Christmas movies from before 1918

Nothing evokes yuletide wonder quite like huddling around a modern Christmas family classic such as Die Hard or Eyes Wide Shut. But did you know that there are christmas movies more than a century old? Keep the holiday flame going through Boxing Day with the Nitrate Diva's pick of ten pre-1918 xmas films. Embedded above is James Williamson's joyous and celebratory 1902 The Little Match Seller, just a few minutes long. Read the rest

Artist turns vintage Louis Vuitton luggage into marvelous Star Wars sculptures

Wow, these Star Wars-inspired sculptures are really mind-blowing. To make them, artist Gabriel Dishaw of Indianapolis, Indiana marries junk with upcycled 1970s Louis Vuitton luggage. While the thought of tearing up vintage Vuitton may make some gasp, certainly no one deny the end products are pretty spectacular.

Dishaw was recently featured in the Indy Star about his SW/LV pieces:

One time, while he was vacationing in northern Michigan, a pile of vintage Louis Vuitton luggage in a store called out to Gabriel Dishaw.

He spotted junk-art potential in the suitcases' every detail: the golden emblems that dance across the chocolate background, the zippers, the handles, the drawstring from the dust bag.

So he purchased one, took it apart when he arrived back home in Fishers and began building Darth Vader helmet sculptures. After he posted his progress on Instagram, @gabrieljunkart, people began asking to buy them.

"People were like 'Oh my God, these are my two passions — Louis Vuitton and Star Wars,'" Dishaw said.

He had no idea people who were fans of both brands even existed.

Prices for the pieces start at $2500, though I believe all the ones shown here have already been sold.

Keep tabs on Mr. Dishaw's latest work on his Instagram.

(Bored Panda) Read the rest

Disneyland to offer 'After Dark' events in 2018, starting with a 'Throwback Nite'

Starting on January 18, Disneyland will be offering a series of after-hours events called Disneyland After Dark.

The first one is called "Throwback Nite" and it taps into early Disney nostalgia:

Step back in time to the ‘50s and ‘60s for a taste of the classic after-dark experience at Disneyland. Come dressed in your best to enjoy the Happiest Place on Earth under a million twinkling lights, swinging to the tune of the bands and enjoying your favorite rides in the cool moonlight ‘till the clock strikes 1 a.m.!

Original attraction posters of Disneyland experiences from yesteryear welcome you as you commemorate the evening with special photo locations... Live music and dancing bring the bygone era to life throughout the park, and the sky lights up with an exclusive showing of “Fantasy in The Sky” fireworks. Guests will receive a commemorative lanyard and a vintage-inspired park map that will highlight the special experiences taking place throughout the evening.

It sounds to me like a nighttime, sanctioned version of the popular Dapper Day, ie. it sounds like fun!

Tickets go on sale at Disneyland.com to the general public on December 7 and on November 30 for annual passholders of the resort. Read the rest

Watch 'The Dream Called EPCOT' promo video from 1980

Here's a rare historical gem from Walt Disney World's history: the 15-minute long promotional video for Walt's utopian EPCOT Center (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow).

The Disney Parks Blog writes that they pulled it out of the "video vault" for Epcot's 35th anniversary:

This film, which offers a look inside WED Enterprises during the “Imagineering” of EPCOT Center in the 1970s, originally ran on a loop in the EPCOT Preview Center at Magic Kingdom Park. The purpose of the film was to introduce a new kind of Disney theme park to guests, showcasing exciting experiences they could have in the park’s Future World and World Showcase areas. The film offered sneak peaks at attraction models, renderings and animation for The Living Seas, Horizons, World of Motion, CommuniCore and Spaceship Earth, as well as early construction footage. It also offered a first-listen to some of the fun music composed for this new park, including songs like “It’s Fun to Be Free,” “Universe of Energy” and “Listen to the Land.”

As a bonus, here's the TV opening special for EPCOT which aired on October 23, 1982 (the park opened on October 1st of that year). It's hosted by Danny Kaye: Read the rest

The voice actors behind the Peanuts gang (1968)

This is a photo of the voice actors behind some of the animated characters in the Peanuts gang. Notice that all the kid roles are actually voiced by children.

Kristy Sproul of Voice Chasers, a voice-acting forum, writes:

The original image had appeared in the February 10-16, 1968 issue of TV Guide to promote the upcoming Peanuts television special, He's Your Dog, Charlie Brown. While some of the voice actors in that photo originated their characters in the first Peanuts special, A Charlie Brown Christmas, it wasn't the case for all of them.

We were able to get our hands on an original copy of that very issue, featuring the Smothers Brothers on the cover, and were pleased to find it not only included the full staged picture of the cast in the recording studio (with animator Bill Melendez, the voice of Snoopy), but it was also accompanied by a full, two-page spread with a small bio of each of the voice actors in the photo. Coverage on voice actors, especially those that were not celebrities, was extremely rare back in those days.

Unfortunately the voice of Charlie Brown, former child actor Peter Robbins, landed in prison in 2015 after a run-in with the law.

Also, and I'm sure you all know this, the voice of the grownups in Charlie Brown's world was actually the sound of a trombone. Wah, wah.

