Quote and Credit

Quote and Credit


Painting a Little Wooden Folk Art Dog for the Garden

Painting a Wooden Cutout Dog.  At least I think it's a dog.  It has a collar...cat?

Original Snapshot circa 1950?  Collection Jim Linderman

The Day I Spoke to Captain Kangaroo

The Day I Spoke to Captain Kangaroo

My first real, paying job in Manhattan was working at CBS News, and at the time the Captain was still around.  Way at the end of the building (a converted Milk Factory on West 57th Street) Captain Kangaroo was still being broadcast, though the year I started they had just shorted him to a half- hour a day…to concentrate on the CBS Morning News rather than educating the kids.  The Captain didn't like it and eventually quit.  Still the props were around and it was pretty cool to see them.

Bob Keeshan was certainly a part of my life, as were the libelous dirty jokes we told about Mr. Green Jeans behind the barn when I was older.   We were being mean, as I don't think "Lumpy"  Brannum, who played the barnyard buddy, would do the things we described.  Other regulars on the show, which you have forgotten, were Dr. Bill Cosby, Dr. Joyce Brothers  and Dr. Cosmo Allegertti as Mr. Bunny Rabbit, Mr. Moose, Miss Frog, Mr. Whispers, Dancing Bear, Grandfather Clock, Uncle Ralph AND the Magic Drawing Board!

Anyway, I was working in the library fielding calls like "How do you spell Hosni Mubarak's first name" and "Did anyone ever cross the Pacific in a balloon" when to my surprise the next call didn't ask a question, didn't say hello…it just said "This is the Captain" in a soothing voice which put me right back on the couch before school in the second grade.  He really called himself the Captain!  I can't remember what he wanted…but I'll never forget hearing his voice.

Bob Keeshaw marketed the "googly eyes" drinking cup here himself.   The eyes are "lenticular" which means they follow you as put the milk carton carefully back into the fridge all by yourself.  "Captain Kangaroo" is a trademark of "The Cashin Comedy Company" which he did. The cup on the base has "Robert Keeshaw Associates" scrolled around the center.

Captain Kangaroo "Sip" Cup.  Collection Jim Linderman

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Butch Austin Black Cartoonist for (and OF) Jive

Butch Austin Forgotten Black Cartoonist for Jive.
Still no help a year later on my query for information on the hep jive talking African-American cartoonist Butch Austin, who worked for Jive Magazine in the late 1950s.  Let's try again...

Anyone out there know the story of Butch Austin, Forgotten Black Cartoonist?


Lingerie Show (with hat) 1959

I don't really know how enthused the fashion editors are, but this is a wonderful pair of snapshots.  I guess one could say a ritual seldom seen?

Anonymous "Lingerie Show" 1959 Collection Jim Linderman


Harry McGregor Pulls a Wagon

A 1933 postcard from the Ripley's Odditorium at the Century of Progress Fair in 1933.  Harry's wife adds insult to injury by threatening to poke one of his hard-working eyes with her finger. 
Real Photo Postcard 1933 Collection Jim Linderman
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Original Paintings by Nyla Gladine Thompson Mouth Painter c. 1950 Polio Survivor Collection Jim Linderman

 Nyla Gladine Thompson Mouth Painter

Small hand-painted works by a remarkable artist.  I've been collecting her original works for a few years, and always try to purchase them when I find them.  Do not be confused by reproduction postcards, which the artist also sold…these are all small oil paintings by a woman who painted with her mouth.

Ms. Thompson painted flowers, landscapes, animals and more.  A family genealogical site speculates she also painted (in sections at a time) decorations for a "Tee Pee" restaurant in Texas, this would likely be the Tee Pee Motel which was recently restored and put back to service by a lottery winner (!) but I can find no photographs of the decorations on the standing buildings.  They were certainly painted over or cleaned over the years.

That the artist manages to fully realize a recognizable, personal vision in her work is amazing considering her physical handicap.  The detail is extraordinary.  One distinguishing mark of her work is the countless specks she applies one at a time.  A primitive pointillist.   In the earliest work here, she has even decorated and signed the painting on the reverse to create a traditional postcard.
The best biographical material on the artist comes from Annette Patterson's website HERE.  Ms. Patterson has done a wonderful job tracing information on her extended Texas family, and has also written a book with several pages on Nyla.  Family photographs of the artist appear on the site.

Ms. Thompson was fairly well-known during her time.  The website shows letters she received from  both President Franklin Roosevelt (another polio survivor) and Lady Bird Johnson (a Texan who certainly loved flowers as much as Nyla.)  As such, it is odd that she has not been included in the many books published in the last 40 years or so on "outsider" artists.  She would seem to be right up Herbert Hemphill's alley, but I do not recall seeing her work in print.  I sold my Texas Folk Art books years ago, maybe someone can help here.

Nyla Gladine Thompson Paintings, each 4" x 6" circa 1940 - 1965 All Collection Jim Linderman
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Dollhouse Old Sparky MIniature Electric Chair

For the Dollhouse with everything.  A miniature Electric Chair.

Early Folk Art Whirligig Man (or Whirling Arms Toy) Collection Jim Linderman

Early Folk Art Whirligig Man (or Whirling Arms Toy.) Lovely wear and paint on this small spinning arms whirligig or toy.  There is an old wire mechanism (seen on reverse) which allows the arms to rotate and move back and forth.  

Wooden Whirling Arms Toy Circa 1880 Collection Jim Linderman


I probably should have saved this for Shark Week, but I post them as I find them.  Another of what Poet William Carlos Williams must have been thinking of when he wrote one of my favorite lines: "The pure products of America Go Crazy."  

