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Treasure Chest Thursday: Mary Theresa Helbling’s Salt & Pepper Shakers

Dutch-style salt & pepper shakers with tray, owned by Mary Helbling.

Helbling Family (Click for Family Tree)

Collecting salt and pepper shakers was a big thing in the 1950s and even before and after. One collector written about has over 55,000! (And those are pairs, so 110,000 individual shakers!)

The above S&P shakers belonged to Mary Theresa (Helbling) McMurray, who thankfully did not have that large of a collection. These were always favorites, though.

Mary was the daughter of William Gerard Helbling and Anna May Beerbower.

These S&P shakers are called ‘lusterware,’ and one antique dealer stated they were from the 1940s.

The tray is about 2-1/2″ long and 1-1/2″ wide; the houses are each about 1-3/4″ high, 1″ deep, and 3/4″ wide. Each roof on this set is actually a soft gray-blue, and the tray is an iridescent white. These shakers came in other colors as well.

Their value on one website was only $11.50, so truly, it is sentimental value that is important here. These are objects Mary loved, and part of the treasure chest of items she left to those who loved her.

Little Dutch girls and boys and windmills were popular images at various points during the 20th century. These S&P shakers suggest a stylized bit of a Dutch influence, being tall, narrow, and having a steep roof. Mary liked the cute Dutch items available, including a pitcher and mug set she had. She would be SO amazed to learn that her Springsteen family was really Dutch, and lived in New Netherlands!

New Netherlands= Dutch New York City— Manhattan and Long Island! The first-born Springsteen of her line was born in Bushwhick, a neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, in 1664! (They would be amazed to know how much their land would be worth today.) We will have some of this exciting research coming up on the blog in the near future.

DNA and some wonderful sharing- including a post from this blog detailing an obituary shared by Mary’s brother, Edgar Helbling- broke open the whole mystery of the Springsteen family. So please share your family heirlooms, and get your DNA tested! The results can lead to wonderful family stories, and new cousins.

And sentimental feelings about salt & pepper shakers. Especially today, on the anniversary of Mary Theresa’s birth.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Family heirloom.
  2. Mary apparently did not know that she was named for her German paternal great-grandmother, Mary Theresa (Knipshield) Helbling (1810-1891). Sure wish we had been able to learn about her heritage while she was still with us.

 

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We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post (see form below), and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.
 

Original content copyright 2013-2017 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted. 
Descendants and researchers MAY download images and posts to share with their families, and use the information on their family trees or in family history books with a small number of reprints. Please make sure to credit and cite the information properly.
 Please contact us if you have any questions about copyright or use of our blog material.

Workday Wednesday: They just don’t make ’em like this anymore…

Broida Family (Click for Family Tree)

Rereading the obituary of Buster Broida/ Max Broida, it is sad to think that he ended up mostly alone, selling paramutual tickets at the racetrack in between acting jobs, just to pay the bills. There was a brighter side of Hollywood, however, and Max likely saw some of that in the movies as he worked to make them. (Can you imagine being on the set of , “The Wizard of Oz”?) Most of our other ancestors of the 20th century- those who went to the movies- saw this bright side too, and it definitely helped them get through the challenging years of the Depression and World War II. Mary Helbling McMurray talked of going to the movies with her girlfriends after work, and they loved these types of films.

What would these folks think of today’s music? There are now so many musical genres that they couldn’t have even imagined, with our electronic instruments and looser moral code. (Christian gangsta rap???) Much of their music was considered risqué or not appropriate for refined young ladies and gentlemen in their time, too.

We also need to consider the context of their times- it was ‘shocking’ back then to see Shirley Temple dancing with a black servant, though made more okay since she was a little girl and the darling of America. Glad that most of us are past that today. (Can’t believe it had to be ‘most of us’ instead of just the all-inclusive, “we.”)

Here is an earlier version featuring Fred Astaire, not a mix of many films:

I’ll bet Buster Brodie could ‘cut a rug.’ Take a look at how much rhythm he has in “Groovy Movie” as they dance the jitterbug. (Buster is the piano player.)

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Slate article- http://www.slate.com/articles/video/video/2015/11/mashup_of_uptown_funk_and_hollywood_golden_era_movie_dancing_video.html
  2. 66 Old Movie Dance Scenes- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1F0lBnsnkE
  3.  Fred Astaire with “Uptown Funk.”- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wb3VTnuuuRI
  4. “Groovy Movie”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbaNYWkQYYA

 

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We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post (see form below), and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.
 

Original content copyright 2013-2015 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted.
 
Descendants and researchers MAY download images and posts to share with their families, and use the information on their family trees or in family history books with a small number of reprints. Please make sure to credit and cite the information properly.
 
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Treasure Chest Thursday: Roberta P. Beerbower Wertz

 

Roberta Pearl Beerbower, c 1920?
Roberta Pearl Beerbower, c1920? Posted with permission.

