Quote and Credit

Quote and Credit

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The Manipulated Paperback Privacy Pestering and Pervs







Women on the subway, particularly prior to the acceptance of ipod plugs, will bury their nose in a book so as to avoid attention from creeps. They often use homemade book covers as well, to mask the title from straphanging men who either claim to have read the book or ask if it is good. (ummm...guilty)

Never, however, have I seen a book which has had a fake cover applied by someone permanently, in particular in such a curious manner. Some goofball,
in the early 1980's, covered this paperback in a design of his own making composed of shopping bag paper, a cutout from a men's magazine, and a handwritten spine. He even wrapped her arm around it. She doesn't even appear to have red hair. Certainly not the book I would choose to read in public, but I would liked to have seen his whole library. Book courtesy of William Smith, Hangfire books. (He has better ones, and his website is great)

"Betrayed by Rita Hayworth by Manuel Puig. Vintage Books edition 1981 with handmade applied cover. Collection Jim Linderman

Alaska Tlingit and the Bear Totem Store RPPC



I feel sorry for Alaska, by FAR one of the greatest states in the Union. Since the collective attention span of the United States has been scientifically determined to be only several months, unfortunately, for most Americans when the state is mentioned they think of future failed talk show host Sarah Palin and her grandson Tripp, the future governor of the state. However, Alaska truly has a rich, historic past which reaches far beyond our increasingly shrinking memories.

Wrangell is one of the oldest non-Native cities in Alaska, yet still only has a population of a few thousand. For a little town, it has an Alaska-sized history. And I mean Petroglyph era history. The Tlingit lived there, a tribe of people with a great cultural heritage of their own and superb artistic skills. Wrangell was actually founded because of a Russian, Ferdinand Petrovich Wrangel, the Russian "go-to guy" in Alaska, in 1834. The intention was to trade with the Tlingit. And no wonder...they trapped sea otters, harvested beaver and made sublime crafts, of which the Totem Pole is one of the best known.


In 1920, Walter Waters established the above shop, The Bear Totem Store, to sell Tlingit art. Walter was a former mailman who, considering the size of Alaska, probably went though a pair of shoes a day. However, along his travels he met many natives and acquired not only a wonderful collection, but established good relations with the artists and craftspeople, thus opening the curio shop above to trade in their goods. It must have been an extraordinary place.
Unfortunately, The Bear Totem Store burned to the ground along with virtually the entire town of Wrangell in the 1950's. For those of you with family who purchased items there, the phone numbers for Sotheby's and Christie's are available online.

The Bear Totem Store Wrangel Alaska Real Photo Post Card c. 1941 Collection Jim Linderman

Old Old Maid Cards and an Old Old Card Game




Since even the name of the game is "Old Maid" we shouldn't be surprised the images might be a bit sexist. In the gaming world, the concept is known as a "going out game" as the idea is to get rid of your cards. From Victorian days, Old Maid is a card game with a universal spread and each country has a funny name for it. "Scabby Queen" in the UK, "Ungguy-ungguyan" in the Philippines, "Baba-nuki" in Japan, "Blind King" in Egypt, "Gir-Gir" in Turkey, "Stink" in Brazil. The Dutch call it "Black Pete" and play it in the "jackass" style. You do not need vintage sexist cards, any deck of cards will do, but you have to remove one and give it a nasty name. I don't think I want to see the commercial versions of "Stink" or "Scabby Queen" at all.


Sample Old Maid cards, c. 1940 Collection Jim Linderman

Vintage Erotic Vernacular Photography Shy Shamed Secret Shadowed Hidden




Victor Minx Informs us
Shy Shamed Secret Shadowed Hidden is now available!

Preview the first 15 pages FREE and PURCHASE HERE
Limited edition of 100 Hardcover with Book Jacket
Unlimited edition (for now) in Paperback

Collector Goes Overboard. Cigar Band Man


I spent plenty of time at the 26th Street Flea Market and the Pier Shows in NYC. I was a regular. I don't know if folks noticed me and said "there's that guy again" but I certainly said it to enough to myself. My favorites? The one legged man entirely dressed in a pirate uniform asking each dealer for cast iron cookware. The large man asking repeatedly "poker chips? poker chips? poker chips?" while dressed in a dingy t-shirt which read of course "POKER CHIPS" and the most flamboyant fellow in stripped tights...and I mean tight. Here is another fellow who seems to have taken his hobby a bit too far...a man dressed in cigar bands. At least he is appearing at the International Cigar Band Society convention in New York City in 1947. I hope he took a cab right to the show, but if not, I guess no one would have looked twice.

Original Press Photograph, Man with Cigar Band Clothing 1947 Collection Jim Linderman

Whereaway Bull Shores Button American Eagle (?) RPPC


I confess to having no idea what or where a Whereaway is. And until I have more coffee, I am not inclined to try to find out. Someone there did have the time to make a button eagle, and the gumption to have it documented with a real photo post card.