"Wiggle Fish" Paper Fish "trick" novelty gag  1943  The Lester Game Co. Toledo, OH.  Collection Jim Linderman

The Big Goodyear Tire (Less Annoying than the Blimp?)

The other Goodyear Blimp: The Big Rolling Tire

As I looked up to confirm it was actually the Goodyear Blimp hovering over the putters during the U.S. Open this weekend, the first thing which came up was a question from someone asking "Am I the only person to dislike the noise of the Goodyear Blimp engines on sky sports coverage of the US golf open?" so I guess I'm not alone. 

Well, it's more about the brand than it is the blimp.  You THOUGHT of the blimp, and that's all they needed.  Brand AWARENESS is what they are after, and they've been doing it over 100 years.  The blimp first rose to the skies over 100 years ago.  1912.  Since then, I presume we have put cameras on the moon which could read the brand name on Phil's ball, but still..."Look in the Sky!  Goodyear!"

I'm not sure when this tire appeared, but not long after the blimp.  In 1926 Goodyear became the world's largest rubber company and they went public a year later.  This photo probably dates to then.

As I strive to be balanced in my reporting, let's see what Wiki says about Goodyear!

"Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst identified Goodyear as the 19th-largest corporate producer of air pollution in the United States, with roughly 4.16 million lbs of toxins released into the air annually. Major pollutants included sulfuric acid, cobalt compounds, and chlorine.[24] The Center for Public Integrity reports the Goodyear has been named as a potentially responsible party in at least 54 of the nation's Superfund toxic waste sites."

Well, I still like this big tire.

Original Snapshot Anonymous circa 1925? Collection Jim Linderman

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Folk Art Puppet Doll with Wooden Head

Early Folk Art Puppet (or doll) with wooden head. Circa 1920  Collection Jim Linderman

Singlee with Blowtorch

Singlee singes his snout for Ripley's Odditorium 1934 Century of Progress

Ships of the Air Newspaper Collectibles for Scrapping

For one young collector, the Sunday Funnies meant a pair of scissors and glue.  

One page from an enormous scrapbook found at an outdoor weekend flea market.  There are hundreds and hundreds of illustrations arranged a week at a time by subject.  Others include Inventions, Leaves, Transportation, History, Flags, Famous Men, Famous Women, Birds, Reptiles...a homemade encyclopedia one week at a time.

The Sunday Funnies went color around 1900, and while the strips today receive the most attention, there was a week's worth of work in each edition for the kids.  Puzzles, paper dolls, quizzes.  Some even included entire dioramas to be assembled.  

Each of the miraculous airships here are 2" x 3"

Scrapbook Pages (Inventions)  From an undated scrapbook.  Collection Jim Linderman


Tire Turtle Turtle Recycled Folk Art

A turtle with treads!  He gets good mileage, but often doesn't make it across the road.

Folk Art Turtle made from Tires Collection Jim Linderman

Cowboy Birthday Vernacular Photographs on the Backyard Range

Cowboy Birthday on the backyard range.  
Anonymous snapshots (no date) collection Jim Linderman

Harry Ingalls Scams Swindles Steals Frauds (and Tells your Fortune!) Crook with a Zodiac Astrological Turban and a Checkerd Past

Like all things not based on sound scientific research,  anything "Astrological" or "Zodiac" is a big fraud, and that the crap continues to appear in newspapers and such is amazing to me.  Not as in "ooh…that is so amazing that my horoscope came true" but as in "Gawd, how many stupid people believe that crap?"  How can a newspaper have any credibility if they run a daily astrology column, even if it IS the first (and only) thing folks turn to?  They might as well give coupons for "psychic readings"or free Tarot cards.   Thankfully, I am sure one can now purchase any number of Apps which will spin the lucky wheel for you.

(Sure enough…the first article I found is "THE BEST" astrology apps for Android.  Suckers.)

Read it here.  It is a scam.  It doesn't even qualify for "pseudo-science" or for that matter an art form.  It's crap.  A lie.  Fraud. In my opinion criminal and actionable.  Which means one could sue their psychic, except that you probably agree not to in the small print.

It is 2013 as I write this.  We've had centuries to weed out those who prey on the ignorance and blind trust of the people, yet still I hear advertisements for psychics and such.  All that has changed is the turban.  Now most are women. 

By all accounts (and there are very few) Harry Ingalls, self-proclaimed "Greatest Fortune Teller in the World" had a normal childhood in a well-to-do family which dated way back to the earliest days of the country in Massachusetts.  So why did he begin a career in scams, swindles and fraud?  Maybe the family cut him off from the old money.  I've gone over the box of cards here looking for the standard disclaimer "for entertainment only" but my third eye fails to find it. 

Harry wrote one book.  Tea Cup Reading: Tell Fortunes by Tea Leaves, which he published himself out of Swampscott, MA around 1930.  Yea…your fortune is shown in your tea leaves.  At that time, he was calling himself "The Master Mind" I guess.   Here he is the same year appearing with "The Checker Girls" whoever they were.  If my understanding of show business is true, one of the checker girls fell under his spell, he started drinking and it ended miserably.

When Harry began turning up with his gimmick on the radio, he called himself "The Wizard of Mental Telepathy" which reminds me to say there are no wizards and telepathy is a scam too.
An article on Harry appeared in 1957 in "The Yankee Seer" which could have been another of Harry's names.  A Seer is a clairvoyant.  There are no clairvoyants either.  Last night I must have had my oracle on, as I dreamed up some lucky numbers of my own!  Number one and number two…fortunately, I woke up and made it to the bathroom.

The deck of cards above are not scarce at all.  Harry sold a TON of them.  Even today, on a "Tarot" website I found a thread of seers discussing them STILL, so they turn up all the time.