Wednesday, October 30, 2019

A ‘Light Breakfast’ to Start the Day!

When Laurie’s sister Bonnie and her husband Bill visited us recently, we decided to go out for breakfast one morning.  Laurie and I chose a local restaurant that we really like…and where Bill and I could get a really big start on our busy day of watching our wives shop!

This local breakfast/lunch diner is officially named “Larry’s Mama’s Grits”.  The restaurant used to have a ‘split personality’, serving as Mama’s Grits in the morning and “Classico Italian” for lunch and dinner. 

However, business was good and additional space was needed to serve both specialties/functions well…including group events and meetings for residents of adjacent Tellico Village.  Consequently, Larry’s better half, Teresa, moved the Italian portion of the business to a location about a mile away…renaming and reopening that restaurant as “Little Italy”.

Of course I ‘had’ to take a photo of Bonnie and Bill at our table in Mama’s Grits.  Once my food arrived, all bets at my remembering to take people photos quickly fades into my memory's void…

Laurie and Bonnie both ordered a relatively light breakfast…French Toast with Bacon and strawberry sauce with maple syrup on the side.  Neither of them was very hungry but they were happy enough with their choice.

Bill’s Breakfast was another matter altogether!  His meat lover’s platter included ham, country ham, bacon, smoked sausage and a sausage patty with 2 over-easy eggs, hash brown potatoes and a big pancake.  It was all good…but like most Yankees, the country ham was a bit over the top ‘salty’ but he was glad that he experienced it.

As for yours truly, I ordered Larry’s special Eggs Benedict with sausage patties instead of ham and sausage gravy instead of hollandaise sauce. ($9.00) Yum!  My ‘benedict’ was sided with a nice order of crispy hash brown potatoes.

So given my big breakfast, what was this?  Well, I talked myself into ordering a side consisting of one of Larry’s biscuits smothered in that fabulous sausage gravy.  My intent was to share this order with Laurie and possibly Bill…but I ended up devouring about 85% of it. (Tabasco added) What a 'great' start for my day!  The next time I’ll just order this side as my meal, adding a couple of eggs and sausage patties to it in the process…

FYI…Laurie and I both agree that Larry’s Mama’s Grits has the very best sausage gravy we’ve had anywhere in recent years!

Unfortunately, despite its success Larry’s Mama’s Grits doesn’t have a real presence on the Internet.  All of the on-line references combine Mama’s Grits with the Classico Italian Restaurant…which as mentioned earlier the latter has moved and had a name change. (Little Italy can be found at TripAdvisor) In any case, Larry’s Mama’s Grits is located at 206 Village Square Drive in Loudon Tennessee. (Just off TN Hwy. 444 in the strip shopping center at the stoplight in Tellico Village) Phone: 865-657-6300.

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for breakfast!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Monday, October 28, 2019

Vintage Market Days in Knoxville Tennessee

Visitors to our home in East Tennessee…even when they are family members…usually lead to shopping excursions.  As much as I would avoid such happenings, it just seems to be inevitable!  A recent visit by Laurie’s sister Bonnie and her husband Bill was such a case in point.

So, thanks to lots of ads on our TV we were off to Vintage Market Days at Knoxville’s historic Chilhowee Park.  As shown above, there were some offerings outside the park’s exposition center as well as a food truck for those looking for a bite to eat.  For me at least, this outdoor vendor had the most interesting items on display.

FYI…Vintage Market Days is a franchised Vintage event that was first held at Carmichael’s Pumpkin Patch in Bixby Oklahoma back in June of 2012.  This operation presents an upscale vintage-inspired indoor/outdoor market that offers original art, antiques, clothing, jewelry, handmade treasures, home décor, outdoor furnishings, food and more.  These Vintage events offer opportunities for local vendors to display their wares… 

This was the entrance to indoor segment of Vintage Market Days in Chilhowee Park’s 57,100 square foot exposition center.

How big and prevalent has Vintage Market Days become?  For the weekend of 10/25 Vintage events were scheduled for St. Louis Missouri, Las Vegas Nevada, Jackson Mississippi, Lexington Kentucky and Cleveland Ohio.  For this coming weekend (11/1/19), the action has moved to Decatur Alabama, San Antonio Texas, Lake Charles Louisiana, Asheville North Carolina, Xenia Ohio and Houston Texas.

