A Tribute to Paul Malon

Anybody that has followed me for any amount of time should know the name Paul Malon. Along with a small handful of others, he has been one of my most favorite providers of the retro/vintage/Americana material that I pass along.

While going through my RSS feed reader today — my usual weekend routine for finding the things I post — I was extremely sad to see the two most recent posts by Daniel Wrona (a.k.a. klappersacks) on his File Photo Digital Archive account on Flickr.

This one came up first and I thought maybe Paul had decided to retire from posting…not an unusual thing these days as people get frustrated with the changes that have been happening at both Flickr and Tumblr under Yahoo’s ownership. This is Mr. Wrona using his great skills to alter an old bar beer coaster to pay a proper tribute.

Paul Malon: Canada's Most Honoured
Paul Malon: Canada’s Most Honoured
Copyright © File Photo Digital Archive on Flickr.
All rights reserved.

It was on seeing the next post that I knew this was much worse than somebody just hanging it up.

Dr. Paul Arne Malon obituary
Dr. Paul Arne Malon obituary
Scan Copyright © File Photo Digital Archive on Flickr. All rights reserved.

I did not know Paul personally but we did speak a few times in various ways over the Internet. He was always very happy to receive comments and glad to have people such as me spreading the joy of his work who also took the time to give him credit and a link back to his account.

As I have only just found out, Paul’s secret to making such good material was that, after using a scanner in his early years on Flickr, Paul actually photographed all of the magazine advertisements and other material that he posted. For people like me that have an eye for such things and spend a lot of time going thorough so many places where vintage material is posted, it made a Paul Malon picture almost immediately identifiable before even seeing the credit.

This is the final entry on Paul’s Flickr account. It was posted on January 26, 2015, just two days before his passing. Being a good Canadian, it is fitting that his last post was of a car model made only in his home country.

1950 Ford Monarch
1950 Ford Monarch
Scan Copyright © Paul Malon on Flickr. All rights reserved.

While there will be no more new delights coming from Paul Malon, his legacy of 24,654 photographs and scans of vintage material will continue to bring happiness and laughs for many years to come. I hope it will also continue to inspire others to begin their own efforts to preserve this type of 20th Century culture.

For those unaware of this, I have been slowly cleaning out my now-defunct Tumblr account and reposting most of those items here. I can assure you that there are quite a few glorious pieces from Paul Malon that I will be posting in the future. I will now be extra glad to share those particular pictures but, I must admit, it’s also going to make me very sad knowing that I will no longer be able to send Paul a note letting him know how much an audience outside of Flickr enjoyed one of his works.

To any of Paul’s family and friends that might stumble upon this entry, I hope you know how much happiness he spread with his hobby. Paul will be missed and remembered by more people than you will ever know…and, in a sense, he will continue to live on every time I and many others repost his work and give him the full credit he deserves.

EDIT 2015.03.30: I was incorrect about Paul’s site on Blogger being hijacked by hackers. My deepest apology for the error. It is my guess that this is the best place for people to leave a comment that might be read by his close friends and family.



Harris’ - Riverside Plaza - Riverside, California USA - high school yearbook advertisement - 1964
Harris’ – Riverside Plaza – Riverside, California U.S.A.
high school yearbook advertisement – 1964
Scan Copyright © RXSQ on Flickr – All rights reserved.
Found via the Golden Age of Advertising: 1950s – 1970s group pool

Through almost the entire length of the 20th Century, there was no better or higher shopping experience in the Inland Empire area of California than the department store known as Harris’. It was not just that it happened to be the place that sold the best of everything, it was how Harris’ treated customers so well and made themselves a part of the community.

Of course, not even the best of the old department stores could make it into the 21st Century especially in an area where the demographics changed so dramatically. Harris’ is now just a memory, but a very strong and pleasant one for those that got to experience it before becoming a part of Gottschalks in 1998 and completely losing its identity in 2005.

I Think This Would Be a Good Time for Beer

Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John Nance Garner campaign license plate - 1932
Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John Nance Garner campaign license plate
Scan credit: Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library on Tumblr
Found via Today’s Document on Tumblr

I think this would be a good time for beer. – Franklin Delano Roosevelt, March 12, 1933

From the FDR Library & Museum Tumblr with some slight changes…

One of the most popular bills enacted during the famous "First 100 Days" of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt administration had nothing to do with banking, farms, or public works. During the 1932 campaign, FDR had come out against Prohibition. The 18th Amendment, ratified 13 years earlier, banned the manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquors. Meant to end the curse of alcoholism, it had led instead to lawlessness and helped foster organized crime. A constitutional amendment to repeal it was working its way through the state legislatures. However, Roosevelt saw a way to quench the voters’ thirst more quickly. He signed into law the Beer-Wine Revenue Act that legalized (and taxed) beverages containing no more than 3.2 percent alcohol…which the authors of the new law carefully defined as "non-intoxicating." Millions of Americans celebrated the return of legal beer. Prohibition was officially repealed by the 21st Amendment in December 1933.