OLD JOURNALISM
JOURNALISM  which I assume
and have assumed for many
years, means the making of
a newspaper, has changed
much in the last fifty years.
In looking over the issues Las
Vegas Age and Las Vegas Times dated
January 20. 1906, I observe that front
page advertising was then not con-
sidered so great a sin as it is now-
adays. For example, in The Age on
the front page are two-column ads
for Harry Belgen’s "Vegas Home
Bakery,” First State Bank, J. T. Mc-
Williams (“for 12 years a surveyor in
Southern Nevada”) who advertises
"Greatest Opportunities in Govern-
ment Lands": Las Vegas Mercantile
Company, The Denton Hotel (Cali-
ente) and two legal notices, with sev-
eral liners advertising The Ago.
In the Las Vegas Times there are
double column ads on the front page,
for Red. Cross Drug Store, Ed W.
Clark Forwarding Co.. Ed Von Tobel
Lumber Co., C. Ganahl Lumber Co..
(A. W. Jurden); Busteed & Co. (Real
Estate and Mining): and several mod-
Remember, all the above advertise-
ments were on the front page, not
because the editors wanted it so, but
because advertisers were afraid their
ads would not be seen if on the inside
pages. The names of some of those
ads bring strange memories to a few
of Las Vegas’ old timers. Ed Von To-
bel and First State Rink, now part of
First National, are the only firms
still in business.
Both newspapers had "patent in-
sides." which means that a country
weekly would give its readers perhaps
eight pages of good reading each
week, four pages of which would be
home printed, filled with local news
and advertising. The other four pages
were printed by some large printing
and publishing house in some nearby
city. Salt Lake City or Los Angeles,
for Las Vegas papers.
The local publisher would get his
newsprint (one side printed) free, or
at a very low rate, the city printer




FABULOUS LAS VEGAS MARCH 19, 1955
being paid by advertising (mostly of
patent medicines).
Lydia E. Pinkham’s Vegetable Com-
pound was the most voluminous ad-
vertiser, and the ads would take the
form of long dissertations on the qual-
ities of the medicine, coupled with
pictures and sketches of the life of the
lady who sponsored the medicine.
Other patent medicines advertised in
those issues of the Las Vegas papers
were California Fig Syrup. Sloan's
Liniment, Anti-Gripine, Hall’s Canker
& Diphtheria Remedy, Pisos' Cure for
Consumption, Dr. Williams’ Pink Pills,
and others and still others; once fa-
miliar names and a definite part of
modern civilization as it was 50 years
ago in Las Vegas.
Most of those names recall memories
to some of us more or less "old
timers.” 1 well remember the great in-
terest with which I read that quarter
page article in the Las Vegas Times
of January 20. 1900: Who she was.
Sketch of the life of Lydia E. Pink-
ham. and a true story of how the vege-
table compound had its birth, and
how the ’panic of ’73’ caused it to be
offered for public sale in drug stores."
Perhaps modern advertising is not
such a great improvement in the art
of attracting attention, after all. Any-
body who opens one of the old vol-
umes of newspapers printed fifty
years ago just can’t help being in-
terested.
Nowadays automobile and oil com-
panies seem to be the backbone of
newspaper and magazine advertising,
having crowded the patent medicines
practically out of the prints.
When I look over some of the old
newspapers printed before the days
of linotypes. I wonder how we ever
had the patience and perseverance to
get out a four-page locally printed
sheet. We had to stand before a type
case, in which each letter or charac-
ter had its only little compartment and
pick up. one by one, the small metal
types and stand them up in a "stick”
to form the words (reading backwards
and upside down.) It took hours to
set a full column of type, which now
can be set in 15 or 20 minutes, when
the stick full of type was “dumped"
onto a galley. The handling of newly
set type was very touchy — just a lit-
tle unfortunate jiggle and the stickful
was pied. Once in place on the galley
the type was wet with a sponge so
that the type was held together by
the water. Just here is where the old
time printer delighted to show the
visitor who was viewing the wonders
of printing, those strange little insects
which still infest galleys of type and
are called "type lice.” They are not
really related to the insects for which
my mother used to search my scalp
for with a fine toothed comb, but they
are interesting and visitors to modern
printing plants still get a kick out of
looking for them even in these mod-
ern shops if the printer will take the
time to humor your curiosity.
Observations by Pop Squires — Fabulous Las Vegas Magazine —  May 26, 1956