The entrance to the event was on the second level so visitors had a quick overview of the vendor’s booths scattered across both levels of the exposition hall.  Since we were there already we explored the mezzanine level first.

Chilhowee Park is also the home of the Tennessee Valley Fair.  Zoo Knoxville is adjacent to the park.  This 81 acre venue hosts dozens of events every year and it encompasses a bandstand, as well as a 4,500 seat amphitheater.  The park was created by a private investor in the late 1800s with the city of Knoxville purchasing it in 1926.  

This view down the length of the exhibition hall gives a bit of perspective as regards its size.  This was the second day of the Vintage event and while it doesn’t look that busy, there was a constant ebb and flow of visitors throughout the time we were there.  We had to park quite a distance from the entrance…and the walk was uphill.

There were quite a few vendors selling clothing for adults and children.  Prices were reasonable and the overall quality seemed to be fairly good.

In 1910 and 1911, Chilhowee Park hosted 2 Appalachian Expositions.  They were held to demonstrate the progress of industry in the south.  Former President Theodore Roosevelt spoke at the exposition in 1910 and President William Howard Taft spoke here in 1911.

There were a few vendors displaying antiques and collectibles…which provided some interest to collectors like Laurie and myself.  In this photo, Laurie, Bonnie and Bill were perusing the wares in one of these booths.

Those early 1910 and 1911 expositions at Chilhowee Park also featured the first airplane and zeppelin flights in East Tennessee.  Then, way back in 1913, the park hosted the National Conservation Exposition, an event that promoted environmental conservation in the Southern Appalachian region.

Of course, Bill and I both favor those vendors who are selling food…in this case glazed nuts, candy and baked goodies!  We did make a couple of purchases.

In 1957 jazz musician Louis Armstrong performed in Chilhowee Park.  During the performance, an unknown subject tossed a stick of dynamite from a passing car in a failed attempt to disrupt the concert.

While many folks love this kind of country kitsch, it just makes me twitch.  There are so many skilled craftsmen and women in the Appalachians and across East Tennessee.  These creations may be popular but they don’t represent true skill…even if the vendors are at least entrepreneurial.
As one last historical note, Tennessee’s Military Governor Andrew Johnson freed his personal slaves on August 8, 1863.  In the early part of the twentieth century August 8 was the only day that black citizens from Knoxville were allowed to visit Chilhowee Park.  In fact, during the early 1900s, August 8 was celebrated by black citizens as a holiday.

One last view down on a couple of vendor’s booths as we finished our shopping trip and were about to exit the exposition hall… There were ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ but I was a little disappointed by the quality of many of the booths/offerings.

The Vintage Market Days concept is clever and it has been growing fast.  At least 70 franchised VMD operators are in business across 26 states.  Texas has no less than 8 VMD operators on the books.  Among others, Indiana, Minnesota, Illinois, New York, California, Washington, Oregon and Colorado may represent a business opportunity for you…or someone at least.  Check out the VMD website at

One last photo from Chilhowee Park’s Exposition Hall…

Yep…these are urinals!  They may well be the originals… I’ve visited a lot of men’s restrooms over the years and I’ve never come across this urinal design and accompanying layout.  Note the plumbing, the drain in the middle, the need to step up to do one’s business and the unusual design of the urinals themselves.  Hey…don’t criticize!  This really is just architecture and design, part of many of my posts over the years.

That’s about it for now.  Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Friday, October 25, 2019

Farmacy #2 – Return Visit

When Laurie’s sister Bonnie and her husband Bill paid a visit to us, there was one restaurant that we really wanted to take them to…and that was the “Farmacy” on South Northshore Drive in Knoxville.  Laurie and I had recently enjoyed a meal here and since her sister and husband like to try different and innovative combinations and presentations.  

Farmacy would be easy to miss just driving by… Its entrance and presence in the middle of a strip shopping center is understated to say the least. 
Once inside, Bonnie and Bill were surprised to see that patrons have to order at the counter and pay in advance.  The restaurant’s staff brings the food out to you when it’s ready.

