Since Spring officially starts next week, I thought this cute Walt Disney Silly Symphony short from 1933 was appropriate. A young bird strays a little too far from the nest and gets in trouble. Here is Birds In The Spring.
Friday, March 16, 2018
Thursday, March 15, 2018
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Friday, March 9, 2018
Ever tried to get something done, and quickly learned that it is just going to be one of those days? That is pretty much the majority of Donald Duck cartoons, and this one, posted on YouTube, is no exception. From 1941, here is The Village Smithy.
Thursday, March 8, 2018
It's been some time since Captain Marvel visited our pages, so this 1941 story posted on Pappy's Golden Age Comics Blogzine seemed appropriate. I never was much of a CM fan myself, as I never could figure out where he stood versus Superman. Most of my exposure to the character was the 1970's Saturday morning live-action TV show.
Wednesday, March 7, 2018
Tuesday, March 6, 2018
Monday, March 5, 2018
Here is a post from Vintage Everyday with a series of photographs of the USS Macon, a 1930's U.S. Navy dirigible designed to serve as a flying aircraft carrier. The airship could launch and retrieve biplane fighters in mid-air. Airships were difficult to handle in strong weather, and the Macon, along with 3 other of its sister ships, crashed.
Friday, March 2, 2018
Thursday, March 1, 2018
Wednesday, February 28, 2018
Tuesday, February 27, 2018
Monday, February 26, 2018
Sarah Sundin posted this article about shoe rationing during World War II. The military needed both leather and rubber, so folks on the home front had to make things last, and that included the kids. No exceptions in shoe rationing was made for children. In 1943, everyone was limited to three pairs a year, which was reduced to two pairs in 1944, and you needed a stamp from your ration book to buy them.
Friday, February 23, 2018
With the 2018 Winter Olympics about to conclude, I thought we would stick with that theme. No real story here, just a bunch of animals having fun with winter sports, followed by a sing along with "Jingle Bells." From the Internet Archive, here is Snow Foolin'.
Thursday, February 22, 2018
In the 1930's, the Works Progress Administration created the Pack Horse Library Initiative to provide reading materials to people living in poor, remote areas of Kentucky. Posted on History Daily, this article and series of photographs explains the challenges these women, who were paid by the WPA, faced while delivering their literature.
Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
FilmStruck posted this review of the 1941 film, Ball of Fire, starring Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck. This movie, along with its musical remake, A Song Is Born (1948), is one of my favorites, and this review has some interesting historical insight into this classic, screwball comedy. For example, when one of the gangsters holding the eccentric professors prisoner starts using items in the room for target practice, he says "I saw me a picture last week," and proceeds to wet the sight of his gun, as leading man Gary Cooper did in his previous film, Sergeant York (1941).
Thursday, February 15, 2018
Here is a nice lobby card, posted on Vintage Ads, for the 1934 film, It Happened One Night. A fun movie, it is the story of a runaway heiress being accompanied by a (unknown to her) reporter after the story of her running away. There are some great scenes relating to intercity bus travel, complete with stops at tourist courts.
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Happy Valentine's Day from Ms. Toby Wing, whom I found in an old Film Noir Photos post. In honor of the holiday, I'll be doing a Valentine/Malentine Special on the Swing Shift Shuffle tonight. While most of the songs will be romantic, each set will feature a "Malentine," for those who are less enamored of February 14. Hope you tune in.
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Monday, February 12, 2018
This post on the Hemmings blog discusses the importance of accessories; specifically - period correct clothing to go with your vintage car. The post has several references to resources for those interested in vintage clothing, regardless of whether that interest relates to automobiles or not. One interesting point to me was that the desire for a "complete package" can run both ways. While many folks may become interested in vintage clothing as an accessory to their vintage car, there are some, like the couple pictured here, who acquired their vintage car as an accessory to their vintage clothes.
Friday, February 9, 2018
With the 2018 Winter Olympics now in progress, this 1945 Walt Disney animated short seemed appropriate. It reminds me of the old question: "Did you ever go to a fight and have a hockey game break out?" Posted on YouTube, here is Hockey Homicide.
Thursday, February 8, 2018
Although the ad for this 1939 Nash, posted on Vintage Ads, makes only a slight mention of it, one of the neatest features of the pictured sedan was the bed. Introduced in 1936, the rear seat back hinged up, and in doing so opened up the trunk to the passenger compartment. Two adults could sleep with their legs and feet in the trunk, and their heads and shoulders on the rear seat cushions. I saw photos of one for sale a few years ago, and it was a cool-looking car, inside and out.
