Unsung Heroes of Photography runs on Dull Tool Dim Bulb and on Vintage Sleaze on occasion. See others in the series HERE
Frank J. Haynes was a master photographer, but then he had a good gig for a man with a camera...official photographer of Yellowstone National Park. Mr. Haynes was born in Michigan in 1857.
The Antler House (or House of Antlers) was one of the rare "unnatural" beautiful parts of the park. In a somewhat misguided attempt to attract visitors, it was erected by man pretty much to appeal to the common Joe...after all, antlers fall off, but they do not fall off into a house shaped pile. It was constructed by Ranger Woodring in 1928, I suspect simply so it could be turned into a tinted postcard to entice visitors.
With the park firmly established on travel agendas after every home had an automobile, the antler house was taken apart. Park officials feared it would encourage others to harvest antlers from the wild, and its phony purpose had been fulfilled.
There is another photo of the Antler house by Mr. Haynes and an astounding group 60 of the 1500 photographs he took (along with other members of his family), in the park over the period of decades appears HERE on the Montana State University Flickr page.
Mr Haynes went by the name "Professor" or "F. Jay" Read more about the Professor HERE
Antler House Photograph, circa 1930 by Frank J. Haynes Collection Jim Linderman
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No one reads those digital "jokes" or "greeting cards" sent by email. At least I don't...if you want to thank someone, write them a letter and put a stamp on it.
I suspect Hallmark Card Stores will be closing around the same time as Barnes and Noble...some time around the middle of next year. Boom times for empty mall stores!
The "IN-FIDELITY" record label specialized in empty records! Record jackets with a blank vinyl disc inside imprinted with a hilarious gag inscribed on the disc!
"Bwah, Bwah" (sliding trombone "Nelson" like descending notes)
You can send an empty digital file too..."enclosed is a mp3 of my band in the garage...please have a listen when you can" and just forget to attach it.
Brochure advertising High "In-Fidelity" Albums circa 1960 Collection Jim Linderman
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I can find virtually no artists who specialize or specialized in painting under the influence of hypnosis. I wonder why? Every manner of altered state, disability or Psychotropic drug known has been used to influence artists...as has the old stand by booze, and I do not just mean a few snifters at the opening. Some painters were drunk longer than they painted. From what little I know about hypnosis, you would think it could lead to increased concentration, wacky influences, a driven disciplined approach, who knows...so why aren't there more artists giving it a try?
Could it be that painting under hypnosis sucks?
Alter your mind and who knows what might result? In this case, what resulted is a mundane portrait with nothing trippy at all...do you suppose the artist barked like a dog or took his clothes off while under suggestion? "You are feeling VERY, VERY realistic, literal and perfectly representational today" This portrait is so straight, it could go right over the mantle in the boardroom (which it probably did,) In fact, it is so boring I would pass it by at the Salvation Army.
But wait! NO THUMB!
Don't snap your fingers until he puts one in.
Press Photograph 1963 Collection Jim Linderman
Twice the fun in every drink you pour! Why? The amazing Key Club (a division of Bear Sales) has figured out a way to serve your guests a fully dressed show girl on the outside, but when they peer through the "keyhole" glass, they see her "hidden talents" through the swill!
Now it wasn't enough for the Bear company to shill the glasses...they also ran a punch card scam! A gambit as old as time, yet as contemporary as Bad Bernie Madoff! Punch one, pay one cent. The next "contestant" punches two, he pays two cents. Each scam nets the card holder a minor fortune AND his own complete set of show girl glasses, yet only one "winner" gets the prize...a lousy set of see-through drinking glasses.
I wrote about "punchboards" before. This is the first time I have seen the scam illustrated in a flyer. Somebody had a "Hidden Talent" all right...a talent for scamming rubes with the promise of ice cubes. One thing these show girls are showing is how easy it is to use the promise of a curvy dame to line your pockets. Click to Engorge...every "secret" is revealed!
Now most of these scams had been busted and found out by the 1950s, but guess who persisted in shilling them right into the 1960s according to Punchboard.com? One Jack Ruby. You might have heard of him.
One-sheet come-on for a punch card scam. Circa 1960. Collection Victor Minx
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Dad may be good at "knockin' them back" but he isn't going to stand this one up. Can it be done? Yes, and you will often see signs at the booth reading "one win per person per season" to keep that BMX mini-bike hanging on the wall in back. But will YOU do it? Nope. Dad has the wrong thing going here, and I don't just mean his white socks. The pole should be as vertical as possible, not horizontal, and you must "push" the bottle up, not pull it. Complicated? Yes. It will take you a solid afternoon to work it out at home. How many of those who come upon it have done their homework? None. Especially not Dad.
