Expressive (and Unexpected) Taxidermy

Beware of Fox!

It’s been up on this porch roof for at least a couple of days.

I was driving to the zoo from school on Monday.

The story I heard from the guy out in front of the house next door?

The guy who lives there does demolition and probably got it from some home he was tearing down.  It is the season of demolition around the city as you know.

A photographer has no choice but to pull to the curb and shoot the scene.  Remember the days of women’s stoles with fox heads dangling and tiny paws with claws? Beady eyes?  Ugh. Wonder if they take him in if it rains?

The last book we read in 2nd grade Intervention Group was the Fantastic Mr.  Fox by Roald Dahl.


Buildings Demolished- A Sign Discovered

Converted to black and white to accompany this discovery.

A bit of research on the web  and I found the photograph of the Fiore Family in their Larimer Meat Market.

I drove by just before sunset and was surprised to find some buildings missing.  The ground covered with hay. And then I spied this wonderful sign.  What a gift.  Larimer used to be densely populated with Italian immigrants but this area is fairly desolate now. Vacant lots were restaurants and shops used to be.  There are still homes in the area but lots of spaces in-between of what used to be there. About a mile from my house.

Only the automobiles in the photo give it a date.  TODAY.

I hope some of their descendants find this post and write a comment.

copied and pasted from a Google Search.

 


Novelty Architecture-Bedford PA- The Coffee Pot

I imagine this scene has been captured thousands and thousands of times by passersby like myself.

And if you enjoy looking at the Coffee Pot there are plenty more structures to read about here

 

 


Bedford, PA- Home of the National Museum of the American Coverlet

Laszlo Zongor explains the system of Jacquard Loom(see below) and the punched holed cards, each card a single line of weaving.

 

 

A two hour drive from Pittsburgh.  My book club had a fun and memorable getaway weekend trip.  We stayed at the Historic Bedford Resort.

Sunday, Joan and I went to see the National Museum of the American Coverlet- housed in a beautiful Historic Common School.   A coverlet is a woven bed cover, although there were some floor coverings, too.  The coverlets display changes every four months.  We learned a lot about the history of the coverlets with our knowledgeable guide explaining the differences. The last photos are of the gift shop where you can purchase reproductions of the antique designs and fabric for quilters.

 from the National Museum of the American Coverlet

The Museum and Museum Shop are open daily, year round.
Hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.
Admission is $6 ($5 for age 60 and over).  Kids under 12 are free.  Group rates available.

Laszlo Zongor explains the punch cards used in the Jacquard loom.

 If you have a coverlet, you can bring it to Melinda and Laszlo Zongor and they can help date it and identify the weaving method.

The Jacquard Loom

There are looms and spinning wheels on exhibit.


Maytag Repairman- Loneliest Guy in Town

There’s a bronze statue of an unemployed  Maytag repairman in Newtown Iowa where they manufactured Maytag washing machines. Here is another view of the same statue in the snow.   I was in Perla’s  Appliances Plus Store in Swissvale, picking up a grill plate for my new stove they delivered last week and saw this statue of the lonely Maytag repairman. Turns out there are other figurines of the same theme in existence and are popular collectibles.    I asked to blog it and they said fine by them, thank you! Do you remember Jesse White the character actor who first played the Maytag Repairman in a commercial in 1967??  There is a Youtube video of a Maytag Museum in Eaton CO if you want to see the collections of washing machines, some powered by gasoline and one actually has a meat grinder attachment.  Wringers, rollers, drums, agitators, tubs, automatics and rack and pinion gearing, motors and spin cycles.  But since the Maytag needed so few repairs, their authorized repairman was taught to carry a deck of cards to play solitaire as he was called so infrequently!   


Uncle Frank is Seventy and a Day- By His 1955 Ford Pick-up Truck


Uncle Frank Put the Engine in the 1953 Chevy

It is an amazing skill Uncle Frank has- refurbishing old cars. Did you see his 1933 Buick?

The car he is working on now is a year younger than me!   He’s got the engine in now. I am fascinated by the ability to do such work.  Watch for future updates as he takes this baby on the road.

And the interior is from a Cadillac.  I wouldn’t know where to begin.  It is going to be a beauty!  Shot in his West Mifflin garage.


