Monday, October 31, 2011
Saturday, October 29, 2011
In preparation for All Hallows' Eve on Monday night, I managed to find this cartoon in which Betty Boop throws a Halloween party for all her friends, complete with bobbing for apples. From the Internet Archive, here is the 1933 aimated short, Halloween Party.
Friday, October 28, 2011
The Hollywood Revue posted its monthly preview of comming attractions on Turner Classic Movies for the month of November. Apparently, the themes are blond bombshells and ships.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
In another great posting of pulp fiction art, Golden Age Comic Book Stories featured a series of covers from Fantastic Adventures. I chose this back cover to illustrate a trend I noticed in this series; namely, most of the aliens appear to be downright cute and apparently friendly. Based on the back covers, our solar system was thought to be populated by a variety of lovable muppet-like creatures.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
During World War II, the manufacturing industry converted almost entirely over to producing goods for the war effort rather than for individual consumers. As noted by the Paleofuture blog, however, that did not keep them from advertising what they would be selling after the war; either to the public at large, or in this case, to professionals such as architects who would incorporate the industry's products into post-war infrastructure.
This advertisement from the November 1944 issue of Pencil Points magazine is a bit unique in that its audience isn’t consumers, but architects who would be building stores after the war. (Pencil Points would later change its name to Progressive Architecture.) This particular ad was touting Westinghouse air conditioning units, which were “hermetically-sealed for dependability.” The ad begins by saying, “Every method to attract and retain more customers will be employed in the postwar stores which owners are commissioning their architects to plan today.”
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Monday, October 24, 2011
As I have often expressed, I have a weakness for custom made streamliners. I try to exercise restraint in order to prevent the subject from becoming tiresome, but I could not resist this posting on How To Be A Retronaut. In the 1940's, a mechanical engineer named Norman E. Timbs built this exquisite Buick-based vehicle. This beauty will be going into my fantasy garage next to the 1936 custom Art Deco motorcycle.
Saturday, October 22, 2011
I thought I had seen all of the existing Superman cartoons from the 1940s, but the Internet Archive managed to surprise me once again. In this episode, Lois, Clark and an explorer venture into a vast underground world, which they discover to be inhabited. All I can say is, if Lois did not figure out that Clark was Superman after this episode, her deductive skills are highly questionable. I mean, there was no one else around! From Fleischer Studios in 1943, here is The Underground World.
Friday, October 21, 2011
I enjoy these "new devices" articles from the vintage science magazines. The editors describe each of the latest gadgets with equal enthusiasm, without any clue as to which will last or even be produced. For example, in this item from the February 1936 issue of Everyday Science and Mechanics, posted by Modern Mechanix, the new bicycle lamp generator on the upper right of the second page looks just like the one I had on my bike a mere 30 years ago. I guess that design lasted fairly well.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Golden Age Comic Book Stories posted another great series of pulp fiction covers from 1940 to 1949. I liked this one from 1941 for the "Slaves of the Fish Men" story with appropriate graphic.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Thanks to the Hemmings blog for pointing me to this nice bit of automotive/movie history. Remember the old movie scenes when people were riding in a car, with the scenery passing by through the rear and side windows? Well, somebody had to shoot the film of that scenery, and the Internet Archive has it. This footage features an auto tour of downtown Los Angeles and Bunker Hill in the late 1940's. It is great to see all the now "old" cars when they were in their prime.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Monday, October 17, 2011
How To Be A Retronaut posted it and several other interior color shots from the airship.
This morning's Sunrise Serenade was "The Moon Is A Silver Dollar" by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra with (I believe) Marion Hutton on vocals. Click on the song title for a sample from emusic, or click here for the album page.
Saturday, October 15, 2011
Last Saturday we featured Dangerous Dan McFoo, a 1939 Warner Bros. cartoon directed by Tex Avery. Today, we have a 1945 version of the same story, also directed by Avery, but this time for MGM. It is interesting to note the difference six years and a different studio can make. From the Internet Archive, and starring Droopy, here is The Shooting Of Dan McGoo.
Friday, October 14, 2011
This article about solar power from the 1935 issue of Science & Mechanics, posted on Modern Mechanix, interests me for two reasons. First, it again demonstrates that concepts many consider relatively contemporary have actually been around for a while. The article discussing harnessing the sun's rays for power is from 1935, and it refers to an earlier work of fiction with the same concept from 1911. The second point is that, unlike many of the advances science fiction promised us in the past (where is my flying car?), we are actually ahead of the curve on this one. The 1911 novel, set in the year 2660, included a field of sun-power devices, rotating to face the sun. While we have not put such an array in front of the Eiffel Tower as in the illustration, that technology exists today, a good 600 years ahead of predictions.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Golden Age Comic Book Stories posted several covers and one complete story from this comic in the late 1940's. According to Wikipedia, Sandra Knight, the daughter of a U.S. Senator, was the Phantom Lady, who
used a "black light projector," a device which allowed her to blind her enemies and make herself invisible. She drove a car whose headlights also projected black light when necessary. She was sometimes assisted by her fiance, Donald Borden, an agent of the U.S. State Department.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
I have been following the neat history site How To Be A Retronaut for some time, and reposting items from it to this blog on a regular basis. After I finished my series of antique Memphis postcards, it occured to me that the cards would be a neat "time capsule" on that site, so I sent in the scans. I was flattered to see that HTBAR posted the entire set today. So if you missed them here, or you want to see them all at once, check out "Colourised Postcards of Memphis 'The Cotton Carnival City.'"
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Monday, October 10, 2011
Now this is some serious seagoing style. Dieselpunk posted this item about Anthony Fokker's (of German aircraft fame) streamlined yacht, the Q.E.D. An item in Time magazine from October 16, 1939 described the fate of the vessel.
Saturday, October 8, 2011
I found two cartoons directed by Tex Avery with the same subject, but produced at different times and for different studios. The comparison is interesting. Today we have the 1939 version made by Warner Bros. From the Internet Archive, here is Dangerous Dan McFoo. This copy has subtitles in French. Watch for Betty Davis to show up around 2:40 (seriously!).
Friday, October 7, 2011
This morning's Sunrise Serenade was the vocal version of the Hawaiian War Chant, often done by Tommy Dorsey as an instrumental: "Ta-hu-wa-hu-wai" by the Merry Macs. Click on the song title to listen courtesy of Jazz On Line.
Thursday, October 6, 2011
As you know, the Swing Shift Shuffle would not exist without WEVL, so check out the first ever WEVL Trivia Tournament on Sunday, October 30 at Minglewood Hall. In addition to the prizes for the trivia contest, there will also be a cash bar, food, and a silent auction. Registration is necessary to participate, and the deadline is October 21, so get your team together and enter!
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Monday, October 3, 2011
Matinee At The Bijou posted an excellent article about the "screen songs" that encouraged audience participation at the theaters by using the bouncing ball over the lyrics. Think of it as early mass karaoke.
Audience sing-alongs to words projected on a screen go back before 1900 -- when magic lanterns were used in vaudeville shows. The famous "Bouncing Ball" debuted in 1924 in the Max Fleischer Ko-Ko Song Car-Tune Oh Mabel.Matinee posted this example from 1945 called, When G.I. Johnny Comes Home. The sing along starts out as the standard version of "When Johnny Comes Marching Home," but it gets a bit hip and swinging toward the end.
Fleischer made many sing-alongs in the silent era with a seamless transition into sound that produced 108 cartoons from 1929 through 1938, plus the offbeat Let’s Sing with Popeye (1934) that added words to a segment of the first Popeye cartoon