Posts Of Halloween Past
I've been busy this Halloween; here's a round-up of the Halloween posts I made this year:1. Vintage Halloween party recipes
, from this issue of The Royal Neighbor
Halloween's a blast! Back when you could shoot children who annoyed you
My review of the retro skeleton game based on Dark Shadows' vampire, Barnabas Collins
My review of a gravedigger's memoirs
Did you see the antique vampire killing kits
up for auction?
Labels: antique, books, ephemera, games, Halloween, illustration, retro, vintage
Vintage Rhyming & Illustrated Hygiene Advice
Baby Got Back-Fat
A back cover illustration from The Philistine: A Periodical of Protest, published by Elbert Hubbard
, titled (or captioned) "Removing his
I'm too amused & enthralled to really research this one, kids... Besides, isn't it time you told me something?
The illustration dates to 1909; Vol. 30, December, No. 1, of The Philistine
Labels: antique, antiques, creepy, ephemera, history, illustration, vintage magazines
Jack Davis Collection
A while back I wrote about illustrator Jack Davis'
staggering amount of commercial work, specifically album covers, and just recently somebody commented to say they collect them, too, and have been Flickr'ing their collection for quite some time
It's unbelievable just how much stuff Davis has done — records, magazine covers, ads, books, it makes his Mad-magazine days seem like a blip on the screen, even though that's his most recognizeable work. The guy has done so much, everybody online who's got his work has something different
- I doubt you can ever have a complete Jack Davis art collection.
Labels: album covers, art, illustration, jack davis
The Pirate Don Durk of Dowdee
The Pirate Don Durk of Dowdee
Ho, for the Pirate Don Durk of Dowdee!
He was as wicked as wicked could be,
But oh, he was perfectly gorgeous to see!
The Pirate Don Durk of Dowdee.
His conscience, of course, was as black as a bat,
But he had a floppety plume on his hat
And when he went walking it jiggled - like that!
The plume of the Pirate Dowdee.
His coat it was handsome and cut with a slash,
And often as ever he twirled his mustache
Deep down in the ocean the mermaids went splash,
Because of Don Durk of Dowdee.
Moreover, Dowdee had a purple tattoo,
And struck in his belt where he buckled it through
Were a dagger, a dirk, and a squizzamaroo,
For fierce was the Pirate Dowdee.
So feaful he was he would shoot at a puff,
And always at sea when the weather grew rough
He drank from a bottle and wrote on his cuff,
Did Pirate Don Durk of Dowdee.
Oh, he had a cutlass that swung at his thigh
And he had a parrot called Pepperkin Pye,
And a zigzaggy scar at the end of his eye
Had Pirate Don Durk of Dowdee.
He kept in a cavern, this buccaneer bold,
A curious chest that was covered with mould,
And all of his pockets were jingly with gold!
Oh jing! went the gold of Dowdee.
His consience, of course it was crook'd like a squash,
But both of his boots made a slickery slosh,
And he went throught the world with a wonderful swash,
Did Pirate Don Durk of Dowdee.
It's true he was wicked as wicked could be,
His sins they outnumbered a hundred and three,
But oh, he was perfectly gorgeous to see,
The Pirate Don Durk of Dowdee.
From Enchanted Isles
, Charles E. Merrill Books, 1954. Written by Mildred Plew Meigs, illustrated by Decie Merwin, via Flickr
Labels: 1950s, books, childhood, illustration, nursery rhymes, pirates, vintage
The Nightmare That Is Sandy Mac Underwear
The opposite of how I envision underwear sales, for I neither want sandy undies nor the word "Mac" associated with my butt.
And why would it be cute to see a toddler in his underwear skating on thin ice?
Labels: 1920s, fashion, humor, illustration, Save The Baby, vintage ads, vintage advertising, weird ads
Ferdinand Frog & Friends
The decorated endpages of The Tale Of Ferdinand Frog, Sleepy-Time Tales
, by Arthur Scott Bailey, illustrations by Diane Petersen; Grosset & Dunlap, copy; 1918. As you can see, some child has colored in the characters a bit.
Labels: 1910s, antique, books, children, illustration, vintage
It's Easy To See Which Snowman Wears The Pants In The Family
I'm smitten with storks, especially the vintage variety, so you'll forgive me for sharing a nursery rhyme from Holland which seems to be uninspired, poorly translated, or both.The StorkOoievaar
Steal a twig,
Stork loves babies small and big.
But, oh, isn't the illustration lovely!
In Tales Told in Holland
, edited by Olive Beaupre Miller, illustrated by Maud and Miska Petersham, part of the My Travelship series, published by The Book House for Children, Chicago, copyright 1926.
