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.
Read the rest
The New York Times'
City Room blog explores “Lady Life Guards,” an "oddly racy newsreel"
made around 1940 about female lifeguards on a beach in Brooklyn. The video made the rounds on blogs this week after being featured on blog Sheepshead Bites
. The Times' Andy Newman describes it
as "a gently leering 10-minute tour de force of visual double-entendre and soul-stirring call-of-duty gee-whiz."
The film was uploaded to YouTube last week by a user who found it in the Library of Congress’s Prelinger Archive at archive.org.
(thanks, Michael Roston!)
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.
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.
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. :)
In vintage ad archivist Paul Malon's excellent Flickr stream
, I stumbled on this beautiful Soviet film poster
for a film titled "Aelita."
A quick Googling revealed that this was for the motion picture Aelita, Queen of Mars, which Wikipedia describes as "a silent film directed by Soviet filmmaker Yakov Protazanov made at the Mezhrabpom-Rus film studio and released in 1924 (...) based on Alexei Tolstoy's novel of the same name."
Some describe it as the USSR's first sci-fi flick. Archive.org has the entire 80-minute film available for online viewing here, though the quality isn't great. It's also on YouTube, and here's part one.
You can also buy it in higher quality on Amazon, and here's their review:
Read the rest
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!
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.
Some astute commenters in the Ukelele String Harvest video thread pointed out that this recent video is basically a re-creation/riff on this earlier, classic weird video, from a 1957 BBC show called "Panorama." From the Alexandra Palace Television Society, here's the whole story:
Read the rest
Have you been saving your milk cartons?
(Via Phil Are Go!)
PhilAreGo happened upon this brochure for the Santa Fe Railway, and offered the following interpretation os the scenario depicted on the cover.
Wow! Get a load of them eyebrows! The two guys look like they're hoping to get her alone for some wicked doings, but she looks downright carnivorous herself. The standing man looks like he's dropping something into the drink of the seated man. All the while, the lady is staring at the chest of the pill-dropping man, where she knows that mere inches away, beats his juicy, delicious heart. I find it hard to have any sympathy for whatever happens to these three in the next few hours.
Phil then shows what the illustration would look like by retouching the eyebrows, making them lighter and then even heavier.
Santa Fe - Ride on the evil train
A couple of weekends ago I took my 15-year-old daughter to the fabulous Farmers Market in Los Angeles. It isn't a typical farmers market. It was established in 1934 at the corner of Third and Fairfax, and over the years it has grown into a charming, bustling cluster of shops and restaurants. It has a great toy store, a bunch of really good restaurants, produce stands, butchers, home made ice cream shops, nut vendors, florists, barbers, shoe shine stands, and other specialty shops. It's got a distinctly old school feel, and thankfully has not been modernized. The whole place is covered so you can walk around in the rain or the blistering sun. It's one of my favorite places in Los Angeles.
Sarina and I had a great time visiting the Shine Gallery there, a place that sells vintage memorabilia. Somehow they are able to get their hands on large quantities unused novelties, magic tricks, and other ephemera. My overall impression from visting the shop was that people in those days had a nasty sense of humor. Here are a few of the things we came across there:
These plastic cigarette cases have passive aggressive messages printed on them, such as "Take one you cheap skate," and "Leave one for me! Chiseler."
Read the rest
[Video Link] Continuing in our Turksploitation theme, a spectacularly awful fight scene from the Turkish film "Death Warrior." Previously: worst death scene ever. (thanks, Michelle Strait, via internalbleeding)
From the wonderful blog "Vintage Scans," a page from Lifemanship lesson from Stephen Potter, 1957 (11th impression). Potter was a British writer known for dry, mocking, self-help books, and the TV and film projects they inspired.