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.