Labels: 1920s, books, childhood, children, illustration, nursery rhymes, storks, vintage
Cuddle & Kitschy Coo The Swan
This ad for Swan Soap
& features Joan Davis and CBS as well as mentions Davis as the star of "George White's Scandals", an RKO Radio Picture. I just dig the adorable swan.
The ad appears on the back cover of Calling All Girls
, December, 1945.
Labels: illustration, swans, the birds, vintage ads, vintage advertising
The Room That Is All Wrong
Answers to the How Well Do You Know Your Victorian Rooms? pop quiz
You thought I forgot, didn't you?
I didn't. I was A) hoping you folks would actually guess
& B) I decided this would make an excellent poster for the bathroom -- you know, to give guests something to do while they were just sitting there...
Anyway, posters are now available
and so I present the answers from page 3285 in The Book of Knowledge encyclopedias
, circa 1910. (In some cases I copied the text direct because it's such a treat to read it as written.)1
The door by which we enter the room has the finger-plates and handle and keyhole on the wrong side, being against the hinges.2
The oval picture is hanging from a hook which is placed upside down on the picture-rail.3
The landscape (next to oval picture) is upside down.4
The picture hanging inn the corner has no hook at all.5
The skirting board is reversed.6 & 7
"We shall be surprised to find that the maid is about to shovel on to the gas-fire some coal she has taken from a coal-scuttle which has quite an impossible handle. The handle is round the bottom of the scuttle in such a way that it could not possibly be swung round for the purpose of lifting the scuttle."8
The hands of the clock are wrong (the little hand would point to a minute or so past the hour, not before it).9 & 10
The window fastener is the wrong way around -- and the handle to lift the lower half has been fixed on back to front.11
The support for the curtain pole is fastened on the top, instead of at the side, which would prevent putting the pole over it.12
The knob to open the shutter is on the wrong side.13
"Moving round the room we come against a hassock, the lungs of which are on the sides instead of on the ends. Let us take it up and we shall notice how very awkward it would be if hassocks were always made like this one."14
"There is something strange about the dog too. It is a spaniel with a collie's tail."
(I guess Victorians weren't fond of mutts.)15 & 16
The chair has been "very carelessly upholstered" -- the pattern is the wrong way up, the castor has been fixed on wrong and "it would soon break with the weight of anyone sitting in the chair."17
The floor-boards have been placed in the wrong direction "and what would happen to them underneath the carpet is impossible to say."How many did you find?
Labels: 1910s, antiques, homework, illustration, poster, quiz
When Illustrations Collide
Jay Hyde Barnum
's illustration of a sexy songbird with a lifted hem shares the page with an ad for Perfect Circle
Triple-Action piston rings.
The incongruity of such juxtaposition of pinup with what I lovingly call 'racing troll babies' makes me stare long and hard at this vintage magazine page for clues... At first I thought sex appeal was being applied by Perfect Circle, but the three babies, a regular gimmick used by the company
, are drawn by Pete Hawley
. Why the editors decided to print the pinup facing the ad is unknown to me -- but I'm sure it helped Perfect Circle
sell piston rings.
Labels: 1940s, illustration, vintage ads, vintage advertising, vintage magazines, weird
Halloween Costume Idea #24
Pop Quiz: How Well Do You Know Your Victorian Rooms?
How Your Brain Gets You To See The Parade
Book Boards At School
Introduction To Economics
, by Alvin S. Johnson, Ph.D., copyright 1909 and 1922 by D.C. Health & Co. sure looks like your usual old, unloved school text, complete with water damage (mildew & bent boards), but I didn't just throw it away... If I had, I hadn't taken the time to look at it, I would have missed the fabulous doodles inside the cover and on the front free end page.
Inside the front board, the illustration features "John Tards" at a streetlight, looking quite drunk. The streets appear to be cobblestone -- or uniformly lumpy. The city backdrop is darn-near a big city skyline.
On the front free end, beneath the title "Economic of Fr nk Jones" (a teacher, perhaps?), several comic versions of a man's face (also one lady) and the very stylized full-view (from the side) of one man.
These could be attempts to draw very popular comics at the time, but they still please me greatly.
The doodles are presumed to have been made by the former owner, Gordon A. Martin, a university student & an Alpha Psi Delta member (at whatever university was in Grand Forks, North Dakota, at that time).
Labels: 1920s, books, cartooning, comics, cool, illustration, school, vintage
The Unknown Comic - Artist
From The Saturday Evening Post
, June 14, 1941, a full-page ad for Hotpoint electric refrigerators and ranges. The top portion features a comic, Just Around The Corner: Ed And Alice Open Up The Summer Cottage
, which extols the virtues of having appliances in your summer cottage "just like in town." So much for getting away from it all & roughing it.
