Friday, March 30, 2012

Free Market Elvis

August 17, 1977, Studio B, Crosley Square

One day after the death of Elvis, WLWT interrupts the NBC prime time schedule for an evening of in-house, under contract 16mm Elvis prints, DJ reminisces and locally originated commercials.
Cincinnati AM radio personality Jim LaBarbara, 'The Music Professor', and on-air Elvis special host confers, on set, with the director shortly before the live broadcast.

Station Identification and promotion slide

The cameraman is Armin Aren while Dan Dorsey mans the audio booth.
(Click to enlarge the contact sheet strip)

Images: Private collection

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Shantyboaters Darby & Mae Davis watch the Island Queen pass their tied-up shantyboat, visible behind scrub on right, in 1930.

“Another phase of summer began when a calliope was heard, and the excursion steamer, Island Queen, came up around the bend of her first trip to Coney Island from Cincinnati. The dread day was now upon us, for Coney Island lay almost directly across the river. It would be a lively place for the rest of the summer, and the Island Queen would make several trips each day. We resented all the disturbance this would bring with it—noise and lights and the gaudiness of carnival. We feared the spell of the river would be broken.
The Island Queen was one of the last side-wheelers on the river, and the sound of her enclosed wheels, a particular pounding which seemed to rise and fall, brought to mind the old Greenland and Bonanza.

Woodblock print of a shanty and jonboat, Harlan Hubbard, c. 1953

Aside from this and her deep-toned whistle, which had been handed down from an older boat, the Queen had no charms for us. As the days went by, her coming and going bothered us not as much as we expected, and before long she was part of the scheme of things.

The 1920s Cincinnati riverfront from Newport, Kentucky showing a sidewheel steamer, a shanty and jonboats.

The rocking of our boat by her “dead swells” was a nuisance in low water. These long smooth waves continued even after the steamer was tied up. Further off shore they were high rollers, and we sometimes took them in our johnboat [sic] or swam in their path…The Island Queen helped us in an unexpected way. While we never used it as a means of transportation to the city, as we might have, it afforded a novel and pleasant way for some of our guests to come and see us. We would row across to meet them in the johnboat [sic], and later ferry them over again for the return trip. As they waved at us from the upper deck, the Island Queen loomed as large as an ocean liner.”

--‘Shantyboat, A River Way of Life’, Harlan Hubbard, 1953, University Press of Kentucky

Images:, Harry Lemen Collection, Madison-Jefferson County Public Library, 'Shantyboat, A River Way of Life', 1953

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

"Success in the fine arts did not slow Billy's prolific pace or popularity as a commercial designer; nor did it impair his quest for unique new forms of expression. His designs included intricate and imaginative packages for cosmetic products, furniture designs, a beauty parlor chair for the Marshall Field Company in Chicago and a series of clocks done in bent crystal glass for which he was awarded seven design patents..."

--'Parade of Dicsovery: The Works of William E. Hentschel 1892-1962', Don Wellman, 1987, Duke Gallery, Birmingham, Michigan

Images: Cincinnati Art Museum, United States Patent and Trademark Office

Monday, March 19, 2012

"52 Success Talks on the Logic of Business and Philosophy of Life", Roderick G. Stevens, Series A, Stevens-Davis Co., Chicago, 1921, motivational sales publication tailored to individual businesses, 13 string-bound cardboard pages separated by onion skins watermarked with a spiderweb design, each cardboard page contains 4 hand-glued printed cards.

Celebrating aphorisms no longed held in esteem, the book was presented to an employee with one card. Each pay period a new card to be glued into the book arrived with each individual pay check.

The book and these 4 representatives of the 52 cards within was found at a rummage sale in a Cincinnati, Ohio suburb.
Images: private collection

Friday, March 16, 2012

Watercolor on paper, John Dee Wareham, undated, hand-made greeting card

Image: Cincinnati Art Museum archive

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


“And now, suddenly, he has come into possession of $30,000,000*, nearly half his father’s great estate…He must decide whether he will follow in the footsteps of his father or return to his life of gentleman farmer…A few week’s before the death of his father, young Julius celebrated his twenty-fourth birthday. He is of a retiring nature, never seeks the limelight, dresses plainly and participates little in social affairs…Young Julius has spent most of his time in Cincinnati since graduating from Yale University. He also attended Franklin School in this city and a private school in Connecticut before he went to Yale. He attends services every Sunday at the Unitarian Church in Avondale.”

