Category:
1940s

Wingless Chickens

Because he disliked "gnawing on stringy chicken wings," Peter Baumann bred wingless chickens. This was back in the 1940s. Evidently his wingless chickens failed to interest the chicken industry. I haven't been able to find out what became of his flock.

To illustrate the helpless quality of these wingless birds, photographer Francis Miller dropped one from six feet to show how it failed to fly, as opposed to a winged chicken that glided downwards.

Images from Life - July 18, 1949:

"Wingless chicken (below) plummets helplessly downward when dropped from 6-foot height, while normal bird settles gently with wings spread"







Posted By: Alex - Sun Nov 13, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: Animals, Farming, 1940s

Miss Fine Brown Frame

A beauty contest inspired by a song! It started in 1947, but I'm not sure when it ended. But it was still active at least till 1983, as you can see below.



Source of text.






Posted By: Paul - Tue Nov 08, 2022 - Comments ()
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, Ethnic Groupings, Music, 1940s, 1980s

Parisian Tree Climbers

After World War II, some Parisians embraced existentialism. Others took to climbing trees in their underwear.

Images and text from Life (July 18, 1949).

"Treetop acrobatics are privilege of veteran climbers who go as high as 100 feet above ground"



Unlike their pallid compatriots, the cellar-dwelling Existentialists, the Parisians pictured here have found a healthy way to escape the world's woes. They simply take off their clothes and climb trees. This pleasant diversion was invented by a musician named Jean Wetzel and an actor named Jacques Gall, who explains, "We are searching for happiness in the contemplation of trees. . . . We try to become a part of nature and assimilate ourselves to it by climbing." Members of the society prefer climbing the plane trees of Chatou island in the Seine for their activities. In hot weather Paris their antics seem high fun indeed.


"Prettiest tree climber is 25-year-old Catherine Arley, an actress specializing in comedy roles"



"Preclimb ritual finds scantily-clad members saluting huge plane tree, which Cofounder Jacques Gall recently described as a 'symbol of heaven.'"

Posted By: Alex - Tue Oct 11, 2022 - Comments (3)
Category: Fads, Nature, 1940s

HAIRPIN HARMONY, Legendary Broadway Flop



Theater expert Laura Frankos Turtledove says:

[The critics] all commented on the audience fleeing the scene of the crime at intermission. They, alas, were stuck with the second act.
The plot? Of course I can tell you the plot. There’s a baby food manufacturer who is looking for an act he can use to promote his product on a radio show. This guy has a sixteen member all-girl band, the Hairpin Harmonettes, led by his girlfriend and singing triplets. The trio consisted of the real life teenaged Clawson sisters, who billed themselves as Triplets, but actually Barbara was a year older than twins Doris and Dorothy. (These girls were managed by their dad, who got some radio spots for them before and after this disaster. Poor Barbara was professionally renamed “Dawna.” They were named Miss Subways in May 1944, which brings to mind a whacked out alternate version of ON THE TOWN, in which Gabby falls for all three of them…)
Anyway, the band promoter himself is the one who gets the gig (ooh, spoilers!) because he has a fine falsetto. So he wears diapers (for a radio spot? Well, maybe PR photos?) and talks baby talk, thus saving the day for everyone.
Except Harold Orlob.




Source of text.








Posted By: Paul - Sun Oct 02, 2022 - Comments (8)
Category: Entertainment, Ineptness, Crudity, Talentlessness, Kitsch, and Bad Art, Music, 1940s

Unlikely Reasons for Murder No. 10



Source: Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Illinois) 17 Feb 1949, Thu Page 21

Posted By: Paul - Thu Sep 29, 2022 - Comments ()
Category: Death, 1940s, Alcohol

The marriage of industry and electronics

I like the image, but it seems like it belonged on the cover of a science-fiction magazine, not in an ad for Revere kitchen ware. After all, a woman marrying a robot raises a few intriguing questions.

