Way back when, Wednesday

Entrepreneurial Elf

Have you ever wondered what the elves do with themselves in the off-season, when they are not employed in Santa’s workshop? In the 2005 picture book The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition by Carol Aebersold, Chanda Bell and Coë Steinwart, the elves visit peoples’ houses. Once adopted, they watch vigilantly to see if children have been naughty or nice, then make a report to Santa.

 

111214-elf1

The Elf on the Shelf.  Reserve this book through the Library’s online catalogue

 

Perhaps a more commercially minded member of the fairy folk may have swapped the elven tunic, leggings and shoes with curled up toes for a suit and tie, then set up his own small business in Adelaide. The North East Leader, a Messenger Newspaper printed this advertisement for real estate agent Ernie D. Elf on page 25 of the edition dated 4 July 1973.

 

ernie elf real estate

If Ernie Elf sold your house or you bought a property through him, please let us know about your experience. Ernie Elf certainly looks like his name. Notice how his chin-length, Seventies style hair could hide a pair of pointed ears!

Elf real estate no longer operates at 598 North East Road, Holden Hill, this is now the site of a Caltex service station. What happened to Ernie? Although Elf Realty is listed in Queensland, Ernie is not listed as an agent. Maybe Ernie joined another firm or eventually retired.

Thank you for reading ‘Way back when, Wednesday’ this year, best wishes for a Merry Christmas!

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Way back when Wednesdays

Celebrate the season with Pyramid Power

Never mind the Santa hat! Imagine yourself relaxing, after the noise and bustle of the festivities is over, wearing your Pyramid Meditation Hat. The North East Leader printed this advertisement for Experimental Pyramids and Pyramid Mediation Hats on page 37 of the edition dated 20 December 1978.

Pyramid hat

During the mid 1970s people became fascinated with the concept of Pyramid Power. Though not a new idea, various authors such as Sheila Ostrander and Lynn Schroeder, Max Toth and Patrick Flanagan wrote books examining the concept that pyramid shapes can focus and generate energy, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyramid_power.

Pyramid Power Toth         Pyramid Power Flanagan

The design of the Great Cheops Pyramid of Egypt gave rise to the study of Pyramid Power. The construction of the Cheops Pyramid was ordered by the pharoah Khufu (Cheops) during the Fourth Dynasty and completed around 2560 BCE. The Cheops Pyramid is a marvel of engineering and is considered to be the most mathematically perfect structure on Earth. The pyramid is aligned north-south, exactly parallel to the earth’s magnetic axis. The King’s Chamber forms the centre of gravity. Fans of Pyramid Power believe that the other small chambers carved out of the solid rock are recepticles for energy to collect and resonate. In the 1930s Frenchman Antoine Bovis experimented with the idea that small models of pyramids can preserve food. He constructed a scale model of the Cheops pyramid, under which he put organic matter. His work was based on the idea that when locals collected small dead animals which had wandered into the Cheops Pyramid in Egypt, the corpses were mummified, instead of decaying, despite the hot and humid atmosphere, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyramid_power

Advocates of Pyramid Power in the 1970s claimed that food kept under a structure designed like the Cheops pyramid kept fresher for longer. The food dehydrated instead of rotting. An intrepid manufacturer produced pyramid shaped canisters designed for better food storage. Even more astonishing was the assertion that razor blades were kept sharp as the pyramid focused the cosmic energy and realigned the crystals in the steel! You could also polish tarnished metal using the power of the pyramid, http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/PyramidPower

fresher food

Sitting or lying under your pyramid was also supposed to speed up the healing of cuts and burns, lead to better sleep and even improve your sex life.

Sitting under a pyramid

Experimental research claimed that wearing a pyramid shaped hat could help relieve a headache. The pyramid also assisted you with focusing your mind, thereby increasing your ability to learn in the long term. The hat mentioned in the advertisement is not cheap. According to the Reserve Bank Inflation Calculator) you would now need $79.53 to purchase it. Your experimental pyramid would cost $124.29!  One may argue that sitting quietly and meditating is of benefit anyway, even without the hat. During the late 1970s there were even designs for pyramids shaped learning booths in which school students could relax and study, https://futurism.media/what-is-pyramid-power.

There are still people who believe in the properties of pyramids. However it should be noted that there is no scientific evidence to support the concept of Pyramid Power, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyramid_power.
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Way back when, Wednesdays

Married at the Mall

Organising a wedding is usually expensive. It can be difficult to find a venue and you will probably need to book months ahead. Have you considered getting married at Tea Tree Plaza? One Adelaide couple did! During July 1975 the North East Leader Messenger reported on the ‘Wedding of the Year’ that took place at Tea Tree Plaza.

