Saturday, January 16, 2016

"From the land of pleasant living..."

I'm rather envious of how productive some of my fellow bloggers have been recently. For me, traditional holiday activity, combined with ongoing family needs, has pretty much negated any opportunity to really dig into meaningful work in the basement.

But I did steal some time recently on the computer to do some additional research on Baltimore and surrounding areas in 1960. I was most interested in confirming popular local brands from that time for use as layout signage and for ambience in the lounge area. Significant identifiers such as beers, soft drinks, restaurants, TV/radio and professional teams seemed like good places to start.

'Natty Bo' is the local beer of choice, then and now. The iconic mustachioed character immediately identifies the brand. I think that this could make a great billboard.
Another version of the beer's advertising features a different tag line, but one I think is so evocative of an earlier, simpler time. Alas, I must identify which slogan was used in 1960. I am really hoping that it is this wonderfully innocent one, "from the land of pleasant living."
If National Bohemian, sponsors of the football Colts, could be, "Oh boy, what a beer!" then competitor Gunther might as well be, "G, what a wonderful beer!" They sponsored the baseball Orioles, but do not seem to have been much of a factor in the beer market.

Frostie root beer was a very popular regional drink in 1960. I suspect that a little bit of Photoshop work could make this a really neat metal sign adhered to the side of a general store or feed distributor for instance.
The only one real radio station in Baltimore back in the day was WBAL-AM who broadcast the Colts,  Orioles and all of the day's popular hit songs. 
I have countless images for the Baltimore Colts who entered 1960 as the defending NFL Champions. This earlier logo, predating the iconic horseshoe, is thoroughly unsophisticated and too busy to be marketable today. It is not slick whatsoever, therefore perfect for its time. 
Like the Colts, I have countless images for the Orioles, but am unsure I actually have anything to use, outside of pennants or banners that could find their way into a scene on the layout. But research did confirm a local pastry from that time and I'll follow-up on Tastykake to see what I may find.

Several Colts' players capitalized on their fame with local business ventures in the late 1950s/early 1960s. Fullback Alan Ameche of overtime touchdown fame had a number of drive-in family restaurants, while his teammate, defensive end Gino Marchetti, had Gino's, a fast food burger place. Each took advantage of the early days of the McDonaldization of America.

 I enjoy research because you never know what you may uncover. One other interesting tidbit comes from the Carling Brewery, which handled Natty Bo for awhile. They introduced a malt liquor product around this time, long before political correctness was even a concept. Although it was called Colt 45 and used a pistol as its logo, it allegedly was named after Colts running back Jerry Hill who wore number 45. I can't verify that, or simply attribute that to folklore. Either way, it's part of the fun of research.

Having said that,  I am really chomping at the bit, as they say, to get back to building and modeling. One can hope. Cheers.

This photo from the Baltimore Sun archives shows a National Bohemian delivery truck... definitely something that looks like it can be fabricated from one of my many Mini-Metals HO scale vehicles.


  1. Now I want a ice cold Root Beer...

    1. Well, as they say Chris... "You'll love it!"... I'm thinking Natty Bo, myself - JF

  2. TastyKake! Enjoy your research on that brand, since it is still around! :-)


    1. Turns out TastyKake is Philadelphia-based and synonymous with all of Philly's teams... 'nuff said... TastyKake ain't making the OML - JF

  3. I think a local Pacific NW brewery has picked up the Frostie Root Beer label (and beverage) and is still bottling away out here. Not sure about availability nationwide.

    1. See that Chris?... you may need to head out toward Galen's neck-of-the-woods... I'm curious about that and will look into it... it's amazing how beer and soda labels move around under various ownerships... thanks for adding that, Galen - JF