Quote and Credit

Quote and Credit


At the Circus in Black and White #7 (or #8 or #9?) Look them up

Light posts today, it being Mad travel day, which ended for me the day I left Times Square, thank heavens. Boy, I used to hate going to Grand Central on holidays. All I need to do now is take the medicine and drive over to see the folks. No one is going to SEE this post, however, for artists, consistency is THE virtue, so here you go, my daily post.

Untitled (Three Clowns) Anonymous circus snapshot, circa 1955. Collection Jim Linderman

Traveling? Be Safe, Don't Text and Drive. EVER

"Thanksgiving In Ye Olden Times" Handmade Postcard, Mailed from Colorado to Kansas 1911. Collection Jim Linderman

Gals Gams Garters Sample Page

In the 1960's, a student at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia was dumpster-diving and made a remarkable find. A scrapbook consisting of dozens of pages of the female form (in stockings) which had been carefully assembled into a fetish object of considerable girth! With 80 pages, and despite decay, the student saved the packet for decades. They have now been published in a book which is itself a little work of art. Our anonymous artist would be proud, though his family, who likely tossed the originals hoping they would be lost for good, might not be as pleased. There is NO NUDITY as with the convention of the times, but as you can see, risque might be the appropriate word. Art Brut with scissors and tape. A perfect gift for anyone interested in fashion or retro-fashion, stockings, legs, women...and, well...anyone with an interest in the unusual. It is linked at right, and there is a free 15 page preview HERE.

Christmas Stockings This Year? GALS GAMS GARTERS Available NOW

The SECOND volume in the new limited edition

Gals Gams Garters comes in a limited edition of 250 hardcover paper jacket books.
There is also an unlimited (for now) paper edition available.
Order in time for Christmas! CLICK to order or free 15 page preview.

Time for Bob Dylan to Record an Album of Charley Patton Covers

Bob Dylan once said "If I made records for my own pleasure, I would record only Charley Patton songs." For someone of his writing skills, that is a considerable proclamation and one I do not doubt. Gospel, Blues, Proto-Blues, Gut whoops and hollers, slide-finished words, gruff "voice masking" as old as Africa. Patton was so fugging good he could play 4 characters in one three minute song, make them all real and make every one of them sound like they were in a different room. His voice could be Man, Woman and God all at once and it was all done live in front of a primitive microphone while it was being etched into WAX. He could sing and talk to himself out loud at the same time! Nothing since has matched or met it. But Dylan keeps working at it and he increasingly SOUNDS like him, a compliment I am sure he would appreciate. It is no coincidence the most impressive song he has performed over the last few years is the one he specifically wrote for Patton. Like all his songs, he has played with it, shuffled it, jacked it up and down...even put a banjo in for a while. I've heard it scream with a guitar fed through a vocoder and a drum pound break Levon might be able to play, but with a sound he couldn't even imagine. I've heard a growl thrown at the song like Patton would, a genuine grit-teeth roar deep from inside somehow and as though each moment of the song was critical. A live version from 2003 was released on the Tell Tale Signs CD which spits and stutters to a fantastic finish. The song name-drops Big Joe Turner, another under-appreciated performer. They say Charlie Sexton's return to the band has brought vitality to the gigs. He certainly looks good from the audience clips I've seen.

Dylan's "never-ending tour" is an enormous misnomer, as musicians PLAY. I suppose it is born from his reclusive days, when he took time to start and raise a family, something which it is increasingly obvious he did well despite what must have been enormous pressure. I was shocked to read Sara turned 70 in October. I do not follow the offspring, but one is an accomplished performer and another a film maker who has been involved only in most laudable projects. That their father chooses to work is no surprise at all, and we should only HOPE it never ends. I recall when he did hit the road again (after what is now realized as only a brief respite) it was such an out-of-scale, stadium-filled steamroll no less than Bill Graham had to handle the ticket requests, millions of which were unfulfilled and the performers had to shout to be heard. Geffen bought the product and it set Dylan adrift a bit after, but he got back to Hammond's label and although there were some ups and downs, he's since had an artistic 5 disc run which has now matched the first one. And that is a considerable proclamation as well.

