Quote and Credit

Quote and Credit


Three BIG Bears Folk Art Bear Masks Collection Jim Linderman

Three BIG bears.

Handmade Bear masks circa 1965 (Anonymous) Springfield Missouri Collection Jim Linderman


Primitive Fraktur 19th Century Jefferson County, PA West Liberty Clearfield County Collection Jim Linderman Folk Art

Detail only from a dated 1883 Fraktur drawing (with letter on reverse) from a gent to his wife.  The portion shown is 1/4 of the piece, which is drawn throughout entirely in red and blue.  Both parties are named, the piece is signed and I am researching the maker.  "F L T" stand for "Friendship Love and Truth" a motif which is repeated.  The piece also has an applied Victorian scrap affixed (surrounded by embellishment) and other decoration.  A good find.  Things ARE still out there.

19th Century Pennsylvania Fraktur collection Jim Linderman

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Photograph of a Misnomer! Clean Coal Occupational Photograph


An original cabinet photograph of a hard and brutal life.  Circa 1915 or so, location unidentified, of a group of coal miners and their four-legged helpers.  Life is hard now, but it was worse back then.

"Clean" coal is, of course, a massive misnomer.  They can make "cleaner" coal burn better, but anything which puts the chemicals achieved through transforming combustion into the air is bad for our breathing.  As one living with asthma, It is personal.  If you have children with asthma, it is personal for you too.

Not that the nuclear alternative is much better.  I live an hour's drive from unarguably one of the worst and least safe Nuclear Reactors in the world.   The Palisades.  The plant has been generating "safely, reliably and cost-effectively since December 31, 1971" according to their WEBSITE. but it is pretty easy to dispute that.

Fred Upton (Republican, Michigan's 6th District) is reportedly "outraged" by the latest spill of radioactive material into Lake Michigan from the plant, just one of a whole bunch of problems down there.  They had five shutdowns in 2012 alone.  There are only four plants with as bad a safety record in the country.  Whether the congressman is outraged enough to return the $24,600 the owners of the plant Entergy donated to his recent campaign has not been reported. 

Generating power which allows us the lifestyle to which we have become accustomed  is fraught with unhealthy risk and involves hard decisions. 700 people work at that plant, and Upton knows it. He has to think of them and he has to represent his electorate.

We can ignore the problems associated with our energy choices, but we'll end up paying for it later, that you can be sure of.

Original cabinet photograph, undated (circa 1915) collection Jim Linderman

YARD BIRDS Clacking Pecking Wooden Chicken Toys (and one of Plastic) Folk Art Peckers


Despite zoning regulations, I've put chickens in the yard, but they are my sister's.  I am babysitting.

With European roots, and still carved over there are the wonderful wooden pecking chickens.  Folk art in motion.  Yard bird Peckers!

The flat surface, or platform, is often "littered" with sawdust or specks of something resembling feed...wooden chickens are no smarter than the real ones, so they eat.  Often the feed is painted on.  Each bird is tied to a guide string which runs through the platform to a ball, which when rotated causes our favorite domesticated bird to move.  Like a ping-pong paddle of peckers.

Although they are among the least expensive collectibles, one sold for over a grand at an auction a few years ago.  It appears to have been a rare "dapple painted" Pennsylvania Dutch version. 

At any given time, you may find a dozen or so listed on eBay.  There is endless variety, but they are all birds on a string. The most scarce are antique hand-made versions, or like all toys, those in the original box I suppose..  The ornate, painted versions imported from Russia are bright (and loud… clacking is an important consideration) but lack the charm of hand-carved or primitive rudimentary versions which are less decorative but more authentic.  Can I just type "lacking clacking" once?

One of the earliest manufactured plastic versions is "Little Bill's Chickens" which is smaller than most and marked by title on the handle, and it is this one which originated in my family and is lovingly preserved by Lil Sis.

Essentially, there are three versions!  The common pecking head, the less often seen bobbing tail, and the far more intricate version with flapping wings!   Use above to create your own cottage coop industry.

Collection of Pecking Chickens courtesy my Sister!


Wooden Folk Art Carved Bald Butler Standing Figure Collection Jim Linderman

My garden now has both scarecrow AND butler.  I need only sit on the porch and ring for strawberries.

