Irv Pollock, Auto Dealer


According to this verbal portrait of the era,, the Toledo, Ohio, car-dealership scene of the 40s, 50s and 60s was a vibrant, competitive time. Certainly a dealer would want to come up with wild ads to stand out. Irv Pollock must have felt that way anyhow!

Note: you might have to scroll left or right at the links to see the original ad.


Original ad here.


Original ad here.


Original ad here.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Jan 07, 2017 - Comments (3)
Category: Business, Advertising, Excess, Overkill, Hyperbole and Too Much Is Not Enough, Regionalism, 1940s, 1950s, Cars

Cinderella’s Bad Influence

Ever since its release in 1950, Disney's Cinderella has been decried by critics as being as a bad influence on children (particularly young girls).

In the 1950s, Dr. John Kershaw, an English medical officer, argued that, "The expectation of meeting a dream lover and automatically living 'happily ever after' keeps children from being taught 'to realize the difficulties and responsibilities of marriage.'"

More recently, Cinderella has been attacked for the "princess culture" that it cultivates. From the Sentinel & Enterprise (3/22/2012):

Assistant English professor Joe Moser said he believes Disney's "Cinderella" is a patriarchal, cautionary tale warning American women against being too independent. Released in 1950, the movie came shortly after World War II, a time when many women took jobs outside the home because the men were away. Moser thinks some of the aspects of the film were a push to put women back into their supposed place.

"Cinderella is remarkably passive throughout the entire movie," Moser said, adding that Prince Charming didn't take much of his life into his own hands either and relied greatly on his father.

Rather than make her own dreams come true, he said, Cinderella waits for others, such as her fairy godmother, to do the work for her, and trusts that things will turn out right.

The message it sends is that it is best to buy into the status quo and that one's dreams can be achieved by following the rules set by previous generations, Moser said.

NY Times critic Peggy Orenstein has even written a bestselling book on this subject, Cinderella Ate My Daughter (2011).

To the best of my knowledge, I've never seen Cinderella. Perhaps I should consider myself lucky for having escaped its poisonous influence.

Chicago Daily Tribune - June 1, 1954

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jan 04, 2017 - Comments (4)
Category: Movies, Myths and Fairytales, 1950s

Mystery Illustration 36

You guys did pretty good guessing Danny Kaye some time ago. So who is this world-famous comedian?

The answer is here.

And after the jump.

More in extended >>

Posted By: Paul - Wed Jan 04, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: 1950s, Comedians

The Tattooed Lady

Not the Groucho song.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Jan 02, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: Music, 1950s, Tattoos

Cuckoo Girl

Justin Bieber fangirl phenomenon, 1959 version.

Posted By: Paul - Wed Dec 28, 2016 - Comments (3)
Category: Bad Habits, Neuroses and Psychoses, Celebrities, Delusions, Fantasies and Other Tricks of the Imagination, Music, Teenagers, 1950s

Atomic Dog Tags

September 1950: The AMVETS organization announced its plan to issue plastic dog tags to all civilians in the United States, to help identify people in case of an atomic emergency. The tags would carry the wearer's name, address, and blood-type. The tags were plastic in order to "prevent radiation effects in the event of an atomic explosion."

AMVETS hoped to have the tags issued to all Americans within 18 months, but obviously that never happened.

Some searching has revealed that President Truman and actress Doris Day were presented with their own atomic dog tags, but I'm not sure that anyone else ever got one.

Philadelphia Inquirer - Sep 29, 1950

New Philadelphia Daily Times - Sep 28, 1950

Posted By: Alex - Mon Dec 19, 2016 - Comments (3)
Category: Atomic Power and Other Nuclear Matters, 1950s

Betty Reilly, The Irish Senorita:  “The Saga of Elvis Presley”


Poor forgotten Betty Reilly does not even get a Wikipedia entry, but she had a shtick--and some talent.

The song that she is parodying is in the last video.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Dec 18, 2016 - Comments (0)
Category: Music, Stereotypes and Cliches, 1950s, Parody

Human Air Raid Siren

January 1951: The Colorado Civil Defense Department received a letter from a woman volunteering to become the state's "first air raid siren."

Terre Haute Tribune - Jan 21, 1951

Perhaps they should have used her. When non-human sirens were installed the following year they reportedly didn't elicit much reaction. From Colorado: A History of the Centennial State:

Mort Stern, a writer for The Denver Post, reported in April 1952, "Denver's first air raid siren since World War II howled like a love-hungry wolf at a full moon at 11 a.m. Monday, but blasé citizens in the downtown area showed not the slightest reaction."

Posted By: Alex - Fri Dec 16, 2016 - Comments (6)
Category: 1950s

Khrushchev vs. Lachaise

Original article here (page 4).

Upon reading this article, I immediately wondered what statue was at the center of the controversy. Finding out took a little google-fu. Eventually, I hit upon the complete catalogue of works shown, in PDF form. Below is the relevant section.

I did not even bother to google any of the other statues after seeing Gaston Lachaise's "Standing Woman."

Posted By: Paul - Wed Dec 14, 2016 - Comments (8)
Category: Art, Criticism and Reviews, 1950s, Russia, Obesity

Miss Mona Lisa 1958

February 1958: A jury of "celebrated painters" convened for the Mona Lisa Grand Prix awarded the title of "Mona Lisa 1958" to Luce Bona. What made the award slightly unusual is that Bona hadn't been a contestant. The judges just happened to see her as she was walking by outside and decided she was the one. At least, that was the story reported in the press.

Louisville Courier-Journal - Feb 19, 1958

Here's the winner from the previous year, Maria Lea. Apparently the gimmick of this contest was that the winner posed in a picture frame, which made her somehow like the Mona Lisa.

The Lincoln Star - Jan 13, 1957

Later in 1958 a jury of French mystery writers selected Luce Bona as the girl with the "Most Devilish Eyes." I'm assuming she was actually entered into that contest.

I can't find any references to Luce Bona after 1958. Perhaps she gave up modeling, despite such a promising start.

Wilmington News Journal - Apr 12, 1958

Posted By: Alex - Mon Dec 05, 2016 - Comments (8)
Category: Art, Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, 1950s

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

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Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

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