What do you do with a vintage synth keyboard collection but not enough ways to make use of them all? Well, if you're Graham Massey, and you stumbled across the forgotten history of Women's Organ Quartets who might have overwhelmed the senses of audiences with their weird electronic music, you put together a four-woman keyboard band, and you take up the drums. Read on, for the story of the Sisters of Transistors
, "a tale which wanders between truth, history and myth, and involves panic in America, army issue organs, a Derbyshire pub and a member of 808 State!
" [more inside]
Are you trying to write a period-correct Captain America story or just have questions about NYC in the 1930s-40s in general? The tumblr Steve Rogers Is Historically Accurate
is here to help.
Only Yesterday: An Informal History of the 1920s
is very nearly literal in its title—its author, Harper's
editor Frederick Lewis Allen
, published it in 1931. Writing before popular memory of the decade had solidified, Allen chronicles the Scopes Trial and the Harding scandals, radio and the Red Scare; but he ignores jazz for the mahjong craze and devotes an entire chapter to the real estate boom in Florida. [more inside]
“For more than 150 years, logging techniques remained the same. Men cut trees by hand and loaded them on horse-drawn sleds to be hauled over snow to the river. Skilled river drivers maneuvered the logs downstream, risking their limbs and lives every day. [From Stump To Ship
] survives as a record of the long log business. Highly detailed scenes, filmed year-round, are uniquely enhanced by the original script, written to be read with the silent footage in the 1930s. The soundtrack is brought to life by Tim Sample
, narrator and renowned Maine humorist, in the role of the filmmaker, Alfred Ames.” [more inside]
The Ministry Of Food was a British government ministerial posts separated from that of the Minister of Agriculture. A major task of the latter office was to oversee rationing in the United Kingdom arising out of World War II. They made many newsreels and PSAs to inform the citizenry how to use the food rationing system: Rationing is introduced in 1939 The new ration books are coming! Cod Liver Oil Here's spud in your eye Don't cut that bread! DON'T WASTE FOOD! Dig For Victory! Milk is here!
In addition, some short films instructed people in how to best use the new rationing system : Two Cooks And A Cabbage How To Make Tea Rabbit Pie Buying black market meat: a Partner in CRIME A US view explaining UK rationing to the States.
Nicholas Victor Artamonoff
was a talented Russian amateur photographer who lived, studied and worked in Istanbul from the 1920s to the 1940s. He took many photos, mainly black-and-white, of architecture, archaeology, and street scenes, in Istanbul and also elsewhere in Turkey. A collection of images has now been made available by the Dumbarton Oaks Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives. [more inside]
"Yet when I went before the Public Assistance Committee
[to plead for more benefit] they asked me if the baby was being breast-fed and when I said yes, they reduced the allowance for a child.' [Daily Mail - Although not their usual fare].
During the Golden Age of Hollywood and until 1967, mainstream movie studios were banned by the Production Code
from depicting taboo topics like drug addiction, explicit murder and venereal disease, or even showing explicit nudity. But in the 1930's and 1940's, films marketed as "educational" could and did fly under the radar, and three of the best known 'educational' propaganda exploitation films are: Sex Madness
(1935), Reefer Madness
(1936) and The Cocaine Fiends
(1938). [more inside]
Jess Nevins presents: Six-Gun Gorilla!
The story of one gorilla's quest for vengeance across the Old West. The archetypal cowboy ape, publicly available for the first time.
Originally published in 1939, Six-Gun Gorilla
is available as a result of Nevins' (completed) Kickstarter for the Encyclopedia of Golden Age Superheroes
. [more inside]
"A maverick theater and industrial designer, Norman Bel Geddes
is best remembered for creating the undisputed hit of the 1939 New York World’s Fair. Mounted in the midst of the Great Depression, the Fair focused on America’s promise of a utopian tomorrow. Geddes’s Futurama
, a piece of “immersion theater,” took six hundred visitors at a time on a swooping, simulated airplane ride across America circa 1960."
"The City of Tomorrow, a model of Manhattan that Geddes created, in 1937, to promote Shell Oil Company’s new “motor-digestible” gasoline, is often cited as [Futurama
's inspiration.] But Futurama’s beginnings actually harken back much further, to the meticulous, insanely detailed private games he created in the 1920s and early ’30s for the amusement of his friends.
" [more inside]
Pennies from Heaven is the most emotional movie musical I've ever seen. It's a stylized mythology* of the Depression which uses the popular songs of the period as expressions of people's deepest longings - for sex, for romance, for money, for a high good time...there was never a second when I wasn't fascinated* by what was happening on the screen.
- Pauline Kael (* SPOILERS)
The Library of Congress has posted a series of colour photos from the 1930s and 1940s
online. [more inside]
'The stories about epidemics that are told in the American press—their plots and tropes—date to the 1920's, when modern research science, science journalism, and science fiction were born.' This is the story of how the media back then (January, 1930) helped fuel fears about a parrot-fever pandemic, and the subsequent public backlash
. (Via) [more inside]
From 1935 to 1951, Time Magazine bridged the gap between print & radio news reporting and the new visual medium of film, with March of Time
: award-winning newsreel reports that were a combination of objective documentary, dramatized fiction and pro-American, anti-totalitarian propaganda. They “often tackled subjects and themes that audiences weren’t used to seeing
— foreign affairs
, social trends
, public-health issues — and did so with a combination of panache and subterfuge that today seems either absurd or visionary.” (Previous two links have autoplaying video.)