Standing Folk Art Butler figure circa 1930 Collection Jim Linderman
BOOKS AND EBOOKS by Jim Linderman ($5.99 for download) are available HERE

Petroliana Cities Service Oil Company and a Blue Checked Dress American Pickers and Image Advertising

Here is one for those guys on American Pickers who are always looking for oil cans.  I am going to guess the blue embellishment was done by a proud little girl who had a calico blue dress.  Dad is also proud, he is living the American Dream.  Mom, not Mcdonald's would make the sandwiches, and I'm going to guess once in a while give one to a passerby who was hitching.  Who would think 75 years later the petroleum companies would be so hated they have to spend millions of dollars on "image advertising" to make us think they are still the good guys.

Original cabinet card photograph, circa 1925 Collection Jim Linderman

Books and Ebooks by Jim Linderman available for preview or purchase HERE

Mell Kilpatrick Update Photographer of Automobile Crashes and Inventor of the Dashboard Camera (UPDATE)

Mell Kilpatrick Untitled (Automobile Crash Scene) collection Jim Linderman
Pleasant words have come from the Mell Kilpatrick website HERE regarding the photographer I have come to think of as the Weegee of the West.  He did more than photograph automobile crashes, but the dashboard camera he invented to make it possible marks him one of the most important photographers of the 20th century.  I'm happy to link to the Mell Kilpatrick site for them, and continue to prize mine as well.   Mell has a good story, and I am all about good stories. I have a dozen or so…a few are inside shots of what must be crime scenes…clothes strewn about and one of a broken safe…but it was the crashes which should make one think.  And not text while doing it behind the wheel. 

My previous posts on the hard-working artist are HERE and HERE.  

Photography Books and eBooks by Jim Linderman are available HERE

Physical Culture the Macfadden Way Digital Media and Preserving the Past

I have written about nutty eccentric and WAY before his time Bernarr MacFadden before, and will link at the end of this post, but for now let's just thank the Digital repository at Ball State University.  They have done us all a great service by scanning these fantastic covers of a magazine which ran for decades but are now literally dissolving through acid paper and neglect.  Remember, those who ignore the past will regret the future.

Unlike Google's various aborted, legal ensnared and poorly organized attempts to raid the world's printed legacy in order to gain marketing data on you...Ball State isn't going to collect your search results when you look at their collection, nor will you see advertisements for products which a robot has determined you are searching for.  (You should see MY spam)

By the way, I think the first cover here is one of the earliest fake "Before and After" scams!

My earlier post on health guru Bernarr MacFadden is HERE

Covers are copyright Physical Culture Publishing Co. (various years) and the images come from the Ball State University Digital Media Repository.


Dull Tool Dim Bulb The Newsletter 2013

Total hit count for the Dull Tool Dim Bulb series of blogs is now well over three million.  Go figure.  Read on...

First of all, a BIG thank you to Grand Rapids Magazine, May 2013 for a nice profile and several photos of what they called my virtual museum.  Pics here are tiny as the May 2013 issue is on the newsstand now…go buy it.   Grand Rapids Magazine is the model of a regional publication.  Grand Rapids, 30 miles from my beach town, recently made big news for their growing economy,  job opportunities and flood.  Grand Rapids, still the "Furniture City" in my mind is being rebranded as an art center as well with the nationally recognized Art Prize.  West Michigan rules!  (9 months out of the year.)

Other recent Dull Tool Dim Bulb press includes some international attention!   "Los calaberos las preferian negras" in El Pais (The largest Spanish daily newspaper with 13 million readers) and Pop Culture Miner in The Bund, a large circulation paper in China.  Iantique reprinted portions of the New York Times profileThe Auction Exchange ran an article.  Book reviews abound…but most notable is the brief blurb from, of all places, Croatia (!) in the magazine Vox Feminae.  Open your Google translator and enjoy!     Monsters and Madonnas at the International Center of Photography Library ran a nice piece which mentioned Take Me to the WaterThings Magazine linked to Dull Tool Dim Bulb recently and Blurb named Vintage Photographs of Arcane Americana "Book of the Week."   I've missed some here, but thanks ALL!

Craig Yoe in his new book The Creativity of Ditko credits my research and images considerably in helping to solve the question of who REALLY invented the character Spiderman…and it isn't who you may think.  A great story which defines friendship, hypocrisy and the relationship between art, commerce and comics.  Highly recommended.  I was pleased to contribute. 

Dull Tool Dim Bulb Books has several interesting new photography collections now available, minor little efforts but then all are only $5.99 if purchased in ebook form.  The pictures look better on a screen than the printed page now anyway, but they are also available in paperback and hardcover.   Without going into descriptions, trust ALL are unique books documenting highly unusual "things" and forgotten art forms...the hallmark
of Dull Tool Dim Bulb.  Each links here to the books on Blurb.com. 

