Quote and Credit

Quote and Credit


Lonely Uncle Sam Build an Uncle Sam Mailbox and Help Canada!

Sam stands silent. Uncle Sam Mailboxes took off around the time of the Spanish- American War, but this fellow likely stood through World War One. Dated 1924 on the reverse. I wanted to do my part for both country and the economy by linking to a source for plans to make your own. Here you go! Only $10.99 from Woodworkers Workshop.com. But guess what? The company is owned by Canadians! parent company is Woodchuckcanuck.com. Has it really gone this far?

Do it anyway...I love the those folks up there.

"Uncle Sam Mailbox" snapshot 1924 collection Jim Linderman

Vintage Graphics from the Golden Age of Obscenity Dull Tool Dim Bulb Books Brings Smut Art BACK from the Back Pages!

Using an archive of original and rare mail-order brochures from the 1950s and 1960s collected by Victor Minx, SMUT BY MAIL: VINTAGE GRAPHICS FROM THE GOLDEN DAYS OF OBSCENITY illustrates some 150 examples of art, graphics and design used to promote and sell soft-core pornography in glorious crumpled but colorful glory!

From a time when the mere delivery of a pamphlet such as these could result in an arrest! A staggering collection, assembled over a decade, shows vintage "come-ons" which wiggled a finger in print form to men all over the country. From back page ads came a flood of amateur and mob-run smut to your very doorstep courtesy of the U.S Mail, all of it wrapped in the ubiquitous plain brown wrapper.

Remarkable as it seems today, even primitive, hand-cranked projectors and 3-D viewers which allowed a blurry but taboo glimpse were offered along with stag films, photo-sets and slides.

Today laughable and virtually innocent, at the time the producers (and booksellers) of the material were hounded by postal authorities and subjected to numerous censorship arrests. The essay by Jim Linderman reveals how this censorship, now seen as absurd, occurred at a time when the word "freedom" was bandied about by moral watchdogs with their own hidden secrets and agendas.

Colorful, vibrant and often downright odd, it is another example of formerly lost and forgotten art being brought to light by Dull Tool Dim Bulb Books. Striking primitive and naive graphics which pre-date the punk esthetic by 20 years.

25 pages of the 2011 book are available for preview HERE.

Certainly one of the most unusual and interesting vernacular art books of the year, and once again a forgotten area of art history brought to light by Dull Tool Dim Bulb Books.

160 pages. 10" x 8" Full Color with an essay by Jim Linderman Hardcover and Paperback
Dull Tool Dim Bulb books published by Blurb.com

New York City Trashvertising Drop Cards Sidewalk Spam Fake Dollar Bills and Vanessa Del Rio

There is nothing funnier than a fake wallet on a string. You know...old wallet, five bucks sticking out...busy sidewalk. Two kids on the end of the string behind the fence giggling as they wait for a portly gentleman to bend down for it. Construction workers used to do it on 6th Avenue and howl.

Today it would be more cruel than funny, as the latest studies have found a majority of us can't reach down anymore. Portly has become just plain fat. Today a good percent of the population wouldn't even see it.

If it wasn't juvenile and in bad taste, I would tell you a glued-down quarter is funny too.

The WORST ADVERTISING IN HISTORY used to plague New York City Streets in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Tiny leaflets folded to look like a twenty dollar bill with an ad on the back for a strip club, dial-a porn or some other shady, sleazy, cruddy business. Junior mobsters were hired to dump the litter as they walked down city streets, often at dawn, which allowed the tricky things to blow around a bit before commuters hit the streets.

I saw a few of the amateur thugs drop them as I walked my dog...creepy punks a step below the guys who would hang glue-slap posters for lousy dance clubs anywhere their paste brushes could reach. Sidewalk Spammers.

The one above happens to be an ad for dirty film called "Foxtrot" which starred Vanessa Del Rio. I used to have the pleasure of watching Vanessa swim and sun every day at the rooftop pool atop the Holiday Inn on West 57th Street between 9th and 10th Avenue. It was for hotel guests, but for a buck CBS employees (and a few favored folk) could use it and I sure did. Spending your lunch hour with a super-tan Vanessa Del Rio in a bikini was a whole lot more fun than eating a slice of pizza at my desk. I often got back a few minutes late. I am putting Vanessa's name in the title here in case she has a service scanning the web for mentions of her...why shouldn't Vanessa have a nice, sunny memory too?