Saturday Evening Post - Nov 15, 1947

Posted By: Alex - Tue Sep 27, 2022 - Comments (5)
Category: Advertising, AI, Robots and Other Automatons, Marriage, 1940s

Asleep in the deep with a jeep

A 1943 AP story about a jeep that traveled around the Pacific tied to a submarine became the centerpiece of an ad for ice cream the following year. The somewhat tenuous connection between the two was that the submarine crew eventually sold the jeep to a warship in exchange for three gallons of ice cream.

Nebraska State Journal - Aug 6, 1943



National Geographic - July 1944



Posted By: Alex - Fri Sep 16, 2022 - Comments ()
Category: Military, Advertising, 1940s, Cars

Miss Stainless Steel Wire

In addition to winning the non-glamorous title of Miss Stainless Steel Wire, Claire Dennis was named Miss Photoflash of 1949. She managed to leverage the publicity from that award into a small role in the 1950 film The Petty Girl. After that, her career as a model/actress seems to have ended.

Indianapolis Star - June 9, 1949

Posted By: Alex - Sat Sep 10, 2022 - Comments ()
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, 1940s

Using comic strips to forecast the stock market

Frederick N. Goldsmith published a successful stock-market newsletter from 1916 to 1948, when he came under investigation by the New York Attorney General for telling his subscribers that his market advice was based on "inside information."

Goldsmith, however, had an unusual defense. He revealed that the primary source of his inside information was the comic strip "Bringing Up Father." Goldsmith believed that the comic strip provided clues, in code, about the direction of the market. The clues had been placed there by "big insiders." This was apparently their way of communicating with each other. But Goldsmith believed he had cracked the code. Details from The Manipulators (1966) by Leslie Gould:

Goldsmith got the "word" as to what the market and individual stocks would do from following the antics of Jiggs in the "Bringing Up Father" comic strip, which for years was drawn by George McManus. If Jiggs was pictured with his right hand in his pocket, the market was a buy. If there were two puffs rising from Jiggs' cigar, it meant the second hour would be strong.

In one episode, explained Goldsmith, Jiggs was at the theater and remarked: "The intermissions are the only good thing about this show." Goldsmith interpreted that as a sure-fire tip to buy Mission Oil, which he passed on to his market letter subscribers. It went up fifteen points the next day.

When questioned, McManus (author of the comic-strip) insisted he knew nothing about the stock market and pointed out that he prepared his strip nine weeks ahead of publication. He also noted, "What would I be doing with cartoons if I were so hot on the stock market?"

Having learned the truth, the AG could have dropped the case, but he decided to shut down Goldsmith anyway for misleading his subscribers.

NY Daily News - Nov 18, 1948



The problem that the AG faced at the trial, however, was that Goldsmith's predictions had actually been pretty good and had served his subscribers well. In fact, many of his subscribers came to his defense during the trial. Nevertheless, the judge shut down Goldsmith's business. More details from The Manipulators:

Despite Goldsmith's record of accurate predictions, New York County Supreme Court Justice Benjamin F. Schreiber signed an injunction putting him out of business for keeps in these words:

The defendant. . . was engaged in the business of writing and distributing a market letter to the public which attempted to forecast and predict future prices of securities and commodities.

Subscribers were led to believe that the defendant used statistics, financial reports and charts in preparing. . . prognostications of future price movements. The letter was also so worded as to imply that the defendant had sources of special and secret information concerning stock movements. . .

The subscribers to the defendant's daily market letter had the right to assume that the defendant possessed a superior knowledge of the stock market, that whatever information he had came from living persons and recognized sources and not as a result of interpretations of comic strips. When he failed to inform his subscribers of the alleged sources of information he was concealing a material fact.

Terre Haute Tribune - June 13, 1948

Posted By: Alex - Mon Sep 05, 2022 - Comments ()
Category: Money, Comics, 1940s

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