Sunday, February 7, 2016

The Owl–1908 (Part 1)

And now we’re on to 1908 at Fresno High School and another new logo.

Front Cover

Looks like Nelson Daniel was busy creating the new cover.

Table of Contents

From the looks of it, The Owl (later The Owlet) was anxiously awaited for each month.  And once it arrived, the world stopped while everyone read the latest edition.

Owl Out Today

Looking at this Editorial, it seems that getting people involved in High School life was beginning to take a toll.  Too bad the article had to start out with a negative tone – “this number of The Owl will be a disappoitnment”.  But we’ve all been involved in organizations, be it school or otherwise, where it seems that the same people do most of the work and others just sit around and complain.


As usual, the advertisements provide us with quite a peek into life over 100 years ago.  And here we all thought this “coffee craze” just hit us with the influx of Starbucks.  Or maybe it’s just that I don’t drink coffee and live in a region known for it’s coffee.  But nevertheless, I do know that $1.00 for 3 pounds of coffee is a steal! 

H Graff and Co

Once again, the major emphasis seems to be on men’s clothing.  Where did the women shop for clothes?  And what in the heck does “rubber at our string of windows” mean?

SB Goodman

I think I know what The Toggery was trying to say but reading “wait for the new spring line” makes me think they really don’t want my business right now.


On to February.  Same logo.

Front Cover

Maybe “Woozy” Becker took the challenge and decided to get involved with The Owl.  Either that or one of the young ladies had quite the crush on him.  I love the color that the artist added.

Woozy Becker

Still trying to get kids involved.  I know this Editorial is long but it is an interesting view of high school life in 1908.

Editorial pg 2

And while I’ve seen advertisements for establishments that carried school pins, here we learn that a standard pin had not been adopted.  While Fresno High School seemed to have some trouble adopting a school pin, looks like the Class of 1908 took matters into their own hands and adopted a pin for their class.

Senior Class Pin

Here we are with coffee again.  Too bad whomever placed the ad didn’t know how to spell specialty.  (And now I sound exactly like my father – the guy who had to point out every typo!)

Fresno Coffee Store

Now S.B. Goodman is stalling – “not yet, but soon”?  And once again I ask – where do the women buy their clothing?

SB Goodman

So where would the high school boys and friends go if they didn’t want an up-to-date hair cut?

Brunswick Shaving Parlor

Come back soon for more from 1908!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Owl–1907 (Part 2)

The new school year brought new graphics to The Owl in 1907 – they added some color and my grandfather’s brother, Ben Levy, added his name at the top.  Sure makes me wonder why I ended up with these books.  I guess because my grandparents hung on to them for 70 years or so and then my parents followed suit for another 30 years..  These editions of The Owl have definitely seen better days as the staples are rusted and ineffective all these years later.  But I’ll take ‘em!

Front Cover

A Table of Contents was also added.  I have to laugh that the section called The Waste Basket (“joshes” from the students) was put together by The Janitor.

Table of Contents

J.W. Warner must have been a pretty special coach and manager to get his own page in The Owl. 

JW Warner

And here he is with the 1907 Fresno High football team.

Football Team
Back row, left to right:  Wheaton, McCollister, Tufts, McNulty, Laning, Ruschhaupt, Warner (Coach)
Front row, left to right:  Morgan, Prather, Collins (Captain), Grimes, Barber

This picture is not from the 1907 Owl but, rather, one I discovered of the 1914 Fresno High School Basketball team.  That’s Coach Warner on the right – a double sport coach!

1914 FHS Basketball Team

I just love looking at the ads.  Apparently the dentists have overtaken the undertakers as big advertisers.  Crowns for $4.00!

Dr Doyle

Nice picture of the interior of the Hughes Hotel.  I can visualize (my dad’s favorite expression) the guests all dressed up for a nice meal before retiring for the night.

Hughes Hotel

Check out these golf shirts – can you imagine dressing in one of these for a hot Fresno day on the links?  At least it would only set you back $1.00-$2.00.

Kutner Goldstein Co

Finally the advertisers are marketing the young ladies!  A quick google search didn’t bring up any information on Fitzese shoes but it sounds like a popular brand for the times.

Louis Einstein

I wonder if Neil=White Fitzese shoes.  Whatever brands they carried I’m sure they were all swell!

Neil White

A swagger nobby suit?  At least they were only a ‘trifle more’ than the ordinary kind of suit.

Radin & Kamp

More clothes!  But again, marketing the men.  At least they have lots of options for stylish clothes.

McAfee Hickman

In December even a little more color was added.  So festive.  Unfortunately, the red ink seems to have run on some of the pages.  I guess that’s what more than 100 years will do.

Front Cover

Floyd Laning took over for the Janitor in The Wastebasket.

