Category:
1950s

Script-Analyzer, the game

1957: Ideal Toy Co. came out with "Script-Analyzer," the game that promised to let kids psychoanalyze their parents through the magic of handwriting analysis.

This, the manufacturer says, enables the child to interpret handwriting and determine whether his parents are talented, influential, friendly, virtuous, and so on.

NY Daily News - Mar 4, 1957



Vancouver Sun - Apr 2, 1957



"A handwriting game being analysed by members of the Ideal Toy panel on Inventor's Day at the Ideal Toy Company in Hollis, New York."



NY Daily News - Mar 5, 1956

Posted By: Alex - Sun Oct 16, 2022 - Comments ()
Category: Games, 1950s

Miss Esperanto

I have three references to this contest, from 1929, 1963 and 1967. No firm idea of how long it lasted, if it's still going on, or if it was held faithfully every year.







Puccini's opera 'La 66Bohème' was performed as a special performance for the Esperantists. Finally, Miss Maria Wenczel from Hungary was chosen as 'Miss Esperanto 1963'. Diethilde Magori from Germany and Helen Salmos from Sweden took second and third place in this competition. After the end of the congress, the young people drove to Sofija in a special caravan, where they were expected by the 48th Esperanto World Congress.








Posted By: Paul - Sun Oct 16, 2022 - Comments ()
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, Languages, 1920s, 1950s, 1960s

Symphony of the Birds

Jim Fassett, musical director at CBS Radio in the 1950s, took pre-recorded bird songs and arranged them into a three-movement "Symphony of the Birds." After its release in 1957, the record gradually acquired a following, largely due to being an early example of experimental music, but also because it was such an oddity. It was eventually reissued in 2006.

Note: Discogs.org (and every other site I can find that discusses the album) says it was released in 1960, but newspapers and magazines were discussing its release in 1957.

More info: soundohm.com



Tampa Bay Times - Apr 28, 1957

Posted By: Alex - Fri Oct 14, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Music, 1950s

Papaya Mama

Posted By: Paul - Fri Oct 07, 2022 - Comments ()
Category: Music, Stereotypes and Cliches, 1950s, Caribbean

Weather Control Commission

In 1950, Senator Clinton P. Anderson of New Mexico introduced a bill in the Senate to create a federal "Weather Control Commission" modeled after the Atomic Energy Commission. Its purpose would be to regulate and license rainmaking activities in order to ensure the "equitable distribution of precipitation among the States." It would also study military applications of weather control.

Anderson didn't get his Weather Control Commission, though in 1953 the federal government did create an Advisory Committee on Weather Control. And of course there are all those conspiracy theories alleging that the government is using the HAARP station up in Alaska to control the weather.

More info: Congressional Hearings, March 1951

Baltimore Sun - Dec 10, 1950

Posted By: Alex - Mon Oct 03, 2022 - Comments (4)
Category: Government, 1950s, Weather

Follies of the Madmen #542

Which booze does your doctor recommend?

Source.



Source of second ad.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Sep 27, 2022 - Comments (7)
Category: Medicine, Advertising, 1950s, Alcohol

The National College Queen

This contest for top female college student ("fifty percent beauty, fifty percent brains") appears to have begun in 1953:



Source: ETSU Collegian (Johnson City, Tennessee) 01 Apr 1955, Fri Page 5

The first photo below is from 1969, and I can't envision the contest surviving much beyond that revolutionary date.



Source: The Aggielite (Tishomingo, Oklahoma) 15 Mar 1955, Tue Page 1





It was once so popular, it was televised nationwide.

Source: The Kingston Daily Freeman (Kingston, New York) 10 Jun 1967, Sat Page 16











Posted By: Paul - Fri Sep 23, 2022 - Comments (3)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, Intelligence, Television, 1950s, 1960s

Armored Shorts

According to info on quora.com, there's been a long, ongoing effort to develop armored shorts. However, soldiers inevitably find them uncomfortable, even though they appreciate the effort to protect their private parts.

Such shorts are sometimes referred to as 'tactical diapers' or 'battle nappies'.

I like the detail that the armored shorts (below) developed during the Korean War were "capable of deflecting about 65 per cent of all missiles."



Louisville Courier-Journal - Dec 11, 1952

Posted By: Alex - Tue Sep 20, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Fashion, Military, 1950s

The Royal Teens, “Short Shorts”

What were those lyrics again?

Their Wikipedia page.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Sep 17, 2022 - Comments (3)
Category: Fashion, Music, Public Indecency, Teenagers, 1950s

EMAG-3

I did a science fair project in high school, but I put so little effort into it that I'm now embarrassed thinking back on it. The topic I chose was "The Electrolysis of Water." I basically just had some electrodes splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen.

David Ecklein, however, had an extraordinary high school science fair project. Back in 1959, he built a computer, which he named EMAG-3, that was capable of playing "an interesting and reasonable game" of checkers. It was made from 3200 vacuum tubes and three miles of wiring. It stood 15 feet tall.

On his website, he notes that he designed it to fit the science fair floor space requirements, knowing that the regulations had omitted to mention anything about how high a project could be. Height restrictions were introduced the following year.

More info: MIT Museum



Great Falls Tribune - Apr 17, 1959

Posted By: Alex - Tue Sep 13, 2022 - Comments (6)
Category: School, Technology, Computers, 1950s

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