Original Vernacular Photograph, Dated August 1966 Collection Jim Linderman
Hard-boiled visual aids here, a collaboration between photographer, graphic artist and perp. Give me twelve straights, an easel, and we've got this one sewed up.
Let Them Eat... Ace of Cakes, Wedding Cake Wars, Amazing Wedding Cakes, Cake Boss, Ultimate Cake Off
Nothing to add here except a list of the current "How to make a Cake" shows on cable so I will receive hits from anyone who looks up the show names. READY?
Ace of Cakes, Wedding Cake Wars, Amazing Wedding Cakes, Cake Boss, and Ultimate Cake Off. Now who says we don't make anything in America anymore?
Group of vernacular snapshot photographs of children, birthdays and cakes Collection Jim Linderman
Dull Tool Dim Bulb Books HERE
Jim Linderman THANKS the International Center of Photography For Take Me to the Water Baptism Photograph Exhibit
Thank you to all who came to the opening of Take Me to the Water at the International Center of Photography in New York City this week! It was a pleasure to see so many old friends and to make so many new ones. The exhibit was curated with great skill by Erin Barnett, Assistant Curator of Collections and is presented beautifully! Very much appreciated, and I hope ALL have the opportunity to see the exhibit, which will run from January 2011 to May 2011. I have been told additional images which were donated, including many larger images are available on the ICP website.
Also showing currently at the ICP are three astounding exhibitions! Wang Quingsong's "When Worlds Collide" "The Mexican Suitcase" (rediscovered negatives of Capa, Chim and Taro) AND of particular interest to followers of African-American culture, history and photography, a striking show of vintage photographs created by Alonzo Jordan from Jasper Texas, all three shows not to miss. In my humble opinion, any one of these exceptional shows are worth traveling for, to have all four up at the same time in the same institution is truly remarkable. More information on all these shows is available at the INTERNATIONAL CENTER OF PHOTOGRAPHY WEBSITE
Pair of anonymous baptism photographs. Arkansas 1927 Collection Jim Linderman
A flapper in the flag struts her patriotic stuff 50 years before Abbie Hoffman was arrested for doing same.
Anonymous snapshot, circa 1920 collection Jim Linderman
I'm a bit tied up, so the post today is a slight rehash, but never, I promise, have I posted a picture of a prone piker pushing a peanut across the country with his nose. Note how Nehi butted in with their sign carrying flivver. The point here is that press photographs were always cropped, painted, embellished and fixed...and we thought a picture couldn't lie?
FAR from it.
I guess you don't always see a man with a Bee Beard either...but some drone in the photo department thought he could improve on it with a black halo.
See you in a few days.
Group of Original Glossy Press Photographs embellished by hand, circa 1930 - 1960. All Collection Jim Linderman
Imagine my surprise when I learned this 90 foot cement tribute to an imaginary mish-mosh of Native American Tribes not only still stands, but it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places! (Not the more exclusive register of Historic LANDMARKS, but still) I thought I had just bought yet another photograph of a long forgotten goofy thing. Goofy it may be, but it was carefully restored and repainted by the Kansas Grassroots Art Association. That it is in Oklahoma seems not to have mattered to the Kansans. It is claimed to be "The World's Largest Concrete Totem Pole" (um...yeah, duh) but maker Ed Galloway cheated...he built it on a giant five foot tall turtle barely seen in the photo.
This Press Photo dates to 1947, just about near the time Ed claimed it was finished. It was even given an unusual amount of respect at the time from the press...note the text on the reverse says nothing about Ed's mental state, though if you look really close you CAN see they titled the caption "Monumental Joke." They also call it "grotesque" and infer it was made to trick future paleontologists. However, as Ed is passed away now, I can question his sanity! What crazy Okie would build a giant cement totem pole?
Whether Ed's mind was fit as a fiddle is questionable, but he made fiddles too...400 of them, though many were stolen out of the Fiddle house he also built next to the totem to hold them a few years after he passed away.
Ed's pole is estimated to weigh 134 tons. The big goobers on the side here also still remain. Ed mixed up his tribes a bit, putting some traditional Northwestern motifs down in the Sooner State too. In fact, the Indians Ed is depicting in his gravel and stone monolith are in a way responsible for the State's nickname, as after having driven them all further west (or 6 feet underground for good) the territory was opened up for all (All Non-native that is) in a giant landrush...and the cheaters who snuck in early received the more charming name of Sooners.