And no one ever shows up to help me move.
Having a title seems to signify a series -- be it a regular comic series or an ad campaign -- but it's unsigned. The style is so familiar... Capp? Marge? I honestly don't know; neither does Google. If you do, please share.
Here's the bottom portion of the ad, in case that helps.
Labels: 1940s, appliances, cartooning, collecting, comics, illustration, vintage ads, vintage advertising
"Gee, Mom, Them's An Important Collection!"
Even After Years Of Studying Them
Heed The False Prophets Of Kitschy Kitschy Coo
Modern Woman Monday: Consumption Information Gives Me The Vapors
From pages 96 & 97 in Pathfinder Physiology No. 3, Hygienic Physiology
, by Joel Dorman Steele, PhD., 1888.
First an illustration of the "deformity" of tight lacing of corsets (which I've already disputed
-- NWS), then this gem on "consumption":
Consumption is a disease which destroys the substance of the lungs. Like other lung difficulties, it is caused by a want of pure air, a liberal supply of which is the best treatment that can be prescribed for it.*
...* If I were seriously ill of consumption, I would live outdoors day and night, except in rainy weather or midwinter; then I would sleep in an unplastered log house. Physic has no nutriment, gaspings for air can not cure you, monkey capers in a gymnasium can not cure you, stimulants can not cure you. What consumptives want is pure air, not physic, plenty of meat and plenty of bread, -- Dr. Marshall Hall.
I've always heard consumption and the vapers were catch-alls for undiagnosed illnesses, like cancer, and/or diseases in the minds of fragile women. But in case I am wrong, anyone tried monkey capers for their consumption?
Labels: antique, books, fashion, history, illustration, medical, Modern Woman Mondays, monkeys, weird
Teen-Age Know-How From 1946
From my collection of etiquette books
, a few pages from Your Manners Are Showing, by Betty Betz
First, how to be a proper street walker, for him and her.
Don't tell naughty jokes!
I'm not sure if this last one is to say that eating while walking in public is rude (who hasn't eaten an ice cream cone thus?) -- or is a warning to ladies to satisfy her man at home...
Charmed? I'm sure; but find your own copy on eBay
Labels: 1940s, books, dating, etiquette, illustration, vintage
Fame Was In The Stars For J.K. Rowling; She Knew, Because She Put It There
Sotheby's is to auction off three personal horoscope charts prepared by author J.K. Rowling which contain "unpublished illustrations and writing dating from when j.k. rowling was writing harry potter and the philosopher's stone, and a wonderful insight into the creative mind behind harry potter." (Sotheby's, I think that's Harry Potter & The Sorcerer's Stone
; but hey, I'm too poor to bid, so what do I know.)
From the auction listing
The third horoscope is of their young son, born on the cusp of Aquarius and Pisces. He will enjoy school, perhaps be accident-prone, (like all Pisces) could be prone to alcoholism, and (perhaps like us all) may well fall in love with someone totally incompatible. The chart apparently suggests that the boy will have great literary talent ("...the planet of fantasy and imagination meets a sign frequently associated with bookishness...") Rowling wonders whether his "ability to weave a good yarn" could perhaps bring fame and fortune, before deciding that becoming a film director would better suit his talents. Apparently wishing for some small slice of fame for herself, J.K. Rowling wonders if the boy would perhaps at least mention her in his Oscar acceptance speech ("...This peculiar woman my mother knows predicted I would be standing before you today ... of course, my parents laughed at the time...")
To be auctioned off at Sotheby's in London on July 17.
Labels: astrology, books, collecting, creepy, illustration, zodiac
When Ephemera Leaves Bruises
Dangerous Dames Selected By Mike Shayne
Crumb On Your Shirt? Boy Howdy!
Bedtime with Blackout and Jocko
When You Want To Reach The Kids, Use Shakespeare
Teens of Our Times
was a regular bit in Good Housekeeping
by Helene Wright. This one, titled Love, Life and Lipstick
, was from the November 1957 issue and features inspiration on positive attitude and perseverance via Shakespearean bemoaning.
Thoughts for Midnight
"Ah. sweet Romeo -- if I'd only been born beautiful! Then I'd try out for the school play. But with those long raven locks and wit violet eyes I don't have, why bother? They probably wouldn't even cast me as Juliet's old nurse!"
"I'll bet you have to be one of the tooth-and-nail gang to get on the Student Council -- sort of a high school Lady Macbeth. I don't know why I ever waste time dreaming about it..."
