Category:
1950s

Kirby’s Flying Ballet



This is the apparatus that famously caused Mary Martin to fly as Peter Pan.

Wikipedia page for Peter Foy.





Posted By: Paul - Thu Feb 18, 2021 - Comments (4)
Category: Technology, Theater and Stage, Special Effects, 1950s, 1960s

Follies of the Madmen #500

I suppose I should have come up with something super-special for the 500th installment of this series, but this will have to suffice!



Sure, kill the talking lion and then...style his mane?

Posted By: Paul - Wed Feb 17, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Animals, Business, Advertising, Death, Comics, 1950s, Hair and Hairstyling

Miss Welder

Between 1951 and 1954, the National Eutectic Welders' Club annually awarded the title of "Miss Welder". The winner was supposed to represent the "girl we would most like to weld with." The club also expressed its hope that Miss Welder would "inspire women throughout the nation to join the ranks of the labor force so vitally needed for America's defense effort."

The winners included some well-known names. In particular, Sophia Loren (1954). Missing from the list below is Miss Welder of 1953, Barbara Nichols, for whom I couldn't find an image.

1951: Dagmar



1952: Denise Darcel



1954: Sophia Loren

Posted By: Alex - Fri Feb 12, 2021 - Comments (2)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, 1950s

American Look

Your head will be spinning with Midcentury Modern designs by the end of this film. A Utopia that never was.

Posted By: Paul - Wed Feb 03, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Business, Design and Designers, Recreation, Interior Decorating, 1950s, Cars, Yesterday’s Tomorrows

Index of Boredom

In 1957, advertiser John P. Cunningham came up with the concept of an "Index of Boredom" in an attempt to quantify how bored TV viewers were while watching shows. His research team studied 160 viewers in New Brunswick, NJ, and concluded that the most boring show on TV was Milton Berle, while the least boring show was "I Remember Mama".

But they also came across an unexpected finding: people would continue to watch TV shows even if they found them boring.

Perhaps the strangest fact to emerge from the reports was that people watch programs even though they are tired of them. Some of those surveyed were quite hostile to the spate of westerns on TV, but they watched westerns anyway.

Deseret News - Oct 29, 1957

Posted By: Alex - Sun Jan 31, 2021 - Comments (3)
Category: Boredom, Television, Psychology, 1950s

Follies of the Madmen #498

This is a fine example of pushing a metaphor to the point of absurd surrealism.



Source.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Jan 29, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Business, Advertising, Miniature People in Ads, Television, Surrealism, 1950s

The Sunken City of Shicheng



What many believe to be a mystery isn't actually so mysterious. Lion City, famed for sitting at the bottom of the Qiandao Lake, has a surprising history. The once thriving city, known for its powerful statue throughout all of China, now resides over 100 feet below the lake's surface. This was not due to a natural disaster or any type of destructive force unless you consider human nature to be one. The ancient city met its watery fate due to the hands of humans, specifically those who gave up the land the city once sat on to make way for modern machinery.

While there are many details surrounding the reasoning for this -- much of which we'll get into later on -- there's no denying that the fact that this city is fully preserved is a modern miracle. Although it sits deep under the water, all of its structures, statues, memorials, and archways all sit in perfect stature. Its rediscovery happened almost two decades ago and since then, divers have been repeatedly making trips below the surface to see what new aspects of the city they can explore. Inside these preserved walls lie the tale of several powerful dynasties, an ancient way of life, and some of the most stunning architectural features that are so indicative of China's history.


Full story with more pictures.

Daily Mail coverage.

Posted By: Paul - Thu Jan 28, 2021 - Comments (3)
Category: Architecture, History, Archaeology, Oceans and Maritime Pursuits, 1950s, Asia

The Singing Ringing Tree

A snippet, then the whole film.

The Wikipedia page, where we learn:

The TV series, partly due to its foreignness as both fairy tale and for the unfamiliarity of its German production, was 'indelibly carved on the psyches'[7] as 'one of the most frightening things ever shown on [UK] children's television'.






Posted By: Paul - Tue Jan 26, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Anthropomorphism, Cult Figures and Artifacts, Horror, Movies, Children, Foreign Customs, 1950s

The Philco Overnighter

Those gals! Can't even listen to music without touching up their lipstick!



Ad source.



Photo source.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Jan 25, 2021 - Comments (3)
Category: Cosmetics, Radio, Stereotypes and Cliches, 1950s, Women

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Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

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