Brechtbug's Halloween Costumes Vintage Photos collection is a triumph, and arguably what both infinite scroll and the Internet were invented for.
Eric Bradley of Heritage Auctions sent me an item about a paperback cover model from the 1960s and 1970s named Steve Holland.
In the 1970s, if you were an artist who wanted to portray masculinity on a paperback cover, there was only one man to choose as your model: actor Steve Holland. And we almost mean that literally. You can't get away from the guy. Do you like pulp reprints? Holland modeled for both Doc Savage and The Avenger. Do you prefer "Executioner"-style men's adventure vigilantes? Holland was both the Sharpshooter and the Penetrator (among others!). Why would you want to use anyone else than the firm-jawed, deep-set-eyed Steve Holland? The guy just radiated machismo! We can't fault artists for using him again and again, the man is just so darn manly!
As luck would have it, this week's Heritage auction has a 28-book lot of which every single one depicts Holland on the cover. Put on your steeliest glare and click here.
Matthew says: "[Here's} a video I put together featuring the opening titles for 20 different American game shows of the 1950s. Unfortunately, I was unable to get copies of 50s game shows from other countries. Most of the shows featured in this video were legit, a few of them weren't. Most of these aired live, so expect the occasional technical fault. The episodes excerpted in this video can be viewed in their entirety on the Internet Archive"
May 1915. "Nine-year-old newsie and his 7-year-old brother 'Red.' Tough specimen of Los Angeles newsboys." Photo by Lewis Wickes Hine. -- Shorpy
What an utterly fantastic cover for the July 1967 issue of Front Page Detective magazine, up for auction on eBay.
Eric Godtland and Dian Hanson have lovingly compiled a picture book about crime magazines from the mid-20th century called True Crime Detective Magazines 1924-1969. It's loaded with exceedingly lurid, attention-grabbing magazine covers and illustrations.
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At the height of the Jazz Age, when Prohibition was turning ordinary citizens into criminals and ordinary criminals into celebrities, America’s true crime detective magazines were born. True Detective came first in 1924, and by 1934, when the Great Depression had produced colorful outlaws like Machine Gun Kelly, Bonnie and Clyde, Baby Face Nelson, and John Dillinger, the magazines were so popular cops and robbers alike vied to see themselves on the pages. Even FBI boss J. Edgar Hoover wrote regularly for what came to be called the “Dickbooks,” referring to a popular slang term for a detective.
As the decades rolled on, the magazines went through a curious metamorphosis, however. When liquor was once more legal, the Depression over and all the flashy criminals dead or imprisoned, the “detectives” turned to sin to make sales. Sexy bad girls in tight sweaters, slit skirts, and stiletto heels adorned every cover. Cover lines shouted “I Was a Girl Burglar—For Kicks,” “Sex Habits of Women Killers,” “Bride of Sin!,” “She Played Me for a Sucker,” and most succinctly, “Bad Woman.”
True Crime Detective Magazines follows the evolution and devolution of this distinctly American genre from 1924 to 1969. Hundreds of covers and interior images from dozens of magazine titles tell the story, not just of the “detectives,” but also of America’s attitudes towards sex, sin, crime and punishment over five decades. With texts by magazine collector Eric Godtland, George Hagenauer and True Detective editor Marc Gerald, True Crime Detective Magazines is an informative and entertaining look at one of the strangest publishing niches of all time.
In the 1950's Vikki Dougan appeared on the cover of Life, on countless LP sleeves, in the pages of Playboy, and in magazine ads for grooming products. Deanna of Kitsch-Slapped, who posted a ton of photos and a bio about Dougan says, "you may not recognize her from the front, but you likely recognize her backside — hence her nickname, 'The Back.'"
This is the difference between low kinetic energy (top) and high kinetic energy (bottom), as illustrated in the 1956 Disney book Our Friend the Atom. It may be useful in visualizing some of the ideas presented in my recent feature on space radiation.
From Fresh Photons, a fantastic blog chock full of science pictures.
Via David Ng
It's Christmastime, and if there's anything that can unite a nation, even one that doesn't universally love the holidays, it's a collection of wonderfully weird vintage Christmas videos. And even if you don't like the holidays, you'll probably still enjoy these strange (but fun) attempts at whimsy and festivity.
