Back in the halcyon days of roller skating, roller rinks would produce a label with an rink or roller skate theme and the name and address of the rink so you could put in it on your roller skate box. The more labels you had, the more places you have been skating.
I have more than 100 different labels and thought it might fun to to showcase some of them
Akron Rollercade, Inc. – Akron, Ohio
2. Dimond Roller Rink – Oakland, California
3. Erwin A. Beyer’s Roller Skating Rink – Celina, Ohio
This glorious scorecard is from the first game of a doubleheader between the San Francisco Giants and the Philadelphia Phillies on August 21, 1959 at Connie Mack Stadium in Philadelphia. Here is the box score.
The game featured 6 future Hall of Famers -Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Orlando Cepeda, Robin Roberts, Richie Ashburn and Sparky Anderson (as a manager). The Giants won the game 6-0. The Giants would go on to finish the season with an 83-71 record. The Phillies would end up with a dreadful 90 losses and finish at the bottom of the National League standings.
The scorecard contains great local ads for car dealerships, service stations, restaurants, appliance stores and hot dogs as well as products fromPhilco, Coca-Cola, Kent cigarettes, Canda Dry, Seagram’s, Winston and Camel cigarettes, Schmidt Beer, Sealtest and Ortlieb’s Beer “The Wet Beer.”
I’m back! After a very prolonged absence to due a dog bite, a kidney stone, travel and working on some other exciting projects I am ready to get back to it!
Located on Route 220 between Altoona and Tyrone, Pennsylvania, the Minuet Manor Motel and Restaurant opened in the mid-late 1950s (cannot find an exact date). Offering 79 comfortable rooms and a nice meal, the Minuet was a popular spot for local civic and sorority gathers. The restaurant was not just an ordinary eating spot – there’s something of a twist.
Tyrone Daily Herald, March 29, 1960
The restaurant featured a large collection of pepper mills. According to the verso of the postcard below, The Minuet Manor featured the:
World’s largest collection of unique pepper mills, ranging in size for 3 inches to 7 feet 6-inches. Just one of the many memorable pleasures in store for you at the Minuet Manor is being served freshly ground pepper from this outstanding collection.
Late 1960s postcard showcasing some of the unusual pepper mills inside the restaurant
Another postcard view of the pepper mills
The restaurant and motel were a hit throughout the 1960s. Struggling to stay afloat after the gas crisis and a dramatic shift in traveling and dining culture, the Minuet Manor was sold to Arthur and Mary Beth Mittelmark in 1977.
Tyrone Daily Herald – November 2, 1977
With the 1980s and 1990s came hard times for the venerable motel and restaurant. The best I can figure is the restaurant closed sometime in 1980s or 1990s. I may be wrong and if I am please correct me!
In July 1999 six people were arrested at the motel in the largest heroin bust in Blair County (PA) history.
Tyrone Daily Herald – July 7, 1999
The motel underwent new ownership around 2000. The new group cleaned the place up and, according to an ad in the classified section of the Altoona Mirror, offered TOTALY REVOVATED ROOMS! That would not instill me with much confidence.
Altoona Mirror – April 15, 2001
The revovation did not save the motel. The Minuet Manor became a Knight’s Inn before it ultimately closed.
Information on this place is spotty – so if I got something wrong please let me know so I can get it right. If anyone has information on the whereabouts of those pepper mills drop me a line!
Mailed from Eagles Mere, Pennsylvania to Mr. Dan L. Mohnkern of Oil City, Pennsylvania on August 26, 1952:
Dear Dan, Having a swell time. We are staying at the Lakeside, and the food is wonderful. The swimming is good but the water is quite chilly. There are many sail boats here, and one which we would like to ride. I’m quite red now and hope to get as brown as a berry.
We’ve met many fine folks here, and the music and play programs are good. Will see you before too long. Sincerely, Chet.
Located on Route 22, just outside of Delmont, Pennsylvania, Beatty’s Restaurant and Coffee Shop served good food in a modern atmosphere. Owned and operated by C.W. Beatty, the restaurant held a formal opening for business on July 11, 1957.
Decorated in black and yellow a full view window, Beatty’s was known for its steak dinners and banquet facilities.
The Pittsburgh Press – July 10, 1957
The restaurant was sold in 1962 to Richard Wright of the Penn Machine
Company. Shortly after the purchase, the restaurant was renamed The Lamplighter.
