Quote and Credit

Quote and Credit


Fashion Makeovers from the Past

In 1909, Conde Nast purchased Vogue. Some believe that was the origin of modern-day fashion photography. Conde Nast, in case you do not know, is the name of an individual, not a corporation, though it could be one now. Conde Montrose Nast was a native New Yorker born in 1873. He started his magazine work at Collier's, where he remade the struggling weekly into a profitable machine. Nast left and subsequently made Vogue the premier fashion magazine in the world, along the way also developing Vanity Fair, House & Garden and Glamour.

Others claim the origin of modern day fashion photography to the pictures Edward Steichen took of of couturier Paul Poiret's gowns in 1911 which were published in Art et Decoration.

These photographs, while as far from the work of Steichen, Horst P. Horst, Irving Penn, Louise Dahl-Wolfe and Richard Avedon as they can be, none the less illustrate in 1928 "fashion" a staple of today's magazines for women...the makeover. Maybe not glamour, and maybe not even possible to determine which was "before" and which was "after" they are none the less primitive and early examples of what has become a billion dollar plus-sized industry. 

Group of Early original "Makeover" photographic Layouts 1928 Collection Jim Linderman

Bearded Band House of David Musicians RPPC

Duck Dynasty the Band?  Nope.  City of David Real Photograph Post Card mailed from Benton Harbor, MI 1947.  Collection Jim Linderman

World's Largest Mosquito Attacks, Kills Man Snapshots collection Jim Linderman

Early snapshots, and I think while one would expect these to be "trick" photographs of some type, I think they actually built a giant bug!  Enlarge and see.  Comments?

Group of Three original snapshots, circa 1930?  Collection Jim Linderman


John Meyers of Michigan and the Bear Den of Spikehorn's Bears RPPC

Favored local crank and bear wrangler John E. Meyers, A.K.A "Spikehorn" peers around the corner of his ramshackle "bear's den" in this real photo postcard circa 1935.  He seems to be waiting for potential lawsuits…and yes, there were maulings.  Welcome to Michigan!

Maybe that primitive rendering of a child petting the hungry stomach of a big one wasn't too smart.  Kids COULD shake bear hands, and no, there wasn't a "Don't pet the bears unless you are THIS tall" sign in the yard.

Spikehorn's tombstone "bears" his name and the title "Central Michigan Naturalist" but they omitted "inventor of the sugar beet lifter" whatever that is. 

In 1937 the Owasso (Michigan) press reported Spikehorn was providing entertainment with trained bears at the founding of an early Michigan conservation club, so he must have had a den on wheels too. 

The bear dens burned down in 1957, and Spikehorn spent the last two of his 87 years in a rest home in Gladwin, MI. 

In 1994, T. M. Sellers wrote a book on Spikehorn, and later one of the cubs born in his den grew up to become famous as "Cubbie" in a children's book.  

Every few years a Michigan writer claws up the tale of Spikehorn, and this is mine…but he is increasingly known only by those who attend postcard shows.

See Spikehorn Meyers in action (in color!)  below.


Spikehorn Meyers  Harrison Michigan Real Photo Postcard circa 1935? Collection Jim Linderman

Books and eBooks by Jim Linderman available HERE

Folk Art Carved Articulated Wood Man

Folk Art Carved Articulated Wood Man circa 1930? 

Limberjack Dancing Man  Collection Jim Linderman

Books and Ebooks by Jim Linderman HERE

Sunbonnet Sue Sews AND Sings! Folk Art Sunbonnet Sue and the Doughboys.

The history of Sunbonnet Sue begins, I believe, with Illustrator Kate Greenaway, but as she was a Brit,  I prefer to give credit to homegrown Bertha Corbett Melcher, who not only created the Sunbonnet BABIES but also came from the great American West.  Here is a panel drawn by Ms. Melcher depicting the young sunbonnets swiping a baby! 
However, left out of most Sunbonnet Sue stories is my favorite version of the tale, by the Fort Worth Doughboys, who at the time I believe had the magnificent Bob Wills in the group.  That would be Mr. Wills in an unusual photograph in which he appears to be standing straight upright and sober! 

The Sunbonnet Sue above is a needle holder, and has the unusual distinction of having several layers of petticoats to hold needles.

