Quote and Credit

Quote and Credit


"Father, Shall you make me a Wind Toy today?" Wonderful Windmobile with Wheels

Jeepers. Dad must have gone crazy. Would you let your daughter ride on this thing with a good wind off the lake? This appears to be half windmill, half go-cart, all mystery.

Original Photograph Central Michigan circa 1920 Anonymous Collection Jim Linderman

Fern Bisel Peat Unsung Woman Artist and Children's Playmate

For 75 years Children's Playmate was just that. A playmate. From 1935 to 2008 (when it merged with Jack and Jill) it had kids thinking, drawing, clipping, making and thinking. These issues from the glory days give only a small indication of the beauty. Each issue was at the time digest-sized and 50 pages.

The artist was Fern Bisel Peat. She was born in 1893 and lived until 1971. She made a good living. but as with most women artists of the past, information is far more scarce than it should be. Fern could show you how to carve a pumpkin or draw an easter egg in the most charming and colorful manner. An unsung hero of commercial and educational art. Her work has been reproduced in a few places over the years, but as far as I know there has never been a retrospective, a comprehensive (or even cursory) biography or a museum exhibit.

Her work, in addition to providing extraordinary colorful covers to the magazines above, is often found on tin lithographed toys, puzzles and more. Because the magazine had a large circulation, original issues are available for small sums...despite them often being cut-up and written on as intended!

Issues of Children's Playmate 1938-1941 Collection Jim Linderman


Vernacular Architecture in the Desert Old Man Kelly and his Rhyolite Bottle House

Are bottles good insulation? I guess. You never heard Tom Kelly complain, but then he lived in the Death Valley desert and it probably only got cold at night, but certainly well below freezing. (Actually the maker never lived in the house.)

I bought this photo because I like vernacular architecture. Little did I know it is seemingly the most documented bottle house in the world! HERE is the link to Rhyolite, where the house is documented in excruciating detail, with pictures from 1905 when the house was built, all the way to a fascinating group of photos showing the restoration one hundred years later.

It was an adobe construction, and the bottles came from one of the 53 (!) saloons in the town at the time. Yet today, it is a ghost town!
Mr. Kelly was 76 years old when he started construction. The complete story is HERE and quite a story it is.

I haven't dated my snapshot exactly, but it seems pretty early in the history. I have cribbed a few photos of the site, but do check the above links, it is a fascinating story, and a wonderful example of documentation, restoration and teamwork.

Snapshot of Kelley's Bottle House collection (top) Jim Linderman
Other Photos Rhyolite Site

Black Ink Lost and Forgotten African-American Cartoonists of the Negro Pulps

Anyone out there need a doctoral project? I can't do it, my plate is full, but I do have a knack for ideas and a small pile of fairly scarce magazines aimed at the African-American market from the 1950s and 1960s.

Even the magazines are fairly hard to come by...search "Bronze Thrills" for one. A major publication which ran decades, yet it seems our major institutions and collectors have dropped the ball. Same with Copper Romance, Tan, Jive and more. Even the larger circulation magazines such as Hue and New Review are hard to come by. Ebony and Jet, both out of Chicago's Johnson Publications are far better documented, and in fact the organization recently graciously made the entire text of Jet available online (and what a resource it is.)

I started rounding up a few African-American magazines for a series I am putting together on the Vintage Sleaze site: "Afro-Antics the Black Pinup" another unfortunate neglected victim of institutional racism. Until the "Black is Beautiful" movement of the late 1960s women of color were few and far between the pulp covers, and you might enjoy the discoveries I am making for the essays.

However, as I look for dark models I could not help but to notice some wonderful, and in terms of humor and quality, "equal" cartoonists we do not know. Since cartoonists love to create indecipherable signatures and the mastheads never credited them, these Black inkers are lost in time.

There ARE some known Black cartoonists of the era. The remarkable book on Jackie Ormes by Nancy Goldstein of two years ago is wonderful. There have been exhibitions on fairly well known black cartoonists such as Ollie Harrington, E. Simms Campbell, Wilbert Holloway and Leslie Rogers. There was even an issue of "All-Negro Comics" in 1947, but there was only one issue. Ishmael Reed blamed the demise on distributors who refused to carry it. At least the comic is easily found on the web today.