The restaurant is quite small…long and narrow with seating side by side along the wall all the way to the back. (Not my favorite type of seating) It is a little dark as you move toward the rear of the dining area but some live plants and little lights brighten up the area a bit.

Despite the seating, in the end it’s all about the food isn’t it!?

Once again Laurie and I ‘had’ to order “The Stack” as an appetizer.  The first photo shows the full order…four fried green tomato slices stacked with artichoke pesto, marinara, goat cheese and fresh basil. ($7.95) Laurie also took a picture of her individual serving.  Bonnie thought she would have liked it better without the tomato sauce…but the rest of us were very happy!

I should have known better as French Fries aren’t a positive for my health…but what the heck!  This humongous ‘Starter’ is the Farmacy’s “Black and Blue Fries”. ($7.95) Hand cut fries are drenched in Nashville hot chicken sauce, homemade buttermilk and then blue cheese crumbles, chives and candied bacon are mixed in.

We couldn’t believe the portion!  It was huge and a little too spicy for Bonnie.  They were very nice but very rich as well as spicy to the taste.  They managed to combine sweet and savory in this offering… The candied bacon was a special plus!

For my entrée, I ordered the Pepper Crusted Beef Brisket… It was slow cooked and fork tender and served over some nice smashed red potatoes and accompanied by a side of tomato jam. ($15.95)

The brisket was very good and I also liked the tomato jam.  As for the smashed red potatoes, I took some of the spicy goodness from those Black and Blue Fries and mixed the two together.  Yum!

To my surprise, Bill ordered the “Farmacy Burger” for his main dish. ($16.95) Locally raised beef was grilled and blackened and served on a grilled ciabatta roll.  It was layered with smoky pimento cheese, bacon, arugula and tobacco onion straws.  It was accompanied by a side of Fried Green Tomatoes with Buttermilk Dressing and a huge order of nice hand cut fries.

He really liked his burger and the layers of flavor worked very well together.  The sides were very nice too…but Farmacy could increase its margin a touch by serving about 75% of this side of French fries.

Bill also ordered a special side…fried Okra.  I didn’t get the price… In any case, he didn’t think that the okra had much flavor and would skip it the next time.

My wife Laurie decided to forgo the amazing “Good Ole Boy” French dip sandwich she had on our last visit, and instead opted for the “Maple-Pecan Salmon”. ($15.50) You can get the salmon ‘naked’ if you want but Laurie loved it with that maple-pecan glaze.  Her side were some tasty browned butter green beans.  She gave me a taste of her salmon and I concurred with her high praise of this entrée…

Bonnie looked over the ‘Tacos’ portion of the menu.  She thought about shrimp, brisket, salmon and chicken versions…but settled on the Pork Tacos.  I didn’t get the price, but it was buy one get one free!  Normally it is $10.50 for 2 of these tacos.
The Pork Tacos are made with cumin rubbed local pork, BBQ sauce, arugula, corn, black beans, sour cream, jalapeno, local white cheddar cheese and cured red onions.  Bonnie repeatedly said that they were the best tacos she ever had anywhere!  She was unable to finish one of them and despite the fact that it got soggy sitting in our refrigerator for 2 days (and I took the onions off), it had a great combination of flavors…popping my taste buds…

So…everyone was quite happy with their dinners!  Tyler, a member of the staff who waited on us the last time, remembered us and once again proved very helpful.  Despite the seating, this restaurant is a hidden gem in our opinion!

We’ll have to return again on a Saturday or Sunday just for brunch.  It begins at 10 AM and the menu is extremely appealing.  Farmacy is located at 9430 South Northshore Drive in Knoxville Tennessee.  Rumor has it that another area location is in the works… Phone: 865-247-4678.  Website:

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by to see what we had for dinner!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Welcome – Plus a Drive and Dinner

Moving along… Our next visitors/houseguests were Laurie’s sister Bonnie and her husband Bill.  They flew into Nashville from St. Louis (via Chicago) and then rented a car to drive to our home in the Knoxville area.  Their flight home to St. Louis was non-stop from Nashville.