American Eagle at Whereaway Bull Shoals Arkansas RPPC c. 1930? Collection Jim Linderman

The World's First Voice Mail and who we can Blame


I reckon this is the fellow we can blame. The world's first answering machine, now known as voice mail, but back then known as Televoice. The date? 1933. I am going to guess the first "early adopters" were stockbrokers who after laying off their secretary, were thrilled to be able to screen calls, even if the unit took up their entire office. Note the tiny little wheels. I am sure Mr. Keiser was hoping to claim it was portable. Oh...if only I had HIS number. On the reverse "When the phone rings, the machine lifts the receiver, a record advises "Mr-----is not in, but requests that you leave your message, which will be automatically recorded" Great, eh? Can you imagine Keiser lugging the thing around and setting it up in the offices of potential investors? "I'll get it set up in just a minute...It worked just the other day fine!"

Original press photo 1933 Collection Jim Linderman

David Byrne Kindle Obsessive Text and the Porter


Click to enlarge (not that it will do much good)

Ahh, Kindle. I'll give in one day soon. I do not lack for reading material, the web has loaded the content of so many things my fingers wear out far before my eyes. But I thought I would address an issue seldom discussed, but will become increasingly evident as we progress. David Byrne on his blog recently said he enjoyed his kindle as he didn't have to lug around books in his luggage. Well, neither did anyone else. Including baggage folks. No one has to deliver the book to his house either. No one has to print it. No one has to do the typesetting, the binding, the paper...Every step of production is gone or going, and all of them were good union jobs at one time. My first real job was paperboy. We don't need no paperboys. We don't need no mailman. We're not going to need no librarian, except to scan our card keeping track of which computer we're using. This analogy extends to so many once physical activities which provided jobs that it is scary. Whenever I hear a reporter claim "jobs will be back in 18 months" I cringe. There are no jobs coming back. Nothing needs to be done made, boxed, carried or delivered. So for now, I'll just say "Kindle this, Amazon"...and I hope a certain percent of the cyber-royalties are going to food distribution...and that they pass a low requiring all Barnes and Noble stores be turned into roller rinks.

Religion fanatic diatribe on postcard Obsessive script mailed from Chesterton, Maryland to Burlington, Iowa 1911 Collection Jim Linderman

At the Circus in Black and White Ray's in La Crosse and Helen Mae Hoeft, Early Woman Photographer



A circus photo (of a sideshow banner for a "midnight ramble" show) taken by, or developed by, Ray's Studio in La Crosse Wisconsin. One Edwin Hill recounts the tale of La Crosse early photographers in his Master thesis in 1978. Ray's photo was in fact Helen Mae Hoeft, who used the shop name as a pseudonym to avoid sex-discrimination in the photo field. She feared customers would not buy photographic services from a woman when she started up in 1924. The name of the business has changed since, but as of 1978 was still in operation. I do not know if Ms. Hoeft took this photo or merely developed it at the studio for another, but the stamp is here. (Click "At the circus in Black and White" to see other posts in the series)

Untitled circus photo c. 1930 La Crosse, WI collection Jim Linderman

Wendts upon Wendts! Composite Cabinet Card of a Tiny Contortionist



Frank Wendt, who I have devoted an entire site to HERE composed this cabinet card photograph made up of eight earlier photos he took of the same wiggly boy, Albert Powell Jr. A contortionist quality photo! And just when I thought I had collected them all, I now have 8 more to look for.


Albert Powell Jr. Cabinet Card by Frank Wendt, c. 1890 Collection Jim Linderman

Eating a Philly Cheesesteak in SIX SECONDS the Lenticular Way



Chewed fingernails and Lenticular Baseball Player collection Jim Linderman

It's the MAILMAN! We get Letters at Dull Tool Dim Bulb








I am frequently asked, Jim? Do you receive letters at Dull Tool Dim Bulb, and if so, do you answer them all? Of COURSE we do, and each and every letter received is not only read by the editor, he frequently sends them directly by inter-office pneumatic tube to the appropriate expert on the staff to answer. Your stamp is not wasted when it goes on a letter to DTDB! Here is but a brief sample of our mailbag.

"The Balls of your Feet" Flat Foot Feet Photo


Untitled ("Flat Feet Story") Anonymous Press Photograph, Hand Embellished 1923 Collection Jim Linderman

Horrors in Wax #13 Special Hot Wax Beauties of the 50's Edition




I haven't done a Horrors in Wax for a while. Here you go!

Wax Brigitte Bardot, propped up in front of a dressing room mirror so you can take in every angle of her splendid wax rear. Bardot has been convicted five times for "inciting racial hatred" as she doesn't like race mixing. In her book "A Scream in the Silence" she attacks "the mixing of genes" and calls homosexuals "fairground freaks". In 1966, Harry Belafonte recorded "Zombie Jamboree" which has a verse dedicated to her. She used to be hot.