(Vintage LA)

images via Kristy Sproul of Voice Chasers Read the rest

Crazy-cool vintage Aloha shirt: Tikis wearing Shriner fezzes

Check out this sweet mid-century Aloha shirt. It's got tikis wearing red Shriner fezzes. I bet it would have some stories to tell, if it could.

If you look closely at the fabric, you'll see the acronym of "aaonms." That stands for the "Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine," the official name of the Shriners.

Looking this sharp comes with a price. This particular Hawaiian shirt, size unknown, is selling for $225 at Etsy shop vintagedame. An XXL one goes for $485 at the Hana Shirt Company. They report it is a "Hawaii Shriners Convention" shirt. Read the rest

Terrific longread on the origins of Wham-O

Jake Rossen takes a deep dive into the iconic American novelty toy company Wham-O and its storied history. Read the rest

This rare 1950s typewriter hammers out musical notations, not letters and numbers

Here's something you don't see every day: a typewriter that hammers out musical notations. Made for use with music staff paper, the Keaton Music Typewriter was first patented in 1936 by San Francisco's Robert H. Keaton for use by composers, arrangers, teachers and students.

The original model had just 13 keys but Keaton's second patent for this "music typing machine" was granted in 1953 and included 33 keys.

If you've got a spare $12K, you can pick one of these little beauties up from Etsy shop WorkingTypewriters (back in the 1950s they sold for $225).

The seller writes:

Estimates are that there are less than 20 machines on there, maybe even as few as 6...

The Keaton Music typewriters were produced in two batches, this one stemming from 1953 and has the more elaborate keyboard. They were made with the idea that musicians would be able to quickly and precisely write out their compositions. A typewriter for music. It didn't work as well, typing music is more laborious than typing words and it never really caught on.

Watch the video to get a feel for how challenging this "typewriter for music" is to operate. Read the rest

Vintage isochrone maps show 19th-century travel times

In the late 19th century, travel times became a thing of fascination as modes of transportation improved by leaps and bounds (e.g., Around the World in 80 Days, published in 1873). Great thinkers of the day like Francis Galton even devised isochrone maps, which showed how long it would take to get from a central point to other points of interest. Read the rest

$20 for one of the best laptops money could buy 20 years ago: is it worth it?

"It was a little worse for wear... but I wanted to nurse it back to health."

An interesting video for people who like vintage computers: the mid to late 1990s is not only a hinterland of general boringness between "vintage" and "modern", but the high point of Microsoft domination, when Windows was so crummy that to try and put it to use invites an instant headache. As a $20 thrift store find, though, a mid-1990s IBM Thinkpad seems a good find.

It was infested with malware, needed a new battery, couldn't even run Windows XP, and the hard drive sounded like "marbles rolling around in a teacup." Ah, but what wonders lurk in the back of the desk drawer!

Spoiler: You can play old DOS games or fool around with Linux.

(I found one on eBay, but will pass on it, as it's $200!)

P.S. I know many will disagree, but I found those old Thinkpads perfectly portable: imagine the battery life you'd get these days from a laptop nearly two inches thick! Read the rest

Chart of every Nokia dumbphone from 1982-2006

Prepare to take a technological trip down memory lane with this enormous comprehensive chart of every Nokia dumbphone model starting 35 years ago. Extendable antennas, clamshells, you name it. Read the rest

Modding a vintage Japanese pachinko arcade game

Pachinko machines are traditionally purely mechanical, so Ben Heck thought he'd mod one to include electronic lights and sounds. The 8-bit gaming sound program is a great option, but Ben's fart sound program may be the keeper. Read the rest

Reminder: you can buy vintage milk at Amazon

Have you vomited uncontrollably and at such length as to leave you shaking and in tears lately? Try it! Amazon can help by shipping you vintage milk, "Used & New" from $45. Read the rest

Atomic Age ladies of a certain age posing by Christmas trees

Aluminum, mylar, and space-age plastics await you as you take a trip through Christmases past with 43 prime examples of middle aged women posing by their mid-20th century Christmas trees. Apparently, either a dog or a drink was a required accessory. Crème de menthe, anyone? Read the rest

Creepy vintage toys

Re-Tales, a blog specializing in the wonders and horrors of retailing, has an excellent selection of creepy vintage toys to enjoy. [via Metafilter]

The implicit appeal of these, I think, is that they were originally intended to be creepy, but have become unintentionally creepy. The primary amused-children creepiness of an one era becomes the unsettled-adults creepiness of another, but it's not really the same thing performing the work in each case. And, maybe, the real creepiness is in our appreciation of how the object slowly acquires its secondary creepiness. Read the rest

Incredible 1960 time capsule apartment

Miles McDermott is a modern-day millennial hepcat from Phoenix who has set up the most impressive 1960-vintage pad I've seen outside of a soundstage. Read the rest

Vinyl Divas: vintage opera diva album art is weird and wonderful

Vinyl Divas is a comprehensive collection of vintage classical music divas, and it ranges from the sublime to the ridiculous to the sublimely ridiculous. Includes lists by artist name, collection based on themes, and even vanity albums by self-published divas. The fashion, the makeup, the styles, the taste both good and bad... prepare to go down a rabbit hole of 20th century nostalgia. Read the rest

More posts