Quote and Credit

Quote and Credit


Earl Moran Cheesecake and the Rifkin Safety Sac with Arcolock

Here is Earl Steffa Moran taking some time from throwing fabulous parties in the San Fernando Valley and arranging for his work to be shown in prestigious journals of art such as Flirt, Wink and Giggles. Having his paintings licensed for use on advertising cards for Rifkin's Bank Bags and Safety Sacs was also not quite what he had in mind when he was studying at the Art Student's League in Manhattan (a place I once wandered into after shopping at the now closed Coliseum Books on West 57th Street and encountered two nude models chatting near the admissions office) Moran is probably the most prolific pin-up artist of all time. He also discovered and as seen here, painted one Norma Jean Dougherty who later went on to seduce a baseball player and a president. After years of partying and painting, Moran decided to concentrate on his work and began painting more seriously. His subject? I kid you not...Nudes.

Four Advertising price list cards, c. 1945. Collection Jim Linderman

Three Vans

Three Advertising Postcards, c. 1965 Collection Jim Linderman

Fury in Whittier Park! Vernacular Photographs of Motion Picture Making in the Early 1930's

Fury in Whittier Park? Actually, Fury in Malibou Lake, a place you've seen without even knowing it. These rare, original photographs were taken during the filming of "Fury in the Jungle" in 1933, a typical, disposable adventure yarn directed by Roy Neill, who would go on to direct, among many others, the Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes films, several Three Stooges shorts and even the noir classic Black Angel. No one of any great consequence acted in this film, at least as far as I can tell...but the STAR is the lake itself! In 1931, Boris Karloff as Frankenstein met the girl here. In The Bad Seed this was the location of the drowning scene. Chaplin filmed pieces of The Great Dictator here. In this potboiler, Malibou Lake became "Morongo, South America" and was filled with rubber alligators. Many of the photos here have notes describing the action being staged. Unusual historical content for a group of snaps!

Set of Original Snapshots of a Motion Picture Set, California, 1933 Collection Jim Linderman

United Society of Christian Endeavor Tool Chest Price List

Prayer Meeting Topics, Daily Readings and Price list for 1900. United Society of Christian Endeavor
Collection Jim Linderman

I Desire a Return of Affection: Calling Cards and Tokens of Affection

These weren't made with a dull tool or a dim bulb. Often sold by traveling salesmen for a dollar a bundle, these engraved paper tokens were given as polite gestures, presented for thanks and left in a small tray near the doorway for visitors. I've touched on calligraphy in an earlier post, it was a skill which used to be taught to children in school. These are all printed examples, but hand drawn ones are only a little harder to find, they are often glued in scrapbooks or at the bottom of a box of paper objects. Each is smaller than a credit card. Assorted Calling Cards and Tokens of Affection. C. 1860-1890. Collection Jim Linderman

The Brothers Bily and the Spillville Clocks

Frank and Joseph Bily worked "on the clock(s)" for 30 years, all of them before computer games came along to waste time, a concept which certainly meant a lot to them. Shown here are the Parade of Nations clock with 36 revolving figures, the American Pioneer History clock and the Paradise clock . More clocks are in the Bily Clocks museum, the brothers bequeathed them all to the town of Spillville, Iowa. Despite having a population of only a few hundred, Spillville has one of the finest "portable polka floors" in North America. Visit soon, Tempus Fugit!

Group of Bily Brothers postcards, date unknown, collection Jim Linderman

Arnold Ziffel, Porcine Pneumonia and the Educated Pig

Be it an educated pig as shown here (taking a slider face first to serve some point) or the famous "learned pig" national treasure Ricky Jay has written about, the swine has long been man's smart friend in the animal world. Anyone who doubts this need only watch an episode of Green Acres featuring Arnold "The Pig" Ziffel. In one episode I remember, not long after the series went to color, he even BLUSHED himself RED. In another episode, Arnold became a painter and adopted the name "Porky Picasso" until his masterpiece "Nude at a Filling Station" was banned. At any rate, the Porcine Pneumonia seems to be subsiding, thanks be to God. I had the flu for six months once, and I do NOT want it again.

Original Photograph "The Educated Pig" circa 1930. Collection Jim Linderman

Wendover Will vs. Big John

Wendover Will wins at 64 feet. Big John? A paltry 40 feet. John is also stationary, while Wendover Will waves!

Two Advertising Sign Post Cards, c. 1960 Collection Jim Linderman

Let's go to the Circus IN THE BASEMENT

There are LOTS of circus models, but I think only one is being auctioned this month in Canada. Maynard's in Vancouver is selling the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus made by Bert and Bill Backstein on May 20. As you can see, the Backstein boys even made tiny sideshow banners. The first two photos show but a "small" amount of the material being sold.

Other circus replicas abound. Just a few more are shown here, but there are hundreds of miniature circus carvings, probably one in each town... John Zweifel's staggering miniature with hoards of Lilliputians crowding towards the entrance...and the Lou Ann Circus complete with operating electric generators, room for 10,000 tiny people and enough entertainment for them all, finally the tobacco scented creation of Ed Hollis. Every boy wanted to run away and join the circus at one time or another...some had to be content with making one downstairs.

Assorted Post Card Miniature circus models, c. 1950. Collection Jim Linderman

Young Man BE HONEST Train Yourself for Useful Work

Kalamazoo Vegetable Parchment Company Motivational Religious Placard 1947 Collection Jim Linderman

Dic Dillon's Working World Masterpiece (Ask anyone...)

With my affinity for alliteration, how can I avoid Dic Dillon's Direct from Denmark Double-sized Diorama? Indeed! Hand carved from pocket knives, 8 years to carve, 30 scenes, 150 characters, 1143 pounds of wood, 8 pounds of metal, 6 pounds of silver wire, 30,000 working parts...Valued at $100,000. Well, maybe...we could check it, since I find no record it still remains, SOMEONE bought it. East Liverpool, Ohio does have the world's largest toxic dump incinerator, maybe it was built on the site of this working world masterpiece, which was made by 3 disabled World War Veterans...that would be the first World War.

c. 1925 Hand-out Advertising Card. Collection Jim Linderman