To answer this question that you may be thinking…  Why didn’t they just fly directly to Knoxville or alternatively fly through Chicago or some other city to Knoxville?  To begin with there are no direct flights from Knoxville and secondly Knoxville is one of the most expensive cities in the USA to fly in and out of... Where is Southwest Airlines when you need them?!  

Bonnie and Bill arrived at our house in time for lunch…so we’d put together a ‘light’ spread to tide us over until dinner.  There was 2 different kinds of bread, Amish butter, mayonnaise, mustard, bologna, ham, turkey, salami, Swiss, Havarti and sharp cheddar cheese, Italian sandwich dressing, cucumber and tomato salad, jalapeno slices, 2 types of pickles, pickled beets, Freddie’s sauce and potato chips…

No rest for our weary travelers… Off we went on a drive.  We drove the back roads around Loudon, Blount and Monroe Counties.  Along the way we stopped at this monument.

This historical marker was erected in 1989 by the Tennessee Historical Commission Foundation and the Tennessee Valley Authority. (TVA) It serves to remind us of events dating back into the early 1700s.  The town of Tanasi served as the “Capital of the Cherokee Nation” from 1721 through 1730.  “Tanasi” also is the root origin of what we now know as “Tennessee”.

This view from next to the monument is in the direction of the former town of Tanasi.  Its site is located about 300 yards west of the marker. (The site was flooded when the TVA built their Tellico Dam) 

Tanasi achieved political importance when its civil chief was elected as the first “Emperor of the Cherokee Nation”.  The name of the town was also applied to the river along which it was located. (Now called the Little Tennessee River) Sometime after 1730, Tanasi’s importance was lessened when the Cherokee Capital was moved to “Great Tellico”, which was located close to today’s Tellico Plains Tennessee. 

Of course, I just had to take a picture of the two sisters with the monument and the lake in the background.

What I failed to realize was that just about a mile down the road there is another important monument marking Cherokee history.  Beginning in the late 1740s, the town of Chota reigned as the Capital of the Cherokee Nation for more than 40 years.  We’ll just have to take another drive to view this even more impressive and meaningful historical site… 

After considering their options, Bonnie and Bill decided that they wanted to dine at Thai Bistro.  This restaurant is located in Loudon County Tennessee close to Tellico Village.  The chefs at work here are from Thailand and the restaurant offers Chinese dishes in addition to their homeland’s favorites.

Bill decided to order the Calamari for his appetizer.  It turned out to be a huge plate of food.  The calamari was accompanied by carrots and broccoli all fried tempura style.  I can attest that the calamari was very tender and tasty and Bill also gave me a couple pieces of carrot and broccoli and I was very happy!

Everyone else ordered appetizers so I decided that I’d just order a cup of Brown Rice Soup to try it out while at the same time thinking that I might get a taste of someone’s ‘extras’. 

This soup is made with brown rice seasoned with chicken, carrots, cilantro, scallions and a touch of garlic oil.  I also asked that a little Thai ‘heat’ be added.  It was OK but I wasn’t crazy about this soup.  Even though some spice was added per my request, it was just too bland for my taste.

Bonnie ordered some Spring Rolls as her appetizer.  These spring rolls consisted of deep fried rice paper stuffed with bean thread mixed with cabbage, celery and Thai herbs.  It was served with Thai Bistro’s homemade Sweet and Sour sauce.

Bonnie couldn’t believe how big her appetizer was…but she thought that the spring rolls were very nice indeed.  The best part was that I had to help her out by eating a couple pieces from her plate!  They were good!

Laurie always orders the same appetizer when we dine at Thai Bistro.  This was her luscious order of Crab Rangoon.  These attractive little pastry packages are filled with crab meat, cream cheese and scallions and they’re served with sweet and sour sauce.  Once in a great while she will let me have one of these treats…but not this time.  They were all hers!

