DisneyHistory has edited together scraps of found home movies from Disneyland in 1955, its opening year, harvesting only the sharpest, clearest shots highlighting the rarest and least-seen elements. The result is one of the most vivid views of that year I've ever seen. There's also a list of spot-the-rara-avis moments from the footage, including the "Closed Mondays" sign, the lingerie shop on Main Street; a performing organ grinder's monkey and Canal Boats of the World ("in which guests floated past dirt").
Disneyland Voce 1955
George Orwell's 1946 essay A Nice Cup of Tea
is a rationing-era masterpiece of beverage geekery. Orwell sets out 11 iron-clad principles of tea-brewing (four of which he considers ""acutely controversial"), including an injunction against teabags or "other devices to imprison the tea" ("one can swallow tea-leaves in considerable quantities without ill effect"). My British wife thoroughly approved of this 65-year-old wisdom, and she should know.
The original Ronald McDonald was pure nightmare fuel (click through for video of him in action). Fun fact: he was played by Willard Scott, who went on to be the weatherman on the Today Show.
The Original Ronald McDonald or The Joker?
(via Neil Gaiman)
Read the rest
Behold, the magnificent coffeebot! Sounds like this was a timer-percolator with a thermos bottle or a hotplate, but man, what an illustration!
This was once the entire expanse of the Internet. I was six then, and connected to a Vax (PDP11? PDP8?) at the University of Toronto by teletype terminal, but it seems that it wasn't yet networked.
Arpanet Logical Map 1977
(via Bruce Sterling)
Charlie sez, "Ed Sullivan didn't want Buddy Holly to perform Oh Boy! on his show. He wanted a ballad. Holly refused to obey. This performance is poetic justice in regards to how awesome Buddy Holly was. Buddy was one of the few defiant rock acts at the time to get into an artistic scuffle with Ed. Sullivan mispronounces a rock legend's name, cuts his guitar line by 50% and Buddy begins screaming his lyrics, checking volume and goes into a 50's speed metal chorus while banging his head in energetic defiance with the hard drum beat. His show was so electric that Sullivan was forced to invite Buddy back. Buddy declined."
Buddy Holly Oh, Boy! Ed Sullivan Show1 25 58
1995 saw the launch of the now-classic Disneyland ride Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye; to promote it, they arranged to have Patti LaBelle headline a (pretty terrible) Indiana Jones-themed halftime show at that year's Superbowl, which is apparently some sort of foot-the-ball thing.
Super Bowl 1995 Halftime Show
(via Hot and Cold Running Chills)
Ben sez, "I was doing research in the October 1982 issue of BYTE Magazine and spotted this amazing comic-book illustration-style ad to recruit tech people to work at the NSA. Especially nice is the NSA logo embedded in a substitution cypher codewheel."
I don't think I ever saw a Paul Bunyan pinball table in the wild, but it's a beaut.
June 28~Paul Bunyan Day
Illustrator Al Feldstein was divinely inspired to paint this piece of pastafarian religious artwork for the cover of the July, 1951 issue of Weird Tales, decades before the Flying Spaghetti Monster was revealed to the rest of humanity. Truly, he is a prophet! A 2005 artist's replica of the painting sold at auction in 2008. (via Bonniegrrl)
On the Vintage Ads LJ group, NoLuck_Boston posts a pair of ads for "bold spaces," the first from 1948, the second from 1935, a two-frame timelapse. I love the busyness of 1935's Chinoise car-wreck, prefer it to 1942's modernism.
Battle of the bold spaces
Robbo sez, "Charles Dellschau, a retired butcher in Texas in the late 1800's created a series of scrapbooks: '2,500 intricate drawings of flying machines alongside cryptic newspaper clippings filled the pages, crudely sewn together with shoelaces and thread' - it's an astonishing collection of mystery and whimsey with loads of drawings and plans for arcane flying machines, a secret society and coded messages strewn throughout. The books were found by a junk dealer in the 1960's and are now valued at $15,000 - per page."
These are astounding illustrations and amazing fantasies; they've been collected in a book called THE SECRETS OF DELLSCHAU: The Sonora Aero Club and the Airships of the 1800s, A True Story, which includes a lot of commentary on Dellschau's work and context.
He began with three books entitled Recollections which purported to describe a secret organization called the Sonora Aero Club. Dellschau described his duties in the club as that of the draftsman. Within his collaged watercolors were newspaper clippings (he called them “press blooms”) of early attempts at flight overlapped with his own fantastic drawings of airships of all kind. Powered by a secret formula he cryptically referred to as “NB Gas” or “Suppa” — the “aeros” (as Dellscahu called them) were steampunk like contraptions with multiple propellers, wheels, viewing decks and secret compartments. Though highly personal, autobiographical (perhaps!), and idiosyncratic, these artworks could cross-pollinate with the fiction of Jules Verne, Willy Wonka and the Wizard of Oz. The works were completed in a furiously creative period from 1899 to 1923, when air travel was still looked at by most people as almost magical. Newspapers of that period were full of stories about air travel feats and the acrobatic aerial dogfights of WWI were legend.
Dreams of the Sonora Aero Club [John Foster/Design Observer]
Here's an interesting, longer piece
about Dellschau by Rebecca J. Rosen from the Atlantic
Harry McCracken from Time Magazine sez, "Back in the 1980s, TIME magazine sold subscriptions via TV ads--'Hi, I'm Judy, an operator here at TIME'--and sealed the deal by offering free tech gadgets such as phones, clocks and cameras. The commercials live on via YouTube; I've rounded up a bunch of them, complete with the quaint, silly, sometimes cheesy gizmos we gave away."
Shown to the right, "the incredibly compact TIME Micro Headset Radio with crystal-clear fidelity, hideaway headphones."
The Great 1980s TIME Giveaway Gadgets
Dogs in Elk
is one of the canonical Funny Internet Message Board Threads, up there with the Mall Ninja
, but you yungguns may not be familiar with it. Let ole grampa Doctorow take you on a walk through the prehistory of memes: "So what we did was put the ribcages (containing dogs) on tarps and drag them around to the side yard, where I figured they would at least be harder to see, and then opened my bedroom window so that the dogs could let me know when they were ready..."
The 16mm short film "Mickey Mouse In Vietnam" is an anti-war movie by Lee Savage and Milton Glaser, produced for The Angry Arts Festival in 1968. Long vanished, the movie has returned to YouTube. Buzzfeed has an interview with Glaser about the video's history:
Speaking of symbolism, is that why you picked Mickey Mouse in particular?
MG: Well, obviously Mickey Mouse is a symbol of innocence, and of America, and of success, and of idealism — and to have him killed, as a solider is such a contradiction of your expectations. And when you’re dealing with communication, when you contradict expectations, you get a result.
Disney is very protective of their intellectual property. Did you ever hear from them after you screened the film?
MG: No… There was some talk about Disney suing us, but I think the consequence of that — everybody realized — would have been negative for Disney and would have no benefit. And obviously no profit was made out of the utilization of the character or the film, so nothing ever happened.
Adam Savage writes, "Lee Savage did not die a couple of years after Vietnam, as Milton seems to suggest. Lee Savage was, in fact my father and he directed inked and animated the Mickey Mouse film which he co-wrote with Milton.
My dad died in 1999 after a long bout with Alzheimer's and was always very proud of the Mickey film."
A Rare 1968 Anti-War Short "Mickey Mouse In Vietnam" Has Resurfaced Online