May Day Tradition

May Day 1954 at Yocum’s School along route 724. Photo Courtesy of Jim Hain

May Day was a spring celebration tradition amongst public school kids and teenagers during the mid-20th century in Berks. The day would be marked by outside activities, singing, dancing and the crowning of a May Day Queen and court, similar to homecoming today.

May Day 1954 at Yocum’s School along route 724.
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Pensupreme Soda Machine Mystery

Pensupreme Soda Machine

A reader wrote to me regarding a piece in their possession which was once used by Penn Dairy for trade shows. It is an automated soda fountain with characters which move when plugged in. It still functions and as you can see from the photos below appears to be in impeccable condition. Roughly three feet high and wide. The piece is likely from the mid-20th century judging by some of the paperwork that comes with the fountain.… Read Full Article

Zeswitz – 812 Penn Street

Zeswitz
812 Penn Street pictured in 1953

Zeswitz is a music store that most Berks Countians recognize, but some of you may remember when one of the locations was in downtown Reading on the 800 block of Penn Street.

Zeswitz was founded in 1923 by Philadelphia native William “Bill” Zeswitz Sr. According to Zeswitz’s website he was, “master luthier and maker of world-class violins, and founded the company to serve the Reading Symphony Orchestra and musicians in the area.Read Full Article

Bowl-O-Rama

Bowl-O-Rama opened its doors in 1957; a dream of its five shareholders who bought the land and built the alley on Perkiomen Avenue in Exeter Township. It was home to local bowling leagues, social events and gatherings over the years. There was a bar and grille in the establishment as well as 40 bowling lanes.

Bowl-O-Rama closed its doors for good on April 23, 2017, six full decades after opening.… Read Full Article

Reading Street Railway Company Strike

On this day in 1950; the Reading Street Railway Company went on a sudden Bus Strike after negotiations on contracts came up short. This stopped all bus and street-car service in the city of Reading, which as you can imagine caused problems for those who relied on the service.

Reading Street Railway Co. Bus Strike

Some of the conferees in a mediation session at the Tenth Street car barns of the Reading Street Railway Company, which opened shortly before noon, are shown in the top photo.Read Full Article