The video is freakish not for the video itself, but for how freakishly progressive it was when it was made -- in 1913!
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(Video link) A local election in Cincinnato, Ohio came down to one vote from one person who thought it just wouldn't matter. But as it turns out, that person was the wife of Robert McDonald, who was running for a city council position -- and the race ended up tied. Katie McDonald just couldn't make it to the polls on Tuesday, and now the election will be decided with a coin toss.
Except for the coin toss, this was basically the premise for a 1956 episode of Popeye the Sailor, "Popeye For President," in which Miss Olive Oyl was too busy doing household chores to go cast her own tie-breaking vote for either Popeye (I-Spinach Party) or Bluto (I-Blutocratic Party). What's great about this vintage cartoon is not just the message about the importance of voting, but all the jokes that can be made about two "politicians" offering potential voters "stuff" and doing actual physical labor for the single woman vote.
(via My Vintage Generation)
(Video link) While we wait for Jose Padilha's upcoming (but delayed) reboot of RoboCop, here is an old clip from Entertainment Tonight featuring the 1987 movie's star, Peter Weller. On the set, he goofs around a bit, talks about the robo-suit, and reminds us why RoboCop is such a timeless and awesome piece of cinema. I'd buy that for a dollar, but YouTube is actually free! (via Blastr)
Update: CNN's Jeanne Moos uncovered the even funnier story behind "Double Trainbow," here. And the original it lovingly parodies, by "foamer" and excitable railfan Mark McDonough, is below. His YouTube channel is a thing of beauty.
This is a page from Gustavademecum for the Island of Manhattan: A Check-List of the Best-Recommended or Most Interesting Eating-Places, Arranged in Approximate Order of Increasing Latitude and Longitude — Prepared for the convenience of mathematicians, experimental scientists, engineers, and explorers. Which is possibly the best name for a dining guide ever.
Physical chemist Robert Browning Sosman passed this pocket-sized guidebook out at conferences and updated it regularly between 1941 and 1962.
The key feature: Sosman's ... somewhat unique ... observations about the restaurants he visited. And the fact that much of that information was encoded in a sort of proprietary shorthand, cribbed from scientific symbols. The result looks something like a cross between restaurant listings and an alchemist's workbook.
In each of the guide's at least 15 editions, Sosman reviewed 300 restaurants, relaying facts like cuisine and cost, as well as esoteric observations like tableside lighting (measured in lumens) and waiters' estimated IQs. All of it was written in a mashup of mathematical figures, glyphs, Greek, and astrological symbols. A sigma meant there was samba dancing. A lowercase "m" suggested that Madison Avenue types frequented the restaurant
Sadly, the Saveur.com story that this comes from doesn't include a cheat sheet guide to deciphering Sosman's shorthand. A major disappointment. Perhaps one of you can add to the information here?
(Alan Lomax, via Wikipedia)
American folklorist, ethnomusicologist, and traditional music collector Alan Lomax envisioned a “global jukebox” with which to share and analyze recordings he gathered over decades of fieldwork. This week, that dream comes to life. From an article in today's New York Times:
A decade after his death technology has finally caught up to Lomax’s imagination. Just as he dreamed, his vast archive — some 5,000 hours of sound recordings, 400,000 feet of film, 3,000 videotapes, 5,000 photographs and piles of manuscripts, much of it tucked away in forgotten or inaccessible corners — is being digitized so that the collection can be accessed online. About 17,000 music tracks will be available for free streaming by the end of February, and later some of that music may be for sale as CDs or digital downloads.
On Tuesday, to commemorate what would have been Lomax’s 97th birthday, the Global Jukebox label is releasing “The Alan Lomax Collection From the American Folklife Center,” a digital download sampler of 16 field recordings from different locales and stages of Lomax’s career.
“As an archivist you kind of think like Johnny Appleseed,” said Don Fleming, a musician and record producer who is executive director of the Association for Cultural Equity and involved in the project. “You ask yourself, ‘How do I get digital copies of this everywhere?’ ”
The archive will be made available at the Global Jukebox portion of The Association For Cultural Equity website. Anna Lomax Wood, daughter of Alan Lomax, is the organization's president. They do all sorts of amazing work!
JC Leyendecker's commercial illustrations from the 1920s sure were beautiful.