Last Week In 1962
Last week, June 5th was National Doughnut Day. The celebration dates back to 1938, when the Chicago Salvation Army decided to honor women who had served doughnuts, stationery supplies, and home-cooked meals to soldiers during World War I. Somehow, the celebration has evolved into a day when some donut shops now give away free donuts! I’m glad it didn’t go in the direction of giving away free ballpoint pens. In Chicago, National Doughnut Day is still a fundraising event for The Salvation Army.
Dunkin’ Donuts, Winchell’s, Krispy Kreme, and of course many smaller chains and bakeries were around in 1962. But not Tim Horton’s, which was founded two years later. Some of those smaller donut shop chains are Dixie Cream, since 1929, LaMar’s Donuts, since 1960, and Shipley Do-Nuts, since 1936. Mister Donut was also a large chain we could have visited in 1962, as it had been founded just six years earlier by the brother-in-law of Dunkin’ Donuts founder. In 1990, British food conglomerate Allied-Lyons plc purchased both restaurant chains, reuniting them under the Dunkin’ brand. So it’s kinda of still around. Dunkin’ Donuts, Krispy Kreme, LaMar’s and Shipley all gave away donuts last week.
1962 Car of the Week
This week’s car of the week is Supercar! Well, it’s not a real car, just the star of a television show. And the driver wasn’t real either, but a puppet! Supercar was a show about a car that traveled on a cushion of air instead of wheels, and was also an aircraft, a submarine, and a spaceship. Supercar was a vertical takeoff and landing craft invented by Dr. Horatio Beaker and Rudolph Popkiss, and piloted by Mike Mercury. The show aired in both the United Kingdom (Great Britain) and the United States, with 39 episodes in 1961-1962. I remember watching it and being amazed at the use of marionettes because it appeared much harder to manage than the usual animated cartoons using drawings. The show was produced in the United Kingdom by Gary Anderson and was his fourth television puppet show. It was the first to use his Supermarionation system. Typical plots had Supercar operator Mike Mercury saving someone, somewhere, in a way that only Supercar could. And whenever Supercar needed new features, Doctor Beaker and Professor Popkiss could always add them!
Donuts, Donuts, and more Donuts!
To honor last week’s National Free Donut Day, here’s a list of all the retro donut shops that have been mentioned on Roadtrip-’62 ™ . It’s too late to get a free donut, but you will find some great old-fashioned recipes.
- Along US-23 –
Flint, Michigan - Donna's Donuts (began in 1962)! Sadly, Supreme Donuts was also open back in 1962 and when I began Roadtrip-’62 ™ back in 2011, but has since closed.
Portsmouth, Ohio - Helen's Bakery.
- Along US-6 –
Sandwich, Massachusetts - Dunkin’ Donuts (on the free doughnut day list).
Cleveland, Ohio - Amy Joy Donuts, known in 1962 as Amy Joy Pancake Houses.
Ligonier, Indiana - Creps Quality Bakery, downtown since 1925.
Joliet, Illinois - Milano Bakery (since 1915).
Iowa City, Iowa - try another Dunkin’ Donuts, or Daylight Donuts, which began in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1954.
Lincoln, Nebraska - choose from LaMar’s Donuts (also on the free doughnut day list), Randy's Donuts, or Conroy's College View Bakery (with a nicely faded old sign).
Omaha, Nebraska – choose from another LaMar’s Donuts, Pettit's Pastry (founded in 1954), Olsen Bake Shop, The Donut Professor, or The Donut Stop.
McCook, Nebraska - Rehnert’s Dutch Oven Bakery, since 1957.
About Roadtrip-'62 ™
1962 Comic Buy of the Week
scan from Grand Comics Database
Supercar was also turned into a comic in late 1962, and ran for four issues. For just 12 cents, you could read two complete stories! The first issue had stories by Paul Newman (NOT the actor!) and art by Ray Osrin. And it included a short origin of the Supercar. Or, if your parents would rather you read a “real” book instead of a comic, Supercar was also adapted as a Little Golden Book.
More Fun Retro Reading
Just chock full of neat goofy stuff! That’s what Todd Franklin’s site Neato Coolville is, and while its’ not all from 1962, it is all cool. As an example of something from 1962, a few weeks ago he wrote about “The Executive ABC Book”: something that may have floated around the offices of the Mad Men TV show. Just about every other page is about drinking or philandering.
US-6 Featured Trip Segment
Come travel along with us as Roadtrip-’62 ™ reaches the halfway point of US-6. It’s Day 28 and we’re still on the prairie, crossing Nebraska today. I spend a good part of the day at Harold Warp's Pioneer Village, a fun museum that looks very much like it did in 1962.
1962 In Advertising
Perhaps the most famous donut advertising in the world, the Randy’s Donuts signs have been featured in many movies. This one was built in 1953 as the second location of the now-defunct Big Donut Drive-in chain. This architectural style is known as programmatic architecture, and originally consisted of entire buildings reflecting the products sold. It was especially popular in Southern California from the 1920s to the mid-1930s. The trend changed to focus on the signs rather than building by the 1950s when this was built. Today, there 5 of the original 10 signs still existing, painted for various donut shops. We would have seen this as a Big Donut Drive-In in 1962. Among movies it has appeared in are Mars Attacks!, Iron Man 2, Get Shorty, and Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles. I guess I’ll have to stop in when Roadtrip-'62 ™ gets to the end of US-6 in Los Angeles.
Museum of the Week
For our museum of the week, I’m going to spotlight one in each state for awhile. We begin with Alabama, and when I searched for museums the first one up was 150 years old. That seems like a good place to start, as it was surely there to stop at in 1962! The Alabama Museum of Natural History has a nice display of the Fossil History of Alabama, including a skeleton of the dinosaur Basilosaurus cetoides hanging in the two-story Grand Gallery. You can also find exhibits of minerals and local animals. The museum is in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on the campus of the University of Alabama. Convenient US-numbered highways that provided access in 1962 and today are US-11, US-43, and US-82.
Video of the Week
Let’s watch the opening sequence from Supercar, of course!
Our front page changes frequently, so you may have missed some fun stuff if you don't check in frequently. Check the Home Page Archives for all the previous iterations of our front page. Discover links, videos, roadtrip suggestions, and lots of news from 1962!
All photos by the author and Copyright © 2015, 2021 - Donald Dale Milne, except as noted.
All other content Copyright © 2015, 2021 - Donald Dale Milne.