Quote and Credit

Quote and Credit


Skippy, Scrappy and Colortone American Toy Works Art Education Vintage Paint Set

Skippy, Scrappy and Colortone American Toy Works.  A lovely art set from the 1930s, and an excuse for me to plug one of my favorite books!

Colortone was but one of the product names for the American Toy Company, child's toy and game manufacturer active from around the 1920s to the 1940s in Long Island City.  They are not well-documented, but what is shown on the web displays a particularly beautiful graphic quality to their boxes.  Many of their products were art-orientated, including this huge and impressive set.  American Toy Company had their own line of crayons which were sold separately under the "Skippy" brand, and also "Scrappy" though I am not sure how many works of art like to be called scrappy.
Normally price stickers and such on original boxes don't add to the value, but in this case a "DO NOT OPEN UNTIL CHRISTMAS" pair of stickers from Grandma to Donald at least adds some charm.  Donald was not artistically inclined, the set is virtually untouched though funky with age…but the enclosed stencils to allow a child to cheat were well-used.

The book I love is a modest little thing I have mentioned before.  The beautiful "Objects of American Art Education"  by Diana Korzenik, which contains numerous items such as this from her own collection.  The catalog was published in 2004 but it still shows what a dedicated collector can do with persistence and vision.  I see a few copies on Amazon.  I rate it a BUY. 

American Toy Works  Colortone Paint Set, circa 1930  Collection Jim Linderman

Browse and Purchase books and Ebooks ($5.99) by Jim Linderman HERE on Blurb.com

World's Most Strange Totem Pole Folk Art

Location Unknown (then AND now)  A tip of the hat to Joey Lin and Erin Waters.
Curious Folk Art "totem pole" thing.  Snapshot no date.  Collection Jim Linderman

Viva VEA Jim Linderman on Mexico Pin-up Glamour of the 1950s Caliente Vintage Sleaze and Niuglo

VEA is a pretty hard magazine to find copies of these days.   Vea ran in the 1940s and 1950s, and when you figure in acid-based paper, climate and censorship, you’ll know why they don’t turn up often. Do not confuse it with Vea the Puerto Rican gossip magazine, or Vea which came from Chile.  Search hard and you will see a few issues on Fred Seibert’s flickr stream, but that’s about it.  I found a handful  to purchase recently, and I wish I had them all.  If I were opening a Mexican restaurant, I’d cover the walls with them.  Under glass.

VEA was a weekly pulp periodical which ran for years but was apparently often in trouble with the law, largely due to Niuglo’s spicy muchachas.  The magazine was a menudo of news, bullfighting reports, pulp fiction (with illustrations that look like Charles Burns on peyote) and breasts, which is where Nuiglo comes in.  There is really nothing to compare the magazine to in the states then or now, but it was similar to the Folies De Paris et de Holllywood magazine from France which was running the same time.  Some of the Harrison mags like Whisper maybe.  Large format, large on style and striking today.

Flipping through them makes me think it is time for a 1950s Mexican revival.  The best reason to find some VEA is the pioneer Mexican fashion and glamour photographer known only (but not known WELL) as NIUGLO.  Niuglo’s photos were so good they often graced front and back cover simultaneous in vibrant candy colors, but the ones inside were printed in burnt sienna brown.  There was frontal nudity, a considerable amount…but nothing below the waist.
Scarce and forgotten, but someone is paying attention.

Bright scholar Ageeth Sluis recently wrote “Projecting Pornography and Mapping Modernity in Mexico City” for the Journal of Urban History which drew upon the images in VEA.   A portion of the abstract reads:  By analyzing depictions of female nudity as conversant with urban landscapes in the banned magazine Vea, the author argues that pornography connected Mexico City to transnational ideas of the early twentieth century that held that sexually liberated women were part and parcel of cosmopolitan modernity. Vea exemplified and fueled concerns over “public women” and helps scholars understand larger debates on the gendered effects of revolution, urbanization, and transnational currents of global modernity.  NICE!

I’ve put in a note to Ms Sluis, and if additional information results I’ll be glad to add it.

