What on Earth is Back!

Category: What on Earth!?

Because I need something to distract me from the disaster that is under my sunroom, I am reviving What on Earth?

All of you junk hounds can commence high-fiving each other now.

If you don't know what What on Earth is, you probably need to start reading here. Give yourself a few hours, maybe even a day, to go through those entries. I had a lot of insomnia when we started working on the house.

I'm going to try digging through a box in my attic and writing about something I find every Friday. I may write about things more frequently than that, but I will at LEAST write about something every Friday.

Rummaging around in the attic now...here we go...

We will be starting with the ephemera that I have not been able to closely examine since we bought the house. Font, retro graphics and obscure history fans of the world? You're welcome.

Here is something that was on the top of the pile: A small collection of two cute paper dolls and one slightly creepy one.


The copy on the back reads as follows:


Five of these beautiful dolls with ten complete suits comprising American, French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, German, Swiss, Turkish and Indian costumes will be sent post paid to any address on receipt of 5 heads of the girl holding the pie, cut from the outside wrappers of None Such New England Mince Meat and ten cents in silver, or we will send them FREE for 20 heads of the None Such New England Mince Meat Girl. Merrell-Soule Co. Syracuse, N.Y.

Reading that makes me want to shout, "BRING ME THE HEAD OF THE NONE SUCH MINCE MEAT GIRL!!!"


So, None Such Mince Meat dolls, circa 1895, available for FREE if you send me 20 heads of the None Such New England Mince Meat Girls. Which is a small price to pay, really.

This is the third doll.


As if it isn't creepy enough, this one's head was already off when I discovered it. As was the foot. And the clothes come off.

beheaded doll.jpg

It has no information as to its origins, but how sadistic were these little girls of the late 1800's? That's the question I have.

Everything else you've ever wanted to know about paper dolls, including free print outs.

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Oh my word.

I loved paper dolls when I was a kid; it was my most favorite kind of toy. Also, my mother used to give me the Betsy McCall dolls that appeared in McCall's magazine. I even made my own. Did you ever see the paper dolls that Zelda Fitzgerald made for her daughter of Zelda and Scott and Scottie (the daughter)? Really precious.

They still make None Such Mince Meat. If you want to torment a sales clerk in the supermarket, ask them to try to find it for you. You have to restrain them from going to the meat department.

I was looking for some information on the Soule family of None Such Mincemeat fame this morning (when I came across your blog), as I am currently using old George Soule's bathmat! (they must have had piles of money given the incredible quality of the fabric after the 40 years I've had it, and probably that many that he owned it.

The Soule's left a 1000 acre estate to several denominations of churches in the 1950's-1960's north of Syracuse NY.

My dad was caretaker for a while after that. I grew up playing in the bungalows built for Mr. Soule & 2 of his sons.

There was a 40 acre lake (man-made? definitely stocked w/fish at one time - mostly water snakes, sunfish and mollusks when I was there) on the property, a boathouse, lodge in the woods (as if they needed to get farther from civilization than 4 miles north of Cleveland, NY!) At one time they had had pine plantations, orchards, riding paths, stables, chicken coops -- it was a beautiful place! Even after these things were re-purposed or gone!

It was like the lodges in the Adirondaks of the wealthy New Yorkers, but with 3 bungalows instead of one huge lodge. Probably built around the same time, tho.

When we lived there it was safe and fun. Church groups visited on weekends in Fall, Spring & Summer, and there was sleep-over camp all summer. The rest of the time it was our playground: discovering the trout pond, fields of daffodils, covered bridge, 1/2 circle garden, rock crusher...

I slept outside almost every night in summer time. And we cross-country skied day and night in winter.

My dad worked with a man who had worked for the Soules for many years: Frank Howe. He was a sweet man w/a great sense of humor. He had kept track of the weather statistics on the inside of a carriage house door since the early 1900s A wonderful man. He lived at the opposite end of the road that runs through the property.

It's still a church camp, but so much has changed from the days when the huge gazebo stood between the houses by the lake, with their rough siding, brick or slate walks, huge rough-hewn fire places, flagstone porches, and the little bedroom off the balcony in the Frank House with the clouds & stars painted on the ceiling 50 years before one saw trompe l. on tv!

In spring I used to walk along the brick paths and the roads lined with 10' rhodedendrons of all colors imagining what it must have been like to live there when they did.

There were 3 main houses: FRank, George & Robert, the "Annex" near the lake, the Boat House, the gardener's cottage where my family of 8 lived (the size of a "cottage"), and 2 large dutch colonial style houses by the Martin Road entrance to the property. AT one time long barns lined the road from that entrance to the gardener's cottage (about 1/2 mile) with fields and pastures behind the barns.

I played w/paperdolls myself, but I'm not old enough to remember yours.

Loved the "Bring me the head of a Mincemeat girl!" Very funny.

What a great find your house must have been! I'm so envious! I love the old stuff and use lots of it -- esp the kitchen utensils.

Good for you for doing what I think is really historically important: preserving popular culture. Everybody can find (but not afford) priceless antiques. But it's the little things we use/d in daily life that will tell who we really were/are!

God bless! gm

Great General information!!! Love your site

Interesting thoughts here. I appreciate you taking the time to share them with us all. It's people like you that make my day :)

Way to focus and straight to your point, i love it. Keep up the work people. Dont let anyone stop us bloggers.

Dreamin. I love blogging. You all express your feelings the right way, because they are your feeling, focus on your blog it is great.

Amazing freakin blog here. I almost cried while reading it!


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