Bonnie and I ordered the same dinner, the Pad Thai.  Diners have a choice of adding chicken, pork, beef, tofu or vegetables to the rice noodles that have been stir fried with egg, beansprouts, scallions and peanuts.  We both chose chicken as our protein…

The big difference in our entrees was the level of heat requested.  Five levels are available…with one being the mildest and five being “Thai Hot”.  Bonnie decided that a two was hot enough for her.  I’ve had a five and while I could handle it, I decided that on this occasion I’d tone it down to a four.  Bonnie enjoyed her dinner.  I had a problem in that I’m not crazy about onions per se and beyond the scallions, there was a lot of onion mixed in with the noodles.  The next time I’ll have them left out…

Laurie likes to try something different and she likes curry, so she decided to order the Red Curry in coconut milk with shrimp, carrots, string beans, bell peppers and other vegetables.  She enjoyed her dinner but after all those Crab Rangoon ‘packets’, she couldn’t finish this entrée.  As you’ll find out below, her leftovers didn’t go to waste!

Bill loves seafood so he ordered Thai Bistro’s Andaman Seafood.  This large and impressive offering included stir fried shrimp, squid, scallops, mussels and crab meat with bell pepper, onion and basil leaves in a spicy house sauce. 
Bill really enjoyed his dinner!  However, with everything else we’d eaten, he couldn’t finish it.  So he actually mixed it with Laurie’s Red Curry leftovers and took it home with us.  It served as lunch the next day and he commented that the spicy curry sauce had soaked into the leftover rice and it was a perfect mix of heat and flavors…

Thai Bistro is located at 222 Lakeside Plaza in Loudon Tennessee.  They are open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday.  Phone: 865-657-644o.  Website:

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Monday, October 21, 2019

A Look Back 96 Years Ago…

I’ve been a subscriber to National Geographic Magazine for many decades now and at one point I possessed issues from the late 1960s up through about 2012.  In early 2013, after discovering that no one wanted my back issues, I threw away all issues after 1970.  That still left me with quite a stack of magazines as I’d acquired a number of issues beyond my earlier copies that date back many years prior to my arrival on this planet.

Recently another blogger, a woman whose pen name is Vagabonde, (, posted a narrative on her site that mentioned finding old magazines, ads, etc.  Her article inspired me to look at some of my old issues of National Geographic to see if I could discover any interesting ads to explore further…

I chose the March 1923 issue of The National Geographic Magazine for my perusal.  It was a ‘modern’ issue at the time, containing “sixteen pages of Illustrations in Full Color”.  The magazine is the official magazine of the National Geographic Society and it’s been published continuously since its first issue in 1888!

National Geographic Magazine is circulated worldwide in almost 40 local-language editions with a global circulation of about 6.7 million.  The USA accounts for about 3.5 million of that total.  Through the National Geographic Partners (a joint venture with The Walt Disney Company), the Society operates the magazine, TV Channels, a website, worldwide events and other media operations.

So…what did I find in this 96 year old magazine that captured my interest?  The first thing that ‘grabbed me’ were the ads…and how they contrast with our lives in 2019.

The first ad on the first page of the March 1923 National Geographic was for Hamilton Watches.  As per the ad, Hamilton watches had become the ‘Railroad Timekeeper of America”!  Note the locomotive in the ad.  Watches pictured on the page range from $46.00 to $172.00. ($690.00 to $4,321.00 in 2019 dollars) That was really a lot of money in those days!

The Hamilton Watch Company was established in Lancaster Pennsylvania in 1892.  It was named after James Hamilton, a Scottish born attorney who founded Lancaster and originally owned the site of the Hamilton Watch factory.  During the breakneck days when railroads were expanding so quickly, Hamilton maintained 56% of the pocket watch market, with the railroads buying up all of the company’s production.  Today, the Hamilton brand is owned by the Swatch Group (which owns 20 watch brands) and is based in Switzerland.

Hamilton Watches weren’t the only watches advertised in my 1923 issue of National Geographic!  Elgin Watches also featured a speeding train, this time coming out of a tunnel… By 1923, Father Time had been Elgin Watches trademark for over 50 years.  One of the features that was emphasized in this ad was the “Elgin Winding Indicator”.  It let the railroad man know just how much power remained before he had to wind the watch again.

The Elgin National Watch Company was a major American watch maker from 1864 until 1968.  For almost 100 years, the company’s plant complex in Elgin Illinois was the largest watchmaking site in the world.  A US manufacturing by Elgin was discontinued in 1968.  The brand name “Elgin” was sold and resold several times after that and current “Elgin” watches are made in Asia.