Even better,  an outstanding set of original negatives of erotic images which have been attributed to Niuglo were discovered in 1996 and recently exhibited (in 2002) by photographer Merrick Morton at the Fototeka Gallery in Los Angeles.  Attributed might be too strong a word, as it was speculation, and there were several other “house” photographers doing the pinup photography for VEA.  Selected images of this cache were printed in editons and sold.  The certainly have the look, and they look wonderful.

I am afraid that is all I can provide here about VEA.  As I learn more, it will appear.  A future post will include some striking images from inside the magazine.  There are considerable pinup layouts, cartoons, and even, believe it or now, a Bill Wenzel gag cartoon on the inside back cover!  I swear…was there NOT a publication he sold work to?

Jim Linderman Books and Affordable Ebooks are available HERE

Original Issues Vea Magazine 1954 – 1955 Collection Jim Linderman 

Kodak Blue RIP

Since it seems Kodak gave it up for good yesterday, it's a good time to show my Blue Hawk-Eye Junior in the original box.  I wish Kodak had managed their future a little better, don't you?

Hawk-Eye Junior Number 2 (BLUE) Made in the USA in Rochester, New York Collection 
Jim Linderman


One of the greatest concerts I ever attended was one of the then annual gigs Patti Smith did at the Village Underground, a small, one hundred seater off Bleecker street in Manhattan.  Though no one sat and they could load the place far more than one hundred.

The Village Underground is actually Gerdes...yes, that place babyface Dylan played with John Lee Hooker and passed his cap.  She played there regularly for the sound, the size of the one room and the history as much as for anything else.  It was a gift.    

It was the night Patti spat on me.  She meant no intent, it is just her way of using her body as a messenger.  A tool.  A brief break from delivery which serves as well to make an impact, and Patti Smith intends to make an impact when she wants to.  Patti spits to clear her thoughts, clear her mouth, clear her chest and create a space around her she controls, even as she chooses to make that impact. 

But not always.

She moved to my home state for a few years, before the Wave time...to live with one of the MC-5, a revolutionary group who in retrospect sound better every damn year, though when I was a boy they sounded fine. When I count myself lucky, I count the times I saw the MC-5.   Iggy sounds better every year too...another Michigander, and one particularly good at playing dumb when he is in fact brilliant.  He was so good at playing dumb the MC-5 called him their younger retarded brother.

Patti lived with Freddy.  In Detroit, she proved more than capable of family life and practiced clarinet.  She visited Schoolkids records in Ann Arbor.  Schoolkids drew their name from the some 40,000 students who live there.  For a while, marijuana was virtually legal in Ann Arbor, the community being largely composed of seeking potheads who voted to make it a traffic ticket, and one could wander the student ghetto and see it sprouting near fences and next to gravel parking lots.

No one doubts Patti Smith is brilliant. 

Her new album, yes album, as it comes in a small book with photographs, which is actually the true definition of album...in disc form.

It contains the greatest song ever written about a dog.  It is "Old Shep" from a far more literate Elvis and Elvis is no saint.  Patti Smith is the only saint I have seen perform.  Patti spat on me several times.

It also contains, as far as I know, the greatest song ever written about Maria Schneider, who passed on a year or so ago, unfortunately.  She had a somewhat troubled life and the most beautiful breasts I have ever seen on the big screen. 

Much was made of Patti Smith's breasts back when she was considered a punk-rocker, since the journalists who were looking for words to describe a female poet reverted to that, or those, as they were hormonal kids writing for Cream Magazine, another great Michigan thing.

The album is her best album in a while.  So what. They are all good.  One could do worse than to be a fan of Patti Smith.  Take this review and remember it when you listen.  The recommendation is thus:  Read the lyrics when you listen, and the back catalog is available.

Jim Linderman Books and Ebooks are available HERE

Folk Art Ventriloquist Head collection Jim Linderman

Vintage Folk Art Ventriloquist Dummy Head Wood, cork and paint.  Circa 1940 Collection Jim Linderman

Of related interest is I'M WITH DUMMY: Vent Figures and Blockheads  Vintage Photographs from the Jim Linderman Collection (Book and Ebook $5.99 download for Ipad HERE)

What Does YOUR Swimsuit Reveal?

