Daisy Bacon on Exhibit

NEWS! There is now a Daisy Bacon exhibit! Daisy lived in the Baxter Estates neighborhood in Port Washington (Long Island), New York from 1950 until her death in 1986. Nora Haagenson who, with her husband Bill were Daisy’s neighbors, has built an exhibit in the Baxter Estates Village Hall in Daisy’s honor.

Included in the exhibit are Daisy’s desk she used at her last office at Street & Smith, her typewriter, photos from a magazine interview she did in 1942, and copies of LOVE STORY MAGAZINE.

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The Baxter Estates Village Hall is a historic home that was built in 1913. Nora, (who is now the mayor of Baxter Estates), told me: “The Village Hall was the John Bird House built in 1913.  He was a sea captain in the late 19th century and early 20th century, and the stucco house was built for him by his mother.  The house overlooks Manhasset Bay.”

I’m not familiar with the photograph over the typewriter. The smaller photos that appear on the left wall to the side of the typewriter were taken for an interview that appeared in PARADE WEEKLY in 1942. The theme of the interview was “a day in the life of a love story editor” and she posed in various places, like her home and on the subway.

If you’ve never been to the historic town of Port Washington, it’s definitely worth a visit. Next time you’re in the area, go check it out!

Happy Anniversary, Daisy

I missed Daisy’s work anniversary that was a few days ago. On March 13, 1926 – 90 years ago – Daisy started to work at Street & Smith. She had answered a classified ad in the New York Times that may have been this one that appeared in the February 22 paper:

“YOUNG LADY, well educated, in publisher’s office; desirable environment and personnel; state age, experience, if any, and salary desired.”

Her first job at Street & Smith was working on LOVE STORY MAGAZINE’s advice column, “The Friend in Need.” Her beginning salary was $35 a week. Here’s a photo that may very have been taken during her first few years at Street & Smith.

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And here’s a cover from an issue that may have included some of her first work for the magazine.

LS 1926 05 15

Daisy would later write a 26-page essay entitled “Dear Mrs. Browne,” an accounting of her time working on the column “The Friend in Need.” This is the first paragraph from the essay:

You ought to see my mail. You would think that I was a movie actress, a philanthropist, a millionaire or at least a murderer. Every morning the mail trucks back right up my door and throw quantities of letters off. Most of them are addressed in long hand and they are postmarked from every state in the Union; all the large cities and every hick town west of the water tower.

My desk, which is a roll top model of the vintage of 1890, is always covered with disorderly piles of the country’s worst and best examples and stationery. Carelessly opened letters with bits of gold or gayly flowered linings hanging out of the envelopes greet me the first thing in the morning. One corner of the room in which I sit is taken up by a large wooden packing box piled halfway to the ceiling with letters. Envelopes of every size and color repose therein; red ones and orange ones which fairly cry aloud for attention, small pale blue ones, playing square white ones, yellow ones and occasionally one with the black border.

I first made the acquaintance of this pile of letters years ago. It was in the summer time and the hot breeze coming in at the window stirred them restlessly. Every now and then a letter fluttered down from the pile and land in the center of the room with light. That seemed to me like you cry from an anguished heart, for these for lovelorn letters and I was new at the game of answering them. According to the name and address on the envelope, I was Mrs. Louise Winston Brown, in charge of the When You Need a Friend department of Love Affairs Magazine. Mrs. Brown wasn’t entirely mythical person, whose name had been selected for its euphony. But she was a perfect oracle of worldly wisdom and her name went on forever – only the users of the name change occasionally. I was the latest recruit to give up my true identity for that privilege and in return for it, I was getting $35 a week.

Probably because she was planning on getting the essay published and she didn’t want to get in trouble with her employer, the writer of the column (the name as it appeared in the magazine is Laura Alston Brown), the name of the column, and the name of the magazine were all changed.

As far as I know, the essay was never published. The original manuscript was discovered in her personal papers.

LOVE STORY’s March Winds

LOVE STORY MAGAZINE had a tradition of running at least one “windy” cover during the month of March every year. New York City must have some really blustery winds during this month! Here are some sample covers, all of them done by Modest Stein up to 1938. I’m not sure he did either 1939 or 1940, as they aren’t signed. The tradition seems to have started in 1931, but I don’t have samples of March 1930 covers so it might have started that year.

LS 1931 03.21

1931

LS 1934 03.10

1934

 

LS 1935 03.16

1935

LS 1937 03.13

1937

LS 1938 03.05

1938

LS 1939 03.04

1939

LS 1940 03.02

1940