Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year

With all the politics and discontent, the coming year is likely to be about as ugly as a potato in a hat carrying an umbrella. So why not begin 2017 with a card featuring...well...a potato wearing a hat, carrying an umbrella? Here's wishing you and yours the happiest and most prosperous of years, may all the blemishes be superficial and your potatoes be sweet ones.

For New Years - The Merry Widow

Something for the New Years Ball?

Monday, December 26, 2016

The Funnies - Handy John (1914)

"You may be weak on literature, John, but when it comes to Christmas shopping you're a wonder."
Life Magazine, December 3, 1914

Saturday, December 24, 2016

The Funnies - Special Christmas Eve Edition

Cartoonist Jay Norwood "Ding" Darling expressing the Christmas sentiment 100 years ago for the Des Moines Register and Leader. Ding was a multi-talented fellow and important in the conservation movement as well as being an editorial cartoonist, he helped initiate the Federal Duck Stamp program, designed its first stamp, and headed up the US Biological Survey (the forerunner of the Fish and Wildlife Service) for Franklin D. Roosevelt. The man's got a Pulitzer, a National Audubon Society Award, and a nature preserve named after him...who says doodling won't get you anywhere?

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Good For Nothing Gifts...According to Life Magazine

A little article on what the editors of Life Magazine considered worthless gifts back in 1953.


Friday, December 9, 2016

The Yellow Pages Christmas Tree

Remember making telephone book Christmas trees in grade school? I don't have a lot of positive memories about my formative years in the Indiana Public School System - they mostly consist of being bullied, berated, and embarrassed at every turn for some shortcoming or another. One thing I do remember is folding thousands of pages of telephone books to make holiday Christmas trees during the run-up to Christmas break. Now there aren't even phone books to fold, so I wonder what pointlessly time consuming activity kindergarten teachers employ now?

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Christmas List - Sunbeam

Normally this one would show up on the Naughty List, but there's a specific piece of equipment in this ad that I just acquired. The Sunbeam deep fryer or as I like to call it - the Sunbeam Grease Spreader. Mine is missing the mesh basket, still when it reaches temperature it's greasing machine. Looks like a part from a 50's jet too.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Christmas List - Bolex

The camera with a name that sounds like a swearing Brit, Bolex. I don't think a six-year-old has ever uttered the phrase, "ooh...Daddy got a Bolex!", at least not without getting his mouth washed out with soap. Anyway, now that 8mm manual cameras are trendily outdated, I'm imagining they're utterly craveable and therefor a good add to your hipster's stocking. For me, I'll always remember discovering mom's 8mm Kodak and attempting to make a Ray Harryhausen-esque stop-motion film in the back yard with Star Wars action figures as props. Occasionally we'd get a burst of what looked like movement, but mostly we got over-exposed film and pictures of our fingers.

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Christmas List - Ronson Lighters (1953)

Can't look at this ad without thinking about my grandmother setting her hair on fire when she turned her Ronson butane lighter up way too high.

The Funnies - A Wise Boy (1915)

"It's a wise boy that knows his own father"
Life Magazine, December 1915

Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Christmas List - Kaywoodie Pipes

In an alternate, crossover universe Tony Stark and Harley Quinn are married.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

The Christmas List - Life Bras (1940)

I'm just saying I'll have what she's having...

The Naughty List - Toro

Even if I had a lawn you'd never find a mower (or any other piece of yard care equipment) on my Christmas list...

Friday, December 2, 2016

The Naughty List - Phillip Morris (1941)

Just a reminder that Lucy and Ricky were brought to you by that little demon cancer jockey, the Philip Morris Boy. Product placement was a different animal back in the 40's, 50's, and 60's. Your favorite characters would break from the action to pick up a cup of coffee and extol it's value to you or light up a cigarette and tell you how it calms their nerves. Not sure which is worst, a blatant shill or a hidden one.

The Christmas List - Kaywoodie Pipes

The pipe that's more than a pipe...especially after six decades when "woodie" has a whole new meaning. The picture says it all. "No, Don, I don't want to hold your Kaywoodie, now if you don't leave me along you'll be spending Christmas night on the couch."

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Naughty List - Cannon Sheets and Towels (1940)

The detectives gathered in close as Mabel lit her cigarette. It'd been ten hours and their years of experience working homicide cases told them she was ready to talk, ready to unburden herself and close the case.

"Every year it was the same," she said, exhaling a cloud of smoke. "first it was the vacuum cleaner, then the girdle, then the scales...he was just clueless. So I told him, Richard I would like something nice for Christmas - like jewelry or perfume. I figured he'd do okay, you know some guys just have to be told what to do, and then..." She took a long drag on the cigarette and stared off into the low cloud bank of smoke that'd began to collect around the single lamp overhead.

"And then?" The lead detective prompted.

"At first I thought he'd finally got it, what with the pretty packages under the tree, but he hadn't you see. First was wash rags, then dish towels, then bath towels...I just...I just snapped...I don't really remember anything else."

The lead detective drew a deep breath and sat back in his chair, assessing the woman sitting in front of him."

"Do you think I'll get the chair?" She asked, her voice trembling.

"No ma'am, no jury would convict you for killing a man who gave you wash rags for Christmas..."

The Christmas List - Philco Slender Seventeener

The Philco Seventeer, not sure if that means the screen is 17 inches or if it was geared toward 50's teens, but in an era of look-alike flat screens it's a pretty sweet looking set. Here's something Hitachi, think about making a faux alligator skin case for your flat screen sets.