I believe it is time for the 5th anniversary installment of "WHAT DOES YOUR SWIMMING SUIT REVEAL?" here on Dull Tool Dim Bulb.  For the sizzling summer of 2012, we present not quite extraordinary illustrator M. Miller, who used virtually the same gag twice on the cover of Screwball Digest!  Enjoy the long weekend!

Order or Browse Jim Linderman books and ebooks HERE

Tipped off to Tintypes and a Tip of the Hat to Robert E. Jackson

Pioneering  photography collector Robert Jackson wrote recently to tip me off to a few interesting tintypes available on eBay, so I bought them.  Mr. Jackson, who is largely responsible for the vintage vernacular photography field had his staggering snapshot photo collection documented by no less than the National Gallery of Art and Princeton University Press five years ago now with THE ART OF THE AMERICAN SNAPSHOT 1888 - 1978. The lovely book is still available and still essential.  When Robert told me "you can't go wrong" with the price on these photos, I thought the same about his book.  You can't go wrong.  It is 300 solid pages of extraordinary images and smart essays, worth every penny and more. 

As for the tintypes, they look mundane enough until you look behind the sitters.  My interest in tintype photography lies in the plight of traveling folk art portrait painters when they were replaced by the invention of the camera.  I attempt to prove they simply went on to paint backdrops instead in THE PAINTED BACKDROP: Behind the Sitter in American Tintype Photography.  As far as I know, still the only examination into what was in virtually every one of the millions of tintypes taken in a studio...a painting!  It is now available as an ebook for only $5.99, which is good, as the photographs look even better on your ipad.

Group of three tintype photographs with painted backdrops circa 1880 Collection Jim Linderman

Vintage Sleaze reaches 50,000 Followers on Facebook

Just for the record, Vintage Sleaze the Blog, my daily examination into the gutters of smut from the 1950's will reach 50,000 followers on Facebook today.  The site tells a true story EVERY DAY about the publishers, artists, photographers, models, censors, scoundrels, gangsters, burlesquers, vaudevillian villains, writers, distributors, gag cartoonists and readers of soft-core sleaze from the golden age of smut.  Guess what?  It turns out "glamour" photography wasn't so glamorous!  It sounds bad, but it isn't...and like Dull Tool Dim Bulb, every word true.  Mostly.

"Hear no Evil, Speak no Evil, See no Evil" cover from Exotique Photo Album Number Three, circa 1958 (No Date in Publication) 

Real Cowgirls Vintage Photographs collection Jim Linderman

Cowgirl Costumes collection, circa 1950 - 1960 Jim Linderman

To send a free postcard from the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame go HERE

To see some cowgirls who grew up...sorta...go HERE

Preview or Purchase Jim Linderman books and Ebooks HERE

A Scary Man in a Uniform World War One Scarecrow Collection Jim Linderman

World War One Scarecrow Collection Jim Linderman

Mabel loved a man in a uniform, so when she asked for a photo of her favorite, he of course replied, but it might have taken him a while.  Our World War One Doughboy had already turned his khakis into a scarecrow, thus protecting his sunflowers instead of his countrymen, and as far as I am concerned putting them to darn good work.  I am glad he survived the carnage. 

World War One Scarecrow snapshot, circa 1920  Collection Jim Linderman


All That Glisters is NOT Gold Tin Cans and a Misquote Folk Art Craft

All that glitters is not correct.  All the GLISTENS is not gold, from the Merchant of Venice, and I can't understand Shakespeare at all.

Trio of Candle holders made from Tin Cans, bedecked with fake jewels, painted gold.  Collection Jim Linderman

Meet Me at the Nebraska Fair ! No Native Americans Allowed

Welcome to the Nebraska County Fair in 1905. 

30 years or so before this postcard was created by hand and mailed, the Nebraska Legislature, realizing the land they had forced numerous tribes to live on was even more valuable than they thought, petitioned Congress for the extinction of the old treaties to create even worse treaties...with the following documented bile:

"Whereas, the Indians now on special reservations in Nebraska hold and occupy valuable and important tracts of land, which while occupied will not be developed and improved; and Whereas the demand for lands which will be improved and made useful, are such that these Indian lands should no longer be held, but should be allowed to pass into the hands of enterprising and industrious citizens;...[W]e urge upon our delegation in Congress to secure the removal of all Indians now on special reservations in Nebraska to other... localities, where their presence will not retard settlements by the whites."

