Thursday, July 18, 2013

Pittsburgh Jewish Newspaper Project (Fun With 1977)

Earlier this week, the Post-Gazette had an article about the completion of Pittsburgh's Jewish archives through Carnegie Mellon University. From the website, "The Pittsburgh Jewish Newspaper Project makes available more than one hundred years of Jewish newspapers published in Pittsburgh. Digitized page images capture daily life in Pittsburgh from the 1890s to the present, with particular focus on Jewish communities. Life-cycle events, synagogue and organizational activities, arts, entertainment, and sports events are presented in detail. The collection offers extensive coverage of local, national, and international news, often from a perspective largely missing from the mainstream press."

Basically, this is awesome! I started looking for articles and stories of relatives, but quickly decided to see if I could find stories about me. While I'm sure that my Bar Mitzvah announcement is there, I found an article from June 1986 where kids were asked to list their three favorite career choices. As a 10 year-old, I answered "Soccer Player, Commercial Advertiser, Astronaut." Sadly, I am none of these.

Meanwhile, I also conducted a quick search of Steelers and found something from the August 4, 1977 issue of the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle.


The first officially licensed Pittsburgh Steelers calendar! This must be worth thousands of dollars on eBay today. Meanwhile, I'm pretty sure that I had a First Federal savings account.

At this point, I decided to take this a step further and share some of the articles and advertisements from this issue. Enjoy!

This is the front page:


I recently finished David McCullough's "The Johnstown Flood" about the 1889 tragedy, and sure enough, there was another flood in Johnstown in 1977. It also appears that a lot was going on in the Middle East and USSR. Yes, USSR.


The management of Prime Kosher was smart. Notice that the bottom of the ad states that the prices are effective 8/4/77 through 8/10/77. If the ad left out the year, you could go to Prime Kosher next month for $1.29 fruit pies or get a 1/2 pound of lox for $1.59. Of course, Prime Kosher is now Murray Avenue Kosher, so nevermind.


I understand that the Chronicle readers represent the entire Jewish community and beyond, but it seems odd for a store to promote non-Kosher food (scallops & shrimp) since the more observant Jews won't eat this. By the way, are there any Lee Wards anymore?


I'm pretty sure this same Mohel ad appeared in the Chronicle for 25 years.


U-S-A! U-S-A! Dan Schayes ended up having a long NBA career. I also think it is odd that the article specifically states that Willie Sims is "a Black Jew." While I'm sure this is true, it seems very odd that an article would state this. Perhaps this was common in 1977.


Real estate! I'd love to know how much the 5-bedroom, 2 & 1/2 bathroom with a 36 foot pool is worth today. If the price is still $129,500, I'll move back to Pittsburgh tomorrow.


Are any of these restaurants still in existence?


Let's finish this with the Giant Eagle ad! I'd love to know what baby food you can get for 10 for $1. Plus, there's 56-cent coupon for Orange Tang. Finally, what is Gaines Meal?


I'm going to have a lot of fun going through the Pittsburgh Jewish Newspaper Project website.

1 comment:

Josh Croyle said...

I tried very hard to find one of those houses to see if they were on the market. found a few that could be close (figuring people did some renovations). Those ones were $300,000-550,000.