The Lamplighter was sold again in 1967 to the Ferri family, who still own and operate the restaurant to this day.
Horn & Hardart opened their first automat on June 9, 1902. The history of these restaurants and its impact on Philadelphia is beautifully captured in an article by Dr. Stephen Nepa in The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia. The following section is from that 2013 article:
Beloved by generations of diners and immortalized in art, song, cinema, and poetic verse, Automats, also known as “automatics” or “waiterless restaurants,” were popular manifestations of an early-twentieth century modernizing impulse. Influenced by Frederick W. Taylor’s studies of scientific management and the widespread use of the assembly line, the Automat removed the process of ordering food through a professional waitstaff and allowed customers a faster dining experience via coin-operated vending machines. Designed to streamline dining out while offering a broad choice of freshly prepared menu items, Automats were integral features of Greater Philadelphia’s restaurant industry from the early 1900s through the mid-1960s.
Automats first appeared in Germany and Scandinavia in the 1890s. The first Automat in the United States opened in 1902 near New York’s Union Square. However, it failed to gain mass appeal and closed three years later. The Philadelphia area’s first Automat is credited to Joseph Horn (1861-1941) and Frank Hardart (1850-1918), whose local baking company imported the technology from Quisiana, a Berlin-based manufacturer….
Philadelphian Horn and New Orleans transplant Hardart had operated luncheonettes and bakeries in Center City since partnering in 1888. For their first Automat, they chose a site at 818 Chestnut Street. It proved an immediate sensation. After it debuted June 9, 1902, the Philadelphia Inquirer noted that Horn and Hardart had solved the city’s “rapid transit luncheon problem” of feeding people on the go. Their official slogan, “less work for mother,” affirmed their goal for faster restaurant service.
818 Chestnut St. – Courtesy of Phillyhistory.org
In 1932, there were over 40 restaurants, of which fewer than 20 were automats, in the Greater Philadelphia area and dozens more in New York. The company was thriving.
However, after the second World War, Horn & Hardart struggled to keep up with modern times. Changing tastes, reliance on automobiles and the flight to the suburbs slowed business. Urban renewal would claim at least one location when the company was forced to closed their commissary to make way for dorms at Thomas Jefferson University. One location at 16th and Chestnut hoped to revive business by selling alcohol, but to no avail.
The original Automat, at 818 Chestnut Street was auctioned off to the highest bidder in 1969. The interior of the venerable old restaurant was donated to the National Museum of American History and everything else sold. Horn and Hardart continued to limp until 1981 when the company filed for bankruptcy. May 12, 1990 saw the last location close it doors, ending the company’s near ninety-year run as Philadelphia eating institution.
This list, compiled from an undated address list and some research. Some locations may be missing. If you know of more, please leave a comment or e-mail me.
234 Market St.
339 Market St.
818 Chestnut St.
808 Arch St.
909 Market St.
1508 Market St.
11th & Market Sts.
101 S. Juniper St.
219 S. Broad St.
248 N. Broad St.
1601 Chestnut St.
1815-17 E. Allegheny
11th & Ludlow Sts.
1321 Market St.
5141 Market St.
104 S. 8th St.
11th & Market Sts.
101 S. Juniper St.
1508 Market St.
4670 Frankford Ave.
3413 Woodland Ave.
6826 Market St.
3638 N. Broad St.
219 S. Broad St.
6006 Market St.
136 Market St.
730 Market St.
104 S. 8th St.
26 N. 11th St.
11th & Ludlow Sts.
