Radio Man walks, talks, and yodels

It yodels because it is a Swiss radio man. (Via Magic Transistor) Read the rest

The Real Mermaids of San Marcos, Texas

Ben Marks say: "When Collectors Weekly writer and producer Hunter Oatman-Stanford was growing up in Austin, Texas, one of his favorite places to go as a kid was Aquarena Springs in nearby San Marcos. Though the attraction boasted an alligator pit, Ralph the Swimming Pig (famous, of course, for his 'swine dive'), and an aerial gondola ride, the biggest lure was the mermaid show, in which swimmers would perform dance moves and tricks, like eating or drinking underwater, while viewers watched through thick glass windows.

"Turns out, Hunter's great-aunt, Sue Cregg, had been an aquamaid, as the performers were called, in the 1960s. So, for his article on Aquarena Springs, Hunter spoke to Cregg, as well as Peggy Sparks, who got her start at the amusement park in the 1950s. Cregg and Sparks explain what it was really like to be a mermaid, from the cold temperatures they endured in the water to the balls of frozen dog food they'd prepare to feed to the fish they swam with as part of the act." Read the rest

Wegee photo of a man about to be executed wearing a hood with a Westinghouse logo on it

This execution brought to you by Westinghouse? I'd have guessed that Thomas "DC current is safer" Edison was behind it, but this fellow is in the gas chamber, not on an electric chair.

From the Getty Images description: circa 1945: An American prisoner, sentenced to death, is strapped into a chair in the gas chamber. The black hood carries a Westinghouse Electric Company logo.

See full image here Read the rest

Gallery of "terrifying beauty treatments"

Anorak has a gallery of creepy "20th Century contraptions designed to make you the belle of the ball." Read the rest

Strange Medicine, by Nathan Belofsky: exclusive excerpt

In Ancient Egypt, doctors applied electric eels to patients with migraines. In the medieval times dentists burned candles into patients’ mouths to kill off those pesky invisible worms gnawing at their teeth. Even in the modern era, one of the world’s best-known brain surgeons, Dr. Walter Freeman drove ice picks into patients’ eyes to practice lobotomies. In Strange Medicine: A Shocking History of Real Medical Practices Through The Ages Nathan Belofsky takes readers back into time. Describing the wild and bizarre treatments, hubris-driven blunders and stomach-turning cures civilized society has been subjected to throughout history this book is sure to intrigue anyone interested in human history, medicine or the bodies they live in. Read the rest

Vintage plaster and chalk nude statuettes

Deanna of Kitsch-Slapped takes us on a tour of vintage plaster and chalk nude statuettes.

[Some] vintage plaster or chalkware figurines have little fabric skirts or loincloths, which may come on as modest cover-up... Surprise, these vintage pieces show the genitalia! Aren’t you just dying to flip the grass skirt made of string aside on this vintage piece by what appears to be Ferguson Studios?
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Odd and inappropriate Valentine's cards of yesteryear

Here's a small sampling of artist Mitch O'Connell's fabulous Valentine's card collection gallery. (These are real cards, not something Mitch made up.)

Just in time to send to your Valentine sweetheart, a huge selection of the offbeat, odd, perplexing, inappropriate, outlandish, bizarre, sexist, eccentric and far-out funny cards, all collected in one place ...for YOU (with love)!

Subject matter includes anger issues, from punching, stabbing, shooting your loved one to running them over with your car. "A woman's place is in the home" themes with pots 'n pans, brooms and dust pans expressing how your heart beats for them. "Find the hidden penis" is a M.O'C Blog Valentine favorite with suggestively placed rulers, logs, bananas, balloons, rocket ships, and hot dogs showing how you really, REALLY feel!

Unintentionally Hilarious Vintage Valentine's Day Cards! See the top 100 Risque, Rude and Sexy examples of all time!

Mitch also has a new art book -- Mitch O'Connell, the World's Best Artist by Mitch O'Connell! Look for an exclusive preview soon on Boing Boing. It's available for pre-order on Amazon, or directly from Mitch's site. Read the rest

What is this bizarre Indian "health gadget" from 1950s Bombay?

Crate-digging for old records on eBay, my brother found this bizarre health gadget identified as having been produced in Bombay in the 1950s. The seller writes:

Very rare and old Twin Transilluminator in Box from India 1950 in good condition. Its medical Instrument for sinuses and Eye therapy. Its made of steel and backlit. its electrical. on box has some description and photos about how to use this Instrument. Its rare and unique medical Instrument and must for medical instruments collectors. The size of box is 9 inch in length, and its width is 5 inch.

What the heck is the history behind this gizmo? More photos below.

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Then 'Lady Life Guards' of 1940s Brooklyn

The New York Times explores “Lady Life Guards,” an "oddly racy newsreel" made around 1940 about female lifeguards on a beach in Brooklyn.

Chicken hotdogs and garters for boys who want to be manly

Two fine pieces of vintage ephemera from Mostly Forbidden Zone: A hotdog with the head of a chicken, and one heck of a manly garter for boys. Read the rest

Creepers gotta creep — for science

In 1938, researchers at Bryn Mawr College published a paper on Egocentricity in Adult Conversations. In order to accurately record the pattern and content of conversations as they happened in real life, the researchers used several methods that would be considered ... sketchy ... today. Among them: Hiding underneath female college students' dorm beds. Read the rest

Great moments in pulp fiction: "Lady, That's My Skull"

Cover scan link.

John Elmslie of Toronto shares this in the Boing Boing Flickr pool and writes,

Vintage paperback. "A Harlequin Book", Toronto, 1951. So Harlequin was publishing more than romances in 1951. The original paperback book is quite faded looking. The scanner pepped it up quite well, even though I hadn't asked it to. I'll have to look into that. :)
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Aelita, Queen of Mars: Soviet Science Fiction film from 1924

"A Soviet sensation upon its heavily publicized release in 1924, Aelita, the Queen of Mars is now a curiosity of post-revolutionary Russian silent cinema."

1960 election day comics

Ethan Persoff put together a funny/scary set of Election Day Comics from 1960. Make sure the "dumb blonde" in the office doesn't take your vote today! Read the rest

In the year 2000

Illustration from a 1960 Cinzano ad, shared on Flickr by photographer and vintage ad aficionado Paul Malon of Toronto. His collection is extensive and excellent. Read the rest

Autumn: Spaghetti-harvest time

On April 1, 1957 the British television programme Panorama broadcast a three-minute segment about a bumper spaghetti harvest in southern Switzerland.

Illustration from a vintage issue of OCD Monthly magazine

Have you been saving your milk cartons?

(Via Phil Are Go!) Read the rest

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