Wednesday, July 31

Mysterious Smoke Girl

  Here's another quick post while I finish up a some longer ones. This image was included in a stack of photos I bought a while back. My guess is that it was once part of some packaging for pipe tobacco because the backside has remnants of glue around the edges (as though it had been glued into a box at some point) and a serial number.

392653 - an outstanding vintage

  It's also on flimsier cardboard stock than you would normally see with an old photograph, which is another reason I think it's probably packaging. But beyond that I really don't have much information. My hope is that one of my many fine readers might be more knowledgeable about tobacciana than I. If that's you, please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

Monday, July 29

Ferdinand the Beach Bull

  Did a little digging and came up with this. It would seem our grandparents' generation was easily amused...
   "Ferdinand the Bull" was first published in 1938. Munro Leaf's story of the bull that preferred sniffing flowers in the shade of a cork tree to bashing heads with his buddies in the field became an instant classic.
   Perhaps to capitalize on the book, or maybe just because it seemed like a good idea at the time, in the 1940s, Ralph "Tex" Masden- a retired movie star appearing in such gems as "The Mighty Barnum" in 1934 and "Mama's Little Pirate" in 1934- brought a live bull to Daytona Beach.
   For 25 cents, tourists could climb up the wooden stepstool onto the beast's broad back and have a souvenir photo taken, guns a-blazin' (cowboy hat optional.)
Soon other critters horned in on the bull's business. By the 1950s, folks could choose between Ferdinand, a stuffed tiger, a stuffed bear reared up on its hind legs or a live donkey named Pedro - complete with sign asking, "Can you tell which is the real jackass?"


Friday, July 26

Movie Stars from WWII

  At Gas Lamp I found a Ziploc bag full of photos with a note saying they were a soldier’s entire private photo collection from World War Two. Needless to say, I was excited about the potential story the photos contained. This guy could have literally served anywhere in the world, faced any number of dangers, fought in one of the many famous encounters from the war. That almost limitless possibility is exactly why I’m drawn to old photographs. Each one is its own historical rabbit hole. They dictate the terms of the adventure, all I have to do is find and learn about them. It’s basically brain TV and I really wanted to watch this show…