Anyway, I remember seeing hundreds of these crooked, low-down miniature trick circulars strewn all over around Times Square, and will confess to having fallen for them a few times. As I recall, the city was trying to outlaw the practice through anti-litter laws and the department of sanitation...sure enough, an article ran in the NY Times in 1991 which coined the word "trashvertising" or "trash cash" and discussed efforts to ban them without violating any fugwad's "right to free speech."

Imagine my surprise (and disgust) to find they are still being produced. "Drop Cards" they are called and you will find purveyors on the web today.

"Drop-Card" miniature advertising leaflet, 1982 Collection Jim Linderman

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"Clear Out, Art Boy...We're puttin' in a Darkroom"

Everyone loves the covers to original true crime magazines. I even love the insides. This little photo essay on the good life in small town America comes on the cusp...the precise moment when the painted covers by all manner of pulp artists skilled with oils and a brush changed to the camera artist. 1953.

Let's put it in the right lingo.

Rudy had been workin' the night shift turning out paintings for the murder rags...suddenly, a pounding on the door made his brush wiggle like the little finger on a ten cent hooker. The Camera guys were at the door, and they weren't going away. Rudy put down the brush and picked up his blaster. "Go away, shutterbugs" he cried..."No one is taking my work away!" Big Frank and his ugly brother Rocco entered the joint, slapped Rudy's gun from his hand and tore the paint-splattered rug right from under his feet. His days sniffing turpentine thinner were over. "Clear out, art boy" groused Frank "We're puttin' in a darkroom."

The insides had already changed...black and white photograph reproduction in the guts was easier, and although they were stilted and staged shots for the most part, they were actual photos from the 40s on. But the cover had to be in lurid living (or lurid dead) color, and so were painted. Advances in printing techniques made actual photos for the cover possible. New clarity and fresh layouts were developed using pictures of models being strangled with heaving actual cleavage, not heaving painted cleavage. The bright colors once used on canvas were replaced with bright color backgrounds. Art became artless. The crimes remained the same. 

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Sand Sculptures of Atlantic City Seaside Sand Sculpture without Snookie or the Situation

Working with sand! Sand Sculpture where I live is done with your toes and with every step, but the REAL art flourished in Atlantic City in the late 19th century. Talented artists began creating temporary statues and, as shown here, relief sculptures for passing boardwalk visitors.

They always had a purpose other than mere beauty. Some were commissioned by boardwalk businesses as advertising, others were sponsored by local fraternal organizations. There were independent artists as well, they worked for tips...but like all boardwalk "artists" many were con men. I don't know how you can pick the pocket of a fellow bending over to look at your sand sculpture when he is wearing bathing trunks, but it happened, and the practice of drawing crowds to sand art was outlawed in 1944.

Some artists worked close enough to the boardwalk to catch coins tossed by the strolling masses, early versions of "The Situation" and drunken shore slut "Snookie" (both who actually hang a few miles north at Seaside Heights, once one of my favorite places to escape from New York City for a weekend.) The only sculptures up there are The Situation's sculpted abdominal muscles.

Some would work on commission and create a sculpture of a paying customer. Many of the artists were African-American. Although not too well known, the Clarion magazine, (published by the American Folk Art Museum) describes Black artists working on the beach in a 1992 article, and as I recall, documenting an instance of an African-American artist being "lightened up" for a postcard.

For the silica masterpieces shown here, sand was densely packed into a box surrounded by 2 x 4 wood section and shaped with sticks and trowels. The sand surrounding the work was then painted black.
I have found no less than two dozen postcards depicting the artists and their work, most dating to around 1910 (including one dated 1911 showing this very group of sculptures) but this is the only actual photograph I have seen. It dates to 1910 or so as well, I have seen the same group of works shown in a magazine around that time. As you can see, the artist added a few more works before the picture was taken for the postcard. Maybe they lugged them under the boardwalk when it rained.
Original Vernacular photograph of Atlantic City Sand Sculptures, circa 1910 collection Jim Linderman


Vintage Art of the Tattoo Gag The Lost Art of the Tattoo Cartoon

(Like a third of the country, I am dealing with frozen formerly cumulus cloud...so here is a post from my other blog from a year ago, "The Lost Art of the Tattoo Gag")

You don't see too many tattoo gags anymore. At one time, the staple of the stapled joke digest, I guess the now all too familiar "tramp-stamp" on women's lower backs helped make the tattoo as a joke topic less funny somehow. I can also assure you if you DO laugh, you won't be seeing it for much longer. Either SHE will pull them up and leave in a huff, or HE will kick your ass.

