The Air at the Top of the Bottle

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Entries from August 2008

Children’s Card Games (22)

August 29th, 2008 · 2 Comments

“Gris” (Piglet) is a modest little offering from Denmark.  There’s no date or publisher; this must have been a low-ticket toy.  The Danish kid got 16 black and white cards, each with a lovely pen and ink sketch.  I’m afraid I can’t tell you how it was played. (Posted by Doug Skinner)

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Tags: Card Games · Ephemera

Back to School (3)

August 23rd, 2008 · No Comments

Spelling Book Poetry The Sadlier’s Dominion Catholic Speller (by a Catholic teacher, 1883), is much more than a spelling book. It encompasses spelling “oral and written,” including detailed explanations of phonetics, pronunciation, syllabics, grammar and syntax, Latin and Greek etymology, and common abbreviations and titles. I’ve never seen a modern speller this comprehensive – then […]

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Tags: Belief Systems · Education · Ephemera

Children’s Card Games (21)

August 22nd, 2008 · 5 Comments

From 1928 comes “Kam-ra! A Motion Picture Card Game.”  It’s credited to Josephine O. Miranda, and published by the Kam-ra Card Company in Hollywood.  The other face cards are: Star, Hero, Producer, and Director.  I’m not sure why our author is batting out that screenplay with a quill pen, but good luck to him. (Posted […]

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Tags: Card Games · Ephemera

R.I.P., Bigfoot Body

August 21st, 2008 · No Comments

Like many, I was disappointed by the quick fizzle of the Bigfoot Body hoax in Georgia.  I suppose I should wax explicit, and carefully explain that no, it’s not because I think Bigfoot is a real flesh-and-blood beastie, or because I was expecting, or even wanting, evidence.  The stories are real enough; and have their […]

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Tags: Animals · Belief Systems · Forteana · Hoaxes

Children’s Card Games (20)

August 15th, 2008 · 3 Comments

This stylish edition of the old game “Slap Jack” was published by Russell in 1935.  It was “A Big-Little Card Game,” and measured 1 5/8″ x 2 2/3″.  That must have called for precision slapwork. (Posted by Doug Skinner) 

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Tags: Card Games · Ephemera

Back to School (2)

August 10th, 2008 · No Comments

Facts Can Be Fun! Interactive gadgets and gizmos to aid learning have been popular for decades, perhaps longer. Often used for the basics – ABCs, vocabulary, numbers, math, music, spelling, verb conjugation, and foreign languages, for example – they have been packaged as calculators and electronic devices, paper wheel charts, games, puzzles, wooden blocks, and […]

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Tags: Belief Systems · Dead Media · Education · Ephemera · Technology

Children’s Card Games (19)

August 8th, 2008 · 3 Comments

It’s Friday; another children’s card game comes from the box for your aesthetic pleasure.  “Crazy Faces,” a variation of that old favorite, “Crazy Eights,” was published by the E. E. Fairchild Corporation. It apparently came in two editions: one with the kid-TV host Captain Kangaroo on the cover, and one without.  All of the faces […]

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Tags: Card Games · Ephemera

The Pig’s Lesson

August 2nd, 2008 · 2 Comments

Let me add that the stories meant to amuse children often teach different lessons than the textbooks and tracts.  This toy magic lantern slide, for example, has an unusual moral: no dinner until you destroy the furniture.  Your teachers do not want you to emulate the pig; but every child will admire its inventiveness, envy its contentment, and […]

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Tags: Animals · Belief Systems

Back to School (1)

August 2nd, 2008 · No Comments


John Cooper was a little boy, whose father and mother lived in a cottage on one side of a village green. He was his parents’ only child, so that he had no brothers nor sisters to play with. But he had a dog of which he was very fond, and he used sometimes to play with other children on the green. Tom Jones was one of the boys that played with John Cooper. One day he asked John Cooper to go for a long walk with him, instead of going to school. John at first would not consent, but at last he gave way and went with Tom, taking Carlo with him.

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Tags: Belief Systems · Dead Media · Literature · Memories