106 S. 11th St.
101 S. Juniper St.
126 S. 4th St.
244 N. Broad St.
Broad & Chestnut
818 Chestnut St.
1508 Market St.
1601 Chestnut St.
3940 Chestnut St.
4847 N. Broad St.
1429 Arch St.
11 S. 18th St.
23 W. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore
412 Old York Rd.
54th & City Line
232 Market St.
732 Market St.
820 Chestnut St.
17 S. 11th St.
1601 Chestnut St.
3951 Market St.
5137 Market St.
6008 Market St.
3634 N. Broad St.
4847 N. Broad St.
5706 N. Broad St.
5543 N. 5th Ave.
4647 Frankford Ave.
5233 Frankford Ave.
6828 Market St.
6333 Woodland Ave.
5048 Baltimore Ave.
7308 Frankford Ave.
7200 Ogontz Ave.
6038 Castor Ave.
23 W. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore
881 Main St., Darby
231 Haverford Ave., Narberth
412 Old York Rd., Jenkintown
63rd & Lancaster Ave., Overbrook
16 Broadway, Camden
719 Haddon Ave., Collingswood
144 Kings Highway, E. Haddonfield
Amelia Earhart’s plane went down somewhere, history says, leaving the world with one less brave pilot and one more aeronautical mystery. But there’s no mystery- as any resident of Penndel can tell you – about an airplane at the corner of Route 1 and Durham Road. The only mystery connect with the Lockheed Super G Constellation from the mid-1950s and Amelia’s the nightspot it houses is this: Whatever happened to Jim Flannery’s Constellation Lounge? We hit Flannery’s once, back in 1978 and enjoyed hearing the tale of how the large aircraft was brought to its current location in 1968, after Flannery purchased it. The wings and tail were dismantled, and it was trucked through Delaware, up Route 295 and over the Walt Whitman bridge. The convoy, with an attending media sideshow, the moved up Broad Street, around City Hall, and onto Route 1, encircled by the Philadelphia Police Force. Now, it sits 25 feet in the air, supported buy concrete airfoils. Flannery got out of the business after 53 years in 1981, and sold it to the current owners, who redecorated the interior quite a bit, and renamed the establishment. The conventional building downstairs houses a restaurant and cocktail lounge with live entertainment. Given a choice, however, the one-time or non-regular visitor is not about to spend too much time down there. A long stairway leads upstairs, into the aircraft, where the lengthy fuselage sports a long bar one one side, and an assortment of seats on the other. Live entertainment is featured on the weekends near the cockpit. The new owners have given the entire complex – building and airplane – a much more contemporary, suave look. The old version stressed bright blues and greens, woodwork, paintings and bright lighting. Now, the place boasts a lot of earthy browns and tans, plants, mirrors and dim lighting. Drinks, downstairs or up, are very strong and generous, as they should be at $2.60 per cocktail. Both levels have comfortable bar stools, complimentary bar-top snacks and gracious, if slightly languid, service. An eclectic crowd of a wide age patronizes the nightspot, taking in the stimulating scenery and listening to one of several solo pianist-singers or the Just Us trio. Right now, Paul Keys entertains in the plane Friday and Saturday, while downstairs, Joe Liptick plays Sunday and Tuesday, Miriam Roberts entertains on Wednesday, and the trio performs Thursday through Saturday.
“Finding mystique without mystery” by Edgar Koshatka originally appeared in the Sunday, June 6, 1982 issue of The Philadelphia Inquirer.
The piece asks and answers a question with 1982 information. I am writing this post to answer the question once and for all. Whatever happened to Jim Flannery’s Constellation Lounge?
To answer that we have to go all the back to 1928. The first Flannery’s Restaurant opened that year on Route 1 in Penndel, Pennsylvania. Anne Flannery, Jim’s mother, had opened the restaurant just off the Lincoln Highway.
The small restaurant was popular meeting place for local civic groups
Jim would come back from the War and work for the restaurant. He would ultimately run the restaurant in the early 50s. Under Jim’s leadership modest restaurant would expand over the years and come be known for good drinks and a friendly staff.
The Bristol Daily-Courier – April 30, 1956
Flannery’s Restaurant was destroyed by a fire on October 27, 1957. The fire probably could have been slowed by the Penndel fire department had difficulty getting water to their hoses and the fire burned for 90 minutes. The restaurant was completely destroyed. Damages from the fire totaled $300,000.
Jim, ever the entrepreneur kept himself in the news. A personal ad appeared in the Bristol Daily Courier on November 7 & 8, 1957 that read:
DO YOU KNOW THE IDENTITY – of the masquerader who displayed the sign, “Eat Flannery’s – for the hottest meal in town!” at Penndel’s Halloween Parade on Wednesday, October 30? Please ask him to contact Mr. Jim Flannery, immediately, at SK 7-3757.
I actually found a follow-up on the personal ad. and after reading it I feel like there is almost a zero percent chance that this wasn’t a publicity stunt trumped up Flannery.
The blurb ran in the Bristol Courier-Journal on November 22, 1957.
Dinner Proved Jest Right
A 9-year-old Langhorne boy who came to a Halloween party as a “sandwich man” won a big laugh and an invitation for dinner from Jim Flannery of Flannery’s Restaurant.