I'm not quite sure the relationship between the tattoo artist and the cartoonist. Both are certainly adept at drawing babes...but did Sailor Jerry draw cartoons? (His "official" site now seems to be owned by a booze company, so instead you get a link to wiki with no pictures.) Of course tattoo decoration goes back to Caesar...but then busty women were drawn on the walls of caves. Now that I think of it, maybe those early erotic cave drawings were primitive flash and the dens actually parlors.

Tattoos of dames are closely related to the hot babe nose art painted on the cones of WW2 Bomber Planes and pinups drawn on duffel bags. Most platoons had a fellow who could draw hot ones, and they often did in trade for a few cigarettes. It is also a quite common subject category in postcard collecting...both actual photographs of them and goofy cartoon sailors.

Certainly the skill was, and is, interchangeable. Once you can draw a gal with gams, you can put it anywhere. A carny's arm, a sailor's chest or a biker's bicep in days gone by, or on the most friendly gentle person of either gender today, but for the life of me I can not think of a cartoonist who started as a body inker. Of course today there are hundreds of tattoo artists who create paintings and fine art as well.

The stigma is gone. So is the once common "joke" about getting drunk and waking with a decorated arm, the muscles which could be tensed to make a dame on your chest shimmy, and the ship design which "sinks" as a fellow ages.

If anyone out there needs a topic for a doctoral thesis, consider erotic body illustration and how it relates to girly pin-up gags of the 1950s and 1960s.

by Jim Linderman

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Yarn Bomb Bikini for the Dishes (!) A Poem and a Homemade Dish Wash Product for the Home

You can probably start looking for these on Etsy (or Yarn Bombed all over town, that being the latest hipster doofus graffiti art form...now that I think of it, a nice bikini around the corner telephone pole would be nice. If any followers find (or DO) one themselves send a pic and I promise to run it. ONE! I don't want to see graffiti swimming suits all over town, especially when it is zero degrees.)

Anyway, here is the poem neatly typed over the navel by our artisan.

If you don't look good in a bikini
You are either too fat or too skinny
So swim in whatever suits your wishes
But take me apart and wash your dishes.

Other famous crochet artists include Bettie Page (who made some of her own posing costumes) and...Okay I don't KNOW any more. But there are some. This is a wonderful way to present your product at the local craft fair, by the way. Make a human cardboard torso, hang boob and butt dishwashers on it and watch the money roll in.

18" tall crochet bikini mounted on human torso holder with original poem circa 1960 Anon. Proudly collected and displayed in his home office by Jim Linderman

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Loretta Lynn writes a Postcard Original Source Document from a Honky Tonk Girl

 President Obama has done many good things, but one of the best was awarding the medal of honor to Loretta in November 2013.  Here is my medal, originally posted in 2011.

An unusual original source document in the form of a postcard. Loretta Lynn recorded her first Gospel album "Hymns" in 1965 (shortly before writing this note to fans Don and Doris.) Country performers are famously good to their fans, and hand-signed letters are still common, as are "meet and greet" appearances where the fans can say howdy...still I treasure this modest little document.

Despite the newspaper ad here, Loretta did more than perform at smorgasbords. She has had 16 records reach number one and had four children before reaching the age of 19. She has released 70 albums.

I am happy to be living at the same time as Loretta Lynn. She is a Honky Tonk Angel who isn't afraid to generate controversy, but has said "My music has no politics" and that her father was a Republican, her mother was a Democrat. You ain't woman enough to take her man, and if you think you are, meet Fist City.

One should go to Loretta's website HERE just to see the pictures in the new Coal Miner's Daughter" video.