Sure, Helene was
right with her "Lecture at High Noon", but what kid was really going to read that?
At least the illustration seems to capture the mopey teen response.
While this Teens of Our Times
was illustrated by Jack Potter, others were done by Frances Hook
. "Who the heck was Hook?" you say? Find out what you can in this post
at Today's Inspiration
Labels: 1950s, illustration, Modern Woman Mondays, vintage magazines
Thirteen More Bits 0 Paper Scans
Because I have boxes & boxes (and boxes) of ephemera & greeting cards (old paper)
-- and because it's Thursday Thirteen...
13 More Scans Of Old Paper
The first three are vintage illustrations cut out of some publication or another. Two of the three had the poems on the back, and suggest a primer or other children's book. It could have been for really slow adults too -- I know I like them. But then, I am drawn to lovely old drawings and sing-song-y rhyme-y poems (and easily amused).
"A Fairy Went A-Marketing"
OK, enough of the cute stuff.
When you get boxes of old greeting cards, most of them are Christmas cards.
Most of them are 'retro' and annoying, not cool. So you have to kiss a lot of toads. This one struck me for its inefficiency.
The cover isn't very festive, with it's "Statement At Christmas" tome; and seeing the red mittened hand of Santa doesn't really help.
Inside we find a bland message, which, upon seeing it is a corporate card, makes more sense. No, it's no more festive; but we can forgive companies for not knowing how to be fun. What I cannot forgive is the stupid company name & 'signature'. Just "4 - 0 Cleaners"? How memorable.
If the commercial corporate card was boring, this next one is a hoot. Clearly the art work was created by hand and then printed in some quantity or other. "Merry Christmas Happy '56" from the king and queen -- of cards. You know, the playing kind of cards -- see the suits? Maybe this was specially made for their couples canasta league -- or bridge group. Could be poker. Who knows.
The kicker is the inside quote, written by hand. Which is sort of ironic...
No longer able to write a verse
Even the coloring gets worse
But we're glad we're still able to say
'Have a Joyous Christmas Day"
Oh, Jane and Ray, you're such cards! You ought to be dealt with.
I know I said I was done with the cute stuff and that you're going to see this cute vintage elephant card and yell at me. But hold on there, missy. This isn't just a cute elephant card; this is a vintage 'Secret Pal' elephant card -- complete with a printed 'X' for the mystery signature. I know if I was a Republication, I'd keep it a secret.
Oh yeah, I can hear the Republicans getting their knickers in a knot -- and the cute lovers are up in arms for mocking an innocent baby elephant. Want to get back at me? Write a pithy (spelled p-i-t-h-y, not p-i-s-s-y) comment. Maybe I'll give you an award
. Maybe I'll just stalk you on the Internet and send you this card...
Now that you're all keen on cards & graphics you might be inspired to create some art. Valentine's Day is only a week away, and you've got nothing better to do this weekend anyway.
Here we have some Valentine card creation advice, straight from that 1971 Pack-o-Fun, "The Only Scrap-Craft Magazine"
. Yup, you know when it's from Pack-o-Fun, it will be crap-scraft-actular
First, the boys get to make "Zany Valentines". 'Zany' in this case means corn-ball kitsch cards with found objects of the more masculine metal variety: hardware. (Must. Resist. All. Puns.) My personal favorite is the "I know it's TACK-less -- But I have to say I love you!" 'Cuz there it is with a tack, so how can it be tack-less?
Please note, if you opt to create variations on the theme, beware what message you use with a screw. (Unless you are a consenting adult with a partner who approves of -- even prefers -- naughty kitschy advances, like us.)
they didn't forget you either. Given your potential for hormone induced rages, your altered artsy cards involve softer objects, like frilly laces. In fact, all you're suggested to use is lace. You'll need scissors though, so be sure to use those rounded-tipped ones -- and scream & fuss for help. (Whenever I do, those nice young men in the white coats come to help me.)
My favorite here is the "Can't I RUFFLE your feelings, Valentine?" Any man getting that card is gonna agree that you can; and that's when the fight breaks out. Now, with any luck at all, at this point he'll be holding the impotent lace-card as a weapon, and ladies, you'll have the one with the rusty old metal piece.
Now that you've made all your pretty paper Valentines, you'll need a place to stuff them. :ahem: In case you need help creating animals with heart-shaped heads (the paper kind), I've included both pages of instructions.Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
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Labels: crafting, ephemera, free patterns, Ghosts of Christmas Past, greeting card, illustration, kitsch, Thursday Thirteen, Valentine's Day, vintage