Sunbonnet Sue was later a lousy movie, which lost every bit of cowboy fun and when sung by the "Golden Voiced" Phil Regan?  Shudder.  Show tunes.

Play the Doughboy's version again.  I promise you will be singing it all day long.

Sunbonnet Sue Needle Holder Handmade circa 1930 Collection Jim Linderman

Books and ebooks by Jim Linderman available HERE

Gertie Cochran Mental Wonder Vaudeville Performer (First Human Computer?) Photograph by Frank Wendt


She answers like a flash on lightning, purely from memory, thousands of difficult questions on all subjects.  Biblical history, national history, population of all the large cities of the earth, dates of discoveries, dates of great battles, with generals officiating and numbers killed and wounded, national debt of all nations, including our own national debt…"

Gertie Cochran was speaking at age seven months and was not long forced to memorize everything!  Well, maybe to everything, but certainly more than I feel like taking the time to copy!  Gertie was on the road was on the road at age 5, and "she…created a perfect "furore" wherever exhibited."  Click to enlarge the patter…and be prepared to ask questions.  Gertie takes them all on.  Prepare to be dumfounded.

A cabinet card photograph by Frank Wendt, likely used, and sold, as a souvenir at Little Miss Gertie's shows.  Wendt was understudy to the famed circus  freak photographer G. Eisenmann, and worked out of both New York City and later Boonton, New Jersey.  The card dates to a performance in 1898 in Lake Chautaugua, New York.  Wendt was also known for his circus and sideshow photographs, but the book below collects his numerous photos of young women forced on the road at an early age.

See the book HOOFERS AND SWEETHEARTS: THE Little Women of Frank Wendt.  Vintage Photographs from the Collection of Jim Linderman.  80 pages.  Paperback $21.95 Ebook $5.99.  

FaceTime Etiquette Secret Codes Handwriting Analysis Typewriter Tracks and Cam Communication in the 21st Century

Since touch pads and keyboards have finally eliminated handwriting, and the long anticipated "face to face" telephone has arrived through camming with surprisingly little fanfare, I thought it time to rerun the "Eye Flirtation" chart here which one should always keep in mind when having some FaceTime.  Let's see…do I have to put a trademark next to FaceTime?  No…but when I type it on my Apple, they automatically add the capitalized T for me.  Strange. 

Anyway, one used to be able to analyze potential dates through their handwritten requests.  I guess delivered by hand through calling cards, butler to butler?  So gentile.  Not anymore.  I write every day, but even signing a check hurts my fingers now.  They are out of shape.  Writing by hand, and the ability to tell if a written by hand letter was composed by a serial killer is now officially over. 

Remember back when criminals were convicted because one of the keys on their typewriter had a distinctive character?  Now, as everything we type is stored forever somewhere, it's been a long time since anyone was called to testify about a little chip out of the comma key on a crook's Underwood.
Anyway, for your delight and despair, if you have been giving out messages you wish to have kept private, here is the official guide to "eye flirtation" I posted long ago.  It is back, but through technology, it is growing more useful every day.

BOOKS (AND EBOOKS $5.99 each) BY JIM LINDERMAN are available HERE


Proud (and OFFICIAL) participant in the system!

Mastercraft Decal Company, No Date Collection Jim Linderman

Two Sided Bathing Beauty of Wood Folk Art What does your Swimming Suit reveal? # 6

It is a bit early, as Spring is not even Spring yet here, but it isn't too early for number six in the "What does your Swimming Suit Reveal" series.

Folk Art wooden Bathing Beauty in a Bikini circa 1940  (From an upstate New York Motel Swimming Pool) Collection Jim Linderman 

BOOK AND eBooks by Jim Linderman HERE

Pair of 19th Century Folk Art Children's Drawings by Harry Moar More Folky than Children's Drawings of Today?

Two consistent drawings by young Harry Moar which I am dating to around the turn of the century.  The 19th one.   They are signed on the reverse, so young Harry had an idea of his own capabilities as an artist, or his parents did.  Some young and naive artists have no idea they should imprint their stamp on a work until they are told to claim it.  It would take a mighty precocious child to sign his work before being told.

Lined paper such as this came into being around 1900.

