Archive for August, 2007

Look At Old Chicago

Friday, August 31st, 2007

Think you know Chicago? This map will probably interest you. Live in old Chicago? You can probably see your house from here. Distributed for the 1893 World’s Exhibition, on this side it shows an entire map of Chicago — which, in pre-automobile-times, was probably as difficult to cross as it is to travel across entire states today. Without Google Maps, AAA, or even a casual knowledge of the city beyond a half-mile, people needed to know how to get from their home to the Expo: a city-wide map was necessary. The back has pictures of various features in the Expo — I may get around to scanning it eventually.

Insurance Geek

Sunday, August 26th, 2007

For several years, I was a licensed insurance agent, working for Lincoln Mutual and Pioneer Mutual, helping insurance agents sell group life and health insurance. I had a vague idea of it, but it wasn’t until later I found out that Pioneer Mutual was the last real offshoot of the very first modern life insurance company ever, the Ancient Order of United Workmen. I found insurance quite interesting, as a product and a business, even if the clerical stuff bored me to death.

So, yes, I do realize that you, and the majority of the world out there, don’t really find the history of modern insurance all that exciting. The reason for the Infomercantile’s existence, however, is to create resources online for those people who do. If I can’t find anything about it online, I make a page. If I’m Googling, somebody else might be, too. I’ve got information — not the most valuable information — but it’s useful to somebody, I’m sure.

Oh, and that lady, up and to the right? She’s from the cover of a Lincoln Mutual booklet — she’s so excited about insurance, she had an aneurysm and collapsed in a heap. That’s dedication to insurance, right there.

Girls With Their Long Wieners

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007

Yes, I realize this is going to result in a huge number of very inappropriate Google searches, but the image is just so darn amusing. I’ve started a category of odd and amusing photos, of which this is one of the initial members. These young ladies are a sunday school class from somewhere in central Minnesota — and they’re quite proud of their wieners. As would you, I guarantee.

John Till, the Somerset Doctor

Monday, August 20th, 2007

John Till learned his craft in the old country, and came to America with the universal cure for all illness…a hazardous concoction of harsh chemicals applied to the skin, often in several sittings. How’d it work? Better than you might expect.

Site Series: Science and Mechanics, 1934

Saturday, August 18th, 2007


I’ve had this magazine for maybe 6 months now, I it helped inspire an article at Collector’s Quest, and now I’m sharing it with the world. In conjunction with Kitschy-Kitschy-Coo, you can follow along as I scan & comment on each page of this old magazine. The theory is that I’ll add a page or two each week…we’ll see how long my amusement with myself lasts. There’s a point even I don’t think I’m funny anymore.

The Infomercantile Blog

Saturday, August 18th, 2007

This blog, while informative, shall be a resource for keeping track of recent updates, projects-in-process, and other interesting tidbits not worthy of an entry in the Wiki software. Start at the main page, and go from there.