By 1937, the short films were being seen by as many as 26 million people every month and may have helped steer public opinion on numerous issues,
) America’s entry to WWII
. Video samples are available at Time.com,
the March of Time Facebook page
and the entire collection is available online, (free registration required)
at HBO Archives. [more inside]
Following the success of The Haunter of The Dark
, the HP Lovecraft Literary Podcasts presents two new readings, From Beyond
and The Picture in The House
, by Andrew Leman and Bruce Green. Both recordings are available "In 3D". Alternatively if you like your Lovecraft with both pictures AND sound, the HP Lovecraft Historical Society version of The Whisperer in Darkness
is complete and being shown at worldwide film festivals - it's a talkie! (The HPLHS are now also offering a rather handsome "official membership"
pack.) Want something more interactive? Cthulhu Dark
offers a complete Lovecraftian tabletop RPG system that fits on two sides of a sheet of paper. Please note: "If you fight any creature you meet, you will die. Thus, in these core rules, there are no combat rules or health levels. Instead, roll to hide or escape."
His radio station was shut down. His medical license was revoked. So he ran for Governor
, 1932), and almost won. Twice. "Dr". John R. Brinkley
, the goat gland doctor, (previously
on Metafilter) had six weeks. He also had a plane, a huckster's skills, a staff skilled in promotion, and lots of chutzpah. [more inside]
Vincent Lexington Harper compiled the world's largest collection of digitally restored pinups from the 1920s and 30s in the Old Orient Museum
. [more inside]
We've discussed it before
but why not take a look at So You're Going To Fly
, a 1939 Popular Mechanics article aimed at first-time flyers.
Tips For Single Ladies:
Helpful hints on dating and romance from 1938, with photos. (via
From 1929 to 1931, MGM produced a series of short comedic films that featured an all-dog cast.
Ladies and Gentlemen, The All-Barkie Dogville Comedies.
The Big Dog House, Part 1
The Big Dog House, Part 2 [more inside]
Apache (a-POSH) dancing
(French, not Native American), popular in Paris in the early parts of the 20th century, pitted a male and a female dancer against each other in over-the-top--and sometimes hawt
--mock violence. [more inside]
Peasant! Free your pregnant wife from work, don't allow her to pick up heavy items since this will harm her and the child
. An excellent collection of vintage
, public health
, and infographics
posters from 20s to 30s, many with full translations
Hollywood Bloopers: 1936-1947
A couple of the years won't load for me, but the ones I can watch are fun.
Feeling the pinch? Ninety-something Clara Cannucciari
can teach you how to survive the lean times. In a series of YouTube videos directed by her great grandson, Clara reminisces about the Great Depression ("I had to quit high school because I couldn't afford socks!"), and provides cooking tips on such Depression-era fare as Pasta with Peas
(6:32), Egg Drop Soup
(6:52), Poorman's Meal
(Part 1, 5:41; Part 2, 5:47), Bread
(4:08), and Depression Breakfast
(6:13). [more inside]
is a four-part series
poignant and surprising
insights into the 1930s
. [Previously] [more inside]
was the dominant style of the interwar era, coming out of Paris in the 1920's and ruling the roost until World War II broke out. Randy Juster's Decopix - The Art Deco Resource
has enough pictures of Art Deco architecture to send one hurtling into The Gernsback Continuum
. If that's not enough then there's always the 11000+ images of the Flickr Art Deco Pool
. But Art Deco wasn't just about architecture. On the Victoria and Albert Musem's Art Deco site one can view Art Deco objects in great detail
, rotating them and listening to audio lectures on each object. But before Art Deco was a design aesthetic it was an art-style. Illustrations for the Art Deco Book in France
has more than 170 images from the proponents of that then-new style (some images are not safe for work, especially in the George Barbier
was first brought to my attention by the blog "The Unwound Road"
. It appears someone took the original 1930s rating scale and posted it to Flickr. From there it was a natural progression to Internet quiz. So, how would you rate as a husband or wife in the 1930s? Answer 100 true or false type questions and find out!
was a shop on a busy road in East Vancouver that was always closed -- yet clearly occupied and maintained. It's been an intriguing mystery
for locals for many years. Following the recent death of the owner, an elderly woman who lived above the shop, cleanup crews found old furniture, cans of dry goods -- and more than $400,000 in antique banknotes
. [more inside]
Songs that clearly and directly address or reference economic hardships and injustice in America, not to mention that do so in a bitter, regretful tone, don't often become enormous hits. Matter of fact, it's such a rare phenomenon that you could count such songs on... um, one finger? Yes, Yip Harburg
and Jay Gorney
's iconic Brother Can You Spare a Dime
is that song. Covered by a surprisingly wide range
of singers through the years, the song still resonates
. [more inside]
USA 1940-1950 USA 1939-1969.
Color photographs. [Possible NSFW ads.] [more inside]
New York artist Ashley Hope
's Ripeness is All
exhibit at the Tilton Gallery
recreates crime scene photographs of murdered women from the 1910s through the 1990s as oil paintings on huge 4' x 6' canvasses. [some nsfw art] [more inside]