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Historical society remembers 1949 with 2011 calendar

December 18, 2010

Displaying copies of both the 1949 PHS Art Club calendar, the 2011 recreation and the 1949 Mirror are (from left) Jeanne Curtis, director of the Punxsutawney Area Historical & Genealogical Society; Donna (Hardic) Mehok ‘49, who had an original copy of the 1949 calendar in her home; Marian (Wineberg) Kirkland ‘49, who placed the first order for the new calendar; Greta (Armstrong) Murray ‘49, who helped with the reprinting; and S. Thomas Curry ‘55. (Photo by Tom Chapin/The Punxsutawney Spirit)

PUNXSUTAWNEY — Sure, the calendar for sale by the Punxsutawney Area Historical & Genealogical Society contains the calendar dates of 1949, but that’s fine, because the dates for 1949 and 2011 match exactly.

Plus, the Society is releasing the calendar to coincide with the re-release of “Punxsutawney Centennial: 1849-1949.”

The new 2011 calendar is a recreation of a 1949 calendar created by the Art Club at Punxsutawney High School, in which Art Club students — advised then by teacher Dorothy Woods — designed a cover and 12 different pictures for the 12 different months of the year, covering Punxsy institutions such as homes, churches, schools, industry, stores, the post office, transportation, recreation, parks, the hospital, banks and the library.

To recreate the 1949 calendar, the Society needed a copy of the original. The Society had accepted donations of previous calendars, as well as the 1949 calendar. But Donna (Hardic) Mehok, an Art Club member at PHS in 1949, had a copy of the calendar stashed under a bed at her home.

The new calendar was printed by Kendall’s Kreations, and Society members bound the pages by themselves. They had toyed with the idea of connecting all the pages with ribbons — as with the original calendars — but then users would have to untie and tie the ribbon each month to reach the correct month, said Jeanne Curtis, director of the Society.

The process by which the students created the 1949 calendar was called the relief process, according to S. Thomas Curry, former Society director, retired PAHS art teacher and member of the Class of 1955.

In this process, the design is cut — in reverse of the desired picture — into a linoleum block. Ink is then rolled onto the raised areas, and the white lines and the areas cut out appear in the white space on the print.

Curry said of the 1949 calendar, each of the 15 pages was likely printed by hand, in some cases by two students working on the same page.

“I have had no idea how many calendars they were creating (back then),” he said. “It’s definitely something that would have taken some time.”

Curtis said there was one mistake in the original 1949 product that the group decided to leave in the 2011 recreation. She said it’s another enticement for people to purchase the calendar — available at the Lattimer House — and see if they can find the boo-boo.

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