Table of Contents

I love the graphics on this page.  Quite a few kids wore the “F” and several received their letter for more than one sport.  I sure wish I’d find a Levy on one of these pages.

Wearers of the F

I would love to see what the pin of “neat and latest design” looked like.  So nice that they set the price so that it was within reach of all students.  I wonder if my grandfather or his brothers ever had a Fresno High School pin.

Warner Co

I realize this was the Christmas edition but glasses as a Christmas gift?  At least J.M. Crawford would help to manage the surprise.

JM Crawford

If you didn’t want to give glasses as a gift, how about something from McAfee-Hickman?  They were having a sale – 25 cents off on Suits and Overcoats until Christmas.

McAfee Hickman

This is an interesting photo to use in an advertisement for the “best fitter in the state”.  I’m not quite sure how this relates.

Henry Viez

Again, focusing on the boys.  But these shoes are swell, don’t you think?

Louis Einstein

Need an overcoat to go with those fancy shoes?

Radin & Kamp

In just the few years of The Owl that I have, I have seen quite a change in the fashion and advertisers.  I can’t wait until I get to my parents’ era to see how much things will have changed over 35-40 years.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Owl - 1907 (Part 1)

Thanks to reader dkzody, I learned more about The Owl and why there were so many editions.
As for The Owl, it was actually the "newspaper" for Fresno High and the graduation editions were what we would call a yearbook as they had the pictures for the year in them. The school newspaper is now The Owlet and the yearbook is still The Owl.
I seem to remember seeing The Owlet around here so now that I understand the difference, I'll think differently about what I've got.  Thanks, dk!

This is an interesting advertisement.  I didn't realize that Gottschalks was in business in 1907 but, it turns out, it was founded in 1904 by German immigrant Emil Gottschalk.  In 1914 the store moved to another location (Kern and J (Fulton) streets) where they enjoyed ten times the space.  And they carried books!

My dad always talked about Gottschalks and as they grew and expanded into other areas, I was finally able to shop at the store I'd heard about since I was a kid.  Dad always had funny stories and as we'd drive him around in later years, he'd exclaim "I feel like Henry Korn!".  And while I knew that Henry Korn was a prominent Fresno citizen (with a driver), it wasn't until I did some quick research on Gottschalks today that I discovered Henry Korn was Emil Gottschalk's brother-in-law and chief executive following Emil's death.

I love seeing this drawing of what a well dressed man looked like in 1907.  Quite dapper!

Sounds like it was a bit scandalous when Miss Dunbar left Fresno High School expectedly.  Of course, my first thought was that she left due to an out-of-wedlock pregnancy - remember when young women had to leave and go live with a long-lost relative?

These want ads are puzzling.  How many people just happened to have 300 volumes of "Roberts' Rules of Order" lying around?  And how 'bout Isabel Noble looking for a new excuse for cutting gym?  Not just an excuse but a good one! 

Look at the 1907 version of a motocycle!  No, that's not a typo - it really was a motocycle and not motorcycle.  I even found one like this that was recently for sale.

I like this new Owl logo they used.

So all you had to do was wear good glasses to help your study habits?  Who knew?

Oh look, it's Gottschalks again.  And now they're hawking baseball goods and roller skates!

Just an example of what was reported in School Notes.  The best part is the drawing of the two young people trying to hold hands under their desks.

Marching on.

It's fun to see the fashions of the day - look at these stylish shoes.  What a bargain!

I just realized that my great grandfather, Herman Levy, worked for Kutner Goldstein Co. when he first moved to Fresno (from Borden, now Madera) somewhere around 1874.  He later owned and operated his own clothing store on Mariposa Street so by 1907 he was probably a competitor of the firm.


I'm not sure why they would consider investing in land a "good stunt for high school boys" - seems like it would be a great move.  Am I missing something?

I'd like to know more about Fresno's Thanksgiving Soap.  Obviously something they didn't have in the East.

I love this.  We hope one of the two people will be you - the other is no concern of ours. 

And look at this - we get the answer to where Miss Olive Dunbar disappeared to.  She got married!  I wonder if we'll see a birth announcement in the next few months. 

On to April.

I wonder what makes it soda season?  Springtime when kids are anxious to have something cold to drink after school?

Another competitor might have been Louis Einstein & Co.  Hand-made underwear?

In reading about Walk Over Shoes, I learned that the company was first started in 1758 by Levi Keith and continued on by his son, Benjamin, and grandson, Ziba.  Ziba's son, Franklin, was the first of the family to depend entirely on shoe making for his livelihood.  I'm not sure if this is the same company but they sure had some nifty (and inexpensive) shoes for young men.

So earlier we had cold drinks and now we're advertising hot drinks.  I can't get past oysters and tamales together in one ad!

As I continue to go through these gems from Fresno High School, I'm realizing that my roots run very, very deep in that city.