The inspiration for the 1970s children’s classic, “The Little Penguin Who Hated Science”.
Thanks to this display at an auction, I now know that influenza/flu used to be known as the grippe.
I stayed out of the bidding on a few auction items I wanted, but eventually managed to land this sweet Aultman & Taylor thresher advertising poster as my 2nd and last North Star auction win of the day. It has a pretty savage old-timey insult on their competition I liked, calling them “superior to the flail and an improvement on the devices of ancient Egypt.” It wasn’t until I got it home that I saw a label on the back from the Art Conservation Resource Center — Somebody paid to have this poster restored and preserved back in 1988. Interesting. Further digging found a similar but not exact version of this poster selling for $1,300, and another similar poster with an auction estimate range of $3,000-$6,000. A third one sold in 2012 for $950. The ones I found online have a big “The Aultman-Taylor Thresher and Mounted Horse Power for sale by” underneath the illustration, and mine has a tiny “Chas. Shober & Co., Prop’s Chicago Lith’g Co.” down there. No year listed online or anywhere on the print, and I’m not sure if a restored piece is worth more or less or why mine is different from the ones I found online, but this is still all kinds of neat. Hooray for auctions!
(And if any of you have any clue as to the approximate year this was made, please share!)Continue reading
I am pleased to say I went home with the true jewel of the auction.
Not the most elegant of euphemisms, but effective nonetheless.
The Fifties were a dark time, especially since they hadn’t yet figured out the recipe for Coca-Cola-glazed turkey.
1959 two-page Coca-Cola / Coke Thanksgiving magazine adContinue reading
As I trudged through this rambling, convoluted bit of century-old writing, I started to hear it in the voice of Mojo Jojo (Roger L. Jackson) from The Powerpuff Girls and it suddenly became much, much better.
It still doesn’t explain the blacksmith though.Continue reading
Image: Scan of one of my latest vintage mag acquisitions. Cover illustration by C. William Randall.
Sometimes the cover of vintage magazine catches my eye more than others and I end up digging around to learn more about it. This was one of those times, especially since this particular Vogue magazine from April 1, 1950, wasn’t listed in the lot I won on eBay and received a few weeks ago. I’m not complaining, as another copy of this issue recently sold on eBay for $249.
The cover photo of “Queen of Fashion Inc.” Jean Patchett is by Irving Penn and was the first black and white Vogue cover since they started using color in 1909. The black lipstick Patchett wore was MacGyver’d from mascara to maximize the contrast. Penn was rather prolific and prodigious for Vogue, shooting 165 covers between 1943 and 2009.
Additional trivia: A 17”x15” signed print of this Irving Penn photograph sold for $481,000 at a 2008 Christie’s auction.
Damn, I have good and expensive taste!
Would you like to know more?
It starts off innocently enough. Vague, nice-sounding, feel-good advice on how to live better and longer. And then… BANANAS! EAT BANANAS! DID WE MENTION BANANAS?
It’s a double-truck ad from United Fruit Company, one of the companies quite literally responsible for bringing the term “Banana Republic” from fiction to the real world.
(Her yellow gloves were a very nice touch.)
So eat lots of bananas, kiddos, or Miss Chiquita will cut ya.
Banana Fun Facts: There is no such thing as a banana tree. Bananas come from a herbaceous flowering plant with a pseudostem often mistaken for a tree trunk.
The tiers of a banana cluster are called hands, and each banana is also known as a finger.
If you hate those gross stringy things you find on a banana after peeling it, then you hate phloem bundles.
Lastly, bananas are naturally radioactive. Yay! Continue reading