Eating Raspberries on Uncle Frank’s Running Board

1933 Plymouth

Maura and Michael sit on Uncle Frank's running boards and share raspberries.

The family has been in Pittsburgh a lot this summer.  A wedding, a family reunion, a funeral, and this weekend a bridal shower.

Lucky grandma.

Here are Maura and Michael sharing some raspberries while sitting on Uncle Frank’s 1933 Plymouth.  You may have seen the post where Uncle Frank and Aunt Linda were pulling out of the driveway to drive another bride to the church in this snazzy car.  It’s a beauty.

 


Old Fashioned Pulley Clothesline-Lilies and Dinner

My friend J cooked a bday dinner for me the other night and I was checking out her garden. Everything so lush and green. Stunning lilies blooming. J shows me what is a weed and what is not. When she splits her perennials I will plant them in my garden. The plants might not be too happy about the move to my place, though. Her clothesline jumped out at me and I thought of sheets hung on the line and how quickly things dry in the summer. The refreshing scent of the sunshine. I didn’t stay late enough but when it gets dark she has a fish pond and glass orb that lights up so have to plan a return trip. J is an excellent cook, too as you can see by the dinner on the table below. A nice summer evening. Thanks J.


Uncle Frank Drove His 1933 Plymouth to Pick Up the Bride Today (6 images)

We were up at Aunt Linda and Uncle Frank’s today, seeing all the family in town for the wedding last night. Saturday was another wedding and Uncle Frank took his spotless 1933 Plymouth to pick up the bride. He has had the car since 1973 and it a beauty. He added a couple of Just Married signs on the sides and back. Michael(5) is photographing the scene from the porch.


Open Letter to Shiny Buick Man with the Fuzzy Dice

Dear Shiny Buick Man
in York PA,

You’ve lived in my upstairs hall closet
over two years now, in a frame and mat.
I wanted to tell you
I took your picture
one January Sunday
just before I pulled out of the lot.
I lifted my camera off the front seat,
shot you quick, no time to focus.
Your car caught in a lovely light,
a luster pristine-
and you in your tie.
Maybe you were coming from church.
Or going.
Codorus Creek on your left,
but not the whitewater part.
The Heritage Rail Trail
(no trains that day)–
I want you to know
how I admire your fuzzy dice,
how they dangle still
frozen in that moment
from your rearview mirror.
I think you saw me.
But didn’t know what happened
so I thought I should write and tell you.
I hope you don’t mind.

Man driving a1960 Buick on a York PA road with Fuzzy Dice

Saturday night was the 7th Annual Poe*Art Reading and Art Show downtown in the Cultural Trust space at 805 Liberty. Ten Western Pennsylvania Writing Project teachers read their poems and displayed an accompanying artwork. This was the photo, shot in January 2009, I chose to use as a writing prompt. I went through the project in 1993.

Poe*Art 2010 is online for viewing click here      For more information about the Western PA Writing Project click here

A letter poem of address
to an unsuspecting man
who was just driving along
minding his own business.


How do you feel about ironing?

Walking Murphy down to the market I happened to see this vintage ironing board waiting for garbage pickup.
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Grand Ville Convertible- Classic Car

Parked on a side street as I rounded the corner to meet Cj at Lot 17 on Liberty last Friday evening. Gleaming black convertible.   A Classic Car license plate. By Pontiac.

You see a lot of scenes like this in Pittsburgh and they feel like you are on a movie set.  The interior was immaculate.  Must get a lot of attention when driving around the city.  Anyone know the year?

Some objects speak to us.
Others don’t.
See how it strikes you.
If you know the year,
will you let me know?

St. Joseph Church in the background


“If it is in aluminum, we make it” – but not anymore. Company is closed.

Vintage advertising. Aluminum Goods Manufacturing Company became Mirro but it turns out it all closed in 2003.  I looked it up. (click here for history)  And there is a photo of the building on Flickr. Used as an art space and bands practice in it.

I was photographing this collapsible cup for the keeporpitch blog thinking it might be something I could part with and then when I looked at the photograph I decided, who am I kidding?  I can’t get riud of this item just yet,  So didn’t want people to vote on it and say PITCH it cause I know I’m going to let it stick around with me some more.  I think it is something my dad got at a yard sale or Golden Oldies thrift shop at the home where they lived in Illinois.

