Time Capsule

By Grandpa Jack*

Little capsules of days gone by are all around us. They may be found in old albums in your deceased grandparents’ attic, jottings left in the back of your dad’s rolltop, or random notes or book reviews one’s mom left, as mine did, in an end table by her favorite reading chair.

As you look forward toward what is to come in your life, it is very interesting to also look backward at what used to be.

Bygone years can easily be seen through newspapers, even when they are brittle and yellowed from age. That was the case when I recently decided to varnish the logs of a bedroom in our 85-year-old cabin. In doing so I pulled out a small wad of newspaper stuffed into a crack between the top of a log and the ceiling.

(I am sure it had been wedged in there to block the path of mice that have inhabited the place since I was a little kid. They, along with powderpost beetles and flatheaded wood borers, have enjoyed very comfortable lives there for generations.)

The fragile paper was from the advertising section of a Chicago Tribune from 1940. A sampling follows (as well as a little social/history education):

  • Illinois Resort Property: McHenry, Kirk’s Kottages, waterfront $10 per week cabin. Boats $1.00, motors 60 cents, bikes 25 cents.
  • Windale Hotel; 6019 N. Winthrop Av.  Lon 2840. $6. per wk. and up.  Daily, $1.50 and up. All rms. w/bath and shower.
  • GOATS MILK FOR STOMACH ILLS.  N. W. delivery, Address O.F. 138. Tribune.
  • 1940 Pontiac Sedan Trunk: $695
  • AIRPLANE – “38 Porterfield Continental A-40-A tandem trainer re-licensed April; $550.  Address A. F 234.  Tribune.
  • Morgan Park Lumber Company: 1955 W. 111th St.:  Build a 2 car garage on a budget!  All sizes.  Low as $5 per month.
  • De Lee University, 30 W Washington.  1,000 hour beauty course (including manicuring) at the new low price of ONLY $65.  Pay as little as $2 down.
  • NEW 3 H.P. Champion Outboard Mtr. $49.95. Trades accepted. Anglers Supply, 623 Madison, Evanston.
  • Elderly woman seek home – will furnish private room and board in exchange for care of schl. age boy.  $3.per wk.  Ph. aft. 6pm.  Cal 2270.
  • Typist – addressing, letter shop, mail order exper. $16. per wk. Address O.E. 592 Trib

And now something we do not see today (my underlines):

  • STENOGRAPHOR: Single, living south, sales detail, manufacturing exper. desirable. Portsmith 824.
  • Steno-secretary: for work in Crawford area of Central mfg. dist. (West side) Gentile. 5 day wk. Good salary. Call Lafayette 6350 for apt. or details on Monday.
  • TYPIST.  Order Dept.  Hektowriter exp. desirable but not essential. Mfg. concern located Northwest side. State age, experience, education, nationality, previous earnings, and references. Address: O. K. 333.  Tribune.
  • ASSISTANT to office manager – Bookkeeping exp.  Modern accounting practice required.  State salary expected, Age. Nationality. Address O.E. 121 Tribune.
  • Must Sell Lake Geneva Cottage and lake lot; finished throughout, running water. Gas, elect., comp. plumbing.  Total only $1,495.  $19 per mo. will handle. Gentiles. Address: G T 533.  Tribune.
  • Cottage: Fox River; pr. Antioch: Mon. $50. wk. $15 boat. Gentiles. Sun. 2213.

                                        And — last but certainly not the least —

  • TYPIST – FAST – High School graduates able to type 50 words per minute. Liberal starting salary. State typing speed, age, height, weight, education and experience. Address O.B. 536. Tribune.*

Looking back, maybe “the good old days” weren’t so great for many.

* Did you note that age, height, and weight came before education and experience?

* Grandpa Jack, one of The Elderberries writing team, is proud to state that he does have age, height, weight, education and experience.

By Jack Neely • www.LifeWithTheElderberries.com • © 2019