The Cryptic Rebus Drawings of Anonymous: 19th Century Picture Word Games from the Collection of Jim Linderman

I'm with Dummy: Vent Figures and Blockheads  Vintage Photographs from the Jim Linderman Collection.

Private Photographs of a Burlesque Queen: Lynne O'Neill the Original Garter Girl  Original Photographs from the Jim Linderman Collection

Argentina Tintamarresque: Comic Foreground Novelty Photographs from Argentina
Next up will be True History of Tijuana Bibles: Facts and Myths which is taking a while as I actually have to write.  I'm far better at scanning photographs than I am at writing.  But it will look like the below, will likely be 150 pages and will tell the story of the little filthy comic books your grandfather knew well but wouldn't mention...with lots of previously unreported attempts of your tax dollars trying to stomp them out, and the wise-guys who printed them in their basements.

 Vintage Sleaze the Blog (which tells a true and usually very funny story untold story from the glory days of smut) continues a meteoric rise to the top of the blog world.  Vintage Sleaze now has well over 90,000 followers on Facebook (!) and to think I started it just to trick folks into looking at my REAL blog.    Pretty women and dirty men make for good reading…and believe me, as the stories have never been told, the research is hilarious.  The site tells a true story every day from the 1950's and 1960s, when soft-core sleaze was hounded by censors and the law.  The real life characters (models, photographers, illustrators, writers and mobsters) make for good reading, and that the public agrees is great.  Many of the stories (and much, much more) will be compiled into TIMES SQUARE SMUT to be available soon.   Risque and not quite Innocent fun now rendered harmless by the real smut of the internet!  The book centers on three sleazeballs who unwittingly changed culture: Leonard Burtman, Edward Mishkin and Irving Klaw, and several remarkable artists they employed, and the focus is on the graphics and artistic contributions (as well as their efforts to eliminate book censorship and promote intellectual freedom.)  The stories are outrageous.

Additionally, the blog within a blog CONTEMPORARY Vintage Sleaze, which profiles, with their cooperation, major artists working today who have been influenced by the smut of the past, is now up to 36 entries, and we have had the cooperation of an astounding group of notable artists.  Ryan Heshka, Tony Fitzpatrick, Jane Dickson, Hudson Marquez, and many more nationally known figures.  To date, only ONE artist has turned me down and I won't say who, but screw him.  I never liked his dealer either.

Stay tuned to Dull Tool Dim Bulb for upcoming projects and stay away from the other blogs.  I have all the attention I need, and if clicks were coins I would be rolling in fresh dough.  Or, as a hero of mine who passed away recently once said "farting through silk" but I will regret writing that as soon as I hit the "publish" button.

In addition to the above, other Dull Tool Dim Bulb Books are still in print (and in ebook) including Arcane Americana and Camera Club Girls: Bettie Page, Her Friends and the Work of Rudolph Rossi.

Damn nice Duds Dude Tenderfoot Fashion Cowboy and Cowgirl Range Fashion!

Cowboy Poseurs all dressed up in their weekend duds!  Tenderfoots.  Drugstore Cowboys.
Good color though...Cowboy Joe and Cowboy Jill around 1955.

Books and eBooks by Jim Linderman for sale HERE

Anderson Johnson of Newport News Artist Singer Preacher

The congregation of Reverend Elder Bishop Anderson Johnson numbered in the thousands, but they were virtually all painted by the preacher himself and most hung by threads from the ceiling instead of sitting in pews. Surrounded by crime, blight, drugs and wig shops, he lived a quiet life on Ivy Street in Newport News, VA following a long career of selfless ministry. I am only now beginning to appreciate, some 15 years after my first visit, how special was his gift and talent. 

 Within the door of his church and home a dark cave of religious passion entirely of his own making awaited. Completely surrounded by his own paintings of "followers" he performed on guitar, pedal steel and piano, hidden within the walls and largely for himself. I was surprised years later to find he had recorded commercially. Despite many conversations about his life, service and mission, he never mentioned his gospel steel guitar recordings made by Henry Stone in Florida in the late 1950's released on the Glory and Angel Labels. I understand there has been a resurgence of steel guitar gospel players in Florida since, I suspect the roots of this movement were planted by Reverend Johnson.