— Scan from the Over50Vegas.com Collection — Fabulous Las Vegas Magazine — May 26, 1956 —  


VIA BONANZA
JUST a few years ago we of Las
Vegas wondered if someday
we mighl have an airline
operating regularly through
our town. An occasional plane had
stopped in Las Vegas and all of us
country jakes would gather around and
feel of the wings.
There is a picture of an airplane in
the "Las Vegas Age" — about 1920
brought to Las Vegas by a young en-
thusiast in the field of aviation whose
name was C. O. Prest. The plane had
a wing spread of sixteen feet. For
about a week it was parked on Fremont
Street in front of The Age office, then
occupying a room in the Overland Ho-
tel building now covered by the Las
Vegas Club.
The name “Poison” was painted on
the sides of the plane with the motto,
“Good to the Last Drop.” Of course
it attracted much attention and was the
inspiration for a fervent plea which I
wrote asking the people of Las Vegas
to encourage aviation.
Two or three times during the next
six years airplanes visited Las Vegas
and each was viewed with wonderment
by our people. To tell the truth we all,
in our secret minds, believed in the
story of Darius Green -and his flying
machine. We were ready to admit that
the contraptions really would fly and
that air planes had been of some little
benefit in World War I, but as a means
of conveyance the things just were not
practicable. Yet we kept right on urg-
ing the desirability of this area as a
place for flying.
It was April 17, 1926 when our great
ambition was realized. The government
had let a contract to carry air mail be-
tween Los Angeles and Salt Lake City.
The first air mail arrived in Las Vegas
at 10:05 that morning and left at 10.30
for Salt Lake City. Maury Graham
was the pilot. Western Air Express
was the name of the operating com-
pany, the same as operates today with
only a slight change of name. It is
worth mentioning that Las Vegas as-
sumed the whole burden of maintain-
ing the airfield with Ikey Blum, a 24-
hour a day employee as caretaker.
Every automobile in and around Las
Vegas, about 200, circled the field in
greeting.
I am moved to write about air navi-
gation by the fact that I have just re-
turned from the Republican State Con-
vention at Winnemucca, traveling both
ways in an airliner of Bonanza Air
Lines. For some years after that first
trip of the airmail there was not a very
great advance in planes and methods of
operation. For several years we thought
of air travel as hazardous and a flight
was an adventure.
I remember that in the latter part of
May, 1928 I received a wire from my
friend Will Rogers saying that he
would be on the plane from Los An-
geles and would I meet him. I hastily
gathered Delphine, Florence and Jim
into the family auto and we drove out
to the airfield. Right on time the plane
came roaring down the runway, which
then consisted of a strip of desert with
the brush dragged off. This was the
first trip by Western Air of a new and
swift Lockheed plane with brakes. The
ship came past us up the strip at high
speed. The pilot did not try to land
but again circled the field and came in
for a landing, but still too swift. He
circled the field again and this time
touched the earth. Running up the
field at a furious speed, one of the
wheels struck a hummock and col-
lapsed. The plane dug her nose into
the earth and went clear over, land-
ing flat on her back with a crash.
Horrified and fearing the ship would
burst into flames, we ran to aid and
were the first ones to reach the scene.
Luckily Jim and I managed to get one
door open. There was Will held up
by his safety belt hanging head down.
We managed to get the belt loose and
Will fell down and we caught him. He
had a small cut on his head and blood
was trickling down his face. We freed
the other passenger, a Doctor of Salt
Lake. The pilot who had a little cock-
pit by himself up front freed himself
(Continued on Page 34)
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OBSERVATIONS
(Continued from Page 5)
and we all breathed easier. I said,
“Will, what are you trying to do?” He
replied:
“I am going to the Democratic Na-
tional Convention. If I had gone to
the Republican Convention this never
would have happened.”
That afternoon Western Air sent an-
other plane to pick up the mail and
passengers. And the next day the same
kind of an accident happened to Will
again at Edmondton, Wyoming. But
he persevered and helped nominate A1
Smith for President.
Such small mishaps did not keep Will
Rogers from his love of air travel and
along about 1935, with Wiley Post, off
on an exploration trip through northern
Alaska where there were no landing
fields whatever, both were lost.
That was not the last of the tragedies
which were the price of safe and quick
travel by air. It was on the evening
of January 10, 1930, when Las Vegas
experienced one of its infrequent snow
storms. I was in my office on Fre-
mont Street that evening when I heard
the drone of the mail plane which had
just taken off on its flight to Salt Lake
City. Snow was coming down in great
flakes but I could dimly see the plane
as it passed flying rather low. That
was probably the last time that West-
ern Air planes carrying Maury Graham
as Pilot was ever seen until the next
June when the remains of Maury Gra-
ham were found in a canyon in central
Utah something like a quarter of a
mile below where the remains of the
plane rested on the mountainside. We
of Las Vegas and Western Air Express
had done everything possible to find
the plane and rescue its intrepid pilot,
but the heavy fall of snow made that
impossible. One interesting feature of
the tragedy I recall. Maury Graham,
badly injured had survived the crash.
He had managed to free himself from
the wreckage, and dragged that pre-
cious sack of airmail until he fell,
never to rise again.
I observe that I have strayed from
what I intended to write about — the
tremendous and unbelievable advance
of air navigation until today it is con-
sidered not alone the quickest and most
pleasant method of travel, but the
safest also.
It seems only a short time ago that
Ed Converse established Bonanza Air-
lines to operate between Las Vegas
and Reno. Since then he has extended
his line from Las Vegas to Phoenix and
from Phoenix to Los Angeles via Palm
Springs and from Phoenix to Los An-
geles by way of San Diego. All the
routes are popular and prosperous*. The
great ships are modern in design and
there has* never, in all the thousands
and thousands of flights carrying hun-
dreds of thousands of passengers, been
a fatality or a serious accident.
The flight to Winnemucca and back
on which I was a passenger, was not
a regularly scheduled flight, but was
a courtesy offered to the Democrats for
their State Convention at Lovelock and
to the Republicans for their conven-
tion at Winnemucca, slaving delegates
much time and the long, tiresome trip
by automobile.
What a change in the past twenty-
five years! Now planes carry thou-
sands of passengers between New York
and the Pacific Coast every day in a
few hours. Hundreds of great pas-
senger planes carrying thousands of
people cross the Atlantic every night.
Almost daily service is maintained to
Honolulu and thence to the Orient.
By the way, Ed Converse President
and really the creator of Bonanza Air-
lines, was elected Republican National
Committeeman from Nevada. This was
in recognition of the leading part Ed
played in the election of President Ike
in 1952.





