Feeds:
Posts
Comments

“In 1948, an entrepreneur named Walter Thompson from the tiny coastal town of Swansboro, North Carolina, decided to take hushpuppies nationwide. He concocted a ready-mix blend of cornmeal, flour, and seasoning, packaged it in pasteboard tubes, and branded it Thompson’s Fireside Hushpuppy Mix. ‘Just add water,’ the label promised. ‘A delightfully different Southern hot bread.’ It sold for 30 cents a can.

“Thompson ambitiously named his company ‘The Hushpuppy Corporation of America.’ He struck deals with distributors throughout the South, but his big score was landing John R. Marple & Co. of Westfield,  N.J., which became the national distributor for Thompson’s Fireside Hushpuppy Mix and promoted it through a series of newspaper and radio ads.

“Thompson got out of the business just a year after launching it, selling the Hushpuppy Corporation of America to several investors, who moved it to the larger town of Jacksonville, North Carolina. They kept Thompson’s Fireside Hushpuppy Mix on the market for at least two more decades. The Hushpuppy Corporation of America was purchased around 1970 by House-Autry Mills of Four Oaks, North Carolina, which still sells two varieties today: Original Hushpuppy Mix and Hushpuppy Mix with Onion.”

— From “The Real History of Hushpuppies” by Robert Moss at Serious Eats (Aug. 10, 2018)

Several new titles were just added to New in the North Carolina Collection. To see the full list simply click on the link in the entry or click on the New in the North Carolina Collection tab at the top of the page. As always, full citations for all the new titles can be found in the University Library Catalog, and all titles are available for use in the Wilson Special Collections Library.

Flier from Infallible Rat Exterminating Company featuring illustrations, including one of King Rat sitting on a throne,.

“Mr. J.W. Stephenson, a native of Winston-Salem, has for many years given his entire time and attention to the war on King Rat, working in some of the largest cities in the country and being present during the memorable fight on rats in New Orleans when the city was forced to kill all the rats in order to save herself from being wiped out by bubonic plague….
“Winston-Salem has the chance to become known as a ratless city. Will she embrace the opportunity or will she continue to harbor this filthy, disease breeding pest and retain her reputation of having the highest death rate, per capita, of any city in the United States?”
— From a brochure for the Infallible Rat Exterminating Co. (1917)

I can find no record of Winston-Salem taking up Stephenson’s offer (or, for that matter, of the city’s suffering such an appalling mortality rate). Forty-five years later, however, city government awarded a $9,600 contract for a one-year program that “involved the carefully supervised placing of poison bait in the sanitary sewer manholes to destroy rats and was considered very successful.”

 

List of top 50 songs played on WRNC radio on May 17, 1968

What a motley chart – who remembers “McArthur Park,” “Jelly Jungle” and “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy”? So where were the Beatles, you might wonder. They had just parted ways with the Maharishi and were six months from releasing the White Album.

Cover of WRNC Now 50 flyer featuring photographs of disc jockeys.

Verso of flyer with WRNC top 50 songs featuring a Budweiser advertisement.
.

Front of two fans, with one featuring a church scene and the other featuring an African American family dressed in Sunday finery and standing in church.

Verso of two fans  with one advertising Cutchins Funeral Home in Franklin, NC and the other advertising Alston and Anderson Funeral Services in Louisburg, NC

These fans offer a view from the pews of late 20th century African-American churches. Three are from Cutchins Funeral Home in Franklinton, one from Alston & Anderson Funeral Services in Louisburg.
.

A list of seven recommendations from the Guilford County Board of Health for use of a privy

“Decades ago, outhouses were encouraged as an alternative to the river or the woods. In the 1930s, part of the New Deal funded a program to build and renovate outhouses in rural parts of the country. In North Carolina, 63,311 new privies were built, second only to West Virginia, according to a pamphlet published in 1936 by W.O. Saunders, editor of a local newspaper called The Independent….”
— From “Outhouse shows a luxurious life” in the Virginian-Pilot by Jeffrey S. Hampton (Nov. 6, 2005)

I have a particular appreciation of humble “how life was lived” items, a category this privy instruction sheet surely exemplifies. But the lack of glue residue or tack holes suggests it may never have reached its target readership.

 

Six beer coasters

Six beer coasters

Historians will be grateful that North Carolina’s craft beer boom (bubble?) is leaving behind such a profusion of ephemera. (And collectors are glad it’s free!)
.

Several new titles were just added to New in the North Carolina Collection. To see the full list simply click on the link in the entry or click on the New in the North Carolina Collection tab at the top of the page. As always, full citations for all the new titles can be found in the University Library Catalog, and all titles are available for use in the Wilson Special Collections Library.

Rocky Mount Coal Company flier
I had assumed household coal was pretty much fungible – obviously not.

Bonus on the flip side: Enthusiastic personal notes about Wallie Willard Viverette and Alfred Randolph “A.R.” Miller.

Verso of Rocky Mount Coal Company flier with handwritten notes reading "Someone loves W.V. I know who! and then a series of names and other text.

Fan with images of Martin Luther King Jr, John F. Kennedy, and Robert Kennedy

Verso of fan with words "Franklin Funeral Home" and "Franklin, N.C."

The Kennedys and Martin Luther King have long been an iconographic trio, not only visually but also musically (with Lincoln). Sometimes Dr. King had the fan all to himself.

Distributed by Franklin Funeral Home in Franklinton.

Older Posts »