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Category:
1950's

Miniature Menagerie



A portrait of the once-proud USA squeaky-toy industry in its glory days, before Asia kicked our squeaky butt.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Thu Mar 26, 2015 | Comments (4)
Category: Business, Technology, Toys, 1950's

The Little Foxes Club

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I can't find too much information on the "Little Foxes Club," whose mission was to promote African-American female beauty. In 1958, they had a beauty contest in Detroit.

Original article here.

And they were mentioned in this 1966 cheesecake photo.

Original article here.

I can only imagine the loud controversy such an organization would bring down upon itself in these times.

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Posted By: Paul | Date: Tue Mar 24, 2015 | Comments (4)
Category: Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, Ethnic Groupings, 1950's, 1960's, Women

Erismann and Kohler: Inversion Goggles



"The movie documents a classic experiment conducted in 1950 by Ivo Kohler and Theodor Erismann at the university of Innsbruck, Austria. Erismann is the older person the movie, and Kohler, his research assistant at that time, is the person wearing the inversion goggles. Subtitles are all in German."

Full story here.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Sun Mar 15, 2015 | Comments (2)
Category: Science, Experiments, 1950's, Eyes and Vision

The Elkhart Tooth Stone

In Elkhart, Indiana, at the intersection of Riverside Drive and Lexington Ave., there's a block of concrete full of human teeth. It was put there around the 1950s by a dentist, Dr. Joseph Stamp, who saved every tooth he pulled. It's not known why exactly he created this Tooth Monument. The curator of the local history museum says that Dr. Stamp was "eccentric as get out," and that there was essentially "no rhyme or reason" behind encasing the teeth in concrete. More at the Elkhart Truth.
Posted By: Alex | Date: Sun Mar 08, 2015 | Comments (4)
Category: 1950's, Teeth

Rev. Hansen’s Bible Birds

In 1940, Rev. Hansen started touring around the U.S. with his family, putting on a show in which he used trained birds to demonstrate lessons from the Bible. Newsweek (Dec. 10, 1951) offered this description of the act:

A typical show opens with a six-canary choir accompanying Mrs. Hansen (on the vibra-harp) in "The Star-Spangled Banner," while an oriole pulls a string that hoists a flag on a tiny pole and a parakeet shinnies to the pole top to pose as an American eagle.

Other birds ride on a tiny electric train, eat at tables, and climb ladders while the Hansens appropriately quote the Bible. For example, when Tiger the canary sits on Catnip the cat while daughter Sylvia watches (see picture), Mr. Hansen quotes Isaiah 11:6, "... the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the faitling together; and a little child shall lead them."

Mr. Hansen feels that the whole act is "a demonstration of faith. Pete is not afraid of the flaming hoop because he knows I am holding it. Muggs has to stretch out his neck to swallow a sword that's as long as he is, but he has faith in us."

Amazingly, Hansen was able to continue putting on his Bible Birds show for 60 years, until he died in 2002. See Roadside America for some more info.


Hansen makes Boom-Boom eat at a table


Tiger, Catnip, and Sylvia play
Posted By: Alex | Date: Sat Mar 07, 2015 | Comments (3)
Category: Animals, Entertainment, Religion, 1950's

Johnson Smith Catalog Item #33

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Which is your favorite?
Posted By: Paul | Date: Fri Mar 06, 2015 | Comments (5)
Category: Domestic, Johnson Smith Catalog, 1950's

Radar Scanner Hat

British fashion from 1951.

Posted By: Alex | Date: Tue Mar 03, 2015 | Comments (4)
Category: Headgear, 1950's

Dolphina at Bimbo’s 365 Club

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Bimbo's 365 Club is still an active music venue in San Francisco. But, according to news on their own website, they seem to have abandoned a long proud tradition: Dolphina, the miniature live nude woman who swims in a fishbowl with goldfish.

How was this illusion achieved? When Dolphina was profiled in the NY TIMES in 2011, we learned:

IT’S AN ILLUSION A catacomb of tunnels in the bowels of the club leads to a small room containing a rotating platform on which the live “mermaid” reclines, naked. A periscope with angled mirrors projects her image up into the fishbowl where it appears that a tiny mermaid, about six inches long, is floating in an underwater grotto.

One at least hopes that the statue to an ideal Dolphina, erected in 1952 inside the club, still has a place of honor.

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Posted By: Paul | Date: Mon Mar 02, 2015 | Comments (2)
Category: Entertainment, Public Indecency, Fish, 1950's

Ouija Board Inheritance

A follow-up to my Ouija board post of last week. This may be the only case of a Ouija board involved in an inheritance dispute.

When Mrs. Helen Dow Peck died in 1955, she left almost her entire estate to "John Gale Forbes," whom she met via Ouija board. Which is to say that John Gale Forbes was not a corporeal entity. Mrs. Peck's surviving (flesh-and-blood) relatives sued, arguing, in essence, that Mrs. Peck was clearly nuts. The court eventually agreed and voided her will. This has established the legal precedent that ghosts can't inherit money. Read more about the case here.


Corpus Christi Caller-Times - Mar 13, 1956
Posted By: Alex | Date: Tue Feb 24, 2015 | Comments (11)
Category: Law, 1950's
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