19th century drawings by children look more like folk art to me than those done today.    A children's art specialist could tell me more (and maybe one will write in) but these just look more folky than kids draw today.  

Now that kids draw with the "help" of touch pads these days... I won't have anything to find at antique shows, and I suspect they'll all start to look more or less the same.
Pair of original 19th century drawings by Harry Moar.  Collection Jim Linderman

BROWSE AND PURCHASE BOOKS AND eBooks by Jim Linderman HERE at Blurb.com

Risque Hurly Burly Hootchie Cootchie Dancers of Professor G. W. Van Sideshow Burlesque



Professor G. W. Van presents his talent in this, frankly, remarkable group of photographs I was able to purchase recently.  They are unusual not only for the content, which shows a pleasant afternoon full of hurly-burly, hootchie-cootchie and risqué behavior for the time, but also splendid examples of period dress, gentlemen when hats were virtually required (even for dusty fairgrounds) and a wonderful group of original painted sideshow banners.

The same banners are shown elsewhere in a photograph dated 1915.

Prof. G.W.Van was from Lockhaven, PA according to one of my heroes A. Stencell, who promised me an interview once but I am too intimidated.  His book Seeing is Believing is essential for anyone interested in sideshow history (or simply a good book)

I don't watermark items from my collection posted, but credit appropriately if you repost. 

The New York State Historical Association in Cooperstown owns a photo of the same touring troupe HERE

Group of Original Photographs Anonymous circa 1915 G.W. Van sideshow 
Collection Jim Linderman


Oddities Antiques and the Curiosities Business Not Dead Yet Reality Shows of Pickers Spur Interest in Antiques

To be honest, I am not sure if "OUF" is a name or a group of initials, but unfortunately she has passed away.  Memorial cards are among them most common cabinet card photographs, but this one has the distinction of delicate hand-tinting and the curious tribute to OUF apparently hand-stamped over her flowers.

Netflix is streaming the complete two seasons of Oddities, the Discovery series on curious and creepy antique dealers Mike Zone, Evan Michelson and Ryan Matthew,  master bone articulator.  The three ghouls are the Pawn Stars of the Dead and American Pickers of the Body Farm.  Twenty episodes in a row, a binge viewing totally unlike me, has left my mind with an odd and curious feeling of morbidity and mortality.  So the funeral card here is shared.

Hopefully, the popularity of Oddities will help the antiques business.  Everyone needs a hobby after all, and in these digital days a few actual physical objects on the shelves would be nice.

Cabinet Card circa 1900?  Reed Studio MA.  Collection Jim Linderman 


Adbul "calls in sick" 1941 Penmanship Lesson Example

Those of you who might need just one more day after Spring Break may find this useful, a template page from New Model Semi-Upright Copy Book Number 6 used to teach writing to students in India. Bunder Road, Karachi.

New Model Copy Book circa 1941 Collection Jim Linderman


Ventriloquist Dummy (Vent Figure) circa 1940 Collection Jim Linderman

Circa 1940 Handmade Ventriloquist Figure Collection Jim Linderman

SEE ALSO the new book I'M WITH DUMMY: Vent Figures and Blockheads  Vintage Photographs from the Jim Linderman Collection.  78 Pages  Softcover or ebook.  Nearly 100 original photographs 1900 - 1980 of ventriloquists and vent figures never before published.  Creepy?  Yes!


Lund's Plywood Garden of Michigan

Lund's Plywood Garden of Maple City, Michigan.
E.K. Lund was a part-time magician who lived to the age of 100. From the looks of these rare postcards, that is about one plywood figure a year.

Photo Postcards from Lund's Garden, formerly installed in Maple City, Michigan.

See Also "Preacher, Artist, Magician, Centenarian" HERE


Strike Up the (Native American Peoples?) Band!


I can't tell you how many, or if ANY of the players here are first nation performers, but there were authentic Native American bands.  Along with other enforced cultural changes, some had instruments forced on them.  On thing I do know is that there were not too many tribal trombones until not long before this picture was taken.

Curious Concert Band  Anonymous Photograph circa 1900?  Collection Jim Linderman


Opening April 1, 2013 Art of the Potholder

The Art of the Pot Holder is supported by a grant from the Makers of Rayon and generous funding from the Skillet Foundation.