Okay!  I wonder how many McDonald's and Wal-Marts have been created by enterprising and industrious citizens on that land by now.

Enjoy the fair!

Original hand drawn promotional postcard, Nebraska 1905  Collection Jim Linderman

Jim Linderman Books and eBook Downloads are available HERE 

Scarce Early Photograph of a Jug Band with No Jug African-American Street Musicians


My second good blues musician photograph in two years.  Period original photographs of African-American musicians are hard to find, and I have been very lucky indeed.   See HERE for another find from the same period.  

A washtub bass, two guitars (one which appears to be decorated, or possibly having inlaid wood?) and a fiddle.  This is a small snapshot taken at what appears to be the train station, although it could be a streetcar, but the Western Union sign leads me to believe it is the railroad, and of course there is a porter who appears as interested as the others.  The performers appear successful with sharp shoes and good dress.   This would be a darn smart jug band if they had a jug.  I am going to guess the nurses were on the way home.

My first guess was that the bass player could be Will Shade, ringleader for a hodge-podge of Memphis musicianers and jug bands.  In part because of his nickname "Son Brimmer" which referred to his habit of wearing a hat with a brim to shade his eyes. (and I believe also the title of his first recording, but haven't looked it up)  The hat here is unusual and brimmed.

Shade or not, the performer plays a "bullfiddle" which is a garbage can, broomstick and one string.  If you have never seen a musician play who COULD play one, you'd be surprised how effective the rudimentary instrument is.  I believe what we are seeing here dates to the Frank Stokes, Sleepy John Estes, Gus Cannon era.  The snapshot is a mere 2.5" x 3.5" but crisp as can be, enlarge it and see the details. 

If any of you out there recognize any participants or the location I would be much obliging.  I have one or two experts scratching their heads.  More heads is better!  How unfortunate that a photo can not sing or play...I would have loved to be met by this splendid looking group on my arrival.


Original Street Photograph Snapshot circa 1930 African-American Quartet Perform at Train Station.  Location Uknown.  Collection Jim Linderman


Tinsmith Horse Weathervane with Barn Cupola Folk Art

Some documentation here from when Main street had a tinsmith, or maybe down the road a bit.  Barn Cupolas are wonderful, big throwbacks to the family farm.  I don't think those huge chicken factories hidden back behind chain-link fences so you don't go see how they are raised need cupolas.  They need FANS for sure...but our major bird breeding manufacturing processes aren't too concerned with the blowing wind direction...or making the factory stand out.  An indication of their shame, I think.  What they are interested in is hormone fed birds and clipping their beaks so they don't fight.

Tinsmith with Horse Weathervane Sample and Trade Sign circa 1890 Real Photo Postcard Olivia Minnesota Collection Jim Linderman

King of the Squirrels Sideshow Shooting Gallery Target Squirrel

My "King of the Squirrels" shooting gallery target comes courtesy Candler Arts, a fine web source for unusual American folk art, primitives and curiosities.  Run by Kevin Duffy, the site is always a visual treat.  The Candler Arts blog shows a wide variety of objects, consistently worth seeing, and the corresponding gallery offers select items for sale.  A good reason to look is posted now, as the wonderful sideshow "game of numbers" shown below is there now.

I bought King Squirrel as I have been overrun.  The house is surrounded by giant maple trees, and this seems to have been a particularly heavy season for helicopter seeds.  You know the kind.  Evolution designed them to twirl down to the ground slowly, whirling as they go, to provide the seed a soft landing.  They make a feast for squirrels.  They have become every bit as annoying as pigeons were to me in the city, but without wings.  Unlike pigeons, you see the young, and even they fly from tree to tree like tiny Tarzans with tails.  They can expect to live about six years...unless I get good here with King.

Early cast iron shooting gallery targets came in racks and this one has the original mount and cotter which held it on.  I suspect the KING tag is probably as that was the manufacturer or name of the touring carnival. 

Candler Arts blog is HERE and the.gallery is HERE
Game of Numbers Courtesy Candler Arts

Early 20th Century Cast Iron Shooting Gallery Target collection Jim Linderman

Dull Tool Dim Bulb books and Ebook downloads are HERE