On page 25 of the edition dated 9 July, 1975 the North East Leader featured the wedding celebration of Marcella Denengelse and Robert Scott. The ceremony took place on Friday 4 July in the mall on the upper level of Tea Tree Plaza. The couple had won the Wedding of the Year competition and all of their expenses were paid for by the shopping centre. Adelaide socialite and television personality Jaye Walton was invited to attend Marcella as her matron of honour and Adelaide journalist Paul Makin acted as Robert’s best man.

Wedding ceremony 2

The Wedding of the Year competition was essentially a sales promotion, designed to advertise the wares of businesses at Tea Tree Plaza and bring people into the shopping centre. In the week before the wedding on 2 July, Tea Tree Plaza and the North East Leader focused on the local traders who would be donating products and services for Marcella and Robert’s wedding.

Wedding prducts from local traders

A large number of businesses, many of which were situated at Tea Tree Plaza, sponsored the competition.

Adelaide icon Balfours used to have bakeries and tea rooms around Adelaide. Balfours at Tea Tree Plaza supplied the two tier wedding cake, which the public were invited to share after the wedding ceremony.

Orlando wines, from Rowland Flat in the Barossa Valley, provided tastings of the popular sparkling Orlando Starwine. Started by the Gramp family, Orlando Wines is now owned by an international company controlled by Pinot Ricard but it is more commonly known by its brand Jacob’s Creek.

 

nla.int-ex8-s33-item Starwine

Wytt Morro Sparkling Starwine, colour print on paper: 11.4 x 10.1cm, South Australiana Collections, State Library of South Australia

Joseph’s Gallery of Beauty dressed the hair of the bride and her attendants. Italian hairdresser Joseph was well known in Adelaide at the time. He owned several salons and had his own regular television segment on Channel 10.

 

More wedding

Marcella and Robert, their attendants and the Mother of the Bride were outfitted by Katies Vogue, John Cook Suit Hire, Myer and Witchery. Who knew that Katies used to sell formal wear and wedding apparel? Katies has now closed. Zamels, which is still in business at Tea Tree Plaza, donated the wedding rings.

Drumminor restaurant held the wedding reception. The historic building which used to house the Drumminor Restaurant on Golden Grove Road, Ridgehaven is now part the Harrison’s Funerals complex. Built in 1843, it was originally the home of Scottish immigrants Robert and Alison Milne. The Milne family lived at Drumminor up until 1937.

 

drumminor_gardens_house

Drumminor Gardens, Harrison Funerals Ridgehaven

 

The couple spent their wedding night at the Town House at 164 Hindley Street. This hotel and conference centre still operates as the Adelaide Rockford. You may not think that it looks particularly glamourous but remember that in 1975 Adelaide did not yet have prestigious hotels such as the Hilton International and the Stamford Plaza.

 

 

Rockford Adelaide

Adelaide Rockford, present day

 

This competition proved so popular that Tea Tree Plaza planned to hold it again in 1976. Notice how the advertisement states that the organisers are looking for a young couple. The Equal Opportunity Act of 1984 (SA) would now make it unlawful to publish advertisements that indicate an intention to discriminate according to different criteria, including age http://www.eoc.sa.gov.au/eo-you/what-discrimination/places-discrimination/advertising .

 

Wedding of the Year competition

North East Leader, page 15, 2 July, 1975

 

In more recent times, a British couple decided to get married at their local supermarket where they had visited the in-store café on their first date.

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Way back when, Wednesdays

Extra duties at work

When you look at the issues of the North East Leader Messenger from the first two months of 1972, they are filled with photographs of fresh-faced children of all ages enjoying the summer heat, usually swimming at the local pools, or taking part in fun activities at Tea Tree Plaza. Looking at these images can evoke fond memories of your childhood. You might reflect that kids never change, no matter the era in which they grow up.

Fortunately some things that were not so wholesome have changed. The North East Leader at this time often pictured photographs of staff at Tea Tree Plaza, wearing some of the outfits on sale at different stores. Most of these depict ordinary people modelling dresses or casual wear. They are usually female staff.

On page 20 of the North East Leader dated 16 February 1972, Tea Tree Plaza featured a sales promotion for the big sidewalk sale. In conjunction with Hooper’s Furniture, Sussan advertised ladies nightwear. In the accompanying photograph young sales assistant Wendy Cummings is pictured in an alluring pose, wearing a short nightdress and showing off her legs. Besides her is another set of nightwear. During the 1960s and 1970s Sussan was a major retailer of lingerie and the place to purchase your wedding ‘trousseau’. We cannot know if Wendy volunteered for the photo opportunity or if modelling Sussan’s stock was just part of her job.

Sussan nightdress

Two of my colleagues recall how much sexism they experienced in the workplace during the 1970s. The advertising industry still uses sex appeal to sell products and objectify women. Thankfully today we do not usually see this type of image in the Messenger newspaper, with its focus on family and the community. When you work in the retail industry it is no longer considered acceptable to ask your female staff to promote your shop’s stock by being photographed wearing a little nightie. You also have the right to say no to such a request.

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