Among other ads in this particular issue of National Geographic was a full page ad for Waltham pocket watches and another by Gruen Guild Watches.  Waltham didn’t tie their watches to the railroad but instead just stressed the scientific quality of their product.  Waltham ceased operations in 1957. Gruen Watches stressed their “Verithin” pocket watches as a man’s fine pocket watch.  Gruen ceased operations in 1958.

There is a reasonable chance that anyone born after 2000 won’t really know what this product is… They’d spot the keyboard but then they might struggle a bit to explain how this Underwood Standard Portable Typewriter works!  I love the ad’s verbiage…”to show that from its keys words leap in swift flight”, and much more.

Beginning in 1874, the Underwood family made typewriter ribbon and carbon paper for Remington Typewriters.  When Remington decided to start producing their own ribbons, Underwood opted to start building their own typewriters.  Underwood’s manufacturing plant was in Hartford Connecticut.  The company produced what is considered the first widely successful ‘modern’ typewriter and by 1939, the company had built five million of them!  The Underwood name hasn’t appeared on a typewriter since the 1980s…in Spain.
At the back of this issue of National Geographic is an ad for Remington Portable Typewriters.  Also noted was that typewriter ribbons were 50 cents each or $5.00 for a dozen.  It would be fun to give a typewriter ribbon and a couple of sheets of carbon paper to a group of kids under 20 years old and then have them explain what the items were used for…

Then there is this ad entitled “American Ideals” using the image of Charles Carroll, the longest living signer of the Declaration of Independence, as their ‘embodiment of the great American Ideal’.  It’s an ad by the American Radiator Company.  The company was established in 1892 and they sold boilers and radiators for ‘every heating need’.  I don’t quite get the connection between a signer of the Declaration of Independence and a radiator… I guess it’s all about longevity.

Today American Radiator continues in spirit as a remnant element comprising the American Standard Company, in that American Standard still produces heating and cooling equipment.  Not too many people in the USA have experienced radiator heat unless they live in an old house that’s still equipped with a boiler.

The Compagnie Generale Transatlantique was commonly known as the French Line, a French shipping company that carried mail, passengers and freight primarily across the Atlantic to the USA.  The company was established in 1855 and it completely ceased to exist in 1975.
Back in 1923, the only way to cross the Atlantic Ocean to North America was by ship.  At the time this ad was published the large passenger liners in service from New York to Havre France were the prestigious and luxurious SS Paris, SS LaFayette and the SS France.  The SS Normandie came later in the company’s history.  In any case the French Line was really back in the business by 1962 when the SS France was put in service.  By 1974, given the competition from airlines flying to and fro across the Atlantic, even the SS France was retired. 

In addition to the French Line, other cruise lines were another major advertising element in my old issue of National Geographic.  While I didn’t see any ads for German and British steamship lines, there were 3 separate ads in this issue for the U.S. Shipping Board.  In the ad shown above the ad states that the US Government was your contact to book a trip to Kobe Japan, Shanghai China, Hong Kong or Manila in the Philippines via Honolulu Hawaii.  These routes were operated by the Pacific Main Steamship Company and the ships were the SS President Pierce, SS President Wilson, SS President Lincoln, SS President Taft and the SS President Cleveland.

Other routes operated through the US Shipping Board’s contractors included another series of 5 “Presidential” ships based in Seattle that also plied the Pacific market.  Similar ships operated out of New York City with Rio de Janeiro as the prime destination…a 12 day journey.

These American vessels were not like the luxury vessels operated by the French, British and Germans across the Atlantic Ocean.  For example like most of them, the SS President Pierce (pictured above) was originally designed to be a troopship.  She was originally to be named the “Berrien” but when launched she was named the “Hawkeye State”.  In 1922, under new ownership she was renamed as the “President Pierce”.  She was turned over to the military in 1941 and renamed as the “USS Hugh L. Scott”.  Subsequently, during the Allied invasion of North Africa, (Operation Torch), she was torpedoed and sunk off the coast of Morocco by a German U-Boat. 