--Cincinnati Commercial-Tribune, January 2, 1925

“The twin-screw Diesel yacht Camargo, built for Julius Fleischmann of Cincinnati, at a cost of $625,000**, and classed by its designers, Henry J. Gielow, Inc. of New York, as the largest and most costly pleasure craft to be launched in American waters this year, will slide down the ways at the Lawley Yards at Neponset, Boston, Mass., tomorrow morning at 9:30 o’clock…The Camargo is the first clipper stem, straight Diesel ship to be built in this country. Her dimensions are: Length over all, 225 feet; beam, 32 feet, and draught, 14 feet. The Camargo, which has been built at the yards of the George Lawley & Son Corporation at Neponset, is constructed entirely of steel and is powered with two 800-horse-power Bessemer Diesel motors capable of driving her at a speed of fourteen knots an hour…Stateroom accommodations will be provided for fourteen guests. There will be a large dining salon, a living room, smoking room and owner’s private gymnasium with bath.”

--Cincinnati Commercial-Tribune, June 15, 1928

“The 225-foot Diesel yacht, Camargo, will leave New York October 8 bound for Bermuda, the first stop in a two-year cruise around the world. The vessel, owned by Julius Fleischmann, of Cincinnati, is now being fitted out in the Tebo Yacht Basin, Brooklyn…The vessel will sail from Bermuda through the Panama Canal, will visit all of the islands in the South Pacific group from Galapagos to Dutch East Guinea and will cruise in Japanese waters during the winter. From there Camargo will sail through the Red Sea to the Mediteranean [sic] until late fall and will put up for a few months awaiting warmer weather, when she will sail north along the coast of the Continent as far as North Cape.
Early in the fall of 1934 the yacht will start home, arriving in New York again two years from now.”

--Cincinnati Enquirer, September 26, 1931

Cocos Island is an uninhabited spot of jungle in the Pacific, fabled rendezvous of pirates, 500 mi. southwest of Panama. There last week paused the yacht Camargo, carrying Julius Fleischmann, yeast scion, his wife & two small children and three friends on a two-year cruise of the world. To their astonishment the Fleischmann party found signs of life ashore, discovered the abandoned camp of three shipwrecked sailors whose yawl West Wind sailed from San Diego last December. A note stated that the castaways had struck into the interior 48 hr. earlier in search of food because they had exhausted the supply of coconuts near the beach, and that they would return about Nov. 4. The Camargo circled the island, firing her one-pound gun, blowing her whistle, got no response from shore. Then Mr. Fleischmann radioed the U. S. naval base at Balboa, C. Z., whence the gunboat Sacramento was despatched to Cocos Island with medical supplies, a powerful searchlight, equipment for a hazardous search of the island's trackless interior. From Cocos Island the Fleischmann yacht is bound for the Galapagos, Marquezas, Tahiti, Rarotonga, Samoa, Suva, Solomon Islands, New Britain, New Guinea, Timor, Java, Sumatra, Borneo, Manila, Bangkok (and a visit to King Prajadhipok), and west via the Arabian Sea and the Suez Canal. In some of the islands Julius Fleischmann will act as a special representative of the U. S. Department of Commerce, drumming up trade and setting an example of usefulness to other yacht-cruisers.”

TIME, People In the News, November 2, 1931

November 1931 magazine and rescued men, (L-R) Gordon Brawner, Springfield, Ill; Paul Stashwick of Huron, S.D., and Earl Palliser of San Diego, Cal.

“A rescue expedition led by Julius Fleischmann, of Cincinnati, yesterday began a trek into the unexplored bush country of the Island of Cocos in the South Seas, according to a radiogram received by Mr. Fleischmann’s secretary last night….The Fleischmann party has among its members men who are qualified for an expedition of the type which was started yesterday. Included in the group is a member of former William Beebe expeditions and a prominent Washington physician…Those who sailed with the Camargo were: Mr. and Mrs. Julius Fleischmann, the boy, Charles (“Skipper”) Fleischmann III; the baby, Dornette Louise Fleischmann; Mr. Berg, photographer and explorer; Dr. Robert Ramsdell, Washington, D.C.; Thomas Keck, Coronado, Calif, lifelong friend of Mr. Fleischmann, and Miss Katherine Rohan, Racine, Wis., classmate of Mrs. Fleischmann at Smith College…The wire which was received from Mr. Fleischmann last night follows:


The rest of the wire instructed his secretary, Miss Alice McNamara, to notify organizations that would be interested in the search.”

