Quote and Credit

Quote and Credit


Fraternal Freemason Guy Lisa Hix Article on Secret Societies and Bruce and Julie Webb collection

This rugged, or ragged, or regal (take your pick) fellow seems decked out in splendid mason regalia, but as I am no expert on fraternal folks, this fellow from Sandusky, Ohio gives me an opportunity to recommend two wonderful things which might help identify the fellow.

The first wonderful thing is LISA HIX who over the course of the last few years has written a lively group of articles about the curious angles which hold together the collector's field, and in turn has helped Collector's Weekly become the vibrant, active and always interesting site for ALL folks who do the work of collecting.  I say  "do the work" as work it is.  From picker to shopper, putting together a group of rare objects of any form is a job, and the folks who do it are 50 years ahead of the museums.  So pat yourselves on the back everyone.  But read Lisa Hix
Lisa is a particular favorite of mine, as she is fearless, clever and her essays always teach while entertaining.  You can read her work, which is published frequenty HERE, but in particular, her newest and fascinating DECODING SECRET SOCIETIES: WHAT ARE ALL THOSE OLD BOYS 'CLUBS HIDING?  Nice Job Lisa.  Lisa receives the Linderman stamp of approval for this article, and the lifetime achievement award for the 10 or 12 quirky subjects she has profiled. Lisa is an up and comer and I am a fan. 

The other site I can share as a result of old crusty, freemason is Bruce and Julie Webb, who run the Webb Gallery in Waxahachie, Texas.  Honest, informed, fun folks with great stuff.  But more pertinent for this post is their wonderful, extraordinary collection of Lodge and Fraternal material they have assembled over a number of years.  OFT UNSEEN : ART FROM THE LODGE AND OTHER SECRET SOCIETIES was exhibited and a lovely website display remains which you must see.  Ever since I met the couple some 10 or 15 years ago, I always think of them as sharp, Informed and down to earth good people.  So browse their WEBB GALLERY WEBSITE too!

Cabinet Card (top) of an anonymous Free Mason No date.  Collection Jim Linderman

Linderman Books and ebook downloads for IPad are HERE

Jerry Colonna Answers the Value of a Laugh Who Threw That Coconut

Overly mustached entertainer Jerry Colonna performs with a guitar accompanist at an unknown venue before his "Who threw that Coconut" backdrop and book jacket.  The book, seen here as well, came out in 1945, so this "book tour" was nearly 70 years ago.  I bought the snapshot hoping it depicted some obscure jazzman and and might have considerable value, and also because I enjoy solving mysteries.  It took less then a minute to identify Jerry.  It was the mustache.  Cost a few bucks.  Did I get gypped? HELL no!  Watch the clip below.  What is the value of a laugh?

Jerry Colonna shills a book.  Original snapshot circa 1945 Collection Jim Linderman

Cornhuskers REAL Corn Huskers Tools, Personalization and the Harvest

Would you like an interesting item to collect which will cost you virtually no money, yet provide a constant source of admiration and humility?  I present my collection here of Corn Huskers.  Nope, not a sports team…a handheld tool used to pry ears of corn from the stalk back when corn was produced on a family farm and used as food and feed, not turned into "corn syrup" to line the pockets of huge food conglomerates and ruin our teeth.

As you can see here (but you will see better if you collect a few) the corn husker tool was not only important for survival, each one became a highly personalized utilitarian object used every day until the job was done.  Some were decorated, as the one here with cool brass or silver buttons applied.  The tool consisted of a blade, some made by hand, later by factory, affixed to a leather wrist strap often with additional pads to protect the hand.  Now I won't claim anyone LIKED their corn husking tool.  In fact, it was a horrible thing to put on every morning and was hated,  though appreciated by the end of a long day.  Each one developed real character through use.  I am sure plenty of blisters formed around the edges. 

Who used them?  Every damn person available.  In the photo here titled  "Corn Husking In Kansas" on the reverse,  you can see the work crew near the end of the job.  Young, old and animal.  There was a day when the harvest meant more than a hayride the Chamber of Commerce puts on around Halloween.

My collection cost about five bucks each, and they have the feel and import of ancient relics.  I guess they are.