But this is about Patton. And that quote. It has been 8 years since the magnificent Charlie Patton box set by Revenant dropped. Literally. It is time to listen to it again. It is called "Screamin' and Hollerin' the Blues" and it is with no question the greatest CD box-set ever released. From the pea-vine graphics to the erudite texts, it was as fitting a tribute one could create for this part Cherokee Black man who was born and died on plantations within 20 miles of each other in Sunflower County, Mississippi. It has taken me eight years to fully appreciate the box and Mr. Patton, though I first heard him in headphones in junior high school on an LP put out the year before I was born.

Dylan had a song on an album way back in 1978 titled "New Pony" which smells just a little bit like Patton. The tribute song "High Water" which refers to the floods that put Delta citizens atop the levee (the lucky ones anyway) is even closer. But to my knowledge, Dylan has never covered the master. It might be time. In fact, might I suggest an entire album of covers? I bet I could find him a label to put it out.

SERIOUS film making from the 1930s

THIS is how to open a film.  Above is an original still photograph, collection Jim Linderman, showing the stunning opening of the film Crime Without Passion being produced.  Enjoy this clip...and marvel.

Adding some Color from Jim Linderman Sites

I took a look at the last few weeks here and decided to add some color. All images from my OTHER blogs.

Wallpaper Decline a Perfunctory Post RPPC

Sorry for no vibrant colors of late, I've been busy. THIS would have colorful, but the camera wasn't capable. Ever wonder why wallpaper isn't a happening thing much anymore? "She thinks alot of her Unk. D, Aunt Pearl, Cousins Grace, Leland, Lloyd and Frankie"

Azo Real Photo Post Card, c. 1920 Collection Jim Linderman


To those who study or simply enjoy old time music, the interplay between minstrel shows, blackface and musicians has been understood a long time. Musicians give up prejudice as soon as someone tunes up. Some recent hyped controversy over fashion models with too much make-up points out again that race and racism is real and for the most part, like always, still manipulated for profit and power. If you think some arbitrary distinction between race matters, or even exists anymore, I suggest a train ride into Manhattan from Queens at 7 am. There IS no white or black. We are all of the human race and at 7 am all equally miserable.

Anonymous Snapshot Untitled (Children musicians practice for crappy minstrel show) 1956 Collection Jim Linderman

Review Luc Sante Folk Photography

Luc Sante was kind enough to write an essay for "my" book "Take Me to the Water: Immersion Baptism in Music and Photography 1890-1950" and Lance Ledbetter from Dust-to-Digital and I were thrilled to have him involved. Both of us knew his reputation and he gave the project authority and legitimacy. It was flattering as hell.

Mr. Sante's new book "Folk Photography: The American Real Photo Postcard 1905-1930" has just been published. I collect Real Photo Postcards as well and waited anxiously for the publication. Presto! I have some favorites...the shooting gallery rack on page 55, the Nebraska carnival girls on page 59, the Wall "o" Rabbit, a Canadian woman reading with her eyes closed while a Micmac beaded bag hangs over her head...and "STRUM" will simply break your heart with scale, beauty, form and joy...but you will most certainly have your own favorites.

This is serious book. It is tough, real and glorious.
Well over 100 images, all killer, no filler and the bonus of a sizable essay from a great New York writer who edits tighter than a Hank Williams song but aims even higher. Browsing the text to find Luc walking that section of Astor Place the same year I moved to the city is tenuous, having left two years ago...but I will muster the strength to read twice. It is a beautiful book and anyone who grazes this blog for the real deal will find sheaves of it in this book. It is linked at right.

The Church Army and a Puppy RPPC

Church Army Real Photo Post Card, c. 1900 Collection Jim Linderman

Things to Make (Newspaper Puppet)

Primitive Handmade Newspaper Puppet c. 1950 Collection Jim Linderman

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.