But certainly someone should know of Butch Austin AKA Mr. Jive who drew strips for Hep and Jive Magazine, and the others here who I can not even identify, not being an expert. Here are but a few examples from my quite modest little pile of magazines. One day I hope someone will put together the tale better than I ever could.



Spiritualist Medium's License to Steal Mrs. Crocker's Crock of Crap Speaking to the Dead

Now I think science will side with me on this one...you can not talk to the dead. They are dead! But some charlatan, fraud, fake, criminal money-grubbing scam artists think they can. (Well, to be a little more accurate, the thieves only CLAIM they can speak to the dead, they don't actually think they can. They can't and they KNOW it.) So essentially they are fibbers, liars, scoundrels, shysters, confidence men, swindlers, cheaters, mountebacks, quacks, grifters and dishonest deceptive false-posing spurious shysters. Bunch of crooks.

I asked Mrs. Crocker here to respond to my charges, but she failed to reply. She is dead. Not "medium" dead....dead.  Only her fake diploma remains.

Mrs. Addie M. Crocker's Medium's Certificate from the Michigan State Spiritulalist Association
1912 and press photograph Collection Jim Linderman



Mark Schneider Master Artist of the Pulp Sir! Neglected Hero of Magazine Illustration Sir! Mark Schneider Sir!

As something of a researcher, I am reminded daily the inadequacies of the internet. If you kids out there think you're writing a good paper based on what is available at your fingertips, you have more learning to do. A case in point is Mark Schneider.

Go ahead, look him up.

Lots of fake Mark Schneiders trying to cash in on the master artist's name, right?
Pfft!. Let's remedy that right now. Henceforth, when one searches for Mark, hopefully they will find this small tribute to the strange painter of pulp who has eluded webdom until now.

God Bless Taschen books, for they at least gave Schneider his brief brush with fame for his paint brushes instead of the brush-off. A paragraph in their colorful tome True Crime Detective Magazines 1924-1969. Okay, so they besmirch by calling him "...a marginal talent at best" and practically blaming him for the demise of painted covers on magazines...in this case saying SOMETHING is still better than saying nothing at all.

Schneider was the house artist at Volitant Publications, AKA Histrionic Publications, AKA Mr. Magazine Inc. See why I like "true" crime? You can't make it up! When Mr. Magazine Inc. needed the lurid, they turned to Mark. He must have been working on a short deadline too...just look at his work. Let's say the editor needed..oh...I dunno...a freaking atom bomb going off while a couple prepares for coitus or a pondering Yeti considering his cold, lonely plight. Not an easy photo shoot. Call Schneider!

Now in full disclosure, regular followers of this blog know virtually everything I post comes out of a shoe box behind me. In this case, having come to the appreciation of Schneider, it should be confessed I had to crib these images from the very web I chastise. The owners might not know what fine pieces they have, but they do now.

I have a bone to pick here with Pulp Magazine collectors. (A bone to pick not unlike the vultures hope for from the fellow lacking Vitamin E above) For some reason, Pulp collectors seem to like GOOD art. A big mistake. Folks might like and might appreciate your collection, but a LAUGH is worth a thousand "good" covers. I got one at each and every Schneider cover I found here. Now you guys start doing some real work and load the Mark Schneider archives up on here. My neck hurts.

Dull Tool Dim Bulb Book Catalog HERE


Simple Robin's Egg Blue Birdhouse

A simple robin's egg blue birdhouse which welcomed Michigan spring 50 years. I like to think it was a collaboration between a boy, his father and a jigsaw.
Brief essay on the Birdhouse HERE

Collection Jim Linderman


Fishing MEN Who Fish Fish Vernacular Photograph collection Jim Linderman

On the line. See "sister" post HERE

"Friend Bill, Better run down for a weekend, I need some help. The big ones are coming easy. This was on May 22, 24 and 30. 12 pickerel and yesterday 21 bass and 4 pickerel. Going out June 16th for four days to get some of the big boys that have my name on them. Yours, Earl"

Group of Fishy Fotos collection Jim Linderman