Category:
1950s

Existential Tattoos

I think that in the 1950s anything slightly non-conformist was labelled 'existentialist'.

This tattoo, on the back of a young Italian woman in Milan, Nov. 5, 1952, is in a new fashion taken up by young feminine followers of the post-war existentialist philosophy of Jean Paul Sartre, the French writer. The tattoo reads: "I have loved. I am grateful to God." This girl likes to be called Ginetta Sartre in honor of the leader of the movement. The tattoos are usually sentimental phrases or symbolic drawings. (AP Photo)


Wichita Eagle - Oct 27, 1952



Anyone with an existential tattoo should make sure to also wear an existentialist hat.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Mar 08, 2022 - Comments (0)
Category: Fashion, Philosophy, 1950s, Tattoos

Robert Mitchum Sings

Add Mitchum to our list of "singing actors who probably should have stuck to acting."



Posted By: Paul - Wed Jan 26, 2022 - Comments (4)
Category: Crime, Ineptness, Crudity, Talentlessness, Kitsch, and Bad Art, Movies, Music, 1950s, Alcohol, Cars

Miss Celestial Airwaves of the Pacific

Dionne Wheeler won the title of "Miss Celestial Airwaves of the Pacific" sight unseen. She was selected by members of the Coast Guard weather patrol based "solely on descriptions of airline hostesses furnished by their pilot via radio".

Coast Guard Bulletin - Feb 1952



She also achieved minor fame in another way. The character of the stewardess named Spalding in Ernie Gann's 1953 bestseller The High and the Mighty (and subsequent 1954 film adaptation) was based on her.

The High and the Mighty was one of the first aviation disaster movies and served as one of the inspirations for 1980's Airplane!

Wheeler (right) on the set of The High and the Mighty
Left: actress Doe Avedon; middle: Director William Wellman

Posted By: Alex - Mon Jan 24, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, Movies, Air Travel and Airlines, 1950s

The Case of the Furious Children

In 1954, six young boys who exhibited violent behavior were brought to live on the grounds of the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. They were specifically selected because they were deemed the worst of the worst:

The boys were selected on the basis of the consistent ferocity of their behavior, as documented in the records of courts, schools, and social agencies. Though they were only eight to ten years old at the time they became charges of the government, their case histories were long and strikingly similar: classroom difficulties ranging from inability to learn to violent tantrums, truancy, stealing, fire-setting, assaults—often fiendish in their ingenuity—on other children, sexual misbehavior, and so on.

For the next five years, the boys were attended around the clock by a team of specialists.

It was all part of an experiment, which came to be known as the "Case of the Furious Children," designed to find out why these young boys were so violent and whether they could be turned into responsible citizens. Eventually, around $1.5 million (in 1950's dollars) was spent on this effort.

By the end of the experiment, one of the researchers, Dr. Nicholas Long, said that the boys now had a "better than 50-50 chance of living a productive life." So what became of them? Were they reformed, or did they head down the path of crime and prison that they originally seemed to be destined for?

I'd be interesting to know, but I haven't been able to find anything out. I'm guessing the info has never been released because of privacy issues.

More info: Harpers Magazine - Jan 1958

Chicago Daily Tribune - July 19, 1959

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jan 19, 2022 - Comments (0)
Category: Antisocial Activities, Experiments, Psychology, Children, 1950s

Miss Riviera

Why would this lovely Mademoiselle, perhaps hailing from Cannes or Nice and crowned "Miss Riviera," be posing in what looks like a furniture showroom, instead of at the beach or casino?

Because she is Miss Riviera Manufacturing of 1956.



"Mrs. Grace Boeckmann is fast acquiring beauty titles. She is Miss Riviera (chosen by the Riviera Manufacturing Co.), Miss Sun Valley and Miss San Fernando Valley. She now is representing the Valley as a contestant in the California finals of the Miss Universe competition."


Source.



"A huge expansion sale is under way at both of the Valley locations of the Riviera Manufacturing Co., maker of sofa beds. Shown above is the North Hollywood location at 11015 Magnolia Blvd., where a new annex is being constructed. The other location is in Reseda."


Source.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Jan 11, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, Contests, Races and Other Competitions, Domestic, 1950s

Follies of the Madmen #523





Source (pages 10 and 11).

Posted By: Paul - Wed Jan 05, 2022 - Comments (0)
Category: Aliens, Advertising, Comics, Cereal, 1950s

Dangerous Darts

An unusual way to play darts.

The woman is actress Jane Powell, and according to Getty Images the photo was taken circa 1955. But Getty offers no info other than that.



Powell is wearing that swimsuit on the poster for her 1957 movie The Girl Most Likely. However, she wore the exact same swimsuit in her 1958 movie The Female Animal (see video clip below).

So the photo must have been taken during the shooting of one of these two movies. But which one, I don't know. And was it a scene from the movie, or was this how the actors passed the time on set? Again, I don't know.





Powell died just a few months ago at the age of 92. More info from the NY Post.

Posted By: Alex - Thu Dec 30, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Movies, Sports, 1950s

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