Collection of Corn Husking hand tools and an original photograph, circa 1900  All Collection Jim Linderman

BROWSE and ORDER books and Ebooks by Jim Linderman HERE at Blurb. 


Slenderizing Salon Love is Blind to Anything but Fat 1950s Drawings

Obesity is largely, no pun intended, caused by prosperity and modern life.  Overeating is an economic luxury.  Our lifestyle, our diet and our weight is driven by our own particular needs and preferences, the availability of food and our level of physical activity, and our genetics, all combined with the marketing skills of food companies and the ingredients they use. I have no idea what Marx or other social theorists would have said about the relationship between need, excess, profit, health and fat.  Add "body image" to the mix and you have a  big plate of interlocking, controversial and much debated situations which involve science, medicine, fashion, nutrition, psychology, beauty…It really is too much for me to address.  

The diet industry is huge.  Billions of dollars.  The fitness industry is huge.  Billions of dollars.  The fast food industry, the health industry, the advertising industry…boggling in the billions.

Anyway, I'm having pizza tonight, and fully intend to maintain the average American male rough guideline…since I stopped aggressive running and working out,  years ago,  I have been adding exactly ten pounds a decade.  I don't have a weight problem, but I do have health problems.  Lots of them.  High cholesterol despite being a stone vegetarian 30 solid years, but the land of plenty has given me so much dairy, sugar and carbohydrates…there is plenty of room to be unhealthy without eating animals. 

Anyway, this is all to place in context the interesting drawings above.  Which came from an estate of a woman who ran a "slenderizing salon" in the 1950s.  I suppose they were rough drafts for an intended advertising campaign, or intended promotional activities…maybe an amateur cartoonist suggesting ideas for a brochure.

Some depict arcane and discredited techniques.  I really don't think one can "shake off" pounds with a belt thing, or "reduce hips" with a contraption depicted here.  The draft of the intended "slogan" is interesting, though a bit harsh.


That is not true at all, but it might drive some worried customers to the door.  "Slenderizing" is such a strange word.

Group of drawings for a "Slenderizing Salon" circa 1950 Collection Jim Linderman

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To live longer, he concluded, people should start thin and then gain about six pounds a decade beginning in their early 40s. That advice went against the prevailing wisdom, which held that the most healthful way to age was to maintain the same weight throughout adulthood.
“For some reason the idea has grabbed us that the best weight throughout the life span is that of a 20-year-old,” Dr. Andres said in a 1985 interview with The New York Times. “But there’s just overwhelming evidence now that as you go through life, it’s in your best interests to lay down some fat.”

-Your chubby pal

Hawaiian Music Craze! 50th State Howdown Hits Youth!

A lovely young woman participates in the first wave of  the Hawaiian music craze, 1925.  Back in the 1920's, one could pick their slide music from either the Delta or the Islands. 

Original snapshot Anonymous 1925  Collection Jim Linderman


Mystery Miracle or Magic Snapshot Your Call

Click to enlarge this one folks.  If you think it a preacher who picked a mountainside to pontificate, I'll move this to the old-time-religion blog.  If you think it is a magician with a cheap backdrop in an odd place for a show, I'll leave it here.  (Actually, if you look close, I think our scenic sight evangelist has a tiny picture of a hand-clasped Jesus behind him)

Mysery Snapshot  No Date  Collection Jim Linderman

Empty Chair Tintype with Nobody In It

Yep!  A tintype of an empty chair. Circa 1870  Collection Jim Linderman

(Note: The Painted Backdrop: Behind the Sitter in American Tintype Photography is now available as an Ebook for the iPAD ($5.99)  HERE

AVAILABLE eBOOK DOWNLOAD for Apple® iBooks® $5.99. The previously untold story of 19th century painters and their influence on American photography during the tintype era. Never before examined in detail, the book contains over 75 rare, unpublished original tintype photographs from the Jim Linderman collection.

Killer Show Book Review The Best True Crime Book of the Year is also the Best Rock Book of the Year

The best true crime book of the year is also an unlikely candidate for the best rock music book of the year.  A major accomplishment on a dozen levels, and one which provides uncomfortable truths about show business, rock and roll, greed and brutal death.  Killer Show is horrendous, meticulous, and as gripping a book I have read this year.

