Zephyr Used & Rare Books presents their latest collection: The Goulash Connection. This is not about Hungarian delicacies, or ghosts and goblins. It simply means a variety of things, a miscellany. Zephyr pinpoints a few of the subjects to be found – photo albums, photographs, trade catalogues, archives, automobile travel, memoirs, manuscripts, ephemera, uncommon books, and more. To that, we might add a bunch of things about cement. If you collect cement (or books and pamphlets about cement), here is your source. This is a fine and fascinating goulash. These are a few samples.
Do you know how to build your own telephone line? I know, no one uses land lines any more, but this was 1945. Southwestern Bell apparently didn't know how to build them themselves as they published this guide How to Build and Repair Your Farm Telephone Line. It will teach you how to attach your line to insulators, find the right poles, splice wires, and diagnosing phone line problems. Rural farmers still had trouble with their phones despite the advice. This is why they invented cell phones. Item 112. Priced at $75.
Next is a book with photos of Paris monuments, but it is not so much the monuments that is its focus. It's the lights. It is entitled Illuminations a Paris Nord and it was published by Electricite de France in 1956. The black and white photographs feature Paris landmarks flooded by light (and powered by Electricite de France's electricity). Despite its pedestrian publisher and black and white photos, it is still quite a work of art. Nighttime views are seen of the Arc d'Triomphe, Sacre Coeur, Champs Elysees, and other notable sights in Paris. Item 85. $750.
That image on the cover features a modernist design. It will always be modern art even if it now is 70 years old. This design catalogue for the building trades was created by Danish-American architect Knud Longberd Holm and Czech Modernist designer Ladislav Sutnar, and published by Sweet's Catalog Design Service. The Modernist influence is obvious. Zephyr informs us that it was Sweet's who introduced tabbed page dividers. I never knew who invented that (and will undoubtedly quickly forget). Item 102. $950.
Now we have one of those cement items. The heading for this is Concrete Best for Tourist Cottages. Here is something else I learned from this catalogue. Concrete is not the same as cement. Cement is an ingredient of concrete, from which a paste is formed and to which sand or gravel aggregates are added. It makes it stronger. I may remember this. This brochure explains how making tourist cabins for auto travelers from concrete requires less maintenance and provides fire safety. Keeping with the time (1940), the cabins have an Art Deco look. Item 13. $50.
You will need a car to visit these tourist cabins and what better way to go that with a Lincoln Motor Car, the luxury model of the Ford Motor Company. These were 1929 models, so maybe other visitors to those 1940 concrete cabins wouldn't have been so impressed with an 11-year-old car, but still, those '29 Lincolns look better than those they make today. They are probably worth a lot more now too. There are 24 body styles available, 12 from Lincoln and another 12 from custom coach builders. Item 43. $1,950.
One more automobile related item – there was lots of room to park by your concrete cabins, but by 1949, city parking had become a serious problem. From the Chamber of Commerce came this publication, Off-Street Parking. What is Being Done about Today's Off-Street Parking by Private Enterprise. One thing was to encourage more public transportation to decrease the number of cars in the city. And then there was off-street parking garages to handle the excess cars. Everyone liked convenient on-street free parking so one of the changes was the introduction of limited-time parking meters, a curse we still live with today. This would force the merchants to park their own cars in parking garages, and to make it friendlier for shoppers, parking charges would be waived if they purchased something. Those parking meters must have worked differently from those pay-in-advance types familiar today. Item 32. $150.
Next is an item for artists, I think. The title is Morning Noon Night Conceived, Photographed Designed by Samuel; Bernard Schaeffer. What this is is a book filled with photographs of nudes. They are quite explicit. The idea was to show nude models in various poses for instruction purposes to artists. This would be handy if the commercial artist couldn't convince someone to take off their clothes for the sake of art. Considering this was 1938 when such photos were not readily available, one wonders whether this was a dual purpose book. Item 96. $150.
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