Today we go back to the days of scarcity. Picked these up at a recent postcard show.


Muriel A Marvy? Can't make out the first name. I thought it was Minneapolis, but then I looked at the other book:

Vicky Lynn Marvy - at the same address. She wrote her name incorrectly, format-wise. Sisters, then. Or a husband and wife?

They lived here.

One book is battered and folded from use:

The other one's in better condition. Why?

If they were sisters, can you tell something about them just from the condition of their ration books?

They're mysterious old relics now.

They all knew what it meant, but we've no idea.


Each ration stamp had a generic drawing of an airplane, gun, tank, aircraft carrier, ear of wheat, fruit, etc. and a serial number. Some stamps also had alphabetic lettering.

Well, that's not the case here. And I don't know what these mean.

A reminder about the tenuous economic reality of wartime:

Here we have more of the same - plus Wheat! Could be for bread. Probably is. But that would mean the green ones are for buying enormous statuary hands.




It's April 3, 1954. No news of any importance or particular relevance on the front page of the Daily News. Mostly nuke talk and local corruption.

But this . . . eh?

  With no more explanation than this, you know it had to be referring to something commonly known - or at least something the editors pretended was commonly known, to make people feel as if they were in the know.

On page 16, you find . . .

Ah. A Broadway gossip column. Sylvester wrote it for decades, but he'd stop trading in Broadway gossip because the cafe / theater scene was in decline, or so he thought. Perhaps he was just bored with it all.

As for "Grape Worm," I found it - a column about trying to have a vacation out of the city. This is, I assume, a "humor" column.

Lunch is at a roadside stand where an exhausted 16-year-old explains that the joint is already all out of everything but hamburgers. hot dogs, local lobster and a drink called Grape Worm. You can't stand hot dogs, Mama hates hamburger and local lobster hurts Grandma's hives. Everybody has a nice, lukewarm bottle of Grape Worm. There is a big, new roadside stand 20 miles further on. An exhausted old woman explains that the joint is already out of everything except hamburgers, lobster, hot dogs and a drink called Grape Worm.

So here it is only seven hours later and everybody is safe and sound in Montauk Point. The hotels are full. The cabins are full. The cottages have been full for a week. One motel has only the roof up, but that is also full. An exhausted fat man in a restaurant says his joint is already out of everything but a drink called Grape Worm. But he knows where you can get a room. Over the fish market.

I presume the column got a lot of attention. Perhaps radio DJs refered to it. Perhaps it was a catchphrase in Gotham for a while. Something happened, because the newspaper needed only mention it the next year, and people were expected to have a light-bulb a-ha moment.

In the more-things-change-etc department, some notes on the education page:

I'll spare you the squinting:

Although three weeks have passed since THE NEWS printed its ballot asking readers whether they favored the progressive teaching methods employed in New York schools, returns are still coming in.

By postcard and letter, the vote now stands: In Favor. 361; Opposed, 41,285 ...

United Parents Ass'n. says THE NEWS is "spearheading an attack on the public schools and on public education." Nothing could be farther from the truth and UPA knows it ...

When The News' recent series suggested that "prying parents" be kept out of the schoolrooms, it referred to the type of parent who rushes in to harass the teacher and not to the parents who have school interests genuinely at heart.

Sounds familiar, no?

A weekly comportment column, with photo illustrations:

Send away for a leaflet on "Telephone Manners." Can you imagine such a thing today? Can you imagine any newspaper printing one, or anyone requesting it?

From a radio magazine in 1934, some gen-u-wine stumpers!

Mail it in and lose!