Outside of the residents of West Warwick, Rhode Island few will remember the Station Nightclub Fire which killed 100 people in a scorching chemical inferno which lasted a brief five minutes.  It was a national news story for a few days, and the opening seconds of the harrowing, brutal video recording of the event were aired for all on the evening news, but as it is easier to forget horror than dwell, the story faded. 

Killer Show brings it back with astounding documentation enabling the reader to absorb graphic, deadly evil without flinching.  The Great White Fire was horror.  True, unfathomable horror…but the author's anger and desire to name those responsible, in a detailed, step by step manner (as behooves a lawyer) removes all tawdry shock value…this is no cheap exploitative read, and years beyond an "instant" book pumped out to cash in on an event.

A University Press of New England book, with none of the greed and sleaze which distinguishes the criminal club-owners, promoters, a beer company, pyrotechnic manufacturers and even worse, the chemical soup created by "sound insulation" foam producers,  all who are forced into paying considerable fines reaching well over 100 million dollars to avoid being shamed in public court. 

This is an indictment, and expose, a tribute…but most of all a remarkable literary (yes, literary, heavy metal fans) accomplishment of the highest order, and one which takes the traditional true crime genre to a new level of achievement.  Once living and vital participants turned murder victims in a flash are located on the fortunate tape and sound recordings like ghosts who come back for justice.

If you want the gloss, razzle-dazzle and "glamour" sham of rock and roll, you know what to read.  If you want a serious, fascinating account of what really happens when commerce meets electric guitars, read this.  You will never enter a juke club without locating the exits again.  This book could literally save your life.

Author John Barylick is an attorney who represented victims of the Station nightclub fire.  With the damning, incredible preparation and documentation he provides here, it is no wonder a dozen companies, some who spend millions a year to make their names roll off your tongue, settled out of court.

After reading this book, you will no longer believe crooked politicians who argue for "tort reform" while taking funds from insurance companies and corporations.  If the victims and family members who suffered through this debacle lived for a purpose, it was to insure our legal system remains strong in the face of corporate interests who would like to legalize unabashed greed…and this book should be required reading for any future lawyer, not to mention nightclub promoters, their patrons and those in the insurance industry who aim to maximize profits rather than do what is right.  This book is an indictment, and the best argument for safety regulations you will ever read.  A "killer show" indeed, and one of the most important books of the year.

The Killer Show website is HERE.  The amazon Link is HERE

If You Build it They Will Come Vintage Seaze the Blog 2.5 Million Hits

Vintage Sleaze the Blog has reached 2.5 Million page views and is rapidly approaching 75,000 followers on Facebook. 

Cactus Kate from just North of Joshua Tree 1950 RPPC

Cactus Kate and her Turtle.  Cactus Kate was a character from North of Joshua Tree.
Cactus Kate Real Photo Postcard (dated on reverse 1950)  Collection Jim Linderman

 HERE at Blurb.

Dog with a Basket Tintype Good BOY! Collection Jim Linderman

Looking at this tintype in a flea market, I guessed the dog with a basket in his mouth was a studio prop, but on closer examination, I believe it is a real dog, and a well trained one indeed.  Good BOY Fido! 

Original tintype photograph, circa 1880, Collection Jim Linderman


Do You Miss Genuine Kodachrome Yet? Postcard Retail Rack Topper


Do you miss kodachrome?  I do…and I am starting to miss postcards too.  This is a "rack-topper" or the card put in the top slot of a retail, revolving postcard rack.  A good price, but then a tweet is free, or virtually so…but you can't pin a tweet in front of you to admire or use the image for reminder, inspiration or show.

L.L. Cook from Milwaukee was a major player in the field of printed five cent pictures.  The first (and second!) L was for Lloyd.  They printed them until 2007

Genuine Kodachrome Reproductions L. L. Cook Company "Rack Topper" postcard No Date
Collection Jim Linderman

Jim Linderman books and ebooks for iPad are available HERE at Blurb.

A Man with REAL GUTS (Hand-painted Guts) collection Jim Linderman

Umm.  Click to enlarge guts.  It's Gray's Anatomy in living color (the book, not the television show I have never seen and never will) and fully hand-painted too!  I call him "BIFF" as that seems to be a good name from the era, and the fellow at the antique shop thought it was his name too.  So Biff it is.  I have no idea how old, where from...or who had the job of painting intestines as they came down the line, but they did a good job.  I hate to imagine their dreams after a big production run.