Aluminum

I have a hammered lazy Susan
with the dogwood motif.
A lipped pitcher with some flowers.
A couple of loaf pans.
Cookie sheets.
A jelly roll pan.
But here’s my favorite
aluminum item.

I guess you could take it camping.


Zenith Radio Model 12-S-370, 1939

Tonight at the book club meeting I sat at the table with this radio in front of me for the evening. I knew it had a story and the hostess just wrote to tell me I left my notebook where I had jotted down what I needed to know about the radio’s history.  I remembered the location of Beaconsfield Street in Detroit.   Here is what Lisa B. wrote to me just now about this radio  from her husband’s family.  Zenith Radio Model 12-s-370. found online Antique Radio Museum.

Here is what Lisa wrote in an email tonight-  So here you go: The radio belonged originally to neighbors of Virginia and Joseph Belloli who lived on Beaconsfield Street or Holcumb Street in Detroit. During WWII the neighbors were German nationals and as German nationals they could not own the radio because it had short wave capabilities. The neighbors sold the radio to “Granny” and “Grampa”.       Joseph was born 1895 in Cuggiono Italy and Virginia in 1896 in the US, though her family was from Cuggiono as well. And just to make things complicated, three Oldani sisters married three Belloli brothers. You just have to accept if you were born Belloli and you meet another Belloli in Detroit or St. Louis, yes, somehow in some convoluted way, you are related.”

You can see more about this model in a video a guy made on youtube with one  he found at the curb in Peoria IL



Button, Button, Whose Got the Button? ( & Bridal Veils, too!)

1700 Carson Street is the home of a great button store.  It fascinates me-  Parker Button. Boxes and boxes stacked from floor to ceiling.   All colors, shapes and sizes.  Like an artist’s palette.  Shank or flat. Frogs and belt buckles. Ribbon and trim. Spools of thread to sew them all on for utility or ornamentation. My mother had a glass jar full of buttons.  My sister made me the coolest necklace from vintage mother-of-pearl shirt buttons, strung onto embroidery floss. Do you have any clothing missing a button?

The other half of  the shop is Clarissa’s Boutique .   One word to describe the bridal veils, jewelry and accessories for custom headpieces and wedding necessities-  exquisite? lovely? classic? ethereal?  They will create a custom headpiece for you but allow three months.  Feathers, flowers, jewels, or pearls.       Voted the Best of the Knot for weddings 2011.

These Days Buttons are Often a Part of Web Design

Or people push our buttons.
Press the button to call the elevator
or select your floor.
Today’s post is the old fashioned kind.
Two-hole, four-hole or shank.
Metal, plastic, shell or bone.
Beatrix Potter shapes of rabbits.
When was the last time you sewed on a button?

Today marks 500 blog posts and counting!

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Growing up we had a record with the song ( these lyrics are from 1929)

Button up your overcoat, When the wind is free, Oh, take good care of yourself, You belong to me! Eat an apple every day, Get to bed by three, Oh, take good care of yourself, You belong to me! Be careful crossing streets, ooh-ooh, Cut out sweets, ooh-ooh, Lay off meat, ooh-ooh, You'll get a pain and ruin your tum-tum! 

Vinyl 45′s in Paper Sleeves with Plastic Adapter

How old do you have to be to remember what 45rpm means?   I had a carrying case for this size record.   Down at Excuses again, SouthSide, where King Cobra Blues plays the first Friday of the month.   I saw this scene-   a guy named John had two old 45′s and was asking Don Hollowood to sign them during the band’s break.  I asked if I could photograph the 45′s.  He was worried I didn’t have a flash but I managed.  John was explaining to me how there was an A side and a B side to a 45.  It was dark in the bar.  I had about twenty years on him and knew about the A and B side but he said he was used to explaining the concept to his nieces.  So the rare 45′s of the band Bon Ton Roulet were Black Diamond(A) and You Excite Me Daddy(B) and the other was Love and War (A) and They Call Us Bon Ton Roulet(B).  Check out the MTV Basement Tapes, hosted by Frank Zappa, see the early music video featuring Pittsburgh Band Bon Ton Roulet singing Love and War. John said he bought them at Sunny Jim’s in Emsworth. There is one copy of Black Diamond on Amazon. The plastic insert 45rpm  adapter is called a spider.


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