 

Beerbower Family, Helbling Family

Roberta Pearl Beerbower was the only child of Robert Warson Beerbower (1874-1900) and Anna Josephine Reiffel (1876-1965) who married 23 August 1898. Roberta was born 16 October 1900 in Indiana (likely Indianapolis) less than a month after her father died at age 26 in Colorado. Robert had gone to Denver for health reasons, and died of consumption there.

“Cousin Roberta” was a beloved older cousin of Mary Theresa Helbling. Mary looked up to her beautiful cousin and wanted to be like her. Roberta would have been 25 when Mary was born, which surprised me as I always thought they were closer in age, maybe just 5-10 years difference.

Recently I received a note from a Find A Grave member requesting I change Roberta’s middle name to Pauline on her memorial, as that was what Roberta’s daughter-in-law thought the name was. The family bible owned by her aunt, Anna May Beerbower Helbling, lists Roberta’s middle name as ‘Pearl’ so I am using that name here, but it needs further research. The new collaboration is wonderful though, as this researcher was able to provide the above beautiful portrait, and more information about Roberta and her marriage and family that I did not know.

 

Following are some photographs that Mary Helbling McMurray thought would be Roberta, or that were labeled with her name, and some of my notes. Please let us know if you have additional information or corrections.

May or Viola Helbling, possibly with Cousin Roberta Beerbower, Helbling home in St. Louis, Missouri, 06 June 1915.
May (age 4) or Viola Helbling (age 2), possibly with Cousin Roberta Beerbower, Helbling home in St. Louis, Missouri, 06 June 1915.

This is Roberta per Mary Helbling; Roberta would have been 15 in 1915 so this is likely correct. (Note ‘G.W. Helbling Undertaker’ sign in front of the Helbling home in St. Louis, Missouri.)

Possibly Roberta Beerbower with her mother Josephine Reiffel Beerbower? October 1910
Possibly Roberta Beerbower with her mother Josephine Reiffel Beerbower? October 1910
From left: Viola Helbling, Edgar Helbling, May Helbling, and possibly Roberta P. Beerbower? October 1910
From left: Viola Helbling, Edgar Helbling, May Helbling, and possibly Roberta P. Beerbower? October 1910

The above two photos could be Roberta, as she would have been 10 in 1910. Not sure about the date though, as Edgar was born in 1908 so 1910 for the photo cannot be correct if that is him with his younger sisters in the image. Will need to review photo album again. Maybe the girl on the right is another cousin? Maybe these are not Helbling children, though they do look like Edgar, May, and Vi, and were identified as such by their youngest sister Mary (but she wasn’t there as she was not yet born).

Roberta P. Beerbower with her cousin Edgar Helbling. August 1920
Roberta P. Beerbower with her cousin Edgar Helbling. August 1920

Edgar would have been 12 in 1920 and Roberta 20, plus these people were positively identified in photo album, so this identification should be accurate.

Roberta P. Beerbower with her paternal uncle Edgar Springsteen Beerbower. August 1920.
Roberta P. Beerbower with her paternal uncle Edgar Springsteen Beerbower. August 1920.

This photo was a game changer when I realized the date and the identification of the man with Roberta. The man was “Ed” per the caption in the album. Mary Helbling did not know if the man was her uncle, Edgar Springsteen Beerbower (1876-1940) or her grandfather, Edgar Peter “E. P.” Beerbower (1849-1916), both with the same nickname. Looking at the dates though, and the age of the man, lets us know it must be Edgar S. Beerbower, since  his father (E.P.) died in 1916 and had been born 71 years before the photo was taken. So now we can use this positive identification for other images of this man. (Sadly, though, it means we do not have a picture of Edgar Peter Beerbower.)

Roberta P. Beerbower with her paternal grandmother, Anna Missouri Springsteen. Summer 1927
Roberta P. Beerbower with her paternal grandmother, Anna Missouri Springsteen. Summer 1927

The photo album belonged to Anna May Beerbower Helbling, and her mother lived with Anna and her family in her later years. Love how cute ‘flapper girl’ Roberta is! No wonder that Mary Helbling, born in 1925, looked up to her glamorous cousin.

About 1930- May Helbling on left with her sister Mary Theresa Helbling in front. It was thought the girl in the picture was Roberta P. Beerbower but the age is not right- Roberta would have been 30 when this photo was taken.
About 1930- May Helbling on left with her sister Mary Theresa Helbling in front. Unknown girl on right.

It was thought the girl on the right in the picture was Roberta P. Beerbower but the age is not right- Roberta would have been 30 when this photo was taken because of the approximate age of Mary. Maybe it is the same girl as above that we are not sure about?

Robert Eldon Wertz, son of Roberta P. Beerbower and James I. Wertz. August 1935, age 3 yrs 1 mo.
Robert Eldon Wertz, son of Roberta P. Beerbower and James I. Wertz. August 1935, age 3 yrs 1 mo.