CRISWELL PREDICTS
(Continued from Page 7)
be more easily marketed. I predict this
much-needed survey will take the risk
out of world-wide merchandising, and
will help to solidify the financial struc-
ture of our nation and the rest of the
world! ... I predict that a very small
electric ear, which can be worn as a
watch fob, but will pick up the sound
of any plane and translate it into
speed, type of motor and how far
distant! This new electric ear will
prove most valuable in airports, and
also in the detection of foreign objects
in the sky! ... I predict that a very
famous man and his son, will come
to a parting of the ways, which will
mean the beginning of the end for
a famous industrial empire! ... I
HICKORY ROOM



Riviera HOTEL
Observations by Pop Squires — Fabulous Las Vegas Magazine —  March 19, 1955
Observations by Pop Squires — Fabulous Las Vegas Magazine —  May 26, 1956
Observations by Charles "Pop" Squires
Fabulous Las Vegas Magazine
1955 - 1956
Use the menu below to read columns for the years as noted.

The Christmas issues of Fabulous Las Vegas magazine were huge.  
The December 24, 1955 issue below was over 300 pages.   I've scanned and made searchable 116 of those pages.  
It includes the Pop Squires column for that issue and a summary of events that were covered in
the Jack Cortez  "That's For Sure" column for the entire year.    It also has great advertisements and Christmas greetings from all the casinos and celebrities who were in Las Vegas at the time.   
Click on the image below and it will open as a PDF in a separate window on your computer. 
It's a very large column and may take a little while to open. 
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Based on a work at http://over50vegas.com/index.html.


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Sources you might want to visit for more information include: 
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