Archive for July 2010
Not me, the owner of this VW bus in Chatham, MA.
In 1927, Henry Ford changed the way we got from point A to point B. We replaced the horse and carriage with the Model A and then we quickly found a way to turn these metal contraptions into a new way to express our opinions. Henry Ford also did something else for us with the automobile. He put them out for thousands of people to purchase and as people began to have accidents, he added the bumper to provide some protection to the front and back of the car. Combine this bumper with America’s desire for free speech and people found a new way to advertise their products and ideas.
The first bumper “stickers” were made of cardboard and metal. These were then connected by wire and string. In fact, they looked more like a license plate than a sticker. Nevertheless, these were the forerunners of bumper stickers, as we know them today.
A change to the way bumper stickers were made would come later. In the 1930’s, Forest P. Gill worked for the Crawford Manufacturing Company in Kansas City, Missouri. The company had been making canvas items such as seat and tire covers. The canvas was a sturdy material that was also very versatile, as it could be printed on with ink through silkscreening. These inks were different from the dyes that had been used in the past, as the dyes would fade or run in the sunlight or rain. As a result, the canvas turned out to be an excellent option for printed advertisements for the outdoors. Soon, canvas was used for outdoor advertisements on the canvas awnings that went over store windows and later they were used for covering spare tires and turning those into advertisements as well.
After the Crawford Manufacturing Company went out of business, Gill chose to go into business for himself. Gill received some printing equipment from his ex-employer and began a printing business in the basement of his home in 1934.
Gill struggled to make ends meet and printed everything from bumper signs to can labels. The prints were treated with chemicals to keep them from running and to withstand the weather. As Gill’s operation grew, he had to hire employees. Gill moved out of the basement to 906 Central in Kansas City. The shop was right down the block from the Hotel Savoy, where Harry Truman would lunch at the Savoy Grill.
Later in 1946, a new trend in inks and dyes came about. The Switzer Brother’s Inc. located in Cleveland, Ohio created these. They introduced new colors that were called DayGlo because of their bright, glowing appearance during the day. Gill soon began experimenting with these new inks and creating signs with them. These inks were very eye catching and advertisers wanted to use them to draw more attention.
At the same time, another revelation was being created. This revelation was a new sticky-backed paper that became available to commercial printers. On the back of these papers, a backing could be pulled off and the paper could then be stuck to a smooth surface. Up to that point, silk screen stickers had only be used with water-activated gum papers, but these couldn’t hold up in weather and fell apart over time.
Elsewhere in Kansas City, a printer told Gill about a company that used independent salesmen to advertise products that were sold in regional territories by traveling salesman door to door. Gill contacted the Nationwide Advertising Specialty Company located in Arlington, Texas. The company helped Gill to create an ad that would advertise bumper stickers to the sales reps who could then sell them to various places, such as tourist destinations. The bumper sticker quickly became the perfect souvenir as people purchased cars after the war.
The first bumper stickers were printed on blue and black backgrounds. The ink was fluorescent and they brightly announced where the family had been vacationing. They soon helped to spread the word about tourist destinations located across the country. To advertise himself, Gill placed the name of his company on the very bottom of the bumper stickers he printed. This launched a product that would soon become part of our democracy and the become an symbol of the first amendment.
===John Fischer at ezinearticles.com
I Mad Men’d my self. I’m the dude in the black suit. Check it out at http://www.amctv.com/originals/madmen/madmenyourself/
Check out the folks over at Smart Turnout. Very good looking gear in the UK. The watchband I bought at J. Press was a Smart Turnout.
I was walking along the parking lot road at West Dennis Beach, MA earlier this month. I had my zoom lens attached as I was actually trying to snap sail boats moored in early-morning light. I found this guy had taken up position early that morning – as if heeding the posted message. The grass dunes which help to save the beaches make a nice setting
Cape Cod Highland Light is the oldest, tallest and the strongest light on the Cape. Originally built in 1797 and replaced in 1853, the current structure was completed in 1857, 510 feet from the cliff. By the early 1990’s it stood 128 feet from the edge of the cliff. In July 1996, Cape Cod Light was moved back 453 from the eroding cliff where it will be safe for another few hundred years.
Chatham, nestled at Cape Cod’s southeast corner, was named for an English seaport and incorporated in 1712. Maritime traffic passing the Cape was heavy by the nineteenth century. The waters off Chatham were a menace, with strong currents and dangerous shoals. Mariners talked of a ghostly rider on a white horse who appeared on stormy nights, swinging a lantern that lured mariners to their doom.
In April 1806, nine years after the establishment of the Cape’s first lighthouse at North Truro, Congress appropriated $5,000 for a second station at Chatham. A second appropriation of $2,000 was made in 1808. In order to distinguish Chatham from Highland Light, it was decided that the new station would have two fixed white lights. Two octagonal wooden towers, each 40 feet tall and about 70 feet apart from each other, were erected on moveable wooden skids about 70 feet apart. A small dwelling house was also built, with only one bedroom. Samuel Nye was approved as the first keeper by President Thomas Jefferson.
The house had such a poor foundation that rats had burrowed in and infested the cellar. A storm in October 1841 broke 17 panes of glass in the lanterns, which Keeper Howe (the second lighthouse keeper) blamed on poor construction.
A tremendous storm hit Cape Cod in November 1870. Before the storm, the Chatham lights were 228 feet from the edge of the 50-foot bluff. The storm had broken through the outer beaches, and the erosion accelerated. By 1877 the light towers stood only 48 feet from the brink.
On September 30, 1879, the old south tower teetered 27 inches from oblivion. Another two months passed, and a third of the foundation hung over the edge. Around this time some local boys found ancient coins, rumored to be pirate treasure, under the lighthouse.
By the early 1900s, the Lighthouse Board began phasing out twin light stations as an unnecessary expense. The north light was moved up the coast to Eastham to replace the survivor of the “Three Sisters” in 1923, ending 115 years of twin lights at Chatham.
A new rotating lens was placed in the remaining tower, along with an incandescent oil-vapor lamp. In 1939, the Coast Guard electrified the light — which had been fueled by kerosene since 1882 — and increased its intensity from 30,000 to 800,000 candlepower.