Preparing for Change

1973 Letter Exton Square Opening

When I first started working at The Guernsey Cow, it was the last year the business was run by Horn & Hardart (my grandfather still owned the property but had leased the business to H&H in 1976. More about the history of the business to come in a later post.)

My grandfather continued to walk around the place like he owned it and ran it. In a sense, he owned the legacy of The Guernsey Cow and protected that legacy by ‘advising’ management and staff alike. As a busboy/dishwasher/counter jockey there were a few simple rules that my grandfather imparted on every visit or walk-through:

    Table

  1. Keep your hands out of your pockets.
  2. Do not stop moving. Barring anything else, there is always cleaning, restocking to be done..
  3. When wiping tables clean, wipe the sides as well as the tops. The sides face the customer as well as the top.

My mother returned from a recent visit to my grandmother with the three-page memo written in 1973 by my Uncle Joe “Pep” Puliti (Polite), then president of The Guernsey Cow. [Click the thumbnails at the end of this post to see the full page memo.] In it he lays out a challenge before all employees in the face of the impending Exton Square Mall opening.

At that point, the mall construction had already changed the face of Exton and West Whiteland by gobbling up what were once corn fields on the Zook property. The Zook House was raised up and moved to preserve it and make it part of the mall property (It was moved again in the mall’s expansion completed in 2000) .

Along with the increased traffic flow into Exton, the mall would also introduce the area to chain fast food restaurants. When it opened, the mall featured the area’s first McDonald’s. Shoppers would have no need to venture outside the confines of the mall walls in order to get a bite to eat.

It’s a treat to read the straight-forward direction given by my uncle about the actions each individual could take to make the business successful and the workday smoother. You can still see evidence of this level of care and consideration in some locally-owned eateries and other businesses and a lot less of it in the chain restaurants and bigger places.

Next time you are out to dinner, take a look around and see how many of the staff are standing around or chatting idly rather than seeing things to be done and doing them.

[Click the thumbnails below to see the full-size page of the letter.]

Guernsey Cow Letter 1973 p1
Guernsey Cow Letter 1973 p2
The Guernsey Cow Letter Page 3 1973

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Memorabilia: Spare a dime?

 

coinThese rubber squeeze change purses seemed to be all the rage back in the 1970’s when my brothers, sister, and I were growing up. Seemed like we were always getting new ones from various places. I don’t recall ever seeing this model. I think we found it in my grandfather’s desk last year.

 

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[Note: I spoke with my grandmother this evening and she has reminded me that she has a pile of articles, photos, and more about The Guernsey Cow awaiting my next visit. So while my posts have slowed recently, we have a lot more in the works! So stick around in the coming weeks.]

Memorabilia: Amazing what you can fit on a sugar cube

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I picked up this sugar cube on eBay a couple of years ago. It wasn’t until I scanned it and blew up the images on both sides that I could see the detail of what was printed.

I’m guessing by the looks of the cars in the graphic below that this was from the 1940s. I would love to see the original artwork for this.

I have a few printer’s blocks from The Cow that were probably used for various menus and other printing press-printed materials. I’m working on making some prints from those to share sometime soon.

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sugar_cube3
abticles-pdf-4-pagesOn the side is the logo and patent number by Quaker Cane Sugar. Apparently U.S. Patent 1882124 is a patent for “Wrapper for sugar units and like articles.”

It was patented by Alexander Dienst and Jacob J. Neuman in 1932. The beauty (or horror) of the Internet is that I can send you right to the original patent. To the left is a small bit
of the diagram included with the patent.

I could go on with researching the backgrounds of Dienst and Neuman but I’ll leave that to you. Especially, as they have little to do with The Guernsey Cow except providing the idea for the wrapper used for the sugar cube that sits on my desk now some 60 or 70 years later.

Making Black Licorice Ice Cream

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Cousin Kim Puliti sent along this photo of himself in the midst of making black licorice ice cream. His father Joe (Pep) Puliti left a comment on the Flavors page about licorice ice cream.

If I didn’t know better, I’d think he was about to head up to the roof to patch a hole with a bucket of tar.

In the close-up below you can see the rubber stamps on the wall behind Kim. These were used to stamp the flavors on the 5 gallon bulk ice cream containers as well as the pre-packaged 1/2 gallon, quart and pint containers that were sold in the store.

To the right is the lid from a Grasshopper flavor half gallon lid showing the rubber stamp. (Those were the days that a half gallon of ice cream was a half gallon. Today you buy what you think is a half gallon and it’s actually 1.75 quarts. )

kimicecream1_stamps grasshopper

I remember when you could get a ham sandwich for 25 cents…

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This is the inside of the menu I posted last week. I don’t really know what year this is from — my guess is late 1940’s. Perhaps someone that can remember when a ham sandwich was 25 cents can lend their expertise.¬†Here are some closer looks:

cow_menu_crdbrd_inside_left-500

cow_menu_crdbrd_inside_right-500

I’m guessing that a “plain” milkshake vs. a milkshake with “ice cream” was a glass of guernsey milk shaken up. Remember, back then it was “real” whole milk so that would probably give you a nice thick frothy plain milk shake.