Biff stands a whopping 19 inches tall.

Anatomical Dummy / Model with innards out!  No date or manufacturer.  Collection Jim Linderman


Down Home Old Timey Rural Musicians RPPC collection Jim Linderman

Click to Enlarge  Collection Jim Linderman

One does not often find a group of early musicians sitting in front of a calendar, especially one in which it is so easy to see the date, and this is May 1913.  But then, one does not often see a baby possum in a photo either.  Could be a ferret, I guess.  Mammal, or marsupial? on the right...and it looks like a phonograph horn in the center.  A real musical group!

The opossum in the United States is usually the Virginia opossum, but since their habitat is more than a third of the lower 48 states, I can't locate this photo.  Unless someone out there recognizes the players.  I can hope.  

It was common for photographers who operated a studio to use musical instruments as props.  No props here.  These are the real deal and I would have loved to hear them go down.   

Good deal of cultural information for one little real photo postcard.

Real Photo Postcard 1913 (Azo Back) Collection Jim Linderman

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Postcard Collage of Clippings Homeward Bound to Alice collection Jim Linderman


It was once quite a thing to receive a postcard, and all the better if it was homemade.  This magnificently one-of-a kind card was actually part of a series.  Entirely handmade in collage technique from clippings taken from advertisements and catalogs, it was made for a woman named Alice in South Orange.

Note the handwritten #1 in the upper right hand corner, the only part of the card not clipped, and on the reverse is written "First of a series of instructive postals" but unsigned.  I am going to guess our primitive but accomplished collage artist was literally on his way back to Alice, and at each opportune moment took the time to construct a report from the road.  I like to think one was sent each night.  How far or arduous the journey will never be known.

The date shown on the cancellation is hard to make out, but I am guessing close to the 1900 date.  Postcards were a penny then and for a long time after.

Anonymous handmade postcard to Miss Alice Osborne  Date Unclear.  Collection Jim Linderman


J.J. Cromer sends a Bell out of the Sky Art Photography and the Company Picnic

A huge bunch of Bell employees at what I presume is the annual mandatory company picnic.  It wasn't enough that you had to go (and potato sack) you also had to herd together and look up at the camera in the suburbs of Indianapolis, Indiana.   My guess, as the tiny logo at lower right reads "Indianapolis Photo Co" but who knows.  Bell Telephone?  Bell Helicopter?  I believe there was a Bell Helicopter plant in Indianapolis, and that would make sense here, right?  But then lots of these guys are wearing boaters and skimmers.  Anyone who knows for sure is welcome to write in.
I am doing an enlargement of each letter so you can find your relatives!

This splendid proto Spencer Tunick (in clothes) was sent by artist J.J. Cromer.  Cromer is an astounding artist, and it was kind of him to send along a few photos he thought deserved the Dull Tool Dim Bulb treatment.  Thanks J.J.!  Gift accepted!

Cromer is extraordinary..  Just two of his works are shown below. TRULY extraordinary.  I think Chelo Amezcua, Carlo Zinellli, Nellie Mae Rowe and a host of other one-of-a-kind artists, though Cromer clearly lives in a city of his own. Seldom does Horror Vacui look so good.

A Dry and Practical Matter JJ Cromer

The Steering Committee JJ Cromer
J.J. sent a few photographs, which will allow me to link to his site several times.  Not only kind of him, It will encourage folks to check out his work again.  If you like this blog, you will like his art.  There is a remarkable body of work, an impressive exhibition history and a delightful sense of line.  Check him out HERE.

"BELL" undated group photograph Indianapolis Photo Co. Gift of JJ Cromer

See ebooks ($5.99) and books by Jim Linderman HERE

A Good Game of Horseshoe Pitching Picture collection Jim Linderman

Collection Jim Linderman Dull Tool Dim Bulb


Link to the National Horseshoe Pitchers Association HERE

Original Photograph, no date (c. 1900?)  Collection Jim Linderman

Browse and Order Jim Linderman Books and Ebooks ($5.99 each) HERE at Blurb.com