Raymond Heiss, 221 Hawthorne Ave., wore two poster cards in the shape of the “sandwich man,” shortly after the fire at the restaurant.
One card read “Eat at Flannery’s – Hottest food in town.” The other side stated “Everything well done and extra crispy this week.”
The restaurant owner heard of the boy’s costume and located him through and advertisement in the Courier-Times.
Bristol Courier-Tmes – November 28, 1957
Flannery would rebuild but not without some more free publicity first.A few weeks after the fire, Flannery invited Carl Hodgert and Josephine Poynor of the Courier-Times advertising department to eat a meal in the burned-out ruins of the restaurant. The two had made a wager
While plans were being hatched to rebuild the restaurant, Flannery was active in the Langhorne County Lions Club, serving food for a Neshaminy High School fundraiser and being active in the community.
The restaurant re-opened in the Spring of 1958 and was a hit. The restaurant would once again become the spot in town for meetings, family dinners and for civic groups.
Jim Flannery pops up in news stories quite a bit over the next few years. He is part of the area’s painting project called “Paint Up, Clean Up Week.” He would named Boss of the Year in 1962 by the Trenton Chapter of National Secretaries Association. Flannery hits a hole-in-one at a local golf course, is named a judge in a KING OF BARBECUE contest in the Miss Pennsylvania region of the Miss Universe Pageant and even gets married quite suddenly to Alice Ann Dexrod of Jenkintown.
Flannery’s Restaurant would go through a major redesign in 1963, with a new dining room, more seating and more elegant 1960s decor. That would not lost long.
Jim Flannery had an idea that would become a landmark and fight. Flannery, a former pilot in WWII. In the Summer of 1967, Flannery, ever the showman, purchased an authentic Lockheed Super G Constellation airplane known as the “Geneva Trader” from Capitol Airways.
“Route 1 really started to get built up following World War II when the Levittown homes were built [finished in 1958] and U.S. Steel opened its big plant in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania . The idea first came to me in 1967. I was sitting on my boat in an Atlantic City marina, and reading a restaurant trade magazine that talked about a restaurant made from old railroad cars in Pennsylvania and another one in North Jersey made from a ferryboat. I was an old Air Force pilot, and I decided to look for an airplane to put at my restaurant.”
The Super Connie (N1005C) had already been through seven owners, starting with Cubana Airlines in 1954, when Flannery found it on the tarmac in Wilmington, Delaware, where Capitol Airways was looking to sell it. Flannery bought the plane and it was dismantled and trucked from Wilmington, Delaware to the restaurant.
Flannery would mount the plane in the back/on top of the restaurant and convert the interior into a cocktail lounge. Hardwood floor and dining tables were installed. The cockpit would retain its instruments, but be turned in to a small performance area for nightly entertainment.
The Philadelphia Inquirer – October 31, 1967
Flannery’s Restaurant was gone. In its place was Jim Flannery’s Constellation Lounge and Restaurant.
The new designed cocktail lounge/airplane opened in October 1967 and immediately became a landmark in the Penndel-Longhorne area.
It became so much a part of town that people would use it for directions, turn left at the airplane. One mile south of the airplane, etc.
The original restaurant would be renovated for the 2nd time in 5 years. The decor would be changed to match the airplane theme and to better accommodate access to the plane.
Jim Flannery’s “on-the-ground” restaurant reopened on August 1, 1968. Flannery’s Constellation Lounge and Restaurant was now complete. To celebrate the occasion Flannery planned a Grand Opening Party for Thursday, September 19.
It was beautiful day. There was food, fun, drinks and a 35-foot hot air balloon. The balloon was to be launched from the parking lot to honor the aviation theme. Two passengers boarded the balloon waving and smiling.
Lebanon Daily News – September 20, 1968
In front of nearly 350 people, the balloon lifted off and, almost immediately as it rose, the wind sent them off course and struck a power line. Both passengers were instantly electrocuted and, as the balloon fell, both passengers fell over 40 feet to their deaths.
Jim Flannery would be shocked and horrified by the event until the day he died. He never spoke of that day publicly.
An incident like that could have destroyed the restaurant but Flannery’s remained strong.
The Constellation Lounge became the hot spot in the area with good drinks and a fun atmosphere. The good times wouldn’t last.