--Cincinnati Enquirer, October 24, 1931

“The palatial yacht of Julius Fleischmann, Cincinnati capitalist, on which he made several trips around the world and which figured in a sensational rescue of three men marooned on a South Sea Island in 1931, has been sold, it was disclosed in Cincinnati Tuesday.
The yacht “Camargo” was purchased by General Rafael Trujillo Molina, former president of Dominican Republic, a report from the Maritime Commission stated.”

--Cincinnati Times-Star, August 15, 1939

Julius Fleischmann (L) at the Camargo IV christening, Aalsmeer, Holland, 1961

“In 1928 she embarked with her husband and two small children around the world on the 225 foot yacht, Camargo 1, carrying the flag of the New York Yacht Club. While in the South Pacific, they created the maps and descriptions used by the U.S. government in the attacks on many of the Japanese held islands in World War II.”

--Washington Post, obituary, Dorette Kruse Fleischmann, March 4, 1994

“A wealthy, shadowy cold war operative named Julius "Junkie" Fleischmann… was a major player in the CIA-funded Congress for Cultural Freedom, which helped to launch and sustain the London-based intellectual journal Encounter in 1953. In The Cultural Cold War, [Francis] Stonor Saunders refers to him as "the CIA's most significant single front-man."

--The Nation, book review ‘George Being George’, February, 2009

*$30,000,000 equals $369,900,398.68 in 2010 dollars
**$625,000 is equal to $7,880,178.01 in 2010 dollars
Images: Cincinnati Public Library Newspaper Archive, De Vries Shipbuilding, 'Footsteps in the Sea', Julius Fleischmann, 1935,

Monday, March 12, 2012

'Lost Cincinnati' mural, detail, The Neatherland Hilton Hotel's Palm Court Grille.
Note: The Isaac M. Wise Temple can be seen as well as an Ohio River staple until the 40's, a pole or keelboat in the lower left corner. Also, above the keelboat, portions of the bridge and downtown skyline are visible behind the hills of the water passage.

Image: Private collection

Friday, March 9, 2012

Island Pledge Night, WCET, July 1976, Membership Director Ruth Richmond laughs with
a stagehand between live shots.

Image: Private Collection

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

"August Rosenacker, 57, an employee of the Rookwood Pottery Company, was found dead in his bedroom at 1817 Elm Street early Wednesday.
He had a bullet hole in his head. A pistol was lying by his side. Coroner F.C. Swing said it was a case of suicide.
Rosenacker, according to his daughter, Mrs. Doris Brutsche, with whom he made his home at the Elm Street address, said he had been ill Tuesday night.
“He came home with a pistol and said that he was tired of living and was going to end it all,” Mrs. Brutsche told Coroner Swing. “I pleaded with him to get rid of the gun, but he refused. Fearing that he would harm one of my four children, I left about 5 p.m. When I returned Wednesday about 7 a.m. I found him dead.”
Neighbors said they heard the sound of a shot shortly after midnight.
Rosenacker had been separated from his wife, Mrs. Cora Rosenacker, for two years. She accompanied her daughter to the county morgue to claim the body."

--Cincinnati Times-Star, February 26, 1930

Image: Cincinnati Public Library Newspaper Archive

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Longing for Earlier, Simpler Times

Six-tile, six-color, cuenca or tube-lined architectural panel of a Dutch couple, 12” x 18”, early 20th Century and a “fancy head” 'standard glaze' portrait vase inscribed ‘After Franz Hals’, 8” x 3 ½”, Grace Young, 1903

“…For 1903 there are 14 known ‘fancy heads’ inspired by Old Masters, all by Grace Young. These are the last known depictions…except for a 1907 vase by Edith Felton…From about 1900 until the beginning of World War I, American culture was fascinated by the Low Countries (Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands), especially all things Dutch. Rookwood took advantage of this fashion through Grace Young’s work, and through mat-glazed architectural tiles depicting Dutch scenes.”

--Anita Ellis, Rookwood and the American Indian, 2007, Ohio University Press

Images: Private collection