Wednesday, February 7, 2018
Tuesday, February 6, 2018
The Internet Archive is a massive and growing resource, and I have long since given up on the idea of exploring it all. Thus, I am always happy to find when someone else posts about an IA collection with which I was not yet familiar. Unfortunately, I have managed to completely forget where I found out about the IA's Pulp Magazine Archive, but to that now forgotten blog poster, please accept my thanks. This collection has full color scans of pulp magazines starting in the early 20th century, proceeding through the height of the pulp era in the 1930's to 1950's, and even up to the (relatively) more recent, glossy (but still pulp-like in content) magazines of the 1980's and 1990's. The cover art, especially on some of the science fiction titles, is especially cool.
Friday, February 2, 2018
Thursday, February 1, 2018
Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Tuesday, January 30, 2018
The next Red Hot Lindy Hop event is this Saturday, February 3, at the Rumba Room. Featuring Jeremy Shrader's Hot Memphis Six, there will be a lindy hop lesson from 6-7, with the band playing from 7-9. More info here.
Monday, January 29, 2018
I'm a little late in posting about this, but better late than never. Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story is a recent documentary about Hollywood legend Hedy Lamarr. Unknown to most, in addition to being considered the most beautiful woman to ever appear on the screen, Ms. Lamarr was responsible for inventing and patenting technology that became the basis for cell phone, wifi and Bluetooth. This film tells that story.
Friday, January 26, 2018
This animated short from 1941 features Gabby, the Lilliputian town crier in the 1939 animated movie, Gulliver's Travels, who went on to star in some shorts. In this cartoon, Gabby helps the king with spring cleaning, with less than optimal results. From the Internet Archive, here is Swing Cleaning.
Thursday, January 25, 2018
Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Tuesday, January 23, 2018
The Red Hot Lindy Hop has started a new schedule of monthly dances at the Rumba Room, and the next event is Saturday, February 3. Featuring Jeremy Shrader's Hot Memphis Six, there will be a lindy hop lesson from 6-7, with the band playing from 7-9. More info here.
Monday, January 22, 2018
When the ice and snow finally melted away this weekend, I was able to drop by an estate sale or two, and I saw this intriguing item. Being accompanied by my apprentice (Benjamin, age 5), who required some supervision, I was unable to do any research on it at the sale. Other than being a bar with a built-in radio, and having a definite 1940's look, I had no information.
Subsequent research revealed it to be a Stewart-Warner "Porto Baradio" from around 1942. It is what it appears to be: a portable bar with a built-in radio. Further research found that this particular piece does not have any of the original glassware, and that the warped speaker grill/radio dial was common for these models. Listed price at the estate sale was $90, but it was 20% off for the second day of the sale, or $72. If it lasted to the next day, it may have been half off.
Friday, January 19, 2018
The reasons posts have been a bit scarce recently is because Memphis and the Mid-South experienced some winter weather over the past week. While we were not reduced to dogsleds and curing caribou meat, the winter wonderland did disrupt school, work and other schedules sufficiently to prevent me from posting anything. We will be back to more typical winter weather next week, and posts should return to a more regular schedule.
Thursday, January 11, 2018
As Boing Boing noted in this post, before robots did the work, machine parts used to be made by people. This 1936 film shows workers machining precision components. If you are a fan of industrial machinery, you should get a kick out of this film.
Wednesday, January 10, 2018
Tuesday, January 9, 2018
Boing Boing pointed me to this video about a British Monopoly game made during World War II. As proof of how supply shortages affected almost every aspect of daily life, this set had no dice, no metal trinkets, low quality cards, and even an apology from the manufacturer for such sacrifices due to the war effort. The video provides a nice little explanation of why such sacrifices were necessary, and how people adapted, as well as a story about how British intelligence used such games to help POWs escape.
Monday, January 8, 2018
In December, the Commercial Appeal reported that the Paris Adult Theater on Summer Avenue in Memphis had closed. Since the early 1970's, this building housed an establishment dedicated to what some call "adult" entertainment. Prior to that, it served as a night club, and at one time a bowling alley. When it opened in 1940, however, it was Memphis' newest movie neighborhood movie theater. Named after the owner's two daughters, Lucy and Ann, its grand opening featured Virginia City starring Errol Flynn and Miriam Hopkins, as well as a Buster Keaton comedy, a short musical number with Woody Herman and His Orchestra, and a Donald Duck cartoon.
Other than the previous owner's name still on the marquee, the exterior of the building has been largely untouched, and the LUCIANN on the front is still quite prominent. Oh, what a wonderful thing it would be for someone to bring it back to its original grandeur. I understand it is for sale.