Robert Eldon Wertz was born 30 July 1932 in Indiana to Roberta and James F. Wertz (1895-1979). He was their only son, and he had no children with his wife, Halina Ulrych. He is such a cutie with that smile!

 

A special thanks to Shelley for sharing what she has to help us extend our tree.

Please do let us know in the comment section if there are any correction or if you have more information about these folks.

➡ Beerbower Family, Helbling Family

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

1) Family treasure chest of photos.

 

Please contact us if you would like higher resolution images.

We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post (see form below), and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.
 

Copyright 2013-2015 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted.
 
Descendants and researchers MAY download images and posts to share with their families, and use the information on their family trees or in family history books with a small number of reprints. Please make sure to credit and cite the information properly.
 
Please contact us if you have any questions about copyright of our blog material.

 

 

 

“Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day” and Mary Theresa Helbling McMurray

Mary Theresa Helbling McMurray, August, 1981
Mary Theresa Helbling McMurray, August, 1981

Helbling, McMurray Family

 

I just couldn’t let “Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day” go by because it made me think of Mary McMurray.

First of course, who even knew there was such a day??? Not that we shouldn’t appreciate bubble wrap- it gives lots of people jobs to make it and sell it, and to wrap everything that ever gets mailed or moved. It keeps so many things from breaking, so I will admit a certain admiration for the product and its inventors, Marc A. Chavannes and Al Fielding. Back in 1957 they had devised a three-dimensional wallpaper, but had problems selling it. A trip on a small, propeller airplane caused the light bulb to go on in the head of Chavannes, as it seemed the fluffy clouds were cushioning the bumpy flight. He knew then that their hip wallpaper would be better suited to cushioning products being shipped, and the bubble wrap industry, now manufactured in 52 countries, was begun.

The need for a tactile, satisfying pop of the bubbles was probably realized very soon after, maybe even moments after the first of the bubble wallpaper was produced. Who knew it would also generate crazy things like a wedding dress made of bubble wrap, cameos in movies, a calendar to pop a bubble a day (thankfully, it does have additional bubbles if the user cannot stop at just one), or an app so that folks can pop the virtual bubbles on their computer or mobile device if the real thing is not at hand? There is even a book dedicated to it: The Bubble Wrap Book.

Bubble Wrap. Wikimedia Commons, Photo: Rainer Knäpper, Free Art License (http://artlibre.org/licence/lal/en/)
Bubble Wrap. Wikimedia Commons, Photo: Rainer Knäpper, Free Art License (http://artlibre.org/licence/lal/en/)

Which leads us to “Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day”- how did that come about? Well, on the last Monday in January, in Bloomington, Indiana some years ago, a radio station received a shipment of new microphones. The broadcast button said “ON” but apparently the staff was unaware. Instead of the rustling sound of unwrapping the microphones, listeners heard the station staff forcefully popping bubbles. Apparently the noise was pretty loud, and of course unexpected; a new commemorative day was born.

While that sound is aggravating to people like me, and I regret the waste of resources because it will no longer function as it was designed, (yes, I am one of those tree-hugger environmentalists, and sometimes it can be recycled but probably is not), science has proven that the popping of bubble wrap can reduce stress and tiredness. (That last one is puzzling.) Bubble wrap can lead to aggression too, as the psychologist who did the study reported that she had seen professional people fight over who gets to pop the sheets of bubbles when a new package is opened. And then there is addiction- as Dr. Kathleen M. Dillon admitted about herself: “I have to pop all the bubbles.”

And that brings us to Mary McMurray- she would “… HAVE to pop ALL the bubbles.” It did reduce stress for her, and she really loved that popping sound and feel. One year I gave her a small gift in a box with a lot of bubble wrap- the wrap did not last as long as expected, but while there was still air in those plastic bubbles, she enjoyed it probably more than the other gift.

It’s always good to make someone happy. And if you can gracefully leave the room while all the bubbles are being popped, so much the better.

 

So go out and find yourself some bubble wrap to pop today- you will be in good company on “Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day.” Although, apparently, that would be ANY day.

!POP!

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

1) Barron, James. “Celebrating Half a Century of Loud, Soothing Pops. ” New York Times, Jan. 25, 2010. Website. http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/01/25/celebrating-half-a-century-of-loud-soothing-pops/?_r=1

2) Green, Joey, and Tim Nyberg. The Bubble Wrap Book. Harper Perennial, 1998. Print. Quite a collaboration of intriguing uses for bubble wrap from authors who wrote about many uses for Spam (Green) and duct tape (Nyberg).

 

Please contact us if you would like a higher resolution image.

We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post (see form below), and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.
 

Copyright 2013-2015 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted.
 
Descendants and researchers MAY download images and posts to share with their families, and use the information on their family trees or in family history books with a small number of reprints. Please make sure to credit and cite the information properly.
 
Please contact us if you have any questions about copyright of our blog material.