One has recently been posted on YouTube, using one of my photographs, so I am taking the time to repost this entry in Dull Tool Dim Bulb.
Reverend Johnson passed away near poverty, but at least one painting was added to the Smithsonian American Art Museum in 1998. He once told me, in all seriousness, the reason he painted so many portraits was that he hoped to find work as a courtroom artist. The house he transformed was destroyed by urban renewal (which in this case was needed, believe me) Portions of the environment also remain in historic preservation museum projects in Virginia and in private collections. There is a beautiful essay about his life on the website of the Middle Passage Project run by the College of William and Mary. Some of Mr. Johnson's recordings have been reissued, one appears on the Dust-To-Digital "Goodbye, Babylon" box set of 2003

Original 35mm photographs 1993-1995 collection Jim Linderman



19th Century Wooden Carved Folk Art African-American Man

Folk Art Carved Wooden Man.  Pine, likely southern American, circa 1860-1880  21"  Doll.  Collection Jim Linderman

Turn of the Century Show Business Portly Gents Vaudevillians RPPC

A portly pair of buffoons battle bellies in Chicago at the stage door, circa 1900.  Play unknown.  Yiddish theater?  

Real Photo Postcard, Azo Back Circa 1900 Collection Jim Linderman

Whorls DNA Fingerprints and Bernice Pepperling

Whorls DNA Fingerprints and Bernice Pepperling.

Are all fingerprints unique?  Well…if you've been following here long, you probably know the answer.  Not really.  We'll get to that later.

Fingerprint and Identification Magazine.  Fingerprint Magazine ran for some 50 years, and guess what?  The Genealogy Today website is indexing all the issues into their database as fast as they can find them! 

The magazine was sold to 16,000 police chiefs who in turn shared it with ten patrolmen.  (yes, sold…it was a subscription item your local chief had to pay for.)  See the stats on the cover?  16,000 sold, 160,000 readers.  In the publishing business that is known as the pass-along rate.  "Mac…stop screwing around.  Go study the Fingerprint magazine."

It ran profiles and the whorls of wanted desperadoes, including gunsel (and cover girl) Bernice Pepperling (AKA Marie Riley) here who tried to slip a weapon into jail to her lover.  She is presumed innocent until rounded up.  If you are doing some genealogical research on your great aunt Bernice, you are in for a surprise.

They also has curious little news items, like the one here about fingerprints being used to control quarantined Detroit citizens…You'll see they fingerprinted the resident of every rooming house to prevent the spread of smallpox.  Sorry privacy advocates.  Public Health wins out every time,  just like it did back in 1924.  Read the piece and you'll see some guys were sending in ringers to give prints for them so they could keep on spreading germs.

I looked for the newest issue of Fingerprints at Barnes and Noble, but it must have slipped back behind one of the Brides magazines or something.

Anyway, back to the initial question.  Is every fingerprint one of a kind?  Turns out it is kinda like every snowflake being different.  Wilson Bentley found identical snowflakes, and he only had to look at 5,000.  We had that many nearly every DAY last winter on my PORCH.  Then Mr. Bentley died of pneumonia.  (True) 

That is, the uniqueness of a fingerprint is  "a working hypothesis"  which is why in court they used to pay someone to come in and say it's a science.  I guess in the trade the problem is known as "false positives" which is an oxymoron, but it works. 

I quote.  "Five examiners made false positive errors for an overall false positive rate of 0.1%. Eighty-five percent of examiners made at least one false negative error for an overall false negative rate of 7.5%."  For you sticklers, the citation is  "Accuracy and reliability of forensic latent fingerprint decisions"  by Bradford T. Ulery" National Academy of Sciences. Even better is THIS ONE.
Fingerprints are increasingly being replaced by DNA.  DNA never lies, but the problem is often getting juries to believe in science.  Some jurors zone out around 10:30 and miss the explanation…and they zone out again after those two hour lunch breaks.  I do know there has been a marked decrease in the number of perps trying to file or burn their fingerprints off…something which happened in movies during the depression and in Dick Tracy comics.  By the way, did you know John Dillinger tried to burn his fingerprints off with acid?  Yep…not long after this magazine appeared.

Fingerprint and Identification Magazine September 1924 Collection Jim Linderman

BOOKS AND $5.99 eBOOKS by Jim Linderman are available HERE

Patrotic Peace Parade Plywood Float! World War Two Dove of Peace Folk Art

Initially I thought this was a somewhat primitive church piece from a somewhat primitive alter, but it didn't take me long to realize it is a parade float fragment from the end of World War Two.  Over 4 feet long and nearly as tall, the dove of peace would wiggle along the parade route on the wire stand.  Two-sided plywood with creamy white paint on the letters and dove,  a nice red base with a hole to connect it for the slow ride through town.

Peace Plywood Parade Construction circa 1945 Collection Jim Linderman