Wax Marilyn, is, of course, a wax icon and as such an easy target. Wax Marilyn is really Norma Jeane Mortenson, although because of divorce, abandonment and such, her last name is really up for grabs. As a child, she grew up in foster homes and was sexually assaulted...maybe. She appeared in a movie called "Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hey! She was an alcoholic and drug addict. For a time, her address was "Payne Whitney Psychiatric Clinic" She broke Joltin' Joe Dimaggio's heart which alone earns her an honorary place in the wax hall of shame. Tony Curtis once said kissing her was "like kissing Hitler" While dating Arthur Miller, the press referred to the couple as "The Egghead and the Hourglass" After "meeting" President Kennedy, she repeatedly telephoned the White House so often Bobby was sent out to LA and presumably told her to cut it out. Hugh Hefner owns the crypt spot next to her, and the one spot directly above hers was sold on ebay in 2009. She used to be hot.

Gina Lollobrigida,remarkably, and despite being showered with flowers while lounging on a chaise taking calls from suitors...kept her nose clean. I have nothing scandalous to report, other than she used to be hot.

Three Wax Museum Postcards, c. 1960 Collection Jim Linderman
Click the subject heading label to see previous wax wonders.

Untitled (ghoul)


Untitled (detail) c. 1930 Collection Jim Linderman

Blue on Blue the Regenerative Cyanotype



Did you know restaurant menus NEVER use blue ink? It is because blue has been shown to decrease the appetite. Think about it. From the Waffle House all the way to the Four Seasons, every shade of bright, vibrant and fresh appears, but blue is a no-no.

in 1842 Sir John Herschel invented the cyanotype, but it was a woman named Anna Atkins who turned it into an art. In one of the most arcane activities I can imagine, and for some curious reason, Dame Atkins decided to collect algae and save them by laying each on light-sensitized paper, creating some 400 images which were published in the first book of photographs. So the very first photograph book was not only published by a woman, it was composed entirely of blue photographs of seaweed. Only 17 copies exist today.

Cyanotypes must be the least expensive photography technique, as the once ubiquitous "blueprints" used by architects and home builders were cyanotypes.


The most extraordinary property of the cyanotype is it's regenerative behavior.
Like a starfish with an arm torn off, they come back! They lose their blue easily, but if a faded cyanotype photograph is stored in a dark environment, a good deal of the original color will return like magic. Maybe we should print money in blue?

Untitled (Lumber truck) cyanotype photograph c. 1915 Collection Jim Linderman

LET'S BRING BACK THE MONKEYS! (A Splendid Follow-Up Letter)



A few days ago, I received the following letter about the Monkey postcards I posted months ago in June...needless to say, I just mailed them off to her as a gift. I'm sure you'll enjoy these excerpts from her mail.

"My Name is Linda, I Would like to know more about the picture Post Cards you have of the St. Louis Zoo St. Louis, Missouri. You Pictured some of my fathers work. The reason I ask is the fact that my father designed and built all the equipment for the shows, and came in to repair cages when needed. It brought back a lot of wonderful memories to see the things my father built in color. I told my children about them. They saw B&W pictures of work in stages. Finished before painting. This gives them the chance to see them in color. My father was a very Talented man. ( design & fabrication ) He was quite a genius.

I felt bad that the blog didn't mentioned the Designer. If you had known him perhaps you would understand why I feel the way I do. He should get credit for his work. He was a wonderful and quite intelligent man. That’s why the zoo contracted him.

When I was 6 to 10 when dad would go to the zoo. He would let me go with him, if I were not in school. Mike would be there doing work with the chimps. I would get to ride the ponies with them. poncho and I were allowed to go for short walks on the zoo grounds hand in hand. It was quite an experience. NOBODY ELSE that I know got to take a chimp for a walk in the park.
There was not one vehicle that I didn't get to take a ride in before they went to the zoo. I have so many fond memories of that time. You know we became good friends with Mike (The trainer, dtdb) and his family. When we would go over to their house mike always had a baby chimp in training. He kept them at home while small and raised them as part of his family. Diaper, Pants & shirt. The one's he was training were treated better than a lot of humans. They were exactly like his children. They sat in a high chair at the table to eat until they were able to set at the table and eat along with the family. Mike loved those chimps as if they were his children.

As for PETA half the time they do not know what they are talking about. Those animals were not mistreated by doing shows. They had more LOVE and ATTENTION than a lot of children get from their parents. Oh how I wish those days had not disappeared. Every one seems to find bad in everything. How much things have changed."

At the Circus in Black and White


Starring in Snows of Kilimanjaro, Featured in Africa's Splendor, Starring in King Solomon's Mine

Untitled (Circus Performer) Anonymous Snapshot, c. 1950 Collection Jim Linderman