(Also posted on the Old Time Religion Blog)

Hand-signed Postcard 1965 Loretta Lynn Collection Jim Linderman

Airplane over Acoma The Pueblo Inhabited Since 1100

Photographs taken out of an airplane window always let you down, and this is no exception, but the person who took it was happy...who wouldn't be excited flying so low over what is one of the oldest continuously inhabited places in the country?

Since 1100, The Acoma have lived atop the sheer cliff pointed out on the reverse...smart of the photographer as that cliff is precisely the reason Acoma Pueblo still exists and to this day has residents. Now it may be high...but this stuff is DEEP. Practicing beliefs which have sustained them since before, well...before virtually everything, the Acoma to this day forbid videotaping, drawing or sketching of their home. Tours which allow cameras can be arranged for a small fee, but access is controlled. Our early plane visitor avoided the fee.

If knowing descendants of a tribe which traces back to 400 years before the Spaniards came here doesn't make you feel humble, I'm not sure what would. I am going to suggest this snapshot dates to the early 1930s, but it really doesn't matter much...we are talking about centuries after all.

Acoma Pueblo from the Air circa 1935 Snapshot Collection Jim Linderman

Antler House Frank Jay Haynes of Yellowstone Dull Tool Dim Bulb Unsung Hero of Photography

Unsung Heroes of Photography runs on Dull Tool Dim Bulb and on Vintage Sleaze on occasion. See others in the series HERE

Frank J. Haynes was a master photographer, but then he had a good gig for a man with a camera...official photographer of Yellowstone National Park. Mr. Haynes was born in Michigan in 1857.

The Antler House (or House of Antlers) was one of the rare "unnatural" beautiful parts of the park. In a somewhat misguided attempt to attract visitors, it was erected by man pretty much to appeal to the common Joe...after all, antlers fall off, but they do not fall off into a house shaped pile. It was constructed by Ranger Woodring in 1928, I suspect simply so it could be turned into a tinted postcard to entice visitors.

With the park firmly established on travel agendas after every home had an automobile, the antler house was taken apart. Park officials feared it would encourage others to harvest antlers from the wild, and its phony purpose had been fulfilled.

There is another photo of the Antler house by Mr. Haynes and an astounding group 60 of the 1500 photographs he took (along with other members of his family), in the park over the period of decades appears HERE on the Montana State University Flickr page.

Mr Haynes went by the name "Professor" or "F. Jay" Read more about the Professor HERE

Antler House Photograph, circa 1930 by Frank J. Haynes Collection Jim Linderman

Vinyl LP Records Which Weren't There! Silent Records from In-Fidelity Joke Gag Disc Record

No one reads those digital "jokes" or "greeting cards" sent by email. At least I don't...if you want to thank someone, write them a letter and put a stamp on it.

I suspect Hallmark Card Stores will be closing around the same time as Barnes and Noble...some time around the middle of next year. Boom times for empty mall stores!

The "IN-FIDELITY" record label specialized in empty records! Record jackets with a blank vinyl disc inside imprinted with a hilarious gag inscribed on the disc!

"Bwah, Bwah" (sliding trombone "Nelson" like descending notes)

You can send an empty digital file too..."enclosed is a mp3 of my band in the garage...please have a listen when you can" and just forget to attach it.

Brochure advertising High "In-Fidelity" Albums circa 1960 Collection Jim Linderman

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Painting While Hypnotized and Painting under Hypnosis

I can find virtually no artists who specialize or specialized in painting under the influence of hypnosis. I wonder why? Every manner of altered state, disability or Psychotropic drug known has been used to influence artists...as has the old stand by booze, and I do not just mean a few snifters at the opening. Some painters were drunk longer than they painted. From what little I know about hypnosis, you would think it could lead to increased concentration, wacky influences, a driven disciplined approach, who knows...so why aren't there more artists giving it a try?

Could it be that painting under hypnosis sucks?

Alter your mind and who knows what might result? In this case, what resulted is a mundane portrait with nothing trippy at all...do you suppose the artist barked like a dog or took his clothes off while under suggestion? "You are feeling VERY, VERY realistic, literal and perfectly representational today" This portrait is so straight, it could go right over the mantle in the boardroom (which it probably did,) In fact, it is so boring I would pass it by at the Salvation Army.

But wait! NO THUMB!

Don't snap your fingers until he puts one in.

Press Photograph 1963 Collection Jim Linderman

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