Gregorio Prestopino — known as “Presto” to his friends — was an American artist whose works ran the gamut from socially conscious depictions of poverty, nostalgic memories of the Little Italy neighborhood he grew up in, a series on prison life for Life magazine, a series of anti-war works, sensuous female nudes, and colorful magazine covers. See a few of my favorites.
Vibrating furniture was a thing in 1905. This Detroit company doesn’t seem to have lasted very long, but its trimmed-in-fringe product was a featured exhibit at the 1905 Lewis & Clark Centennial. Read more….
Sometimes after a difficult week, one just needs to kick back with a dangling fake tongue and look “exceedingly funny.” This has been just such a week.
Figs? I don’t even like figs, but I came across a great photo from about 1910 of a young Texas farmer in a derby hat, clutching a fig plant… and the next thing I knew, I was deep into a search for more photos of Texas fig farmers. See what I found.
The thought of Baby Ruth-branded gum… it just doesn’t seem right. The new product was introduced to the public in 1928 by dropping thousands of packages of the gum from an airplane, each one attached to its own little parachute which floated down to the waiting hands of eager children. Read more….
One of the many creations of priest-inventor Father John Milo was this coin-operated pig which would squeal like a pig when you twisted its tail, measure your strength, dispense chewing gum, and play a ragtime ditty. Read more about Father Milo inside.
“After three days without sleep, two days of drinking, and an all-night show in Vinton, Louisiana, Jerry Lee gets in the mood to cavort before the camera at 6 A.M. beside his private jet, which had just landed at the Memphis airport.” And the three photos of Jerry Lee Lewis, taken on the tarmac that morning by Raeanne Rubenstein, are as great as you’d hope they’d be.
Whether you trod the boards in the theatrical world or slogged through the sawdust on the carnival circuit, “The Billboard” was essential reading for keeping up with news and employment opportunities in the show-biz world. Almost everything you needed could be found in the magazine’s classified and advertising pages. Check out some of the more interesting ads found in issues from 1904 and 1905.
If you received a letter that looked like this, would you expect 1) it was written by a person with psychiatric problems, 2) it was written by a penny-pincher who was trying to save paper, or 3) it was sent to you in order to cause grave emotional trauma? All of these are possible, but there is one correct answer — and many letters like this were written and painstakingly deciphered. More inside.
Experience the sheer giddiness of an exclamation-mark-filled 1930 ad for cosmetics, “a whole ensemble of gay toiletries!”