FYI, the United States Shipping Board was established as an emergency agency by the Shipping Act in September 1916.  Initially its purpose was to assist in building up the United States’ maritime strength.  At that point, just 10% of the world’s trade was being carried in U.S. owned ships.  The mission of the USSB changed after our entry into WWI just 2 months after the board was founded.  From a commercial viewpoint, this is yet another example of the inability of government to solve a business issue or to operate like a business.  To learn more about the USSB, just go to

Of course when I saw this ad for Thomas Cook and Son, I had to include it in this look back in history.  Respondents to this ad could experience a 13,000 mile plus voyage over 63 days!  The SS Tuscania sailed for Anchor Lines, a Cunard subsidiary.  She was launched in 1919 and she was 573 feet long.  She changed names a couple of time in her career and was scrapped in Japan in 1961.

Of course, the Thomas Cook Travel Agency just made headlines on 9/23/19 when the company suddenly stopped all operations after 178 years of business.  The world-wide shut-down stranded over 600,000 travelers and put 21,000 employee out of work… The British government even had to find ways to bring 150,000 of its citizens home!

I was surprised to only find one full page ad in the March 1923 issue promoting rail travel.  After all, in 1920 American railroads carried 1,200,000,000 (1.2 billion) passengers!  However, that was about the peak for travel by rail.  The twenties also saw almost a 300% increase in the number of autos in the USA.  By 1929, intercity rail passenger ridership had fallen 18%.

This Baltimore and Ohio Railway ad was promoting a ‘liberal stop-over privilege’ for through passengers so they could enjoy the sights in our nation’s capital.  Note the extensive passenger routes stretching from New York to Chicago and St. Louis with many points served along the way.

FYI, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was the first common carrier railroad and the oldest railroad in the USA.  Its first rail service opened in 1830.  It ceased operations in 1987, becoming part of the CSX system.

Of course, it was no surprise that there were a number of automotive ads in 1923…during this big decade of growth for the auto industry. 

Essex autos were produced by the Essex Motor Company between 1918 and 1922 and then by the Hudson Motor Company between 1922 and 1933.  The Essex is credited with initiating a trend away from open touring cars to enclosed passenger compartments.

This ad is focused on the strength and quality of construction in the Essex Coach… It could be yours for only $1,145 plus shipping and taxes!

Then there was this no-nonsense ad for Packard autos, specifically their Five-Passenger Touring Car.  You could have picked up your new car in Detroit for ‘only’ $2,485, quite a bit for the time and especially as compared to the Essex. 

Packard was a luxury automobile name throughout its history.  Based in Detroit, the first Packard autos were built in 1899.  The last Packard was built in Detroit in 1956.  I couldn’t find a 1923 Packard for sale on-line but I did locate a nice 1924 Packard Series 136 for only $119,000.  If you’d like to add a Packard in your garage, all you have to do is go to

I just have to reiterate the question in this ad!  “Is Your Wife Marooned During the Day?”  Heck, for only $680 you could pick up a Chevrolet Utility Coupe at the factory in Flint Michigan and she'd be able to go shopping. (Less expensive models were available too) The ad also talks about the need for builders to build homes in the city with twin garages…

Chevrolet automobiles were first built in 1911.  They have been built in many countries and have sold worldwide.  By way of example in 2011, the US produced 1,175,819 Chevrolets, Brazil turned out 632,201 and China built 595,068 of these popular autos.

How many people under the age of 50 could identify this product?  This product by the Victor Talking Machine Company was the hot new product designed to compete with that relatively newfangled thing called ‘radio’ where one could listen to ‘free’ music.  This ‘electric’ record player could be purchased for $390!  I should point out that a Ford Model-T Runabout only cost $364 in 1923 and the auto’s price dropped to $265 in 1924.  Obviously the Victrola was not something that the average family could afford.

The Victor Talking Machine Company was purchased by RCA in 1929.  In turn, RCA was absorbed into the operations of Sony Music where the brand survives today.

I was tempted to talk about ‘cord’ (tire) ads, as well as promotions for paper, Swiss Federal Railroads, pencils, barometers, Campbell’s soups (12 cents a can), the Bell System, Graflex cameras, Whitman’s Sampler, Pepsodent, Willys-Knight Autos, Spencerian Ink Pens, Colgate’s Refill Shaving Stick, the New International Encyclopaedia and much, much more. But enough is enough…

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave