Donna Darling Collection – Part 36 – Fox Washington Theatre

Treasure Chest Thursday
By Don Taylor

For this week’s Treasure Chest Thursday, I’m looking at two clippings from the Donna Darling Collection concerning “The Fox Washington – Washington Blvd at Clifford.”

Continue reading “Donna Darling Collection – Part 36 – Fox Washington Theatre”

Donna Darling Collection – Part 35 – The Elsinore

Treasure Chest Thursday
By Don Taylor

For this week’s Treasure Chest Thursday, I’m looking at a clipping from the Donna Darling Collection concerning “The Elsinore.”

From the Donna Darling Scrapbook.

This was one of the strangest clippings in the scrapbook not only because it was cut out oddly but also had a color image included. At first, I thought the clipping went together, then I realized it was two clippings that touched each other. The first part was a standard vaudeville advertisement. Donna was playing at “The Elsinore” and was part of “5 Association Vaudeville Acts.”

  • Donna Darling Revue – With Sammy Clark
  • Curtis & Lawrence – in “Is That the Custom”
  • Morell & Elynor – Introducing the Charleston on Rollers
  • Princess Winona – Indian Prima Donna
  • Zuhn & Dreis – Dementas Americanas

Donna and Sammy played at the Elsinore Theater in Salem, Oregon for one night, on 5 November 1926. A venue I knew about, thanks to Newspapers.Com.


But the other part of the clipping was an odd little man in bright orange pants with a belt that said “Wild to Go.” When I zoomed in on the photo, I could read the logo on his hat, “Red Crown Gasoline.”  I searched the internet for Red Crown Gasoline and learned it was a brand of Standard Oil[i]. It is mentioned as possibly being the first movie product placement advertisement.  The 1920 film, “The Garage” starring “Fatty” Arbuckle and Buster Keaton[ii] showed the Red Crown Gasoline several times. A search of Google Images discovered a couple images of this little man but none of this exact image. Certainly, this little man is rare, if not unique.

Sources

[i] Internet: Old Auto News (Vintage Autos and Motorcycle Advertisements) Red Crown Gasoline, et al.
[ii] Internet: Wikipedia – “The Garage (1920 film)”

Earthquake Rattles Donna and Sammy

Donna Darling Collection – Part 34

Treasure Chest Thursday By Don Taylor

For this week’s Treasure Chest Thursday, I’m looking at two clippings from the Donna Darling Collection concerning earthquakes. The earthquake was significant enough for Donna to clip newspaper articles about the experience. As New Yorkers, I’m sure an earthquake was scary for them. Although the clippings aren’t dated, it is clear that they refer to the October 22, 1926 earthquake off the coast at Monterey[i]. We still don’t know where she and Sammy were on October 21st or 22nd, however, we know they played in San Jose on October 23rd through the 25th. San Jose is about 50 miles to the north of Monterey. We also know they played in Southern California earlier in the month and were working their way north. It is very possible they were actually in Monterey during the earthquake.

Windows Are Rattled As Quakes ‘Jiggle’ S. F.

Several buildings were slightly-damaged, a dozen plate glass-windows smashed and hundreds of curious persons routed from hotels and homes by three quakes that rocked northern and central California early today. A preliminary survey of the quakes’ effects showed the following damage: Two windows broken in office of McDonald & Co., brokers, in Palace Hotel Building. Small piece shaken from Ferry Building. Plaster from Sharon Building shaken into Market-st. Window of Selix Clothing store, 54 Mason-st, broken. The zone affected extended from Sacramento, on the north, to towns 150 miles south of San Francisco. None, however, reported serious damage. The first temblor rocked San Francisco gently at 4:35 o’clock. Thirty seconds later there was a second gentle swaying, strong enough to rattle windows and cause electric fixtures to sway. Exactly ‘an hour later a third temblor came, lasting several seconds. Although not as pronounced as the first, this shock stopped several electric clocks. Telephone service at several local exchanges was interrupted for 10 minutes by the first temblor and the electric system at Alameda was out of service for 20 minutes. The temblors rocked San Jose, Watsonville, Salinas, Monterey, Santa Cruz and nearby towns. Salinas reported that the shocks were the most severe since 1906. The United States navy radio service said that no disturbances I at sea had been reported. Curious thousands milled around I the streets from the time of the first temblor until daylight. Several hundreds of the most nervous wandered to the Civic Center and stood in little groups. Other open spaces found favor with early risers. A wax model in the B. F. Schlesinger department store, Oakland, was the only “casualty.” The model fell from a pedestal and crashed through a window. Its head was i severed. No other windows were reported broken in Oakland. Plaster fell in many buildings in Salinas, glassware was broken and clocks were stopped. Slight damage also was reported in Paso Robles.
The second article reads:

3 Quakes Jar S.F. and Valley Area

Three distinct earthquake shocks were felt in San Francisco and Central California today. The first was at 4:36 a. m., the second at 5:36 and the third at 6:42 a. m. The second was the most severe. Damage in San Francisco and the entire affected district was negligible, being confined to broken windows, falling plaster and a few minor cracks in buildings. The ‘‘shocks were felt as far north as Napa and south to San Luis Obispo, with varying intensity. San Jose, Oakland, Berkeley, Alameda, Palo Alto, San Mateo and Monterey reported no damage except a few cracked ceilings and windows. Electric light service in the Eastbay was affected for a time. The center of the shocks appeared to be between San Francisco and Monterey according to the Associated Press. They were o£ a northerly and southerly movement, along the old fault line of the 1906 quake.
Although quite minor in nature, I’m sure Donna and Sammy quickly exited their hotel and hoped it wouldn’t be another “big one.” The disaster of the 1906 earthquake was only 20 years earlier and a fresh memory for many in the Bay area. I remember the concern I had when I lived in San Diego and experienced my first earthquake. Although minor, such an experience can be very unsettling for those of us from areas of the country where the ground stays put. I can imagine what went through Donna and Sammy’s minds in the early morning of 22 October 1926.

Sources

[i] October 22, 1926 – A particularly strong earthquake was felt at 4:35 a.m. and did some damage. The tremor was off the coast at Monterey. It was stronger in San Francisco than at some places closer to the epicenter. A second tremor, much like the first, was felt at 5:35 a.m. Source: The Internet – The Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco – “San Francisco Earthquake History 1915-1989” http://www.sfmuseum.org/alm/quakes3.html

The Show Must Go On – Tucson, Arizona

Donna Darling Collection – Part 33

Treasure Chest Thursday
By Don Taylor

“The show must go on” is a long-time show-business mantra. One of the clippings in the Donna Darling Collection tells of a harrowing story of making sure the show continues. Not only once but twice.

On September 25th and 26th 1926, Donna and Sammy played in El Paso, Texas at the Texas Grand Theatre.  Knowing their typical schedule, they probably played somewhere in New Mexico on September 27th and 28th.

Continue reading “The Show Must Go On – Tucson, Arizona”

Donna Darling Collection – Part 32

New York Star
Treasure Chest Thursday
By Don Taylor

In the Donna Darling collection was an absolutely gorgeous magazine image of Donna as a young woman. Sadly, the image was larger than the scrapbook it was in and was pasted across two pages and split in two. Also, a portion of the photo was lost. I’m not a photoshop expert, but I did the best I could with the photo, first I joined the two images as best as I could. Then I touched up some of the lines and creases. I tried to blend where the two images come together, but I wasn’t very successful with that.

Donna, always the promoter, had a professionally done photo of herself made at the Ira L. Hills Studio in New York. Then she used that photo to promote her headlining “Bathing Beauties” show and to wish everyone “Christmas Greetings.”

I’ve spent considerable time trying to find a copy of the New York Star, Volume XXV, No. 15, to no avail. I have additionally contacted an archive that is holding many of the photographic images of Ira L. Hills in hopes they might have a high-quality image of Donna.

Donna Montran Christmas Greetings, 1920

If someone good with photoshop can do a better job of joining the two halves together then I did, I’d be happy to send the two original 3440 x 2496 image scans to work with. (This web version is only 500 x 668 pixels in size.)