Ed Galloway was born 20 years before Oklahoma became a state, and started building his thing thirty years after.
Original Press Photograph 1947 Collection Jim Linderman
(See also In Situ: American Folk Art in Place)
In 1858 the John Manufacturing Company was founded. Their main product was fire-resistant asbestos roofing material. (At the time, virtually nothing was worse than fire...entire towns could burn to the ground while waiting for the horses to get hooked up and gallop to your block with a tank of water big enough to put out a campfire) Well...as we now know Asbestos was a mixed blessing. So mixed the lawsuit commercials pepper late night TV like flutters of fibers falling from a roof being torn down even today.
But the point of this post is not asbestiosis, not even the pulmonary fibrosis which killed the founder H.W. Johns HIMSELF some forty years after founding the company. This post is actually about a fire of a different sort...a fire of love which burns deep in the chest of a billionaire's rotten son...One Tommy Manville, who became "the asbestos heir" after his father merged his Manville company with the Johns company to become Johns-Manville By 1925 they were producing over 200 asbestos products. They were listed on the Fortune 500. But at the very same time, their executives were learning what their products did...and they paid some quiet lawsuits during the 1930s. But the cases kept coming and eventually Johns Manville was little more than a trust set up to pay off claims of the dead and dying. But the real hero (no...let's make that the real boob) of this tale is not the founder, not the buyer, not the victims, not the lawyers...it is the goofus son. Thomas Franklyn Manville Jr.
What great invention of commerce, or political office, or educational institution did he found? Umm..well...I can't find any. But he DID MARRY THIRTEEN WIVES (!) and not a clunker among them! Was young Tommy groomed to take over the company lethal business? Nah..after being thrown out of EIGHT public schools for misbehaving, he decided edjucatin' wasn't for him. He married his first wife at 17. Florence Huber was a Ziegfield Follies showgirl. Natch. Tommy had to lie about his age, and when Daddy found out he was outraged...Tommy and Florence had to cross the river into New Jersey and marry again using his real age. The marriage, surprisingly, lasted 7 years. When it ended, Daddy gave Flo $16,000 as a settlement. Tommy as now free for number 2, his father's personal secretary, Lois McCoin! Not surprisingly, this shocked his father into a heart attack and within months, Tommy had a two million dollar trust fund and 25,000 shares of stock.
New found wealth apparently gave Tommy notions of new wedded bliss, as he paid off wife number two with a guaranteed 20 grand a year for life. For wife number three, Tommy went shopping at the Follies again. Another bombshell named Avonne...that one lasted 30 days. With a Mexican divorce and over $100,000 in gifts, the pretty bride left with a pretty penny. Wife number 4 was a spicy blond who lasted four years of fighting...she hit the road with twice the purse...$200,000.
Number 5 was a 22 year old showgirl Tommy met while judging a beauty contest. That marriage lasted 17 days. They were divorced the day Pearl Harbor was bombed. Prescient, as bombshell number 6 was waiting in the wings. Billie Boze. Billie was 20 and lasted about as long as you would expect. Two months and Tommy gave her the asbestos-sole boot. No payoff was reported, but I suspect she left the house with more than white fibers in her clothes.
Sunny was next. Now Sunny Ainsworth had already been married. FOUR TIMES! And she had yet to reach her 20s. Sunny was a sunny 19. Her age wasn't the only record she would hold...as Sunny's marriage would last...are you ready? Seven Hours. Wife number seven lasted seven hours. When I was a sexy, single, and most importantly straight bachelor in Manhattan, a good number of my DATES lasted longer than seven hours. A settlement? Yes.
Number eight was a reporter, one Georgina Campbell. They had a few good battles and made up several times, but when the reporter sniffed out a story taking place in Tommy's bedroom with his secretary, there was a little problem. Georgina was in it for the long haul though, and it was an automobile accident which took here out of the picture.
Mere weeks later, number nine was in place. Anita Frances Roddy-Eden. It lasted ten days and she left the house with $100,000. Number 10 was...jeez, let's see...A SHOWGIRL! 26 year old Pat Gaston. A 6 month marriage.
Now, it gets complicated...as Wiki says, "the record is confused" since two of ten listed here were married to Tommy Twice. So that makes TWELVE marriages. And who was lucky number 13? 20 year old Christina Erdlen. That one appears to have lasted until Tommy croaked in 1967, but I am not quite sure. Much to my chagrin, I have not been able to find pictures of the last two.