By the end of the 1970s. Economic difficulties in the area, along with the slow demise of that stretch of the Lincoln Highway lead to a sharp downturn in business for Flannery’s.
The plane would be dubbed “The Spirit of ’76” in honor of the nation’s bicentennial.
In September 1979, Flannery filed for Chapter 12 protection from his creditors and the restaurant and cocktail lounge closed.
In a 1980 interview, Flannery would say “Maybe I just ran out of steam for a while. Burned out, as they say. But I’m really charged up now. I really think I could turn this place around.”
Flannery had plans to turn the place in a family-style restaurant but it was too late. Flannery needed to raise about $185,000 dollars in short order – through sale of part of his land to a developer in order to build apartments. He was also willing to sell his home.
Money wasn’t the only problem. The Penndel Borough Council refused to grant a zoning change needed to build the apartments. The Council thought that Flannery’s desperation showed a blatant disregard for zoning ordinances of the area. Without that change Flannery was basically doomed.
The citizens rallied to save the restaurant. There was a “Save the Plane” rally attended by about 75 people.All of it ultimately amounted to nothing.
Flannery would liquidate his assets and sell the restaurant and plane to a new set of owners. The new restaurant, dubbed Amelia’s, opened in early 1982.
Amelia’s failed to capture the audience that Flannery’s once had and closed by 1987. The restaurant and plane were unoccupied for nearly five years. Then, in 1991, a couple purchased the landmark with the same hopes and dreams of Jim Flannery and Amelia’s.
The old airplane would get one more chance at life. On January 10, 1992 the new restaurant called Airplane Family Diner and Restaurant opened.
The Philadelphia Inquirer – January 19, 1992
Penndel restaurant has top-flight opening
To say that the opening of the Airplane Family Restaurant & Diner drew a crowd would be an understatement.
“From the second we opened on Friday, all the way through Sunday, we had people in line,” to get in, Dabbour said.
But then it had been five years since Bucks County residents could dine beneath the hulking Lockheed Constellation airplane that is permanently grounded on old Route 1 in Penndel.
The plane, although newly scrubbed and painted outside, still needs refurbishing inside and will not open to the public until this summer, Dabbour said.
For years, Dabbour and his wife, Karen, worked in the airplane’s shadow, at their pizzeria called Penny’s Pizza down the street, and dreamed of refurbishing and reopening the restaurant beneath the landmark.
They realized that dream this month and simultaneously realized that they had embarked on a landmark undertaking.
Karen Dabbour estimates that between the two of them, the couple managed about 18 hours of sleep each during the diner’s first 72 hours.
She said her husband did not leave the new diner from the moment he arrived Friday, at 5:30 a.m., until 2 a.m. Sunday. She slipped away for a couple of hours to check on their two young children, who were being cared for by their grandmother. But Ghassan Dabbour “slept on a cot in his office,” she said.
The Dabbours said they were grateful for the turnout, particularly at a time when financially strapped families were not dining out much.
And, they said, the first weekend was especially hectic because it was everyone’s first day on the job. To make matters worse, there were four or five no-shows among their 28-member crew.
But the past week has given the couple a chance to iron out those wrinkles. ”Every day gets better,” Ghassan Dabbour said.
The ’90s version of the restaurant is a family establishment, the Dabbours emphasized. The plane, when it reopens, will not be a bar as it was previously. It will be rented out for private parties, including children’s birthday bashes, Ghassan Dabbour said.
And though the new restaurant is called a diner, and offers such standard diner fare as steaks, eggs, burgers and sandwiches, it has a few features that set it apart from the typical diner: Its light, airy interior, done in soft blues and grays, for instance, and menu items like “fajita pita” and souvlaki.
The Airplane Family Restaurant closed in 1995 and both the restaurant and airplane sat idle, deteriorating in the elements. The fuselage of the airplane began to come apart from the stress of the load and constant water leaks filled the lounge. The Constellation was finally sealed off for good in 1997.
Amoco purchased the land for a new gas station shortly after that and both the company and the borough decided that the airplane had to go. In July, 1997 it was dismantled and the restaurant torn down. The Penndel landmark gone forever.
Amoco donated the plane to the Air Mobility Museum in Dover, Delaware, where it has now been restored as a replica of an Air Force C-121C cargo plane.
Jim Flannery was always open to talk about his “baby” but he basically stayed out of the public eye from the closing of the restaurant until his death on June 17, 2011.